Joe on TV: Driving Your Car 200,000 Miles

by Joe Plemon on July 26, 2011

As a semi-regular guest on our local TV station’s “$mart Money” show, I discussed driving your car 200,000 miles in this segment.  Give it a watch and let me know what you think.  Really.

Even more importantly, answer this question: “How many miles do you normally try to drive your vehicles?”


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Conner July 26, 2011 at 8:24 am

I always buy new cars using my fathers GM employee discount and keep them for 10 years or 200,000 miles whichever comes last.


joeplemon July 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

@Mary — I like that plan…especially with your dad’s discount. Have those cars given you noticeably more maintenance repairs and breakdowns in that second 100,000 miles than the first 100,000 miles?


Cedric D'Hue July 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Joe, good job on the show. Very well spoken and good information.

I struggle with buying used cars. I fear getting a lemon. Some of my family members haven’t had good experiences with used cars.

So we buy new but we plan to drive them until the wheels fall off.


joeplemon July 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Cedric,
Yes, one is taking the risk of getting a lemon when buying a used car. With me, because I pay cash (and am a tightwad) I simply do not have the money to buy new cars, so used is my only option. To “hedge my risk” with the 100,000 mile luxury van we just bought for $5,200, we paid an additional $800 for a 24 month, 24,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

By the way, you are still doing things right according to the study I quoted by Liz Weston. She says the average car owner can save $250,000 over his lifetime by driving his cars 10 years instead of 5 years.

Just curious…how many miles and/or years do you put on a car before “the wheels fall off”.


Cedric July 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Good point about the warranty Joe. Believe me, I’m a tightwad as well though I’m learning the difference between being prudent and being cheap. Cheap costs a lot more in the end. Bought a cheap cookie cutter home that I can’t sell.

Bought a used economy car with ~60K in ’96. Put ~80K on it in 6 years. Sold it when the axle broke. The wheel was still attached to car, just a little wobbly. 🙂 Similar to what you discussed on tv, it was a personal decision since the car was still functional but no longer reliable on the highway.

Bought very reliable new cars in ’03 and ’05. The ’03 is now over 100K andthe ’05 is approaching 100K. I couldn’t imagine selling either one of them anytime soon.


joeplemon July 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

If you can’t imagine selling either of those cars anytime soon, my guess is that you will be driving them a long time. My hunch is, because you bought them new with the plan to drive them for many years, that you have been extra diligent about pampering them. I hope they both serve you well for another 100K! Or more.


John July 26, 2011 at 4:16 pm

When I was young and newly married, we bought several new cars. None of them proved to be good values. We now only purchase used, about 3 years old with less than 35,000 miles. Here is how we have done:
1998 Ford Windstar – purchased used in 2000 (we needed lots of seats). Now has 160,000 miles and has had some irritating problems. Nothing seriously expensive, but starting to show its age.
2002 Toyota Camry – purchased used in 2005. Now has 143,000 miles and works like a champ and with a comfortable ride. No major and very few minor problems. I highly recommend the Camry!
2006 Toyota Matrix – purchased used in 2009. Now has 75,000 miles. Again, another great Toyota product. No problems whatsoever – great design for the DIY mechanic.


joeplemon July 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Thanks for sharing your car experience. Our “luxury van” that I spoke about on the TV show is a 2000 Windstar SEL. It was the first year for the Windstar premium model. My son drove his 1998 Windstar nearly 200,000 miles, but, like yours, it had several irritating issues along the way.

Sounds like Toyota products have served you well. No surprise, based on their great reputation.


Alex Humphrey July 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Hey Joe, I really liked your video. You asked us to say what we thought so here I go:

The information was great! I love the idea of pushing a car to 200,000 (or more) and taking care of it along the way. I’m a big fan of buying used cars and then wearing them till the wheels fall of so I was glad to hear my car can probably take it! lol.

The only critique I have is you should consider smiling more when you are on TV. Your body language was good and you didn’t stumble over your words much (Um is your filler word), but since you don’t smile a lot it makes you feel a little distant.

Still, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to you posting more of these!


joeplemon July 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Thanks for your candid thoughts. I NEED them! I watched the segment again and counted, um, 11 times I said “um”! Now I know what I need to be working on. Not making excuses, but being on live TV when you only have about 4 minutes to make your point can be a bit nerve wracking. I try to relax and have fun, but I am always aware that if I say something really stupid I might not have time to undo my blunder. This may be why I don’t smile more than I do.

I will be posting other TV appearances as they happen. Click my “Categories” drop down box and go to “television appearances”.


Brunette July 28, 2011 at 10:09 am

I’ve got a ’94 Ford truck with almost 300,000 miles on it. That was the last model before they started computerizing them, so it’s fairly easy and cheap to do repairs. I’ve replaced the fuel pump, the alternator, the water pump, and the brakes since I got it almost 10 years ago. Other than that it’s just oil and tire changes. It cost me $3,700 back then and I’ve put less than half that into the repairs, since I did half of them myself.


Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager July 28, 2011 at 11:53 am

I’ve only owned two cars. One was totaled in a car accident and the other one I’m still driving. Miles don’t really matter to me, just as long as I’m safe and can get where I need to go. But I’m also planning on driving this car until it’s not worth repairing.


joeplemon July 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Wow! You have been taking this 200,000 mile principle to the extreme and I love it! Just curious: how many of those 300,000 miles have you put on your Ford truck in the 10 years you have had it?

I appreciate the fact that you are not influenced by the 100,000 mile mindset. I hope your car stays safe and keeps going for many, many miles. Is it paid for? If so, what are you doing with the money which used to go for payments?


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