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Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks have a reputation for reliability. But among Tacomas, one specific second-generation truck truck is a legend. Mike Neal’s 2008 Tacoma has 1.5 million miles and is still going strong!

Mike Neal drives 500 miles every day

Front of a 2008 Toyota Tacoma truck in front of a row of trees.
2008 Toyota Tacoma | Auto Jeff Reviews via Youtube

The owner of the 1.5-million-mile Tacoma drives it for work. Mike Neal  delivers the nuclear medicine taken by cancer patients before PET scans. His job requires driving around 500 miles a day to various locations in Virgina and North Carolina.

Not only did Mike Neal need a vehicle that could stand up to his insane daily mileage, but it couldn’t be a compact car: he delivers the nuclear medicine in heavy, lead-lined containers.

In November, 2007, Mike Neal ordered a very specific vehicle: a 2008 Toyota Tacoma with an automatic transmission and four cylinder inline engine.

This famous Toyota Tacoma just won’t quit

Tailgate of a blue pickup truck with a 1,521,992 god-blessed miles sticker.
1.5-million-mile Tacoma tailgate | Auto Jeff Reviews via Youtube

Folks who drive as much as Neal may be used to running their vehicles into the ground. So after Neal bought his new Tacoma, he kept up with the maintenance and hoped for the best. But in the end, his Tacoma exceeded all reasonable expectations.

At around 600,000 miles, Neal’s friend suggested he make a humble brag out of his mileage. Neal didn’t think anyone would care, but he eventually acquiesced and wrote out the following with stickers on his tailgate: “2008 Tacoma: _,___,___ God-Blessed Miles.”

Whenever Neal does his 10,000 mile (monthly) maintenance, he updates his tailgate sticker.

Now, people recognize Neal’s truck every time he returns to town. Sometimes they honk at him. Other times, they ask for pictures with the truck.

When Neal’s Toyota Tacoma finally hit 999,999 miles, he held his phone up to the dashboard and took a three-minute video hoping for it to roll over. Then he realized it was stuck at 999,999. Now, he uses his trip odometer to track every 10,000 mile interval. He keeps track of his overall mileage in his paperwork–and on his tailgate.

Mike Neal’s Toyota Tacoma maintenance schedule

Blue 2008 Toyota Tacoma in a city park.
2008 Toyota Tacoma | Auto Jeff Reviews via Youtube

One of the keys of Mike Neal’s Toyota Tacoma longevity is his preventative maintenance. Because he relies on his truck for work, he can’t afford to have it break down.

Firstly, Neal does monthly oil changes himself. Secondly, when his car is in the shop he has extra work done.

For example, Neal’s head gasket began to leak oil. By 800,000 miles his engine was burning more than an extra pint a week. Instead of just swapping the head gasket, Neal had his shop swap the entire engine.

Likewise, the 2008 Toyota Tacoma’s torque converter started to go at about 1 million miles. When Neal had his shop do the torque converter, he asked them to install a new transmission as well.

You might complain that with a new engine and new transmission, Mike Neal’s truck is no longer the same 2008 Toyota Tacoma. But its incredible that his first (and now second) engine both lasted nearly 800,000 miles. It’s as impressive that his transmission lasted 1 million miles. And incredibly, his suspension, steering, driveshaft, and axle components are all still going strong at 1.5 million miles.

See the 1.5-million-mile Tacoma yourself in the video below:


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