As much as you want to drive your car without any issues forever, that is not the case. Like anything you use, wear and tear are typical for vehicles. However, particular auto parts need replacing more than others. Daily drivers and car enthusiasts alike should be knowledgeable about these parts that are commonly replaced since you’ll never know when an issue can arise.
Motorized vehicles such as cars and trucks comprise gazillion parts having their own function to run smoothly. Any issue may affect driving comfort or even your safety. Although some users may ignore replacing some parts so long as the vehicle is usable, this practice is not advisable. Worn-out parts affect your vehicle’s performance and take a toll on other parts individually.
It is not recommended to compare the lifespan of car and truck parts to that of other people’s. Unless, of course, many people complain about unusual premature damage on particular car parts. Generally, many factors affect the rate of how fast car parts break down.
What factors cause auto parts wear and tear?
Frequency of use – The more you use a vehicle, the more its parts will likely break down faster. However, this perception is not accurate 100% of the time. Leaving your vehicle unused for a long time may also cause some car parts to break down faster. An example is a car battery. This essential part needs to regularly go through the discharge and recharge cycle to run properly.
Mileage – Mileage is very much related to how frequently the car or truck is used. Most manufacturers have a recommended mileage when doing preventive maintenance checks. Some consumable parts need replacement during these checks.
Style of driving – Each one has their driving style. Some styles of driving can also take a toll on some auto parts. For example, not slowing down when going over speed bumps can damage your suspension system aside from the fact that it’s very uncomfortable. Yes, some people do that.
Driving terrain – Some vehicle parts wear out whether you’re driving on pavement or dirt. However, particular components may give out prematurely, mainly when used not for their intended purpose. Try bringing your sedan off-roading, and it’ll undoubtedly take some beating on the terrain.
Location – The location where you usually drive your vehicle entails terrain and climate. Coastal areas have salty air and may easily corrode particular metal parts of your car. If you drive on ice or snow, you need to consider using winter wheel and tire packages for your safety and the longevity of other vehicle components.
Weather conditions – Changing weather conditions also contribute to the wear and tear of car parts. Rain and sunlight may leave mineral deposits on your windshield. Too much may wear out your wiper blades quickly.
Why is vehicle maintenance essential?
Even if it is tempting not to replace worn-out car or truck parts immediately, it is all for the better. Some drivers do this because of budget or time constraints, or some wouldn’t bother since the car is usable anyway. There are more benefits to keeping your vehicle properly and regularly maintained.
Safety – To break down in the most unlikely time or place is not just a hassle but also a possible compromise of your security. Additionally, a car stalling while driving fast on a freeway poses too much danger. To avoid road crashes, ensure you go through preventive maintenance checks and vehicle repairs.
Extend the lifetime of your vehicle – A properly maintained vehicle runs smoothly, is more comfortable, and lasts longer.
Get a fair resale value – If you resell your used car or truck, you can get a better deal if it undergoes regular maintenance.
Save on repair cost – Continuously using worn-out vehicle components affects the performance of the other parts. They may also cause other parts to break down, increasing the price for repairs.
What auto parts need routine replacement?
Most auto parts get replaced in time, but some components routinely need replacement. It happens because they are used up or worn out as you use your vehicle. Generally, there is nothing wrong with that, and it is part of owning and driving a car or truck. Let’s look at the auto parts that need routine replacement to avoid worrying when you encounter them.
Under the Hood
Engine oil and oil filter – Although oil is not a car part, it goes hand-in-hand when replacing the oil filter. Vehicle manufacturers have varying oil change intervals. They can also depend on the age of your car or truck. For later vehicle models, average oil change intervals are every 3,000 miles. However, that can go up to 5,000 to 7,000 miles when using more modern motor oils having low viscosity.
A combustion engine uses motor oil to lubricate its various moving parts to run smoothly and maintain fuel economy. On the other hand, the oil filter strains contaminants to prevent them from entering and damaging your engine.
Air filter – There are two primary air filters in your vehicle. One air filter removes the impurities in the air that goes inside your car needed for the combustion engine to run. Like oil change, replacing air filters varies depending on the manufacturer. In general, it lasts about 30,000 to 45,000 miles. However, the interval can be as low as 15,000 if you drive in harsher conditions. It is best to consult the user manual for the best results. You can also install cold air intakes for better vehicle performance.
Another commonly replaced component in the vehicle is cabin air filters. This one removes impurities like dust and pollen and prevents them from entering the cabin of your car.
Timing belt – The timing belt or cambelt synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft of the engine. It regulates the movement of the valves and pistons inside. When it gets damaged, the engine will not run smoothly. Continuously using a damaged timing belt may even cause the engine to break down. It’s best to check this belt whenever you go for an oil change.
Shock absorbers – The suspension system’s shock absorbers are the vital components responsible for dampening the vibrations from the rolling motion of the vehicle. It absorbs the force from the entire mass of the vehicle and the pressure from the road, wheels, and tires. As such, shock absorbers take a lot of beating. But these components are built to take the stress. However, the metal parts can corrode or rust from water and moisture in time. Also, the rods may leak from regular use. When you see these leaks or when your vehicle becomes excessively bouncy than before, then it’s time to have the shock absorbers checked.
Brake Pads – When you step on the brakes of your car or truck, the brake pads come in contact with the rotors attached to the wheels. The action stops the wheels and tires from rolling. In effect, the brake pads receive a lot of heat and friction, which causes them to wear. Some brake pads may need to work harder to stop your vehicle, especially if you have heavier tires. Even if you don’t feel any brake fade or diminished braking power, it is recommended to have your brake systems checked when you reach 30,000 miles to 50,000 miles or three to four years.
Battery – The battery is a crucial component of your car. It provides electricity which powers several other vehicle components. Ultimately, it powers the vehicle to start. Even if the battery recharges through the alternator as the engine runs, the elements inside also deteriorate. With normal use, the battery lasts for up to three to four years.
Fuses – Fuses are your vehicle’s first line of defense against short circuits. An overloaded circuit can damage your car’s other electrical and electronic components, or worse, cause a fire. However, fuses get busted first before anything terrible happens. They don’t have a set life span, but one of the telltale signs of a busted fuse is if you have other faulty electric parts.
Spark plugs – Spark plugs ignite the mixture of air and fuel to cause combustion in the engine. They get dirty or damaged in time. Faulty spark plugs cause your vehicle to become harder to start, slower to accelerate, or have poor fuel mileage.
Lights – Like light bulbs you use at home, car lights fade and die. When you notice your light bulbs are getting dull, it’s time to have them replaced.
Wiper blades – This component is responsible for wiping rainwater or snow from your windshield so you can see better in bad weather conditions. The wiper and wiper motor are sturdy enough to last long. However, wiper blades can get damaged when they catch debris. Also, they get brittle when exposed to excessive heat. Changing them in one to two years or seeing signs of damage can save you some headaches.
Wheels and Tires – The car or truck’s tires touch the ground almost always. Friction between them and the pavement causes the vehicle to roll. Heat and friction deteriorate the rubber of your tires. On the other hand, your wheels take a beating when you go through rough terrain or even roll on potholes. Check and replace tires if used up, in 25,000 to 50,000 miles, or five to seven years.
Wear and tear of auto parts are normal. Also, replacing and maintenance checks are part of driving a car. Doing this can give you peace of mind and enjoy more things in life. Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape saves you more from unnecessary complications of a stalled car. It greatly helps to know which components to check so that you can avoid more significant problems in the long run.