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Is A Truck With 200,000 Or 300,000 Miles Bad?

If you are looking to buy a used truck you will often find that many of them on the market have really high miles with some having 200k or even 300k miles on them! If you can get a truck with that many miles should you? Is that many miles on a truck bad? 

A truck with 200,000-300,000 miles is bad in the sense that a good chunk of its lifespan has already been used. However, if you get a high mileage truck for cheap enough then even getting a few months or years use out of it could be worth it for you. 

The biggest thing to keep in mind when you’re looking at trucks with that high of mileage is the fact that they are far more likely to already have or to start having really expensive parts start to break. Most vehicle parts are only designed to last a few hundred thousand miles so when buying a truck with that much mileage on it you are gambling on those parts lasting long enough for you to get your money’s worth out of the truck before they go bad. 

If you are a decent mechanic (or have a friend who is) then that might not be a bad gamble as you can replace any parts that go bad for a decent price. However, if everytime a part goes bad you have to go to a normal mechanic to get it fixed you will likely be spending a lot of money over time on repairs to the truck whereas with a truck with less miles you wouldn’t have to spend as much. 

It is important to take into account not only how much you will spend on the truck purchase initially but also how much you will have to spend on repairs while you own the truck. If you aren’t able to do a lot of the repairs yourself then buying a truck with 200k or 300k miles on it is probably a bad idea. 

Of course, whether a truck with that kind of mileage is good really does depend on how well it has been taken care of over its life and also whether there is anything currently wrong with it. Trucks with that high of miles are typically avoided by most people so if you are willing to take the risk or know how to do many repairs yourself you can save a good amount of money buying a truck with high miles. 

Trucks with high miles shouldn’t be a problem at all if you know what you are getting into. 

The reason why high mileage trucks shouldn’t always be considered to be bad is because people who tend to buy these used trucks are already familiar with them and usually know the problems that these old trucks might have. 

What Makes A Truck Bad? 

When a person decides to buy one of these high mileage trucks, they may make the mistake of thinking that because there is so much mileage on them, then it will last for a lot longer since it has lasted that long already. However, the truth is that these trucks are just the same as any other vehicle in that they will still have various problems. 

They may have something wrong with them already but it just isn’t noticeable yet, and you could find yourself having to spend a lot of money to get them fixed. 

One important thing that can make a truck with 200,000-300,000 miles bad is where you get the truck from. If you buy your truck from a reputable dealer then there should be no current problems at all as they have their reputation on the line. A professional dealer would know if the truck has anything wrong with it and will want to get it fixed before reselling it. 

However, most reputable dealers won’t ever sell a truck with that high of miles as they don’t want to risk possible negative publicity if something goes wrong with it immediately after they sell it. So finding a high mileage truck like that on a good car dealer’s lot is rare. 

If you find a high mileage truck from a dishonest individual you don’t know or from a sleazy car dealership you might discover later that there were problems with the truck that they actively tried to cover up when selling it to you thereby costing you more money then you would have paid had you known about the problems. 

So, when buying a truck with 200k-300k miles on it you should only buy from a good dealership or from an individual/company that you know has taken care of it over time. 

While this won’t guarantee that you won’t have problems with the truck in the future it will give you peace of mind that they haven’t actively hid an issue with the truck from you. 

Another thing that could make buying a truck with that high of miles bad is not taking the time to properly check it out first. If you aren’t a mechanic it is a good idea to pay one to check all the important parts on the truck and make sure there isn’t an expensive part that is about to go out on it that would cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars just a few months after buying it. 

Although you should always check out any used car or truck that you are buying carefully, it is even more important when buying a vehicle with high miles. 

What Mileage Is Too High For A Used Truck? 

If you’re planning on buying an older used truck, your first question may be how high is too high for the miles on the vehicle? Obviously there’s no single answer to that question because it depends on the type of engine the truck has, the type of transmission, and how well the truck has been maintained. 

However, there are some things that should influence your decision when it comes to miles that are on the truck. 

First, you want to make sure the truck is mechanically sound. One of the reasons many truck owners avoid buying used trucks is because of the high number of mechanical issues they encounter. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a vehicle that’s going to need major repairs soon after you buy it. 

Also, keep in mind that older engines have more inherent problems than newer ones do (for obvious reasons). For example, if an automatic transmission has been sitting for more than 10 years and it was not maintained according to factory guidelines for maximum transmission life, it may become damaged beyond repair or it may stop shifting properly soon after you buy it. 

The second thing to consider is how the truck has been used. If a used truck has a couple hundred thousand miles on it but it was mainly used on the highway for cross country trips then those miles are “better” for the truck than if it has a few hundred thousand miles that were all put on from city driving. 

Of course sellers know that highway miles are better and people prefer them so be sure and dig a little deeper if the seller says that most of the miles were highway miles to determine if that is true or not. An easy thing to ask is what the truck was used for. If they say it was used for personal use then it all being highway miles is very unlikely. If it was used for a trucking company or to haul things across the country for an individual then a lot of the miles being highway miles is far more likely. 

Finally, if the previous owner was responsible for maintaining the vehicle or if they didn’t purchase it new then some knowledge of how it’s been driven could be helpful when deciding whether or not to purchase it. Ideally you will want to buy a truck with high mileage from the original owner so you know whether it has been cared for with regular preventative maintenance done properly. 

If the current owner is just one in a long string of owners of the vehicle then it becomes incredibly difficult for you to determine if it has been well taken care of or not. 

In conclusion, it’s best to research everything that the previous owner did when it comes to vehicle maintenance. If they are mechanically inclined and know how to perform their own maintenance on their trucks then it’s likely that they maintained the vehicle well. If they’re uneducated about how to maintain their vehicles effectively and don’t have any records of routine maintenance, then you have a much higher chance of encountering mechanical difficulties with your purchase.

Also, make sure that all emissions functions are working properly before purchasing a used truck if that matters in your area. 

How Many Miles Should A Truck Last?

Trucks are built to last hundreds of thousands of miles, as long as the engine and other parts of the vehicles are properly maintained. There are plenty of truck owners that have 300,000 miles on their vehicles and they’re still running with no problems at all while other people have issues with their trucks before they even hit 100,000 miles. 

Although it would be nice if specific trucks would be guaranteed to last a certain number of miles, unfortunately there is some luck to it as well. 10 trucks could all be manufactured at the exact same time using the exact same parts and one of them could have tons of issues almost immediately and one of them could last 500,000 miles with NO ISSUES!

As surprising as that is, it really can be that random. Sometimes parts are made just a little bit better which causes them to last a lot longer than the exact same part that was made using the same specs. 

With most trucks, problems typically begin to occur after 150,000 miles and the problems become more frequent as you approach 200,000 miles. It’s very rare for a truck to last much longer than 300,000-400,000 miles if it’s a gasoline engine. If a truck with a diesel engine is driven properly in regards to fuel quality and maintenance then it can last a lot even longer with many of them topping 500,000 miles. 

Mechanically, there are many things to pay close attention to in regards to preventing problems when it comes to maintenance of your truck. 

These include: 

1. Keep the engine oil changed every 3-5k miles (depending on how much you drive and the manufacturers recommendations)

2. Change the transmission fluid every 50k miles. 

3. Change the diff fluid every 30-60k miles. 

4. Keep your tires rotated and balanced every 10k miles or sooner if they start to wear on one side of the tires (this can be done for around $30 at a local shop)

5. Check your fuel filter, purge valve, and fuel PSI regularly

6. After 50k miles replace camshaft bearings, take care of any head gasket issues if present, and replace cylinder head bolts

7. Keep the driver side CV axle lubed (since it has to support a lot of weight) every 10k miles or sooner if you start to hear a clunking sound when turning corners

8. After 100k miles, check and replace any seals on the motor for leaks

9. After 150k miles, change your timing chain or belt. 

10. Keep an eye out for any leaks under the vehicle when it’s sitting still and warm; if you notice an oil leak then take a sample of it and bring it to a trusted mechanic to find out what kind of oil is leaking out (this will help you better determine what is going on with your engine)

11. Replace the A/C compressor belt every 30-40k miles (or as needed)

12. Clean/replace your air filter every 15-25k miles

Although doing all of these things will help your truck last a lot onger, unfortunately nothing is guaranteed. You could do all of these things and still have major engine problems before hitting 200,000-300,000 miles

What Truck Has The Least Amount Of Problems? 

When looking to buy a truck (whether used or new) many people want to know which truck they can buy that will have the least amount of problems. Unfortunately the answer just isn’t that simple. 

As mentioned earlier the exact same trucks built at the exact same time can have varying degrees of reliability so it’s impossible to even compare identical trucks let alone trucks that are made by different manufacturers. 

In general terms though trucks that are made by Toyota and Honda always seem to stand out as being the most reliable and with the least amount of problems over time. However, there are many people who swear by their Chevy or Ford truck as there have been models that have lasted over 1 million miles! 

It’s hard to say because there are many factors, such as maintenance that go into how long a truck will last with the least amount of problems. Trucks that are maintained well will typically last longer and not have many problems over time. But some trucks have been known to experience problems at around 100k miles, where others have made it to over 300k miles without a single major failure. 

When looking at all of the trucks on the road the models with the least amount of problems in general are the Toyota and Honda models which makes sense as those are also extremely reliable car manufacturers too. 

If you are wanting to get a new truck and want to have as few issues as possible then getting one of these two models is a great choice.