Racking up miles can evoke pride in some, but it is more than just bragging rights. Many people are driving cars tens and hundreds of thousands of miles further simply to keep their wallets a little fuller. For Dave Neil, a professional bus driver and a pastor in Minnesota, going the extra mile has meant saving money by collecting more than 200,000 miles on each of his family’s last four vehicles and driving his current car a whopping 430,400 miles.
“It takes patience and luck,” says Neil of hitting the high mileage. “It can be a difficult decision to pay for repairs on older vehicles, especially when those costs are comparable to the value of the car. But, repair costs are a small price to pay compared to monthly car payments.”
For those who plan on taking a car past 150,000 miles, routine maintenance starting early in a car’s life can help mitigate hefty repair costs further down the line. Inevitably though, drivers of high-mileage vehicles will sooner or later face repair costs that challenge their willpower.
“We’re seeing professional trucking companies, small business owners and everyday drivers looking to keep their vehicles running longer,” says Andrew Hamilton, director of lubricants for CHS, which manufactures and markets Cenex fuels, lubricants and propane through a network of over 1,400 Cenex brand retailers in 19 states. “Regardless of the size or type of vehicle, it’s almost always more affordable in the long run to make repairs rather than to replace a vehicle. And in today’s economy, more and more people are doing just that.”
Using a good motor oil and changing it frequently and consistently throughout a car’s life is essential for getting the most miles from it. High-mileage oil is available with added protection for older cars, but it doesn’t necessarily benefit newer cars. Hamilton recommends a high-performing synthetic oil, such as Cenex Maxtron, which can help take a vehicle that extra mile and improve fuel economy no matter how many miles it has.
Smart driving is another simple way to keep a car running smoothly into the higher miles. Vigilant driving not only helps prevent accidents that could shorten a vehicle’s life but also is less taxing on an engine and brake system. To keep a car running well, make a habit of accelerating slowly, using cruise control on the highway and easing up on the brakes.
To learn more about going the extra mile, Hamilton recommends visiting tanksofthanks.com. The website provides consumers and business owners with useful information from fuel and maintenances experts, and allows visitors to nominate people they know for a free tank of gas.