High Mileage Car Tips to Extend your Vehicle's life.
Is it luck that some drivers keep their vehicle trouble free for many years—even decades. Some drivers don’t even make it past 60,000 miles without major problems. The longevity of your vehicle can depend on what type you own, but driving and maintenance habits also are crucial. A few proven techniques can help keep your vehicle running beyond the 300,000-mile mark.
Coast as much as possible. Plan your approach to red lights, stop signs and turns long before you reach them. Don’t accelerate and then step on the brake at the last moment—that wears down brakes quickly.
Accelerate slowly. Flooring the gas pedal when the engine is cold is a major reason for blown head gaskets. Drive as though you have an egg between your foot and the gas pedal..
Allow the engine to warm-up, especially when it's cold — let the vehicle idle until warm, don't rev the engine. To help flush contaminants from the motor oil, drive at highway speeds for 30 minutes at least once a month.
Run the air conditioner or windshield defroster at least once a month (even in cooler weather) for about a minute to circulate oil through the heating and cooling system.
To prevent adding an extra load on the engine, allow your engine to run for a minute before turning on heating or cooling so that it is lubricated before you turn on the windshield defroster or air conditioner.
Use the parking brake. If you don’t use it at least once a week while parked—even if you’re not parked on an incline—the parking brake can freeze up and fail to release.
Wind down turbocharged engines. The engine should be allowed to idle a few minutes before you shut it down. This allows the turbo to stop spinning while it is still being lubricated with motor oil. (Don’t close the garage door until the engine is off.)
With manual transmissions, use the brakes and not the gears to slow down—brakes are cheaper to replace than the transmission.
With automatic transmissions, shift into park when idling for extended periods to allow the transmission to cool down. Don’t idle for long periods in neutral, because some bearings are not lubricated in neutral.
Try to use a gas additive with every fill-up because modern gasoline doesn’t contain enough detergents to keep the fuel system clean. Avoid additives that contain methanol, methyl, alcohol, xylene, toluene or acetone—these can damage the fuel system hoses and pump.
Use the octane called for in the vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Don’t let the fuel level drop below one-quarter tank.
Don’t fill the tank to the top of the filler neck.
Determine the normal life expectancy for major parts so that you can replace them before they fail.
Example: Most people never think to replace their radiator, but a radiator should be changed every 10 years or 150,000 miles—or sooner, depending on your driving conditions.