100,000 mile car maintenance is important. These days people are keeping their cars longer than ever before. There are several reasons for this striking statistic. However the most obvious reason is the fact that the economy took a nose dive in late 2008. So if you are like the millions of people electing to drive their cars beyond the 100,000 mile mark, it would be wise of you to invest the money into getting the proper maintenance needed at this integral moment in your car’s life.
Before diving into the biggest maintenance project of your vehicles life, be sure to consult with the maintenance schedule for your vehicle. Since every vehicle is different, many items may or may not apply to your car. If you have lost or manual or are otherwise in doubt, don’t be afraid to read on or ask your local reputable auto shop for advice. In addition to this, most auto manufacturers have made copies of the owner’s manual available online. Below is a general guide to what a typical car needs maintained at the 100,000 mile mark.
Fluids are the lifeblood of your vehicle. Over time, dirt and debris can begin to clog and overwhelm your engine and its parts eventually leading to an expensive repair. In addition to this, many fluids have additives that lose their effectiveness over time. So it makes sense that replacing them with new and clean liquids will help to ensure that you can drive your car for another 100,000 miles. For most cars it is recommended that the oil, transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and brake fluid all get completely replaced. In some cases, certain fluids will reside in a permanently sealed reservoir for which replacement is not necessary or possible.
Your vehicle’s serpentine belts are made of a special kind of rubber designed to work in a hot engine compartment. However, this does not mean that they will last forever. When inspecting the belts look for signs of cracking, missing ribbing, or just general brittleness. If you see any of these signs it means that it is time to replace them with a fresh belt.
Timing Belt and Water Pump
Besides changing your oil, this maintenance task is probably one of the most important items that you can do because the damage caused by a broken timing belt on interference engines can be extremely costly to fix. Statistically speaking, there is a really good chance that your timing belt will eventually break. Even though this maintenance item is costly (both time wise and money wise), do not put off getting your timing belt replaced. And since you are going to all of the trouble to have this replaced, you might as well have the mechanic replace the water pump too. In some cars, a new timing belt tensioner will also be required as part of this maintenance item.
Tires and Brakes
Since your vehicle’s tires are the only thing that actually touches the pavement, it is vitally important to ensure that they are in good working order. Check the tire’s inflation level as well as tread depth. Inspect them for signs of uneven wear, cracking, and bulging. Don’t forget to rotate them either. If the tires have uneven wear, or the vehicle is pulling to one side, it may be time for an alignment too.
Along with tires, your brakes are another vitally important piece of equipment that requires maintenance. Check your pads and/or shoes to make sure that there is plenty of material left to keep you stopping in the future. If you have disc brakes, inspect the rotors for signs of uneven wear, pitting, or warping. If you see any of those items, it might be a good idea to have them turned. You should go ahead and replace the brake pads if you have to have your rotors turned.
Other Things to Inspect or Replace
In addition to belts and fluids, most auto manufacturers recommend replacing a few other items as well. For instance, changing out your spark plugs is a relatively easy task that should be part of the 100,000 mile maintenance. Don’t be afraid to change the car’s fuel filter, air filter, and PCV valve too. If your car is particularly old, it is probably time to replace the cap and rotor as well.
While you are under your car changing the oil, you should inspect the undercarriage for signs of rust and other damage. If there are signs of rust, hopefully you caught it early enough to get it taken care of properly. Another thing that you should do is to go ahead and lubricate all of the moving joints and hinges on your car. This includes things like the door and seat hinges.
And finally, it is a good idea to inspect all of the rubber hoses located under your hood. This includes the coolant and oil lines as well as vacuum hoses and fuel lines.
How Much Does the 100,000 Mile Maintenance Cost?
Since the 100,000 mile maintenance is the largest and most in-depth of all of the maintenance intervals, it is also the most expensive. Still though, paying for maintenance will save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run. If you have an interference engine did you know that repairing one damaged from a broken timing belt could cost you upwards of $3,000 to repair? Given that proposition, getting the maintenance will sound like a good deal.
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