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What Maintenance Does a High-Mileage Car Need to Stay Reliable?

What Maintenance Does a High-Mileage Car Need to Stay Reliable? | Super Service of Aliso Viejo

Driving a high-mileage car often comes with a sense of pride. You've maximized your vehicle's value and proven its durability. However, to keep your trusty vehicle running, you need to give it a bit more TLC than a newer model. High-mileage cars require specific maintenance to stay reliable and safe on the road. Let's dive into the essential maintenance practices that will keep your high-mileage car in tip-top shape.

Regular Oil Changes

One of the first things you should focus on is regular oil changes. As cars age and rack up the miles, engine oil tends to break down faster, and sludge can build up more quickly. Regular oil changes are crucial for lubricating engine components, reducing wear and tear, and ensuring efficient performance. It's best to use high-mileage motor oil, specifically formulated with additives that help reduce leaks and oil consumption common in older engines.

Transmission Care

Another critical aspect of maintaining a high-mileage car is monitoring the transmission. Transmission fluid can degrade over time, especially with high-mileage use. Regularly checking and changing your transmission fluid can prevent slipping and other transmission issues that could lead to costly repairs. It's also wise to inspect the transmission for any signs of wear or damage.

Coolant System Maintenance

Coolant, often overlooked, plays a significant role in maintaining your car's performance. High-mileage cars are more prone to cooling system issues, such as leaks and overheating. Regularly flushing the cooling system and replacing the coolant can help prevent these problems. It's also important to inspect the radiator, hoses, and water pump for any signs of wear or damage and replace them if necessary.

Timing Belt or Chain Replacement

Don't forget about the timing belt or timing chain. These components are critical to your engine's operation, and if they fail, they can cause severe damage. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, but checking your vehicle's manual for specific intervals is essential. If your car uses a timing chain, it should last longer but still needs to be inspected for wear.

Suspension and Brake Checks

As your car ages, so do its suspension components. Worn shocks and struts can lead to a rough ride and poor handling. Regularly inspecting and replacing these parts will improve your car's comfort and stability. Similarly, bushings and ball joints should be checked for wear and replaced as needed to ensure your car's suspension system is in good condition. 

Over time, brake pads and rotors wear out, compromising your car's braking performance. Regularly inspecting and replacing brake pads, rotors, and brake fluid is vital for your safety and the reliability of your high-mileage car.

Steering and Electrical System Upkeep

Steering components, such as the power steering fluid, also require regular checks and maintenance. Over time, power steering fluid can become contaminated and lose its effectiveness, leading to harder steering and potential damage to the power steering pump. Flushing and replacing the power steering fluid according to your vehicle's recommended schedule can help maintain smooth and responsive steering. 

High-mileage cars often have more electrical issues due to aging wiring and components. Regularly checking the battery, alternator, and starter can prevent unexpected breakdowns. Ensuring all electrical connections are clean and secure is also crucial. Replacing worn-out spark plugs and ignition coils can improve your car's performance and fuel efficiency.

Exhaust System Inspection

Exhaust system maintenance is also essential for high-mileage cars. Over time, exhaust components can rust and degrade, leading to leaks and decreased engine performance. Regularly inspecting the exhaust system and replacing any damaged parts can help keep your car running smoothly and reduce harmful emissions.

Routine Inspections and Tune-Ups

Lastly, don't underestimate the importance of routine inspections and tune-ups. Having your car regularly inspected by a professional technician can identify potential issues before they become major problems. A thorough tune-up can significantly extend the life of your high-mileage car.


Ensure your high-mileage car receives the care it deserves. Schedule a comprehensive maintenance check at Super Service of Aliso Viejo today and keep your vehicle running for years to come.