Appleton, Neenah, Green Bay, Stevens Point, and Weston (Wausau Area) area residents may remember when the U.S. government's “Cash for Clunkers” program made a splash on the news scene. People were offered incentives to trade in old vehicles for new, in the interest of better and improved air quality from reduced emissions.
But a lot of drivers want to hang onto their old clunkers. They're dependable and they're paid for. Owners would love to see the odometers on those vehicles turn past 200,000 miles, as long as the repair bills don't get too expensive.
There are a lot of vehicles on Wisconsin roads that have run past the 150,000 or 200,000 mile odometer. Is there something that their owners are doing that keeps these vehicles on the road? Or did they just win the “lemon lottery,” and luck out by getting a particularly good vehicle? Not surprisingly, most of these owners have something in common. They never skip an oil change. Can keeping a vehicle on the road for 200,000 miles really be that easy for drivers?
Actually, it makes sense. Oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle. Clean oil ensures that the engine will run efficiently and staves off the buildup of sludge that can eventually damage engine parts. Oil changes remove dirty oil and replace dirty oil filters, keeping an engine clean and running smoothly, just like eating right keeps our hearts healthy by preventing build-up in our arteries.
But there's another reason why not skipping an oil change can result in a longer life for your car. When you bring your car in to AUTO SELECT for an oil change, all of the fluid levels are checked and topped off. If these fluids are depleted, dirty or low, they can damage the engine and or the vehicle. If a fluid is significantly low, it usually indicates a leak somewhere, leading to an inspection of relevant parts. This inspection and the replacement of the worn part can prevent repair bills and maintain the health of the engine and or vehicle.
While performing an oil change, your technician at AUTO SELECT will also do a quick check for worn belts or hoses, uneven tire tread wear, leaking shock absorbers and other signs of wear and tear. This advance notice allows the owner to replace parts before they break down and possibly damage your vehicle.
The oil change is also a good time to review any other service that the vehicle might need. Many car owners rely on their experts at AUTO SELECT for good auto advice on check-ups and follow-up car care that will keep older cars running well. Parts wear out on older vehicles. There's no avoiding it. As the odometer chugs upward toward 200,000 miles, the vehicle will need several batteries, a couple of alternators and water pumps, a new set of shocks and possibly some brake rotors. But these items — all together — add up to far less than the cost of a new car.
Good car care and preventive maintenance are the hallmark of drivers that have kept their vehicles on the road and running past the age when most of us have given up and headed back to a car lot. We can learn from their wisdom. So treat your car right: Take good care of it and don't skip the check-ups at AUTO SELECT.