I rolled 100,000 miles on my Prius this week. It wasn’t ceremonious. I didn’t pull over to the side of the road to take a picture to post to Facebook. In fact, I wasn’t even looking when it happened. I knew it was close, and when I looked down on my way home from work on Thursday, I saw 100,001.
There was a time in life when 100,000 miles on a car was a really big deal. Almost nobody kept a car that long. And many cars just wouldn’t last that long. But in today’s world that marker is a pretty normal, expected milestone.
I probably should have mixed feelings about the fact that I’ve reached 100,000 miles and still have a year and a half of payments to go on the car loan. But the fact is I drive a lot. And I bought the car used, so I started at 38,000 miles. I can’t complain too much about the fact that I’ve logged over 60,000 miles in three and a half years. And the reality is that it just doesn’t bother me. I fully expect to continue driving this car for at least another 100,000 miles.
How can I be so certain that my car will be able to stand up to all of those miles? Regular maintenance! I follow the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual to a T. I change the oil and rotate the tires every 5,000 miles. I check the fluids and change the air filters. I have the big services done when they are due (seems like just yesterday I took it in for the 90,000 mile check-up).
Does regular maintenance cost money? Absolutely. But it costs a lot less than fixing something that has gone wrong because regular maintenance hasn’t been done. Skipping an oil change for too long can cause serious problems to the engine. Not draining and replacing the transmission fluid from time to time can cause the transmission to go bad. So I’ll happily pay $25 every 5,000 miles to get the oil changed and $100 from time to time to drain and replace fluids. It’s way better than paying $3,000 or more for a new transmission or engine.
My Prius is my baby. We spend a lot of time together. So I’ll continue to take care of that car. Because if I treat it right, it will treat me right.