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Are your auto parts nearing expiry? When should you replace them?

Everything in this world comes with an expiry date -food, medicine, electronics, machines, and even cars. While we are quick to understand and throw away everything that has crossed its shelf life, when it comes to detecting and replacing our aging auto parts, many of us are clueless and show a laidback attitude.

Understanding the expiry dates of the various auto parts of your vehicle can save you money and time, plus it’s vital for your and your vehicle’s safety, as a large number of accidents happen due to defective parts. It is also safer since auto parts past their expiry date take a toll on the overall performance of your vehicle and can suddenly cease to function. 

To make sure your car always runs smoothly, take the expiry date of the auto parts into account. Here is a handy list we compiled for checking your auto parts and understanding their expiry dates.

Auto part expiry check #1: Tyres

Running tyres past their expiry dates is not safe. Tyres, being the interface between the road and the car, go through wear and tear everyday. Neglecting them means inviting trouble. 

The rate of tread-wear depends on the driving style and the kind of terrain on which you drive, but, generally, it is advisable to change the tyres every 5 years or when the tread depth is below 5mm.

To know the manufacturing date of your tyres, you need to check the DOT number on the outer edge of the tyre. The number tells you about the week and year of their production. For instance, if the DOT number on your tyre is 0518, it denotes that the tyre was manufactured in the fifth week of 2018. 

Auto part expiry check #2: Brakes 

Just like tyres, you cannot afford to ignore the condition of the brakes of your car. They need proper checking and service. 

Once you clock 6000 miles in your car, you must get the brake pads checked. Get them replaced every 3 years. Also, you must check the brake fluid regularly as it is hydroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air). If it starts to appear thick or dark, get it flushed out and put fresh fluid in.  

Auto part expiry check #3: Engine oil 

The right time to change the engine oil is always specified by the manufacturer, but, generally, you can consider changing the oil after your car has reached the 6000 miles mark or completed 12 to 18 months, whichever is earlier.

If you keep on using the old engine oil past its expiry date, its viscosity will reduce and it won’t provide proper lubrication, leading to engine damage. 

Auto part expiry check #4: AC refrigerant 

Generally, car owners wait until the AC of their car stops functioning to give it due attention, and with this, they end up paying a small fortune on the repair. To avoid this, get your AC checked every one to two years

Also, get the AC vents cleaned and regas your AC at regular intervals. 

Auto part expiry check #5: Air filter and cabin air filter

Once your car covers 12,000 miles or completes one year, look to replace the air filter. If the air filter is clogged, it can hamper the fuel-air mix. You will have to do this more regularly if you live in a particularly dusty environment.

As far as the cabin air filter is concerned, you must get it replaced after your car has covered around 15,000 to 20,000 miles.

A car stays in its best condition only if its parts are in good shape. Even the smallest discrepancy in one part can bring your car to a halt. If you are looking for a replacement, rely on authentic auto parts dealers only, especially if you own an expensive car. For example, if you own a BMW, look for reliable auto parts dealers that are well equipped to handle your requirements. Well-established auto parts dealers like partsgeek have a special BMW Parts Geek category to accept your auto parts orders online and deliver them to your doorstep. If you are servicing your vehicle with a mechanic, ask for genuine parts.

During your regular car servicing, the technicians will give you a heads up on the parts that are going to expire soon. But, as a car owner, it is best to be aware of the quickly aging and soon-to-expire auto parts, so you can take it for servicing, repair, or replacements before it randomly dies and causes inconvenience. 

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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