Tips to maximize your high-mileage vehicle

Thursday, October 22, 2009, 9:20 AM | Leave Comment

Those days are gone when one more mile on 99,999 would bring the odometer back to zero. Remember the “nigh” in conversation as late as the 1980s.

Today, odometers roll off the miles well into six figures and casual use of “nigh” is no more. We just take it for granted that any vehicle we buy will keep driving well past that six figure mark.

Here are some of the ways you can maximize and prolong the life of your vehicle:

  • Upgrade under the hood can shorten the life of your vehicle

    Granted, your pistons won’t melt, but your engine will have to work harder and mileage will suffer with upgrades like reprogrammed chips, nitrous and the like can increase your car’s capabilities in the short-term, but they also shorten engine life.

  • Don’t follow the ads that preach miraculous mileage cures

    Stay away from ads like these. The only thing that can outperform your vehicle is their bellies swollen with your money.

  • Use the right octane gas your car was manufactured for

    Unless your owner’s manual demands a high-octane diet for your car, it will probably run perfectly well on regular unleaded.

  • Extended warm-up periods do more harm than good

    Extended warm-up periods do more harm than good by burning fuel less efficiently and needlessly stressing components. A better plan is to watch your revs and acceleration until the engine reaches operating temperature.

  • Avoid excessive idling

    If you want to maximize a high-mileage car, give it a rest whenever it’s feasible.

  • Make the miles tolerable and safe along the way

    Addressing repairs as they are needed helps you avoid the riddle of a car that runs but doesn’t work.

  • Correct pressure in tires can take some load off of the engine

    Check their pressure regularly, rotate them as needed, keep your wheels in alignment, and watch for unusual wear.

  • Remember it’s your vehicle – don’t drive it like you stole it

    It comes down to a choice in whether you want to maximize a high-mileage car for its service life or what’s left of its performance.

  • Use motor oil designed for high-mileage cars

    If you have over 75,000 miles on the odometer, consider a formula designed for high-mileage engines. These specialized oils contain additives to reduce internal wear and condition engine seals.

  • Always follow your car’s designated maintenance schedule

    Follow the maintenance schedule outlined in your owner’s manual; this keeps your car running longer, with better efficiency and fewer unpleasant surprises.

In a Nutshell
The more maintenance you do at scheduled intervals, the more mileage your vehicle will give you and the more you would avoid repairs to your vehicle and you know that repair costs a lot more than regular maintenance.

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