During the lifetime of your car, you will need to replace some of the car parts. Cars, just like any other machine, are built from various auto parts assembled. Each of these parts performs different roles. Over time they wear out or start to malfunction, which may lead to complete failure if ignored.
The rate at which these parts wear out depends on various factors, which may either accelerate or slow down the process. All the same, you will have to replace these parts at some point. Some of the factors affecting these car parts include:
- Driving environment (suburban, urban, city)
- Annual mileage
- Weather and climate conditions
- Driving style
Of course, the year and make of your car will determine which parts you need to replace. It's quite ordinary for car parts to require replacing after a certain period or mileage. It doesn’t work like an expiry date, though, that will require you to replace the auto parts upon reaching the exact time or covered distance. Instead, think of it as a heads-up telling you that sooner or later, that part would need replacing.
You can buy some of these parts as secondhand car parts or used auto parts from similar cars that no longer need them. Most of the time, however, you will have to buy brand new equipment or spare parts. Here are the most frequently replaced car parts.
The oil filter ensures that oil is free of dirt and prevents contaminants from getting into the car engine. The oil acts as a heat absorber and lubricates the engine. Replacement of the oil filter should be done after every 4,800 to 8,050 kilometres (3,000-5,000 miles) or after 3-6 months depending on your motoring frequency. You should also change the oil along with the filter.
Windshield Wiper Blades
Windshield wiper blades break down after a year or two. In a hot climate, you will have to replace it more frequently. Any driver knows how important it is to keep the windshield clear when driving, especially in inclement and foggy weather.
In case the windshield wiper blades start showing signs of wear, don’t hesitate to go to an auto parts shop to get a replacement.
The air filter’s lifespan is mostly affected by the driving conditions and terrain. It prevents dirt, pebbles, debris from getting into the engine. Driving in dusty roads as well as gravel terrain usually reduces the lifespan of the filter.
Air filters thus require replacing after 3 to 4 years or after a mileage of 48,000-80,500 kilometres (30,000 to 50,000 miles). If you often drive in dusty or gritty roads, consider replacing the air filter sooner.
The brake fluid system of any car requires regular maintenance. Brake components such as brake callipers, wheel cylinder, and the master cylinder experience internal corrosion. Corrosion, in turn, reduces their lifespan. Thus, you should replace these components after 160,900 kilometres (100,000 miles).
Applying brake leads to wearing out of the brake pads. Continuous wear necessitates the need to replace the brake pads. Brake pads are essential as they facilitate stopping or slowing down of your car.
The driving environment, such as stop-and-go in traffic, usually increases wear out. Besides, your driving style and the type of material used in brake linings typically affect the rate of wear.
Ceramic and semi-metallic linings can withstand wear for a longer time than the non-asbestos organic kind. On average conditions, the brake pads need replacing after a period of 3 to 5 years or 48,000-112,600 kilometres (30,000 to 70,000 miles). Nonetheless, you should replace them as soon as you notice the signs of worn brake pads to ensure your safety.
The car battery produces the power to start the engine. With the battery, mileage doesn’t determine the replacement period. Instead, you should replace it after every 4 to 5 years. In a hot climate, it is common to replace batteries every three years. If you want to know more about replacing a car battery, here's a guide.
You should also regularly check your car battery for dirty terminals or faulty or damaged cables and watch out for signs of failing or dead car battery. Also, do not leave the car lights on in your car as they will drain the battery.
As the battery ages, the performance of your car’s electrical systems starts reducing. Failure is inevitable if you keep using it.
Just like with the car battery, the replacement period of headlights doesn't depend on the mileage. Instead, nighttime driving and rough terrain reduce the lifespan of the lights. For instance, bulbs with filaments are most likely to be affected when you drive on bumpy roads.
On average, you replace headlights after 5 to 7 years. Of course, you don’t have to wait for this period to replace broken or non-functioning headlights or taillights.
Car tyres provide traction and grip in addition to making your car move due to their rotary motion. Constant friction, especially when driving in rough surfaces, causes wear on the tyre treads. Driving with worn-out treads is very dangerous.
Tyres, therefore, should be replaced after 5 to 7 years, although the replacement period depends on other factors. Some of these factors include wear rating of the tyre, mileage, and driving style. Cornering around sharp bends (which may require drifting) and aggressive driving will increase the wear on your tyre treads.
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the mixture of air and fuel in internal combustion engines. Platinum and iridium plugs have a lifespan of 160,900 kilometres (100,000 miles) or eight years.
Repeated driving for short distances can result in fouled spark plugs. If not replaced, fouled spark plugs will lead to poor mileage as well as engine troubles such as misfire.
The friction experienced during gear change causes wear and tear to the clutch in your car. Aggressive driving drastically reduces the lifespan of the clutch. It requires replacement after 160,900 kilometres (100,000 miles) or less for aggressive drivers.
The serpentine belt has a lifespan of 6 years or 120,700 kilometres (75,000 miles), after which it needs replacement. The timing belt has a life of 160,900 kilometres (100,000 miles) or eight years, after which it too needs to be replaced.
Since the timing belt is made of rubber and fibre, exposure to heat and oil wears it out. On the upside, it is a breeze to replace.
Lifespan of Car Parts
Repairing or replacing some car parts are on a need-to basis. Although they can last over the lifetime of the car, the following are rough estimates on the lifespans of the following parts or when they need replacing:
- Alternator - after 5 to 6 years
- Fuel pump - after 5 to 6 years
- Water pump - after 6 to 8 years or after 112,600 kilometres (70,000 miles)
- Engine sensors - after over 241,400 kilometres (150,000 miles)
- Muffler - after more than ten years or 193,000 kilometres (120,000 miles)
- Shocks and struts - after 80,500-112,600 kilometres (50,000 to 70,000 miles)
If some of these parts fail in your car, you need not worry. With a guide, the necessary tools, and basic skills, you can replace them by yourself. However, for severe failures or damages, visit a car repair shop to get the parts replaced by a qualified mechanic. For your car’s replacement parts, check out Carpart.com.au – Australia’s online hub for buyers and sellers of used auto parts.