What’s High Mileage for a Gasoline Car? Explained

Gasoline engines are the most common type of powerhouses used in vehicles and serve the purpose quite well. No matter how well-built or reliable, every piece of machinery undergoes wear and tear, and there comes a point when it needs major repairs or overhaul.

Gasoline engines last hundreds of thousands of miles before the problems start to appear and can work perfectly thereafter if maintained properly. Let’s have a detailed overview of a gasoline engine, how to maintain it properly, and what high mileage for a gasoline car is.

What is High Mileage for a Gasoline Car?

200,000 miles can be considered high mileage for a gasoline car. This is a very reasonable figure and if the vehicle is maintained properly and no major accidents have occurred, it can last much longer than that. After 200,000 miles, some major components require replacement and overhauling, so this is regarded as high mileage for a gasoline car.

The majority of gasoline engines nowadays are very reliable and are easier to maintain. The diagnosis and scanning of the engines have also become simpler due to the incorporation of advanced ECUs and OBD-II scanners, in case of a problem. The essential parts are easily available and are not that difficult to replace or repair. Moreover, the majority of people have adopted the practice of DIY car maintenance at home, so the service schedule is not disturbed, and the car remains in perfect mechanical shape.

Nonetheless, aging doesn’t spare anything and gasoline engines are no exception. Once the 200,000-mile mark is hit, you should keep the Cheque ready and spare some time to spend at the workshops.

Also read: Do Hybrids Last Longer than Gas and Diesel Cars?

How Many Miles Can a Gasoline Car Last?

A typical gasoline car, if maintained at regular intervals and important parts replaced, can easily last 200,000 – 300,000 miles before needing drivetrain replacement. This is not an exaggerated claim and through proper care of the vehicle, it can be achieved.

The life of a car is a subjective matter, if you take care of the vehicle properly in all aspects, it would last a lifetime. Conversely, if a car is ignored and not maintained regularly, it would not last even 100,000 miles no matter how well-built or expensive.

There are many facets to the maintenance and care of a gasoline car and not just the mechanicals. The engine oil and filters need to be replaced regularly, radiator and coolant service, transmission oil change, suspension overhaul, and brake assembly maintenance regularly.

This practice keeps the car running perfectly, but to keep the car’s body, electronics, chassis, and cosmetics in optimal condition, requires extra effort. Proper wash and wax, replacement and recalibration of electronic components, detailing, and use of premium fuel. This ensures that a healthy engine is complemented by a strong body and the car’s life is enhanced.

Why Do Gasoline Cars Last Shorter than Diesel Cars?

Diesel engines last longer than gasoline engines due to various factors, such as engine design and layout, mechanism of functioning, nature of the fuel, and various other components. A diesel engine typically lasts twice as long as a gasoline engine if properly looked after.

Gasoline and diesel engines are built differently, differ in function and parts as well. There are a few major reasons why do gasoline cars last shorter than diesel cars;

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  1. Diesel engines have a higher cylinder pressure and compression ratio as compared to gasoline engines. They have sturdier components, such as camshaft and crankshaft, along with solid bolts and larger bearings. All these parts require more clearance, hence better oil flow and lubrication of the engine parts, reducing the wear in diesel engines.
  2. Diesel engines have a gear-driven design, which eliminates the need for a timing belt, hence reducing maintenance costs and requirements. Whereas, gasoline cars need frequent adjustment and maintenance of the timing belt, affecting lifespan.
  3. Engine compression motors in diesel engine enables slower fuel burning and eliminate the need for spark plugs. This enhances the efficiency and life of the components. Spark plugs in the gasoline engine generate debris and other wastes which corrode the inner surface, reducing the life of gasoline cars.
  4. Gasoline fuel has corrosive/detergent properties that accelerate the wear inside the engine part. Whereas diesel has lubricating properties, that reduce the friction between the moving parts and enhance the overall life and functioning.
  5. As compared to gasoline engines, diesel engines produce more power at lower RPMs. Production of more power at lower revolutions reduces the wear on cylinders and bearings, increasing the lifespan of diesel cars.

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What Problems Do High Mileage Gasoline Cars have?

Despite better manufacturing standards and build quality, gasoline engines are still prone to problems, especially with high mileage. The problems to look out for in high mileage gasoline cars include burning of oil by the engine, Water pump issues, transmission problems, issues with engine components like the timing belt, and fuel pump failure.

If you’re in the market for a used car or own a gasoline-powered vehicle with high mileage, keep an eye out for these common problems and rectify them at priority. It ensures the longevity of your car, saves you a lot of time and hard-earned money.

  1. Burning of Engine Oil

Once a gasoline engine is driven beyond 150,000 miles, the pistons undergo wear and fail to maintain the seal that houses the combustion gases. This results in excessive burning of engine oil, more than normal. A person can check the engine oil by inspecting its viscosity, smell, and appearance for signs of burning and act accordingly.

  1. Water Pump Issues

One of the most important parts of the cooling system that regulate the temperature of the engine is the water pump. There is a high probability of a leaky or damaged water pump once a gasoline car is driven pat 100,000 miles. It is important to flush the radiator, change coolant, and antifreeze to prolong the life of the water pump and in turn, the engine.

  1. Transmission Problems

A gasoline car with mileage above 100,000 is prone to transmission issues, such as heating up, jerky shifts, disengaged gear, and rattling sounds. It is important to change the gear oil every 40,000 miles and get the system inspected immediately in case any problem appears.

  1. Timing Belt Issues

Gasoline engines have a timing belt that ensures the proper functioning of the camshaft, and hence the valve intervals. These timing belts are prone to breakage and must be replaced every 75,000 miles. It is very important to inspect the condition of the belt and the whole timing assembly of a high mileage gasoline car.

  1. Fuel Pump Failure

The fuel pump in high mileage gasoline cars is more prone to problems and failure because gasoline fuel is corrosive. It can block the valves and nozzle of the pump. Moreover, gasoline engines produce power at high RPMs, requiring a quick supply of fuel, forcing the fuel pump to work constantly. This can cause fuel pump failure in gasoline cars at around 150,000 miles if not maintained properly.

Also read: Should You Buy a Diesel with 200k Miles? (Solved)

How to Make a Gasoline Car Last Longer?

Follow these guidelines if you want to make a gasoline car last longer:

  1. Must change the engine oil (10,000 miles), transmission fluid (40,000 miles), and switch the grade based on the mileage of the car.
  2. Flush the engine at 75,000 miles with a professional fluid and get the inside of the engine coated, to reduce friction and wear. An example of such a product is Liqui Moly Ceratec.
  3. Replace coolant and flush the radiator every 50,000 miles.
  4. Get the timing belt replaced every 75,000 miles and the fuel pump every 100,000 miles.
  5. Replace the oil, air, and fuel filter at advised intervals.
  6. Get the suspension system inspected every 50,000 miles and ensure optimal functioning.
  7. Get your car waxed every 2 weeks and keep the metal panels rust-free for longevity.

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What are the Longest Lasting Gasoline Engines?

The longest-lasting gasoline engines include the 2ZZ-GE by Toyota, R-series by Honda, and the 2.6 R6 by Mercedes-Benz. These are the most durable, and sturdy engines that would last limitless miles if maintained properly.

  1. 2ZZ-GE

The 1.8L engine by Toyota produces 180-250 horsepower and is one the most reliable gasoline engines in the world. Toyota offered this engine in various models, such as Corolla, and it is known to be one of the longest-lasting gasoline engines. Naturally aspirated 4-cylinder layout and compliant with 95 RON fuel, 2ZZ-GE sets a benchmark in durability. With proper care, this engine can go well up to 500,000 miles with no major work required.

  1. R-Series

The R-series VTEC by Honda is one of the most popular engines, not just because of its reliability, but performance and tuning potential as well. The R-18, particularly used in Honda Civic is one of the most reliable and longest-lasting gasoline engines. It is also a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine and can easily last up to 500,000 miles with proper maintenance.

  1. 2.6 R6

One of the most reliable and popular gasoline engines ever by Mercedes-Benz was offered in the very famous W124. It is capable of serving you well beyond 400,000 miles if maintenance is taken care of and no major accidents occur. It is a 2.6L 6-cylinder gasoline engine and is one of the most dependable powerhouses in the automotive industry.