Cars are incredible machines and with every new model that comes into the market, drivers are treated to a new set of innovations.
In building cars, specific parts were designed to take a beating.
These parts were designed to handle a lot of wear and take the brunt of the many stresses experienced by cars.
The good thing is that these parts were also designed to be replaced. They are simple to take out and the car aftersales market provides car owners with many options for whatever budget.
In fact, there are so many options out there that it can be very hard to choose.
This is why the Techpro dashboard integrates product pages for spare parts.
On the platform, car parts from different suppliers are rated for compatibility and reliability against price.
With the thousands of spare parts available, the platform will also use advanced software to match the correct parts with the correct models and flag potential compatibility issues before they can happen.
This list is for every driver who wants to be educated about parts they will be replacing. Car ownership can, at times, be very daunting and knowing these parts beforehand will simplify things in the future.
1. Oil Filters
The oil filter is a membrane that ensures the oil that circulates around the engine is free from solid impurities. It uses pressure from the running engine to push oil through folds in the membrane as shown in the photo above.
The oil filter is replaced during an oil change. Since this was designed to be disposable, oil filters are some of the cheapest car parts in the market despite its very important job.
Timely replacement of engine oil and filter will prevent expensive repairs for engine trouble.
2. Spark Plugs
The tip of the spark plug ignites the small explosions that run engines.
Spark plugs break down with use and they can become less effective. This results in fuel waste. Bad spark plugs can mean noisier engines, less power when accelerating, and up to 30% drop in mileage and efficiency.
In most cases, new spark plugs should be installed at around 30,000 miles (48,000 kilometers) but this number can vary due to driving conditions and car models.
Just like the oil filters, these parts are cheap to replace.
Car batteries have a set lifespan and that’s usually between three and five years.
A broken-down car battery is one of the most common reasons for stalled vehicles.
A car’s battery provides power during start-up and supplies a stable current to more sensitive car electronics. When the engine runs, it also generates power to charge the battery through the alternator.
Batteries will definitely be an item on AI Parts’ future dashboard for preventive maintenance.
Laws were made to make sure every driver takes care of their lights and for good reason.
Car lights keep the driver safe. Headlights make it possible to drive in relative darkness and indicator lights keep the vehicle highly visible at night, in heavy rain, snow, or fog.
An average car can have more than fifteen outdoor lights and it’s likely for a few of them to blow out during its lifetime.
Fortunately, they’re cheap and easy to replace. Manuals will list down the specifications of compatible lights.
To keep things safe, make it a habit to check car lights before leaving your parking area especially before long drives. Discovering busted lights while on the road can be very stressful.
This isn’t about seatbelts.
These belts are found inside the hood of cars. They are used to transfer kinetic energy between components of your engine and are usually made of rubber. Through time, these belts can slip, become loose, or even snap.
It’s a bit tougher to know when belts must be replaced. Manufacturers usually do not specify their lifespans.
The best thing you can do is to make sure your mechanic checks the belts during your visits. Cracks and missing threading are some of the usual signs it is time for new ones. They can also be the source of weird engine sounds.
6. Engine Air Filter
The engine air filter makes sure that the air required by the engine during combustion is free of dust or debris.
Just like most car parts, there are many factors that can affect the lifetime of car filters.
Checking the installed air filter is an easy thing to do. Just consult the manual and you’ll find instructions on how to do this. If the filter is filled with dark, dusty spots, it’s probably time for a replacement.
The alternator is a component that manages the charge and discharge of the battery.
When the engine is generating power, the alternator works to charge the battery. When the engine isn’t, it uses the stored power to run onboard electronics.
Alternators are considered a major expense worth a few hundred dollars and they’re a common replacement.
Don’t worry just yet. While a faulty alternator is a common problem, most can last for a few hundred thousand kilometres before giving out.
Car fuses were designed to fail. They protect car electronics by “breaking” when too much current flows through their calibrated conductors.
While they seem easy to replace, don’t do it.
A busted fuse is usually a sign of a bigger problem within the car electronics. It is best to have a mechanic or car electrician check the wiring of the vehicle before the fuse is replaced and the power is restored. In some cases, it really could just be a broken fuse.
9. Brake Pads
These pads undergo a lot of stress. After all, they use friction to “grind cars to a screeching halt”. Eventually, they will have to be replaced.
A broken down brake pad can damage the mount which is a much more expensive job.
It is wise to replace brake pads as soon as they show any signs of damage. Grinding noises when braking or squealing and screeching are the most obvious symptoms. The pads shouldn’t be less than a quarter-inch thick.
Never run a car with a faulty brake pad. To help you plan when to replace your brake pads, you can try out the AI Parts Preventive Maintenance Widget here which also works for batteries.
10. Wiper Blades
These wiper blades are made of rubber and with constant exposure to water, heat, and cold, they tend to breakdown quite quickly.
They’re important to replace because busted wipers can scratch glass.
This can leave unsightly permanent scratches on the windshield.
Worn down wipers also mean bad visibility during rain. Just like other replaceable car parts, there are many original and third-party options in the market so its cheaper than ever to grab a replacement set.
Efficiency and Reliability
It is the car owner’s responsibility to maintain a car that is safe, reliable and efficient to use.
These ten most replaceable parts must be familiar to any car owner and driver. Most likely, you’ll spend for a few of them over the lifetime of your vehicle.
If you want, you can print out this blog post and bring it with you on your next maintenance and request your trusty mechanic to check each part with you.