How to Maintain an Older Vehicle

Dramatic odometer flips are milestones, but they also mean your vehicle requires some extra TLC.

A couple hug in front of a powder blue older American car.
An older car needs some extra attention.
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

Stay tuned.

Don’t skip regular tune-ups and oil changes just because your car is out of warranty. These maintenance measures are a bargain compared with the costly repairs they prevent.

Charge up.

Experts say cars need new batteries every 36 months. Consider replacing your battery before you’re left stranded. AAA Mobile Battery Service brings a replacement and installs it on the spot.

Rotate and replace.

Higher-mileage cars usually require more maintenance than brand-new vehicles. But the investment is worth it: Services such as tire rotations, brake adjustments, and timing-belt replacements can spare you more expensive repairs down the line.

Don't forget fluids.

Older cars go through oil and other lubricants faster than new vehicles and may need top-offs between services.

Upgrade coverage.

Bumping up your AAA Membership to Plus or Premier gives you longer tow distances—a useful benefit for owners of older cars that are more likely to break down.


This article was originally published in September 2015 and last updatedin August 2022.