Owning a car is one of the most important milestones for some people, and a really rewarding one as well. Having the comfort of being an independent person that drives him or herself everywhere it’s a rather appealing idea.
However, owning a motorized vehicle is not all fun and games, as it comes with responsibilities such as caring for and changing old car parts. To make sure a car keeps its value as much as possible and it’s in the best possible shape really comes down to how you care for it.
It is important to take care of your vehicle, as it will determine how long it will remain in good condition and how well it’s going to work. Often, those rough roads full of potholes can really damage your car. Additionally, aggressive driving can also affect the overall condition of the vehicle, wearing out several car parts.
For all these reasons, it is important to pay attention to maintenance, especially to those services required after every certain number of miles. Therefore, instead of trusting the auto shop to repair any car part that might be broken, you should keep track of the car parts that have been changed as well as the ones that will be up for it soon. By doing so, you will avoid changing pieces more than once just because you do not understand about car parts.
During a car’s lifetime, some parts will need replacing and others will need to be changed more frequently. To expand your car’s lifespan, it it crucial for you to know which car parts to pay special attention to. Consider the following list of the main 10 car parts that require a more frequent checkup and changing, what they do, when you should change them, and the signs that tell you when it is time.
The oil filter is the car part needs more frequent changes. It is in charge of keeping all unwanted particles from reaching the car’s oil before it makes its way to the engine. Therefore, if not properly taken care of, over time your car’s pistons will suffer the consequences.
The exact frequency for changing it is indicated the car’s owner manual. Nevertheless, keep in mind this car part should be replaced as frequently as the oil itself. Oil changes are actually determined by the distances you drive with your car. It is advisable to change the oil and oil filters every time you increase your mileage by 3,000 to 5,000. Depending on how much you use your car, these changes might happen monthly or yearly.
The second car part that will need frequent changing is the battery. This vital piece of equipment is responsible for starting the engine and feeding the different circuits that turn on the car’s computer, lighting, gas pump and sound system, for example.
When it comes to battery replacement, distance isn’t actually a factor, time is. On average, this car part lasts approximately four to five years—depending on the weather you usually drive in. When this car part starts getting old, your car will start failing and you might even needing a jump start to get it moving again. Besides its age, leaving the lights or air conditioner running for long periods of time while the car is not functioning also leaves the battery without energy.
The air filter protects the engine from any kind of impurities that go through the airstream. Therefore, the combustion chamber does not get contaminated and the cylinder walls do not get worn.
Because this is such an essential car part to ensure the vehicle’s correct functioning, it needs to be checked every time you take your car for fine-tuning. This way, you will avoid using more gas than needed and spend less overall.
Spark plugs need replacing now and then. It is important to do so because they start the engine ignition process, which then results in the generation of the energy needed to move the vehicle. Not all spark plugs are the same; in fact, there are different kinds for the wide range of car models.
Because of how often this car part comes into play and how much wear and tear it gets, it needs to be changed frequently. It is recommended to do so with every fine-tuning of the car, and you should change all spark plugs, not only the ones that are worn out.
Number 5 on the list of car parts that need to be changed frequently are windshield wiper blades. These are a legal requirement in the U.S. since they increase visibility during bad weather, removing rain, ice or snow from the windshield.
These need to be changed only when they break, which can happen often, depending on the weather you live in. For example, if you usually leave your car completely exposed to heat under the sun, they will probably need changing more often, at least once a year.
Gas filters are used every time you start your car, although usage increases depending on whether the car runs on diesel or gasoline. Therefore, if you use the latter, gas filters stop impurities from reaching the engine; those that run on diesel use the filter is a corrosion inhibitor, as well as a way to prevent humidity from getting into the engine.
Therefore, it is highly important to keep them clean and check them every time you take your car to the repair shop. Maintenance is key to keeping the engine healthy and working for longer periods of time.
Next on the list of car parts that need frequent replacing are dampers, an essential part of the suspension system. Dampers reduce sharp and sudden impacts on the car, helping the car ride smoothly and steadily.
Given that this car part is highly used, you should make it a habit to check and/or replace the dampers when the car reaches 30,000 to 40,000 miles.
Anti-freezing fluids definitely need to be replaced quite frequently, as it is the car part in charge of controlling temperature changes, preventing any harm from coming to the engine. The substance stops the engine from freezing during cold weathers or overheating in hotter days.
Keep in mind that every car and brand have the specific instructions as to which anti-freezing liquid to use and frequency, information you can find in the Owner’s Manual. However, it is advisable to change this particular car part every two years or after reaching the 25,000-mile mark.
The brake fluid is one of those substances that needs frequent replacing. This additive transports the energy from the brake pedal to the tires, maximizing brake strength. Additionally, brake fluid is intended to avoid car parts involved in carrying out the action from wear, taking the vehicle to a halted state.
You will find the type of brake fluid that is suitable for your specific car model in the Owner’s Manual. Appropriate levels of brake fluid need to be checked – and eventually changed – every 45,000 miles or approximately every two years, whichever comes first. Plus, you should also pay attention to any strong smells, weird color or changes regarding its consistency.
Last in our list of car parts that need to be replaced frequently are brake pads. They are an essential part of your car’s disc brakes, converting the kinetic energy of your car into thermal energy through friction.
This car part needs to be changed every five years or every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. However, you should know that the aforementioned is advisable but not a rule, as the wear and tear of the brake pads depends largely on the way a person drives (passively or aggressively) and the type of vehicle (heavy or light, big or small).
Regardless of the vehicle, these 10 car parts are the ones that require special attention and care. Hence, if you wish to extend your car’s lifespan and keep its value as high as possible, it’s crucial to attend to them in a timely manner.