Modern cars are true marvels of engineering, with many parts working in tandem to deliver high performance and comfort. These vehicles that we drive today are kilometres ahead of what our grandfathers once drove. Today's cars are faster, more comfortable, more high-tech, and so much safer. However, no matter how technically advanced a car might ever become, it's still susceptible to wear and tear. As with anything in life, after a while, things just stop working correctly or even break down completely.
As a car owner, you can approach the issue of parts replacement in one of two ways. Either you can wait for the car part to start causing trouble, or you can preemptively replace them when you know they're about to reach the end of their useful life. Some car parts are more prone to fail than others for the simple reason that they are used more often or have a shorter lifespan.
Below are ten car parts that are the first to fail from wear and tear.
If you notice that your car doesn't start as smoothly as it usually does, that's an early sign that your car battery might fail very soon. The battery is no longer capable of delivering full charge, which makes it work harder to start your engine.
You see, your car battery is continuously being recharged whenever your car is on. Over time, however, it gradually loses its ability to hold that full charge. You'll notice the same thing with other kinds of batteries too, like the one in your smartphone.
What's the worst that could happen? You might hop into your car one day on your way to a crucial business meeting, but the car won't start.
Exterior lights on your car are also the quickest to stop working. The worst part? It might take a while before you even realise your lights aren't working, especially the ones in the rear.
Sometimes, the only way to be sure is to get someone to press on your brakes while you walk around and inspect your lights personally. That way, you can be sure that the lights in the front and the rear are all working.
The exception here would be your indicator or signal lights. When those are failing, they'll tend to blink really fast. That's a sign that you'll need to replace them as soon as possible.
In a combustion engine, spark plugs are the parts that set off the process of combustion. These plugs spark non-stop the entire time that the engine is on, which tells you the abuse it takes in its lifetime.
Watch out for rough idling or engine misfires, since these are warnings that your spark plugs need to be replaced.
Just like your spark plugs, your brakes are also subject to a lot of heavy use. The next time you take your car out for a drive, try and count how many times you actually press down on your brake pedal. Every time you do that, the brake system kicks in to bring your vehicle to a halt. That leads to wear on your brake pads and brake rotors.
The most definite sign of this is when you hear squealing or squeaking whenever you apply your brakes. You should take your car in to get these parts replaced as soon as possible.
Don't wait for those sounds to turn into grinding noises. Once you hear grinding, you're already causing significant damage to your brakes.
Your windshield is the part of the car that blocks everything from flying at you. Most of the time, it only blocks wind (hence the name). Aside from that, it also prevents occasional rocks, debris, tree branches, or even flying animals from hitting you in the face! Your windshield takes quite a beating, and it’s one of those car parts that might get damaged ahead of the others.
If you ever notice a small chip or crack on the windshield, get an expert to fix it immediately. It is one part of your car you can't afford to break while driving.
Fuses are needed for all the electrical parts of your car, from your car radio to your internal/external lights. However, with the way vehicles are becoming increasingly dependent on electronics, fuses are no doubt more important than ever before!
If something electrical or electronic stops working, it may not be the thing itself that's faulty. It could just be that its fuse has blown.
Depending on how much and how far you drive, your tyres could be the first parts to wear out. In the case of tyres, their surfaces wear out and lose their grip on the road. With that loss of traction comes dangers like skidding and sliding on the road, which could lead to accidents.
You can have your tyres rotated from time to time, just to make sure that they wear evenly. 'Rotating' in this case means switching tyre positions, like your front right tyre with the rear left, every few months or so.
Oil filters are continually working to keep your engine oil clean, so they're always in use. This leads them to wear out quickly. That's why whenever you take your car in for an oil change, they usually change the filter as well.
Don't forget that your car uses belts like drive belts and timing belts. These belts ensure that certain parts (like your engine's camshaft and crankshaft) are rotating in a synchronised manner. For that to work, these belts are kept under quite a bit of tension. Over time, that tension and all the friction they endure can cause belts to crack or even snap completely, causing the car to become immobile.
Sometimes, you can tell that a belt is wearing out when you start hearing squeaking noises after starting up the engine. As soon as that happens, it's best to have it inspected and changed at a workshop. It is one of those parts that you really can't afford to fail in the middle of your drive.
Last but not least, your windshield wipers. Over time, the rubber used on your wipers will no longer glide smoothly over the windshield like before. You'll hear squeaking or chattering noises whenever you use them, or you might see them leave streaks and smears all over the glass. While it's easy to assume that a faulty wiper is insignificant, it could lead to damage of your windshield or worse, low visibility while driving in the rain. Thankfully, this car part is cheap and easy to replace.
Keeping cars in their top form includes replacing parts as soon as there’s a sign of damage or fault. There’s no point risking your life and safety, so it’s important to address minor issues promptly. To locate auto parts fast, check out CarPart’s nifty tool called Request a Part. You need not search an auto part or accessory yourself because CarPart will do it for you! Try requesting a part now!
By Ray Hasbollah