According to Consumer Reports, the average car will last 150,000 miles. If you’re buying a newer model and keeping it properly maintained, it can last up to 200,000. That still leaves some car buying expeditions in the average consumer life. For many of us, buying a car fills us with dread. So we want to start with a car that naturally tends to last longer than average.
Honda and Toyota continue to lead the group in producing the most reliable cars. But according to a 2010 issue of Consumer Reports, General Motors is stepping up its game to improve on previous models, and some newer models, like the Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, and the Buick LaCrosse V6 have a reliable rating from the start. Ford remains the most reliable of the US-made models, while Chrysler is the lowest ranked. And the car acclaimed by Consumer Reports for offering the best predicted reliability was the Porsche Boxster.
Retired schoolmaster Irv Gordon drove his 1966 red Volvo P1800 for 2.5 million miles and holds the current Guinness World Record, certified in the mid-1990s. Of course, such occurrences are extremely rare. But there are services available and steps you can take to increase the longevity of your car, most of which refer to proper care and maintenance according to the vehicle manual.
A good start for any car owner is to read the manual. Check back frequently and don’t be afraid to bring any questions to the dealer. Another simple step is to keep the car clean. You don’t need to spend a ton of money, but you do need to make sure you keep up with routine maintenance. Check the fluids every few months (or as suggested by your car manual) to make sure they stay at the proper levels. These include radiator coolant and brakes, windshield wipers, power steering, and transmission fluids. This is very important because these fluids lubricate different parts to reduce friction, heat, and general wear and tear that can occur over time. Check your manual to see how often the oil and oil filter should be changed; the answer may differ depending on how many miles you drive.
So if you want to buy a car that lasts longer than the 150,000-mile average, start with a car that has a reliable reliability rating, such as a Honda, Acura, Subaru, or Ford. If you’re buying used, be sure to run a vehicle history report. You can save time searching for your car by using a car search engine like Piefind.com. Piefind searches ads from multiple rankings to give you a list of relevant possibilities, saving you time and energy.