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Breaking the 200,000 Mile Barrier with Your Vehicle

How to acheive the 200,000 mile mark on your vehicle

Nowadays, driving your vehicle for 200,000 miles is very common, and with a little planning, it can be done economically.  My personal opinion is your vehicle should go that far without any major component repairs (i.e. engine or transmission), but you need to have a plan. 

Routine Maintenance

First off, routine maintenance is critical and is far easier to budget for.  Unexpected breakdowns can be costly and very inconvenient. For the most part, breakdowns are the result of poor or neglected maintenance.  

Fluid Replacements

Fluid replacements at proper intervals are critical. All manufacturers have maintenance schedules stating when they should be done. Keep in mind, you will need to tailor your maintenance schedule to your driving habits. If you do a lot of high speed driving or trailer towing, fluid changes would be needed sooner than if you didn’t.  

Oil changes are one of the cheapest repairs you can do on your car, but has a dramatic effect on your vehicles longevity. All fluids will breakdown over time and will cause costly repairs.

Things like anti-freeze need to be changed on a regular basis. Many cars come equipped with extended life anti-freeze, but it still needs to be replaced at proper intervals (typically every 5 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first). Most transmission failures can be traced to transmission fluid that degraded and caused lack of lubrication.

You will find you get better mileage, longer tire wear, and fewer breakdowns. 

The beauty of following a maintenance schedule is that you can plan on expected costs. A good repair facility will track your maintenance and keep you abreast of what is needed. You can also read and follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual. Just be sure to document what you have done.

Your Car is Like You

Finally, your car is a lot like you. If you abuse your body, things wear out. Your knees or back can give out from lack of exercise or poor lifting techniques. Diabetes and high blood pressure can be a result of poor diet and exercise.  

Treat your car well. Don’t overload it, don’t let your engine idle for long periods of time, and keep clean fluids in it. Have your vehicle safety inspected at least twice a year. You will find you get better mileage, longer tire wear, and fewer breakdowns.  And, oh yeah, a car that is a lot more fun to own and drive.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Luke May 04, 2012 at 06:38 AM
My cars stay in my family, and they always get more than 200,000 miles. The weird thing for me is to see the recommended oil change interval at 10,000 miles for a lot of these newer cars. Fords, for example.
John Haunfelder May 04, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Craig tap water wont hurt your sensors. Drain and recycle your old anti freeze and I wouldnt suggest any flush additives unless your cooling system is very dirty. Also some manufacturers recommend mixing coolant with distilled water when filling especially hybrid vehicles.
John Haunfelder May 04, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Like I stated in the article an oil change is the cheapest thing you can do to prolong your vehicles life. I personally only go 6,000 miles on my vehicles and that is with synthetic oil . And no if you change more often I don't think your ruining the planet. Oil is recyclable.
Craig May 04, 2012 at 12:36 PM
John: Thanks for the info. I have been putting off flushing the coolant system because the owners manual says to NEVER use water because it will destroy the sensors, I kind of figured it was aimed at those who don't ever add Dex Cool antifreeze. The top of the radiator cap has some build up of black gresse like goop, I think a flush additive may be warranted. I have been using Mobil 1 since the car was new, every 7500 miles. It still doesn't leak or burn a drop.
Kjell Johansen May 04, 2012 at 09:00 PM
200,000 miles. Kinda low. I'm at 318,800 in my 2006 Jetta TDI. Change the oil every 10,000 miles and follow other recommended actions in the owner's manual. Drives like a dream. Kjell Johansen

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