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  • Writer's pictureAleko Kavouras

100K Maintenance to Prolong the Life of Your Car

Updated: Apr 28, 2021


It’s seems like just yesterday you’ve picked up your new ride from the dealership. Where did the time go? It’s strange to see the odometer creeping up on 100K and realize how much you’ve been through with this car. You’ve taken pretty good care of it so far with regular oil changes, tire rotation and brake service. But 100K is a big milestone that may require some additional maintenance. Our Maryland auto repair experts are here to help prolong the life of your car and ensure great performance regardless of its age.

Whether you intend to drive your car for another 100,000 miles or want to trade it in or pass it on, here are a few 100K maintenance services you may want to take care of first.

Replacing Fluids

Most fluids in your vehicle are subject to extreme heat. And as they get heated up, they slowly break down, just like your engine oil that eventually turns black. During your past maintenance visits, you probably had some fluids topped off by your mechanic to ensure optimal level. But now it may be a good time to check whether these fluids should be completely flushed or drained and replaced with new ones.

Consider having the following fluids replaced at 100K, especially if you’ve never had it done:

  1. Transmission fluid

  2. Brake fluid

  3. Radiator coolant

  4. Power steering fluid

Replacing Hoses and Valves

Hoses, tubes and valves that start deteriorating may also contribute to contamination of your vehicle’s fluids. Most hoses are made of rubber, which may eventually break down and start releasing small pieces of the lining into the fluid, later clogging up valves. When you are having your fluids checked or flushed, also have your mechanic look at the hoses and any connecting pieces. Damage like rust and cracks could eventually lead to a leak that can be dangerous.

Replacing the Timing Belt

If you haven’t already, now is a good time to replace your timing belt. It’s typically recommended for replacement around 60,000 miles but, depending on your driving habits, and/or the manufacturer’s recommendations, the belt may last longer. However, it’s crucial to have it changed before it breaks. If it breaks mid-operation, it may lead to irreparable damage to the engine. Some vehicles have a timing chain instead of a belt. This chain typically doesn’t require replacement, but it’s not completely free of mechanical issues. Have your Maryland auto maintenance professional check the timing of your engine to make sure the chain is doing its job.

Consider High-Mileage Oil

As you get older, you may decide to switch from a regular soap to something more moisturizing to help keep your skin better hydrated and younger looking. Similarly, there are special types of oil designed specifically for cars with 75K miles or more. These oils are often packed with various additives to help reduce wear, prevent leaks and keep your engine running smooth. If you are experiencing such issues as oil leaks or excessive oil consumption, switching to high-mileage oil may be beneficial. Talk to your mechanic about it if you are not sure whether it’s worth the extra cost.

Testing Engine Compression

So far we’ve talked about checking various systems of your vehicle to determine the degree of wear and the need for replacement. But let’s not forget about the heart of your car—its engine. How do you check for wear inside the engine? One of the methods we use to judge the condition of piston rings and valves inside the engine is by administering a compression test. This test is focused on checking the pressure inside each cylinder—if it varies significantly, it may indicate uneven wear. 100K miles is a good time to have the compression test done to make sure you catch any issues before they result in costly repairs.

Other Wear Parts That May Need Replacing

Besides everything we’ve discussed above, there are a few other wear parts in your vehicle that may need replacing, especially if you skipped the timely milestone maintenance for these items:

  1. Spark plugs

  2. Serpentine belts

  3. External fuel filter

  4. Shocks and struts

Feel free to consult with your owner’s manual for the exact maintenance recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, as each car is different. And if you have any questions or want your 100K maintenance to be done by experienced professionals, contact one of our 4 Maryland auto repair shops in Clarksville, Columbia, Gaithersburg and Glenwood.

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