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How to get your car to 200,000 miles

Maintaining an automobile is a challenging yet rewarding endeavor. Carlozo offers this checklist to help you keep your car on the road for 200,000 miles. 

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Read and Abide by the Owner's Manual

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It's true, your car's owner's manual will never rival a Jonathan Franzen novel. But it contains car keys of another kind — ones that tell you when to service your car's most crucial systems. You should especially read the manual if you know little or nothing about cars in general, as it will help you understand the workings of your car's heating and cooling systems, and lighted signs.

Find a Mechanic You Can Trust

There's only one truly reliable way to find a mechanic: Word of mouth from a thrilled customer. And while sometimes helpful, try and steer clear of relying solely on websites like Yelp and Angie's List; merchants have learned to game for inflated ratings. And while we're talking repairs, it also helps to have access to a great auto body shop to handle any dents or damage from accidents. Again, word of mouth here will be your best bet.

Never, Ever Ignore the Warning Lights

Many drivers assume that the "check engine" light is something to ignore, like the flashing LED clock on old-school VCRs. Or they think if it's an old car, maybe the light itself is on the fritz. Even if you just got your oil checked, an illuminated check engine light could mean you're a few quarts low. It doesn't hurt to follow up whenever you see any indicator lights illuminated.

Never, Ever Ignore Odd Noises

What's that knock? That grind? That shooga-shooga-rrr-rrr-rrr? Cars speak a funny language and like horse whisperers, savvy mechanics know how to decipher it. When you car makes an unusual noise, don't ignore it and hope it will go away; get it checked out.

If you do make it to 200,000 miles, be sure to celebrate! You're 800K miles away from living like Joe LoCiero, who made it to 1 million miles in his 1990 Honda Accord in 2011. And then Honda gave him a new car to celebrate.

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