We at NAPA AUTO PARTS know today’s drivers can expect more from their vehicles than ever before. Half a century ago, a car with 100,000 miles was often at the end of its life. Now, many car owners expect vehicles to last 200,000 miles and beyond. Properly maintained, many will.
Our new “200K Mile Club” videos may be funny, but keeping your car or truck running its best is serious business. Whether you have ambitions to someday join the club or you’re already there, NAPA delivers the quality parts you need to get the most from your vehicle. For those ready to join the club, here are some tips that will help.
- Cheat. Gain immediate access into the 200K Mile Club by buying a car that already has more than 200,000 miles. Chances are, you’ll get a good deal. And while high mileage may turn some potential buyers away, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Look for a vehicle that has had just one or two owners, or one mostly used for long commutes or road trips. Service records will help you determine the vehicle’s maintenance history.
- Drive safely. Some accidents are inevitable, but others are totally avoidable. If your vehicle is totaled in a crash, you may have to start your quest to reach 200,000 miles over with a different car. Avoid distractions, slow down, buckle up and always drive alert and sober.
- Trust a professional. Whether you’ve never picked up a wrench or you perform most of the work on your car or truck yourself, you need a skilled and trustworthy mechanic. Your professional auto repairer will advise you on priority repair items, help with tasks too big or complicated for do-it-yourselfers, and keep an eye on your vehicle over the long term. If you don’t already have a technician you trust, ask friends and family members for referrals, or find a NAPA AutoCare Center near you.
- Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance. There is no way you will get into the 200K Mile Club without proper maintenance: oil changes, timing belt replacement, tire care and other essential service. If you skip these, your vehicle could incur wear or damage that is prohibitively expensive to repair. Poor maintenance can compromise safety, too, which can spell a premature end to a vehicle’s life (see “Drive safely” above.)
- Complete “pocketbook safety” repairs. In our article about pre-purchase inspections, NAPA AutoCare Center owner Lee Weatherby points out that some issues will cause a snowball effect of rising costs if not addressed in a timely manner. On top of regular maintenance, prioritize repairs that may lead to additional costs if left unattended.
- Show some love. Clean your car. Buy a seat cover. Add a Bluetooth hands-free unit. To get into the 200K Mile Club, you’ll need to keep the magic alive. When your vehicle starts to seem old, dirty or tired, spruce it up with a bath or a new accessory. Even a little effort can easily improve your relationship with your car or truck, helping it to last longer.
Think you’re ready to join the 200K Mile Club? Already a member? Let us know in the comments below how you got there, or how you plan to achieve this noble goal.
Nick Palermo is a freelance automotive writer and NAPA Know How blogger. Since becoming an auto news and reviews contributor at AutoTrader.com in 2011, he has broadened his coverage of the automotive industry to include topics like new car technology, antiques and classics, DIY maintenance and repair, industry news and motorsports. A committed advocate for automotive media professionals, Nick is a member of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.