Do you think that clock hours should replace mileage odometers on cars?

15,675

Asked by Nov 24, 2015 at 08:10 PM about the 2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

Question type: General

Would it be advantageous  to have both clock hours and mileage track the age
of vehicles?     After all,  a lot of cars get stuck in very long commutes and
intense traffic resulting in extra hours and minutes logged on the engine?   
With only an odometer,  there's no way to know the true picture of how many
hours the engine was running?   Do you think that car manufacturers should
add this into new vehicles?

22 Answers

60,155

Mark,i have thought the same thing before,they do it on anything from tractors to lawn mowers and a lot of rental machine eqipment,it would help the exact time of the hours on the engine,but i think it should have both IMO.

18,765

A lot of fleet vehicles already do this. High idle hours might help tell you what shape the catalytic converter is in.

15,675

KenF, so , you're saying that the long idle times would cause more damage to the catalytic converter? I wonder if you could add this hours feature to a scan gauge? Of course, to be precise, you would need to do this starting out on a brand new car.

15,675

How many hours do you think would be equivalent to 100,000 miles with a 50-50 city and highway miles?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
60,155

Just a guess Mark ,but i would think around 350_400 hours.

18,765

I'm mostly familiar with Ford fleet cars, and according to them 1 idle hour is equivalent to 33 miles driving. Keep in mind this is an idle hour meter, versus an engine hour meter. Fleet vehicles tend to stay running at idle for long periods of time, think cop cars, taxis, etc. The damage to the catalytic converter from idling is that you are allowing more carbon and condensate to get into the cat, see: Is Engine Idling Damaging Your Engine? http://autorepair.about.com/library/a/1h/bl151h.htm - is says: "an idling engine may not get hot enough to start the catalytic convert working or hot enough to run efficiently. It may also load up the catalytic converter with fuel that could lead to an early demise of the catalytic converter."

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
18,765

PS: fleet vehicles are built for this type of duty, so that is why they tend to track engine and/or idle hours, I don't see the necessity in a regular-use vehicle, but with everything so computerized, probably wouldn't be that hard to add.

15,675

KenF, this is interesting, so, cars like the Prius and other hybrid cars with start and stop engine technology, those cars are not subject to the same kinds of stresses because they're shutting down and this saves wear and tear on their engines, thus resulting in longer duty cycles. Does this make sense to you.

15,675

T_S_T, don't know why, but that estimate of 350 to 400 hours for 100,000 miles surprises me. Why? Consider this, let's assume an average speed of 60 miles per hour and divide this into 1,000 miles, which would give you 16.6 hours of driving. Next, let's assume that you only consider 50,000 miles, and, if you multiply this 16.66 by 50, you would have 833 hours, and we have not even factored in the city traffic of the other 50,000 miles and the idling in traffic. Do you see what I mean. Or, am I missing something here?

3,260

To your prior point: NO! The worse thing to do is to cycle thermodynamically by having auto-shutoff. Sophisticated electro- mechanical systems want to run isothermally. Turning them on and off wears them out more quickly...just like light bulbs and switch contacts.

3,260

So I see you picked up on my prior assertion that clock hours are FAR more important than odometers for "guessing" wear. No doubt there's an educated consensus here....

18,765

I know in the trucking industry and fleet vehicle maintenance they do pay more attention to engine hours/idle hours then mileage to get a better picture of when to perform engine maintenance. Use mileage to determine when to perform maintenance on the suspension/wheels, engine hours for engine/trans maintenance. High idle hours are tracked as that can be another maintenance issue, namely build up of moisture/condensate and volatiles in the crankcase and other places (like the cat). I'm sure this type of detailed tracking could be useful in smaller cars in regards to maintenance. You could also track fuel consumption as well to determine intervals for maintenance.

3,260

Ken, I like the fuel-ometer idea. Ern

18,765

Volvo trucks do it now, even measures fuel consumption at idle versus fuel consumption under load, with all the computerization going on would probably not be hard to extend this type of tracking to small cars. I think the biggest hurdle is that car makers try to keep their unit costs down, every nut and bolt is designed to minimize costs, so adding a big feature like more gauges or sending units would increase costs. You know it'll come down to the bean counters to decide if they can sell this type of feature.

3,260

Can you imagine the horrors this would do to the consumer market? Valuation is strictly assessed by age and mileage. You'd have folks turning their cars off at stop lights just to reduce depreciation! Ha.

15,675

Oh wow! So, what you're saying is all these cars that have the stop, start technology designed to save gas are more likely than regular cars that continue running will wear out their engines faster?

15,675

Here's an interesting question, do you think it's easier for a car to log 200,000 miles in the first three years of its life than 200,000 over 15 years? It seems like this very likely is the case since I've talked with some taxi and Uber drivers with 235,000 miles on their three or four years old Prius vehicles.

15,675

Well, over the years they've added so many features to cars, maybe you are old enough to remember that cars in the 60s mostly featured a radio, heater, power steering and automatic transmission. Now the bar has been raised substantially, with all electrics, dual climate control, navigation, pre-collision braking, etc. No wonder cars have increased in price so much. Most cars today cost as much as homes from the 60s. Inflation helped this along as well, but, certainly all the bells and whistles had an impact. SO, it's not inconceivable about this extra added gauge on engine hours, but, it would change the culture on how cars age! Not sure everyone would be ready for that.

3,260

Yes. Longevity is being compromised for small fuel eco via start-stop frequency.

15,675

I found this online, one would hope that they had this covered in the new technology? I really don't know. http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/stop-start-long-term- impact-your-car-s-engine

15,675

Apparently, not everyone is in agreement on this, see picture,

15,675

An article from Edmunds, says that it's not hard on the engine, but, it is on the battery and starter, see this,

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

  • What's an old car? Years or Mileage 11 answers

    So, what defines an old or older car, years or mileage? Some people would rather have a "rare" cream puff that's 20 years old with 80.000 miles or a much newer 5 year old car with 80.000 miles. ...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • Do you care more about fuel mileage or total mileage on the clock? 17 answers

    Which of these items are more important to you?

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • DO YOU THINK SUBARU OUTBACKS DEPRECIATE MORE SLOWLY THAN OTHER MODELS? 4 answers

    From what I've seen online, these wagons hold their value, so, it makes sense to keep them running a long time and fix repairs which seems like the least expensive thing to do vs. replace the v...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • WHAT IS HIGH MILEAGE? 11 answers

    Are you more concerned about the mileage or how old your car is? Do you clock more freeway or city miles? Does it really matter as long as you maintain your vehicle? With proper care, cars can ...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    General

  • Does mileage really matter?? 4 answers

    Once you have passed 15 years, the mileage on your car's odometer is insignificant to the car's value.. So, if you want to get 300,000 miles from your car, just drive it everywhere. And, ju...

    2010 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

    -

    Maintenance & Repair

Outback

Looking for a Used Outback in your area?

CarGurus has 26,614 nationwide Outback listings starting at $500.

ZIP:

Search Subaru Outback Questions

UK Questions

Are you a UK consumer? CarGurus now has a discussion forum in the UK.

Subaru Outback Experts

#1 Markw1952
Markw1952
Reputation 5,260
#2 TheSubaruGuruBoston
TheSubaruGuruBoston
Reputation 1,590
#3 FordNut
FordNut
Reputation 1,490
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Forester
303 Great Deals out of 21,958 listings starting at $1,290
Used Subaru Impreza
168 Great Deals out of 11,163 listings starting at $1,899
Used Subaru Legacy
210 Great Deals out of 15,231 listings starting at $950
Used Honda CR-V
882 Great Deals out of 63,754 listings starting at $1,100
Used Toyota RAV4
748 Great Deals out of 55,167 listings starting at $2,488
Used Toyota 4Runner
378 Great Deals out of 20,766 listings starting at $2,495
Used Toyota Highlander
576 Great Deals out of 22,628 listings starting at $2,944
Used Toyota Tacoma
731 Great Deals out of 31,912 listings starting at $2,750
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
936 Great Deals out of 66,509 listings starting at $300
Used Subaru Impreza WRX
49 Great Deals out of 1,140 listings starting at $1,500
Used Honda Accord
984 Great Deals out of 75,076 listings starting at $899
Used Honda Pilot
505 Great Deals out of 18,416 listings starting at $950
Used Toyota Camry
1,203 Great Deals out of 96,015 listings starting at $1,250

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
7,037 listings starting at $30,750
2016 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
12 Great Deals out of 301 listings starting at $26,488
2015 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
25 Great Deals out of 412 listings starting at $17,999
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
17 Great Deals out of 474 listings starting at $13,615
2013 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited For Sale
8 Great Deals out of 367 listings starting at $10,995