Once your vehicle reaches 50,000 miles (80,000 km), it may start to show signs of wear and tear. With some extra time and effort, you can maintain a car after the odometer surpasses 50,000 miles (80,000 km) and help it run smoothly for thousands more miles to come. In addition to following these general guidelines, you should also check your car’s owner manual and follow your car manufacturer’s specific recommendations.
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Rotate and balance your tires every 5,000 miles (8,000 km). The best or youngest tires should go on the front of your vehicle. When rotating tires from the back to the front, it’s important to keep tires on the same side of the car.
Inspect tires for uneven wear and check the tire pressure every few months. Always have your car professionally aligned when you change your tires.
Replace your car’s air filter every 15,000 miles (24,000 km).
Check battery cables and terminals and clean them with a wire brush every few months to avoid corrosion build-up. Before working with a battery, remove any metal objects, such as a ring or watch, which can cause a spark.
Ask a mechanic to check your battery load when you have your oil changed. The battery load is how much electricity the battery can store without having to be recharged. This is particularly important if your battery is more than 2 years old.
Check brake fluid occasionally and fill it as needed. Use the fluid brand recommended by your owner’s manual. If you need to fill more than 2 ounces of brake fluid, consider getting the brakes inspected for leaks and wear by a mechanic. You may need a complete flush and re-fill.
If you do need a flush and re-fill, have the mechanic check your vehicle’s brake pads and brake shoes, as well.
Squeeze along radiator hose to check for leaks, bulges and cracks. If you find any, replace all of the hoses at once.
Check your car’s power steering fluid level and fill it as needed. If you need more than 2 ounces, take it to a mechanic to be checked for leaks. Have the mechanic flush out the old power steering fluid and replace it.
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Inspect your windshield wiper blades and check washer fluid levels every 3,000 to 4,000 miles (4,800 to 6,400 km). Since should get an oil and oil filter change every 3,000 to 4,000 miles (4,800 to 6,400 km), as well, you can check your wipers at the same time. Make sure to measure your blades before replacing them so you know which size to get.
Replace your car’s bulbs as needed. You may want to check your lights at every oil change.
Test your vehicle’s refrigerant levels (also known as freon) once a year. Low freon can decrease your car’s performance and cause damage to its air compressors. Only a trained professional can add freon to your vehicle since it is a high-pressured gas.
Replace your car’s transmission fluid as recommended in the owner’s manual. Your manual should also tell you what type of transmission fluid and filter to use. Some vehicle models may require a special additive, as well.
Wash your car regularly to remove build-up on the exterior. Use soap designated for cars. Do not use dish or other household soaps, as these can deteriorate your vehicle’s paint. Wax your car every other year.