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High Mileage Car Maintenance

10 tips for maintaining your high mileage car

Most Americans are keeping their cars longer and driving them farther than at any time in history. Today, the average age of all cars on the road is more than nine years and almost 3/4 of all those automobiles have more than 75,000 miles on them. 

As a car's engine ages, its performance level decreases and the oil starts to break down at an increasing rate. Over time, the seals begin to break down, gaskets become very brittle, and the engine's oil consumption increases. All of these factors lead to a steady reduction in engine performance. 

Treating your high mileage car with a little tender loving care will help it last a lot longer. And using a motor oil specially formulated for use in higher-mileage cars, such as Castrol GTX High Mileage Formulation, will also help your high-mileage car feel young again. 

Here are 10 tips for maintaining your high mileage car:

  1. Make sure you change your car's engine oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. Don't neglect this! The engine is the heart of your car and motor oil is the lifeblood. One can't function without the other, so be very diligent with your oil-change schedule. 
  2. Find a good mechanic who you can trust. Unless you maintain your car yourself, select an auto service shop staffed only by ASE certified mechanics. A good mechanic will patiently listen to your questions and explain all procedures clearly. If not, stay away.
  3. Check the air pressure in your car's tires at least once a month in order to prevent unexpected flats and excess tire wear. Any service station attendant can quickly and easily perform this check if you prefer not to do it yourself. And be sure to rotate your tires and check your vehicle's alignment as part of a regular tune-up or with each oil change. 
  4. Look for warning signs. Of course, not every little noise you hear means something is wrong. Cars, like people, have their peculiarities, and you'll quickly learn what is normal for your car.
    But with a high mileage car, it's best to check out any symptom, be it a sound, smell, or just a feeling that seems the slightest bit out of the ordinary. Remember, an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure!
  5. Pay attention to outward signs. If your car is leaking oil or coolant, it could indicate a serious problem. Look carefully at your driveway or parking space for oil stains or spots that can warn you of possible fluid leaks.
    High Mileage motor oils contain special conditioners that help keep your seals in good condition. Protecting the seals helps to reduce leakage which is a common problem in older, higher-mileage car engines. 
  6. Have your car tuned-up regularly. Even if your high mileage car seems ok, that's no guarantee that it is. Use regular tune-ups to make sure your car's major parts are running well and that they continue to do so.
    Your motor oil should be changed, the tires checked and rotated if necessary, all belts and hoses checked and replaced, brake components inspected, spark plugs and air filter replaced, and fuel injector checked.
    An excellent way to finish up a tune-up is to get an overall analysis of your car's engine, including all safety and computer systems. 
  7. Prepare your car for the change of seasons. (If you live in a sunny climate all year long, you can probably skip this step.) Preparing your high mileage car to withstand the elements will increase its chances of avoiding repairs and save you money in the long run. 
  8. Check your car's fluids on a regular basis. Your high mileage car should never be allowed to get "dehydrated", so always keep an eye on its vital fluids. Simply open the hood and do a fast visual check. Check the engine oil level. And a quick glance at the coolant reservoir will let you know if you need to add more coolant. 
  9. Store your car properly. Keeping your car in a dry, temperate location when it's not in use will help prevent wear and tear, both inside and out. Keeping your car in a garage whenever possible will help keep it looking good. 
  10. Don't neglect your car's safety features! Nothing is more important than your car's ability to keep you and your passengers safe. Your car's brakes, air bags, and any other safety features should be carefully checked on a regular basis (when your car has a tune-up is a great time) to ensure the safety of you and those you love.
Vehicles are lasting longer today than ever before. Taking a little special care of your car will help keep it running properly well in excess of 100,000 miles.

Article courtesy of ARA Content.

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