|How to make your car last 250,000 miles:
According to a report from the auto-industry research firm R. L. Polk, the average age of vehicles on U.S. roads has reached a record 10.8 years. At an average of 15,000 annual miles, a typical vehicle may now have 162,000 miles on the clock. Today’s cars and trucks are simply built better than ever, thanks to improved engineering and materials. But for those who want to get even more from their cars, how can drivers take a vehicle to the 250,000 milestone and still have wheels that are reliable and cosmetically appealing? To get answers, they interviewed service writers and auto technicians certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
Find good mechanics and stick with them.
Develop a long-term working relationship with your mechanic, similar to that of a doctor and patient. If you find a shop that gets to know you and your car, a working history develops so both parties know what has or hasn’t been done to your vehicle. There are many capable independent mechanics, but there are also strong reasons to stick with dealer service. Technicians at a dealerships work on cars of a particular brand all day, so they know them inside and out. They also have quick access to factory parts and the latest service information.
Don’t ignore the wrench.
When a dashboard light that shows a wrench or says service engine illuminates and stays on, it’s time for some scheduled maintenance. Follow that schedule to the letter. If you see a warning light shaped like an engine, there’s an issue with the emission control equipment that also should be checked immediately.
Charles Plueddeman – Veteran motor-journalist and Wisconsin native has been riding, driving and testing automobiles, motorcycles, boats, ATVs and snowmobiles for more than 20 years. His product evaluations have been appeared in Popular Mechanics, Men’s Journal and Auto World to name a few.