Keep on truckin’
Thanks to improvements in design and manufacturing, today’s cars, trucks and SUVs are staying on the road longer than ever. While 30-40 years ago cars needed to be replaced on a frequent basis, today it isn’t uncommon to see vehicles 10 years and older on the highway.
This improved lifespan requires a little upkeep on your part. Parts wear out and must be replaced, so basic maintenance needs to be performed regularly to keep your vehicle running. Listed in order of how soon you might need to replace them, read on to learn which car parts you’ll most likely need to replace during the life of your vehicle.
Oil & oil filter
An oil change is a basic maintenance job that needs to be done typically every 3,000-5,000 miles or every 3-6 months. The oil lubricates your vehicle’s engine and absorbs heat while the oil filter removes dirt and debris from the motor oil, preventing the contaminants from reaching your car’s engine where they could cause damage.
Keeping a clear view of the road is a priority during inclement weather. You should change your windshield wipers every six months to ensure that they’re ready to handle whatever Mother Nature dishes out. Driving with damaged wipers compromises your safety and the safety of your passengers. Monitor your wipers – once they begin to show signs of wear, don’t hesitate to replace them.
Engine air filter
Keeping dirt and dust out of your engine is the job of your air filter. A clean air filter keeps the engine free of dirt and is your engine’s first line of defense to staying dirt-free and running properly. You should change your engine air filter annually or every 12,000 miles. If you live in a dusty area, you should change the engine air filter more frequently.
Whether you drive a sporty sedan or a family-friendly SUV, your vehicle relies on a battery to help power it down the road. From helping in the ignition process to powering your car’s electrical system, your battery is a key part of your vehicle. You can expect your automotive battery to last 3-5 years, depending upon your driving habits. Taking longer than normal to start your vehicle is just one way you’ll know it’s time to replace your battery.
Providing traction and grip, your tires help you safely motor down the road. Driving with worn tires can increase your chances for a disastrous blowout or make it difficult to gain traction on wet, snow-covered and icy roads. How you drive has a direct impact on the lifespan of your tires; you can expect a set of tires to last 25,000-50,000 miles.
Your lights – especially your headlights, taillights and turn signals – are a key safety feature of your vehicle. Allowing you to see and be seen, properly working lights are imperative to the safe operation of your car. Rather than miles or years, the lifespan of lights are rated in hours. How much you use your lights and the kind of bulbs you have dictates how often you have to replace your lights. Traditional halogen bulbs typically last 500-1,000 hours while HID bulbs last around 2,000 hours.
Responsible for pumping gas from the tank to the engine, your vehicle’s fuel pump is constantly running. Subject to wear and tear, it can also be damaged by dirt or rust in the fuel tank. A failing fuel pump will sideline your car. Many manufacturers design the fuel pump to last for 50,000 miles, but they can last for well over 100,000 miles.
Designed to keep your engine from overheating, the water pump circulates coolant between the radiator and engine. While it could last the life of the vehicle, your water pump might need replacing around 70,000 miles.
Spark plugs are a key component to keeping your vehicle running at peak condition. Driving with fouled or damaged spark plugs can lead to poor gas mileage, slow acceleration, engine misfires and trouble starting the engine. In today’s vehicles, spark plugs can last up to 80,000-100,000 miles. If you’re experiencing engine issues and are approaching 80,000 miles, it is worth checking the spark plugs or having your mechanic examine the spark plugs.
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