It should be no secret that the longer you keep your car or truck, the longer it’ll pay you back. I mean let’s face it, in an economy that’s riddled with unemployment, layoff’s and unexpected expenditures, not having a car payment can be a beautiful thing. Now most cars today are good up until 100,000-150,000 miles. After that though things simply start to wear out. Suspension components, body and interior items, even if well taken care of, all have a life span. But what about the heart of your vehicle, what about the engine. The old adage of changing your oil every 3000 miles is all but gone, in fact many manufacturers don’t recommend oil changes until 7,500 miles. Personally, this kinda freaks me out, but hey, they did the research and development so they should supposedly know best. Over time some people simply get bored with rides and either sell them out right, or trade them in for something new. However if your name is Howard Clayton, then you may just keep your cars forever.
Mr. Clayton owns a 2000 3500 Series Dodge Ram pickup truck with a 5.9-liter Cummins diesel engine and he’s about to break into the record books. He’s been in the trucking business now for 20 years, 10 of which with his trusty Dodge. He runs about 160,000 miles per year and is about to top a staggering 1.7 million miles on his odometer! His secret is simple – do the maintenance. For instance, if something goes wrong, Clayton fixes it immediately, he also changes his oil, but not at dealer recommended 3,000 mile intervals, but at every 10,000 miles.
“The book says change the oil every 3,000 miles, but if I did that, I would be stopping every other day,” says Clayton. “I change the oil and filter every 10,000 miles. That’s two trips from Indiana to California.”
I just hope that Dodge gets wind of this, as Howard Clayton’s old Dodge Ram is truly one for the record books.