How to Keep Your High-Mileage Car Running

mechanic with clipboard standing by car with hood up

If you don’t have the money to buy a new car—or you genuinely love the car you already have—then you’re probably interested in keeping your current vehicle as long as possible. To do just that, here’s what the experts in long-term car ownership recommend you do.

  • Fix any problems immediately. Don’t ignore an issue that arises with your high-mileage car. Problems don’t just go away—in fact, they usually only get worse. As soon as you feel, see or hear something unusual, take your car to your mechanic to have it serviced immediately.
  • Choose high-quality replacement parts. When it comes to auto parts, you generally get what you pay for. If you want to keep your car on the road, make sure that any worn-out parts are replaced with high-quality options.
  • Follow your owner’s maintenance manual. This means getting your oil changed on time, checking your tire pressure and maintaining your fluids. Ignoring regular maintenance during your car’s early life will lead to larger problems down the road.
  • Drive gently. The better you treat your high-mileage car, the longer it will last. Apply the gas and brakes gently, make gradual turns and avoid potholes or other road hazards.

Advice from the masters

Many people would love to get 200,000 or even 300,000 miles out of their cars. Some people have gotten many more miles out of their cars than that. Learn about some truly unbelievable feats of longevity straight from the owners.

Irv Gordon

The retired New York teacher recently eclipsed the three million mile mark on his 1966 Volvo P1800. “Start with a car you like,” Gordon told PR Web last year about the key to his car’s longevity. “If your car isn’t designed around you, you’ll never go the distance.”

When Gordon eclipsed the one million mile mark in 1987, Volvo game him a new 780 Bertone Coupe. When his vehicle passed two million in 2002, it was featured in Times Square. He also received a new C70. To this day, Gordon still loves his rear-wheel drive P 1800. To keep it humming along, Gordon says he replaces the brakes every 100,000 miles; changes the oil every 3,000 to 3,500 miles; and never ignores an odd sound.

Joe LoCicero

The vehicle inspector from Maine purchased his used 1990 Honda Accord in 1996 with 74,000 miles on it. LoCicero averages more than 60,000 miles a year driving for work, and he became infatuated with “the little car that could” each time it reached a new milestone.

“It became a challenge,” he told ABC News when his car reached the 700,000-mile mark. “I wanted to see how far this car could really go.” LoCicero says he strictly abides by the manual’s maintenance schedule. He handles some of the larger car maintenance projects himself, including rebuilding the Accord’s engine.

Hugh and Tammy Pennington

The Penningtons are living proof that trucks can join the million-mile club as well. In just six years, they put more than one million miles on their 2006 Chevrolet Silverado. “It reads about 1,220,935 right now,” Hugh told AOL Autos. “It’s still kicking pretty good.” The Penningtons use the truck for their hauling business and say they always change the oil filter whenever they change the oil.

Chet Belisle

The Topeka, Kansas, native has put more than 1.3 million miles on his 1983 Lincoln Town Car. The secret to his success? Belisle advises buying parts with a lifetime warranty–that allows you to replace the part for free when it wears out.


Another thing you’ll need to protect your high-mileage car is the right auto insurance. Learn more about your options and get a free quote by contacting a local Erie Insurance Agent in your community.

Find an Agent

Please enter the valid ZipCode