Vehicles built in the past 10 years, with careful attention, should be able to operate efficiently, even after the odometer ticks over 200,000km. Granted, there may be some replacement parts and potentially significant costs involved, but if you would like to see your car to the end of its natural lifespan, here are the things to be mindful of:
Servicing your vehicle is the best way to identify wear and tear in the engine and structurally, before damage occurs. Keep to the service schedule and heed the advice of a trusted mechanic and your owner’s manual in terms of when to replace parts.
Keep rust at bay
The greatest enemy of the high-mileage vehicle is rust. Rust interferes with the structural integrity of the vehicle, compromising its safety, and it’s unsightly as well. Part your car in a garage or carport where possible and protect it with polish, as well as washing regularly to remove salt or any other corrosive substance.
Take care of all the surfaces, inside and out to prevent unnecessary deterioration due to dampness, mould, or other dirt. Replace wiper blades and rubber trims as they perish through exposure to the elements.
There are a number of engine additives on the market, designed specifically for high-mileage vehicles, which will lengthen the life of your engine and target specific areas of wear.
Be prepared to invest
At 100,000km, there are a number of major parts which require replacement (e.g. cambelt/timing chain/some automatic transmission parts). At 200,000km, these will most likely need replacing again. As these are expensive items, it is important to weigh up the investment you will be making to keep your car running, given that it will not add value.
Enjoy your car
If your car is truly ‘part of the family’, love and care for it, and enjoy many years of motoring on the same set of wheels!