When Can You Expect These 8 Car Parts To Fail?

No matter how careful a driver you are, you can expect your car to experience some wear and tear over time. Eventually parts will need to be replaced. Just when can you expect to replace these parts? It depends very much on the individual part. Below is a list of 8 car parts and the typical mileage that you can expect to get out of them before looking into repairs.

No matter how careful a driver you are, you can expect your car to experience some wear and tear over time. Eventually parts will need to be replaced. Just when can you expect to replace these parts? It depends very much on the individual part. Below is a list of 8 car parts and the typical mileage that you can expect to get out of them before looking into repairs.

Brakes

You can typically travel 25,000 to 60,000 miles before having to change brake pads (which is about 2 to 6 years). You’ll usually be able to tell when brakes start to get worn as you’ll be having to put more pressure on them to stop. 

It’s possible to extend the life of brakes by slowing down earlier. Slamming on the brakes last minute will wear out your pads much faster.

Clutch

If you drive a manual vehicle, you should expect to get about 60,000 miles out of the clutch before it needs to be replaced. If you have trouble shifting gears or the clutch feels spongy, this could be an indicator that the clutch is on its way out.

Some people are able to get many more miles out of their clutch, with the upper limit being 170,000 miles. Putting your car in neutral and using the handbrake whenever you stop is a great way to preserve the clutch. You should also avoid riding the clutch after changing gear (keeping your foot on the clutch pedal).

Battery

Car battery replacements are a common auto repair. Batteries last roughly 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Bad habits however can cause them to wear out sooner.

Which bad habits can damage batteries? Not driving your vehicle for long periods – especially in cold weather – is one bad habit that will drain your battery. Leaving electronics plugged in or leaving lights on can also drain your battery. Batteries that are regularly allowed to run flat are likely to quickly stop working, so it’s important you avoid this by driving your car regularly and turning off/unplugging any electrics once the engine is off. 

Alternator

Alternators help to charge up your battery as you drive. However, just like batteries themselves, these parts can fail over time. They last longer than batteries – quite often 80,000 to 150,000 miles

There’s not much you can do to extend the life of an alternator. Getting your car serviced and regularly cleaning your engine may help.

Spark plugs

Spark plugs ignite the air and fuel in your engine, which is what keeps it running. If you regularly have trouble starting the car or the engine makes a juddering sound while idle, it could be a sign that the spark plugs are worn. Spark plugs usually fail around 80,000 miles. 

As with alternators, your driving habits do not have much effect on the longevity of your spark plugs. You can however extend the life of spark plugs by cleaning them. 

Timing belt

A snapped timing belt can do huge amounts of damage to an engine – it’s recommended that you replace it before it breaks. How many miles can you get out of your car before the timing belt needs replacing? In most cases, 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Timing belts are very unpredictable in that you don’t get much warning. They are more likely to break in extreme weather – timing belts are made of rubber which can crack in extreme heat or cold. Parking in a garage may therefore extend the life of your timing belt.  

Tires

Tires are some of the quickest wearing parts. You should expect to get about 20,000 miles out of your front tires, and about 40,000 out of your rear tires (this may be different on rear wheel drives). It is essential that you replace tires before they get too worn to avoid blowouts and accidents

There are many tricks that can help you to extend the life of your tires. It is recommended that keep tires well inflated and rotate them every 5,000 miles to reduce wear. You should also avoid driving over potholes, bumps and curbs at too much speed. You should also look out for suspension issues which may lead to uneven and heavy wear on tires. 

Headlights

You’ll get about 450 to 1000 hours out of most modern headlight bulbs. Most people end up replacing them every 5 years or so. 

You cannot do much to extend the life of headlights (driving in the dark without headlights on isn’t recommended!). Avoiding bumpy roads may help as these can sometimes shake and damage bulbs, leading to premature damage. 

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