We hear this question a lot and, according to the US Department of Transportation, the average life expectancy of a vehicle is 13 to 17 years. The USDOT just published that the average age of vehicles on US Highways is 11.5 years old, which is the highest the average has ever been. The life expectancy of the vehicle and its mechanical parts can differ based on maintenance performed, the type of driving the vehicle is used for, and what type of vehicle it is.
A vehicle that has more highway miles and is maintained well, with regular service and changes to the oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, differential fluid, transfer case fluid, etc., tends to have a longer life expectancy with anywhere from 150,000 to 200,000 miles or more. A vehicle that is driven on short trips, mostly around town, and has not been regularly maintained has a much shorter life expectancy, especially on the major components, like the engine and transmission.
Taking good care of your vehicle with preventative maintenance can definitely extend the life of your vehicle. We have customers that have 300,000 to 400,000 miles on vehicles that are driven on short trips and are designated for commercial use that are Fords, Chevys and Dodges. Toyota’s are not the only vehicles that can drive several 100,000 miles. Preventative maintenance is designed to keep something undesirable from happening to your vehicle and is performed before damage has been done. We will talk further about this in our next article, How Can I Extend My Vehicle’s Life Expectancy?
Karen Johnston, AUTO REPAIR INSIDER
All About Automotive
139 NW 2nd Street
Gresham, OR 97030
Steve and Karen Johnston are owners of All About Automotive, providing auto repair and auto maintenance in Historic Downtown Gresham. If you have questions or comments, call them at 503-465-2926 or email them at [email protected]