How Long Do Ford Mustangs Last (on Average)?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

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If you own America’s favorite Pony, you may wonder, “How long do Mustangs last?”

As it turns out, there are a lot of factors that go into how long your Mustang will last. It can prove challenging to pinpoint an exact number.

However, it’s possible to review how long Mustangs last on average. This number, however, can vary drastically depending on the car’s usage and other factors.

These factors might include mileage or environmental conditions. In fact, there are many things that can affect the lifespan of a Mustang. Here, we’ll also go over a common problem associated with Mustang cars.

To learn more about how long Mustangs last, keep reading.

The Ford Mustang: An American Great

The Ford Mustang is iconic. From the early 60s to today, it’s one of the most enjoyed cars for generations.

With each generation, Ford reimagines this popular sports car. Nevertheless, it continues to retain its identity. No matter the year, a Mustang is easily recognizable.

In 2022, Ford plans to relaunch the briefly discontinued sports car favorite. The seventh-generation Ford Mustang S650 will once again wow drivers across the nation.

Ford has even developed an electric SUV version of the popular vehicle called the Ford Mustang Mach E. However, you’re more likely concerned with learning more about the Mustang you’ve already purchased.

Overall, people know Mustang cars for their powerful engines. They’re a favorite among muscle car and speed enthusiasts for this reason.

Ford Mustangs are also famous for their agility. It’s not a rare sight to see one speeding by you on a winding highway or whipping down a lesser-traveled back road.

The only drawback to the Mustang is its poor wintertime handling. It’s also a gas-guzzling beast. Nevertheless, it delivers a mind-blowing performance on the highway and the drag strip.

Still, Ford Mustangs are exceptionally durable. Yet, they require TLC just like any other vehicle.

The Best Ford Mustangs

The Ford SVT Mustang Cobra R was one of the coolest Mustangs to hit production. In fact, it’s very likely one of the hottest Mustangs ever made. The manufacturer only produced 300 units.

The Mustang Cobra R was also known as the “Boss of All Bosses.” It’s still one of the most coveted cars ever made.

It featured a 385 HP V-8 engine. It also had a six-speed manual transmission.

In a first for Mustangs, it featured an independent rear suspension. In its day, it dominated local racetracks.

Meanwhile, the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was a horsepower legend. It put out a massive 662 HP, winning the horsepower wars of its generation.

However, the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca had a bit more class. It mimicked its previous generation Cobra R cousin.

The Boss 302 Laguna was a road racer. It featured adjustable shocks.

It also came with upgraded brakes, wheels and tires. What’s more, its engine put out an admirable 440 HP.

This Mustang wasn’t nearly as fast in the quarter-mile or on the track. It relied more heavily on its handling capabilities. With these traits, however, the Mustang Boss 302 Laguna made easy work of many European competitors on tight tracks.

How Long Do Mustangs Last?

You might wonder, “How long do Ford Mustangs last?”

On average, you can expect your Ford Mustang to last about 200,000 miles. With proper care, however, it can last even longer.

For instance, one Mustang GT owner managed to squeeze 300,000 miles out of his ride with only a clutch repair during the entire life of the car. In another instance, a Mustang owner managed to get 40,000 miles out of their vehicle with no major repairs, although they probably handle it with kid gloves.

Anybody would love for their Mustang to last two, or even three, times as much as the average vehicle. However, most people will find that their Mustangs will eventually start to experience trouble like any other car.

A Telltale Sign Of Mustang Trouble

With time and exposure to the elements, any car will start to rust. With Mustangs, that unfortunate date typically comes 10 to 12 years after production. Most often, Mustang owners find rust on the hood and the rear axle.

Like many vehicle manufacturers, Ford doesn’t apply an undercoating to the Mustang. Here’s where you can squeeze a little extra life out of your Mustang as a vehicle owner. If you buy a new Mustang, have it treated with an undercoating before driving it.

Alternatively, you may have already noticed rust on your rear axle. In this case, treating your beloved Mustang to wax and undercoating will slow down the spread of the rust.

In another scenario, Ford produced some Mustangs with a manufacturing defect. The hood would start to develop rust three years after the vehicle rolled off the assembly line.

Fortunately, if you purchased one of these vehicles, you were invited to take your Mustang to the dealer. They most likely replaced the hood, making your Mustang look like new once again.

Are Mustangs Reliable?

Just because you pay top dollar for a vehicle doesn’t mean that it’s reliable. There are a lot of factors that you should assess when trying to figure out the reliability of the car—the Mustang is no exception.

When assessing the reliability of a car, most people consider things such as fuel economy and insurance premiums. Of course, if you’re a Mustang enthusiast, these points are the last things on your mind.

Still, you want to know about the cost of maintaining the vehicle. You need to research the exact make and model of your Mustang to get a good idea of the actual maintenance cost.

Mustangs are relatively reliable compared to most vehicles. In reliability testing, the vehicle ranks a little higher than average than most vehicles.

There are a few things that will contribute to how much it costs to keep your Mustang going each year. It may cost you a little over $700 each year for basic vehicle maintenance if you own a Mustang.

In this sense, the vehicle is cheaper to maintain compared to other cars. Still, the cost of maintenance for your Mustang will vary.

Again, it will depend on your make and model. Maintenance costs will also vary depending on your driving habits and the driving environment.

Get The Most Out Of Your Mustang

At the same time, Mustangs are expensive to maintain. Performance bias drives up the maintenance costs for any sports car.

If you drive your Mustang normally, then you might pay the previously mentioned $700 a year to keep it going. However, Mustangs are known for their strength and speed. If you drive a Mustang as intended, you’re going to pay more for maintenance, as parts will wear out faster.

Here, we’ll cover the basic expenses of keeping your Mustang going under normal driving conditions. In other words, if you take your Mustang out for weekend quarter-mile heats at the local track, you’ll probably pay quite a bit more to keep it going.


On average, Mustang brakes last 25,000 to 30,000 miles. You’ll get this range out of your brake pads if you take it easy. When it’s time for a replacement, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $450 for new brake pads.


With proper maintenance, your Mustang battery should last from 4 to 7 years. You want to make sure to start the car every day, even if you don’t drive it. When it comes time to replace your battery, you might pay between $150 and $200 for a new battery, including labor.


Stock Mustang tires might last from 15,000 to 25,000 miles. You can make them last longer, however, if you rotate them with every oil change.


Most Mustang transmissions last an average of 120,000 miles. The cost to replace the transmission will vary depending on whether you have an automatic or manual transmission.

The cost will also vary based on your location and the shop that you choose to replace the transmission. Here, exceptional bargaining skills are also helpful.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are relatively inexpensive. If you choose to have a garage do the job for you, however, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $200. In either case, you want to change your spark plugs every 100,000 miles, as recommended by the manufacturer.

Making Your Mustang Last

A few tips and tricks may help you get more life out of your Mustang.

Firstly, you want to park your Mustang indoors if possible. This habit will head off that pesky rust problem. You’ll also want to give your Mustang an occasional good waxing.

You can also make your tires last longer. Try to keep them away from the sun whenever possible, especially in the summer.

Also, it’s important to check your fluids regularly. Furthermore, it’s critical to make regularly scheduled visits to the mechanic if you want your Mustang to last as long as possible.

Other Factors Affecting Mustang Life Cycle

These numbers are estimates of the Ford Mustang lifespan under normal conditions. However, there are other things that will impact the lifespan and maintenance costs of your vehicle.

For instance, the transmission and options used for your make and model Mustang might also affect the life span of your vehicle. Likewise, the configuration and trim level of your vehicle will affect how long various features might last.

For example, where you live will affect how much the climate does or does not damage your vehicle. Also, routine driving conditions will affect the longevity of your Mustang.

Things That Are Good For Your Mustang

The way that you use your Mustang has a lot to do with how long it will last. In general, the harder you drive it, the more maintenance it will need.

Like any vehicle, Mustangs love warm, temperate weather. They also enjoy gentle cruising commutes on the highway.

It’s also helpful if you drive your Mustang on smooth, level roads. Ideally, you also want to avoid driving your Mustang on salted roads.

Things That Are Bad For Your Mustang

Conversely, you want to keep your Mustang away from extreme heat or cold. You also want to avoid frequent short trips as well as stop-and-go traffic.

Again, salted roads are no friend of your Mustang. You’ll also want to stay away from steep hills. Likewise, potholes will do very little to help extend the life of your vehicle.

Is Your Mustang Ready For Greener Pastures?

Most Mustang owners love their cars. However, all things must come to an end. For example, you may have been in an accident in your beloved Mustang.

Alternatively, you may find that it costs more to fix your Mustang than you paid for it. In these cases, you may wonder whether you can still sell your car.

In these instances, yes—you can salvage your car to get any remaining value out of it. Firstly, you’ll need to check out the Kelly Blue Book price.

You’ll also want to check the value of your car with the National Automobiles Dealer’s Association Used Car Guide. You’ll add the two values and divide them by two.

Now, you can find the salvage value of the vehicle. You’ll want to contact your insurer for this figure.

Typically, they’ll quote you about 75% of the value that you came up with originally. If it will cost you more to fix the car than you can make salvaging it, it’s most likely time to let it go.

Get The Most For Your Car

Now you know more about the answer to the question “How long do Mustangs last?” You’ve also learned how to figure out when your Mustang has reached the end of its life cycle. On a bright note, if you find a great salvage deal, you can always put it towards Ford’s upcoming reinvention of the nation’s favorite muscle car.

If your Mustang has reached the end of its life cycle, Cash Auto Salvage is a trusted name in auto recycling. We buy cars, trucks, and SUVs of all makes and models.

We’ll even remove your vehicle for free. What’s more, we always pay top dollar!

Call Cash Auto Salvage today at (855) 922-3095 or connect with us online for an instant offer.

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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