How to Make a High Mileage Car Run Like New: Essential Tips

June 13, 2024

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. reached 11.9 years in 2020, reflecting the durability of modern cars. With proper maintenance, vehicles can exceed 150,000 miles, providing reliable performance beyond their expected lifespan. However, cars with 75,000 miles or more, or those 6-7 years old, are considered high-mileage and require more frequent maintenance to stay in optimal condition.

Key Maintenance Tips for High-Mileage Vehicles

Change the Oil

Regular oil changes are crucial for high-mileage vehicles. It’s recommended to use motor oils specifically formulated for high-mileage engines, as these contain additives such as seal conditioners, antioxidants, detergents, and anti-wear agents that protect aging engines. For example, Kendall GT-1 Endurance oil is suitable for various types of passenger cars and light trucks, ensuring better protection and longevity.

Oil Supplement

Adding oil supplements can further protect your engine by reducing deposit buildup and corrosion. Benefits include less vibration, quieter operation, and overall better performance. A product like Kendall GT-1 High Mileage Booster increases resistance to corrosion and improves engine cleanliness, enhancing the engine’s durability.

Transmission and Other Fluids

It’s important to regularly check and top off fluids such as coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. If any fluids are particularly low, it may indicate leaks that need to be addressed. Maintaining transmission fluid is especially critical to avoid particle buildup and overheating. Kendall Versatrans® CVT Plus Fluid is a good example for various types of transmissions, ensuring smooth operation and preventing costly repairs.

Battery Care

Clean battery terminals to remove corrosion and check electrolyte levels to ensure proper battery function. If your vehicle will be unused for long periods, using a voltage maintainer can prevent the battery from losing charge, helping avoid potential problems when you start the vehicle again.

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Check and Replace Filters and Belts

Regularly clean or replace air filters to ensure efficient combustion and optimal engine performance. Inspect hoses and belts for signs of wear, such as cracks or fraying, and replace them when necessary. This preventative maintenance can help avoid breakdowns and costly repairs.


Maintaining proper tire pressure and performing regular rotations can prevent uneven wear, extending the life of your tires and ensuring better fuel efficiency. Regularly inspect your tires for hazards like nails or sharp objects, and replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals to maintain safety and performance.

"Classic Car Maintenance - Havana, Cuba" by ChrisGoldNY is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Additional Points

Each maintenance task plays a crucial role in enhancing the performance and prolonging the life of high-mileage vehicles. Using specialized products, such as those from Kendall, can cater specifically to the needs of older cars and high-mileage engines, ensuring they remain in good working condition. By following these maintenance tips, vehicle owners can keep their high-mileage cars running smoothly, providing reliable transportation for many more miles to come.

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