The Hummer is sturdy and built to last. But can it last up to 300,000 miles as some users claim? Let’s find out in this piece.
So how long do Hummers last?
Hummers can last a very long time as they are built for rough weather and conditions. When properly cared for a Hummer can typically run 300,000-500,000 miles.
Many people have got over 300,000 miles out of their H2s and H3 and plan to continue driving the truck until gasoline becomes gold.
If you only drive your Hummer on the road and use the correct tires, it can serve you for as long as you want. But heavy off-roading and driving fast strains the truck and reduces its useful life.
Below, we look at the longevity of the H1, H2, and H3.
How Long Can a Hummer H1 Last?
The H1 with the longest mileage on record has over 758,000 miles on the odometer. The user, Randy G. of Alaska uses the truck for tuff racing. It’s a 1993 4-door hardtop.
There are many users who have over 500,000 miles on the truck and plan to keep it until the wheels come off.
If you go through the archives of Hummer forums, it is astonishing what you will find. The Hummer H1 is a solid vehicle if you do periodic maintenance and don’t have unnecessary expectations of the vehicle.
Many of the users who have over 100k miles on the truck report they have had no major issues with the vehicle. So long as you take care of your Hummer, it will deliver reliable performance on and off the road.
Despite the bad press and poor reputation of the Hummer, real users don’t complain. However, some model years have issues such as the cracking engine block and HVAC issues. If your model does not have any manufacturing defects and you maintain it properly, the H1 can last forever.
Considering that there are H1s produced in 1992 on the roads, you can expect your Hummer to last for over 30 years.
How Long Can a Hummer H2 Last?
While Hummer haters castigate the powerful truck, many owners of the H2 can’t trade it for any other vehicles.
As of 3/11/19, Ryan H. of West Chester, PA has put a whopping 395,418 on his 2003 H2.
Another owner named Allan N. of Georgia had 347,000 miles on his 2005 H2. He said the truck performed excellently for the whole time but had to change the power steering pump at 300k miles.
And there is Brooke B. of Tampa, FL who has over 300,878 miles on his 2005 H2. He only had to change the transmission at 150k and the power steering box, master cylinder and brake booster at 300,000 miles.
Several people who keep their H2s get extremely long years from the original components. This is a testament to the quality of engineering requirements and specifications used to build the vehicle. There are thousands of H2s on the road and the trails and people still buy them to this day.
These trucks will feature prominently in the future as ardent Hummer lovers take good care of their vehicles.
Even if GM and AMG don’t bring the Hummer back, you can expect to squeeze out up to 10 more years from a well maintained pre-owned H2.
The H2 has excellent resilience. And most of the model years don’t have any major factory defects. You will get reliable performance from them with regular maintenance.
How Long Can a Hummer H3 Last?
The H3 has a lot of up-to-date data to support it. The vehicle is said to be rated for 300,000 miles. Judging by the performance of its predecessors, you can easily get more than 300k miles on the H3.
In fact, as of September 2016, Hummer Network member Bert B. of New Jersey reported his 2006 H3 had 297,100 miles on the odometer. He faced no major issues with the truck and it delivers like new.
However, some model years of the H3 are problematic and you may need expensive repairs to get them past 150k mile. The most notorious of the H3s is the 2006 model. It suffers from myriad issues, many of which are factory defects.
Many disgruntled H3 owners have reported blown head gaskets, cracked and leaky cylinders, weak ring and pinion, and so many problems.
If you plan to buy an H3, go for one with over 100k miles. At that point, the former owners should have sorted any problems facing the truck. And avoid early model H3s if you can. Not all 2006 models have issues, but many owners were not happy with the truck’s performance.
If you can get a Hummer H3 with excellent maintenance records, nothing will stop you from pushing it past 300k miles. But you have to be a conscious user. Except you buy the Adventure trim, H3s are best used on the road.
The H3 might be smaller than other Hummer models, but it is superior to most SUVs. It is sturdier, more powerful and can conquer more challenging terrains. So 300k miles and beyond is feasible on a well-maintained H3.
How Does the Hummer Compare to Regular Vehicles Regarding Longevity?
Most trucks in the Hummer’s class including the Chevy Silverado, RAM1500, Jeep Gladiator, GMC Sierra Nevada, and Ford F-350 have impressive longevity.
If you buy a new pickup truck such as the Silverado or F-350, you can expect up to 250,000 miles with little trouble on petrol-powered versions. You can get over 350,000 miles from diesel-powered trucks and even more based on the work the vehicle does.
These figures are similar to what most people get on their Hummers. And there are many cases where Hummers deliver over 500,000 miles for over 25 years.
Many regular trucks are workhorses but the Hummer wasn’t designed to haul trailers or boats. So you can expect even more useful life from a Hummer with regular maintenance and moderate use.
What Is the Cost of Maintaining a Hummer?
The Hummer is surprisingly affordable to maintain despite its gas-guzzling and maintenance-intensive reputation.
According to publicly available information, it costs an average of $1500 to $2500 per year to maintain a Hummer H1. This can vary based on the model year, use habits, location, and other factors.
You can reduce the maintenance cost to the barest minimum if you DIY the repairs and buy the spares.
An H2 costs an average of $745 to maintain annually. Again, you can reduce the maintenance expenses if you do it yourself. Some repairs require specialist skills and equipment, so those expenses are inevitable. But it pays if you can do the bulk of the work and outsource only the most difficult parts.
According to Repairpal.com, the annual maintenance cost of the H3 is $621. The H3 is the smallest and is easier to DIY because it shares many parts with regular GM trucks.
Taking care of your Hummer is easy. So long as you carry out regular maintenance when due, you won’t have any major issues.
Are Hummer Spare Still Parts Available?
You can still get every Hummer part from the OEM and aftermarket suppliers. Even the parts of the earliest Hummer H1s are available on Amazon at affordable prices.
Hummers share many components with trucks such as the Silverado, Escalade, Suburban, Tahoe, and many others. Except you need OEM parts, everything you need to keep your Hummer going for thousands of miles is readily available.
That said, the 2006 H1 Alpha is a bit of an outlier. It has a bigger and more powerful Duramax Diesel engine, newer suspension and other parts that may be difficult to buy on the aftermarket. This makes the H1 Alpha a bit more expensive to maintain. But it compensates for that with its exceptional performance and reliability.
For more information on Hummer spare parts, check out our comprehensive article on the topic.
How Long Do Hummer Engines Last?
The most important factor that affects the longevity of Hummer engines is their fuel. Diesel engines are rated to last far longer than gas motors so you can expect more mileage on your diesel Hummer.
The first H1s used a 6.2L V8 designed by Detroit Diesel. It’s arguably one of the best diesel engines ever made but it was still underpowered for the over 8000 pound H1.
The turbocharged 6.5 diesel replacement improved torque but the biggest improvement came with the 2006 H1 Alpha which featured a powerful Duramax Diesel 6.6 engine.
With modest maintenance, a diesel engine can do 6000 to 8000 hours before you need any major overhaul. The Duramax can cover 100,000 miles and have less than 4000 hours on it.
The H1 model years 95 and 96 also used the popular Chevy 350 gas motor. The small-sized Chevy 350 engine is one of the most reliable motors ever built. Many people have used the engine for over 900,000 miles. You only need to take care of the motor and be gentle with it to get those mind-blowing mileages.
You can get more life from your Hummer engine by driving it at a decent pace. Idling your engine can also cause damage and leaving the oil unchanged can wreak the motor.
4 Typical Problems with Old Hummers
Old Hummers seldom have issues except they lack regular maintenance. These vehicles are built to last and get better with age. Many Hummers suffer from factory defects which become apparent long after you start using them. By the time you cross the 80k to 100k mile, most of the issues would be resolved.
However, here are things to look out for.
1) Cracked Cylinder No. 8
In the H1s produced between 1997 and 2000, there is a high chance of experiencing a cracked engine block. The problem was a manufacturing defect from GM’s plants.
AMG upgraded many of the affected vehicles under warranty. However, low mileage H1s from that production run may still have the defective engine.
If you plan to buy or own a 97, 98, 99, or 2000 model year H1, check that the engine has been replaced or repaired to correct that fault. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a cracked engine and an expensive overhaul.
Also, you can experience cylinder issues including leaks, cracks, worn valves and other issues that may cost you thousands of dollars in repairs. Many of these problems are avoidable with regular maintenance and a genuine care for your Hummer.
2) Transmission and Brake Booster
At over 100k miles, your Hummer may need a new transmission and brake box. This can be later if you only use it moderately on the road. However, speed freaks and heavy off-roaders burn through the tranny and brakes more quickly. You may also need to change the rack and pinion, pitman arms and other parts in the undercarriage.
3) Electrical Issues
The H2 does not have any major manufacturing defects, but you may experience some electrical issues.
The speedometer may stop working after some time. You may also need to change the windshield wiper circuit board, the tachometer, door lock switch, power mirror, and others. In some cases, the radiator can develop problems, the HVAC system may have issues and the turbo may not work as it should.
4) Severe Engine Issues
This is common in the early edition H3s. The 2006 H3 had multiple factory defects that were repaired under warranty. A low mileage H3 from that time may have many unresolved issues that can manifest at any time.
Users of the early H3s complain a lot about blown head gaskets, leaky cylinders, leaky valves, misfiring engines, engine running rough even in idling and others.
Before you buy an H3, we advise that you see a detailed maintenance log to have a good understanding of the truck’s issues. However, late-model H3s are excellent regarding reliability and performance and many proud owners still get the best out of them.
Which Hummer Model is the Most Durable?
Hummers are powerful, but they are not created equal. The three models have some years that had everything users wanted and more.
2006 H1 Alpha
Many people consider the H1 Alpha as the best Hummer from AM General. This powerful vehicle delivered unbelievable performance on the pavement and off-road.
The H1 Alpha featured a beastly Duramax diesel for exceptional torque and speed, an Allison transmission, and a bigger Sheppard steering gearbox. It also had heftier shafts, bigger disk brakes, and shared only the control arms with the 2004 H1 edition.
The H1 Alpha had a bigger 51-gallon fuel tank, improved heating and AC, excellent creature comforts and a badass exterior. In all ramifications, the truck was the best of the Hummer H1 regarding ruggedness, reliability, and comfort.
The 98 edition of the H1 was also a hit. The technology supporting the Hummer vehicles had matured. This allowed the 98 H1 to escape all the defects noticed in previous model years.
Also, the 98 H1 was the last H1 to use the venerable Torsen I differential which gave the truck excellent traction in off-road conditions.
The truck featured exceptional sound insulation, more comfortable interior and delivered off and on the road.
GM’s Hummer H2 was a winner in all aspects, although it drank fuel like water. The 08/09 editions are the best in terms of comfort, reliability, and smoothness of ride. These model years featured a new 6-speed transmission, cushier interior, and a bigger 6.2 engine with over 400 horsepower.
The 08/09 H2 had better fuel economy, over 70 horsepower than their predecessors and a smoother transmission. And they don’t lack any off-roading capabilities of the earlier editions although some people considered them tamer.
08/09 H3 Adventure Package
These model years are probably the best of the H3. They don’t suffer from the wanton factory defects of the 2006 H3.
The Adventure package comes with exceptional off-roading capabilities without sacrificing on-road performance. If you plan extreme off-roading, get one with front and rear lockers, and front differentials.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Hummer
Here are tips to keep your Hummer going for longer.
- Change the oil as at when due
- Service the brakes regularly
- Replace faulty spark plugs and tune up the engine
- Check the transmission fluid and other lubricants and flush as recommended
- Watch out for the shocks and struts
- Maintain the undercarriage regularly if the vehicle sees heavy off-roading
- Ensure the steering works perfectly
- Check that all electrical systems work normally
- Ensure water does not enter electrical circuits
- Use the correct tires
- Go easy on the throttle when driving the Hummer-it’s not designed for speed
- Take care of your Hummer-it is not a work truck so don’t abuse it
The Hummer is an extremely reliable vehicle. It retains some of its military heritage and can provide reliable performance for decades.
However, you need to do your part regarding handling, regular maintenance and gentle care. If you treat your Hummer right, it can serve you for many decades.