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Make your car last 200,000 miles

How to go the distance and save tens of thousands of dollars

Consumer Reports magazine: September 2012

Tom and Ruth Bushaw, Kennewick, Wash.
Their 1990 Lexus LS has 350,000 miles, and their 2004 Toyota Sienna has 200,000 miles.

Keeping a car running beyond the 200,000-mile mark would have been considered an incredible feat even a decade ago because cars weren’t as reliable and durable as they are today. But improvements in rust prevention, engine technology, and lubricants have been game changers, and now you can expect to keep any car rolling into six-figure territory with the proper care.

That is good news for drivers, who are keeping their cars longer than ever before; the average age of all cars on the road is approaching 11 years, up from about eight years in 1995, according to Polk research. (In the photos here, owners are shown with their vehicle(s) and the number of miles each car has been driven.) Still, motorists might not realize the long-term financial benefits of keeping a car for 200,000 miles. Our research shows that reaching that milestone (which would take the average motorist about 15 years) could result in savings of $30,000 or more.

Read our updated full report to find out how to get there.

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