How to Keep Your Car Running After 100,000 Miles

Tips on How to Keep Your Car Running After 100,000 Miles

Your car is one of the most important investments you will make in your lifetime. Not only does it provide you with transportation, but it also helps to keep you and your family safe. This is why it is so important to maintain your car and to have it regularly serviced by a qualified garage.

Maintaining a car so that it remains in its optimum operating condition for many years can seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, anyone can keep their car running like new for many, many years. Don’t be afraid of hitting that 100,000 mark, as with proper care, it’s just another number.

Regular Maintenance Is Key

This means keeping up to date with oil changes, tyre rotations, and brake checks. It’s also important to get your car re-tuned on a regular basis. By keeping up with these routine maintenance tasks, cars can stay in good and safe condition for much longer.

Drive Carefully

Another way to keep cars running for over 100,000 miles is by driving carefully and responsibly. Avoiding excessive speeds, acceleration, and hard stops will help prolong the life of the car’s engine and its other major components.

Regular Oil Changes

One of the most important things you can do to keep your car running well past 100,000 miles is to get regular oil changes. Your car’s engine needs clean oil to run properly, and over time, the oil will break down and become dirty. Getting your oil changed every 5,000 miles or so will ensure that your engine has the clean oil it needs to run well for a long time.

Keep An Eye On Your Car’s Fluids

In addition to regularly changing your oil, it’s also important to keep an eye on all of your car’s fluids. These include coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and transmission fluid. You should check these fluids regularly and top them up if they are low. If you let any of these fluids get too low, it could lead to big problems for your car’s engine or other systems. You can find out more about your vehicle’s air conditioning system here.

Watch For Warning Signs

Another important tip for keeping your car running well past 100,000 miles is to watch for warning signs that tell you something may be wrong. These can include strange noises, leaks underneath the car, vibrations while driving, or dashboard lights that come on unexpectedly. If you notice any of these things happening to your car, be sure to take it to a reputable garage for a service or to be checked right away so that the problem doesn’t worsen and cause even more damage down the line. It could also mean your car isn’t safe to drive, so a check by a professional garage is a must.

Inspect Your Tyres Regularly

Tyres are one of the most important parts of your car, and they need to be in good condition to keep your car running properly and to ensure you are safe when driving. Check your tyres regularly for tread wear, pressure, and alignment, if these are not right, it can cause further damage.

Change Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter can negatively affect your car’s performance and fuel economy. Replacing your air filter regularly will help ensure that your engine is getting the cleanest possible air, which will help it run more efficiently.

Tyre Pressures

Another important aspect of maintaining your car and keeping it safe to drive is keeping the tyres properly inflated. This will help to improve fuel efficiency as well as handling and braking performance. Check your vehicle’s handbook, or there is normally a sticker on the inside door frame to tell you what your tyre pressure should be.

Keep Your Coolant Level Topped Up 

Coolant plays a vital role in preventing your engine from overheating. Make sure you check your coolant level regularly and top it up as needed to prevent any problems, this is especially important in the summer months but if too low can damage your vehicle’s engine at any time of the year.

Watch For Dashboard Warning Lights

Your car’s dashboard lights are there for a reason, to warn you of potential problems. If you see a warning light, take your car to a garage to have it checked out as soon as possible. Ignoring a warning light could lead to serious issues down the road and could make driving your car unsafe.

Use High-quality Parts

When it comes to replacement parts, always opt for quality. It may cost a little more upfront, but in the long run, it will likely last you longer and save you money, as well as optimise the performance of your car.

Avoid Just Short Trips

Whenever possible, try to combine errands into one trip instead of making several short trips. Starting up the engine puts a lot of wear and tear on it, so the fewer times you have to do this, the better. If you don’t often drive a long way, then take it for a run on the motorway to clear out the engine and filters as well as give the battery a good charge, which will prolong its life.

Parking In The Shade Or A Garage

Exposure to sunlight and extreme weather can cause damage to your car’s exterior and interior over time. To help protect your car, park in a garage or in the shade wherever possible.

Keep It Clean

A clean car not only looks better but also runs better. Dust and dirt can build up on vital components, such as the engine, causing them to wear out faster. Washing a waxing the exterior will prolong its paintwork, and keeping it clean and fresh inside will make the seats and accessories last much longer.

Conclusion

To keep your car running well and safely for as long as possible, it’s important to take good care of it inside and out. This means regular services, oil changes, proper maintenance, and driving carefully.

FAQ’s

Are cars still good after 100,000 miles?

A lot of people seem to think that cars are only good for a limited number of miles before they start having serious problems. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Many cars can last for well over 100,000 to 200,000 miles without any major issues. Of course, it is important to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs to ensure that your car lasts as long as possible. But if you do that, you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your car on the road for years and years.

Are 100,000 miles on a car too much?

It depends on the car in question. Some cars are not meant to last that long, but others can easily go well over 100K miles without any major issues. It all comes down to how well you take care of your car and how often you have it serviced. If you keep up with regular maintenance, then you shouldn’t have any problems keeping your car running for a long time.

What mileage is too high for a used car?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on some factors, including the make and model of the car, how well it has been maintained, and what kinds of repairs it has needed in the past. In general, though, cars can start having serious problems around 100,000–200,000 miles. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a good deal on a used car with more mileage than that, but you should be aware that it may need more repairs and maintenance than one with lower mileage.

Contact us today at 0117 963 8916 to book your appointment for any bodywork, repairs, services, or your MOT.

Car Dashboard Warning Light Meanings

Car Dashboard Warning Light Meanings Discussed by AP Autocare

It doesn’t matter whether you drive a lot, long distances, short journeys, or infrequently; understanding your dashboard warning light symbols is essential to driving safety as well as saving you a lot of time, money, and worry. Your vehicle’s dashboard displays all of your major car stats, such as speed, fuel levels, and any issues that your vehicle may have. There are a variety of different symbols that will light up when there’s an error with your vehicle. If a dashboard light comes on, then this is a warning that something needs to be checked or looked at, whether it is low on oil, your brake pads are worn, need replacing, or there is an issue with your tyre pressure. Any of these things need to be sorted out to ensure your car is safe to drive. Our simple guide to ‘Car Dashboard Warning Light Meanings’ will give you peace of mind, the ability to resolve some issues without having to take it to a garage, will let you know if you should take it to a garage to be looked at, and will also prevent possible breakdowns or a major fault, which can be costly and damage your car’s engine. 

Modern cars are made up of a lot of electrical components, and these components are linked to sensors to monitor how your vehicle is driving as well as its safety. Your car’s dashboard shows these sensors, otherwise known as warning lights if there are any issues about to happen. Older-style vehicles also have dashboard warning signs, which you should be aware of and should do something about if they come on.

When you start your car, its dashboard lights will appear momentarily on the display behind your steering wheel. Dashboard warning lights are displayed in a traffic light warning system: red, amber, and green, and these are a spectrum of seriousness or urgency.

Dashboard Warning Light Colour System:

  • Green – the car’s system is working as it should be or is currently in use
  • Yellow – something isn’t working correctly or needs attention. You should stop as soon as you can and check it yourself by referring to your vehicle’s handbook or ask a professional garage to check it for you
  • Red – there is potentially a serious or dangerous problem. You should stop driving as soon as it is safe to 

Vehicle Dashboard Warning Light Symbol Meanings:

Engine Management Dashboard Warning Light

Engine Management Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf this warning light comes on when you start your car or if you are driving, then you should stop at the earliest and safest time and either call your breakdown provider or take it to a professional garage for it to be checked. Your car may feel like it is driving okay; however, there could be more serious problems, which means that if you continue to drive, it will cause serious problems with your car’s engine and will be costly to resolve. It is really important to get your car checked by a garage that has suitable diagnostic equipment when this dashboard warning light comes on, even if it feels completely normal to drive. It may just be a faulty sensor or a minor issue; however, professional diagnostics are critical to preventing potential severe engine damage. You can experience a lack of power or stuttering when you press the accelerator; however, you may not experience any of these, but you should still take it to a garage with diagnostic equipment to get it checked.

The engine management warning light could indicate a whole number of faults, from minor issues like a broken electrical sensor to a much larger mechanical issue like a fault with your emission control system or catalytic converter.

Brake Dashboard Warning Light

Brake Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf your vehicle’s brake dashboard warning light comes on, then again, you should have your car checked by a professional garage urgently. You can check that you haven’t left the handbrake on slightly when driving by making sure it is fully released, but if it is fully released and the warning light has come on, then you should book it into a garage immediately and not drive your car any further. If you are away from home, then you should call your breakdown assistance provider or arrange for it to be taken to a garage. The brake warning light can indicate that the brake fluid level is too low and needs topping up or your brake pads are wearing, have worn, or are faulty, which means your car is unsafe to drive. If the brake pedal feels spongy when you press it or there is no pressure at all, then you have a serious issue with your brakes, and you should not drive any further.

Airbag Dashboard Warning Light or SRS Dashboard Warning Light

Airbag Dashboard Warning Light When your airbag dashboard warning light comes on, it means that there is an element of your vehicle’s airbag safety system that isn’t working as it should. It can be the airbag system itself, the front passenger system, which detects the front passenger’s weight and position to safely deploy the airbag, or the seat belt pre-tensioner system, which tightens the belt in the event of an accident. If your airbag warning light comes on, then you should take it to a garage quickly, as driving without airbags or faulty airbags is dangerous; it might not go off when you need it if you have an accident, or in some cases, it can even deploy unexpectedly and cause you to have an accident. 

Power Steering Dashboard Warning Light, EPS or EPAS Dashboard Warning Light

Power Steering Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdThis dashboard warning light indicates there is a problem with your power steering. If you have a vehicle with electric power steering, which all newer cars will have, then it can be as simple as rebooting your vehicle’s computer to reset it. Try switching your engine off and restarting it after a minute. If the warning light stays on and you can still feel an issue with your power steering, then you should arrange for your local garage to check it out for you as soon as they can. Often, if you have a problem with your power steering, then your car will be a lot harder to steer and manoeuvre, and it can be dangerous to drive without power-assisted steering.

Exhaust Particulate Filter Dashboard Warning Light or DPF Dashboard Warning Light

Exhaust Particulate Filter Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf you have a diesel vehicle, then this dashboard warning light will come on if there is a problem with your vehicle’s exhaust particulate filter. The filter removes harmful soot from your vehicle’s exhaust gases to reduce emissions, and the warning light could indicate that the filter is blocked with soot. The soot is harmful and can cause respiratory problems, and these filters have been fitted to diesel vehicles since 2009, so you should get them booked into your garage as quickly as you can. Always remember that it may not cause you breathing problems, but it could cause other people, inside or outside of your car, breathing issues. 

Traction Control Dashboard Warning Light

Traction Control Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdYour vehicle’s traction-control dashboard warning light will come on when your tyres lose grip, and this usually happens in certain weather conditions: rain, ice, or snow. The warning light gives you a visual indication that your tyres aren’t gripping the road surface, so you can adapt your driving speed and style. If the warning light is constantly on, then it can mean it has been deactivated manually or there is a fault. Try switching the traction system back on, and if this doesn’t work, then you should take it to a garage for them to check it for you. If you have switched the system off, then you should switch it back on, as it gives you an early warning that your grip on the road surface is minimal, so you can slow down or pull over until it’s safe to drive again. 

Glow Plug Dashboard Warning Light (Diesel Vehicles Only)

Glow Plug Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdDiesel vehicles don’t need a spark to make the air/fuel mixture spark to make the engine run like gasoline vehicles do. Instead, diesel vehicles use compression and temperature to induce combustion. The ‘glow plugs’ increase the heat in this process, and the dashboard warning lights indicate that there is something wrong with them. Problems with ‘glow plugs’ can mean that early or late combustion, known as ‘knocking’, can happen, and this will make your vehicle’s engine noisier and not run as efficiently as it should.

Engine Temperature Dashboard Warning Light 

Engine Temperature Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf your engine temperature dashboard warning light comes on, then this means your engine is running above the temperature it should be. It may be that there isn’t enough coolant in its system, your car’s radiator is leaking, clogged, or broken, and you may see coolant dripping. It can also be down to a faulty water pump or, if more serious, a blown head gasket, which can cause a complete engine failure if you don’t turn off the engine immediately. Whatever the reason, if your engine temperature dashboard warning light comes on, you should pull over at the nearest safest point and either check it yourself or call your breakdown provider or garage, and they will advise you on what to do. You should not drive your car if it is overheating, as a small and easily resolved problem can quickly turn into a major one where your engine blows and is out of action completely.

Coolant Levels Dashboard Warning Light

Coolant Levels Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdThe coolant fluid in your engine system absorbs the heat from your engine and clears it through the radiator to prevent your car from overheating. The coolant dashboard warning light will come on when coolant levels are low as a reminder for you to top them up. Never ignore this warning, as your car will end up overheating and the engine’s head gasket can blow, which will be expensive or the end of your car. It is easy to top up the coolant in your car yourself, and you should do it when the engine is cool so you don’t need to take it to a garage. You should always check your coolant levels regularly. If the coolant dashboard warning light comes on regularly, then you could have a leak somewhere, so always take it to a garage and ask them to check it for you.

Engine Oil Dashboard Warning Light

Engine Oil Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdThe oil dashboard warning light is one of the most serious warning lights. The oil pump maintains the oil pressure, which keeps the engine oil circulating, and this is dependent on having the right amount of oil in the engine. An oil leak, a faulty pump, or oil running low or overfilling can cause serious damage to your car’s engine, which will be costly to resolve. If the warning light comes on, you should stop your car as soon as you can safely and check the oil level to see if it needs topping up. You should do this as part of your regular checks on your car, and if you need to top it up a lot or the warning light keeps coming on, then you could have a leak, and you need to take it to your garage for them to check and repair it for you. 

Tyre Pressure TPMS Dashboard Warning Light

Tyre Pressure Tpms Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdTyre-pressure monitoring systems are now common in all newer cars, and it is now mandatory for car manufacturers to make them in every new car they produce. The system constantly monitors the amount of air in all 4 tyres and the warning light will come on if the system detects a loss in any of the tyres’ pressure. You may not think it but driving with overfilled or low-pressure tyres is dangerous. Low tyre pressure can affect braking and cornering, and a sudden pressure drop can also cause blow-outs, which are dangerous at any speed. If the TPMS tyre pressure dashboard warning light comes on, you should stop and check the pressure of every tyre as soon as you can and inflate or deflate them if you need to. If the warning light comes on again or the tyre pressure is really low, you may have a puncture or a slow puncture, which means a replacement tyre or a fix by a garage. Every car manufacturer and each car type will have a different tyre pressure for front and back, and this information is located in your handbook or on the inside of your driver’s side door.

Fuel Dashboard Warning Light

Fuel Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf your fuel dashboard warning light comes on, then your vehicle is running low on fuel. They usually come on with around 50 miles of fuel left, and your gauge will count down as you drive. The purpose of giving you these additional miles is to give you enough warning to enable you to find a petrol station to refuel. If you run out of fuel, especially in diesel vehicles, this can cause air and grit to be pulled around the engine, which may need to be bled before the car will start again. Don’t ever let your car run empty, as it’s not good for its engine, pipes, and injectors and will cause you a major inconvenience if you then have to call your breakdown provider or local garage, a family member, or a friend to bring fuel to you to get you started again. If you feel you are filling your car with fuel more often than you should, then you should take your car to a garage for them to check for any leaks and provide a service that always improves the fuel efficiency of a vehicle.

Seatbelt Dashboard Warning Light

Seatbelt Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdMost new cars now come with a warning system to let you know if you or any of your passengers haven’t got their seatbelts securely fastened. The warning light will come on as well as a loud beeping noise to let you know.

Cars now use pressure sensors in the seats and sensors in the seatbelts, so they can tell if someone is sitting in a seat without their seatbelt fastened.

Door, Boot, Bonnet Dashboard Warning Lights

Door, Boot. Bonnet Dashboard Warning Lights - AP Autocare LtdThese dashboard warning lights don’t normally mean there is anything wrong with your car’s engine or systems; however, they are a safety warning to tell you if any doors, your boot, or the bonnet of your car are not closed securely when you’re driving.

There will be a different warning sign for each make of car, normally showing which door is open.

Battery Dashboard Warning Light

Battery Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdThe battery dashboard warning light coming on can mean a couple of things that relate to your car’s battery and its charging system. It could be a faulty battery that may need replacing, a problem with the wiring, or a fault with the alternator or drive belt. A battery fault can result in headlights not working, which, if you’re driving at night, is a serious safety issue. Without the battery fully working or the vehicle’s charging system providing electricity, it can also impact your power steering, brakes, and the car’s starting or running. Professional garages will check your vehicle’s battery and its charging system to identify what is at fault and can show you the results so you understand what needs to be done.

Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Dashboard Warning Light

Anti Lock Brake System (abs) Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdIf the anti-lock brake system ABS dashboard warning light comes on, then you will often still have normal braking ability, so it’s often safe to continue your journey as long as you take extra care, but you should get it checked by a garage as soon as you possibly can. If it comes on with the brake dashboard warning light then it could mean your brake system is failing and you should stop immediately. ABS stops a wheel from locking using a system of sensors and valves that reduce braking pressure to keep the wheel at the point where it’s about to stop rotating. The maximum braking effect happens right at the point where the wheel is almost locking so the ABS reduces the overall stopping distance. Most new cars now come with an ABS.

Electronic Stability Problem (ESP) System Dashboard Warning Light

Electronic Stability Problem (esp) System Dashboard Warning Light - AP Autocare LtdThe ESP dashboard warning light indicates a problem with the traction control on your car. When it flashes, it means the ESP system is intervening, and this is most likely to happen if you are driving on a slippery road (wet, ice, or snow). If the light comes on a lot when you’re not driving in these conditions or it comes on and stays on, it means the ESP system isn’t working properly, and you should take it to a garage to be checked. You can often turn the ESP system off, and the dashboard warning light will show the word ‘Off’, which means the system has been deactivated. If the system has been deactivated as you or someone else has inadvertently turned it off, then check your car’s manual for how to turn it back on, as it is useful to have a safety warning to let you know there is a problem with the traction control on your car. If the light stays on, try turning your car off and restarting the engine after a minute. If the light stays on after this, then get it checked at a garage, as the ESP system is an important safety feature.

If a dashboard warning light comes on and you don’t know what it then check your car’s manual.

Car Diagnostics Bristol

As well as dashboard warning lights coming on, there are other signs you can hear or feel when you are driving. These can include noises from the engine, wheels, lack of power, skidding, or lack of control of the vehicle. Whether you have a dashboard warning light that comes on or your car doesn’t feel right, you should always take it to a professional garage like AP Autocare in Bristol, which has top-of-the-range car diagnostic systems in Bristol, to get it checked over. When you bring your car to us for a service, we will use our diagnostic systems during its service to ensure it is working efficiently and safely. 

Some of the most dangerous car problems can be unnoticeable and only detectable by using diagnostic equipment, so it’s always advisable to have your car serviced every 6 months for a mini service and a full service every year for any issues to be detected. 

AP Autocare Car Diagnostic Equipment

We are a recognised and trusted diagnostic garage, which means we are given the latest car diagnostic equipment from the main car manufacturers. We are a specialist and recognised garage for many of the main car manufacturers, including BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda, and Land Rover, and we have main dealer-level diagnostic equipment along with main dealer knowledge and expertise. Bringing your vehicle to us for any of our services can save you up to 30% compared to main dealer prices.

Our diagnostic equipment, combined with our years of experience and knowledge in car diagnostics and mechanics, means we can diagnose car problems and fix them for you at a highly competitive rate. 

Our car diagnostics team will plug your vehicle into our highly advanced diagnostic equipment, which includes advanced oscilloscopes and signal generators, to test and simulate any failed components.

About AP Autocare

We have been in business for over 40 years. We are one of the most reputable and independent MOT, repair, and service centres in Bristol, and we are Bristol’s largest independent multi-manufacturer specialist.

We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for any service, MOT, or repair if you work in the city centre or any of the surrounding areas.

We offer a courtesy car if you need a car while it’s booked in with us, or we can arrange a lift to work or home after you’ve dropped your car off to us, or a collection and delivery service to ensure that being without a car isn’t an inconvenience for you.

Our team is friendly and professional, and we offer highly competitive rates with the skills of a main dealership but without the costs associated with them.

We offer services for all vehicles of any age and size, from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).

Our services include:

  • Engine Diagnostics and Repair
  • Winter Car Checks
  • Servicing (Annual and Interim Services)
  • MOT’s
  • Bodywork & Paint Repairs
  • Air Conditioning Servicing & repair
  • Tyres & Exhausts
  • Brakes
  • Clutches
  • Remapping
  • Suspension & Steering
  • Welding
  • Battery Testing & Replacement
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Tyre Replacement
  • Remapping

If you have a dashboard warning light come on or you notice something is not right with your vehicle, then please call us on 0117 963 8916 or book online here and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you.