Because new cars are more expensive, Washington DC residents are driving their old cars longer. The average car is now over nine years old and 68% of vehicles on the road have more than 75,000 miles/120,000 kilometers. As cars age, their performance drops, they have difficulty idling for long periods, and are more sensitive to weather extremes. Fortunately today’s cars are up to the challenge – but they need a little help to keep on going.
Extending Service Intervals
Routine maintenance. Some owner’s manuals don’t outline service requirements and schedules for higher mileage. Of course, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be done. In fact, it’s more important than ever for Washington DC car owners to stay on top of routine auto maintenance for cars with more than 120,000 miles/190,000 kilometers. It’s not difficult to extend regular service intervals out: for instance a service that’s recommended every 24,000 miles/38,000 kilometers should be performed at 24,000 mi/38,000 km; 48,000 mi/77,000 km; 72,000mi/116,000 km, 96,000 mi/154,000 km; and on and on.
Severe maintenance. Because of the additional stress older engines experience, the severe service maintenance schedule may be more appropriate than the regular schedule. Watch for leaks – seals and gaskets dry out over time and do not hold the fluids as well as they used to.
Service advisor. If you don’t already have one, it is more vital than ever to get a good service advisor, like any one of the automotive professionals on our team at Metro Motor. There are some services and replacements that are scheduled after you put some clicks on the odometer, like timing belts, valve train adjustments, suspension, anti-lock brake service, air bags, etc. And unexpected repairs down the road are just par for the course.
Driver vigilance. Check for unusual sounds, smells or the way your car feels. These could be hints for Washington DC motorists that trouble is brewing. Better to catch it early before it turns into a significant repair. Regular wash and wax will help maintain your car’s appearance.
High Mileage Fluids
One of the things Washington DC motorists can do to really help a high mileage vehicle is to begin using high mileage formulation fluids. There are special engine oils, coolants, transmission fluids and power steering fluids that are formulated for cars that have higher mileage.
High mileage oil is designed to condition seals and gaskets, reduce wear and avoid premature burn off. Older late model vehicle engines are dirtier inside – and dirty engines contaminate their oil faster. High mileage oil has special additives that clean the engine, removing sludge deposits over time. The result is less stress on the engine, better gas mileage and excellent wear protection. Come into Metro Motor for a checkup.
Studies have even shown that using high mileage fluids early will actually prevent some of the problems of high kilometer vehicles. So once you hit around 50,000 mi/80,000 km, consider stepping up to high mileage formulations. The fluids cost a bit more than standard fluids in Washington DC because of the additional additives, but they can be worth their weight in gold for Washington DC auto owners in terms of preventing pricey repair costs down the road.
It does cost more for car owners to properly maintain a higher mileage vehicle in Washington DC – but it’s much cheaper than a new car payment!