When buying a new vehicle (or a new-to-you vehicle), chances are the first thought that pops into your head isn’t how you can make the car last over 200,000 miles. I mean, let’s face it. If you’re buying a new vehicle, you’ve probably gone over the details a thousand times in your head on gas mileage, performance, safety, etc. but probably didn’t much consider what that brand new car will be like ten years down the line.
There’s no blame in that- we just live in a “now” society. But according to autoMedia.com, if you’re looking to get the best value from your new vehicle, you should expect to keep it at least 15 years, and to do so, you’ll need a few tips on how to keep your car running for 150,000+ miles. Check out their tips below!
One of the first major areas of consideration when trying to get as many miles out of a new car purchase as you can is what you’ll use to maintain your vehicle. AutoMedia.com recommends doing regular oil changes (about every 5,000 miles) with clean, and if you can, synthetic, oil. Not only will changing your oil and filter on a regular basis help keep your car running at its optimal level for longer, it will also help prevent damages and reduce future repair costs for your engine. Using a filter magnet on your oil filter will work to protect your engine even more by trapping any ferrous metals that could cause serious engine damage.
Every time you do an oil change, it’s also recommended that you properly lubricate your car’s chassis if it’s old enough to still require a lube job.
Along with regular oil and filter changes, a coolant system flush and fill is recommended every two years with the installation of a new thermostat. All cooling components should be replaced every four years for optimal engine heat control.
Transmissions should also receive a regular servicing every 20,000 to 30,000 miles with a new filter installed and fluid replaced. This will help prevent transmission failure. Drive axles also need servicing, ie. fluid changes, about as often.
We all hate emission systems, but those too are on the maintenance list. Catalytic converters should be checked for damage and function regularly but probably won’t need replacing for at least a good 100,000 miles while oxygen sensors should be replaced at every tune up.
Serpentine belts should also be checked regularly for damage like dry rot. Older serpentine belts need to be changed when damaged or after about 30,000 miles while modern serpentine belts can last well into the 70,000 mile mark.
When replacing your spark plugs during a tuneup, it is recommended to replace the coils and ignition wires at the same time to keep your ignition system consistent and reliable. It is also recommended that all sensors be replaced at this time and the wiring harness be inspected.
Batteries also need a bit of maintenance, which consists of cleaning and tightening the battery terminals periodically, along with having a good charging system check and topping off the battery with distilled water if necessary.
When it comes to maintaining your tires, it’s more about the age of the tire than it is about the tread level. Obviously, if you have tires with little to no tread on them, you should replace them. But if you’re tires are five to six years old and still have plenty of tread on them, they should still be replaced as tires lose flexibility and durability as they age. While they’re still on your vehicle, tires should also be regularly rotated and properly inflated.
Working hand-in-hand with the tires, your vehicle’s brake system should also be checked and maintained with new pads and shoes put on as necessary. Though most people choose to just turn brake drums or rotors when replacing pads and shoes, autoMedia.com recommends replacing them when you do your brakes as well to eliminate any chance for material weakness or warping from becoming a problem. Your brake system should be flushed and filled every two years.
When doing brake maintenance, wheel bearing maintenance should also be done.
Another area that should be considered when trying to get as many miles out of your car as possible is the fuel system. One of the biggest things is making sure you fuel your vehicle with fuel that has the manufacturer’s recommended octane level. In older cars, like classics that used to be fueled with gas containing Tetraethyl lead, equipping your car with stainless steel valves and hardened steel exhaust valve seats will help your engine withstand the use of harsher unleaded fuels.
Along with the correct octane level and higher quality components, fuel filters should also be minded, with vehicles receiving a fuel filter change about every 25,000 miles.
Other recommended practices for getting the most amount of mile out of your car include dealing with potential air conditioning and climate control issues with annual preventative maintenance, like an inspection, service and refrigerant refill. Your vehicle’s cosmetics should also be kept up on.
Keep up with your car’s maintenance and deal with problems as soon as they arise and you’ll be sporting that new car for a long time!