Customers Ask Honest-1: Right now, my car is a bit over 77,000 miles and I am planning on doubling, even tripling, that mileage in the future. What are some things I can do to keep my older car running and performing at its best?
Interestingly enough, we are seeing more and more cars reaching odometer readings well over the 100,000 mile mark and some over the 200,000 mile mark.
As a car owner of an older car, there are things you can do right now to ensure that your car will keep running smoothly, safely and efficiently! However, being diligent about your car care and maintenance is an integral part of that plan. Here are just 5 ways you can keep your older car performing at its best.
- Preventive Care and Maintenance: It is safe to say that customers with the most miles on their cars perform consistent maintenance services and follow a routine maintenance schedule. Staying on top of issues before they become costly repairs adds to longevity. Regular maintenance is "the key to the automotive fountain of youth," says Tom Torbjornsen, author of "How to Make Your Car Last Forever."
- Consider Changing to a High Mileage Oil: Motor oil was developed to lubricate the moving parts of internal combustion engines, prevent corrosion, act as an engine coolant, and serve as a cleaning agent. High mileage motor oil was developed specifically for cars with more than 75,000 miles. The additives in high mileage oil are what set it apart from other motor oils. These special additives include seal conditioners and cleaning additives. High mileage oil offers a variety of benefits, centered on the four major reasons for engine failure: sludge, deposits, leaks and friction. The seal conditioner added to these oils helps prevent leaks; the cleaning additives prevent sludge and deposit buildup better than traditional oils.
- Change Your Timing Belt: Timing belt replacement is the “must-do” service operation which every car owner should know about. If a car has a timing belt, most owner’s manuals will indicate a mileage of anywhere from 50,000 to 90,000 miles. Car damage from a belt that has gone too long and ruptured can not only cause an immediate unexpected breakdown but thousands of dollars in repairs or in some cases complete engine failure.
Timing belt replacement can be labor intensive. Since the water pump is usually accessed in the same operation you might consider replacing the pump at the same time even if it doesn’t leak. You will save on labor and possibly prevent a pump replacement later on that will also necessitate the belt to be replaced again.
To avoid subsequent failure consider replacing pulleys and tensioners that are part of the timing belt system. All components are sometimes sold as a kit and can be less expensive than purchasing them individually.
- Keep up With Fluid Changes: Most people follow a regular oil change schedule, but are less likely to remember when to change and flush other important fluids like brake, power steering, coolant and transmission. Your service manual requires these services be performed at regular intervals however depending on driving habits, climate and frequency of short trips vs. long trips; these services may need to be performed more often. Having an expert technician checking these fluids every oil change is key.
General service recommendations are the following:
- Brake flush: Every 30,000 miles
- Power Steering Flush: Every 30,000 miles
- Coolant Flush: Every 30,000 miles
- Transmission Flush: Every 30,000 miles
- Fuel Injection Service: Every 15,000 miles
Don’t Wait: Use your eyes, ears and nose to tell if something is just not right with your car. Listen for sounds that are atypical, look under the car for leaks, smell the fluids for unusual odors. If for any reason, you think something is just not right, bring your car in right away for an inspection. Waiting can cause even more problems and costly repairs.
Cars are built to last. Keep your car maintained and functioning at its best by coming to Honest-1 and letting us develop a maintenance plan that is right for you and your car! Call us today and we would be happy to help!