Who runs high mileage car? And how long?

Not open for further replies.
Jan 7, 2003
Colorado Springs

I see lots of discussion on UOA and wear rates, but little talk about the bottom line - are you getting higher mileage out of your engines or is their an intrinsic value beyond just long life, like less noise, less power loss, less
oil consumption, etc, that drives most of you guys to keep wear rates low? It seems like most people today with normal maintenance are getting 150K-200K+ miles from their engines.
I think that the conversations on this (and most) board(s) are skewed somewhat, as the people who are interested in their cars post, those who aren't don't.

My brother in law is an accountant, who "defers expenditure" (I used to wrench on his cars, until he deferred a water pump replacement, broke down, drove 20km without pump, required me to tow him another 30 km, then waste a whole weekend fixing it).

His "new" Mitsubishi Lancer is smoking at 80,000km.

I checked the "service history", and it was full of excuses as to why this service was delayed 6 months, and that oil change went from 10k (km) to 15k. Then why he decided on 20,000km servicing once warranty was over.

Idiot also keeps his registration papers in his glove boxes.

I'm sure he'll get a job as my boss one day soon.

Let's not be so hard on the accountants as most of them "do it by the book" and document every time someone touches their car. At least I do and I was trained as an accountant but burned out after the numbers kept jumping off of the pages! I should have gone to work for Enron
Personally I won't be keeping my car for a long time but in the mean time, 4 yrs and 60,000miles, since it's a high revving performance engine that is driven VERY hard, it gets synthetic oil. Any vehicle I will own, especially if it's relatively new will get synthetic oil for the superior synthetic oil properties over dino oil. The extended drain intervals don't hurt either as I usually do my own oil changes..

Originally posted by TR3-2001SE:
I have a toyota cressida with 250,000 on a steady diet of Castrol GTX every 3000 miles. I hope to find an oil to go longer between changes and improve the ring ware. Toyota uses about one quart per 1000 miles. So far I think a good synthetic is good for 5000-7500 miles but still doing analysis to make sure they can in my new car. Plan on replacing the toyota at 400,000 miles.

Your oil consumption might not be due as much to ring wear as to the rings being stuck in their grooves with carbon, and not able to contact the cylinder wall the way they should.

You might try a two step cleaning with Auto-Rx. Several postings have had success. Check in the Additives section. You'll also probably notice your engine running better when cleaned.


[ February 12, 2003, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
1985 Volvo 245Ti at 235,000 miles isn't much compared to Irv Gordon (1966 Volvo 1800 - 2,000,000 miles) or a lot of other 240's, but it ain't bad for a turbocharged engine that doesn't smoke, barely consumes oil, is a total funfart
to drive...I do 10K OCI's with Amsoil S2K 20W-50.

[ February 12, 2003, 02:48 PM: Message edited by: Pablo ]
I've watched Irv Gordon's progress ever since he was just about to crack his first million! I remember Volvo gave him a new 1988 Volvo Bertone edition, which he managed to put 150k on it in just a few short years too somehow.

Does anyone know what oil he runs in his 1966 Volvo and what intervals? How many times has he rebuilt that engine? I'd hate to find out he's changing his oil every 3k. That would be 666 oil changes! The work of the devil!
No one seems to REALLY know what oil Irv uses....I have heard "whatever" and I have heard Castrol...but "Irv is anal about maintenance" is the word from my Volvo realm. (no shoot!)

He had the engine rebuilt at about 750,000 miles and has replaced the journal bearings a few times....is the other scuttlebutt.
I've got a 89 mirage with 159,000 miles, it still runs good and gets 28 MPG overall, the original clutch lasted till 150,000 miles, just replaced the timing belt for the second time, normal maintaince except for a head gasket at 140,000 miles and a CV boot at 130,000. Not too bad of car, I'd consider another misubishi.
85 Volvo 240 wagon at 239,000mi. It actually made it up to 230,000 on 3000mi changes of Castrol GTX 10W-40 but I've since run M1 and Schaeffer's 10W-30 blend in it. The Castrol thinned in under 1000mi. I could hear an increase in engine noises over time with that oil, otherwise it performed well. The Schaeffer's is up to 4,100mi and seems quieter than the 10W-40 was just after an oil change. I gave a ride to a friend at work who could not believe the car was an '85...."it runs so smooth!" was his response.

OK, my ears are not calibrated to NIST standards so that may be subjective.
My analysis numbers are great, the varnish under the fill cap has been reduced, and I can change my oil less frequently with better protection.
Most of my individual customers are people who by a new car and maintain it quite well, 100,000 -150,000 miles before thinking of selling them.

Many use the oil analysis advice to extend drains to justify the higher upfront costs of oil testing and $5 to $8 qt oil.

They are usually suprised at money saved in less fuel consumption,lower repair costs,and higher resale with a mechanically pristine car.

Those that purchase used cars benefit from analysis showing what to fix and avoiding major repair bills, through predictive maintenance practices.
My previous vehicle, a '91 Isuzu Trooper (2.6L 4cyl.) logged 240k miles on a diet of Mobil 1 10w-30. I had the valve cover off many times for its regular valve adjustments and I can tell you it was incredibly clean inside.
I have a toyota cressida with 250,000 on a steady diet of Castrol GTX every 3000 miles. I hope to find an oil to go longer between changes and improve the ring ware. Toyota uses about one quart per 1000 miles. So far I think a good synthetic is good for 5000-7500 miles but still doing analysis to make sure they can in my new car. Plan on replacing the toyota at 400,000 miles.
Thanks for the input. The responses are what I thought they might be. Most of you just care for your cars regardless if you will be the long term recipient of the good care. To a certain extent , this is a fun hobby and challenge to make it last. At the minimum, you are just being good stewards of an expensive machine.

Also, I wonder if the UOAs kind of keeps you in touch with your car at an 'emotional' level somewhat. For example, I have a 95 V6 AT Camry XLE 68K miles that has Mobil 1/Pureone filter in trans and engine after initial break-in with 3k oil changes. I really don't know if my tender care is working or not other than it runs like new. Similar to rearing kids and investing time/money now and the hope that your efforts will be fruitful. With out an UOA, you just don't know!

Until this forum, I did not understand the usefulness and ability of UAOs to detect latent problems. I plan now to do at least annual checks. FYI, my beater cars are a 87 Nissan Pathfinder V6 5sp with 230K mi & original clutch (scheduled for new reman engine) and my ex-wife's 87 Camry 4cyl 5sp 280k+ mi all autos with 3k dino oil changes. The Pathfinder had for the most of its life (130k) Pensoil and Fram filters with 25+ daily highway trips. Even with the frequent oil changes and highway miles, the engine has a pretty good bit of soft sludge from the oil filler neck's view, but almost no varnish or hard brown coatings. Except for excessive oil consumption (300 mi/qt) it actually runs quite well.
92 Camry V6, 153,000 with oil and filter changes every 7,500. Everything original except water pump, belts, brakes,filters, A/C O rings, tires, one half axle and battery. Still have original struts, alternator, starter, injectors, exhaust, etc. etc.. Cost to operate is in the peanuts category. Uses less then a quart between changes which now appears to have decreased after a Neutra treatment. Averages about 20 mpg around the city in the winter months.
'97 F150, 4.6l V8 with 156,500 miles on it to date. Everything is OEM except the usual maintinence like brakes (twice), filters, and spark plugs and wires (done once at 112,000 miles!) Only repair was a broken tie rod end, which while it was in the shop gave me the excuse to finally do the plugs.

I have sent off a UOA to see where this thing is at, and because I think will be interesting to see how the numbers compare to my '99 F150 witht he same motor and 80,000 + miles. I am breaking myself of the every 3000 habit, but want some assurances the oil and longer intervals are doing the job!
Bought an oil-using 1977 Chev Impala wagon with 112,000 miles, changed to Mobil One, ran it to 250,000 daily-driver miles in eight years before selling it. Oil consumption never changed after that. (Had a cylinder on the edge of "dead"). Serviced at 4 mos/4000. Passed emissions even without convertor, ha!
I have a 1990 Audi 100 with 209,000 miles on it ....Oil changes w/ Amsoil - mostly their 10w-30 - @ 15,000 miles/1 year, with a filter change and topoff halfway through. Runs fine and uses no oil to speak of outside of a hard to fix oil pan gasket leak. All original lubricated parts on the engine and little or no visible wear on the camshaft lobes ....Same story with my '85 Jetta, which I sold after 11 years and my 1976 Datsun 620 pickup, which I traded in on the VW after 9 years.

1987 VW Scirocco 1.8 16V with 174K miles. Bought it with 110K miles 3 yrs ago, has had 3K oil changes with dino oil. Switched for first time to 5W-40 for 5k interval. Normal maintainance:
water pump, rebooted all CV joints, few easy to change seals, radiator, few cheap water hoses, brake fluid flush once a year. i added other performance items that the car didn't need but it still runs like a champ. Very good compression, engine looks clean inside, very good pressure and tops at 128 mph !!!
I think German machines last forever given proper service. My grandpa has a BMW motorcycle with the boxer engine leftover by the Germans from WW II , he really took care of that motorcycle and it still runs
Hey: I just joined the group! I have a 96 nissan maxima, bought three weeks ago from original owner with all documented oil changes every 3k mile, currently has 115 k miles,looking for suggestions on whether to go to synthentic for the best protection and if so proper procedure in switching over.
Thanks Guys!

[ February 15, 2003, 08:07 PM: Message edited by: 96' maxima man ]
Not open for further replies.