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Who plans on keeping their Corolla for 200K+ miles?

bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
edited October 2014 in Toyota
I have a '99 Corolla which I put 2500-3000 miles on per month. Since the vast majority of miles this car sees is on the highway, I can easily see it lasting AT LEAST 200K miles. How many of you are looking to drive your Corolla this long and what type of preventive maintenance do you do/have done to reach this milestone?


  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....who plans on keeping their Corolla this long? I find that hard to believe.
  • I dunno my uncle has an old corolla maybe a 94-95. it has over 200,000+ miles driving from westmont to indiana everyday for work. he just keeps beating on it. after all that he bought a new one for 06 and so did my mom. figure we'll just beat them until the engine dies. :)
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    Does he do anything special?
  • beantownbeantown Posts: 228
    I have a '97 with about 95,000 miles on it. I only drive around 5-6K miles a year with it now, so 200K is unlikely for me (not cause the engine wouldn't survive, but because there's just no way I can hang onto one car for almost 30 years).

    So far, I've only done the standard preventive and scheduled maintenance (oil changes twice a year, the standard service every 30K, one set of new brakes - the front discs finally gave in a month ago at about 95K miles!, new tires when needed). I'm still on the original muffler, radiator and every other major part.

    I may look to buy a replacement next year, but it'll be really hard to give up such a reliable ride that gets decent (30 mpg in 60/40 city/highway driving) mileage and, more importantly, has been paid off for a long time. Safety is a bit of a concern, though, as I've got two infants now and it is a base model - no ABS, side airbags, or any of the other safety features that are now common in most cars (we do have a Highlander that is the primary kiddie hauler though). However, I am of the belief that most competent drivers will never get in an accident where these items come into play and believe strongly that 75% of accidents are avoidable, so safety isn't necessarily a dealbreaker for me (unless the car gets unacceptable/poor ratings all around).
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    That's amazing! I put that many miles on my Corolla every 2 months! Do you use synthetic oil? Is your's an auto or a manual?
  • beantownbeantown Posts: 228
    I only commute about 6 miles a day total to the train and back (about 3 miles each way) during the week and then a little errand running and shorter trips on the weekends. I ride my bike on the nicer days, so it really doesn't get a whole lot of use this time of year unless it rains or is oppressively hot.

    I do not use synthetic. I just say yes to whatever the cheapest stuff is that Jiffy Lube has handy (or the dealership for the major service intervals).

    1.6 liter, 3 speed automatic tranny (which is why I only get 30 mpg combined instead of 35 - though the EPA rates it in the mid 20s, so I'm not complaining)
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I don't know much about the 1.6, but I understand it's a very good engine in terms of holding up well. Yes, your '97 would probably get a little better mileage with a stick, but 30 MPG is nothing to complain about. If you are interested in getting slightly better mileage you can inflate your tires to 4-5 psi higher than the recommended pressure listed on the driver's door. I gained 1 MPG highway just by going from 30 psi to 33 psi.
  • I have a 96 Corolla which has 149,000 miles on it. I will drive it until it dies. It has been a reliable vehicle and would consider purchasing another corolla.
  • I have a 96 Corolla that has been very good to me. It has 149,000 miles on it. A month ago, my right tail/brake light was out. Went to replace it at home yesterday and notcied that both rear brake/tail lights were out. Bulbs and fuses are good. Now, I cannot get it out of parking gear. Suggestions??
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    Not quite sure I'm following you here. How did you go from the tail/brake lights being out to being stuck in park?
  • Well, I planned on keeping my 98 corolla LE until it died on me, but my husband got into a car wreck with it at the start of Labor Day weekend that reduced it to a pile of ash (no joke), so that's that. He was the final car in a 6-car pileup on a local freeway. I should mention that the car did it's safety job admirably: despite the car bursting into flames on impact, my husband was able to release the seatbelt and even open the door to get out! He emerged with only a couple bruises. All the airbags went off and protected him further.

    We had 232,000 miles on it and it was still going strong. No major repairs other than having to replace the original catalytic converter this coming November to pass smog check (we live in California so it's required). Guess I won't have to do that after all. Anyway, I never had any complaints about the car. It was a champion workhorse the entire seven years I owned it. If I wasn't expecting our first baby in a few months, we would probaby just get another one, but since we'll need more room, it's on to a RAV4 or highlander now!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    I'd be happy to get that many miles from Corolla. It's good to hear your Corolla's safety equipment work to prevent your husband from getting seriously hurt. Any time you can walk away from an accident it's a good thing!

    Since you mentioned getting a Rav4 or a Highlander, I've got to give you the speal. If you need something with more room, get the Sienna instead. It's roomier than either SUV and it gets better fuel economy too. You won't be sorry.
  • I just bought my 96 Corolla DX at the end of May with 159,000 miles on it. I plan on driving it until it dies, and I'm hoping I can shoot for mid-high 200,000 miles. I do my routine oil changes, and they also do a check over of the car. Other repairs I do as needed. I sold my 1993 Nissan Altima with 190,000 miles on it (I put on 90,000 of those in 2 trouble free years) to buy my mom's 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass GLS with 50,000 miles. Sold the Cutlass in May with 60,000 in two years, after spending over $2000 in non-routine repairs and it still needed work. I had my Corolla checked out before I bought, and everything checked out. I had the brakes done, and need to do the struts and O2 sensor soon. After that, I don't expect any other major ordeals. It's sad that I have more reliability in a car that's older with over twice the amount of miles as the Cutlass.
  • I feel there is some connection between putting on the brake which allows you to take your car out of park and a connection to brake lights not working. Wouldn't be the first time I was wrong. Yet, when manually (with a screwdriver) it was taken out of park the brakes stopped the car.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    The fact that you do lots of highway driving is a plus, as opposed to lots of stop and go traffic driving. As for preventative maintenance, if you have a good mechanic you like, stay loyal to him. Simple engine oil and filter changes every three to five thousand miles is cheap insurance. Follow the maintenance in you're car's owners manual. Here is a snapshot that could make the difference in getting longer mileage or not:

    * Engine oil and filter changes every 3 to 5K miles.
    (don't use cheap oil like from Target etc)
    * Automatic Tranny fluid should be drained and replenished
    at least every two years or every year.
    * Belts and hoses should be inspected and replaced when
    * Drain and refill you're radiator at least every two years,
    (every year even better)
    * If you're battery is three years and older, keep an eye
    on it. You can go to Sears battery express drive through,
    and get a free battery test.

    * Keep you're tires at the proper inflation and check at
    least once a month, and rotate tires.

    Good luck.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    If I were you, I'd keep the Corolla and if you're worried about the safety aspect, don't ferry around you're kids in it; use the Highlander.
    If you want to try and get 200K out of the car, you might
    consider changing the oil more often then twice a year.
    Whichever brand of motor oil you use, stick with it.
    It sounds like you've done a good job insuring the maintenance is taken care of. Of course as you're car continues to pile on miles, the odds of repairs coming up increase, but thats expected within reason. I really agree with you that being a competent driver goes a long way in safety. One could drive a car loaded with safety features, but if the person is talking on their cell phone while driving or doing other stupid unsafe things, it offsets all the safety the car provides. Good luck.
  • tom71tom71 Posts: 46
    Wow, 232K mileage. Thats great! Isn't a good feeling to really get you're money's worth out of a car?
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    Because I put so many miles on my car, I switched to Mobil 1 Extended Performance full synthetic so I could extend my OCI's. It was getting old having to change my oil and filter every two months. Now I only have to change my oil every 12K miles instead of every 6K, plus I'm getting all the added bennies of a full syn for about the same amount I was spending on conventional oil.

    Though I have a manual tranny, I plan to change its oil once a year.

    The coolant in my Corolla is the 100K mile stuff, so I will change it at 100K (which is coming up in about 13K miles).

    I check my tire pressure weekly and rotate every 5K miles.

    I inspect the belts and hoses each oil change.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    It's sad but true, but poor build quality and reliability is the main reason the big 3 are hurting so bad. They haven't figured out the way to success isn't by offering 30 different models, it's to offer 8 to 12 models and build them well. Toyota and Honda (and some of the other companies too) have mastered this and this is why they're doing so well. The last American car I had was a '98 Intrepid which I bought new. I carefully maintained this vehicle and it started burning oil at just 60K miles. That was the last American vehicle I owned. They will continue to struggle, and may even go under unless they improve their quality.
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....whenever I either start what I think is an interesting topic, or I post in an existing one, everyone else stops posting? I don't get it. :confuse:
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ....kicking a guy when he's down. I post a message basically complaining about being ignored, and even that gets ignored. Nothing like carrying on a conversation with a wall :(
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    ...hello Mr. wall. How are you today? Hi door, how are things with you? :sick:
  • Yo bro. Be chillin'. Go for a drive. That's where we've all been! :D

    H E double toothpicks right I am going to keep Lucy II (2006 LE) for 200K. It'll be the first car of my unborn child, I tell you what. My 2 year old son is already getting the well off-roaded and cared-for 2001 Yellow Nissan Xterra.
  • Just to lighten up your day.

    1988 Toyota Corolla SR5
    Total miles: 201K miles
    Original CV Boot (no cracking or anything)
    Mobile 1 5W30 Syn every 7.5K with Wal Mart brand filter; recently changed to Wal Mart brand syn. @ $12.99 per 5 quarts, I can't complain.
    Replce ATF at every 20K.
    Replace timing belt twice; 1st one at 70K; 2nd one at 155K with water pump, idler pulley and all the front oil seals.
    Replaced muffler 2 times.
    Replaced all struts at 135K.
    All original hoses. They still look good.
    Replaced Alternator at 185K.
    Replace Starter motor one time.
    Replace rubber boots on rack-and-pinion steering.
    Brake pads. Average life is about 60K.

    This is all the major things that the car has been worked on, and I did all the repairs except the timing belt replacement.

    The car is solid like a rock and keep going strong. Plan to keep the car for another 50K.

    I am getting about 33 mpg on 80/20 highway/city driving.

    My coworker's 94 Corolla has 235K. He is using synthetic oil, but does not stick to one particular brand.


  • AC is still working great. Blow cooler air than my 02 Subaru, and I have never filled freon in the compressor after 18 yrs. The AC unit is still running on the factory filled freon.

  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    That's excellent!
  • I have a 98 with 221k miles, no major repairs,just maintenance original alternator starter ect. heavyduty use, like a taxi. in my opinion nothing as reliable out ther
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030
    Nothing like the good ol' Swiss-watch-like reliability of the Toyotas (and Hondas).
  • As I took my baby in for her first oil change, the tech asked if I had a Camry. "Camry, Jr." I replied... "a Corolla." A bonus -- a few customers in the Good Year shop in Littleton said that it's a great place. Yee-ha!
  • bottgersbottgers Posts: 2,030 a "Baby Lexus" which is not a stretch by any means of the imagination.
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