If you’re like most car owners, you drive your vehicle until it’s practically falling apart. You tell yourself you’ll take care of the maintenance as soon as you can, but that day always seems to slip away. Eventually, your car racks up all the miles you can push it but now requires more attention if you want to keep it running smoothly. By following these proper maintenance tips, though, you can extend the life of your high-mileage vehicle and avoid costly repairs down the road. Keep reading to learn more!
1. Secure an Extended Car Warranty for Your Vehicle
It’s a given that car repair costs, especially for high-usage vehicles, do not come cheap. One way to protect your budget is to purchase an extended car warranty. This will cover major repairs and save you a lot of money in the long run. Do your research when choosing a warranty company, as not all of them are created equal. One company that is known for providing extended car warranty services is CARCHEX. The company has an excellent reputation in the industry and offers a wide range of coverage options. If you’re interested in the services it offers and would like to know how other people’s experiences with it went, read as many CARCHEX reviews as possible. This will give you a good idea of what to expect if you decide to go with it.
2. Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommended Maintenance Schedule
One of the best ways to maintain your high-mileage car is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. This will ensure that all the essential systems in your vehicle are properly taken care of and prevent major problems down the road. Do not neglect this critical step, especially if you’re using your vehicle often. High-mileage cars tend to require more frequent maintenance. You can usually find the schedule in your car’s owner’s manual. If you can’t find your manual, contact your car’s manufacturer and ask for this vital information.
3. Get Regular Oil Changes
Regardless of how often you drive your SUV, sedan, or any other vehicle, getting regular oil changes is essential. Over time, the oil in your car will degrade and become less effective at lubricating the engine. This can lead to severe problems, such as engine damage. To avoid this, get your oil changed every 5,000 miles or as specified in your car’s owner’s manual. Only use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Do not be tempted to cut corners by using cheaper oil, as this could cost you more money in the long run.
4. Top Off or Replace Fluids as Needed
Another critical aspect of high-mileage car maintenance is regularly checking and topping off all the fluids. This includes engine oil, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield wiper fluid. These fluids are vital to the proper functioning of your vehicle and need to be at the correct level at all times. Checking and topping them off yourself is a simple task and can be quickly done at home. If you notice that any of the fluids are low, go ahead and replace them. This will help ensure your car runs smoothly for many miles to come.
5. Keep Tires Inflated Properly
One of the most common causes of premature tire wear is incorrect inflation. This can cause your tires to wear unevenly and lead to a blowout. Having underinflated tires also significantly impacts your fuel mileage, so it’s important to keep them inflated to the correct pressure. You can find the recommended pressure for your tires in the car’s owner’s manual or on the tire’s sidewall. Check the pressure at least once a month and adjust as necessary.
6. Use a Fuel Injection Cleaner
If you’ve been using your high-mileage car hard, it’s good to use a fuel injection cleaner now and then. This will help clean out the fuel system and remove any gunk or deposits that have built up over time. You can buy a fuel injection cleaner at most auto parts stores. Just follow the instructions on the bottle. It’s a good idea to use one of these cleaners every 5,000 miles.
7. Get a Tune-up
One of the best ways to keep your high-mileage car running smoothly is to get a tune-up once a year. This involves having a professional check all the major systems in your car and make any necessary repairs or adjustments. This can be a costly procedure, but keeping your car in good condition is worth it. A tune-up can also help improve your car’s fuel efficiency.
8. Watch for Warning Signs
Even if you’re taking good care of your high-mileage car, problems can still occur. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of potential trouble. Some of the most common warning signs include:
- Rough engine idle
- Trouble starting the car
- Decreased fuel economy
- Excessive exhaust smoke
- Rattling or knocking sounds from the engine
- Shaking or vibration while driving
- Pulling to one side while driving
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to have your car checked out by a professional as soon as possible. Ignoring these warning signs can lead to more serious problems down the road.
9. Keep Records of Maintenance and Repairs
You should also keep track of all the maintenance and repairs you’ve done. These include oil changes, tire rotation, fluid levels, and others. Keeping records will help you track what’s been done and when. This can be especially helpful if you need to take your car in for warranty service or repairs.
10. Drive Safely
Finally, the most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your high-mileage car is to drive safely. Avoid hard acceleration and braking, and try to keep a consistent speed. This will help reduce wear and tear on the car’s components. Drive carefully and responsibly and your vehicle will last for many miles to come.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of a high-mileage car can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it. You can help your vehicle run smoothly for many miles and years by following these tips.