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The price of gas is rising again and more of us are choosing to keep our vehicles longer and put off purchasing a newer car. It is estimated that two-thirds of the vehicles on the roads in the US today have over 75,000 miles on them. And the average age of vehicles is now over 11 years. That means there are some car care issues that many have not dealt with in the past.
Older vehicles have different maintenance requirements than newer ones. Understanding those requirements is the key. Vehicle owners need to keep good records and keep up with the preventive maintenance in order to keep their cars on the road. First of all, any service listed in your owner’s manual at recommended mileage intervals should be completed at that interval.
For example, if it is recommended that you change your oil every 5,000 miles, you should continue to change your oil every 5,000 miles. The engine of an older vehicle is operating under higher stress than a new one and is just starting to show its age. It is suggested that the “severe service schedule” should be followed once a vehicle has higher miles. On this schedule, the mileage interval for many services is shortened or should be performed more often. Check with our service advisors for details about your vehicle.
Owners with older vehicles should also be careful not to neglect or postpone oil changes. A full-service oil change is more critical for an older vehicle than for a new one. Older engines have had time to build up sludge in the oil compartment, so changing the oil on regular basis is a must. With a full-service oil change, the vehicle’s fluids are also checked and topped off. Our service advisors will also let you know if these fluids need to be replaced. Older vehicles have older seals and gaskets, which often develop tiny leaks. Regularly checking fluids will compensate for these leaks and offer an early notification about any serious ones. So, again, it is important to stay on schedule and not skip or delay a fluid check.
Older seals and gaskets begin to dry out and show their age by becoming brittle. High-mileage formulation oils and fluids can help extend the life of the gaskets and seals. These products contain additives that recondition seals and gaskets and keep them from leaking. High-mileage formulas cost more than standard products, but in the long run they can pay for themselves by preventing more costly repair bills.
As your vehicle is getting older and higher mileage, its parts are as well. High-mileage car maintenance requires necessary repairs and replacements. Timing belts, radiator hoses, parts of the suspension system, anti-lock brakes, water pumps, alternators and batteries will not last forever and will wear out in higher-mileage vehicles. They need to be inspected regularly and replaced as necessary.
But don’t go running for the new car lot just yet. These repairs may sound like a lot, but in total, they’re still cheaper than new car payments. And if you stay on top of these services and budget for them, they aren’t as big as it may appear.
If you plan on driving your vehicle into its high-mileage years, there are two relationships you need to develop. The first is with your service advisor. Our team at Tucker Tire & Auto can offer you invaluable auto advice and help you develop a service plan that is right for you and your vehicle. Second, you need to develop a relationship with your vehicle itself. You should become familiar with its noises and idiosyncrasies. Pay attention to changes in its habits such as new or unusual sounds, smells, vibrations, etc. Taking note of such things and sharing them with your service advisor can helpful with repair issues.
As we get older, keeping up with a diet and exercise plan becomes more and more critical to maintaining good health. It’s the same with our vehicles. A preventive maintenance plan and smart car care will keep them on the road and keep them safe for a good many years to come.
Until Next Time... Charlie
"Diagnosed the problem, replaced the bad hose and finished the entire service within 2 hours. They were honest and fair with the price. No hidden fees added. Traveled from Anthem to have truck serviced as I use to bring old vehicle here. Worth the drive to be treated so nicely and to have honest work done. They are my #1 go to people for servicing. I highly recommend them to all who read this." Rich S.