Modern cars have much longer life spans than one may expect. Not too long ago, drivers often commemorated the milestone of their vehicles reaching the 100,000-mile mark. However, data from Car and Driver indicates the average vehicle now lasts around 12 years or roughly 200,000 miles. More advanced electric or hybrid vehicles may be able to go even further, with some capable of reaching as much as 300,000 miles.
According to a report from Consumer Reports, vehicles made in Japan and Korea have fewer problems per 100 vehicles than those made by American and European manufacturers, making them tops in vehicle longevity.
Thanks to advancements in technology, cars are more durable than ever, but that doesn’t make them impervious to breakdowns or the need for repairs. A recent report from AAA found that more than two-thirds of service calls were for vehicles a decade or older. Here’s a look at some of the problems that can affect older vehicles.
The average car battery lasts between three and five years, according to Auto Zone. Batteries tend to show signs of wear at the four-year mark on average. Corrosion or dirt on battery terminals also can affect battery performance.
Electrical system issues can be caused by anything from burnt out car fuses to bad or faulty electrical connections and contacts. Corroded or loose screws, nuts and wires can cause electrical issues, which may be more common in older vehicles that have significant mileage on them.
The suspension system is comprised of springs, tires, shock absorbers, struts, anti-sway bars, and other parts that connect the vehicle to the wheels. Suspension systems regulate the amount of bouncing in the vehicle while on the road and make it manageable. Eventually, all suspension systems can and will wear out, and parts will need to be serviced or replaced.
The evaporative system consists of a network of hoses, canisters and valves. It helps vent pressure in the gas tank. An older vehicle may end up with a cracked hose that can cause a fuel leak. Hoses also may be compromised elsewhere in vehicles, so these points should be checked during routine maintenance.
As with other moving parts on a car, the brake system wears down over time and parts will need to be replaced. Squealing, squeaking or a soft brake pedal are indicative of braking system issues and should be looked at by a mechanic promptly.
Modern vehicles are increasingly being controlled by computers. These computers handle a variety of features, including navigation and pairing to mobile phones, among others. Over time, systems may no longer work if there are no computer updates available. That means Bluetooth pairing may no longer function, or maps may not be current for GPS systems.