With as much as we drive in southern California, the loss of a car is almost as crushing as the loss of a family pet. It used to be that the 100,000 mile threshold was the time to start getting nervous, but today’s automobiles can last for double that amount of time – if you treat them right. Here are some tips to keep your ride on the road for years to come:
1) Open The Book: Each car is a little different, so the owner’s manual and maintenance guides should be strictly adhered to by the time the odometer hits six digits. That means some annoying costs, including replacing some parts that seem to still be working. But it’s better to replace a worn-out but functional timing belt than it is to have to replace it after it breaks – and have to fix the engine because the belt messed it up.
2) Find A Trustworthy Mechanic: The quick-and-dirty oil change shop does not usually employ the most experienced technicians. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to go to the dealer, but ask around and find out where your friends go and whom they recommend.
3) Keep Up With Fluids: Oil changes are obviously important, but don’t forget about transmission and brake fluids, either. Consistently use the same kinds and make sure that they’re being drained and replaced at regular, suggested intervals.
4) Miles Matter: As unbelievable as it may be for those of us here in soCal, highway miles are easier on a car than city miles, if for no other reason than the constant stop/start of stoplights add wear and tear. If you find yourself constantly driving in rush hour traffic, you have to be even more vigilant about breakdowns.