That is good news for drivers, who are keeping their cars longer than ever before. There are long-term financial benefits of keeping a car for 200,000 miles. Research shows that reaching that milestone could result in savings of $30,000 or more.
1. Find a Mechanic You Can Trust - One of the best ways to ensure that your car will be well taken care of for the long haul is to find a mechanic you trust. Building a relationship with him will help you push your car towards a long life.
Believe it or not, not all mechanics have your best interest at heart. For example, Sears, Roebuck & Company has often been been accused of defrauding customers by performing unnecessary car repairs. When I was a new driver I bought one of their "free brake pads for the life of your car" promotions. The only problem with that was every time I went in to get new brake pads, they told me I needed new rotors. Eventually, Sears ended up paying huge fines for this practice.
My mechanic told me recently that the problem lies with companies who pay their employees minimum wage to work on automobiles. The place I normally get my oil changed once told me that many times they get cars driven in there fresh from an oil change at Walmart, some without oil and some without a filter. These employees may not always have your best interest at heart. You don't build a relationship with these employees like a mechanic you use regularly and who knows your car inside out.
2. Regular Maintenance - A car that is serviced regularly will last much longer than one where regular maintenance has been ignored.
3. Change the Oil Regularly - In addition to lubricating vital engine parts, oil traps contaminants and prevents them from harming your engine. Changing the oil gets rid of all that trapped gnarly stuff. Oil also breaks down over time, so it’s necessary to replace it at regular intervals.
4. Read Your owner's Manual - Included is a schedule of maintenance, which will help you and your car go the distance.
5. Check, Check, Check - Check the coolant and power steering fluids on schedule. Also, check the filters, belts, brakes, and windshield wipers. Inspect them for any wear and tear that might help you avoid a breakdown.
6. Pay attention to your vehicle
I could usually tell when something was wrong with my car due to the sound it would make. For example, just last week mine was making an odd whirring sound. I knew something was up and sure enough, a few days later the motor went out of my air conditioning/heater vent.
Properly maintaining your car will keep it on the road longer and will get you a higher price when it’s time to sell it or trade it in. It’s a long way to 200,000 miles.
Not every vehicle will make it to that impressive milestone, but by being a responsible vehicle owner, you can increase the likelihood that yours will.
My car, a 1998 Olds Cutlass, which I bought in January 2000, recently hit the 200,000 milestone. Because I kept the car so many years, based on what I paid for the car it cost me less than $1,000 to drive it each year. I was diligent about changing the oil and keeping it maintained. Last week I bought a new to me car, but I will be keeping my old one for various reasons, but it has been a good car for us.
How about you? Do you have a car that has gone the distance for you?
Simply live by the rule of not spending money you don't have.
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 - 2015.