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Mileage Car Maintenance
eople do get attached to their cars. Statistics confirm that Americans are
holding onto the vehicles longer and putting more miles on them than
in the past. The average age of our cars is greater than nine years,
and more than 68 percent of those cars have traveled more than
Itís common sense that as a vehicleís engine ages,
its performance declines. Oil starts to break down at a faster rate,
seals begin to corrode, gaskets become brittle, and oil consumption
increases. All this leads to a decrease in engine performance.
By consistently following certain rules for high-mileage
vehicle maintenance, you will help keep your car on the road.
aBe sure to change the oil every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes
first. This is non-negotiable. If your engine is the heart of your
car, then the oil is its lifeblood. One canít function without the
other. A premium motor oil formulated for higher-mileage cars can
act like an anti-aging potion.
aLocate a talented, reliable mechanic. Like a good doctor, a good mechanic will listen to your
questions and complaints, and will explain all procedures clearly.
Make sure your mechanic is ASE-certified (ASE stands for American
Society of Engineers).
aCheck your tire pressure every month, if not more frequently. Under inflated tires are the
cause of most flats and blowouts. Buy a tire gauge or have a service
attendant perform the check. Additionally, have your tires rotated
regularly and check their alignment, either as part of a regular
tune-up or with every other oil change.
aDonít dismiss any warning signs, such as that strange thumping or annoying pinging sound
you hear. Though every car has its own particular quirks, a
high-mileage vehicle requires extra special care. Itís wise to
check out any symptom that is remotely abnormal, whether itís a
weird smell, sound, or just a strange feeling. Itís always better
to be safe than to be sorry.
aPay attention to outward signs. An old car leaking fluids can indicate a serious
problem. Look underneath for puddles and check your driveway for
spots or stains. There are High Mileage motor oils that contain
special conditioners to protect and maintain seals, which helps
prevent leakage ó a common problem in high-mileage engines.
aCommit to regular tune-ups. Even if your high-mileage car appears to be fine, there
is no guarantee that it is. Tune-ups confirm that your carís major
components are in good shape and that they will stay in good shape.
Your tune-up should include your oil changed, tires checked and
possibly rotated, belts checked and replaced, brake lines inspected,
spark plugs and air filters checked and replaced, and the fuel
injector checked. Go the extra mile and have an overall analysis
done of the carís engine and undercar, safety and computer
aPrepare your car for each season, unless you live in a sunny climate year-round. You can
obtain a list of seasonal maintenance needs from the internet or
from your auto shop. Preparing and protecting your car from the
elements will reduce the possibility of breakdowns and save you
money on costly repairs.
aRegularly check the fluids. In an older engine, itís dangerous for its vital
fluids to dry up or become dirty. So use the dipstick to check the
oil and glance at the coolant reservoir to see if you need to add
more cooling fluid.
aProtect your car. Store it in a dry, temperate location when itís not in use to prevent
disastrous wear and tear on both its interior and exterior. A garage
is the ideal place for an older car to call home.
aMonitor your carís safety features. There is nothing more important than your car's ability
to protect its passengers. Check air bags, antilock brakes, and any
additional safety features you have added on a regular basis. You
will need them to perform their lifesaving functions in the event of
In other words, take care of your car, and it will take
care of you!
-tips for minor
repairs for the do-it-yourselfer.
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