The best way to maintain your vehicle that has high mileage, and by that, we can easily talk 75,000 miles to high six-figure mileage ranges, is to follow a regular maintenance and lubrication schedule. Following the manufacturers recommended types of oil, grease and liquids on a regular basis is much better than trying any of the 'magical cures' ads you'll see everywhere.
According to R.L. Polk & Co., US automotive records curator, people are keeping their vehicles for longer now. In 2002, the median car age was 8.4 years, which is the highest figure since they began tracking this in 1970. This means more vehicles could soon be in the same situation of higher-mileage engines.
By following the normal practice of replacing wear-and-tear parts such as timing belts will also help to keep your good old standby running smooth. Taking good care of your vehicle is the answer to keeping it looking good and running well for a long time.
The secret to the longevity of an older vehicle is the simple things you should have been doing all along – maintenance. Things like:
• Regular fluid checks
• Scheduled lubrication for the powertrain,
• Using only the recommended fluids
• Regular oil changes
• Cleaning and protecting the inside and the outside of the vehicle
In order to keep everything working perfectly, follow these suggestions:
• Complete oil changes on a regular basis. Nothing will kill an engine faster than missing this simple step. Check the oil often and change the filter when you change the oil. Once the vehicle hits 75,000 miles, it's time to switch to a different motor oil. When you make the switch, stay with the new oil in order to reap maximum benefits. Alternating between this oil and all-climate oils won't harm your engine, but you won't get the full benefits. The specific advantages of using a high-mileage oil in your higher-mileage vehicle are:
o Conditioned engine seals – helps to prevent oil leaks and deposits from forming
o Cleaner engine and reduced deposit formations helps to prevent loss of power.
o Reduced oil consumption improves faster and easier starts when cold o Extra protection to increase fuel efficiency and extend the life of the engine
• Make sure you take the vehicle in to have the cooling system flushed and changed once a year. If you use a 50/50 mix of distilled water and coolant, it will inhibit deposits from building up inside the cooling system and help to prevent corrosion.
• Change out the differential oils on regular service intervals.
• Change out the transmission fluid as required by traditional service standards. Remember to use only the recommended fluids as listed in your owner's manual.
• Most people wash the outside of their vehicle on a somewhat regular occasion. But you should also hose off the underside of the vehicle, which is where the salt and grime collect while driving.
• Grease the moving parts on a regular basis.
• Wax the exterior of the vehicle when you wash it to protect the exterior paint job. There should be a fresh layer of wax of every six months minimum.
• Make sure the regular maintenance includes regular lubrication. That must include the removal of the driveline to access grease fittings.
• It helps if, during the life of your vehicle, you make every attempt to keep the vehicle in the shade instead of in the hot sun. This helps to protect the interior plastic and vinyl from becoming damaged due to heat.
• Make sure the wheel bearings are inspected, cleaned and repacked on regular service intervals.
• Have the brake fluid checked and replaced once a year. Also, you should have the system bled once a year. This is an inexpensive way to avoid high repair costs.