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How Long Do Modern Cars Last?

  Norman Taylor & Associates
  March 15, 2024

Have you ever wondered how long your car will last? It’s a common question among car owners and potential buyers.

Here, we’ll explain the factors that determine a car’s lifespan, the vehicles that tend to last the longest, and what you can do to maximize the longevity of your car. We’ll also discuss how vehicle defects relate to the California lemon law.


What Is the Average Lifespan of a Car?

With technological advancements, today’s average car lifespan is approximately 12 years or 200,000 miles. Some vehicles, especially electric cars, can even reach up to 300,000 miles or more. In the past, cars would typically last around eight years or 150,000 miles.

It’s important to note the make and model of the car, as well as how well it’s maintained, such as oil changes and tire rotations, can help prolong the lifespan of your vehicle.


Which Vehicles Have the Longest Lifespan?

While the average lifespan of cars has increased overall, certain vehicles tend to have a reputation for lasting longer. Japanese manufacturers, such as Toyota and Honda, are known for producing cars with exceptional longevity. Models like the Toyota Sequoia, Chevrolet Suburban, and Ford Expedition have proven reliable and durable, often reaching 200,000 miles or more.

As mentioned above, a car’s lifespan depends on its make, model, and year. Different models can have varying lifespans, even within the same brand, due to design, manufacturing, and maintenance differences. Researching specific models can give you a better idea of which vehicles will likely last longer.


How Many Miles Can a Car Last Before It Breaks Down?

Cars don’t have a set mileage where they break down. Today’s cars are built to last and can often go over 200,000 miles without trouble if maintained well.

However, as cars age and rack up more miles, mechanical problems become more likely. Components like the engine, transmission, and suspension might need fixing more often.


How Many Miles Are Too Many in a Car?

There isn’t a straightforward answer to this. While high mileage can indicate that a car has been driven extensively, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s nearing the end of its lifespan.

Instead of focusing solely on the number of miles, consider the car’s overall condition. A well-maintained vehicle with 150,000 miles may be in better shape than a poorly maintained vehicle with 100,000 miles. Regular inspections, maintenance, and fixing issues quickly can help keep a high-milage car running smoothly.


What Can I Do to Make My Car Last Longer?


  1. Regular Maintenance
  2. Regular maintenance is key. Stick to a schedule for oil changes, filter replacements, and tire rotations as the manufacturer advises.  


  3. Address Issues Promptly
  4. Don’t ignore strange sounds, vibrations, or warning lights in your car. Addressing them fast can stop small issues from becoming bigger problems.


  5. Practice Good Driving Habits
  6. Avoid aggressive driving, excessive speeding, and abrupt braking. These habits can put unnecessary stress on your car and cause premature damage.


  7. Keep It Clean
  8. Regularly wash and wax your car to shield its exterior from corrosion and damage. Keep the interior clean and debris-free to prevent premature wear on upholstery and other surfaces.


  9. Store It Properly
  10. If you have a secondary or seasonal vehicle, store it properly when not in use. Choose a climate-controlled storage facility or keep it covered to protect it from the elements.


When Is It Time for a New Car?

Despite your best efforts to maintain your car, there will come a time when it’s more cost-effective to invest in a new vehicle. Look out for these signs:

  • Frequent and costly repairs: If your car needs constant repairs and the cost exceeds its value, investing in a new vehicle may be more economical. 
  • Safety concerns: Upgrade to a newer model if your car lacks essential safety features or fails to meet current safety standards.  
  • Decreased reliability: If your car becomes increasingly unreliable, leaving you stranded, it’s a clear indication it may be time to say goodbye. 
  • Outdated technology and features: Consider upgrading it if your car lacks the modern features and technology you need.

Need a California Lemon Lawyer? Contact Norman Taylor & Associates Today!

When buying a new or used car, know your rights. California’s lemon law safeguards consumers from faulty vehicles. If your car has major defects that affect its safety, use, or value, you might qualify for a refund or replacement.

Call 818-244-3905 or contact Norman Taylor & Associates, experts in lemon law, for guidance and to learn more about your options.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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