Driving down country roads full of bumps and potholes can really take a toll on your rims and shock suspenders. Hitting a hole hard enough can not only throw your vehicle out of alignment, but also wreak havoc on your tires. Rocks and debris can be kicked up into your windshield and cause cracks or break it entirely. In addition to bad road conditions, driving aggressively will wear out parts such as brake pads and tires at a faster than normal rate.
Replacing car parts can at times become a frequent part of your life. Finding used parts from a car wrecker service is a great way to save money while getting the repairs done.
In addition to the potential damages incurred from less than pristine roads, there are many parts that need replaced frequently just from daily use.
Parts that need to be replaced most often
- Oil and oil filters
- Windshield wiper blades
- Air filter
- Headlight and taillight bulbs
- Spark plugs
- Serpentine and timing belts
- Fuel pumps
- Water pumps
- Brake pads
- Engine sensors
- Shocks and struts
- Automatic transmissions
- Brake calipers, Wheel and Master cylinders
While you may see it as a nuisance, replacing these parts rather than putting them off is necessary to prolong the life of your vehicle. Scheduled maintenance is also a great choice to help prevent unexpected breakdowns.
Suggested replacement schedule for parts
- Oil filters: every 3 to 6 months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles
- Windshield wiper blades: every 1 to 2 years or more often if damaged
- Air filter: every 3 to 4 years. More frequently if you drive on dusty, gravel roads
- Brake pads: every 30,000 to 70,000 miles or more often if you drive in the city with a lot of stop-and-go driving
- Battery: every 4 to 5 years
- Headlight and taillight bulbs: every 5 to 7 years, conventional filament bulbs can wear out quicker when you frequently drive on bumpy roads
- Tires: Should be replaced every 5 to 7 years under optimal conditions. Aggressive driving, misalignment and hard, sharp turns will lessen the life of your tires
- Spark plugs: 100,000 miles
- Serpentine and timing belts: Serpentine belt at 75,000 miles and timing belt at 100,00 miles
- Alternator: can outlive your car, or needs to be replaced after 5 to 7 years. However, it should be tested before being replaced as it is often replaced prematurely.
- Fuel pump: like the alternator, fuel pumps are frequently misdiagnosed and replaced unnecessarily. Fuel filters should be replaced first to ensure the necessity of the replacement of the pump. The fuel pump can last the life of your car, or fail earlier.
- Water pump: Can fail after 6 to 8 years of driving, or outlast the useful life of your car.
- Fuses: May need to be replaced due to electrical problems. Make sure to use the correct amp rating!
- Engine sensors: Should last 150,000 miles.
- Muffler: should last 10 or more years.
- Shocks and struts: Should last 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
- Automatic transmission : Could fail after 70,000 miles, especially if the vehicle is used for towing or aggressive driving
- Brake calipers, Wheel and Master cylinders: 100,000 miles
Some of these parts may never need replacing, while others will require replacing more frequently than suggested. Knowing your car and paying attention to changes that occur will help you know when parts need to be replaced.