As much you love your brand new car, and no matter how much you take care of it, it is a machine, after all, built using components and parts that are subject to daily wear and tear. As such, these parts need to be replaced every once in a while.
Since you probably drive your car almost every day, you must conduct regular car maintenance in order to extend the life of your vehicle. Additionally, it will also save you from potentially very-high repairs and maintenance costs in the long run.
However, many car-owners wonder when the best time is to replace their car parts. The confusion mainly stems from the fact that different car parts wear down at different times and need to be replaced after a specific number of years or months.
To help you figure out when to replace your car parts, here is a short but handy car maintenance guide that contains a list of the most commonly replaceable car parts that require your due attention.
The battery of your car tends to age after a few years, which can greatly affect the performance of your car and increases the risk of a battery failure. Like other batteries, it is constantly charging and discharging, and there comes the point when it becomes weak and requires replacement.
Your car’s battery will last you at least 4-5 years, so the best time to replace it is every four to five years. Make it a point to get your battery checked annually for any possible physical defects, dirty terminals, and broken cables.
These are undeniably one of the most important parts of your car, and they are also subject to daily wear-and-tear, more so than any other part of the car. The performance of your car’s safety systems is highly dependent on the condition of the tires, so you must ensure that you get it routinely checked.
Ideally, a quality set of tires is likely to last you a good number of years, but they should be replaced on an as-needed basis. This is because several factors can affect the lifespan of your vehicle’s tires, such as your driving habits, the miles driven, etc. Depending on these factors, you should replace the tires of your car every five to seven years; however, it is possible that you might have to replace them sooner if they begin to display performance issues.
The exterior lights of your car include all the external lights, such as the taillights, brake lights, and turn signals, to name a few. When you’re driving the car, there’s no way for you to tell if they’re working fine or not, so you must get someone to check them for you at least once in a few months.
However, these external lights don’t have a definite replacement period; you should replace them whenever they burn out, which can be after a few months or even a couple of years. Constant checkups will help you replace faulty bulbs to ensure that you’re safe on the road, and you don’t get into any trouble with the law.
As the name suggests, brake rotors are components that are an important part of your car’s braking system. They stop your vehicle by working in sync and generating enough force to help bring your car to a stop without any jerking motion.
Since they are friction-based components, every time you press the brake pedal, it creates friction that can wear them out and cause them to lose their efficiency. However, like tires, brake rotors also require to be replaced on an as-needed basis. If you get them checked regularly and ensure proper maintenance, they are likely to last you a few years. As a general rule, though, you should replace your brake rotors every 50,000-70,000 miles. However, if you hear any grinding or squealing noises when braking, it is a sign that you need to replace the brake rotors at the earliest.
This forms an integral part of your car’s engine. Spark plugs are responsible for the vehicle’s ignition and generating the power required to start and drive your car. If your car ever displays performance issues like slow acceleration or surging of the engine, it’s a sign that you need to replace your car’s spark plugs.
Ideally, spark plugs will last for at least 8 years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first), but it also depends on what car you have. For instance, high-performance vehicles tend to require frequent spark plug replacements because their electrodes end up wearing down faster.
Door Handles and Locks
These are some of the most commonly used car components that often tend to go unnoticed when it’s time to replace car parts. The door handles and locks of your car are equally subject to wear-and-tear and need to be replaced when: keys don’t turn in the locks, keys get stuck in the locks, the handles get jammed, or when the handles come off.
These are also subject to replacement on an as-needed basis, and you should replace them if they display any of the aforementioned problems.
Shocks and Struts
Two of the most vital components of your car’s suspension system are the shocks and struts. Shocks, as the name implies, are shock absorbers that help the wheels recover immediately every time you hit a bump on the road. Struts, on the other hand, are devices that support the weight of your car and determine how well your vehicle handles while it’s on the road.
Many cars are built with struts and shocks that offer a lifetime guarantee; however, they should generally be replaced every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Unstable braking performance, poor steering response, and stiff performance are some of the signs that indicate that you need to replace these parts.
The windshield of your car is subject to dirt and debris on a daily basis, and these bits of debris can often result in cracks and scratches. Depending on the condition of the windshield, get it replaced if it has far too many cracks or if the supporting frame becomes loose or weak.
If you take good care of it and clean it regularly, it can last you quite a few years, too.
Apart from these commonly replaceable car parts, there are other essential car-related accessories and components that need to be replaced regularly.
These include things like power steering fluid, transmission fluid, oil, the oil filter, and coolant, to name a few. It is best to check the owner’s manual that comes with your vehicle to know exactly when to replace them.
We hope that our car maintenance guide has given you a clear insight as to when the best time is to replace your car parts.
A pro tip for all drivers and car owners out there is that you should get your car inspected properly by a professional every few months in order to extend its life. Pay due attention to unusual signs or indicators, such as weird whirring sounds, accelerations problems, slow pick-up, excessive rebounding, etc. This will help you identify the problem in time so that you can get it fixed at the earliest.