Car Care: Identifying the Common Auto Parts that Need Routine Replacement

According to an article from Consumer Reports, the average lifespan of all cars on the road is more than 11 years. Some well-built vehicles, when properly maintained, can go up to 15 years.

Cars, however, have components that eventually wear down with age or usage and may require replacement sooner than the car itself. Failure to change these defective parts may damage the other components of your vehicle and lead to costly repairs.

If you want to keep your vehicle in good condition and save money, you need to replace the parts that fail due to normal wear and tear.

Common Auto Parts

Here are some common car components that need replacement from time to time:

commons auto parts
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Spark Plugs

Performance problems, such as engine misfire and slow acceleration, may indicate that you need a new spark plug. Replacing this component is inexpensive, and it is something you can do by yourself. Read the owner’s manual of your car to locate the plugs. Inspect the parts for any visible wear and tear or damage. Screw the old plugs carefully, clean the threads, and lubricate the threads before you install the replacement components.

Door Locks

Vehicle owners often overlook this component. Using door locks repeatedly could cause the locks to wear out and fail one day. The lock cylinder, a component inside the lock, may require replacement when the key:

  • Breaks off or becomes stuck in the lock
  • Goes into the lock, but won’t turn
  • Fails to unlock all of the car doors


Flying debris and dirt that strike the windshield while it’s moving on the road can cause stress cracks or dings. These cracks, when ignored, can spread and weaken the windshield. Cleaning the windshield regularly can prevent scratches on the surface, but more extensive damage such as a large crack requires a professional windshield replacement.

If you find a stress crack, take your car into an auto shop for an inspection. You may need a new windshield depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

Brake Rotors

These parts prevent the brake system of your car from overheating during use. Over time, friction from the calipers and brake pads cause the rotors to work at reduced efficiency. Failure to replace these rotors could cause your brakes to fail suddenly, which increases your likelihood of getting into a major car accident.

When checking the condition of the brake rotors, pay attention to any growling, grinding, and squealing noise while braking. Any of these indicators could point to damage to the rotors.

Exterior Lights

Headlights, taillights, brake lights, and other external lights are crucial in keeping you safe. These lights enable you to see the road in the dark and allow other motorists to recognize your presence.
When inspecting the condition of your auto lights, have a friend stand outside as you test each component. You need to replace any bulbs that burned out before you head to the road. The user’s manual should tell you how to get to the defective parts.

Spark plugs, door locks, windshield, brake rotors, and exterior lights are just some of the common car components that need replacement now and then. If you find that the replacements you have done exceed the value of the vehicle, it may be a good time to purchase a replacement car. Whether you buy a new or used car, keep these reminders in mind to continue driving safely and comfortably.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.