Everyone hopes their vehicle will last them a lifetime, especially after you finish paying it off, but regular wear and tear makes it difficult for even the hardiest cars, trucks, and SUVs to last more than a few hundred thousand miles. There comes a time when it’s likely more cost-effective to replace your vehicle rather than pay for continued upkeep.
Some car owners, however, are a little more fortunate than others. With only regular maintenance and checkups, one man in Houma, Louisiana was able to keep his Toyota truck running for eight years and 1,000,000 miles.
Victor Sheppard was the owner of a 2007 model Toyota Tundra, one of the first of its kind assembled at the Toyota Manufacturing Company in San Antonio, Texas. As the sole owner of the vehicle, he drove it for roughly eight years. Sheppard’s job required him to regularly drive from his home in Louisiana to North Dakota, Wyoming, and Virginia; he put an average of 125,000 miles on the odometer each year.
The Tundra’s long life isn’t due to any after-market tricks, but frequent maintenance and repair. Sheppard logged a total of 117 dealership service visits over the years for timing belt replacements, oil changes, and the manufacturer’s scheduled check-ups. The truck still has its original engine, transmission, and paint job.
Insight for the Future
When Sheppard’s local Toyota dealer posted the Tundra’s odometer to their Facebook page, it caught the attention of Toyota’s chief truck engineer from Toyota Technical Center, Mike Sweers. Sweers and his team were impressed by the pristine condition of the vehicle and, in May 2016, offered to replace it with a brand new 2016 model Tundra. Sheppard accepted the offer, making it the 16th Toyota he’s owned.
Sweers and his team of engineers planned to “tear down the entire truck, bumper-to-bumper, top-to-bottom” in order to examine just how the Tundra was able to last for so long. The process was expected to take months, with the team analyzing their findings in hopes of improving future models.
Paying it Forward
If your old car is in working condition, but you’re ready to move on to something a little bit newer, consider donating it to Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s Cars to Work program. We accept unwanted cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, and motorcycles, then use them to connect Kentuckians with meaningful opportunities to work and earn a paycheck. If your donated vehicle meets the established criteria to be placed with a working Kentuckian, you could receive a significant tax deduction equal to the vehicle’s fair market value. Contact us today to help a family in need.