Beyond the 50,000 mile mark, several vehicle parts will start breaking down. That can result in less than decent car performance.
Fortunately, there are tried-and-tested ways of extending the longevity of your car — apart from key automotive improvements through the years. Some owners and enthusiasts can even get 100,000 miles or more from their vehicles.
Here are some maintenance tips on how you can get the most out of your car.
1. Mind your tires
When it comes to vehicle mileage and longevity, tires are in the front lines. Tires incur a tremendous amount of punishment on the roads — paved or otherwise. Aside from wasting a lot of gas, underinflated or damaged tires are at serious risk of blowing out while you’re driving.
By the 50,000 mile mark, you should be extra cautious about proper inflation and rotation. You should also check tire wear and tear regularly.
If you’re up to the task, you can do all of that in your garage. A good starting point is investing in a decently priced car lift. You can find several 4-post or 2-post car lifts for sale, which are garage-friendly and won’t break the bank.
2. Replace oil and fluids promptly.
Never miss scheduled fluid replacement, whether it’s for engine oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, or coolant. These fluids are crucial for essential functions like maneuvering and braking. Neglecting any of these may result in unwanted accidents.
Refer to the owner’s manual to find out the car manufacturer’s recommended oil or fluid replacement schedule. If you have a secondhand car and don’t have access to a manual, ask the previous owner about his or her maintenance regimen. Additionally, ask what fluids were replaced during the last tune-up and if there were any other issues addressed.
If you notice the icons in your car dashboard are lighting up, see if any of the signals point to a specific area — engine oil, transmission fluid, etc.
3. Observe little changes.
Sooner or later, cars with heavy mileage on them will start exhibiting unusual behavior.
A loud knocking sound from the engine or slight tapping noise from an unidentified area is an indicator to look out for. Or it may be that an excess amount of fluids are flowing out of the exhaust pipes.
When similar things are happening to your car, try to identify where the noise or dripping is coming from. If the issue is too complicated for you, list down your observations and take your vehicle to the mechanic.
4. Work with a trusted mechanic or dealer.
Unless you’re a professional mechanic or you’re very knowledgeable about cars, it’s essential to have a trusted mechanic by your side. Professionals can help you quickly identify and solve issues.
Ideally, you can continue scheduling regular maintenance with the dealership where you purchased your vehicle. Alternatively, you can work with a mechanic that has been doing regular service on your vehicle — since the 3,000 mileage tune-up or earlier.
If you got the car secondhand and didn’t know anyone, you can always ask around for recommendations. Drop by the local dealership and see if they can recommend their services or somebody else’s.