One of the best ways to save money over the long term is to keep your car running well for as long as you can. Deferring maintenance can lead to costly repairs, and routinely replacing vehicles as they age can tear into even otherwise healthy budgets. Fortunately, modern automobiles are incredibly reliable, so keeping them for many years doesn't mean putting up with frustrations and high costs.
Of course, that doesn't mean keeping a car on the road doesn't require any effort at all. If your daily driver is starting to approach the hundred-thousand-mile mark, then it's time to start taking maintenance a little more seriously. These three tips will help you prepare for this milestone so that you can continue to enjoy your ride well into the six-figure mileage range.
1. Learn About Factory-Recommended Maintenance Intervals
You can usually find your manufacturer's mileage interval service recommendations in your user manual. Depending on the make and model of your car, these recommendations can come in numerous forms. For example, many German manufacturers prefer alternative intervals, such as BMW's Inspection I and II services. Others will list intervals for individual tasks such as oil changes or air filter replacements.
Whatever the case for your car, you should learn about these requirements before approaching 100,000 miles. Since you're likely well out of warranty at this point, you'll need to rely on these recommendations to keep your engine healthy. You should consider these service intervals as the bare minimum requirement for maintaining your vehicle.
2. Add Preventative Maintenance Items
Many items can fail on your car at regular intervals that your manufacturer may not cover. For example, water pumps are a typical failure point, but manufacturers rarely recommend them as part of routine service. In some cases, these components can fail at or even before you reach the 100,000-mile mark on your car.
You should discuss common failure points with your mechanic and consider adding them as routine preventative maintenance items at 100,000 miles. Taking the time to replace these components before they fail can save you from costly tows and potentially more expensive repairs.
3. Get an Inspection
Finally, you should consider an inspection as part of your 100,000-mile service. A mechanic or dealership with experience in your particular model can go over your car with a fine-toothed comb to find any potential problems. Since many problems can grow worse over time, finding these issues now can allow you to address them before they cost you more money in the future.
Ultimately, keeping a car running at 100k miles and beyond doesn't need to be challenging or expensive. By taking the time to perform necessary maintenance and address problems before they occur, you can ensure your vehicle will provide reliable service for as long as you need it.