Cars are expensive. When you buy one and drive it off the lot, you hope it will last for years to come.
But what does that mean? Will you drive it for a few years and trade it in? Will you put on 50,000 miles? 100,000? More?
What would it take to ensure your car sees 200,000 miles? With today’s automobiles, it’s not as uncommon as you might think. According to a study by iSeeCars, they identified 16 models that each has over 2.5 percent of their vehicles reach 200,000 miles or more.
That’s good news if you drive a lot. But even if you buy a car with a predisposition for longevity, it doesn’t just happen on its own. To ensure your car sees 200,000, it’s going to take a little work on your part. The good news is it won’t take a lot of your time. It’s more about regular maintenance and sticking with a schedule since you’ve already done the hardest part: buy a reliable vehicle.
Here’s what to do next:
Be diligent with your maintenance checks
While today’s cars come complete with diagnostics and have dashboard lights to warn you when something is wrong, this should be considered your backup, not your maintenance plan. When you purchase your car, spend some time getting to know the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance items. You can find this in the owner’s manual, or simply do a search online. Then stick with it. Calendar the items if you have to. Don’t skip the important things like oil changes and brake jobs. Error on the side of replacing it before you’re scheduled to. This alone will ensure your car is always in the best shape possible, and keep your car on the road for many years to come. Maintenance checks include:
Changing the oil religiously
This is something you should do like clockwork, almost as natural as pulling into the gas station to fill up the tank. Newer cars are more efficient than ever, but you still should replace the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. You should also pay attention to your driving habits. In extreme situations, error on the lower side. When we hit record-breaking heat or cold waves here across the Front Range, change it more frequently. You should also speak with one of our mechanics about the type of oil you use, so it matches your driving conditions.
Keep your tires in good working order
Your tires are what keep you safe and on the road. Like every other auto part, they come with a suggested timeline for replacement. This can change depending on driving conditions. If your tires aren’t properly maintained, they can reduce your gas mileage. If they are too worn, you risk blowouts. Your maintenance check involves checking to ensure your tires are properly inflated at least once a month, rotating them and checking their condition frequently as well.
Never ignore warning lights
Today’s vehicles are designed to alert you to potential problems with extreme precision, to ensure you are alerted before larger threats develop. If you see an alert icon illuminating or flashing, schedule a maintenance visit to determine what’s wrong.
For example, your car’s oil pressure light indicates an issue with the oil pressure system. The oil might be running low, or your oil pump isn’t circulating enough fluid through the system to fully lubricate all surface areas inside your vehicle. The longer you drive with one of these potential problems, the more damage can be done throughout your car. Quick maintenance ensures all of your systems stay running smooth.
Never ignore noises
When you drive your car the first time, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the little details. The way your car starts. The noises it makes as you drive. How it acts on a cold winter day, and how it operates in the heat of the summer.
As your car ages, pay attention to those same processes. Does it sound the same way as it did when you first purchased it? Do you hear tiny squeaks or squeals? Do you hear clunking or banging? Is there an annoying ping you can’t figure out where it is?
As parts wear down, they don’t work together like they did when they were new. Gaps may form. Leaks develop. Joints wear out. All of that creates friction that can change the way your car sounds. Don’t hope it will go away; it won’t. Instead, have it checked out as soon as possible. Track when the noise appears, how long it lasts, and how often you hear it. That will help a mechanic pinpoint the problem.
Get to know a mechanic you can trust
One of the easiest ways to ensure your car sees 200,000 miles is to have a mechanic get to know your car. To find a good mechanic you can trust.
Instead of looking for coupons and good deals, you’ll have access to a mechanic who provides you with feedback on how to properly care for your car. They will have a file on hand, watch different systems, and tell you what you can expect. They’ll be a part of your team to ensure your car stays operating as well as possible.
Have you ever been a coupon shopper, where you take your vehicle in based on price? These shops may offer one service or solution, and push you to do everything they have on the menu. They look for the quick sale, and hope to get hundreds of takers in based on their specials. They know full well most of these people shop based on price alone. They work to increase volume.
But when you find a seasoned mechanic who deals with customer care, you’ll find a different kind of service.
Want your car to see 200,000 miles or more? Your best first step is to find a mechanic who cares.
How can we help you?