You’re thinking about buying a used Dodge Charger with over 100,000 miles on it – a real classic, but you’re worried about the engine. Or maybe you’re interested in a Ford work truck that has a few years on it with a price tag you can afford. You don’t want to inherit someone else’s problem and have to replace the car before you can even begin to enjoy it. You wonder if there’s a timeline you can follow to tell you how long you can expect to drive a vehicle before the engine needs replaced.

With proper care

A gasoline engine with proper maintenance throughout its life can last over 300,000 miles. A diesel engine can do even better at more than 500,000 miles with regular care. Here are some maintenance issues that impact the life of an engine:

In essence, these maintenance tasks enable the engine not to have to work as hard. Just like a person can accomplish more work with less effort when they eat right, drink plenty of water and get enough sleep, an engine performs better when it has what it needs.

The material of the engine affects its longevity with iron-block engines being more durable than aluminum because it can handle the heat. How the vehicle is used impacts the engine life as well. Towing heavy loads, heavy acceleration patterns, excessive revving and driving at high speeds reduces the lifespan of the engine.

To ensure an engine lasts as long as possible, it requires regular care. You should also pay attention to what your engine is telling you if dashboard lights come on or you notice performance is off. Consult a certified mobile technician from YourMechanic right away to prevent major damage.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Should an Engine Last? and was authored by Joyce Morse.


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