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Old 01-24-2016, 09:38 PM
 
37 posts, read 26,785 times
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For those of you who have old cars, or those with a lot of miles, what do you do to keep your car "healthy"?

I have a 2007 Nissan. I'm 26 and it's my first real car. I want to keep it as long as I can, especially since I'm paying off student loans.

What are simple things that help preserve the life of your car? (PS, don't judge me haha. I didnt learn much about cars growing up.)
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:47 PM
 
6,455 posts, read 9,509,501 times
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Regular scheduled maintenance. I found a great mechanic that keeps me on top of mine, a 2004 Honday CR-V. I'm sure you could google the maintenance schedule for the make, year, and model of your car. Follow it religiously.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
16,744 posts, read 20,490,725 times
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I buy old Toyotas normally, but the truck I just bought is a 93 Nissan pickup. First, you buy a vehicle that is known to last and not be high maintenance, and your Nissan should fit the bill. Then, the simplest thing to do is make sure it's always got oil, and get the oil changed regularly.

Watch the heat gauge. If it gets into the red zone, stop and call AAA and/or your mechanic. Don't keep driving it if it's overheated. It's probably just a thermostat, but if you keep driving it, thinking you'll just drive it to your mechanic, you could destroy the engine.

So, keep an eye on the heat gauge, keep the oil topped up and changed. If you notice your gas mileage is getting worse, get it tuned up.

Watch the wear on your tires, and if you notice them wearing weirdly, or the car seems to be driving funny - like it seems to be floating on the road a bit, get the alignment checked.

I think AAA is worth the expense. I figure if I have a cell phone in the truck and AAA, if the truck breaks down or overheats, I can call AAA and I pay for the AAA Plus membership, so they will tow it up to 200 miles to my mechanic.

But, really, my experience in buying old reliable cars like Toyotas and Nissans, is that as long as you make sure the oil is good, they hardly ever need anything else. I have consistently gotten around 300,000 miles before I traded up to a newer old vehicle, but the old one was still running.

My 93 Nissan pickup has 170,000 miles. My goal is to get 400K on it. I had to have the intake manifold gasket replaced and the catalytic converter to get it to pass smog, and I've replaced a few parts that were broken like light lenses, etc. But, my mechanic said it didn't even need a tune-up. Start with a reliable vehicle, and you shouldn't have to put much into them. Just don't do anything foolish like let it run out of oil or drive it when it's overheated, and it should last you a very long time.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:53 PM
 
898 posts, read 655,918 times
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Be fanatical about maintenance, that's about it. Don't even go past 1,000 miles past the oil change you need. Schedule oil changes regularly. Schedule all maintenance regularly.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:05 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
1,184 posts, read 2,426,342 times
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Kinda like you and don't have experience working on cars. I bought a Mazda 3 in Nov of '07. Oil changes and minor replacements have come up. Those are two I've stayed on top of. the cars at 145k still runs as smooth as when I first bought it. Regular routine maintenance and maybe not abusing it is wha to credit for running the way it has.
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Old 01-24-2016, 10:55 PM
 
37 posts, read 26,785 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
Regular scheduled maintenance. I found a great mechanic that keeps me on top of mine, a 2004 Honday CR-V. I'm sure you could google the maintenance schedule for the make, year, and model of your car. Follow it religiously.
Wow. I didn't know there were maintenance schedules for each type of car. But that makes sense.

Noted.
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Old 01-24-2016, 11:22 PM
 
9,295 posts, read 4,739,931 times
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Change oil and filter regularly. I have a Ford, 1998, not known for reliable but it still ok to drive at 181,000 miles.
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Old 01-25-2016, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Suburban wasteland of NC
253 posts, read 151,010 times
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Live as close to work as humanely possible.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:07 AM
 
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My '98 Chevy has 88k miles and still gets me where I need to go. Am diligent about routine maintenance.
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,330 posts, read 4,357,227 times
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I always buy the shop manual for the car. I then read it cover to cover to learn how all the systems are supposed to work. Then I do as much maintenance myself as possible.

I've owned cars since 1968 and have rarely had them worked on by anybody but me.

My most recent car bought new in 1994 lasted 18 years.
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