With gas prices continuing to rise, it is more important than ever to get every last drop of petroleum gold out of our vehicles. For commuter cars, highway riders, and drivers who put a lot of mileage on their vehicles, taking the time to give our vehicles a little TLC will pay off in the end by providing us with a few extra miles in the tank and in the engine. Here are a few ways to extend the life of your high-mileage vehicle.
1. Be Proactive Rather than Reactive
Being proactive rather than reactive is a good rule of thumb when it comes to vehicles. It makes financial sense to replace certain parts before they cause a breakdown. If you wait until the breakdown to occur, the damaged caused to other areas of the engine or vehicle can run thousands, whereas a routine replacement may have only been a few hundred dollars. Take note of the manufacturer’s recommendations on when things ought to be replaced and follow their direction.
2. Regular Maintenance
It's a no-brainer that regular maintenance is important for all vehicles, but fine-tuning is especially important for high-mileage vehicles. Regular maintenance for most vehicles includes changing the oil every 5,000 miles, transmission fluid every 30,000 miles, air filter every 15,000 miles, spark plugs every 60,000 miles, getting regular tune-ups, and so on. Don’t let minor sounds, vibrations, or uncommon occurrences go unnoticed; treat your car as you would the family pet.
3. Use High-Mileage Fluids
As the lifeblood of your vehicle, fluids are always important. But they're even more crucial for high-mileage vehicles. Once a vehicle reaches the 75,000 mile mark, it’s time to trade up and use a high-mileage blend of transmission fluid, oil and other fluids.
4. Follow the Owner's Manual
The manufacturers provide an owner’s manual for a reason. When a car reaches middle age, around 100,000 miles, the owner's manual is a treasure trove of information. Following the guidelines in your manual can help extend the life of the vehicle immensely.
5. Avoid Discount Oil
You get what you pay for when it comes to oil. A dirt-cheap oil change will save you a few bucks now, but it could end up costing you more in the long run. Technicians at discount oil change stations are usually inexperienced, and provide cheap work and cheap product. Get your oil changed at a dealership or full-service shop with good customer reviews.
In the old days, vehicles were only made to top around 100,000 miles. Cars and trucks that went past that were the exception. Today’s vehicles are made to cruise right past 100,000 miles with ease. With routine maintenance and a little TLC, modern vehicles can run 200,000 miles or more without major repairs.