Cars That Won’t Die: Do You Have One?

2003 Ford Ranger

Over 400,000 miles and still going

My car turned past the 100,000-mile mark this weekend. I’d been fretting over that number as it approached, wondering if things would suddenly start falling apart.

I’ve never had a problem with the car. It’s always started on the first try and always purred along without trouble, and it doesn’t seem to have lost anything in the way of performance or power. Still, it’s not a car exactly known for its longevity, so I’m nervous. My nerves weren’t calmed when I started my car for the first time since I crossed that magic number. Rain fell from the dark sky, and I flipped on the headlights in the parking lot at Fantastic Sam’s. The reflection in the building’s window told me only one headlamp illuminated.

Great. While a headlamp isn’t a big deal, I wondered what other problems were programmed to start now that I was into 6 digits. So far, nothing. But I’m still nervous.

Then I read stories about vehicles that are still going strong after trudging over 400,000 miles without much more than a battery change.

Like this little Ford Ranger, which I heard about on the Ford Social website:

My father was always a Ford man. He bought a 1993 Ford Ranger Splash 4×4 brand new. He passed away in 1995 and I got the truck… It had 43,000 miles at the time. He used it to haul wood, trailers, and to off-road. Well the truck currently has 453,122.2 miles. And its never needed a thing except for routine maintenance. I can honestly say I beat the snot of the old girl. But the old 3.0 v6 still ticks along.

That either shows the power of routine maintenance or this guy lucked out by getting a truck that just won’t quit. Then there’s the story of the million-mile Honda. Crazy stuff.

I hope I’m as lucky and that my little car keeps plugging along during its next 100,000 miles. Which I’ll start just as soon as I replace that headlamp.

Do you have a car, or know of one, that just won’t die?

-tgriffith

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Used Ford Ranger

3 Comments

  1. Good tip is to check on the internet for car clubs or online brand clubs. Since the Laser was a “sporty” car, there is likely a group of enthusiasts with an online site to share information and help locate parts or even get together to show their cars.

  2. I have ford laser model 1985 and still in good condition..but the problem is to find a spare part.is anybody know where can I find?

  3. Many years ago, I was assigned to drive an oil test vehicle. The eggheads were testing long-term use of synthetic oil with no oil changes, just make up oil, and the car was a 1988 Corvette convertible. Hey, you’d love to be given one to drive, right, but I really came to hate that car. It was squeeky, rattled like a chuckwagon, and the valves would start to float before it hit yellow line. Top leaked too. I tried pretty hard to get the engine to blow up but it never did. I don’t recommend putting in synthetic oil and then never changing it, but that car ran more than 40,000 miles on one pan full of oil and never blew up. When they tore it down, it did show more than normal top end wear, but the lesson was simple– If you care about your engine, use synthetic oil.

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