The life expectancy of a car

August 20, 2014
The life expectancy of a car


According to the US Department of Transportation, the average life expectancy of a car is 13 years or 145,000 miles. However, the duration of a car is a combination of many factors that include the amount of use, the driver’s driving habits, the type of maintenance it receives, and even a little luck. Regardless of the make or model, we all know someone in love with their car that has received great service from it for years and hundreds of miles. The same way, we know others who bought vehicles that have been nothing but trouble since the beginning. Because of it, the longevity of a car is almost impossible to predict, but in all cases is affected by the same factors.

Probably, the main factor for the duration of a vehicle is the maintenance that it receives. It’s not only oil changes, but changing them regularly and at the right time.  Remember that there are other fluids that are also vital to the performance of the car and need to be monitored. The regular cleanliness of your car is also important. Terrain salts, tar and other road particles can damage the paint and accelerate corrosion. The best guide for your car’s maintenance is the manufacturer’s handbook. If you follow their instructions, you’ll be giving your car the necessary help to perform at a high level for many years. Remember that postponing regular maintenance cycles to save a few dollars now can result in bigger problems in the future.

Not just how much but how the vehicle is used will also determine the amount of good service years you’ll get from it. Especially in vehicles with smaller engines, forcing them at high speeds, and overpowering or by performing unnecessary accelerations could gradually damage their different components, making the engine loose strength. On average, vehicles driven in more favorable conditions, at slower speeds, and in less variable roads like highways, have a longer life and fewer visits to the mechanic.

Luck also has something to do with it. The way vehicles are constructed and the amount of complex parts included in new models increase the chances for problems and adverse situations. The quality of two cars, even of the same model and year can vary a little because of the manufacturing processes. Many of the most famous cars for their longevity are very simple and reliable cars. The more technologically advanced the car is, more parts that can be damaged, more maintenance needed and more costly to fix them. Because of it, if your priority is longevity and the performance of your vehicle, keeping things simple may be the best idea.

With these factors in mind, you can select the right car for you, receive the performance you expect from it, and obtain years of great service that not only validate your investment but give you a return on it in the future.

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