what do the "million mile engines" do differently?

rmz

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we've all heard about those cars out there that go millions of miles... the Mercedes taxis in europe, the various diesels, etc... what is different about those engines? i doubt they are maintained any differently than any other car... none of the merc taxis i've been in run synthetic... they are not coddled or babied... so what is it about them?
 

JHZR2

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superior engineering, large sumps, NOT trying to eek out every last ounce of horsepower or fuel economy...
 
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Many in the past got a dose of a good 10w-40 every 3,000 mi. Call me bullheaded but in high service vehicles 3,000 mi between changes probably means a lot.
 

JHZR2

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and in older diesels with relatively high soot loading, it does too. Toyota copied much of what MB did early on... Datsun copied BMW. I suppose that has something to do with the longevity of early Japanese cars (rust aside)
 
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Diesel schmiezel. I don't care if you've got a gas engine or a diesel engine. You want it to last a long time, it's a simple formula: Lots of highway miles, few start/stop cycles relative to mileage, basic maintenance. Some designs might tend to last longer than others, but given the right conditions I think you could get any modern engine past 1 million without too much trouble. Now under typical use, there are some designs that have significant advantages over others, particularly diesels. In my experience big displacement, low-revving engines (gas or diesel) last longer than whiney high-revvers.
 
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ON, Canada eh?
 Originally Posted By: rmz
we've all heard about those cars out there that go millions of miles... the Mercedes taxis in europe, the various diesels, etc... what is different about those engines? i doubt they are maintained any differently than any other car... none of the merc taxis i've been in run synthetic... they are not coddled or babied... so what is it about them?
Maintenance! That's it... Most people don't look after their cars. My dad has a saying... "If you look after your car, it will look after you" He and I have been applying this methodology to our vehicles and have driven them trouble free for many miles. Most 400,000+ KM (240K+ Miles). These same vehicles could have gone a million miles except the bodies were getting tired, the car was in an accident, parts were getting too hard to find or too expensive etc...
 
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You need an engine with a good track record to start with. Million mile vehicles tend to have engines such as Ford 4.9L I6s, Ford 4.6s, GM small block V8s, Mercedes diesels, etc. Lots of highway miles and regular maintenance surely contribute too. A lot of them are courier/delivery vehicles.
 
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orwellian sheep land?
..don't forget diesels in general last longer mostly because of the lubricating properties of the diesel itself on the upper cylinder. Low volumetric efficiency helps big time like Chevy 350 V8 in taxi service could last long because of the low specific output distributed over 8 rods/pistons... each piston could spend all day producing a maximum of say 28hp at full throttle from a 712cc cylinder. That's easy street in the world of engines.
 
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My guess is first they must drive alot.If you only drive 20k miles a year it will take you 50 years to get to 1 million miles. That alone would eliminate most cars. I think many cars are capable of this, its just that I dont think many people keep a 50 year old car as a daily driver.
 
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Like many folks have said before design, maintence and freeway driving. Most engines can get there but i would like to see automatic trannys last that long.
 
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 Originally Posted By: JHZR2
and in older diesels with relatively high soot loading, it does too. Toyota copied much of what MB did early on... Datsun copied BMW. I suppose that has something to do with the longevity of early Japanese cars (rust aside)
the Nissan/Datsun L-series engine is a copy of a Mercedes engine, the MB timing chain will even work on the L-series. the diesel L-series engines didn't really get any stronger parts so maybe they built some extra durability into the gasoline designs? fwiw, Albrecht von Goertz designed the BMW 507 and the Nissan 240Z...
 
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 Originally Posted By: raaizin
My guess is first they must drive alot.If you only drive 20k miles a year it will take you 50 years to get to 1 million miles. That alone would eliminate most cars. I think many cars are capable of this, its just that I dont think many people keep a 50 year old car as a daily driver.
Ask Bill from Utah.
 
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