In modern America, the average age of cars is 11.6 years; signifying an ever-increasing desire from the general public to get as much use out of their cars as possible. For most, this means surpassing the typical 100,000-mile expectancy and getting all the way up to 200,000. Ultimately, this boils down to how well a car is treated.
The Importance of Oil Changes
At the center of high mileage engine treatment is choosing the best oil for a car and being religious about changing it when necessary. Regular oil change intervals ensure the fluids are kept clean and fresh, however, it is important to note that not all oils are equally effective. Synthetic oil is ideal for a motor, with reports stating that the inside of high-mileage engines using synthetic oil is virtually brand new. In addition, this type of oil only needs to be changed every 8,000 miles (roughly 8 months) which is half as often as conventional oil. However, if a car owner is not willing to pay the price difference between synthetic and conventional oil, they should opt for high-mileage oil because the price difference is not as significant yet still has a noticeable effect on the lifetime of the car.
Frequent oil changes carry the additional benefit of allowing the mechanic a chance to check the battery for corrosion, hoses and belts for cracks or leaks, and the state of the spark plugs; all of which begin to deteriorate after about 90,000 miles. The revision of these systems and components are of crucial importance in areas that suffer from heavy snow and frequent road salt.
Additional Habits to Extend a Vehicle’s Life Expectancy
Perhaps the second most important thing a car-owner can do to get as much value as possible is rotating their tires every 6,000 to 8,000 miles (roughly every 6 months). Not only does this save money by ensuring the tires last longer, it gives mechanics an opportunity to check the brakes and brake lines as well as look for deterioration from potholes.
Another simple yet effective thing to do is paying close attention to any issue that may arise. All too often, there is a tendency to ignore a small problem because it does not require immediate attention. However, this is unwise when it comes to cars because issues don’t just disappear, they often get progressively worse.
The final tips that will assist in getting to the 200,000-mile mark are to always choose high-quality replacement parts and to drive gently. The former is important because the quality of replacement parts are reflected in their price and while it may be tempting to save a few dollars by going for the cheaper alternatives now, down the line it will ultimately be much more expensive. While driving carefully may seem like an obvious suggestion, making gradual turns, avoiding potholes on the road, and applying both the gas and brakes gently will keep it in optimal condition for many years to come.