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Can you get 200,000 miles out of your used car?


BY KEVIN SAWYER – With the price of new vehicles, and another loan hovering, many car owners continue to hang on to their vehicles longer and longer these days. But, many are opting for buying used vehicles and trying to keep them longer. Can you really get 200,000 miles out of your used car?

  • The first thing you should have done is some serious due diligence on what vehicles make the best used vehicles. Consumer Reports is a good place to start your research. If you start out with a reliable vehicle, your chances of nursing it to the 200K mark are pretty good.
  • You must have a maintenance schedule and you must adhere to it for dear life. Follow the owners manual for maintenance and don’t buy cheap parts. The better grade part you buy, the longer it will last. Don’t be one of those fools who thinks a store brand peanut butter is better than Skippy of Jif. Spend that money now, save on expensive repairs later or even a new car loan.
  • Stay on top of the important parts like belts and hoses. These get severe workouts and their conditions rapidly change with the changes in weather. They are cheap to swap out and will prevent further damage. Also, keep your vehicle clean. It will make you want to take care of it. Spring for a power steam wash for your engine every now and then, too.
  • Keep some money stashed just for repairs. They will happen. Generally, once a vehicle hits 120,000 miles or so, it becomes time that certain things will need to be swapped out like brakes, starters, alternators and pumps. Once you make these initial replacements, you should be able to go another 100,000 miles or so.
  • Stay alert while driving. Know what your car sounds like and feels like when it is running well. This way, you will immediately react to any strange movement or feel or sound. Have a friend drive your car once in a while. See what they say about how it feels and rides.