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How Long Do Ford Mustangs Last?

The Ford Mustang is one of the most easily-recognizable cars, thanks to its long body, sharp lines, and the infamous drag strip.

It has become one of the most popular cars on American roads, which is why a lot of high-performance vehicle fanatics have at least once considered whether it is worth purchasing this car.

When looking at buying a Ford Mustang, one of the most frequent questions asked is probably “how long do Mustangs last”?

The following article will provide you with a lot of insights into the longevity of a Mustang, any major problems to look out for, and the adequate maintenance to make your Mustang last.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Ford Mustang?

Generally, a Ford Mustang lasts for about 200,000 miles.

2022 Ford Mustang
2022 Ford Mustang

How long do the brakes last?

If driving mindfully and maintaining your brakes (i.e., inspecting your brake pads and exchanging your brake fluids regularly), the breaks will last about 25,000 to 30,000 miles.

How long do the tires last?

Your tires can last between 15,000 to 20,000 miles in general.

It is advisable to rotate your wheels with every oil change.

Keeping your tires out of extreme weather is also advised.

How long does the transmission last?

The Mustang transmissions are known to last usually for about 120,000 miles.

This differs, however, from having an automatic or manual transmission.

How long do spark plugs last?

This depends on how often you wish to exchange them.

However, it is recommended by Ford to exchange your spark plugs after every 100,000 miles.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Riley from Christchurch, New Zealand, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How long do Ford Mustang batteries last?

If you charge it regularly and keep your battery active by not letting your Mustang stand for month-long periods, your car battery can last between four to seven years in total.

How Soon Can You Expect Rust On a Ford Mustang?

Depending on the exposure to extreme weather, such as wintery conditions, like with other cars, they eventually tend to gather some rust.

It has been observed in most models that the first areas to show rust are usually the hood as well as the rear axle, and that happens about after 10 to 12 years.

In some extreme cases, the hood can start to rust already within the three-year warranty, but more on what to do about this a little later.

How Long Do Ford Mustangs Last Compared to Similar Cars?

The longevity of any car is dependent on your driving habits, as well as on your car maintenance schedule.

But in general, it is worth looking at similar powerful engines, i.e., comparing them to other sports cars, when trying to figure out which car has the longer and more reliable performance.

Ford mustang, 2000
No machine-readable author provided. Philipp Michel Reichold assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Here are three examples:

Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro

A Camaro comes with a just as powerful engine as a Mustang, which makes it similarly for 200,000 miles on average.

Ford Mustang vs. Mazda MX-5 Miata

Being just as sporty, the Miata convinces with a longevity of 250,000 miles on average.

Ford Mustang vs. BMW 2 Series

When it comes to longevity, thanks to the world-renowned German engineering and efficiency of the BMWs, they will last longer while delivering a similarly strong performance as the Mustang.

On average, the 2 Series will last for about 300,000 miles in total compared to the Mustang’s 200,000 miles on average.

What Are the Most Common Problems with Ford Mustang?

If kept in proper maintenance and treated well, Ford Mustangs should not give you any major issues throughout their lifespan.

2016 Ford Mustang GT
Chad Horwedel/Flickr, CC 2.0

However, as with any vehicle, there are some issues to consider, and you might experience trouble with the following:

  • Your Mustang does not enjoy wintery weather as this causes premature rust and makes driving less reliable
  • Being a high-performance car, you must expect high fuel consumption
  • Some drivers have complained about the car vibrating as soon as it crosses 60mph
  • Engine oil leaks due to broken gaskets have been recorded as a general issue.

Ford Mustang Recalls

Despite their mind-blowing performance, Ford Mustangs still have a record of high recall numbers amongst their peers.

Here is a list of each year Mustang models that had the most recalls since production began:

  • The 1995 model
  • The 1998 model
  • The 2005 to 2010 models
  • The 2012 Mustang
  • The 2015 model

Is It Costly to Maintain a Ford Mustang?

2019 Ford Mustang 5.0
Vauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yes, any high-performance sports car will be more expensive to maintain than your average car.

That is mainly due to their way higher performance bias.

However, thanks to spare parts being easy to get your hands on and therefore being less expensive, the Mustang is relatively inexpensive to maintain compared to other sports cars.

Most Mustang owners have reported car maintenance costs of about $750 per year on your average Mustang, excluding significant repairs.

How to Increase the Lifespan of Your Ford Mustang

Ultimately, how well you can manage to maintain your vehicle as well as your riding habits will determine how long your Mustang will last.

If you want to avoid rust, it is recommended to apply undercoating to the rear axle, as Ford, among other car manufacturers, does not do so.

Applying some wax before undercoating will likely resolve your issues if you are already struggling with rust.

If your hood has rusted within the three-year warranty period, you can go to any Ford Mustang dealership and get it replaced instantly.

In general, to avoid these issues and the shortened lifespan that comes with it, it is advisable to keep your car away from the snow and the tires out of the extreme sun at all times.

Parking it indoors will definitely help.

As mentioned above, not letting your car stand for too long and keeping the battery charged is absolutely advisable, just like regularly checking and exchanging all fluids.

Lastly, bring your vehicle for regular maintenance check-ups and services (read how often your Mustang should be serviced further below).

Ford Mustang Convertible, Model 1973
Lothar Spurzem, CC BY-SA 2.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

Is a Ford Mustang Worth It?

Ford Mustangs are renowned for their strong engines and are a favorite among those that like the thrill of the road; they are just as reliable cars as they are popular.

When trying to find out whether they are a good buy in general, the below list of FAQs should be helpful when figuring out whether getting yourself a Mustang is the right choice of vehicle.


How often should I get my Ford Mustang serviced?

In order to make your Ford Mustang last, you should stick to the routine maintenance of a 12 months service interval or the schedule below:

Each first 10,000 miles up to 30,000 miles you should bring your car in for regular inspections.

Thereafter, the next service will be after the first 100,000 mileage line and again after 150,000 miles.

Do Ford Mustangs hold their value?

As with every vehicle, it depends on the model year as well as on whether you are buying it completely new or used.

With every newly bought car, the depreciation value is obviously way higher than with used models.

The depreciation of Mustangs lies around 40% after 5 years, making them rank among the top 25 percent of the most popular cars when it comes to holding resale value.

1965 ford mustang

Is a Ford Mustang a reliable car?

The Mustang received four out of five available stars from JD Power when it comes to reliability.

So far, this car has not shown any major reliability issues in safety tests.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, Mustangs are powerful and fun vehicles, which will serve you well if you maintain them just as well.

Keeping it out of hectic weather conditions, starting it daily to maintain the battery, and taking it for the general required check-ups after the appropriate mileage will ensure that you get to enjoy this high-performance sports car for years to come.