October 1, 2014

200,000 Miles

Posted on June 12, 2010 by in In the Garage

BMW e36 timing chainMy BMW just rolled over 200,000 miles, and I realized that the 200k mile mark is a defining point in a car’s life.  A vehicle that’s survived for 200,000 miles has been through a lot, and came out on top.

So at this point, I’m dealing with problems as they arise and doing normal maintenance.  I need to finish budgeting exactly what I want this car to be when all is said and done.  I think the final build plan will end up in the USD $5k-$10k range.  For not, I’ve just been performing routine maintenance and keeping costs low.

Have you crossed the 200,000 mark?  How many miles have you racked up on your daily driver?

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30 Responses to “200,000 Miles”

  1. Chris 21 June 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    My first car, a used Dodge Neon, ended its life with 233,000 miles on it with the original engine still running fine. In fact, the only reason I had to get rid of it because there was a leak that allowed rain-water in – really bad mildew ensued.

    • Michael 14 May 2012 at 8:49 am #

      I have a bimmer 328i 1996 with 270000 miles. Same engine, great car. Just make sure replacing oil every 3000 miles and will go forever.

      • Jesse 29 July 2013 at 7:20 pm #

        I own a 1997 BMW 540I with 202,000 and it’s still going strong, runs like a scared rabbit. Thanks to synthetic oil the engine and tranny are in great shape and I’m hoping for another 200,000.

  2. Jzimmer 8 July 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    BMW E36 93 318i just crossed 150,000 miles put a new water pump, upper radiator hose, and new belts on this weekend runs great, now to reset the engine check light…

  3. Chas 9 July 2010 at 8:56 am #

    my 94 BMW 318is has 182k miles and still runs great. I think it will last quite some time seeing how it really doesnt show being so warn out. i did have to replace the alternator, and my shocks are going bad but for the most part i cant complain :)

  4. Bam 12 July 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    my car is rocking right now with 150k on it, i feel pretty confident thought, my last one lasted to 265k and it took alot!!! of  beating

    “A turbo: exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, witchcraft happens and you go faster.”—-Jeremy Clarkson

  5. Matt 28 July 2010 at 9:48 am #

    My car, a 1994 Mazda Miata has a mind blowing 234K miles on it. Still starts up every time, drives and shifts fine. The only problem is a little bit of oil burning. I know your going to ask, so yes all of the VIN numbers match on the car. That means no engine swaps and no newer tranny! I had a friend who raced a miata in SCCA SSM for two years on the stock motor with 220K miles. If thats not a tribute to the longevity of these cars… I don’t know what is.

    (insert shameless self promotion ftw- my latest project has been a blog devoted to this little car)

  6. Gollum 6 August 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    When I received my latest S130, it had a tick over 200k. Car was running on 4 cylinders most of the drive home. Car now burns a bit of oil, but has gotten me reliably around with probably less than $150 in maintenance. Just replaced the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. That’s the most I’ve spend thus far on any problem, at a whopping $45.

  7. RacingReadyDan 11 September 2010 at 8:36 am #

    My 1999 Mazda Miata has “only” 120K miles on it – my Miata buddies say at that mileage it’s just barely broken in. The drivetrain is solid & the car is only experiencing the usual rubber/plastic wear & tear one can expect.

    It’s been my daily driver for over a year & I’m still happy with it. I also autocross it competitively at monthly club events (shameless plug – read my blog!). I’ve since replaced the “rocks” it came with as tires with street Falken Ziex 512s & I’m very content with that compromise.

    Jesse, it’ll be intersting to see what you decide to do about tires when the snow season blows in…

  8. Chris Hecht 15 October 2010 at 10:53 am #

    My WRX was bought at 115k, now it has 124k 6 months later. My last Civic was bought with 95k, sold with 130k. My Mustang had 122k when I bought it, sold at 145k, my first civic had 107k when I bought it, 140k when sold and my ’72 Bug, not sure, it only went to the 10’s of thousands. haha

    Hoping to keep the WRX for awhile. My dad’s WRX was bought brand new in 2003 and it now has 190ish. Still runnin’ strong.

  9. Andrew Puleo 29 October 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    My 1987 Nissan 200SX SE just hit 231,800k

  10. Mike 29 October 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I’ve got a 1993 N/A Mr2 with 193,000+ miles on the clock.

    Here’s what I’ve done.

    1. Tires. I’ve experimented with a few, but definitely am a fan of Yokohama and Dunlop Star Specs.

    2. Wheels. When I bought the vehicle, they came with aftermarket 17s. Heavy ones. I found cheap autocross wheels that were similar in size to OEM, but much lighter than the OEM wheels. That was very beneficial.

    3. Brakes. I did upgrade to braided steel lines because, my DD is also used for driving canyons, and yes, the brake pedal was a bit firmer. But, more importantly, I upgraded the pads (Carbotech), got new rotors (cheap Napa blanks), and put in fresh brake fluid.

    4. Suspension. I bought the car already with aftermarket springs. FAR too low and rough for daily driving. I upgraded to the ’93+ later springs (raised ride height, back to the OEM suspension geometry, slightly smoother ride), and more importantly, took out the Bilsteins for adjustable Konis put on full soft. Suspension bushings replaced. Tie rods replaced. Power steering fluid replaced. Now the suspension is OEM, but adjustable.

    5. Radiator. 200k on the clock. Want to make it last longer? Replace with OEM, NOT aftermarket. I learned that the hard way.

    6. Lights. There’s no downside to an upgrade in visibility. Just headlights. No fogs or anything else.

    7. Tranny fluid. Redline works best for MR2s. But still, a maintenance item.

    8. Intake. Came with aftermarket. Went back to OEM airbox and got an air filter from Amsoil.

    9. Engine oil. I swear by Amsoil. While you’re at it. Fuel filter too.

    10. Driving habit. This isn’t a 2000+ or later vehicle. It’s a 1993. What does that mean? Let it warm up. Left the tranny warm up before fast shifting. No aggressive braking within the first 15 minutes of a drive.

  11. Jase 29 October 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    My 2005 Suburban is at 180K and going strong. We love it. We will keep it until it dies, and then put a new motor in it if we have to. Four kids, and all.

  12. Jay 29 October 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Had a 1996 Honda Accord 4 door LX-I sold it with 230K still ran like a champ. My 2002 Accord EX V6 was sold with 150K and was getting better mileage then when I first bought it!!! Own a 2008 Ford Edge bought it with 30K last Jan 2011, right now I am push 70K with it. Seems like a champ! I like to get 250K on it before dies but we will see.

  13. Jesse 29 October 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Jay, it sounds like you get a lot of life out of your cars. It also sounds like you do a respectable amount of driving every year. From what I’ve heard, the Edge was put together pretty well, but I’m not sure many cars can compare to 90’s-era Hondas and Toyotas for longevity.

    Jase, sounds like a great family-mobile, but I’d be concerned about what kind of mileage the Suburban gets.

    Mike, for some reason I’m always surprised with high-mileage MR2’s. There isn’t any foundation behind it, but I just have trouble making the connection between an MR platform and daily driveability. I’m always hesitant to recommend brake pads, since it’s easy to buy race pads then wonder why brake response decreases. Good street pads are a huge upgrade, but proper race pads need to be heated up before they function properly.

    Your driving habits are an awesome recommendation for anyone, not just “older” cars. Even new cars don’t circulate oil until it’s warmed up, so driving easy for the first 5 miles or so is great advice for anybody.

    • jon 19 August 2012 at 1:18 am #

      For what it’s worth, my commuter car is a 91 Toyota Celica that i bought in college in 97 and it is running strong at 350K. Regular oil changes and clutch replacement. I do drive by the scrap metal lot on my commute home, which is probably the motivation the car has to keep going!!

  14. andy 29 October 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    I bought a 3rd hand (mother 2 daughter 2 me ) 1995 4 cyl Camry with 125,000 on it , 3 years ago. I have only put 25,000 on it since, but a few were airborn. I’ve put in a strut tower brace, free flow filter, radiator and tires. I can be on a freeway doing 90 and a friend will ask “why can’t the cops see you?” Simple, it’s a Champagne Camry. Sis in law had the v6. It went 265,000, then she sold it for $1700, and had calls after offering upwards of $3500. Took me 2 years to know it’s handling limits, but I freaking love that car.

  15. hotrodlincoln 29 October 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Some car rag out right now has a story about a late 60’s mopar with about 450,000 miles on it, due to – if the article is giving all the details – mostly the use of synthetic oil since the 70s when the car had under 100K on it.

    I had a 1976 Impala with the “tiniest” engine (350 2V) than went to 150K with no problems and no oil burning … AFAIK it might still be on the road since I sold it. My relative’s 1996 Ford Windstar, bought new, has 245K on it and the engine runs like new.

  16. phoenix 29 October 2010 at 10:50 pm #

    ’96 Dodge Neon, few modifications, just tipped 200k last week.

    That’s 200,446 of rather hard road, as it’s seen more than its share of long-run interstate, 1/4 mile Saturday nights, dodging cones on Sunday auto-X, and hellish DC traffic.

    Motor and gearbox are still excellent, body’s still good, brakes recently re-done (calipers, pads, lines, tons of fluid flush), no end in sight.

    Need some new bushings all around, but that’s for a weekend soon. Otherwise the car has been flat-out brilliant for nearly 15 years.

  17. L26sk 2 November 2010 at 3:47 am #

    my first car a 92′ 240sx just hit 300,000 and it starts like nothing every morning. Just waiting for it to die so i can do a swap or a rebuild but it won’t die i love it. i’m keeping this forever

  18. Joe 2 November 2010 at 10:18 am #

    my 1991 Chevy 454SS pickup has about 240,000 miles on it. Its still going strong and the original engine is still capable of bringing that lumbering beast down a track in 14.3 seconds, or bringing a load of lumber home from Lowes.

  19. Jesse 2 November 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    I’ve always been partial to the 454SS, it’s one of the best-looking trucks I think I’ve ever seen.

  20. Robert 9 December 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    My 2002 Ford Windstar now has 269,000 miles on it.
    So far parts:
    1) Fuel pump. Only replaced it because it had 230,000 miles on it but still worked.
    2) Power steering pumps(2)
    3) 1 Set of CV joints.
    4) 1 set of front bearings.
    5) 1 Alternator

    I have used X1R in the motor and trans every 30k from the time I bought it.

  21. jay 27 December 2010 at 11:33 am #

    My 89 DD Jeep just crossed 200K in August while on a 2700 mile road trip (shows my comfort level with that car).

    My wife’s 560SL had 284K on the odometer when we bought it (and the odo soon stopped working). She’s since taken it on an unplanned (death in family) trip to Tennesee from NJ. It’s her DD.

  22. Brizzy 1 August 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    my 2002 mercury sable has 205k miles and im having a lot of problems with it I just put on a new water pump,heads,head gaskets,spark plugs but I dont Know what else to do with it I am really giving up

    • Jesse O'Brien 2 August 2012 at 10:20 am #

      That sounds like you’ve fallen into a gumption trap. With a car that new, problems often stem from bad sensors confusing the ECU. I’d suggest that you pick up a multimeter and test your o2 sensor(s) and air sensor(s) if it still isn’t running correctly.

  23. Rich 26 October 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    That’s a milestone right there. Haven’t had a car yet that made it past 150K

  24. Brandy 7 March 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    My 18 year old ’95 e36 rolled to 200,000 miles yesterday, 3.6.2013 @ 8pm after owning it since I was 18 for 9.5 years, 2nd owner. It does have hail damage as of 2 years ago but other than that, no problems, the black leather seats look new! It’s been the most reliable car, from driving to high school … And moving me from Illinois to Dallas in Jan 2011, I love my BMW!

    • Jesse O'Brien 15 March 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Congratulations! Mine proved to be quite a bit less reliable, but it ended up going to a good owner who was determined to restore it to its former glory. It’s always satisfying to know that other people are still enjoying their cars even after putting a few miles on them.

  25. michal taylor 15 January 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    I bought a 1996 BMW 328ic with 212005 and I just change the oil with synthetic Mobil 1 change all my fluids and took it to the BMW dealership and had it serviced and was told it will last another 200k if it is taken care of


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