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'96 Hit 230k the other day. How long left?

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Old 08-29-2017, 07:36 PM   #1
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'96 Hit 230k the other day. How long left?

Hey fellas, I have a '96 Maxima (summer '95 build date) that just hit 230k. This was a car my mom bought in 2001(?) when I was just graduating high school. The thing had 30k then. She took real good care of it, garage kept, good maintenance so far as I can tell. She hit the 200k milestone with little effort and gifted it to me-- It had about 202k when I drove it from Missouri to Colorado in late 2014. I moved from CO to Kentucky in April, brought the car with me.

Since 2015, I've used this car for a 35mi each way commute daily, now has 231k. There was a approx. 6 mo. pause while I replaced a water pump (failed not long after I got it) and the entire front suspension (control arms, tie rods, struts, strut mounts, sway bar links, the whole nine yards), knock sensor, intake gaskets, few other things.

I'm trying to plan for the future, and am getting a little timid relying on a car for my work commute that has well over 200k.

I know nothing about the Maximas prior to owning one; it's been a great car so far. The transmission seems not to shift as smooth as it should, though it had a fluid flush & refill shortly before I got it. Will this thing keep on going and going, or am I looking at expensive repairs in the 250k range?

I know a thing or two about keeping vehicles going (I have 3 over 175k), but once a tranny goes, I'm looking for a way out, instead of an expensive repair on a car, at a price I could buy another used one. Curious to see how you guys feel about keeping a Maxima this age to 300k and beyond, and what sort of repairs I'd be looking at.

The car was originally from Nevada, moved to St. Louis area after that, so zero rust. Good body all the way around. Mechanics is what I'm concerned about. Here's a picture after the most recent detail:

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Old 08-29-2017, 08:07 PM   #2
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Based off what you have described...The condition of the car looks like new, has been taken care of since day 1. Your concern is about the transmission going out, the repair can be $900-1200 from what I heard. If its something you can start saving for or can accept the repair, then I'd say repair the transmission when the day comes... If you know the car is taken care of, there should be no hesitation that your not afraid to daily it or commute to work with it.

Now, if the car was beat to the ground, the body looked like crap, has rust, then yeah I would rather get another used car if the transmission took a dump. Realistically you can keep a car running as long as your ok with the repairs. It is only up to the owner to make that decision. It's not rocket science. I believe one member in here had his maxima until 397k miles until the timing chain took a dump, or something like that. He made a decision that it was time and the car did its job reaching that amount of miles. Also there are members in here who have reach 500,000 miles. Miles is just a number...

However, most people do not spend the $1000 for the repair, but are ok buying a $1000 TV when they already had a fully functional TV. The amount is still the same, but spent in a different category. Same goes to spending $1000 on 10 shoes @ $100 each, its no different if you think about it..

Also, 4th gen maxima's are getting harder and harder to find in really good condition, (even most cars that hit the 20yr age mark) most of them left are either beat to hell, some of them taken care of, and or on its last leg needing repair to continue driving it from neglect and abuse owners so... remember that.

Last edited by JoshG; 08-29-2017 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 08-29-2017, 09:07 PM   #3
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I also drive a 1996, august 95 build date. 210k miles now.

This car was taken care of well by those who owned it, and had a suspension overhaul at 100 k miles. This was done by the dealer I bought the car from.

I believe that the original owner sold the car at 100k
miles, based on the belief the car would be unreliable.

Diring the time I have owned it, 110k mIles worth,

The starter went out at least twice, the radiator was replaced,, the water pump, and every single hose while I was in there.

Emissions related stuff of course, bateries.

Fuel injectors were rebuilt while the uim was off for other reasons.

And normal maintenance.

I do almost all the work myself.

Sounds like your car has been maintened well.

So the engine and transmission perfumes well.

The car should last to 300k, you might need to replace an automatic transmission or a clutch in the 200k to 300k range.

A used transmission or a,clutch is affordable.
Especially if you can drive over 50k on the repaired transmission.

It's all about how long would you like to drive this car. Once all deffered maintenance and a cooling system overhaul has been done, and paid for,
You might /will, be able to get 100k miles of use out of that car.

Currently my car drives and performs very well.
I have a valve cover leak. My tach is broken, and the cruse control needs a minor repair.

I take this car on 400 mile drives.

I was stuck on I-5 after the recent eclipse near portland. Traffic a parking lot. It was 90 degrees.
Sucked with a 5 speed.It took three hours to drive 40 miles.

Yet I could sit there in air conditioned comfort.
While the thermostat sat at the normal stste.

The car is in good shape. I feel mine should be able to reach 300 k . Transmission repair possibly likely.

If the transmission goes out soon after 200k, replacing the transmission makes sense.
While at 280k, not so much. By then the engine needs to be considered.

Last edited by JvG; 08-30-2017 at 10:40 AM. Reason: Corrections
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:20 PM   #4
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I agree with JvG.

My 99 is at 190K and realistically, the only way I see myself getting rid of it is if we have another kid...then the 4th gen will be too small for two kids. But I am planning on having it past 200K. Hell, may not get rid of it at all, even if it'd be too small.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:17 PM   #5
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My 96 Maxima was neglected with oil leaks from every corner of the valve covers at 227,000 miles when I acquired it. With my TLC, and probably $10,000 spent on it, it is still running at 235k miles. Still strong with original engine and tranny. So, it isn't easy to say when yours will break down.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:43 AM   #6
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My daily driver has 300k. I bought it with 249k a year ago. Going to be selling soon so I can focus on my 4th gen. It outperforms most cars on the road even while towing my trailer.
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Old 09-14-2017, 07:44 AM   #7
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Your car is rust free, like the other guy said save a little each pay period so when the tranny does go you have the funds to fix it. I personally own 3 cars and a scooter and I have a "car repair" account that I put money into for any unexpected breakdowns. I had to replace the transmission in my 69 Cougar and it cost me $2200 but I now have a totally reliable car that I can beat the hell out of and believe me I do. What are your options, spend a $1000 for a new transmission or spend $10,000 for another slightly used vehicle that you don't know the full history on. I'm spending the $1000 for a car that I know and trust.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #8
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My '96 has 299,3xx miles on it right now. After nearly 10 years of ownership it remains one of the most reliable vehicles I have had. My 2006 GTO is currently sitting in the garage with no coolant because the heater control valve cracked and dumped it all the last time I drove it.

My boss often rolls his eyes when he sees my Maxima. It's not as pretty as it once was. As we were riding the aiport shuttle to the parking lot the other day and finding our car keys, I joked "I always take my most reliable car to the airport so I know I won't have problems when I leave." We get to our cars, the Max starts right up, but his F-150 doesn't. It just says "no key found"...

Take care of it and it will take care of you.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:43 AM   #9
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My 97 had 260k before I got rid of it .. and only because the neighborhood kids ripped the spoiler off and it cost more to fix than the car was worth.
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Old 09-18-2017, 02:32 PM   #10
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^ could of gotten a trunk from another car.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:46 AM   #11
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My 99 is at 306k and I still drive it almost everyday
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