If you have an older vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on it, you are far from alone. In fact, more and more often, drivers are using these high-quality, long-lasting vehicles on the roads. Luckily, keeping your ride in good working order doesn’t necessarily take a lot of time or money. By keeping up with routine car maintenance, you’ll save yourself a lot of money in the long run and help keep the chances of a larger issue at bay. Whether you’re the kind of driver who likes to do it yourself as much as possible or whether you depend on the experts to keep your vehicle running smoothly, take these eight tips into consideration when it comes to smart car maintenance for high-mileage vehicles.
1) Use High-Mileage Oil
Special additives in high-mileage oil are designed to give extra support to older engines, which often suffer from breakdown causes such as leaks, deposits, friction, and sludge. Many of today’s high-mileage oils contain substances such as anti-wear or friction-reducing agents that lessen engine wear. These additives are designed to boost performance and provide protection.
2) Schedule Frequent Oil Changes
Over time, dirt accumulates in your oil, which can clog the filters of your car and eventually cause more wear. In addition, all of the helpful additives in oil – friction-reducing agents, rust fighters, and more – will eventually wear down, meaning that your oil won’t lubricate the engine as well as it should. To make sure that your oil is doing its job properly, schedule an oil change every 3 months or every 3,000 miles, whichever comes first.
3) Give Your Fuel a Boost
Fuel injector cleaner liquid is both affordable and easy to use. Simply pour a bottle into your gas tank approximately every 3,000-5,000 miles to keep the system clean and efficient.
4) Get Fresh Brake Fluid
Most car maintenance experts recommend a brake system flush approximately every 60,000 miles. This service clears out the brake fluid, which, like oil, accumulates dirt and other contaminants over time. These accumulations reduce braking efficiency, so take your car to an expert for a brake system flush to remove older fluid and replace it with clean, new fluid.
5) Rotate the Tires
It’s smart to do a tire rotation every 10,000 miles in order to promote even wear and get the most out of your tires.
6) Check Transmission Fluid
Designed to be high-performance, transmission fluid is used to lubricate the gears and transmission of your car. Many models can make it to 80,000-100,000 miles with few concerns, but every vehicle has different needs, and this figure can change depending on your driving habits. Once you hit the six-figure mark, check the fluid at least every 30,000 miles and replace it when recommended by your mechanic.
7) Get an Alignment
A front-end alignment will not only make for a better ride but also help ensure normal wear and tear of many of your vehicle’s key parts. Experts recommend that you have your alignment checked with every other oil change.
8) Conduct Three Monthly Routine Inspections at Home
Finally, don’t forget to check three key factors on your vehicle each month: coolant level, tire pressure, and oil level. Markings on the side of the coolant and oil tanks will show you when the fluid levels are low, and you can use a tire pressure gauge to ensure that your tire pressure is standard for your vehicle, though most experts recommend that passenger cars tire pressure be between 32 and 35 PSI (pounds per square inch). If any of the three is low, simply pour in a little extra liquid or swing by the gas station air pump. Your vehicle will thank you for the monthly check-up!
The idea behind routine maintenance is to find and hopefully avoid bigger automotive problems before they appear. As your vehicle crosses the 100,000-mile threshold, start investing a bit more time in its upkeep for better long-term performance.