Do engines actually die?
I haven't had much experience with gasoline engines past 200k km but do high milage cars actually have engine problems? I'd like to believe that they just depreciate a lot but don't end up being unmaintainable after like 250k km.
Context: mom's looking for a used car, won't buy anything with over 40k km....
>but do high milage cars actually have engine problems?
Generally no it depends on the engine though
The consumable stuff will always break down before the engine.
Suspention, Driveline etc.
With proper maintenance and operation, engines don't really die, they just start losing compression over time as things wear out.
Mechanical failures do happen, but usually engines I see at the shop that are old and worn out just have worn rings or bearings from 300,000 miles of daily use.
Engines have parts that wear out over time, if not maintained an engine could "die" if you never changed gaskets, oil, filters, etc. Then the moving parts will not function properly and something can go so wrong it's basically as good as dead.
40k km is nothing for a car, over 250-300k (or even 200k km) km you have to be cautious, especially depending on the brand and what car.
TLDR: Your mom is retarded and you should always make sure the car has been maintained/serviced properly.
most engines would easily do well over 300k's IF maintained properly. the problem is motherfuckers don't maintain shit properly. if you do the basics right like other anons have said, you'd be amazed how long even supposedly shitty vehicles will stay on the road.
i've owned several high mileage vehicles 200k+ and never had major issues or seen significant deterioration during my periods of ownership and i mostly contribute that to servicing on time every time, making sure potential issues are addressed promptly, and just using common sense.
the problem is as a vehicle ages, the market value of a vehicle inherently drops. as the value drops, people find it less and less worthwhile spending the money on maintenance because "why spend $300 fixing it when it's only worth $1000 anyway" every couple of years, or that kind of attitude. it's bullshit. would you rather spend $300 and have a legit vehicle again or would you rather spend a few grand for something a few years newer and do the same shit all over again a wee bit down the track. so they sell the vehicle cheap because it's got issues and people who buy cheap cars with issues tend to be even less likely to give a shit so the downward spiral continues, and at some point it dies.
that being said though, if you don't know how to wrench, or don't have friends who can help you with it, mechanics can be expensive, and people are apprehensive about that and there are a lot of shit mechanics out there who don't help the situation.