We have all heard these stories, cars and trucks lasting 200,000, 300,000, even 500,000 miles. What is the key? Three words: maintenance, maintenance, upkeep. “Nobody reads the owner’s manual. Pretty far to make it run that way it’s fluids, timing belts, upkeep by the publication,” explained Jim Moritz, global technical coach for an international automotive tool and equipment manufacturing firm.
These vehicle owners adhere to each word advocated by the automaker, for them it is a faith. Oftentimes, they are changing engine oil, transmission and brake fluids more frequently than required. They read that manual from cover to cover.
“I know guys who are getting 300,000 miles out of a F-Series pickup and 400,000 miles out of a Hyundai Sonata,” he said. “There is no such thing as too much maintenance, you are not going to damage it.”
Best Car Maintenance Tips
Listed below are 10 maintenance ideas to create the engine, transmission and other expensive parts of your vehicle last longer. Most importantly, read the owner’s guide to prevent thousands of dollars in repairs.
Check the Oil Level: The easiest task to increase the life span of your automobile is to maintain the proper quantity of oil in the engine. Oil lubricates the motor parts. Secondly, oil is a fluid which disperses heat. Some of the oil is burned off from the motor so that it needs to be replenished when the level drops. Make certain it is the appropriate weight oil to your engine. “An engine runs hotter with less oil in it. The hotter it runs the more strain, stress that’s put on the motor parts. You could blow off the motor eventually, meaning it will need to be reconstructed or replaced, it’s extremely expensive. It will not blow up when the motor is a bit of oil down, but when they start getting a few quarts down it is possible to encounter some interesting issues,” Moritz said.
Fight sludge: There is a significant drawback to short trips, stop-and-go traffic, as well as long trips when there’s a hefty load on the motor, by way of instance, pulling a trailer. The enemy: Sludge. Sludge is a petroleum jelly that’s a gooey, black-colored substance that builds up in an engine. It’s a significant contributor to engine issues. Changing the engine oil at prescribed intervals or more frequently will lessen the probability of sludge buildup and extend the life of the motor. Specific driving conditions can cause sludge. It can come from oil solidifying on a long excursion at engine temperatures normally over 210 degrees Fahrenheit. Other culprits are brief excursions that prevent the engine from attaining its proper operating temperature and water in the oil caused by condensation. “It accumulates anywhere in search. However, if the engine warms up, the oil blends with all the goo and can be pumped throughout the entire engine,” Moritz said. “Sludge doesn’t burn ” To refrain from sludge, follow the owner’s guide for oil and filter changes or change to synthetic oil, which is not petroleum based. Many fleets utilize synthetic oil.
Timing belt replacement: Your car’s engine has either a rubber composite timing belt or timing chain. The device connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, which can be synchronized with the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. If your car has a timing belt, follow the operator’s manual to determine if the belt should be replaced. “Rubber straps split and when they do that is the conclusion of the engine, it’s catastrophic, you’re finished,” Moritz said. The cost to replace the timing belt is not cheap but it is thousands less than just rebuilding the motor.
Check power steering fluid: Mature vehicles and a few new models possess a hydraulic power steering pump that is lubricated by power steering fluid. The pump reservoir has a screw-type cap which lifts off, so the fluid level can be checked. If the pump runs dry, it may fail and take a replacement costing hundreds of dollars. A few symptoms of a power steering problem are squealing noises when turning the steering wheel or heavy or stiff steering. Newer vehicles have electric power steering; there are not any fluids. Frequent stop-and-go driving or pulling a trailer accelerates deterioration. Under those circumstances the transmission’s operating temperature climbs, placing a strain on the transmission’s elements along with the fluid. Automakers urge more regular fluid replacement under those conditions. Check the owner’s manual for specifics. Signs of transmission problems: If the fluid turns dark or has a burnt odor this could be a signal that the it needs to be altered or that the transmission is growing mechanical issues. Check the fluid level when the engine is running. To avoid transmission failure just use the fluid advocated by the automaker. “I know a guy who mixed fluid onto a Honda.
Radiator coolant flushing: Coolant has rust inhibitors that break down over time. Rust and corrosion can build up and harm an engine, plug a thermostat and harm a water pump. Some automakers urge a coolant change every 30,000 miles, some suggest over 100,000 miles. Again, check the operator’s manual.
Top off brake fluid: as you are under the hood checking fluids, it is a good time to inspect that the brake fluid level. Place the vehicle on a flat surface, then unscrew the reservoir cap. The brake fluid level should be between the minimum and maximum marks in the fluid reservoir. Utilize the automaker’s recommended fluid and add to the proper level. Replacing the brake fluid will not increase the wellbeing of this brake system but it might save your life. Brake fluid absorbs water over time which degrades its effectiveness in providing stopping power. “A brake system isn’t perfectly sealed as you might think so it is possible to get condensation from the change of chilly temperatures to hot,” Moritz said. If you have too much water from the brake fluid, stepping on the brakes hard creates heat which in turn can boil the water at the line and as a result, increase the vehicle’s stopping distance.
Transfer case maintenance: This really is a very costly fix when things fail. The fluid within the transfer case on all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles needs to be replace at prescribed periods.
Rotate your tires: Tires are costly, so you want them to last. The owner’s manual will say when the tires should be rotated and alignment checked. Equally important is maintaining the correct air pressure for more miles from each tire.
Have a clean motor air filter: A dirty air filer can decrease mph, hurt engine functionality and contribute to high engine emissions.
No maintenance needed
There are some elements on automobiles that at one time demanded routine maintenance, but as a result of technological advances, there’s no need . Ball joints and steering linkage which at once necessary lubrication, no longer require it; new spark plugs may last 150,000 miles and in a single time automobile batteries (that are currently sealed for elevator ) required the water level in the electrolyte periodically checked.