How To Maintain a Car at 100,000 Miles

These days people are not rushing out to buy new vehicles; the financial pressure from our poor economy is forcing all of us to reconsider major purchases, and people are driving their vehicles much longer than before. It is relatively simple to get well over 100,000 miles from your car by performing the proper maintenance. To maintain a car at 100,000 miles, you should perform the following preventative measures to keep it running smoothly for years to come.

General tune-ups are very important in maintaining a car at 100,000 miles, but it's most helpful if these are performed over the entire life of the vehicle.  A general tune-up should consist of replacing the spark plugs, plug wires, worn belts, engine coolant and filters as well as a check of the car's timing.

Routinely check your oil and perform oil changes every 3,000 to 4,000 miles, more often if possible, to help maintain your car at 100,000 miles. Many mechanics suggest using high mileage oil at this stage in a car's life to assist with better engine lubrication and to help break down any engine gunk.

Your tires should be checked weekly for proper tire pressure and wear. Irregular wear patterns can help indicate if your vehicle is not properly aligned. Proper alignment prolongs the life of your tires and gives you better steering.

Wheel bearings should be checked on a regular basis and replaced when they show signs of wear as well. Wheel bearings allow your car's wheels to move as they should: smoothly.

Test your battery every three months to assure it is not weak. A weak battery can damage the starter or alternator and these can be very expensive to replace.

Hoses should be examined for corrosion or breaks and replaced when problems are found to prevent poor engine performance.

You should also have a mechanic check engine compression during tune-ups. If your car's engine compression is too high it can cause what mechanics refer to as preignition; this can result in damage to the engine. Having the engine compression checked can also catch problems such as bad valves or piston rings before they cause permanent damage.

Most importantly, know your car's normal sounds. Knowing what your car sounds like when it is running well can help you catch a problem before it becomes a costly repair. If you hear anything out of the ordinary you should have a mechanic check it right away.


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