The Million Mile Car
With the current economic climate biting harder, both private and business car drivers are retaining their cars for longer and an increasing number of GEM members are asking me for tips and hints to aid their vehicles’ longevity and reliability. My response has always been to recommend regular fluid changes and servicing, including replacing worn items before they have the chance to fail and cause a breakdown.
Proving that this preventative advice works, North American motorist, Joe LoCicero, has completed a million miles in his 21 year-old Honda Accord and has attributed the feat to regular servicing. He confessed to being “a stickler for fluids” and not only had he checked all the car’s essential liquids weekly but he also changed the engine oil every 5,000 miles and insisted on fitting genuine Honda air and oil filters.
He has also changed any parts before they failed. This does not mean that his Japanese saloon is like ‘Trigger’s brush’, because he reported that, apart from serviceable items, his car has required only two radiators, a fuel pump and several cooling fans in its life. Clearly, Joe has maintained his car fastidiously and has confessed to not abusing it.
Covering around 62,000 miles annually, Joe started keeping records once his Honda reached 300,000 miles and even started his own website, as he strived to reach his target of 1,000,000 miles.
To celebrate his achievement, Honda in the USA organised an OTT surprise parade in Saco, Maine, in America on 23 October 2011. The one-block-long celebratory pageant included a giant odometer float, marching bands from local schools and theatre stilt walkers. Yet, the biggest surprise was the presentation of the keys belonging to a new Accord, by Ms Maine, Ashley Marble, to replace Joe’s million-mile example.
So, although Joe has proved that sensitive driving and regular servicing pays dividends, what is the highest mileage that you have taken a car? I’ll set the bar low, with my 1991 Citroen BX turbo diesel, which I took from 67,000 to 151,000 miles, before I sold it a few years ago. With regular oil and filter changes, the engine and turbo were both in perfect condition.