When we launched the 200,000-Mile Club forum inviting drivers to share stories and tips about keeping a car for the long haul, we frankly had no idea what we were in for. Response has been phenomenal, with more than 260 different discussions. We've read a lot of entertaining and inspiring stories, with high-mileage drivers sharing some great advice.
Many forum participants say they've made it far beyond 200,000 miles, and Herman Goetjen wrote to suggest we up the ante with a 300,000 and 400,000 mile club. If we do, Scott Gibbs can join. He reports having 450,000 miles on his Mercedes-Benz 240D, which, sadly, needed its first new clutch recently after just 29 years of service.
Do you have a story or advice to share? Join the unofficial club! Share your experience in the 200,000-Mile Club forum, and if you'd like to show off your well-traveled ride, you can post a photo at the 200,000-Mile Club photo gallery. Please be sure to include the year, make, model, and mileage when you submit your image.
In the meantime, below are some of our favorite posts.
I donated my 1994 Bonneville last summer, still running fine at 471,000 miles. It had the original engine, CV joints, A/C, muffler, radiator, and the steering was still tight... Best of all, my depreciation costs were only about 5 cents per mile, so I smiled all the way to the bank.
I bought this [Maxima] brand new and continue to use it as my main vehicle. I have only had to replace the radiator after a rock put a hole in it. I change the oil every 5 to 7k miles... I don't believe I have done anything special to maintain it this long other than that paying attention to the car...
--Rod Worley, 1996 Nissan Maxima, 400,127 miles
In spite of a less than luke-warm review by CR in 1977, I bought a new Mercedes-Benz 240D. CR complained that the turn signal lever fell off the M-B they drove and it cost $300 to fix. My car is driven daily to work and has 450K miles on it. The engine has never been worked on and most of the parts are still original. Learning the required service intervals and using them can't be understated if you are intending to drive one car a long time.
My secret to longevity is diesel! My (and wife and sons) last five cars have been Mercedes 300 Diesels, all with 170,000 - 245,000 miles... Always use synthetic oil, change every 5,000 miles. Always check your gas/diesel mileage at each fill up; the first sign of a problem is often increased fuel use. Don't scrimp on parts. Always buy OEM from the dealer, it may seem expensive but it's a lot cheaper and safer in the long run. But most important: treat the car as if it has to last you for the rest of your life and it might!