If you're looking for how to make a car last 500,000 miles, you need to maintain a good understanding of your vehicles owner’s manual, keep your car’s interior and exterior in good shape, familiarize yourself with the different components in your engine, understand the common symptoms of bad vehicle components, use a good fuel and never drive on a very low fuel tank, drive your vehicle with caution, and maintain a good relationship with a skilled mechanic.
Vehicles are not designed to last forever, and there will be a point in time where they will break down. However, you as a driver can play a major role in extending the life span of your own vehicle.
Learning some tips and tricks can help you make your car last longer. Most of these tips and tricks do not require having advanced mechanical skill sets or complicated toolboxes. You are simple regular maintenance routines that you need to be aware of and never miss.
Our team studied all available recommendations by automotive experts on how to make a car last 500,000 miles. We summarize the recommendations in this article and break them down by simple practices you can apply and keep in mind daily. We also provide you with some other alternatives to consider when dealing with older vehicles approaching 500,000 miles.
How to make a car last 500,000 miles?
According to the US Department of Transportation, most vehicles do not last beyond 12 years or about 128 thousand miles. The good news is that achieving the 500,000 miles milestone is not impossible, especially with the advanced technologies in most modern vehicles.
The majority of modern cars come with more durable materials along with different safety features and additional options to help your vehicle last longer. However, if you don't take good care of your car, even the most modern car will not achieve anywhere close to the 500,000 miles milestone.
Let's take a closer look at some of the recommendations published by automotive experts on how to make a car last 500,000 miles.
Become a friend with your vehicles owner’s manual
The first and most important step to achieve the 500,000 miles is maintaining a good relationship with your vehicle's owner’s manual. Automotive experts and automakers put a lot of time and effort into creating these manuals to help you maintain the longest lifespan your vehicle can achieve.
The nice thing about these manuals is that they have dedicated pages for regular maintenance that you need to perform to extend the lifespan of your car and maintain its health.
For instance, most manuals include information about when's the right time to change the timing belts, perform tire rotations, and change your vehicle's oil.
These simple regular maintenances can indirectly extend the lifespan of your vehicle. For example, if you rotate your car’s tires on time, you don't only provide some benefits to the tires themselves. Still, also, you enhance and protect the entire suspension system, which might cost you thousands of dollars and can reduce the lifespan of your vehicle if not taken care of properly.
Maintain a clean vehicle
When you're driving in any environment, many foreign particles interact with their vehicle's internal and external portions. Therefore, you need to maintain a clean vehicle inside out.
You could either rely on drive-through car washes as a quick and very convenient way to get your vehicle cleaned fast. However, there is a very high chance that the swirls can cause some scratches on the vehicle exterior resulting and removing the clear coat on your vehicle's exterior, which increases the chances of rust due to oxidation.
On the other hand, you can try hand washing your car a couple of times a week, especially if you live in environments close to the ocean where there is a lot of salt. Salt increases the chances of car rust. Rust is one of the toughest enemies your vehicle can deal with. This is because once the rust hits your car, it spreads crazy like a wildfire and it can be hard to contain and manage.
Understand the engine components.
Since the engine is one of the most vital components in your vehicle, you need to familiarize yourself with the different components creating the engine. Each component is susceptible to damages, and by understanding the primary job of each of these components, you can eliminate future high costs.
For instance, you need to know that you'll find the intake manifold, the cylinder, the engine block, and the cover within your engine. Also, some other components helping the engine perform probably include the fuse box, the air intake, the brake master cylinder, and the starter motor.
Once you understand the job of each component, it's important to maintain regular checkups to see if they are still working properly. You can also keep an eye on any symptom indicating about component within your engine. Finally, make sure that all hoses and connections are in good condition and there are no symptoms of any breakage around these hoses.
When detecting minor cracks in engine hoses, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort, and thousands of dollars by replacing these hoses immediately without waiting for the engine to get damaged.
Use a good fuel and never run on a near-empty tank
Since fuel runs throughout major components, it's important to maintain high-quality fuel. Although you can save on fuel by purchasing a cheaper one, the expected damages to the engine are extreme.
When buying a cheaper fuel, you're most likely introducing some foreign particles to the fuel system that could affect any components within the system. If The Dirty fuel got to some sensitive components, you might deal with a damaged engine at any point in time.
It's also never recommended to run on very low fuel because, in most scenarios, fuel residue sets on the bottom of your fuel tank. You're pushing this residue and other contaminants through each of the engine components by running on low fuel. Thus, don't be surprised to deal with some damages in the fuel pumps, the seals, the injectors, and any other component that costs you thousands of dollars. It makes you give up on achieving the 500,000 miles milestone.
Ensure the proper fluid level
Fluids are one of the most important components in any vehicle, and these fluids must be at a certain level for your vehicle to drive properly.
For example, your vehicle needs engine oil, fuel, coolant, braking system fluid, and others.
If any of these mentioned fluids drop below a certain threshold, you'll see a significant dropping the engine's overall performance, if not some signs of damages. For instance, driving with very low coolant results in engine overheating, which is considered one of the most dangerous enemies and the vehicle could deal with. Engine overheating can result in too severe engine damage pretty quickly.
Check alignments, tires pressure, and rotation
Although tire maintenance is mentioned in detail in the vehicle owner’s manual and should be covered under the first bullet point, we would like to reinforce the importance of keeping the tires properly.
It's never recommended to continue driving without the proper level in the vehicle’s tires. When the tires are not at the right pressure level, it won't only damage the tires themselves but also affect the entire suspension system.
Tires rotation is a great and wise idea to ensure that your vehicle's overall suspension system and the vehicle's performance are right at what it's expected.
Finally, it's recommended to check the vehicle's alignment between now and then. Although it's not regular maintenance, you will do every oil change. When detecting an issue with the vehicle's alignments, you can save yourself thousands of dollars by fixing the alignment and preventing issues from reaching the vehicle suspension system.
Drive with care
Achieving the 500,000 miles threshold requires driving your vehicle carefully. It's never recommended to drive the car carelessly and use the different input hardly.
For example, when you use the different controls like the steering wheel, the gearbox, the pedals, and the braking system, it's important to use them gently to prevent damaging them prematurely.
Driving carelessly results in a shorter lifespan of your vehicle. For instance, you might cause some damages to the buckled wheels, the tires, and the springs. As a result, these damages do not stop there. Instead, they impact the surrounding components and might cost you thousands of dollars in addition to shortening the lifespan of your vehicle.
Find a good mechanic
During the lifespan of your vehicle, it is most likely that you will experience some minor and major maintenance issues. Therefore, it's recommended to maintain a good relationship with a skilled trustworthy mechanic who is ready to help you reach out to him anytime.
When you have a skilled mechanic, you can reach out to him while driving the car and before reaching the repair shop. Some minor mechanical problems can invigorate and become major just by continuing to drive this car. When having a trustworthy mechanic, you can get in touch with him before driving the vehicle.
Which cars last the longest?
Although the mentioned tips and tricks help you maintain a long-lasting vehicle, certain brands tend to last more than others. It could be that the automakers of these brands pay close attention to use durable materials resulting in long-lasting vehicles.
Let's take a look closer look at some of the common long-lasting car brands:
Interestingly, some brands are known for not having many problems. However, they are not the same as long-lasting vehicles. Thus, if you're wondering, which car brands have the least problems, you need to consider the following list:
Keep in mind that even if these vehicles are designed to have fewer problems because they are made of more durable materials, driving them carelessly and ignoring common sense on regular maintenance can cause them to break down prematurely.
Maintaining the long lifespan of your vehicle is doable and can happen by implementing several tips and tricks. However, it can be extremely challenging to have your vehicle hit the 500,000 miles without major damages but, it's not impossible.
This article provided you with some simple tips and tricks to maintain, so you don't have to worry about major damages, and your vehicle can successfully achieve 500,000 miles.
Some of these tips include familiarizing yourself with the vehicle's owner’s manual, maintaining a clean vehicle internally and externally, checking the fluid levels, having a trusted mechanic, and driving carefully.
While these tips and tricks can enhance and expand the lifespan of your vehicle, they might work on certain brands but not on others. This is because these brands are designed using certain more durable materials than other brands.
It's important to note that vehicles are still susceptible to measure damages after the 100,000 miles milestone. If you're not ready to deal with these damages, it might be the right time now to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer instead and use the money towards a better vehicle. It doesn't require all of this effort.
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