Auto Bits: Want to get 200K miles out of your car?

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

The average driver today estimates that a vehicle should go for more than 200,000 miles before sending it into retirement, according to a new national survey conducted by Kelton Research. With nearly nine in 10 vehicle owners more concerned with engine upkeep than their vehicle's aesthetics on the inside or outside, car owners are looking for as much longevity out of their vehicle as possible. One of the most effective ways to help keep your high-mileage car "running young" is using a high-quality motor oil formulated for that purpose. Here are a few additional tips:

- Change engine oil frequently. Sticking with the topic of motor oil, proper lubrication is tantamount to an engine's health, so you need to regularly replace your engine oil and oil filter. Frequent oil changes can prevent the buildup of harmful deposits that rob fuel economy and power, as well as make internal components work harder. Keeping your vehicle's fluids new and clean is priority No. 1 when it comes to making sure your car hangs around for a long while.

- Follow your vehicle owner's manual for your recommended service intervals.

- Check your tires. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by three-tenths of a percent for every 1 pounds per square inch drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver's side doorjamb or the glove box and in your owner's manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall.

- Tune it up. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.

- Check your air filter. Replacing a clogged air filter on cars with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines does not improve fuel economy but it can improve acceleration time by around 6 to 11 percent, according to a study prepared for the Department of Energy. This kind of engine is prevalent on most gasoline cars manufactured from the early 1980s onward.


The List

According to, here are 10 cars that women love:

- Volvo S40

- Nissan Rogue

- Volkswagen Eos

- Volkswagen Beetle

- Hyundai Tucson

- Honda CR-V

- Toyota RAV4

- Nissan Juke

- Jeep Compass

- Nissan Versa

Did You Know

Chrysler recently announced a recall of 119,000 cars because of a anti-lock brake problem.

Car Q&A

Q: With gas prices being so high, is there any advantage using the premium unleaded gas when not required for any vehicle?

A: That’s a loaded question for many reasons. First, engines that are designed for the premium unleaded will perform best if they use premium. In some cases the use of premium gas in an engine designed for regular gas can actually cause hard starting and hesitation when started in cold weather. In other cases the use of premium in some regular gas engines can give the engine some added boost in power.

- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist

GateHouse News Service