• Use only the recommended types of fluids, including oil and transmission fluids.
• Check under the hood regularly. Listen for strange sounds, sniff for odd smells and look for fraying or bulges in pipes or belts. Also, get a vehicle service manual. They're available at most auto parts stores or your dealership.
• Clean the car carefully inside and out. This not only helps the car's appearance but can prevent premature rust. Vacuuming the inside also prevents premature carpet wear from sand and grit.
• Buy a safe, reliable car. Buying a car with the latest safety equipment makes it more likely you'll feel as safe in your aging car as a newer model.
The magazine recommends several cars that have the best shot at reaching the 200,000 mile mark and a few that, according to its data, aren't likely to make it. All the cars in the magazine's " Good Bets" list are manufactured by Honda and Toyota. The "Bad Bets" are a mixture of European models and two Nissans. Good Bets:
Toyota Land Cruiser
V8-powered Mercedes-Benz M-class
V6-powered Volvo XC90