Total Repair Costs over 200,000 miles

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I'd love to hear your estimates of the cost of unexpected repairs over a 200,000 mile life of an average daily driver. Not regularly scheduled maintenance, but only unexpected repairs. I know that there will be a lot of variability in answers, and that it's a very subjective question, but I'd appreciate hearing what different people think is a reasonable estimate. I imagine if anybody can give good estimates, it's you guys! Thank you in advance.
 
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$90 labor for 1 hour diagnostic fee. PCV hose was blocked with carbon causing excessive oil burning. The OE hose is shaped like a P-trap and worked like a P-Trap for carbon. 2003 Toyota Echo 1.5L
 
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Depends greatly on the car, plus variability in the maintenance, use, location, etc, plus dumb luck and other factors. The short answer is that it's impossible to say. A data point for you - our 2010 Sienna has over 210k and was an ex-rental for its first 10k. Its only real "repair" was a the VVTi solenoid failure that caused it to throw a CEL at 100k. Probably could've kept driving it indefinitely, but didn't want to take a chance. As I remember, that was in the neighborhood of $450 or so, plus extra to replace the spark plugs as part of the job. It's also had a new brake caliper as one of the rear ones seized up due to road salt. Oh, and a goodwill warranty extension on the radio due to a stuck CD. Not sure what happened there. Otherwise, it's been very cheap to own. I count well under $1000 in repair costs over the 210,000 miles of its life, using the dealer for the VVTi repair and an independent for the caliper. Otherwise, it's gotten tires x20, brake pads x3 or 4 sets, 2 batteries, wiper blades, a couple of air filters, and 2 light bulbs. I don't count those wear/maintenance items as "repair costs" since they're really expected, so our total comes in in the neighborhood of $750 for 210,000 miles. How does it run? Great, actually. Still tight and powerful. Factory ATF, factory coolant, all original suspension parts (tie rods, etc.), uses essentially no oil even at 10k OCIs, gets the same 24-26 mpg as new. There's no body rust after 10 MN winters. We're happy campers, despite the vehicle's potential shortcomings (ac is weak, the interior is spartan but durable, not the best in the snow, tires don't last over 40-50k). It's seen a tow truck once due to a tire blow out and broken lug which meant I couldn't change the tire in the ditch. Two no-starts, both with 4-6-year-old batteries that were then replaced. But it's never let us down, and I'd recommend it to anyone as a cheap-to-own and reliable hauler. An average of $70 a year in repairs ain't bad.
 
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2007 MDX sold at 200k bought at 80k. Under $1000repairs however dual cllimate AC pss only broken, front spring and exhaust manifold rotted(noisy cold), and starter circuit. Estimated $1500 to fix so traded off due to severe rust/rot. Repairs: Ac relay $10 Transmission relay pressure : $190 Speed sensor : $200 Exhaust bolts: $45 Suspension work: $500+ Honda really makes excellent vehicles despite what you see people state here state in my direct experience.
 
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2009 Toy Venza V6 AWD. Made it to 60,000 miles and 10 years before trading it in. Out of warranty repairs. Rear Hub carrier 40k miles $1000 2 wheel speed sensors $900 4 struts, 40 - 50k miles, all leaking, $1500 Dealer repaired Rear roll bar bushings $25, fixed that myself, but need to remove 3 other brackets to get to them. Engine and transmission, stellar!
 
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2003 Subaru Outback with 182,000 I inherited this car from my wife's grandma with 66,000 miles dealer maintained at the time. I have maintained it well ever since. Fluids changed, Timing belt done, plugs etc... 1. Head gaskets have been leaking externally for years now but it is starting to get worse Oil drips on headers makes a puff of smoke at a stop. 2. I've replaced 2 cv axles it needs another now. 3. A/c works for 3 miles at a time 4. Needs struts all the way around 5. Replaced fuel pump chasing down a problem when car was filled at station car would hesitate and not run right for miles ( probably evap system looking back) 6. Coolant is disappearing from overflow 7. Stock calipers love to stick (second set) Up front All this is getting to be too much for a car that was free. The list above is off the top of my head I do most of my own repairs but head gaskets and ac work are too invoked with two kids under 4 keeping me busy. Drives real nice starts right up interior is in amazing shape but looking back my wife's 07 crv with 173000 is way more reliable and has cost much less to keep running. Subaru's have a cult following because of their driving dynamics which I get, but I get annoyed with the head gasket issue. they should not be consumable parts to be changed with plugs at 100k.
 
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Prii have been good at needing surprise repairs. A coil pack that quit so dramatically the computer shut down the ICE to save the catalytic. 10 minutes, 10mm socket, $20. The inverter coolant pump drew too much current, blowing its fuse, and disabling the car. Once it went in Park it wouldn't go into Neutral, making towing a challenge. It was recalled but I hadn't heard about it. Would have been free if I towed it to the dealer, but I paid $40 for the part and did it myself. A battery module (not really a surprise time-wise, but wasn't showing symptoms before it went kaput) $35. At least the battery let me limp home with the engine revving to the moon and low power, but the other two stranded me. Blew two tires in the same week on a work trip. One was a foreign object, but the other a sticky valve core in the TPMS sensor, which I can call a mechanical problem, not a road hazard. Fixed with a tire plug and new core, <$5.
 
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Estimates? For the unexpected and unplanned for? Yeepers, that'll be all over the place. I mean, a repair on a luxury vehicle tends to cost more than on an econobox, right? Used to be, domestics cost less to repair, imports more, but I think that line has blurred recently and it's no longer a good rule of thumb (the more units sold, the lower the cost of commonly replaced parts--more or less). I think you also have to define repair versus maintenance. I've decided that, if it's not on the maintenance schedule, then it must be a repair. I understand that shocks/struts are a wear item. But so are bearings and windshields too. So where does one draw the line? IMO, in terms of financial planning (which I think you are hinting at), one is well served by expecting the unexpected and holding a grand or so in repair money once any car passes the 5yr/100k mark. And once that money is used on a repair--that another $1k is put aside for the next repair, as the car is an inanimate object with many things hitting MTBF at the same rate. It doesn't have a will that forces it to be spiteful and break the next thing--but we've all heard stories about a vehicle needing one thing after another. Then, on top of that $1k repair fund, one is well advised to have cash elsewhere for other emergencies--which may need dipping into in case a kilobuck isn't enough--I almost think a grand might not be enough these days for a repair fund, appreciation and all being what it is. And if I may go against my "if it's not on the schedule then it's a repair" tire and brake costs do not count towards that kilobuck. Those are routine and expected items that should be planned for, and far from unexpected. A sudden flat tire--that's a repair--needing 4 tires because they went bald--that's routine wear. If I had to take a wild stab at unexpected (yet expected?) repair costs for the first 200k of a "normal" vehicle, ignoring brake pads and tires, I'd wager $2k. Struts and a windshield, maybe some wheel bearings. On average most cars will need 2 of those 3 things, but not all 3. Just my pure shot in the dark. Maybe some other lower buck things to round it out--I'd pad my guess out to $3k but since I don't have money on the line I'll leave it at $2k. smile
 
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My 2003 Tacoma in its life has had a new radiator, charcoal canister, and one switching valve replaced. Total cost $600. I also replaced the drivers side window motor $50. So over 17 years about $650.
 
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I have two stories.. On vehicles that I have owned with 200K miles- My 2001 Forester I bought with around 280K, i paid $200 for it so i spent another $1K fixing everything that was wrong. Alot of nickel and dime stuff after that to get another 100K out of it. Loved this thing.. would have loved to own it since new. My 2003 Suburban i bought with 225K miles, I paid $1500 for it.. and spend another $1500 in fixing everything that was wrong. A few things have happened since then . Calipers stuck, brake line burst, fuel pump lost its fuel sensor so replaced, dash went out had to get it remanned, alternator went out. I am still in it for the long haul with her.. and will fix what breaks.. she does all that i ask of her. I have a friend that is a school teacher with a 2014 Toyota 4runner with 240K miles.. she never even lifts the hood.. just oil changes at walmart, brakes from the dealer and goodyear kevlar tires. The only repair she has done is someone put drywall in her gas tank and her son had to put a new fuel pump in and clean the tank. It has the best sounding engine as far as quiet that i have heard with those kind of miles- not even a peep or a tick or nothing. Her shocks sound like they are tired, but other than that all she does is put gas in it and what i have said above. She is always on the go..and takes road trips often. the thing barely gets a rest. I want one.
 
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2000 Toyota Corolla SE 1.8L, 202K miles and still going strong. $51 for a new AUX jack, wore out the old one with BT adapters. That's it. Tires still wear evenly on all the original suspension. Don't have to top off oil between changes. Original rear brake shoes, front brakes every 80K-100K. 1999 Ford Taurus. Almost $20K in repairs to get it from 37K miles purchased to 174K junked. Camshaft position sensor and door switch were the first repairs around 70K. A/C (multiple), rack and pinion (1), water pump (3), starter (2), front axles, needed new pads rotors every 18 months/15K miles (car gave itself throttle, had to drive it around riding the brakes, Ford dealer said that was "normal"), every moving part in the front suspension... too much else to remember, just an unhappy memory I want to put far, far behind me. The only good thing to say about Ford is they forced me to get back into my own car repair, because it was too expensive to keep taking it to the shop.
 
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As for stories... I only have had 3 vehicles cross 200k. As far as repairs and not routine expected stuff: 2004 VW, didn't need much for 0-100k, but after that 3 year mark it started. -front wheel bearings -struts -EGR work once or twice -pads and rotors all around, and rear calipers -couple windshields? Not that bad, but it was a yearly trek down to MA to go to my mechanic. I didn't separate receipts so I'd guess at least $4k, maybe 5. Now 200k->300k: -intake flap 2x -clutch (flywheel broke) -turbo -another set of struts -another set of pads, rotors and rear calipers -couple windshields -various rust hole patches That must have been another $5k easily to cover the last 100k... 1999 Camry, unknown amount of owners 0-140k, I picked it up then and have taken from 140-225k. PO had receipts for charcoal canister, sway bar links, starter, but I found aftermarket struts on it so...? -radiator -alternator -shifter cable -windshield -struts (probably not needed) -sway bar links -rear O2 sensor -oil pan gasket -flexpipe I didn't separate receipts so call it 2k. 2011 Camry, 0-205k, so far all we've put on it is tires and one set of pads&rotors. So $500. maybe more if we want to include a couple of alignments.
 
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2005 Silverado 1500 4wd 4.8 currently just under 200k with 8500 engine idling hours, used as a work truck for surveying since 2011, my bosses personal truck before that. I don't have all the repair costs, I've been meaning to ask our receptionist if I can have the receipts, since I've bought the truck. 1 upper ball joint at 150k miles. water pump at 170k (started leaking as we pulled back into the office after an hour long drive up north), 1 fuel pump sending unit shortly after that (rusted out from salt laying on it, started leaking), an evap valve (check engine light). $1000 for floor under drivers floor mat repaired at 180k miles, mud and water caught in there because of lack of a proper floor mat. Both lower ball joints replaced same time as the floor. AC belt replaced (still needs the original serpentine belt replaced soon). Drivers door hinge pins replaced somewhere around 180k also. Consumables like brakes front and rear once, 2 sets of tires, 2 batteries, and I recently caught up all the maintenance that was never done (changed original coolant and transmission fluid). Also a set of spark plugs (3rd time). It still has the original starter and original alternator was working fine, but I replaced it thinking it was failing (turns out gm has regulated voltage control, so lower voltage at times is normal). Nothing has been touched on the engine except the spark plugs and the evap solenoid.
 

Al

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Way depends on the vehicle. My 08 Forester was about $5000 over 217K miles and counting. Subaru's are needy vehicles. But they run for ever. But now that the HG and TB problems are gone It would very low. But I am now in the mode of getting rid of the vehicle w no more than 60K miles.
 
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My 96 Grand marquis is nearing 220k miles. 1 unexpected repair since I owned it. A pin broke in the ignition and the key would just spin but not start the car.To have it repaired cost to the best of my recollection around $80. I have had other occasional issues pop up that were related to normal maintenance. Owned the car since 2012 and bought it with 82k miles. It has been a very solid car but is definitively showing it's age and mileage.
 
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2010 Toyota Highlander with the 2.7 inline 4. They were made in either Japan or the US that year - we have the Japanese made version. It has 260,000 miles and no unexpected repairs needed at all; just brakes, tires, plugs, fluids and filters. We travel the country in it, so I replace the belt tensioner and belt every 80,000 miles or so just as a precaution. I've had a tensioner come apart on another car, and wouldn't want that to happen in the middle of nowhere.
 
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This thread illustrates why extended warranties generally a losing bet for consumer and winner for seller.
 
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Originally Posted by Al
... Subaru's are needy vehicles. But they run for ever. But now that the HG and TB problems are gone It would very low. ...
My long-ago Subaru (listed below) needed very little mechanical repair during its ~190k miles. It did get 1 clutch (due to oil leak, not wear or breakage), 1 rear wheel bearing grease seal, 1 wiper motor bearing patch, 1 coolant pump (but not until late in life), 2 or 3 mufflers, 1 mod of crankcase ventilation. Less than $300 for all of that at 1970s pricing. However, by the end it had major rust issues, disintegrating upholstery, and considerably increased oil appetite. I was lucky to buy it when I did, because Subarus of the following few years had major engine issues at low mileage, including head gasket leaks and worn-out rocker arm pivots.
 
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'03 Suburban, nothing major, sort of. Bought it in Feb '19 for $5400, good bones, but needed some TLC. I put around $1500 into cosmetics and minor maintenance, changing fluids, new brake pads, new shocks all around, that sort of thing. Fast forward to today, she has an exhaust leak on the drivers side manifold. IF the mechanic can do it in the vehicle, he estimates $350 to change 2, maybe 3 of the broken studs. He said the back stud is buried in behind the frame and that they probably won't be able to deal with it without pulling the head . . . $2300!!! He got that number down to $2K because the intake manifold may also be leaking (check engine light, leads to MAS, leads to intake leak), if they did everything at the same time. They're also chasing a suspension issue that they can't find, so who knows what that's going to run. Just had the rear diff and AC serviced for $340, still need to change the plugs for $300, exhaust leak for $350, and whatever the suspension issue is to correct. I figure $1500 total. I looked up the blue book on her, she's running around $4500 street value right now. While I hate to put a whole lot of money into her, she's actually in good overall condition and I wouldn't be able to replace her for the money I have into her to date. She's also potentially a "forever" car, so keeping her maintained is a priority. I'm also a bit of a maintenance freak, so there's that too. :lol:
 
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2011 Prius, currently at 208K MAF sensor, DIY ~$150 at 153k miles Intermediate Steering Shaft, DIY ~$200 sometime around 150K Headgasket job, DIY ~$1K at 185k miles, dealer quoted $4-$4.5K. A few sets of struts and shocks, though they were not entirely necessary. Otherwise, regular maintenance. Not sure what to think of this one. I probably should have traded/sold sometime between 150-180K.
 
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