The 5 Most Common Auto Parts You Need to Know When to Repair or Replace

Date Posted: 16 March 2023 

The 5 Most Common Auto Parts You Need to Know When to Repair or Replace main image The 5 Most Common Auto Parts You Need to Know When to Repair or Replace image

Keeping our cars running and safe can be tiring, especially when we have other things on our minds. Often, we know that something is wrong with our car, but don’t have a clue as to what exactly needs to be repaired or replaced. To make matters even more difficult, finding the right auto parts to get things back on track can be tricky and expensive. However, it is crucial that we do what we can to keep our cars going and safe to be on the road. Repairing and replacing broken or faulty auto parts is important for ensuring the safety, reliability and performance of your vehicle. It also helps to prevent further damage and potentially costly repairs down the line.

1. Batteries

Without a working battery, your car cannot start, and the vehicle cannot be driven. Car batteries also provide electrical power to a wide range of systems and accessories within your car, including headlights, interior lights, audio systems and power windows. They also help to stabilise your car’s electrical system by providing a constant source of power and smoothing out voltage fluctuations.

In the event of an alternator failure or other electrical system malfunction, the battery can provide a temporary source of power to keep the vehicle running. Alternatively, a dead battery can leave a driver stranded in an unsafe location, in extreme weather conditions or at night. This is why it is so important to ensure that these batteries are properly maintained and replaced as needed.

How Did I Damage My Batteries?

Car batteries have a limited lifespan and will eventually wear out and fail over time. You can expect to get 3 to 5 years out of your car battery, but this can vary depending on driving conditions and how well the battery is maintained.

Of course, car batteries can also become damaged due to external factors, like:

  • Overcharging or undercharging the battery
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold
  • Excessive vibration
  • Corrosion of the battery terminals and cables

When Is it Time to Repair or Replace Car Batteries?

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to get your car battery replaced.

  • Your car battery is more than 3 years old.
  • The engine is slow to start or the starter motor is turning over more slowly than usual.
  • The headlights or interior lights are noticeably dimmer than usual.
  • The check engine light comes on.
  • The battery case appears swollen or bloated.
  • You notice a foul smell, particularly a rotten egg smell, in or around your car.
  • Your car's electrical systems like power windows or the radio are slow or non-functional.

2. Alternator

Your alternator generates power to keep your car’s electrical systems and accessories going. As the engine runs, the alternator charges the battery by converting some of the electrical power it generates into DC power and sending it back to the battery to recharge it. As a result, the alternator maintains the battery's charge level and ensures that there is sufficient electrical power to start the engine and use other electrical systems.

How Do Alternators Get Damaged?

Alternators can become damaged for a variety of reasons, including overuse or simply age. The typical lifespan of an alternator is between 7 to 10 years, but this can vary depending on driving conditions and how well the alternator is maintained. Excessive vibration can also cause the alternator to become damaged or fail entirely. Similarly, high temperatures can make your alternator overheat, while cold temperatures can cause the alternator to work harder than normal, which may lead to it failing prematurely.

When Should I Repair or Replace Alternators?

It might be time to repair or replace an alternator when:

  • The headlights or interior lights are flickering or becoming dimmer than usual.
  • The warning light comes on.
  • The engine is slow to start, or the starter motor is turning over more slowly than usual.
  • Your car’s electrical systems aren’t working properly.
  • The alternator is making unusual noises, such as a grinding or whining sound.

3. Brakes

You need your car’s brakes to be working correctly to prevent accidents, and help keep all road users safe. Brakes can also help prevent wear on other components in the car, such as the transmission or engine, which will save you money in maintenance and repair costs.

What Causes Damage to Brakes?

Unfortunately, your car’s brakes will inevitably become damaged due to general wear and tear. The brake pads, rotors, and other components of the brake system will need replacement at some point, no matter how well you take care of them. There are, however, additional factors that can cause your brakes to wear out faster. These include the following:

  • Overheating due to excessive use, such as driving in heavy traffic, long descents or aggressive driving.
  • Dirt, debris or other contaminants building up on the brake components.
  • Rust or corrosion on the brake components due to exposure to salt, moisture or other environmental factors.
  • Faulty installation or maintenance.
  • Damage due to impact, such as hitting a curb, pothole or other obstacle on the road.

Signs Your Brakes Need to be Repaired or Replaced

There are many things that can indicate faulty brakes, and it’s important that you keep them in mind when driving your car. Consider taking action when:

  • You hear a high-pitched squeaking or grinding noise when you use the brakes.
  • You feel a pulsation or vibration in the brake pedal or steering wheel when you use the brakes. This could be a sign that the brake rotors are warped and need to be resurfaced or replaced.
  • The brake pedal feels soft or spongy when you press it. This could be a sign of air in the brake lines or a problem with the master cylinder.
  • The brake warning light on the dashboard comes on or flashes.
  • You notice that your car takes longer to come to a stop than usual, or that you need to press the brake pedal harder than usual. This could be a sign that the brake pads are worn or the brake system is not functioning properly.

4. Fuel Pump

The fuel pump moves fuel from your fuel tank to your car’s engine. Without it, your engine can’t get going, which can cause your car to stall or not start at all. As part of this, it keeps your fuel at a constant pressure to make sure your engine is always getting enough petrol to keep going. However, if the fuel pressure is too low, the engine won't run efficiently. If the pressure is too high, it can cause engine damage.

With a fuel pump that runs properly, your car will drive more efficiently, helping you to save money on petrol.

How Does One Damage Their Fuel Pump?

Fuel pumps can get damaged for various reasons. If the car has high mileage, the fuel pump may need to be replaced due to age-related wear and tear. Overheating, which can result from excessive use or hot weather, can also cause the fuel pump to fail prematurely. You should also be wary of impurities or dirt particles getting into the fuel tank, as this can damage the fuel pump.

Finally, it’s important to remember that running on an empty tank is bad for your fuel pump. It’s easy to procrastinate a visit to the petrol station, but this act can cause the fuel pump to fail. The fuel pump relies on the fuel in the tank to keep it cool, and running the car on a low fuel level can cause the pump to overheat and burn out.

How Do I Know if My Fuel Pump Needs to be Repaired or Replaced?

There are several signs that your car's fuel pump may need to be repaired or replaced.

  • Engine won't start, or if it does, it stalls shortly after.
  • Engine loses power, especially when accelerating or climbing hills.
  • Engine sputters or hesitates.
  • Engine emits a whining or humming noise, especially when accelerating.
  • Low fuel pressure
  • Reduced fuel efficiency.

5. Lights

The purpose of car lights is to provide visibility for the driver, communicate with other drivers on the road, and comply with legal requirements. This includes your headlights, tail lights, turn signals and hazard lights.

Ways in Which We Can Damage Our Car’s Lights

Lights can become damaged due to a number of reasons, including simple wear and tear. Over time, the plastic lenses on your car’s lights can become scratched, pitted, or cloudy due to exposure to the sun and other environmental factors. This can reduce the effectiveness of the lights and make them harder to see at night.

Additionally, one of the most common ways to damage your car’s lights is through accidents or collisions. When your car is hit from behind or bumped, the impact can crack or shatter the lights. Extreme weather conditions such as hail, heavy rain, or snow can also cause damage to these lights. The moisture can seep inside and wreck the electrical components. Finally, it’s good to be aware of the negative effects of corrosion. Rust and other forms of corrosion can occur over time, particularly if your car is regularly exposed to salt, like living in coastal regions.

How to Know if Your Lights Need Replacing

There are a few things to look out for that can indicate it’s time to replace your car’s lights. These include:

  • Headlights or tail lights are flickering or not as bright as they once were.
  • Lenses of your car lights are cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged.
  • Moisture or condensation is inside your headlights or tail lights.
  • One or more of your car lights are not functioning.
  • Car lights have become discoloured or yellowed, reducing their effectiveness and visibility.

Is It Time to Do Some Auto Repairs & Replacements?

Regardless of which auto parts you need to replace, it’s important that you can source reliable and quality parts. However, searching for replacement auto parts in store or online can be expensive, making it tempting to take a risk on bargain products. So where are you going to buy all these crucial auto parts? At Machter!

Machter has a wide selection of car parts, available for Australian and international delivery. These aftermarket auto parts are made with quality materials, so you can drive with confidence. So, pick up all your needed automotive parts online at Machter now!