Archive for the ‘300000+’ Category

Mile High Club


Here is a short story about Dianna and her 1994 Honda Del Sol. She loves her car so. It has never given her any grief. And this year, it clocked over 300,000 big ones, to her relief. The Del Sol has made the trip between Arizona and California many a time. Dianna will never sell her Del Sol. That’d be a crime.  Thank you for sharing your Story with us, Dianna. And excuse my poor rhyming. That’s the real crime here.



Here’s a story that Nancy wanted to share with us. Can a Toyota Sienna rack up the miles? You betcha!

Odometer Reading: 380,005
Year: 2000
Model: Toyota Sienna

From Nancy: I’d like you to meet “Supercar.” She was at the front of the production line and I was driving her by 1999.

She has been so very reliable, but I’ve never expected any less from a Toyota. Her transmission was rebuilt at about 285,000 miles and various parts have needed replacement.  – an ignition coil, most recently. Overall, the cost of ownership has been very low. My only complaints are interior and exterior doors handles and buttons. At this point, every door has a problem that I’ve not fixed, because I just can’t afford to. I can’t open the rear hatch or the passenger slider, for instance.

Nancy, I hope you can keep that beautiful Sienna together for another 120,000 miles. Then you’ll be hitting the big time. We’re with you all the way. Thanks for sharing your story with us.



We previously wrote about Erick Belmer and his Chevy Volt.  Well it now appears his car ‘Sparkie’ has surpassed the 300,000 mile mark. Pretty awesome for an electric car. Even more surprising is that he says the battery level is right where it was when he bought the car. It appears Chevy is doing something right with its battery tech. Another 200,000 miles and Erick will be at the half-million mark with his volt. He is already a legend in the electric car community. Keep it up!  We’ll keep following his amazing story.




Good morning everyone. How is your Sunday going? Mine is just fine. Today, I’m going to do something I haven’t done before at HMC. I am going to talk about a van. Now this is where we might blur the lines between commercial and personal car ownership. But you know what, I don’t care. It’s my blog, my rules.

So why would this be a fleet issue? Well, you see, the van in question is a 2003 Chevy Express G3500 15-passenger van. It has a V8 6.0 litter Vortec engine and history of being used for commercial purposes. Now, what makes this story awesome is that Christi, the proud owner of this ”fleet” van is using it 100% for personal reasons.  She has been using it as family transport for the past thirteen years. Mini van be damned.

Christi tells me that the Express still starts well, but seems to have developed a clunk in the front end. The transmission, however shifts well. She does state there are two major problems with the Chevy. The paint is failing pretty hard, and there is a lot of rust at the roof near the windshield. Two serious issues which, much like gum disease, can really ruin a good day. Christi tells me her husband, father and the rest of her family have put a ton of maintenance into the van over the years, and its last major repair was a DIY camshaft position sensor that her 21-year-old daughter put work into.

Christi also states that the van has left her stranded twice. Once was due to a manufactures’ defect in the drive shaft bearing only days after the van was purchased. The other, was due to the aforementioned camshaft sensor failure, which shut down the engine.


Christi says she LOVES her van and despite its shortcomings, she is sticking with it. It also appears to be the kind of vehicle which brings the entire family together, unlike a mid-life crisis Porsche. The most up-do-date ODO reading is 313, 818 miles, which isn’t too surprising for a fleet van, but impressive for a fleet van used in a personal setting. Christi, keep us updated on your van. Thanks for sharing your story with us.


 1998 Toyota Tacoma

Today’s HMC exclusive comes to us courtesy of Cat.  Cat shared some of photos of their 1998 Toyota Tacoma XtraCab SR5 4 Cyl. automatic with 343,250 glorious miles on it. Cat bought the Tacoma at 114,500 miles and hoped for 200,000 miles. I’d say things worked out quite well on that front.  Cat provided us with a photo of the truck hitting 300,000 miles on September 4, 2013. While crossing the I-94 into Indiana.

     Cat tells me the truck has been all over the US and Canada. It is used mainly as a commuter vehicle, but has travelled from Acadia National Park to San Francisco, and has been used extensively for camping tripes.  Cat travelling companion is an English Springer Spaniel, and together the truck serves as a home away from home.
2015-05-17 Mathews Arm Cmp - sleeping in the truck 715 am     From a mechanical standpoint, the truck has the original engine and transmission but has not been completely free of issues. The rack & pinion steering, a/c, water pump, and radiator have all been replaced. Cat tells me a mechanic suggested replacing the truck due to a poor compression test, but that was in 2012 at 271,500 miles and nothing has come of it. In fact, Cat uses the same mechanic today, so perhaps there was an issue with the test. Who’s to say?  Cat isn’t strict about oil changes either. 3000 miles is the goal but sometimes the oil gets changed at 5000 miles using QS 5W30. Another time, the engine started pinging once and Cat’s mechanic recommend Chevron(Techron) gasoline as a fix. Sure enough, the pinging went away. The gauges are still operational, though the gas gauge acts up now and then.

   Keep up the fight to 500,000 miles. We’re cheering you all the way.  Thanks Cat.

I believe Confucius once said, “He who blogs about high-mile Camrys is doomed to climb the mountain of high-mile Camrys.” At least that is how I remember it going. In others words, once we get this Camry party started, there ain’t no stopping it.


To prove my point, I give you Ken Oliver and his 1990 Camry. This model a 2.0 4 cylinder with manual 5 speed transmission. He is the third owner of the car and it’s now at 394,322 miles.


Ken tells me he has only ever replaced a few sensors and the fuel filter, though it does appear that the transmission is starting to get a little cranky and not shift into 5th gear. I hate it when they do that.  It also sounds like a new wheel bearing is in the cards. Still, he uses Castro10W30 every three months and likes to tinker with cars as a hobby.  He says he wants to take it to 500,000miles, and beyond! Ken, keep rocking the Camry! Rock it hard. We are cheering you on. And if Toyota sees this, Ken would really like a new paint job.

Earlier last month I posted about an amazing Camry. Well, now I have another Camry to talk about. This time, with Robert and Alicia Lawrence at Banah de Cristo Ministries. They tell me they drive some of the hottest, roughest roads in between the Mohave Desert in Calif and Phoenix, and the Sonoran Desert in Mexico.  Their 2002 four cylinder Camry LE takes all this abuse and says, “More, please.” The car is currently sitting at 334,000 miles and I’m told it will be driven until it costs over a thousand big ones to get it back on the road. They had the engine rebuilt at 250k miles but the mechanic told them, and I am quoting a less offensive version here “Only a fool would rebuild a motor this perfect.”  Apparently only the gaskets and seals were replaced. No reboring required. Not too shabby at all. There has also been some other work done on the car. They had the shocks and struts replaced, and are getting the transmission ready for a rebuild as well. They say the car looks like an 87 Toyota because of the harsh conditions and severe dust storms. I’m hoping I can get a photo of the Camry. Robert claims they have never had to pay more than 250 dollars for work, but I would have assumed the shocks and struts cost more than that. I think they are speaking of regular maintenance and not one-off repairs. Either way, it’s an amazing feat to have a Camry survive those conditions that long. I hope Robert and Alicia update us about their Camry. I have a good feeling they could do 500,000+ miles in this car.

Update: February 3 – 2017

The Camry had a used Toyota motor installed due to water draining out the heating core. The new motor already has 100K on it, and they added another 70K to put their total up to 370000 Miles. The Camry still has the original transmission. So their new total mileage is 370000 miles.


Today’s HMC exclusive high-mile story comes courtesy of Bradley Davis. He shared a story with me about his 1997 Toyota Avalon XLS. He’s driven the car throughout high school, college, having his wedding ceremony,  and now his current job. He just recently went over the 300IMG_3837,000 mile mark on it and he says it just keeps going.

You may be asking why I am including a photo of Bradley’s car in a ditch. Well, this past winter, he was on his way to work and got caught up in a snow/rain nightmare. While the Avalon, or “Avy” as he calls her has great tires and brakes, there was nothing in terms of traction to keep her from heading off the road. The good news is that Avy came out with no damage, and Bradley is still driving her today. Weall done, Bradley. Please keep us updated on Avy.

I  wanted to add that it’s stories like this that we are looking for here at HMC. People who have had their cars for years and won’t part with them. No repair, even engine or transmission can keep them from their beloved car. If this is you and your car, let us know.

Thanks Bradley

kelly camryToday’s HMC exclusive comes to us courtesy of Kelly Hardy, and we’re going to be talking about her 1992 Toyota Camry. Kelly is a falconer and she uses her Camry for, um, falconing. Is that a word? Anyways, she takes the car off road a lot, and that equals wear and tear. It’s also the reason she calls it the Baja Camry.

She bought the car in 1996 with 85K miles already accumulated. She says the alternator was swapped at 350K and the engine is original. Other than the routine maintenance and the bird poop clean up, it’s a pleasure to drive.  Just before she contacted me, the Camry had to have a fuel pump replaced.

So what is her Camry sitting at? It’s currently registering 391085 miles. Not bad. Not bad at all. At this rate, she’ll hit 400000 soon. Hopefully she’ll share that milestone with us.  Thanks for telling us about your adventures with your Camry, and we hope the Baja Camry and a long and amazing life.

Here’s a wonderful little story to kick of 2015. I found this one on Autoblog, and I’m giving them full credit, though I suspect the local news is the real hero here. Bob Sportel bought himself a 1957 Chevy Truck to get to his new job, and continues to drive the same truck today. He claims the vehicle has around 300,000 miles on it, but can’t be sure because the odometer hasn’t worked in years. It’s rusty and falling apart, but it gets the job done.  I thought I’d mention the story here on HMC as it’s one of those feel-good stories about a person and their prized truck. It just goes to show what you can do when you are determined to save a little money.

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