Reports say that the median age for cars on the road is over nine years and that two-thirds have over 120,000 kilometers. In recent years those numbers have continued to rise here in St. Thomas and across ON.
Many St. Thomas folks are keeping their vehicles longer. The economy has influenced that, but the fact that modern cars and trucks are more durable and reliable means that owning a vehicle with a high odometer reading doesn’t have to be a painful experience for drivers.
St. Thomas drivers with over 160,000 kilometers on their vehicles often ask us at The Auto Guys about what service intervals they should follow. Let’s start with the special needs of the older vehicle.
The reality is that time and distance traveled will take its toll. The engine and transmission will have more sludge. The fuel, steering and brake systems will have gum and varnish built up. There’ll be more dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank. Corrosion and deposits in the cooling system. And seals and gaskets will start to dry out.
All of this, plus normal wear and tear, means that the engine might not be as strong as new so it just has to work harder to get the job done.
So residents with those vehicles need to compensate. Consider high-mileage oil formulations for oil changes, transmission service, etc. These special formulations contain additives that condition the seals and gaskets to prevent leaks. They also have more detergents to clean sludge and other deposits. They cost a bit more, but they’re worth it. Talk to your The Auto Guys service advisor.
In general, if a service was recommended every, let’s say, 24,000 kilometers when the car was new, you should continue to get the service done every 24,000 kilometers.
Talk with your The Auto Guys service advisor about the condition of your engine. See if he thinks you should adjust your service intervals for oil changes or other maintenance to account for the older engine working harder.
If anything, following recommended intervals is more important as your vehicle gets older. Skipping oil changes or other services can lead to problems much more quickly than with a newer vehicle.
So, have your The Auto Guys service advisor help you with an assessment of your older car or truck. If you haven’t gotten around to a fuel system cleaning, or replacing power steering or brake fluid, a differential service or transmission service, it’s time to start taking care of those things. It’ll help keep you on the road in for many more happy kilometers.
Stop by or give us a call.
The Auto Guys
135 South Edgeware Rd.
St. Thomas, ON N5P 4C4