Cars can be expensive pieces of equipment. If only buying the perfect car was the end of it. Alas, aside from the running costs, you’re going to need to keep returning to your wallet every now and then to make sure that your car is in the best running condition. Here, we’re going to look at some of the parts that you should be replaced in your car more often and what can happen if you fail to do it.
The oil and air filter
Perhaps the most frequently replaced part of them all, if you haven’t been changing your oil and air filter, then you can start to experience much worse ignition from your car, leading to worse fuel efficiency. The oil filter is designed to remove the particulates, such as dirt and debris, that gathers up naturally in your oil as it runs through your engine. The more debris in your oil due to a faulty filter, the more friction that your engine parts are going to experience. Naturally, friction can mean damage to these parts and, if you’re particularly unlucky: fire.
The spark plugs
One of the easiest parts to replace yourself, spark plugs are also some of those that need to be replaced every now and then. Spark plugs create the sparks that ignite the air-fuel mix that keeps the engine going. When they start getting less effective at creating the sparks that you need, then you can start to see higher fuel consumption rates because the engine has to add more fuel to get itself started. Leave it long enough and you have problems with getting your engine started at all. Spark plugs should be changed around 30,000 miles, but they don’t cost too much.
The brake pads
These pads on your brakes are another one of the parts that are relatively easy to replace yourself. Brake pads are the surface that actually comes into contact with the tire when you step on the brakes and they play a crucial role in grinding the tires to a halt. Of course, the friction is going to wear away at them and they’re going to lose their effectiveness. When they do, your car is going to take longer to brake, which could potentially make it more dangerous to drive on the road, and it can affect your tires, making them more likely to bust, as well.
Of course, you can’t talk about braking without talking about the tires that they affect. Tires play a vital role in helping you maintain traction and grip on the road and as they wear down, they can find it more difficult to find that traction. They first become more dangerous on the most precarious of road conditions, such as wet and icy roads. For that reason, you should be protective in changing your tires as often as every 25,000 miles to be on the safe side.
The suspension parts
It might not need to be replaced quite as often as the parts mentioned above, but once you start to notice any issues with your suspension, you should get to work it as soon as possible as the shocks felt by the car with a faulty suspension can start to lead to damage across the whole vehicle and even multiple system failure. Talk to your mechanic about whether it needs just a fix or some replacement parts. Source replacements yourself as some suspension parts, like a Mustang coilover kit, are pretty specific to the car. You want to make sure that you’re not getting marked up on them any more than is necessary.
While it might not be quite as common a replacement as those named above, your alternator is a lot more likely to fail after you have been driving your car for five or six years. The alternator, effectively, charges the battery when the engine is running and when it starts to get faulty, then you can find that your battery also gets harder to start. If it fails, then you will get a dashboard warning light, often called the charge warning light. You might want to change the drive belt when you’re also changing the alternator, as it has to be taken out and put back in anyway, so you can save yourself some future labor costs.
With the tips above, you can do your research, make sure that you have an understanding of the costs of the parts you’ll need in the future, and you can start budgeting to get ready for them.