First and most important if you want your car last 200,000 miles is regular maintenance. Following the manufacture’s maintenance schedule is a good place to start. At Brown’s Alignment we can help you determine what your car really needs and also bypass unnecessary services. Coming in for regular oil services and tire rotations gives us a chance to check your car over for any potential problems. Most manufactures recommend servicing your car every 3 to 5,000 miles. Tests have shown over and over again that cars that are serviced regularly hold up better and last longer than cars that are neglected.
On your way to helping your car last 200,000 miles
In between your visits to the shop you should do your own mini inspections. Once per week give your car a once over. Check your engine oil, the car must be on level ground. We will be glad to show you how to check your oil if you do not know how. Check that all the lights are working. (This step might save you getting a ticket). Make sure your wipers are not splitting or cracking. Ideally check your tire pressure or at least give your tires an eyeball test. Look at the ground below were your car is normally parked for any signs of fluid leaks. All this should take less than 5 minutes and could save you some headaches like being strand on the side of the road. Problems that are neglected often end up costing more money than they would have if they had been taken care of right away.
The next part of your job is to be aware of how your car sounds, drives and smells. Sometimes it is a good idea to turn off the music and just listen as you drive. Be on the lookout for any unusual noises. Noises to listen for include: squeal, screech, whistle, squeak, grinding, rough metal on metal, bump, thump, clunk, etc.. How is your car riding? Is it bouncy, jerking, vibrating, pulsating, sputtering, coughing or dragging? Also, do not forget about smells. Bad smells include: hot, burning type smells and coolant has a sweet smell. Any time you can catch a problem in its infancy it can only help save you time and money. Remember you goal is to last 200,000 miles or more!
**Note: The more information you can provide to you repair shop about how, what and when a specific problem occurs the better chance they have to find and resolve the issue quickly.
When it is time for service and or repair use only quality parts and fluids that meet your car manufacture’s specifications. See our services page.
Keep your car clean. The environment dishes out a lot of abuse while your car is trying to last 200,000 miles. Regular baths will keep salt and environmental hazards from building up on the car’s paint and undercarriage. Salt causes horrible rust issues with the suspension and brake systems. It shortens component’s life spans and adds to labor times when repairs are done. Keeping the paint clean and waxed will help it last longer and fade less. Dirty carpet and seats will wear out faster. There is also a psychological connection between keeping your car clean and also wanting to keep it running well.
Lastly, taking off slowly , slowing down and turning easy will greatly reduce wear and tear on your car. Aggressively racing from stop to stop type driving is hard on your engine and transmission and will reduce the life of your tires and brake pads. Try to avoid holding your steering all the way right or left for more than a few seconds as this can lead to power steering pump damage. If you want you car to be your companion and last 200,000 miles you need to be nice to it.