Car Parts That Should Be On Your “Auto Parts to Buy” List

Car parts there are aplenty, but some of them break more (or sooner) than others, and should therefore be on your “auto parts to buy” list.

It’s a beautiful thing, a car – not necessarily in the aesthetic sense; you might own a rusted old Honda and pine for a brand new Audi A3. But it gets you from A to B, makes your Friday evenings less dull and allows you to pick up your date (or drive your wife to the mall). Imagine life without it for a second. Not pleasant, is it? The most common reason people find themselves shelling out their heard-earned cash is because car parts break, some more than others.

So make a list. Title it “Auto parts to buy” or something similar. And then invest in those car parts (remember to get the right make and model) to ensure that you only have to spend two hours of a Saturday afternoon fitting your brake pads, instead of being without transport until Monday morning.

Among those car parts that die on us more than others, light bulbs are some of the most common. Not such a biggie, except you might get pulled over and fined, cause an accident or be involved in one because someone didn’t know you were coming, braking or turning. Relatively inexpensive – so stock up on them.

Another auto part that fails rather predictably is the break pad – Or rather, pads, because there is more than one – since they get worn at more or less the same pace. Still inexpensive, and easily fitted – stock up on them. Same with windshield wiper blades (tip: spend a little money and invest in quality, else you’ll be doing the same thing again in six months).

Now we get to the engine. And a new list. These aren’t car parts you should necessarily stock up on, except if you have the skill to install them. Instead, this new list (which you can call “When to call the auto service centre”) should detail the various engine parts, and how often they need replacing. This new list should be measure in kilometres or miles (you’ll often hear mechanics say that X auto part lasts about 30,000kms).

Air filters and timing belts should be included on that list, with the former lasting about 40,000kms, and the latter between 100,000kms and 160,000kms. Spark plugs, too, fail – not quite regularly, but always when you least expect and often when it’s not appropriate (“Sorry bokkie, we’ll have to ask my mom for a lift”).

Other than the engine parts, check your tires every month or so – as soon as the tread starts fading, it’s time to shell out some cash for new ones.

Now the car parts above may vary because no two makes or models are exactly alike. We recommend getting in touch with your dealer and ask them which auto parts you should stock up on (that you can install yourself, because taking your car in every so often is expensive). They’ll also be able to provide you with a lifetime (in kilometres) of the various parts – which you should stick somewhere where you can see it everyday.