Car Part Longevity: How Long Do They Actually Last?
By: Good2GoPublished: January 4, 2017
When you’re buying a car, it’s unlikely you’re thinking about how long the parts might last. That’s why many of us are surprised when our cars need an expensive repair after just a few years. Save yourself the trouble on unexpected repairs and learn how to anticipate when certain car parts will need to be replaced.
Both proper maintenance and lubrication play into how long a car’s transmission will last. You’ll want to properly maintain the transmission, since it’s the second most expensive vehicle repair after the engine. A transmission can last well over 100,000 miles with minimum maintenance, but as little as 30,000 with no care. A lead foot can destroy an automatic transmission, so keep the engine’s RPMs low and check transmission fluid levels frequently.
Drivers are keeping their cars longer than ever before, with the average car being driven 11 years. If taken care of properly, vehicles can last more than 200,000 miles. Engine longevity depends on many factors, like how well it’s built, how it’s driven, and maintenance. Typical symptoms of engine problems can include excessive smoke from the tailpipe, excessive oil consumption, knocking or tapping sounds, low oil pressure, and more. These can all be caused by normal wear and tear on an older car, or poor maintenance, lubrication problems, or overheating.
Standard copper plugs can last anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 miles, and more expensive iridium or platinum spark plugs can last up to 60,000 miles or more. Spark plugs are responsible for producing an electrical charge that ignites the fuel and air in your engine’s combustion chambers to move the pistons. This is ultimately what makes your wheels move.
According to most mechanics and manufacturers, brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles—which is a pretty broad range. There are a few types of brake pads, which will factor into how long they last, as well as personal driving style and even the law of physics.
Your car’s catalytic converter is responsible for scrubbing polluting byproducts from your car engine’s exhaust before it gets released into the atmosphere. It burns the emissions and converts them into water vapor and oxygen. So, it’s an important part to help do your part in helping keep the environment clean and safe. Since the catalytic converter works at an extremely high temperature, it’s not uncommon for it to fail. It could also get damaged from road debris. It’s very hard to tell how long a catalytic converter will last, but some signs to watch for are poor fuel economy, stalling, engine misfiring, or a rotten egg smell.
The most important part of driving your vehicle is making sure it’s properly insured. Visit wwwgood2go.com for your free, no-obligation quote on minimum coverage auto insurance today.