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StarBulletin.com

Pushing Oahu's odometer outer limits


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POSTED: Sunday, August 09, 2009

Here are Oahu's top cars as far as pushing the odometer limits go.

We invited you to tell us about your car in the June 1 “;Here's the Deal”; column called “;Odometer Outer Limits,”; and you responded.

We have everything from a Mazda to a Mercedes. Our top car went more than 377,000 miles, while our No. 5 car went more than 150,000 miles.

What you made clear is that with the right maintenance and care — but nothing out of the ordinary — you can drive a car well beyond 100,000 miles.

The No. 1 top car belongs to Melvin McKinney of Mililani. His 1984 Mercedes 500SEL has more than 377,000 miles on it and is still running smoothly.

“;I love my car because it's everything rolled into one — a sporty car, a family car and a high-performance car, and it looks good,”; said McKinney.

Although he's had to replace the battery and starter, McKinney says he's never had to do any major work on the engine. He changes the oil every 3,000 miles, uses premium gas and keeps it tuned up.

McKinney, an electronics technician for the Army at Schofield Barracks, bought the Mercedes in 1984 when he was stationed near Frankfurt, Germany.

He's driven it up to 140 miles an hour on Germany's autobahn but, of course, doesn't put that much speed on it these days during his regular commute from Mililani to Schofield Barracks.

The car has sentimental value, so he doesn't plan to part with it.

“;I bought the car right after my oldest son was born,”; said McKinney. “;I kind of raised my three sons in that car.”;

The Mercedes has traveled with McKinney on assignments ranging from Germany to Maryland, North Carolina, Colorado and, for the last three years, Hawaii. He's shooting for at least 500,000 miles.