Will today's cars last 20 years?

AZjeff

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Here in the SW you see lots of older cars & trucks as daily drivers. Rust obviously isn't an issue here and it isn't likely that the owners are spending big bucks to keep them on the road. Got to wondering about the cars we have in the garage now with all the electronics and 6 speeds and AFM and LEDs etc if they'll go that far without major ($$) failures. Are today's automotive computers and electronics robust enough to be expected to last? What about the high pressure fuel systems?
 
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I don’t see why not though some of the electronic gadgetry might not make it that long. They are much more complicated. My new car has all this stuff but the car will still run if it fails.
 
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Some people think todays vehicles are better than vehicles from 20 years ago. I highly doubt a 2018 Honda Civic 1.5T CVT will be as reliable as an old 1998 1.6 5 speed manual was.
 
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Originally Posted By: skyactiv
Some people think todays vehicles are better than vehicles from 20 years ago. I highly doubt a 2018 Honda Civic 1.5T CVT will be as reliable as an old 1998 1.6 5 speed manual was.
Well comparing a 5 speed vs a CVT is silly. I'm sure the 6 speed version will last longer if driven properly. Can't say the same about the Turbo. That will need to be replaced in 10 years and I can see many of these hitting the junk yard as a result of the owner not willing too or being able to replace a $2,000 Turbo.
 
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Parts will be discontinued/not available way before that time is up.By law,parts only need to be inventoried as long as the warranty exists.So a 3year/36,000 mile warranty makes parts legally obsolete by 2021.
 
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[quote=Chris142]Very few will last 20 yrs. The cost to replace and reprogram the various modules will be cost prohibitive if even available. Planned obsolence. X2
 
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Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Are today's automotive computers and electronics robust enough to be expected to last?
These will probably be the first to go.
 
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It's all driven by market demand. If there's a demand for rebuilt computers and modules, they'll be available. And a lot of that depends on people's wages compared to the cost of new cars. If the cost of buying a new car is beyond most people's reach, then aftermarket parts availability will be good since people will be keeping their cars longer.
 
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I keep my cars a long time. Modern cars are well built but have a few components that are a concern. On the other hand I had a module refurbished on my BMW for $300 and the oil cooled turbo on my Volvo was still going strong after 18 1/2 years and 285,000 km. It lasted another 5 years in my friends' teenagers' hands (before they sold to some clown who promptly wrote it off) so I don't know how long it would have lasted. So cars are reliable and repairable as long as you can figure out what you need to do. Youtube and the internet are a big help for the do-it-yourselfer. But specialty shops will be the minimum requirement for major repairs in the future.
 
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Some years ago Peter Egan wrote a story about himself and a group of car buffs (accomplished repair guys) who were in the backwoods driving a modern vehicle when they were done in by an electronic distributor. They could have repaired an old English or Italian distributor with the proverbial bent spoon and a dull knife but had to wait for parts to get that one going again.
 

AZjeff

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Originally Posted By: NHGUY
Parts will be discontinued/not available way before that time is up.By law,parts only need to be inventoried as long as the warranty exists.So a 3year/36,000 mile warranty makes parts legally obsolete by 2021.
So can you walk into a Chevy dealer today and order am OEM fender for a 1997 truck or not? The aftermarket will step up to fill a demand as said. There are always going to be people who by choice or necessity want to buy the sub $5000 car, and expect it to run for a couple of more years without huge repair bills. What will they buy in 15 - 20 years?
 
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I see complex 1997 MB and BMWs still running around. Yes but keeping a vehicle 20 years is past design life and minority of car buyers.
 
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I’ll bet that this same discussion took place twenty years ago and twenty years before that.
 
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My 1999 is nearing 19 years old now. If it continues to be driven the way I do, it will be around in 20 yrs from now...at 40 yrs old. Back in 1997 I was driving around an original paint/orig drive train 1969 Super Bee (on points and condenser). While it had no computers, it ran beautifully at nearly 30 yrs old on orig suspension (less shocks) with 55K miles. If cars get too complicated to even buy decent used cars 10 yrs from now, I'll stick with very low mileage performance cars from 1996-2006...they will be around for a long time, and they will be well-depreciated. I could go out and by a 20K mile 1998-2002 Firebird Formula Trans Am or Z28 for $10K. It will only be cheaper in 10 yrs.
 

AZjeff

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Originally Posted By: madRiver
I see complex 1997 MB and BMWs still running around. Yes but keeping a vehicle 20 years is past design life and minority of car buyers.
Being used as daily drivers by low income drivers? Agree about the design life and makers aren't accountable for 15-20 year old cars but more than a few people are driving them.
Originally Posted By: 69GTX
My 1999 is nearing 19 years old now. If it continues to be driven the way I do, it will be around in 20 yrs from now...at 40 yrs old. Back in 1997 I was driving around an original paint/orig drive train 1969 Super Bee (on points and condenser). While it had no computers, it ran beautifully at nearly 30 yrs old on orig suspension (less shocks) with 55K miles. If cars get too complicated to even buy decent used cars 10 yrs from now, I'll stick with very low mileage performance cars from 1996-2006...they will be around for a long time, and they will be well-depreciated. I could go out and by a 20K mile 1998-2002 Firebird Formula Trans Am or Z28 for $10K. It will only be cheaper in 10 yrs.
That's a motorhead's dream solution and very cool you're driving those cars, but not exactly realistic or practical for most low budget car buyers. May have to be though.
 
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History will probably shows ‘90s japanese cars to be the longest lasting in a general sense. But todays cars I believe are still more than capable of going 20 years. With the price of cars and trucks going up seemingly faster than inflation people will need to drive them longer to justify that cost.
 
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Originally Posted By: PimTac
I’ll bet that this same discussion took place twenty years ago and twenty years before that.
I'll bet you're right. The stuff that matters, like EFI, turbocharging and distributorless ignition have been around for a long time. The stuff that doesn't matter, like the touch screens, have also been around for a long time. Will a car bought today last as long as one bought twenty years ago? Probably not. It'll probably last longer.
 
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Originally Posted By: Kage860
History will probably shows ‘90s japanese cars to be the longest lasting in a general sense.
For the longest time the 96 Accord has been on the most stolen cars list. Mostly because after that they got the theft deterrent ignition. LOL I had a 2000 Chrysler T&C with low lead solder woes and all the modules were VIN tied, an utter disaster. Getting fuel injection along with modules dumb enough to interchange should be anyone's dream.
 
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