If you own a car, chances are you’re hoping to use it longer than your last car. The average age of cars on the road is 12.5 years—the highest it’s ever been. When it comes to getting more life from your vehicle, the number on the odometer is usually the first thing owners check. There is a common perception that a vehicle’s mileage is the best measure of reliability. But there’s more to the story.
A car’s life isn’t determined by miles driven.
Mileage is just one indicator of a vehicle condition. Theoretically, a vehicle that has covered more miles has more wear and tear, but a car with 60,000 miles on the odometer can easily be in worse shape than one with 120,000 miles. Cars and trucks like to be driven. Parts that don’t get regular use can become brittle and break more easily. And a low-mileage car that hasn’t had regular maintenance can see more problems down the line. Overall, a high-mileage vehicle that is driven frequently and has been well-maintained will be a more reliable bet.
Modern technology means a longer vehicle life-span.
At one time, 100,000 miles was considered a long life for a vehicle. Today, that same distance is considered mid-life for most cars. Certain makes and models regularly roll through 200,000 and even 300,000 miles. Updated technology means cars run more reliably and, when properly maintained, can go years without requiring major repairs or replacements. Since today’s cars last longer, mileage is a less reliable factor of remaining life.
Maintenance is king.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping a vehicle running well. Check the owner’s manual for a suggested maintenance schedule and stick to it. Proper upkeep isn’t just regular oil changes, but also paying attention to brake fluid, transmission fluid and tire rotation. Maintaining these details goes a long way toward keeping a vehicle in great shape.
Consider product quality, too. A full synthetic oil, like Cenex® Maxtron® PCMO, will often last longer and do a better job keeping parts moving smoothly. A detergent gasoline, such as Cenex TOP TIER® detergent gasoline, can keep deposits from building and clogging your engine.
This is the bottom line: Mileage is one component of a vehicle’s health. Maintaining a strict maintenance schedule and driving your car regularly will help keep your vehicle on the road for thousands of miles—and many years to come.
Photo courtesy of FLICKR USER.
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