What happens when your car odometer reaches 999,999km? According to world record holder for high-mileage driving Irv Gordon, the odometer will ‘reset’ itself. The late American became famous for covering 5,149,900km with his Volvo P1800 from 1966 - 2018.
Gordon isn’t the only car owner with a long-running ride. There’s a 2006 Honda Civic owner from the U.S. who has driven over 999,999 miles (1.6 million km) using its original engine and transmission! The only major repair needed was for a new head gasket at 804,642km, and replacement of the engine computer.
Irv Gordon became famous for covering 5,149,900 km with his Volvo P1800 from 1966 - 2018. (Image source: Roadandtrack.com)
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How much can you save if your car lasts longer?
While we haven’t heard of Malaysian car owners who have driven over 500,000km, let alone 999,999km, imagine how much you can save by owning just one car for that many years.
In an article by car content platform WapCar, it was revealed that on average, Malaysian drivers cover 28,188 km a year. That means you’ll need about 18 years to pass that 500,000km mark.
As a new car is typically kept for an average of 8.4 years (according to research firm iSeeCars.com), most Malaysians would have switched cars thrice during this 18-year period.
Considering that the most affordable car now is the Perodua Axia E 1.0 manual at RM23,367, you’d probably have to buy a new Axia model thrice if you switch cars every 8.4 years. Thus you may have to spend at least RM70,101 during this period, and we haven’t factored in inflation, as well as your car loan interest and insurance fees.
So how can you avoid those additional costs and drive the same car that can cover 500,000km?
Related: #BreakingItDown – The True Total Cost Of Car Ownership In Malaysia
This 2006 Honda Civic owner has driven over 1.6 million km with the car’s original engine and transmission. (Image source: HondaPro Jason, Facebook)
Maintenance tips to make your car last longer
Here are important tips from Irv Gordon.
1. When your car makes a funny noise, listen to it
According to Gordon, if your car develops a condition, bring it to a workshop immediately. “The longer you wait, the greater potential for danger,” he added. Listening to your car also includes understanding its warning lights.
2. Develop a good relationship with your dealer and mechanic
“Both are your partners in the long run,” Gordon said. When you have an honest and trustworthy relationship with your mechanic, you can rest assured they will never do any work without your consent, do any unnecessary work, or surprise you with unexpected costs.
When you have an honest and trustworthy relationship with your mechanic, you can rest assured they will never surprise you with unexpected costs.
4. Follow the car maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual
Service your car regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule. You can also save on unnecessary maintenance and oil changes by following the recommendations in the owner’s manual.
“Many people waste time and money by following a dealership or mechanic’s advice on when to change the oil, or other vehicle fluids. For the most accurate fluid change schedule, always refer to your vehicle’s service manual,” used car platform Auto Simple advised.
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Although they may be pricier, genuine car parts offer peace of mind.
5. Use factory equipment parts
Although they may be pricier, genuine car parts offer peace of mind. Once you buy original automotive parts, you’re not buying something close to what you need, but parts that are built specifically for your car use. In essence, you are buying what suits your car for maximum effectiveness.
Making car modifications with parts that are not approved by your manufacturer may also void your car warranty and car insurance policy (if you do not provide accurate info to the insurer).
Maintaining your car warranty and insurance is important if you wish to extend the life of your vehicle. A car warranty helps to pay for certain types of malfunctions (parts and labour costs) due to manufacturing defects. Meanwhile, your car insurance could pay to repair your vehicle if it’s damaged in a road accident, or by other causes – such as theft, fire or natural disasters.
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