Tricks to Make Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Try these tips to keep your vehicle running forever.

100,000 miles used to be the endurance goal for cars. Now it's at least double that. But squeezing maximum life out of your ride at minimum cost requires paying attention. Here are several tricks we've learned.

The first is obvious: Do your scheduled maintenance, just like it says in the owner's manual. But once you get past 100,000 miles, also consider replacing some things that might not be spelled out, like transmission fluid and filter, even if they’re considered “lifetime” products.

Next, use your senses, all of them. Listen for funny sounds and look under your car to see if anything's leaking. Even your nose can help -- sniff the dipstick. If you smell gasoline, that's a problem.

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

Finally, avoid short trips. Starting up the car without letting it get hot -- like by pulling forward into the garage two hours after you parked in front of the door -- is a recipe for short engine life.

Take a look at more tips for making your car run forever.

David Muhlbaum
Former Senior Online Editor

In his former role as Senior Online Editor, David edited and wrote a wide range of content for With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, David worked on numerous Kiplinger publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He co-hosted  Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.