Common Required Services When Your Car Hits 50,000 Miles

Cars are being built to last longer and drive further today than they ever have. In the one hundred years since automobiles have been on the road they have evolved to a point in their design where society associates a person’s social status with the type of car they drive. While the technological advancements are amazing in their own right, the challenges for maintaining automobiles have grown in intensity and complexity.

Cars require maintenance services of varying degrees at regularly scheduled intervals in order to retain their functionality. One of the major service points of an automobile at 50,000 miles requires vehicle owners to head to their local dealer to comply with warranty stipulations. Beyond the warranty considerations, 50,000 miles is enough mileage on your car for it to be broken in and to reveal any mechanical issues that may just be starting to show signs of unusual wear and tear.

Basic Services

In terms of your car’s life expectancy from a bank’s point of view, 50,000 miles is considered to be about the half-life of a car. It is true that many cars get over 200,000 miles before they are discarded to a junk yard graveyard or donated to a needy benefactor. From a lending point of view though, cars do not hold the same value once they break the 100,000 mile mark and are, therefore, very difficult to get standard financing for a potential owner.

Keeping the essential servicing up is one of the keys to helping preserve the value of the car in a situation where you need to be able to borrow a little more money from the bank and need an extra push. It’s not much of a push for the bank, but for the potential buyer it helps them feel more justified in spending extra money to buy your vehicle when they can see that you have taken care of the car.

Basic care that every car needs is having the oil changed at 3,000 to five thousand miles or every three months. At 50,000 miles the regular oil change is going to be a little more intense. Oil gets changed because it collects the debris in your motor as the engine parts breakdown. Friction produces heat that causes the oil to break down and lose some of its lubricating properties which is a core function of oil in the motor.

Common Required Services When Your Car Hits 50,000 Miles

If your engine needs the oil replaced every 3k to 5k miles, imagine the condition of your transmission fluid at 50k when it has never been changed. The oil in an automatic transmission especially is important because the oil serves another purpose. Transmission fluid is also used to engage the components through pressurized operation. As this oil breaks down and fills with debris, it will directly impact the performance of your vehicle.

Changing your transmission fluid is critical for extending the life of your vehicle beyond the 100,000 miles.  Not all cars have a filter in the transmission, but if your vehicle does and you do not change the filter when you change the oil then you may as well not have changed the oil at all.

Electronic Systems Check

The advancements in technology in the automobile industry go beyond fuel economy management and exhaust pollution controls. Computers have been integrated into the complete functionality of vehicles and manage or monitor the performance and operation of the engine, transmission, braking systems, tire pressures, lights, and every instrument and control in your car. When the computer and its related components work properly, your car is a finely tuned machine achieving its manufactured design.

Take your car to a qualified technician at 50,000 miles and request a diagnostic report from the computer of your car and have them process the data for any irregularities. Your check engine light does not come on for every issue, and a diagnostic may reveal areas of performance where your vehicle needs attention. With highly-tuned equipment, any variances can lead to bigger problems if left untreated.

Even when the problems do not lead to larger issues, you may not get the best fuel mileage per gallon or the coldest air in your air conditioning unit. Detecting underperformance issues when your vehicle is not drastically underperforming may be difficult.

Mechanical Inspections

Safety should always come first in life, and this is no different for vehicles. Fuel systems carry the highest risk of potential safety problems and should be thoroughly inspected at the 50,000 mile mark. Do not assume that you are qualified to perform the inspection if you have not been professionally trained and do not have the experience to do so. The fuel systems of modern vehicles start at the gas cap and end in the combustion chamber.

Gas caps have to provide specific resistance to vacuum pressure allowing the tank to breathe properly without working against the fuel pump. The fuel lines often follow the same track under the vehicle as the exhaust system and need to be inspected for any damage. There are too many opportunities while driving 50,000 miles for debris on the road to fly up into the components of the fuel system putting you and any occupants of your vehicle in harm’s way.

Exhaust systems can cause safety problems for your occupants, as well as damage to the environment. Exhaust systems filter the combustion waste and prevent harmful chemicals from becoming a part of the environment.

The easy check for this system is to look for leaks that can be detected by smell or soot around the tubing, converter, or manifold(s).  Any leaks of exhaust in the engine compartment can increase the risk of fire or exhaust entering the interior of the car. Exhaust fumes can be fatal and can also go unnoticed.

Routine maintenance of your vehicle is a necessary part of ownership and should be taken seriously. Very few people want to take their car to a repair shop and do not often see the importance of maintenance checks. To extend the life of your vehicle, maintain its value, and keep it in peak performance follow the factory recommended maintenance schedules and establish a relationship with a repair shop worthy of your business and trust.

The writer, Ray Donato, is an automotive enthusiast who strives to keep his vehicles performing in top condition at all times. For issues he can’t handle on his own, he generally goes to rayweatherspoonauto.com. You can learn more about Ray on Google+.

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