So I drive a '97 Subaru Legacy with about 200,000 miles on it. Still runs like a charm, never gives me any trouble. Had the brakes, rotors, and calipers all replaced recently, tightened the power steering belt, replaced a tire...that's it.
But I know this can't go on forever. But I also don't understand why.
I can keep making $100-$800 fixes once or twice a year no trouble. That's fine. To the best of my knowledge, the only thing that could brake and be beyond my ability to repair is "the engine" or "the transmission," either of which costs thousands.
So this is a fairly open question-- how can I avoid deathly component breakdowns? What should I look out for, what precautions should I take, what should I have greased or oiled or replaced or shined up before it's too late, what can I do to prolong the life of the mysterious metal object known as "the engine," and also "the transmission"? Past the 200,000 mile mark, what's going to be problematic in the near future? And how much longer do I have, on estimate?
All advice is welcome. During college, anything beats buying a new car.