When you buy a used car, no matter if you buy it from a private seller through a site such as autotrader or a shop, chances are that you’ll need to give it a little TLC before it’s up to the standard that you want. And whilst this is part and parcel of buying a used car, it’s important that you’re prepared for the potential work that needs to happen to it.
There are several parts in particular that you might need to replace. And whilst it’s difficult to budget for these ahead of time (especially if it’s an issue that’s not pointed out when you purchase it), it’s still good to know what these are. To help guide you, here is a list of the top 5 common parts in used cars that need replacing:
- Prop shaft
A prop shaft, also known as a drive shaft is a component within your vehicle that’s responsible for transmitting both rotation and torque. Connecting the components within the drive train, it’s a key part of any vehicle. So how do you know that it needs replacing?
Well there are several signs that you may need to replace it. These include a loud clunking noise when you change gear, vibrations that feel as though they are coming from underneath the vehicle and a difficulty with turning your car. If you notice any of these symptoms, then it’s important that you take it to a mechanic as soon as possible.
No matter what brand your car is, chances are that you’ll be able to find a prop shaft to match – whether you’re looking for a mercedes vaneo propshaft, a Fiat 500 prop shaft or another type.
This might not come as a surprise, but it’s still worth a mention – especially if you’ve never purchased a used car before. A car battery is a vital part of your vehicle – powering the electrical system and assisting with the ignition process, it’s something that can’t be compromised.
Lasting between 3-5 years, if you’re purchasing a vehicle that’s not had one replaced for that long, you’re likely going to have to replace it sooner rather than later.
Typical indications that this needs replacing are corroded connectors on the battery, a bad smell under the bonnet, and the engine light has come on. Although you can easily replace the battery yourself, if you’re not comfortable with doing this, it’s better to get a professional to look at doing it for you.
- Spark Plugs
Another key component within your car is spark plugs. When they are damaged, they lead to issues with your engine (e.g misfires), a decrease in acceleration and poor petrol mileage. And although they can last up to the 100,000 mile mark, they might need replacing at any time throughout their life.
Because of this, faulty or broken spark plugs is a common issue that’s found in used vehicles – especially in those that have a high mileage. But new spark plugs don’t come cheaply (usually around the £200 mark depending on where you go for them) so it’s something that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a used car.
- Brake Rotors
An important component within a car that’s often forgotten about is the brake rotors. Their responsibility is to prevent the car’s brake system from overheating when you’re driving.
As time goes on, however, the friction that’s caused between the calipers and brake pads cause the rotors to fail. Once these are completely worn, there’s a chance of the brakes failing – a risk that you don’t want to take.
Therefore, it’s essential that you know what to look out for. Key signs that you need to replace these in your used car is a pulsing sensation when you brake and a grinding or squealing noise. If you notice these, make sure that you get your vehicle checked over immediately before your brakes become even more hazardous.
And finally, the clutch. This is something that can wear out very regularly – but especially in older cars. One of the most expensive components to replace (around £450 depending on the car you own), it’s an issue that’s not to be ignored.
The main symptoms that your clutch needs replacing are a noise coming from the transmission when you’re using it, a difficulty in changing gear and the clutch slipping out of gear.
And although there are certain ways that you can prolong the life of your clutch (i.e cutting down how much you’re using it – instead opting for neutral when in traffic for example), it’s unfortunately an inevitable replacement.
So there you go! Those are the 5 most common parts that need replacing in used cars. Of course, all used cars are different, so it’s worth researching what most typical issues are in the brand/model of car that you’re considering buying beforehand. But, hopefully, that’s given you a flavour of the type of issues that you can expect.