Friday, April 13, 2012

How to be a Mileage Millionaire

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Hotseat

Ever seen a car with ridiculously high mileage? It's practically a rite of passage to hit over 100,000 for most people, a feat deserving of recognition and high fives. Enough so that I set up a photo album on Facebook awhile back to try and find Toyota owners that hit the mark. However, most people don't realize that if you treat your car well, you can take that odometer far beyond a mere 100,000 miles. We're not just talking hundreds of thousands, either. Why settle for six figures when you can have seven? Getting your car up to a million miles is kind of like being a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, except instead of answering trivia questions, you're answering questions as to how well you've been taking care of your vehicle.

The best part is, you don't need lifelines or to sweet talk Meredith Vieira to win this game!  Just ask Glen Allen, a Toyota enthusiast who recently became the first driver to hit a million miles on his 1996 Tacoma.

Toyota Today

The Lousiana native got his Tacoma back in January of 1997, when the truck had a whole six miles on it. How did he manage to drive a million miles in the span of about 15 years? Glen is a driver by profession, and logs up to 90,000 miles a year escorting larger trucks carrying industrial equipment and bulldozers across the country. Affectionately naming his Tacoma "My Little Red Demon", he says, " treat her nicely, and she'll take care of you", which is exactly what Allen has done. Here are some tips for reaching the coveted million mark-

1. Keep the hot rodding to a minimum- In other words, don't go nuts slamming on the brakes or pressing the pedal to the floor to accelerate like a madman. You'll only end up putting more stress on the vehicle and shorten it's lifespan.

2. Get your tires rotated regularly-Glen has his tires rotated when he gets his oil changed, every 5,000 miles. Your car may vary - check with your service advisor to see what is best for you!

3. Don't cut corners on other routine maintenance- You know how every time you get an oil change, they ask if you want to flush the fluids for the brakes, transmission, and whatnot? It may cost some extra money, but you do need to do these things! Don't perpetually put off additional routine maintenance.

4. Be pro-active- If you can replace belts and hoses before they're in danger of failing, you'll go a long way towards extending your car's life. The same can be said if you hear your car making strange sounds...don't ignore it!

5. Take care of the cosmetics- Rust can be killer for a car. Make sure to get yours washed and waxed every now and then, to keep salt and debris away from the underbody.

Do you have any other tips for extending the life of your car?

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