Top 5 Auto Parts to Replace

If you’ve ever had your vehicle in an auto shop for repairs, you know how costly this can be. While some auto repairs can’t be avoided, others can be prevented by regular maintenance. The phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” does not apply to our vehicles. Replacing certain parts can not only add life to the vehicle but can also improve fuel economy, according to Bankrate. Below are the top five auto parts that you should consider replacing.

1. Battery

All too often, the battery is not replaced until you find yourself stranded because the battery fails to work and the car just won’t start. The older your better gets, the more its performance suffers and the more chance you have of failure. Many factors can age your battery, including leaving lights on when you’re no longer in the vehicle or taking short trips where the battery doesn’t have a chance to fully charge. Regardless of the reasons, the battery will age over time. It’s recommended that you check the battery from time to time to ensure the cables are good and the terminals are clean. However, it’s still a good idea to replace the battery every four to five years.

2. Spark Plugs

As inexpensive as these parts are, they are extremely important to gasoline-fueled cars. The job of spark plugs is to send an electrical spark to the cylinders of a vehicle’s engine. If spark plugs fail to send the spark, the car will not start. Spark plugs that are getting worn out may still send a spark but not a strong spark, which results in the vehicle not starting or running as smoothly as they should. This will not only increase your chance of having a breakdown but will also affect your fuel economy. It’s recommended that spark plugs be replaced every 30,000-50,000 miles. You can also inspect the spark plugs yourself to see if they still look good and are free of debris and corrosion.

3. Exterior Lights

Have you ever heard someone say that it’s always at night when they need the lights the most that they burn out? It’s not that they broke down at night as much as that’s when they’re most noticeable. Checking the exterior lights regularly decreases the chance of failure when you’re driving at night or on a long road trip. Consider cleaning the exterior lights and replacing them if they show any signs of wear and tear or dim bulbs, which may be ready to quit. This includes turn signals, taillights, headlights and brake lights.

4. Brake Pads/Shoes

Brake pads and shoes are a very important part of your vehicle because they control if the car stops when you need it to stop. Too often, drivers don’t replace their brakes or brake pads until they fail to stop the car or start squealing. By this time, the brake rotors and calipers are generally already damaged due to friction between the calipers and pads, which results in a much higher repair bill. Having the brake pads and shoes inspected and or replaced at least once a year can provide you with a sense of security and reduce the chance of other part wearing out prematurely.

5. Tires

Unlike many automotive parts that are replaced when they break down, tires are or should be replaced regularly. They are not only responsible for getting you from point A to point B but are responsible for getting you there safely. While it may appear that the tires still have a lot of tread left on them, they may still need to be replaced. Their life span can also be affected by other parts like ball joints or tie rods that are defective. Having the car aligned after putting on new tires will also add life to the tires and give you the smoothest ride possible. When purchasing tires, it’s a good idea to always replace all four for the best ride. Consumer Reports recommends checking the tires at least once a month.

Regular maintenance is the best way to ensure your vehicle lasts as long as possible, provides you with the best gas mileage and a great ride.

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