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You Just Hit 100,000 Miles! Now What?

There was a time when crossing over the six-figure mark on your odometer was a cause for celebration, but modern vehicles are much more durable and long-lasting than their ancestors. Many vehicles are now reliable enough that hitting 100,000 miles is just another day at the office, but that doesn't mean you should ignore the occasion.

To ensure that your vehicle continues to provide you with reliable service, you should treat this mileage milestone as an opportunity to handle some critical maintenance. Keep reading to learn about five essential services you should schedule for your car as it enters the prime of its life.

1. Timing Belt Replacement

Your motor can't run properly without fully synchronized camshafts and crankshafts. Combustion is a precise operation that requires many moving parts to operate in sequence, including the pistons that provide compression and the valves that control air intake and exhaust output. Your timing belt is a critical part of this system and necessary to keep the pistons and valves operating in time.

While some vehicles use lifetime timing chains, many still use belts. Like your accessory belts, your timing belt wears out with use and age. A broken timing belt will stop your car in its tracks at best and cause severe internal engine damage at worst. Many manufacturers recommend replacing timing belts at 100,000 miles, and it's essential enough that you should never defer this maintenance task.

2. Water Pump Replacement

Water pumps typically aren't considered wear items, but they often fail around 100,000 miles in many vehicles. While it's rarely cost-effective to replace still functional parts, water pumps may be an exception to this rule. By replacing an aging water pump along with your timing belt, you may be able to save money on labor costs.

The position of the water pump (often under the timing belt cover) means that replacing it may share labor with timing belt replacement. In some cases, technicians must remove the water pump just to reach the timing belt! Since the cost of a new pump is relatively cheap, replacing yours at 100,000 miles is good insurance against future failures.

3. Accessory Belt and Pulley Replacement

Although the consequences of failure aren't quite as severe, replacing your accessory belts is still an essential maintenance task. These belts have a straightforward job: transfer mechanical energy from your engine to your vehicle's various accessories. Most cars have a single accessory belt, but some also have a secondary belt to drive the air conditioning compressor.

Manufacturer replacement intervals vary, but your 100,000-mile service is an excellent time to check the condition of these belts. Since they are more easily accessible than your timing belt, your technician can examine them for signs of wear and replace them as necessary. You may also need to replace your belt pulleys and tensioners if they seem to be worn or failing.

4. Spark Plugs

Your vehicle's spark plugs provide the jolt your engine needs to keep combustion going. Each spark plug produces a high voltage arc that ignites the fuel and air in your cylinders, creating the explosive force that turns the crankshaft. As you might expect, using high voltage to trigger a high-powered explosion is hard work, and your spark plugs will eventually fail.

On most modern vehicles, you can expect your plugs to last about 100,000 miles. Extremely well-maintained cars can go even longer, but it's generally a good idea to replace them with your six-digit service. When the technician removes your plugs, they can also check them for signs of unusual wear that might indicate other trouble brewing in your engine.

There's a lot to do at 100,000 miles, but these maintenance tasks will keep your car cruising along the highway like it just rolled off the factory floor. Windermere Sustainable Car Care can help you with all of these maintenance tasks and anything else your car needs. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment!

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