Cardinal, Ont. man accumulates more than 712,000 kilometres on SUV
CARDINAL, ONT. -- Vehicles are meant to be driven, but the odd few are seemingly built to last forever. For one Eastern Ontario man, his 2007 Saturn Vue SUV seems like it might just outlive him.
When Edward Warren from Cardinal, Ont. bought his Saturn new off the lot, he was looking for something reliable.
"I said plastic body and a Honda motor and transmission? That'll last me until I retire!"
That was more than 14 years ago.
"About seven years ago I should have retired, but I said the car didn't quit, so I said, well, keep going!" Warren added.
He's still working part time, and now, warren has accumulated more than 712,000 kilometres on his Saturn. That's the equivalent of driving almost 18 times around the earth.
Most of them are highway miles selling forklifts for Hansler Industries out of Brockville, his Saturn Vue doing most of the heavy lifting.
"I was averaging 70 to 75,000 kilometers a year because I traveled to Chalk River down through to the Quebec border and back up through to Gananoque. That was my territory," Warren said.
It's also been on many, many road trips.
"It's been all over the east coast, Gaspé, a lot of trips to Toronto," said Warren. "We have relatives in Toronto, so we've spent a lot of time up and down the highway with it, and the rest of it's been work.”
While some items have been replaced over the years like wheel bearings and water pumps, he's had no major issues.
"The transmission has never been out of the car, motor has never been out of the car. Still running, never uses a drop of oil," said Warren.
One essential thing he says to get to and maintain a high mileage vehicle: routine maintenance.
"Whatever the book calls for, that's all you've got to do to them," Warren said. "It's hard, you know, they rust out and stuff like that, but this this car has been really good."
"If you look after your car and do the regular maintenance on it, I say to people 'When you last have an oil change? I can't remember the last time.' you know, you can't do things like that. There's a schedule in there. It's in the manual that you're supposed to do. And if you do that, that's the cheapest thing you can do.”
Mike Dunster, owner of Billings Automotive in Brockville, agrees.
"Keep your oil changed, do your services as required, keep your filters changed, get your vehicle inspected on a regular basis," he said.
He says while high mileage cars are unusual, they're not uncommon.
"We do have some," he said. "GM is one we did have here with close to 800000 on it, but it did unfortunately, not make it to a million."
"We do see it from time to time with both Asian, Euroeapn and domestic vehicles," dunster said. "We have a Volvo in here that's just shy of 400,000 kilometres on it.”
And every car comes with the perfect tool for owners.
"Most people see that owner's manual in the glove box and they don't look at it. It does have some really good key points in there for your regular service and maintenance items. But it does come down to your service provider to at the end of the day,” Dunster said.
Warren says he's used the same mechanic since he passed the 160,000-kilometre mark and some of the original warranty ran out: Gary Tracy at GT Automotive.
“He has looked after the car to this day,” Warren said. “He knows the car as well as I do."
Another tidbit? Try to use lifetime guaranteed parts if something fails.
Warren’s biggest problem now is finding replacement parts, since GM retired the Saturn brand in 2010.
"I had a back window I had to replace on the right side, we had to find one in a junkyard," he said. "I was lucky we found one here just a little while ago, but there's lots of parts you can't get anymore."
Some parts, however, were still are under the original warranty from GM.
"I had the ignition switch changed just a while ago," Warren said. "They presented me with a bill and I said ‘No, no, that's under warranty.’ The girl said, ‘It's got seven hundred thousand kilometers!’ I said, ‘Look it up, they guaranteed they got warranty on that for a million kilometers because it's always been a problem.’ And they come back to me and they said, ‘You're right!"
Warren says he intends to keep up with the regular maintenance and continue driving it. He’s unsure what he'll do if he reaches a million kilometres.
"I might have to have a party," Warren said. "But I'm not sure I would make it. The car might still make it, but I don’t know if I'll be around.”