A majority of cars produced after 2000 can last well over 100,000 miles, but not every vehicle can make it to 200,000 miles. If you’re thinking about keeping your car for a long time and expect to hit 200,000 miles or more, you need to take really good care of it.

Buy a Reliable Model

How to Make Your Car Last 200,000 MilesIf you don’t have a vehicle right now and are still in the process of buying a car, there are some models that are better than others when it comes to reliability. Models from Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai have consistently been at the top of the reliability game for both new and used cars.

It’s important you do some research on vehicles you’re considering financing before you head to a dealership. Look up safety ratings, read reviews from current and previous owners, and check for recalls. The more information you have about a particular model, the more confident you’re going to be when you buy and own it.

Keep Up with Basic Car Maintenance

Regardless of the vehicle you choose, you need to keep up with its recommended maintenance schedule. This is the key to making your car last a long time.

Look at the owner’s manual to see when you should perform routine maintenance such as oil and fluid changes, tire rotations, and filter changes. If you neglect to take care of your vehicle and don’t follow the maintenance schedule, your car isn’t going to last as long as it could or should.

On the flip side, don’t over maintain your vehicle and feel obligated to fix things that don’t need to be repaired right then and there. You don’t want to waste money on unnecessary maintenance if your car doesn’t need it. Always remember: the owner’s manual tells you what routine maintenance needs to be done and when.

Don’t Buy Cheap Parts

Cheap parts and cheap fluids might save you money, but they aren’t going to keep your vehicle running if you’re aiming for the 200,000-mile mark.

The safest bet is to buy and use parts and fluids that meet the manufacturer specifications for your car – even if that means shelling out a few extra bucks. If you don’t, don’t be surprised if your vehicle doesn't last as long as it might have with the proper care.

Get Familiar with Your Car

Unexpected things happen, and no car brand or model is always 100 percent reliable. Even if you’re on top of the recommended maintenance schedule, you should always listen to your vehicle for any unusual noises and recognize when it isn’t performing normally.

You never know when unexpected problems may arise, so it helps to pay close attention. Noticing problems early can save you money in the long run, as many small problems can worsen and get more expensive over time. Plus, taking care of them as they come up can keep your car on track for 200,000 miles.

The Bottom Line

Keeping your vehicle clean and on its suggested maintenance schedule is the key to making your car last 200,000 miles. You need to be very familiar with your vehicle and take action if you notice anything out of the ordinary – no matter how insignificant it may seem.

If you’re considering buying a more reliable car, but worry your credit is holding you back, we want to help. Auto Credit Express has been connecting consumers with special finance dealers that can work with credit challenges for over 20 years now.

Fill out our fast, free, and no-obligation auto loan request form to get the process of getting matched with a local dealership started today!