Finding cars that have successfully run consistently for more than 10 years and still in very great conditions on Nigerian roads is a rare feat. This becomes more difficult if the car has been in the ownership of one person.
Yes, we get to find some mostly commercial vehicles still running around though in bad conditions and can never pass any integrity test especially with their engines, suspension and emissions systems.
Several factors like bad Nigerian roads, dirty environment, poorly trained mechanics that also do not follow standards and largely unpredictable income flow all gang up lead to this situation rampant.
The average lifespan of cars on Nigerian roads for private individuals rarely get to 8 years and the cars would be puffing and grinding, barely able to match foreign used equivalents of the same year.
There is even this joke that Nigerians can never export cars used on Nigerian roads to other countries just like we buy foreign used ones.
It was a massive pleasure for me to be called upon to run comprehensive diagnosis on two cars owned by the same individual that lives at Enugu.
I went from Lagos to do these tests.
The first is a 2004 Toyota Corolla that was bought brand new the year it came out meaning that the car has clocked 13 years of daily active duty on Nigerian roads. After using it for a long time he bequeathed the car to his son who now uses it at Asaba.
The second is a Toyota Landcruiser bought brand new in 2000 and still in active duty this day meaning that the car has clocked 17 years of active duty on Nigerian roads.Guess what?
I ran a scan on the engines and none of them threw a DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) and even their Fuel Trims were not far from the factory specs.
The only issue with the Corolla was that the local mechanic at Asaba had adjusted the RPM so it is now slightly above normal.
Then the only issue with the Landcruiser was that the special hydraulic suspension was recently messed up by the mechanic too at Enugu but i have sorted that out to a very great extent.
Another beautiful thing is that the bodies of these cars are still in great conditions unexpected for cars used daily on our roads.
I celebrate the man and his son for their diligence and zeal in taking great care of these cars despite the times and clime.
Though in other climes, cars have been documented to have clocked upto 1,000,000 miles (1,600,000km) and more. Some of which are listed by Wikipedia…..“in 2013, Irv Gordon had accumulated 3 million miles in his 1966 Volvo P1800.  In 2006, a 1995 Dodge Ram was reported to Chrysler as having gone 1 million miles.
A 1989 Saab 900 SPG belonging to Peter Gilbert of Wisconsin had put in 1,001,385 miles before it was donated to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum.
Recently i did an article about a Toyota Tundra that just clocked 1,000,000 miles and the owner was given a brand new 2016 truck so his own could be taken back to the factory for ‘debriefing’.
Last year, a client invited me to run a pre-purchase inspection for a Toyota Camry he wanted to buy and i saw 350,000miles on the odometer which they cleverly hid under the Trip A function then broke off the stalk. Trust me, i used something to poke inside and got the actual reading, converted it and got 560,000km and it was a Nigerian used car, i did the scan and saw loads of DTC, you can bet what i did next, i ran with the client.
So you see why it is good we celebrate our own ‘high-mileage’veterans on Nigerian roads.
If you know of any car that needs to be celebrated, please do get in touch with us.
I apologise for not including more pictures of the Landcruiser, i forgot to take more shots when i finished the job, as it took me just a few hours to sort it out.