If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

Maintenance or Engineering Design?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on November 3, 2004

Why do some cars just last longer?

I used to think it was 95% due to maintenance practices and 5% due to design. For example, the cars that tend to last longest (think Mercedes and BMW) are also typically more expensive.

Wait a minute! Doesn’t that mean that more money was spent engineering a more durable engine?

Not necessesarily.

Consider if you will: Those cars which cost more also command higher monthly payments. People who can afford higher payments typically make more money. People who make more money typically can (and do) afford to take their car to the dealer for routine maintenance.

The logical conclusion of this argument is that the $50K Mercedes gets more frequent oil changes than the $10K Hyundai, therefore lasting longer.

But what about the $10K Honda that outlasts both?


Executive Car Service provides corporate Baltimore sedan service and luxury BWI International airport transportation throughout the Baltimore Metropolitan area.


While I still think that maintenance has a definate effect on vehicle longevity, I am certain that the vehicle design is the leading factor. I have recently purchased a 1983 BMW 533i. An expensive car when new, but I paid $400 for this less than shining example. My wife thinks I did not get my money’s worth. The fact that this car has not received any maintenance in an extremely long time is readily apparant. However, this car – which had 245,206 miles when the odometer broke – runs perfectly. I have since spoken with other BMW owners and the general consensus is that 300-400 thousand miles is the norm before these cars need any engine work.

I cannot believe that this is due to maintenance practices alone.

Please don’t take this to mean that you should stop changing your oil. On any particular car proper maintenance wil extend the useful operating life.

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