Car Parts that Break Down | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

Car Parts that Break Down

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Blonde young adult woman that is on the phone standing in front of her car that has broken down.

The average car has about 30,000 parts, according to Toyota. Many of your car parts are made by the company that manufactures the car, which is why some drivers buy car parts straight from the manufacturer for replacements. Every part on your car—down to the smallest screw or pin—could break down depending on weather, driving time and car care habits. Find out which ones break down the most and how often to replace those parts!


Facts About Your Car

Size and capacity of a vehicle will determine how many car parts it has. Often, car parts are made by specific car brands, which is why cars must have maintenance and repairs done only at certain car shops or dealerships. Other times, car parts are brought in by third parties when the cars are built. Every new car will come with an owner’s manual that tells the driver about their car. This manual will let them know the type of engine system they have and what type of gasoline is needed to cause correct combustion. The owner’s manual should be used when determining how often you need certain car parts replaced, such as the car’s battery.


Red car that is digitally expanded to show individual car parts.

Car Parts and When to Replace Them

When parts are worn or don’t fit the car, they can break down or can wear away connecting car parts. Common car parts that break down and when to repair them include:

  • Car batteries: On average, they last 2-6 years depending on how far you drive each day and if you use the battery power to play music or charge devices. Consider a new battery if you have trouble starting the car or if it makes a “rur, rur, rur” sound.
  • Cylinders: Most last around 100,000 miles at a time.
  • Tires: These will need to be switched between the cold and warm seasons if you want less winter problems with driving in the snow. However, the life of most tires are somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 miles even though most are designed to last 50,000 miles. The elements and quality of your tires will determine the mile limit.
  • Belts: You should have your replaced about every 100,000. If you rev the engine a lot, the belt will likely need replacement by 75,000 miles.
  • Windshield Wipers: 6-12 months, or as frequently as you notice they don’t wipe as well. Change them if your wipers don’t help improve your visibility.
  • Headlights/Tail Lights: These depend on if your headlights are halogen, xenon or a different type of bulb. Most last between 500 and 1,000 hours.
  • Filters: Air filters are commonly changed at the annual or bi-annual maintenance repairs. However, once a year is common for most replacements, or about 12,000-15,000 miles of use.



What Is Checked During Maintenance?

Every driver should keep up on scheduled maintenance checks if they want to avoid most problems with their cars. The amount of time you should wait between maintenance checks will depend on the type of car you have. However, you should have your car checked at least every year by a quality auto place, if not every 6 months. If you drive every single day or for a living, aim for the 6-month maintenance checks instead of longer waits between them. AAA reports that most cars will need maintenance checks about every 12 months.


At our auto shop, we provide services, maintenance and replacements for car parts in areas such as:

  • Air conditioning and heating systems
  • Alignment check and repair
  • Alternators and starters
  • Belts and hoses
  • Car batteries
  • Complete engine diagnostics and repair
  • Cooling system repair and service
  • Electrical systems
  • Emissions repair
  • Fuel Pumps and lines
  • Fuel system injector cleaning
  • Oil change, filters and lube
  • Radiator repair and service
  • Timing belts and chains
  • Transmission service and repair
  • Tune ups


Those services are only including the ones we do under the hood. We also replace car parts for the exterior, under the car, and have services for accessories such as trailer hitches, headlights and power window repair.


Close-up view of a a car professional working on the engine of a car.

Tips for a Lasting Car

Inevitably, some car parts will simply break down from use. However, you can prevent how often those car parts break or wear down by how well you take care of your car inside out. Taking care of your car will not only improve how it looks and how it runs, but it will save you money in the long run by avoiding how much maintenance and repairs you need to get. This is especially important for expensive cars that generally have more expensive car parts when replacements are needed.


Want your car to last longer? Try:

  • Keeping the outside clean. Don’t let salt in the winter cake all over your car, which can scratch paint and reduce the protective layers on the outside of your car.
  • Using the right gas for your car. Some cars require premium gas to keep the car parts good. Using the wrong gas when your car calls for a specific kind can wear away parts quickly.
  • Keeping the interior clean. Don’t use your car as a storage unit or a place to keep all your junk. Keep a trash bag or trash can in your car that holds your food and avoid throwing garbage anywhere except there. Clean your car out weekly and only keep the necessities.
  • Get your maintenance and inspections as recommended. This checks for misalignments in your car that can wear down car parts quickly. Filters, wiper fluid, the oil and other needed parts are replaced or refilled as needed. Without certain oils and lubricants, car parts will wear on one another.
  • Investing in winter-appropriate adjustments for your car, such as snow tires, car protectors for the elements and sun shades for the interior.

For all your car questions or replacements for car parts, call Scott’s Fort Collins Auto at (970) 682-4202 to schedule your appointment or to get tips for making your car last!


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