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Most Important Preventive Maintenance for A High-Mileage Car

Posted on by Defensive Driving Team | in Defensive Driving Tips

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of your car. You’ve been through a lot together. You bought it off the lot, taken it on dates, road trips, slept in it, and have had some good times with it. It’s easy to get attached to cars.

After putting some heavy miles on the car that you’ve had for the last 10 years, you’re going to start noticing that it doesn’t quite run like it used to. Having a high-mileage car means that you’re going to have to do a lot more preventive maintenance on it than you used to.

Oil Changes

Changing your oil every 3,000 miles (or however often the manufacturer suggests) is one of the best things you can do. There are special oils that can be used for high mileage cars that will help them run more smoothly. New oil will help keep your engine lubricated properly, and it will prevent any premature wear. Since cars with a lot of miles on them tend to burn through oil faster, it’s probably a good idea to change it at or before 3,000 miles, if at all possible.


Imagine if you couldn’t stop your car. While it might be the dream of every four year old kid who plays with Hot Wheels, it’s not the ideal situation for those of us who actually drive. Taking care of your brakes is a vital part of your preventive maintenance. You probably won’t have to check up on your brakes as often as you do with your oil changes (I hope not, anyway), but checking up on your brake pads and fluid, every now and then, certainly won’t hurt.


Transmissions are one of the most expensive things to fix, when they break, so avoiding transmission problems is very important if you want to keep your car running for a while. For transmission fluids, you should probably change them every 50,000 miles, or so. You’ll want to check it before then, though. You never want your transmission fluid running low. Checking for any transmission leaks occasionally can help too.

Defensive Driving

One of the things that many people forget about when talking about taking care of an older car is defensive driving (learn more here). Something that’s very appealing about defensive driving is that it’s free. Instead of accelerating quickly, swerving through traffic and slamming on your brakes, take your time and be safe on the road. Consider taking a refresher defensive driving course. This will be much safer for you as a driver, and it will be much, much easier on your engine and car.


If you’ve had your car for a while, chances are you know when the tires need to be rotated and changed. If you’re looking at buying a used car that has a lot of miles on it, you’ll want to take a look at the tires. Check the air pressure, tread, and ask when the tires need to be rotated and in which direction. Taking care of your tires is very important for any car, but especially a car with a lot of miles on it.


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