By December 31, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Prolong the Life of Your Car

Reader Question

I have a Buick with 103 thousand miles on it. I drive at least 500 miles a week to work and its all highway miles with no stop and go. I always change my oil every 3000 miles and have done all the maintenance as required by the car.

Believe it or not I still on the original brakes as they are only half worn. My question is are highway miles better than stop and go? Or is the wear the same no matter what. My car runs and looks great but is there anything else I can do to prolong the life of my car?


Hi there Bruce, 

Wow, you put some miles on your vehicle!  Yes, highway miles are much better (maintenance wise) for the overall health of the vehicle than short trips or lots of stop and go driving.  I would much better buy a higher mileage newer vehicle than an older vehicle with less miles that does a lot of sitting.

Its pretty much like the human body. People who sit at a computer all day long like ME :()  tend to not be in as good of shape physically as someone who works outside all day long and is more active.  It would not be pretty for me to get up right now and do a sprint down the street.

Keeping all fluids clean is vital for good maintenance. Engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, even flushing brake and power steering fluid is going to be beneficial for longer term good health of the car.  By now you should have or should think about flushing just about all of those fluids as part of your regular maintenance programs.

Brake fluid attracts moisture and will break down over time and can cause internal brake part failure, especially with all the sensitive ABS brake components these days.  If you have not done this, maybe when you do get to the replacement time of your brake pads you can have them renew the fluid at that time as well.

Power steering fluid breaks down and gets dirty and gritty and will damage the power steering pump and rack and pinion gear box, both are very expensive to replace. I would have the fluid checked and if its dirty and or gritty feeling have your oil change place renew it for you.

You do not have to go to the dealer for your maintenance, anyone can do it for you just keep good record keeping. The dealer still has to warranty the vehicle no matter who did the maintenance….although you are out of any warranty period, just a thought for your next vehicle. Dealerships tend to charge 20-50% more on maintenance repairs than independent shops or fast lube places.

Spark plug replacement is probably the only other real “big” maintenance item you will have at this mileage interval besides fluid changes.

Keep up the good work, and have a great New Year!

Austin Davis

About the Author:

Austin Davis, consumer car repair advocate. "Hi there! I love to help people solve their car repair problems and I hope my site was helpful to you today. Thank you for stopping by."