When Should I Be Replacing Parts Of My Vehicle?
As part of the maintenance of your vehicle, there are a few parts that need to be replaced in order to increase its overall efficiency and longevity. From filters and fluids, to plugs and bulbs, keeping a car in top shape requires keeping to regular maintenance and servicing schedules. Here, we’ve compiled some of the main car components that need to be replaced, and when:
The air filters in your engine and in your vehicle itself work to clean out dust, pollen and other allergens or dirt out of the airflow through your vehicle. When these become clogged, it can cause poor performance of the engine, vehicle’s heaters and air conditioning, and even the defrosters. Typically, air filters will need to be replaced about once a year, but may be more often if you live in a particularly dusty area or regularly drive on dirt roads.
Your car’s battery is the very heart of it actually working. It charges every time you drive, but is drained by electronics within your car. Just like any battery, the constant charge and de-charge can wear it down over time and for that reason, you need to pay attention to how it functions. There is no set period of time a battery usually lasts, but after a few years you should get the battery checked ideally once a year to catch any signs of faults or wear before it can become a problem.
Without brake fluid, the pressure you apply to the pedal wouldn’t transfer into hydraulic force and, therefore, wouldn’t be able to stop the car. For that reason, it’s one of the most vital components of any vehicle and has a regular recommended maintenance schedule as a result. In theory, brake fluid will only need to be changed a few times in your car’s lifetime, but you can never over-change it, so it’s worth changing it as needed, or every few years.
Brake pads work with rotors to generate the power needed to stop your vehicle and so they go through a lot in their lifetime. Everytime you brake, these components can be worn down a little more and depending on how you drive, this can happen faster than expected or last longer than expected. Generally, they are changed on an as-needed basis, but you can expect to see changes needed every few years.
The last thing you want for your engine is contaminants, which is where the fuel filter comes in – the filter will ensure that nothing unexpected can travel through to the engine and cause damage or problems but as it does it’s job, it can also become built up with grime, dirt and debris. Changing your fuel filter should really take place every few years, though this will depend on the car. Some older cars might need a change every 20,000 miles or so, while newer models can last up to 100,000 miles without any trouble.
Coolant, despite it’s name, doesn’t just cool down your engine – it’s also what helps heat up the cabin of your vehicle as you’re driving. For that reason, worn out or dirty coolant can lead to build-up of sludge, blockages and a faulty coolant system. The schedule for replacing your engine coolant will ultimately depend on your vehicle. Check your manual for the ideal time period – some have lifetime fluid, while others man need changing every few years or so.
Engine Oil & Filter
Engine oil ensures that your vehicle keeps running smoothly and that the engine continues to perform and run as it should. Your car’s manual will tell you how often you should be changing your oil and the oil that your car should be using, though some vehicles now have oil monitoring systems that will warn you when the car is due for an oil change.
Without spark plugs, your engine would never start. It ignites the fuel and air mixture in the engine that ultimately generates the power needed to start and drive your vehicle. As with any car part in regular use, they need changing before they wear out. Again, this will depend on the car that you own – high-performance vehicles can need changes far more frequently than a standard modern car, and older cars may need things changed more often too. This is another bit of advice you can find in your car’s manual.
Tyres are a change-as-needed part of your car, but it’s also a legal requirement to always have tyres that are within the set limit. The depth of tread around the tyre needs to be 1.6mm to be driven safely, but you should also check out for any other damage such as splits or cracks. Driving habits, vehicle maintenance, where you drive and live and more can all affect the life of a tyre, so it’s important to keep track of this over time.
This is another fluid that will keep your car running smoothly and ensure that all internal fixtures and parts are the right temperature and are kept in smooth working condition. This is another schedule that you can find in your manual for the ideal time, as well as the fluid you are advised to use. In general, this will be ever two years or so, depending on the fluid and your vehicle.
Having a clear view of the road is a must in any situation, and windscreen wipers that can’t provide that when it’s raining are faulty and dangerous. For that reason, you should be changing your windscreen wipers every six months, or at least every year. If you find your windscreen wipers skipping over the screen, leaving smears or showing any other signs of wear, it’s time for new ones.
Headlights And Bulbs
Headlights, rear lights and all relevant lightbulbs on your vehicle should have the same replacement schedule as any other lightbulb – as soon as it’s needed. However, things are a little different with vehicles – for safety reasons, you should be replacing your headlights and other lights as soon as they seem to be faulty, whether that’s dimming, flickering or something else. Waiting for a bulb to blow could be dangerous if you get stuck on the road, so it’s best to try and replace these every 5-7 years depending on what is needed.
For help with replacements or if you believe there could be something wrong with your car and aren’t sure what, feel free to contact our team to book in your vehicle with us, today.