For most of us, it seems like the days of buying a new car every couple years are gone. The average age of a car driving on today’s roads is 10+ years. This shows that we are keeping our cars longer than ever. While today’s cars are designed to last longer than their predecessors, it still takes work to keep them running and ready to go, especially once the mileage hits 6 digits. Whether you are hanging on to your car for financial reasons or simply because you want to drive it until it dies, these tips will help you take care of your car so that it will make it to the 200,000 mile mark, and beyond.
Change the Oil On Time, Every Time
One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your car is change the oil when it is supposed to be changed, every time it needs to be changed. If you already have 6 digit plus mileage, ask your repair tech if you need to switch to oil made specifically for high mileage cars.
Follow the Maintenance Schedule
One of the other most important things you can do is to follow the recommended schedule of maintenance provided in your car’s owner’s manual. Keeping up with maintenance tasks will make your car last longer and help protect you from costly repairs.
Turn it Off
Some people believe that it is better to leave the car running than it is to turn it on and off when you will be sitting for longer than it takes for the red light to turn green. This is just not true. Running the engine without driving the car puts a lot of stress on the engine components and can cause them to break down more quickly than they normally would.
If you pay attention to your car, it will tell you when something is not working the way it is supposed to and this is incredibly important with a high mileage car. Listen for unusual noises, pay attention to strange smells, and make note of how it feels to drive the car. All of these things can provide clues that something isn’t working properly long before that problem becomes a major repair.
Take Care of Your Tires
You will have to replace your tires several times on your way to 200,000 miles but you still need to take good care of each set while they are on the car. Rotating your tires, keeping the wheels aligned, and checking the tread on a regular basis all help protect your tires and the other parts of the car they are attached to.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendations
While we already covered the need to follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule of maintenance and repairs, it is important to point out another recommendation you need to follow. Always use the type of gas and oil recommended by the manufacturer. This recommendation can also be found in the owner’s manual.