High mileage car tips for extending vehicle life
Helpful tips from Don’s Pro Tech Automotive
February 27, 2021
Just one more year. That’s what you have been telling yourself as yet another repair is completed on your aged vehicle. But if you’ve been keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and responding quickly to each indicator of trouble, then there’s good chance you’ll get your wish, as long as you’re following these five high mileage car tips.
Handle repairs at once
Putting off repairs means you might only exacerbate the problem. Keeping to the maintenance schedule is one thing, but responding immediately to warning signs may spell the difference between having a car you can depend on or one that you’ll be sending to the salvage yard. For instance, a leaky water pump is more than an inconvenience. If left unattended, your engine may overheat, crack a head gasket or warp the cylinders. For an aged car, you’re looking at repairs that may exceed the vehicle’s worth.
Know the quality of your parts
With an older car you might think it wise to manage costs by using lower quality parts. This is understandable as OEM parts may cost you more than aftermarket parts. It is best to instruct your auto repair shop to purchase quality, suitable parts for your vehicle. Cutting costs is one thing, but cutting corners can prove disastrous.
Change your oil change
When it comes to oil changes, always reference your owner’s manual for the proper change intervals. However, if your car has more than 75,000 miles on the odometer, then the engine’s seals are more prone to erode, leading to leaks. Older engines tend to burn oil more frequently and are also prone to oil sludge. The best response here is to have your oil changed more often, such as every 3,000 miles, and to select a super high mileage oil. If appropriate for your vehicle, choosing a synthetic oil can reduce sludge build up. Or, if your car has had regular oil changes, a standard high mileage oil with seal conditioners can control oil consumption and prevent leaks.
Tend to the brakes
If the brakes are bled and your mechanic notices that the fluid is dark and contains pieces of rust and rubber, then an overhaul is a priority. Have the rubber brake lines replaced and the wheel bearings inspected when the rotors or drum brakes are replaced. Brake repairs are a manageable cost until they are ignored.
The value of a mechanic
Taking your vehicle to a reputable repair shop is vital. A set of experienced eyes can more easily identify problems and conduct an extensive inspection. Further, a mechanic who specializes in handling more complex jobs, such as suspension systems and engine overhauls, can identify problems before they spiral out of control. The mechanic and the repair shop can also help you make a decision you can’t bear to make on your own: like cutting your losses and sending your old friend to the junkyard.
Calling it quits
When should you get rid of an aged car? Whenever the cost of repairs and time lost because of downtime exceeds your budget and patience. On the other hand, if your repairs are manageable and you’re timely with upkeep, you may find that a year from now you’ll be thinking of new ways to keep your car for just one more year.
For more information on your aged vehicle, chat with one of the knowledgeable service advisors or mechanics at Don’s Pro Technology Automotive Repair at 230 E. Tehachapi Blvd. or call the shop at (661) 822-1600.