Maintenance can keep high-mileage cars humming

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published March 30, 2015

Most auto owners want their cars to go the distance on durability, but it often requires driver diligence to succeed, according to some auto repair businesses.  

According to Hal Collins, owner of Hal’s Auto Clinic in Farmington Hills, his business sees lots of cars with around 200,000 miles on their odometers.

“The manufacturers have done a great job of making the cars more durable,” he said.

Collins said drivers should take the initiative to preserve their vehicles’ life spans by having them inspected at least two to four times per year, or whenever an oil change is due.

On average, most vehicles need an oil change every 5,000 miles, or five months, he said. But he added that some cars can go further, while some older vehicles require oil changes as often as every 3,000 miles.

“They should keep their oil changed and go by their owners’ manuals on when fluids should be changed,” Collins said.
Collins said his business conducts a 23-point inspection that examines brakes, steering linkage, fluids, exhaust, tire condition, tread depth and more.

“One thing that we always check is the outside lights on the cars,” he added, “especially the brake lights and the turn signals.”
According to Rob Newman, owner of Car Guys Auto Center in Fraser, his business also sees plenty of cars that have more than 200,000 miles on them.

Due to Michigan’s pothole problems, it’s important to watch out for suspension problems and get them fixed before it’s too late, Newman said.

“You can’t ignore the clunky noise that you hear in your vehicle,” he said. “It’s bad news if you ignore that.”

For vehicles that have an engine with a timing belt, Newman said a mechanic should inspect the belt somewhere between 90,000 and 105,000 miles to avoid a potential engine catastrophe.

Newman said maintaining proper coolant levels is very important, and he added that transmission fluid ought to be changed around every 60,000 miles.

“It lasts longer than oil, but it’s still a fluid that the vehicle relies on,” he said.

Learn more about Hal’s Auto Clinic, 24795 Hathaway in Farmington Hills, by visiting or by calling (248) 477-5951. Learn more about Car Guys Auto Center, 32639 Groesbeck Highway in Fraser, by visiting or by calling (586) 285-4444.