How long should a truck engine last?

Truck engines can last a very, very long time. We’ve witnessed both petrol and diesel truck engines safely rack up over 1,000,000 kilometres over the past 30 years – including Deutz engines, Mercedes engines, Scania engines and DAF engines.

Key to the long-term reliability of truck engines is maintenance. We haven’t found a truck engine yet with a mileage in excess of 500,000 kilometres that hasn’t kept up with its manufacturer recommended service periods. Spark plus, glow plugs, oil and oil filters, engine coolant and air filters all need replacing at timely intervals to ensure the smooth running of an engine. And without such maintenance, a truck engine will not last as long as it could, because dirty and older parts break down and ruin the operational efficiency of the engine. Perhaps the most important thing a truck engine needs is regular oil changes, which depending on the mileage of the truck, could be as often as every few months.

With timely maintenance, a truck engine should last over 500,000 kilometres. Without timely maintenance, a truck engine may still exceed this mileage, but it won’t be able to outlive a similarly maintained engine. So if fleet operators or drivers have extremely high mileage trucks, it really is worth it to keep up with maintenance.

Used truck engines

Compared to buying a new or reconditioned engine, used truck engines are very cost-effective. If you are looking at buying a used truck engine, it’s definitely worth considering that 500,000 kilometres is not considered to be a high mileage on a truck engine. We’ve seen engines with a much higher mileage than this serve drivers extremely well in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet, such as the dessert, and the simple fact is this - truck engines can run for more than 1,000,000 kilometres if they are well looked after.

So if you are looking at buying a used truck engine, try to find one that has a service history and one which visually looks sound. This way, you can be sure that the used truck engine you buy will serve you well. And if you happen to find a used truck engine that needs a little TLC, a simple service can work wonders.

  • How long should a truck engine last?