• Jun 21st 2013 at 9:00AM
  • 179
Tammy and Hugh Pennington standing in front of their tr... Tammy and Hugh Pennington standing in front of their truck when it hit 1 million miles last year. (YouTube)
Last year, Hugh and Tammy Pennington took their 2006 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD to a milestone rarely seen by other trucks, especially one so new. Their truck made it to one million miles in just six years.

A year later the truck is still going strong.

"It reads at about 1,220,935 right now," Hugh said. "It's still kicking pretty good."

The Penningtons are driving their truck on average over 500 miles every day. Tammy uses the truck for work and play with Hugh, a retired GM Delphi employee. They run a long haul business, bringing trailers and campers across Canada and the U.S. They also haul their boat over thousands of miles of freeway.

While making these runs, the couple also get a chance to see the sights.

"We still like to take adventures together," Hugh said. " I'm getting paid to see the world."

The hauling business was born out of Tammy's desire to help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They bought the truck brand new in 2006 while in Georgia to help haul FEMA trailers to areas ravaged by the storm. Years later they are still going as strong as ever, though wear is beginning to show on the truck. They've got a little oil leak, so they are keeping an eye on oil levels.

Getting to a million

How can your vehicle make it to one million miles? The same way the Penningtons did it: Keep up on the maintenance. Change the oil religiously, change the filters at the same time.

Checking the fluid levels every couple of thousand miles will help alert you to any leaks or oil consumption issues. While changing oil every 3,000 miles is no longer the standard, oil should still be changed frequently, usually every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

The correct kind of oil in an engine is important as well. Using the wrong type of oil can really damage your engine. You should also consider doing the extra little things like having your engine flushed to cut back on build up.

The Penningtons also wash their truck after every long haul, especially in the winter. When they drive through Canada in the winter, there is a lot of salt on the roads which can break down the coating on the truck's paint. Salt and grime can be very bad for a car, whether from snowy roads or sea breeze in coastal regions. Washing your car often and correctly is important not just to longevity but resale value as it protects the paint and can save the important under carriage from corrosion.

Hugh said having a trusted mechanic certainly doesn't hurt either, especially when the little noise or knocks come up. By having these investigated early on you can save your car and save some cash by preventing a more catastrophic failure. When it comes to extending the life of your vehicle, being attentive to the little things can add up in a big way.



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  • 179 Comments
      rudygn
      • 2 Years Ago
      Way to go Chevy. This is a possibility when you don't have to Fix Once or Repair Daily or sell out to an Italian nut case seeking relevance in a family he will never be recognized for any more than a high paid white collar laborer ..yes I mean Fiat's Marchioni who is either Canadian or Italian or both depending on which is polar. he idiot came on TV and said Obama was being "cheezy" talking about the flourishing GM. Well, GM just Beat Toyota and Honda in quality ...how Cheezy is that bit of American ingenuity which most would have rather seen thrown out,. Who is proud now? America with GM or Fiat with ..with what? giving back Chrysler or making fiat 500 voted one of the worst in its class for safety and energy? I wait for the Agnelli family to throw this politician out on his behind because he is no Carlos Ghosn (Nissan) or Mullaly (FORD) Wagoner or Akerson. But he has a big mouth and not strategy but to go invent a car from the 1960's with no improvements
        Ken the Great
        • 2 Years Ago
        @rudygn
        GM's quality SUCKS....................you can't use the term ingenuity and GM in the same plhrase............America with GM? GM makes more cars in CHINA than they do here.............. Chrysler paid their loans back........................GM has NOT....................GM=still living in the past, and their junk proves it...............want quality.................GO FORD.....................
          Smitty
          • 3 Months Ago
          @Ken the Great

          Yeah those Ford Powerstrokes really have a great record going, lol.... Come on are you kidding me, I have 720K on my GM Duramax on original tranny and 2nd motor only has 180K on it... Other 2 Duramax trucks have 220K and 275K and both going strong on original equipment.

      9RRs
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thats just BS.. I see it all the time with people pulling the car and truck behind there trailer etc. That puts alot of miles on it then they drive around and look say at ME
      forkliftman53
      • 2 Years Ago
      yep gm goverment motors lets give them free advertiment
        hootmaners
        • 7 Months Ago
        @forkliftman53

        Funny u say that because ford still owes the government over a billion dollars. 

      • 2 Years Ago
      my 2004 chevy avalanche just hit the 500,000 mark this past week. just normal maintinance things like oil changes, brake pads, 1 altinator and a battery or 2
      wrxfrk16
      • 2 Years Ago
      While this is an interesting article, I'm surprised they both have no information about what all exactly this truck has had replaced, nor do they bother to mention that this is not even halfway to the current record. There's a Volvo P1800 that has some two and half million on it with essentially all original non-wear items still intact. Whilst I imagine the diesel is most certainly stock and the trans may be as well it would be interesting to see how the rest of the drivetrain, cooling system, brakes, and suspension have faired...
      • 2 Years Ago
      put 433,000 on a 2005 Chevy Uplander and 344,000 on a 1998 Mercury Villager.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lot of non--educated people commenting. It's a Duramax diesel engine, high mileage is kind of expected. 1.2 million is a heck of a lot. Yea, some more detailed info would be nice. I can see that kind of mileage on the engine, but towing those loads that many miles, I bet there's some serious maintenance involved, and probably at least one tranny. It's way over 40k brand new, so it isn't a cheap truck to start with.
      RouteUS66Busload
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very impressive.
      Rob
      • 2 Years Ago
      Any vehicle built in the last 10 years can go 200,000 miles with general maintence and if you do all highway driving and/or are more diligent with maintenence then 300,000 miles should be easy. 1.3 million is a feat that no many people reach .
        mt1975
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rob
        I sincerely doubt that, I had a 2001 SPort Trac and the tranny went at 102k with only highway miles, a guy in the shops tranny went on his chevy at 102k at the same time.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mt1975
          And how many times did you change the tranny fluid? Since there's a MAJOR maintenance you're supposed to do at 100k miles where they replace the seals in the transmission, I seriously doubt you maintain your vehicles. RTFM, chump.
      chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      Daaaaang! That must be a record! How can a vehicle go over a million miles? And on a Chevy too!
        fredjohnson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chris
        It probably didn't. They are lying.
        sasdiggler
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chris
        dude wake up, chevy trucks are common to go well over 200k miles
          • 2 Years Ago
          @sasdiggler
          I've owned more Fords than Chevy's, and one Dodge pickup. Don't have a hardcore preference, but generally liked the Ford interior and instrument cluster better. The last two Fords rode like Cadillac's compared to my current Dodge 2500. I drive 4-500 miles a week on the job. I usually let go of them around 250k. Never owned a diesel, but around that mileage, 250k or so, it seems like other little stuff keeps popping up.
      timothyknerr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Any brand of car If maintained properly can go a million miles. My 1997 Jeep Wrangler has 197,963 miles on it.
        Rich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @timothyknerr
        Tim, I agree that any car will easily go a few hundred thousand miles but there is a huge difference between 197,000 AND 1,200,000. It's kind of like saying that my dog is now eight years old so I know it will easily live to see 50.
      veasystreet
      • 2 Years Ago
      Please buy Chevy SIlverado's! GM still owes the U.S. Treassury $20 billion. Oh, and GMAC (now called Ally Bank) still owes the U.S. Treasury $14.6 billion. Please buy GM products!
        redgpgtp97
        • 2 Years Ago
        @veasystreet
        Oh for heavans sake, here we go with the government still owning GM and all that BS. The government ownes you too, stop paying taxes on your incone and house and see what happens...LOL!
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