At Pacific Highway Auto Repair we've had a lot of San Diego customers asking how they can make their vehicles last longer. These questions are actually a reflection of a trend that's been building for several years in CA. The median age of personal vehicles is now over nine years. And 33 percent of all vehicles on the road have over 75,000 miles (120,000 km) on them. It looks like it's going to keep heading in that direction for a while. With high fuel prices, a lot of CA folks are putting off buying a new car.
So let's say you're one of the average in the San Diego area; you've got a nine-year-old car with 80,000 miles (130,000 km) on the odometer. What can you do to make it last another year or two?
Let's start with the premise that there's no reason that a modern car can't run for 200,000 miles (320,000 km) with proper care in San Diego. The engineering and manufacturing quality is there.
Of course, some parts will wear out along the way, but there's no reason for a catastrophic meltdown if San Diego drivers stay on top of their recommended car maintenance. The maintenance schedule in some vehicle manufacturer's owner's manuals runs out at 60,000 miles (100,000 km) or so: how do San Diego vehicle owners know what to do when they're way past that?
It is a challenge, for example: If a service is recommended every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) for the first 60,000 miles (100,000 km), you can just keep getting it done at least every 15,000 miles (24,000 km) after you hit 60,000 miles (100,000 km). But, it gets more complicated because older engines lose some efficiency, are dirtier inside and are just more stressed. That means it's very important to not miss any scheduled services. Skipping just one oil change at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego, for example, leaves an opportunity for sludge to build up. Talk to your service advisor at Pacific Highway Auto Repair for more details.
So all the usual things like oil changes, transmission service, coolant service, brakes, power steering, fuel system cleaning – all that stuff needs to be maintained. People responsible for fleet vehicles around San Diego are sticklers for scheduled maintenance. They know that money spent on maintenance saves them three ways:
- it keeps efficiency from decreasing;
- it prevents repairs, and;
- they can postpone purchasing new vehicles.
Having the oil changed may be the most important thing San Diego drivers can do. A full-service oil change at Pacific Highway Auto Repair means that all of your other fluids get topped off so they are never low enough to cause damage. It also gives your friendly and knowledgeable Pacific Highway Auto Repair service advisor a chance to spot problems in the early stages so that you can fix them before they get worse. And it gives you a touch point with an automotive professional along the way to remind you of things that aren't scheduled as often – things like differential service and timing belt replacement.
If you live in the San Diego area and have an older vehicle, you may need to follow the severe service maintenance schedule. Check your owner's manual and talk with us at Pacific Highway Auto Repair. Conditions inside an older engine, transmission and cooling system can arguably be considered severe – so shorter intervals could well be called for.
And, the team at Pacific Highway Auto Repair strongly encourages San Diego drivers to consider using high mileage formulation fluids. They're fluids like engine oil, transmission fluid and coolant that are formulated for older engines. They have special additives to clean deposits, and to condition and restore seals and gaskets that dry out with age. Some San Diego auto owners start using higher mileage formulations at around 50,000 miles (80,000 km) as a preventive measure.
Of course you also want to still look marvelous in your older car as you drive around San Diego. Salt and road grime wreak havoc on your paint job and can lead to body rust – so regular washing is very important. Also, a good quality waxing is recommended at least twice a year.
Give us a call for more information:
Pacific Highway Auto Repair
4306 Pacific Highway
San Diego, CA 92110