Car Servicing: How long should car parts last? Part 2

By: James Ruppert
How long should the parts on your car last?

If you are reading this as the second of our two posts on how long car parts should last you will know that much depends on how the vehicle is used and driven, if this is your first post then now you know. Bad driving will always cause car parts to wear out faster, but also using your car everyday will cause wear. Also different makes and models deteriorate at varying rates. However it's possible to predict how long car parts should last under normal conditions.

We have split your car into two posts, as you will already know if you have read the first one, in this one we will cover; the rubber and plastic parts on your car, exhaust, gearbox, pumps, battery and engine. Our other post covers tyres, brakes, drive belts and shock absorbers.

 

How long should the rubber parts on my car last?

Often it depends on where the rubber is. If it is not exposed to sunlight then parts such as, the hoses on the radiator under the bonnet, fuel lines and other connections could last a decade. They will, however, eventually dry out and crack, which is when they will need replacing.

 

How long should the plastic parts on my car last?

These days many engine parts are made out of plastic such as intake manifolds and covers as well as interior parts of the trim, dashboard and seats. In theory, they ought to last the life of the car. However, depending on conditions such as the age of the car and sunlight, they can become brittle and crack.

 

How long should the exhaust system on my car last?

It does depend on the system fitted, but they do have to put up with a lot with water and acids running through them that can corrode the metal.

Often it is sections, such as the joints where the exhaust boxes join the pipes, that fail first after about five to seven years. Steel systems can struggle to five years, whilst stainless steel will last for over a decade.

As always it depends on how and where the vehicle is used. Salt on the roads during winter can shorten the life of a steel exhaust significantly.

 

How long should the gearbox last on my car?

Manual transmissions will often last the life of the car. However, the clutch depends completely on how the vehicle is driven. It can be burnt out very quickly by a sporty driver, or someone who rides the clutch in traffic.

Certainly it is possible to make a clutch last 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Automatic gearboxes are harder to abuse, but it can be done, by keeping the car in lower gears and neglecting its condition, but more complicated to repair. They should last well over 100,000 miles.

 

How long should the pumps last in my car?

There is usually a fuel and a water pump in a car and sometimes they can last the life of the vehicle. After 100,000 miles they could potentially fail, usually just down to the age of the part.

Fuel pumps are more often than not located inside fuel tanks, older engines used to rely on gravity to get the fuel into the engine, and can be expensive to replace.

 

How long should the battery last in my car?

A lot depends on the conditions under which the vehicle is used. Modern cars in particular put huge demands on the battery and after 5 to 6 years its performance will start to tail off. You can check the battery in most cars by looking at the indicator light on the top of the unit.

Read how to check your battery here

Extreme heat and cold puts extra stress on your battery, meaning that it could potentially last less time. However, look at the guarantee when buying a new battery as this should give an indication as to how long the battery will last. 

 

How long should the engine last in my car?

Often engines can last the lifetime of car if well maintained and serviced properly. With regular oil changes it has been possible depending on the type and make of vehicle to cover 300,000 to 500,000 miles. A man in Belgium has managed to make his Mercedes last one million kilometers or 621,300 miles due to the oil he uses and the addition of Liqui Moly.

The gradual replacement of parts , such as the camshaft, with diesel engines usually needing injectors, will help maintain its optimum condition.

 

If any of these parts do become worn and need replacing MotorEasy can help you get into one of our 10,000 vetted garages and get you a trade discount on the repair. If you have an account with us you can book repairs 24/7 from any device leaving you to get on with your day while we do all the work.

 

Further Reading

Motornomics: How To Drive Your Car Forever

Car Repairs: Why Has Your Engine Warning Light Come On?

Car Repairs - When To Repair Car Air Conditioning

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