Today’s vehicles and engine can last longer than ever before thanks to improved technology and standards. Therefore, with close attention to scheduled maintenance and service, you can extend the life of your investment at least 200,000 miles. Here are a few tips to get you there:
Use High-Quality Oil and Filters
Extensive research and field tests point to synthetic motor oil helping engines withstand extreme temperatures and last longer. While petroleum-based oil is less expensive, the extra cost of synthetic is justified by its many benefits. Since synthetics can vary in quality, check the owner’s manual and talk to your mechanic to find out which type works best with your model. The same rule applies to air filters, and higher-end options keep fuel cleaner and complement the work of synthetic motor oil.
Check the Timing Belt Frequently
If this vital component wears out and fails, it can destroy an otherwise perfect engine, so experts recommend having the timing belt evaluated every 20 to 30 thousand miles. These checks will help you anticipate replacement before a broken timing belt creates even bigger problems.
Although coolant is designed to stay effective for up to 100,000 miles, checking it more often (every 20,000 miles) can help you avoid an overheated engine. If you notice any of the following symptoms, have coolant replaced immediately:
- Odd color – Healthy coolant should be orange. If it looks red, milky or cloudy, it could be mixing with motor oil, which means bad news for your car’s engine.
- Noxious Odor – If coolant smells burned or foul, it has gone bad.
- Gritty Texture – Coolant should feel smooth, not sandy or rough.
Note: If you use coolant made of ethylene glycol, replace it every 24,000 miles.
Like coolant, transmission fluid might last 100,000 miles, but you should check it often to stay ahead of the game. Experts recommend having it replaced every 35,000 – 45,000 miles to reduce the chance of transmission failure. In addition, high-quality synthetic transmission fluid lasts longer and performs better than traditional types.
Partner with a Licensed Mechanic
Open communication with experienced automotive technicians can help your car stay in the best shape possible. A conscientious mechanic will take your driving habits and environment into account before recommending the most compatible motor oil, tires, maintenance schedule, and more.