The average age of American cars galloping down the highways reached an all-time high of around 11 years old. What’s more, about half of drivers when polled say that their primary vehicle has more than 100,000 miles on it, which would have been unheard of two decades ago.
The trick to eking out more mileage from your vehicle is car maintenance, but vehicles are definitely being designed to go the distance.
Simply put, cars and trucks are better made now. In 1995 the average lifespan for a vehicle was, indeed, around eight years and 100,000 miles may well have been the kiss of death. Those days are over since the Bureau of Transportation Statistics has found that the average lifespan in 2016 was more than 11 years. Vehicles are simply more reliably made and onboard diagnostics can clue mechanics in to problems sooner.
Eleven years is the average vehicle lifespan – meaning half of cars and trucks last longer, sometimes much longer, than that. So, cars and trucks are lasting longer, and they’re being driven more. The average American will put 13,000 miles on his or her vehicle.
Putting those two things together – 11 years and 13,000 miles – that’s 143,000 miles easy on a car or truck!
Car Maintenance Gets More Important With Age
Last year Consumer Reports put together an article talking about the different kinds of preventive car maintenance required to getting your vehicle over the 200,000 mile marker. That’s right, 200,000 miles!
The auto experts over there found that improved powertrain technology plus lubricants and synthetic motor oils designed to prevent wear and tear were largely behind vehicles lasting longer.
Moreover, they found that missing a single oil change could lead to premature engine wear and possibly prevent a vehicle going all the way.
In dollars and cents, you’ll save an average of $30,000 by keeping your vehicle on the road this long. It might take around 15 years to get there, but if you love your vehicle then know that car maintenance at All Around Auto Repair should give it a fighting chance to allow it to go the distance.
Behind-the-wheel Advice for Longevity
The way that you drive your vehicle can also have a dramatic effect on its longevity. Too much stop-and-go driving, for example, can cause long-term damage to the transmission, exhaust system, and brakes.
Taking a lot of short drives can actually result in water buildup in the exhaust system and engine of your vehicle; too much water can lead to rust and premature aging.
Sometimes you can’t help taking a short trip to the grocery store, but if you take that short trip then just make sure to go easy on the accelerator the first few minutes to let the engine warm up.
Short trips might not allow your battery to fully charge, true, but the long-term damage from a bunch of short trips is actually related to engine sludge buildup. If you make a bunch of short trips in succession what can happen is your engine won’t get sufficiently hot to burn the fuel in the oil or your vehicle’s engine and exhaust system.
That residual fuel can lead to engine sludge. If you’re really serious about extending the longevity of your vehicle, then you might consider consolidating a bunch of short trips into a longer trip with more errands so that the fuel in the oil can be burned off, sidestepping engine sludge buildup.
All Around Auto Repair Can Help
If you’re really serious about car maintenance, then you need an all-hands-on-deck approach: regular oil changes, filter replacements, and rotating your tires for greater longevity. How often do these need looking after?
Filters should be changed out about at least every 3 years or 30,000 miles. With new synthetic oils, your vehicle might need an oil change about every 5,000 miles. Tire rotations should also be done about every 5,000 miles.
If you notice screeching while braking or your dashboard check engine light flashing, though, then come directly in to All Around Auto Repair because something could be seriously wrong with your vehicle.
Your car can go the distance with a mix of vigilance, smart driving practices, and regular car maintenance. Schedule an appointment online with All Around Auto Repair or call (707) 837 – 0646.