Category Archives: old car maintenance

How to Keep Your Old Car Running Well

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cars on highway headed out for ThanksgivingYou want your car to hit 300,000+ miles? It can happen (we’ve seen it), but not without a bit of effort (maintenance!). Here’s how to help your car become a high-mileage beauty—and keep it running well.

Don’t miss an oil change

No matter how busy life gets, don’t forget to get regular oil changes that keep your engine running well. Oil breaks down over time, and dirty oil can have dirt and contaminants in them. Regular oil changes ensure you have clean oil that properly lubricates your engine and keeps it running smoothly. Make sure you schedule your oil change (you can even do it online!) and don’t miss the appointment.

Don’t wait to replace spark plugs and battery

A car’s spark plugs should be replaced every 30,000-100,000 miles, depending on the kind of spark plugs in your car. Talk to your mechanic about when your spark plugs should be replaced, and stick to a stringent schedule. Worn spark plugs can lessen the life of other parts of the engine or damage other parts of your car, such as the catalytic converter. Look for signs that your spark plugs need to be changed, such as slow starting, less acceleration when you hit the gas, or an occasional engine surge or misfire.

Your car battery is also an integral part of your car; make sure you get a new battery when the battery is 3-5 years old, if your battery is dead often, or if your car is slow starting. Schedule an appointment so you can get your high-mileage beauty started and on the road.

Keep up on tire tread and air pressure checks

It’s normal to want to jump in your car and go, but a quick tire check can be important both for your ride and the wear on your car. Improperly balanced or low tires can wear parts of your car unevenly, causing premature replacement. Check your tire tread on a regular basis; note if the tread is worn low or if the wear is uneven. Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure your tires are inflated to the proper air pressure, which you can find on the decal on your door. As an added bonus, a quick tire check can also give you optimal gas mileage as you put more miles on your car.

Replace brakes

Brakes are an important safety part of every vehicle, and therefore an essential part of a well-running car. Brakes typically need to be replaced every 25-70,000 miles. Make sure you watch for signs your brakes need to be replaced: a vibrating brake pedal, squealing when you brake, or when the car pulls to the left or right. Make an appointment when you notice any of these signs, or ask your mechanic to check your brakes at your next oil change.

Change the air filter

A clogged air filter can compromise the performance of your high-mileage beauty, so make sure you ask your mechanic to inspect your air filter annually. Air filters should be replaced when the air filter is dirty—so you and your car can stay on the road for a long time.