Car Servicing: How Long Should Car Parts Last? Part 1

How long should car parts last?

Much depends on how the vehicle is used and driven. 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 is possible to predict how long car parts should last under normal conditions.

We have split your car into two posts in this one we will cover; tyres, brakes, drive belts and shock absorbers. Our second post will cover the rubber and plastic parts on your car, exhaust, gearbox, pumps, battery and engine. 


How long should car tyres last?

Manufacturers can’t put a finite life on tyres as there are so many variables. Usually a branded tyre from a well known manufacturer will last longer compared to a cheaper option. The most important thing is knowing when a tyre becomes illegal and needs replacing, the legal tread limit in the UK is 1.6mm.

Lifespan is not as important as performance, when it comes to comfort and how they make the vehicle handle. Hard driving cuts tyre life right back especially if the driver spins the wheels and slides around corners. If that is the case they will struggle to get more than 10,000 miles from a tyre. Most of us however, should expect around 25-30,000 miles, but it could be more.

One thing tyres can become is too old. In certain weather conditions they could begin to crack after a few years. So even if the tread is perfect, the tyre can still be illegal and unsafe, but this is all down to the opinion of the MOT tester and police if they stop you.


How long should car brakes last?

Again, this is very dependent on how a car is driven. Certainly brake pads could last 40,000 miles, with the fronts wearing much faster than the rears, as they do not have the weight of the engine on  them. However, stop start driving will increase wear.

The type of vehicle is also important, as a large 4x4 will put a lot more stress on the brakes, than a light, nippy city car.

The brake discs should also last at least 50,000 miles. However it does depend on the quality of the parts fitted, cheap replacements could need replacing every year.


How long should car drive belts last?

There is often a manufacturer replacement schedule suggesting when a fan or other drive belt should be replaced. This can be every two years or every four, or simply when a vehicle reaches a certain mileage.

Usually these belts will last 30-40,000 miles. The most crucial is the timing belt in the engine, which cannot be visually inspected, so whatever the manufacturer states as the replacement period should be respected. Usually it is at least 5 years or 50,000 miles.


How long should shock absorbers last?

Yet again this depends on how the vehicle is driven and the conditions it has been driven in. Shock absorbers would be expected to last at least 5 years and 50,000 miles. They should however always be inspected for leaks or any other issues at every service.

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

Tyre Markings: Understand The Writing & Codes On Your Sidewall

Car Repairs: How To Check A Repair Bill Is Fair

View all articles