Can you believe there was a time when the odometer on a vehicle only went up to five digits? It’s true! Of course, that was back when typing was done on a typewriter, you actually dialed the numbers on a phone, and you were told to change your oil “every three months or three thousand miles”. Back then, if your car was approaching the dreaded milestone when its odometer was about to hit a hundred thousand and “turn over” back to zero, it was probably headed for the scrap heap. And back then, seventy- or eighty thousand miles on a car were high mileage.

Times sure have changed. Today, many vehicles are really only entering adolescence at the same age and mileage that some of yesteryear were at when considering retirement. A 100,000 miles has become the new 60K.

But is that always true? Check out the label on any bottle of high-mileage motor oil and you will find that it is made for engines with 75,000 or more. A car might be considered to have “high miles” at that mark. And yet there are plenty of examples of healthy vehicles on the road with more than two hundred thousand miles.

What makes the difference? Is a car already getting old at 75,000 miles, or is it meant for more? If you are looking to get the most mileage possible out of your car, truck, or SUV, consider how high miles affect its performance.

The effects of age on your car

Just as our bodies age over time, so does your car. In fact, as the second law of thermodynamics might suggest, it begins deteriorating the moment it rolls out of the dealership lot. As your car ages, several issues impact its performance. Among the most influential are wear and tear from use, component breakdown (either from defect or time), corrosion and other elemental influencers, and internal engine wear.

Wear and tear on vehicle components can shorten a car’s life if not taken care of in a timely manner. Some components on your car – like the tires, brake pads, or oil filters – are sacrificial and have a relatively short useful lifespan. They are intended to be replaced regularly. But most car components are made for the long haul. That does not mean they will make it there, only that they are intended to do so. Brake rotors, for example, are not necessarily a sacrificial “wear item” like brake pads, but they wear out nevertheless. Your suspension system is not a wear item, but eventually you might have to replace the ball joints, struts, or tie rod ends because they can only take so much abuse on the road.

Besides wearing out, components can break down. Parts on your car can just up and quit on you. The alternator helps to keep your battery charged up and powers all the electrical systems on your car while you are driving. It is made to last a long time. But alternators sometimes fail. So do air conditioning compressors, computer modules, ABS sensors, and a host of other components. They are not supposed to break, but they do. Some have an immediate impact on your car’s performance; others exhibit their effects over time.

If you have more questions about whether or not your vehicle is counted as high milage or it is and you’d like to know how to take good care of it? Give us a call today at Walkers Automotive. We are happy to help answer all of your questions.