Modern cars are built to last for tens of thousands of road miles, but even old or classic cars can be made to last well past the point when some people would declare them dead. Keeping your car healthy beyond 100,000 miles is a simple matter of maintenance, everyday care, and the proper lubrication.
The Singular Importance of Fluids
Right off the bat, the single most important type of regular maintenance you can provide for your car is the right lubrication. Oil and other fluids prevent the moving parts of your engine and transmission from becoming damaged while the car is being driven. If you cannot provide any other type of automotive care, the very least you must do is change your car’s oil according to your owner’s manual recommendations. If you plan on pushing your odometer to the limit, most mechanics will suggest using a motor oil designed specifically for high-mileage vehicles. Other important fluids to replace or check may include:
- Power steering
- Windshield washer
Making the Body Paint Last
Old cars are often easily distinguishable not only from their styling, but also because the body paint has blistered, faded, or rusted away. While you may need to have a car repainted at least once if you drive it every day for 10 years or more, you can make the paint last with simple care. Most importantly, you must protecting the car from the sun. Just like ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, it can destroy car paint over time. Keep your car in a garage or invest in a cover. It is also a good idea to protect your car with wax (like a nice SPF), at least every three months or more if your car is often in direct sunlight. Washing your car will also go a long way toward protecting the paint by clearing off the dirt a debris that can gradually chip it away.
Milestone Mechanical Visits
It is a good idea to take your car into the shop at least once a year. A tune up is a perfect way for professionals to check your car’s belts, wheel bearings, and other systems, as well as look for anything that is obviously damaged or worn. If you cannot take your car in annually, try instead to aim for every 30,000 miles or so.
Maintaining a Less Frequently Driven Vehicle
Classic cars present an entirely different set of requirements for maintenance, especially if they are rarely driven. Letting a car sit for a year or more can lead to important systems seizing up. Small varmints can makes nests in the empty spaces under the hood and chew up wires, which means a lot of repair work later. Keep a seldom used car in a safe place where it can be checked on and started semi-regularly. Drive it around the block or simply start the engine every now and then.
For more information about keeping your car healthy at 100,000 miles and beyond, speak with a Grease Monkey mechanic today.