You want your car to last as long as possible right? Because when you buy a new car it’s expensive, so it’s an investment for the long term. It also helps you get from point A to point B with less time and effort. So it makes sense that you want to look after your vehicle.
The best way to look after your vehicle and make it last longer is to carry out regular maintenance according to a schedule. This will make sure that in the long run, the car stays safe to use on the road, and you will have fewer expensive repairs and breakdowns. Below we will take a look at some of the most important parts that you should consider replacing frequently for the sake of your vehicle’s health.
Everyone behind the wheel of any vehicle should understand the importance of brake pads. They are what makes the car stop when you put your foot down to use the brake pedal. Every time you use the brakes on your vehicle, you’re utilizing the brake pads, this means that they’re one of the components that can wear down quickly.
It’s often recommended to replace the brake pads every 40,000 miles, or every 5 years. But of course, this varies a lot depending on which type of vehicle you’re driving, how often you’re driving it, and how much distance you cover when you’re driving. The heavier your car is, the more frequently the brake pads will need to be replaced.
One indicator that the brake pads may be becoming worn is a squeaking noise coming from them. They may also stop working as effectively. If you believe this to be the case for your vehicle, it’s always a good idea to speak to a qualified mechanic.
The alternator is the part responsible for giving electrical power to various components and keeping the battery charged. If the alternator fails, then a lot of problems can then ensue.
To get an idea of whether or not your alternator might have an issue consider some of the following symptoms.
- Engine Stalling
- Unusual Grinding Noises
- Dim Headlights
- Dim interior lighting
If you suspect there to be an issue with your car’s alternator the best course of action is always to speak to a mechanic as it could be a number of complicated things causing problems. Usually, an alternator will last for at least 5 years, but depending on how the vehicle is used it could fail sooner than that. When your car undergoes its regular servicing the mechanic will check for any problems with the alternator and let you know if anything needs to be done.
The timing belt is something you really need to look after because if it fails it can cause other major issues with a variety of different engine components. It’s a general recommendation that you should replace it at least every 100,000 miles, but for your specific needs per your vehicle, you should consult an expert.
As vehicles are all built slightly (or majorly) different to each other it’s worth looking for general guidelines in your car owner’s manual. Doing this will give you an idea of the specific requirements and maintenance schedules that your type of car has. It’s best to preemptively replace the timing belt before an issue arises to prevent further damage.
It’s also a good idea to do the water pump during the same period as you replace the timing belt. This is recommended by some mechanics as being a more cost-effective solution.
The job of the fuel pump is to pump the fuel from the tank of the car to its engine. So as you can imagine this is a vital component that must be running properly in order for your car to run well.
Depending on the model of your vehicle, it may need to be replaced every 50,000 miles. Some maintenance schedules will have it replaced at closer to 10,000 miles but it really depends on your unique vehicle requirements. A lot of modern vehicles no longer have a mechanical fuel pump but instead have an electrical one. This is beneficial because there aren’t any moving parts to break down. Although they can be more technical to replace.
If your fuel pump is failing, you will likely start to notice that the car is sluggish and not as fuel-efficient. If you notice these symptoms you should get it checked out ASAP.
An oil change is one of the most basic things that every car needs done regularly. Although it is basic, it is also crucial to keeping your car working well. The harder you drive your car, the more often you will need to drain and replace the oil. It also depends on the model of your car.
As a general rule, it’s good to change the oil every 5000 miles, or six months, whichever comes first. Usually, the information regarding when the last oil change was done, and when the next one is due, is placed on a sticker on the car’s windscreen.
Engine Air Filter
The function of an air filter is to filter out dust and debris, preventing it from getting into the car’s engine. Over time an air filter will become blocked up, lowering the performance. Thus, replacing it with a new and clean one will provide a boost to performance and fuel efficiency.
Every 10,000 miles is a common recommendation for a replacement schedule, but this varies widely depending on the conditions in which a vehicle is driven. It’s definitely a good thing to stay on top of, mainly for the performance boost a clean one will provide, but it can also slightly lower emissions. Checking the state of the air filter is part of any good car servicing, so if you’re unsure about yours, get it checked out by a pro.
When the battery of your car dies, you won’t be able to start your car. So obviously it’s an important part that should be inspected to make sure it’s in good working order. If it dies and won’t provide any power to start the engine sometimes you can resort to giving your car a push start, or you can get someone to jump-start your car with jumper leads. These options aren’t always available though so it’s best just to replace the battery when it starts to get worn out.
The battery wears out faster if you only drive short distances. This is because when you drive your car the battery is being charged. So, if you start your car and use the battery for other things like lights and radio then you will drain the battery more than you charge it during a short drive. To remedy this problem you can leave your car running to charge the battery.
Regardless, over time a battery will wear out, so have it replaced once it gets to that point. Your mechanic will be able to let you know when this is needed.
Where to go to find out more about Car Maintenance, Parts, and Repairs?
Below we take a quick look at some resources that offer more information about maintaining your car. These are useful blogs to help keep you up to date with the knowledge that you need to keep your car running smoothly.
The Humble Mechanic
The humble mechanic is a blog created by a former professional mechanic who worked for VW. He started his blog in order to help out his customers with common issues that they were facing. Over time the popularity of the blog grew to a point where it is now a hub for all kinds of automotive knowledge.
Moto Deets is a newer blog created by Bernard Walker. He’s been in the industry for more than 20 years and over time managed to get a good understanding of the problems faced by people when they’re coming across issues with their vehicle. he put motodeets.com together to answer some of the more common questions. It’s overall a great blog, and another good resource to have in mind when you’re considering replacing a part on your car.
We’ve gone over a number of important parts that will need to be replaced periodically to keep your car running smoothly. With this knowledge in hand, you should be better equipped to face the challenges of owning a car. Remember, always get a professional opinion if you’re unsure about something. The resources listed above also offer good information that will help equip you with even more knowledge.