Don’t wait…check these eight!

Common_Replaced_Car_Parts.jpgWe all like to keep ourselves fit and healthy. We go to see the doctor when we have an ailment, and we exercise to keep our bodies in a good working order…but we often neglect to think about our cars in the same way.

Most of us rely on our cars, and if something goes wrong with them, it can be both inconvenient and expensive. Over time, car parts can start to fail due to normal wear and tear. Contributing factors to this can include the number of miles a car does, the condition of the roads it is driven on, and the age of the car. It is important to understand which car parts are most likely to need replacing so that you can be prepared when maintenance is required.

We all have busy lives, and keeping track of everything can be difficult and stressful, so we’ve put together this handy checklist of eight commonly replaced car parts, which all require a little TLC to remain healthy. This will help to give you an idea of what to expect so that you can plan and budget your car maintenance accordingly.

  1. Air Filter

Air filters stop debris such as dust and leaves from getting inside your car engine. They can wear out approximately every 3-4 years or between 30,000-50,000 miles, and are more commonly affected if your car is regularly driven on dusty, gravelly roads. Fans of off-road driving beware!

  1. Battery

Nobody wants to face a flat battery first thing in the morning. As your car battery ages, its performance starts to deteriorate and risk of failure increases. Batteries need to be replaced every 4-5 years, regardless of the mileage your car does. You can arrange for your battery to be professionally tested, or you can check it yourself with the correct equipment. Remember that problems can also be caused by leaving lights on when the car is not started, and from taking too many short trips that do not allow the battery to fully charge.

  1. Brake Pads

Effective brake pads are essential to your safety, and on average need to be replaced every 3-5 years or between 30,000-70,000 miles. Constant stop-and-start city drivers may find their brake pads wear more quickly, and people with a more ‘aggressive’ driving style should be aware that this not only causes danger to themselves and other road users, but will also significantly affect the life of their brake pads.  Make sure your brake pads are checked as part of an annual service, or if you notice any changes in your braking performance.

  1. Door Locks

This is perhaps something you wouldn’t think of as a commonly replaced part, but remember it is a part of the car that you use every time you get into your car! The repeated locking/unlocking of cars can cause wear and tear to locking cylinders/mechanisms, and sometimes keys can get stuck or broken. Although it is more difficult to predict when this will occur, make sure you get locking issues fixed promptly to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.

  1. Lights

Obviously, we need to be able to see, and be seen! The life span of bulbs for exterior lighting can vary depending on how much driving you do so need to be checked on a regular basis. Headlights and/or taillight bulbs tend to last around 5-7 years, depending on how much night time driving you do. You can easily check by yourself that headlights and indicator lights are working correctly, but you’ll need a friend to help you check your brake lights. Remember that bulbs can sometimes be affected by regularly driving on rough and bumpy roads, so go easy on those speed bumps!

  1. Spark Plugs

Spark plugs provide the ignition that keeps your car moving. They generally last for around 8 years or up to 100,000 miles, but their life span can be shortened if you are continually making short journeys (are you guilty of driving to the shops around the corner?). If you have had any problems starting your car or have noticed slow acceleration, this could indicate the need for the spark plugs to be replaced.

  1. Tyres

Tyres will typically last between 5-7 years – but this can of course be impacted by how much driving you do, and the condition of the roads you are driving on.  Have you got a spare 20p coin? Place one into the main grooves of your tyre, and if the outer band of the coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. Make sure you regularly check your tyre pressures and top up the air accordingly, especially if you are making long journeys.

  1. Windscreen Wiper Blades

For your safety, it is essential to have clear vision of the road so it is important to ensure windscreen wipers are in good working order, particularly when driving in rain or snow. They will usually need replacing every 1-2 years. In hot climates where the car is outside a lot, they may wear out more quickly, but this is probably not something that we need to worry about too much in the UK! If you notice your wipers are dragging or squeaking there may be a rip or tear in the rubber, and this can affect performance, so make sure you get them replaced as soon as possible.

Please note:

Other parts which may require replacement could include remote keyless entry, belts, alternators, fuel pumps, fuses, clutches, water pumps, oil filters, automatic transmission, engine sensors and other elements of the braking system. This list is not exhaustive.

Timescales stated in this article are for guidance purposes only and can vary depending on various factors unique to the individual vehicle, driver and driving conditions/behaviours, therefore it is important to have your car professionally maintained and serviced on a regular basis.

References

Alex Jefferson. (2016). The 10 Most Commonly Replaced Car Parts and When to Change Them. Available: http://www.proctorcars.com/the-10-most-commonly-replaced-car-parts-and-when-to-change-them/. Last accessed 29/03/2017.

Retrieved from http://www.aa1car.com. (n.d.). Most Often Replaced Auto Parts. Available: http://www.aa1car.com/library/car_parts_replaced.htm. Last accessed 29/03/2017.

Retrieved from https://www.u-pull-it.co.uk. (2016). Commonly Replaced Car Parts. Available: https://www.u-pull-it.co.uk/news/car-parts/commonly-replaced-car-parts. Last accessed 29/03/2017.

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