Older Car Maintenance in 5 Steps [Infographic]
Thanks to advancements in automotive technology, it is not unusual for many cars to stay on the road well beyond the 100,000-mile mark. Whether your motives are financial, nostalgia or just plain pride, there are plenty of reasons — and a few simple things you can do — to help your older car go the distance.
5 STEPS FOR CARING FOR AN OLDER CAR
Stick to a regular maintenance routine, follow guidelines in your owner’s manual and get your car serviced at recommended intervals.
1. Purchase a Proven Model
Do your research to choose a reputable car.
Get the best warranty and safety features you can aﬀord.
Negotiate routine maintenance into the cost.
Buying used? Have a trusted mechanic check it out ﬁrst.
2. Get a Good Mechanic
Find a qualiﬁed mechanic you trust to be your 'go-to' for repairs.
Have your car diagnosed and repaired at the ﬁrst sign of a problem.
Use quality, manufacturer-recommended parts.
3. Mind Your Maintenance Milestones
Add these preventative checks and changes to your maintenance routine as your car begins to put on the miles.
Every 5,000 miles / 6 months
- Get a lube, ﬁlter and oil change
- Check tire pressure, condition and wheel alignment
- Rotate and balance tires
- Inspect shocks for leaks, cracks, damage or wear
Every 25,000 miles / 2 years
- Change brake pads and ﬂuids
- Flush and change transmission ﬂuid
- Flush and change coolant
- Check and change ﬁlters
Every 50,000 miles / 3 years
- Change tires
- Resurface or replace rotors and drums
- Check and change belts (accessory drive, timing, alternator, etc.)
- Change radiator hose
- Repack the wheel bearings
- Flush and change fuel lines
Every 75,000 miles / 4-5 years
- Change battery
- Change water pump
- Check CV (constance velocity) joints
- Change brake lines
4. Watch for Warning Signs
Pay attention! Get your car to your mechanic as soon as you notice:
- Unusual tire wear
- Poor acceleration
- Pulling / drifting to one side
- Trouble starting car
- Idle is rough
- Leaking ﬂuids
- Engine misﬁres or surges
- Dashboard indicator lights are on
- Fuel consumption increases
- Car is grinding or shaking
- Unusual noises or odors
5. Keep it Clean
Regular cleaning is as important to protecting and preserving your car as regular maintenance.
- Vacuum at least once a month
- Wipe and apply UV protectant to plastic and vinyl surfaces every 3 months
- Park in the shade or use a sun screen
- Have the car professionally detailed
- Park under cover, if possible
- Wash at least once a month
- Wax whenever water no longer beads on the paint
- Remove any snow, salt or water as soon as possible after exposure
- Have a professional sealant /protective undercoating applied
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This material does not amend, or otherwise aﬀect, the provisions or coverages of any insurance policy or bond issued by Travelers. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy or bond. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy or bond provisions, and any applicable law. Availability of coverage referenced in this document can depend on underwriting qualiﬁcations and state regulations.
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