Car parts need a spring clean every now and again, just like your home, so now we’re technically in meteorological springtime (even if it might not quite feel like it just yet), it’s worth thinking about certain car parts that could do with some care and attention.
The winter can be a real test for some cars, especially those that are in constant use throughout the season. Headlights seem to be on more than they’re off with the dark mornings and dark evening commutes; while wiper blades are either used to wipe away the horrible weather or the grease thrown up off the roads.
These car parts can be badly affected by wear and tear, leaving them unable to do their jobs sufficiently enough which, in turn, compromises your safety as well as that of your passengers and other road users and that means it’s time to get your spanners out to repair or replace them.
Of course, the spring isn’t just a time for repairing damaged or worn car parts. It’s also a time when you can start to think about upgrading certain parts for newer, more efficient parts; or even those that are designed to enhance the driving experience as a whole.
In this latest guide, we take a look at five key car parts and gadgets to repair, replace, upgrade or invest in this spring that will have your car looking and feeling like new in no time at all. In some cases you won’t even need that much time and effort either.
As the roads start to show the effects of harsh weather conditions, suspension systems and shock absorbers are forced to take the strain in order to keep our cars on the roads and to iron out the increasing number of bumps and potholes that we encounter.
The wind, rain, snow, frost and ice all start to wear the roads away meaning that each time the car wheels go through one of these holes, the suspension – and particularly the shock absorbers – are forced into action. While they can do a fantastic job in preventing a lot of the bumps from reaching the car (and in turn saving our backs from constant injuries), they can be prone to wear and tear just like any other car parts.
Pay close attention to the condition of your springs and the quality of your ride as an increasingly bumpy ride could be due to worn or damaged shock absorbers. If you notice the car pulling to one side or dipping down more than usual when you apply the brakes, it could also be a sign that you need to replace your shocks.
Your brakes will also be called into action a lot more during the winter, especially in the poorest of weather conditions like we’ve had at the end of 2015 and early in 2016. A lack of grip means it takes longer to slow down to a stop and results in heavy braking.
Each time you apply the brakes you wear away a tiny amount of the brake pads and discs until they reach a point where they start to deteriorate. They won’t last forever and their lifespan is dictated by a combination of factors including the manufacturer and your own driving style.
Pay close attention to the condition of your brake pads and discs by looking for any obvious signs of pitting or damage, and also by looking in your service history to find out how many miles they will have done and when they might need to be changed – now wouldn’t be a bad time to do it as the roads should be getting drier and less treacherous.
We’ve referred to them already but your wiper blades are used far more during the winter than at any other time of year. Poor weather conditions, the need to wipe away frost and ice from your windscreen in the morning plus the increased use of washer fluid to clean the grease off your glass all take their toll on your wiper blades over time.
The rubber strip that is in contact with your windscreen can wear, and it can also be damaged if it picks up any loose materials thrown off the road or while parked under trees for example. There are a number of obvious signs of wear and tear when it comes to wiper blades including smearing on the windscreen and obvious gaps where the blade is missing the screen, which could be down to damage on the rubber so run your finger along it to see if there are any obvious signs.
If there are then it’s definitely worth replacing your standard wiper blades and even upgrading them to wiper blades with spoilers for increased traction on the windscreen.
One of the most important car parts but the one that is arguably the most exposed to the elements and loose materials. Car exhaust parts are located on the underside of the vehicle which means that they are regularly splashed as you drive through puddles and they are also at risk of being damaged by debris and by driving through potholes.
The wet weather, over time, can corrode the various exhaust parts reducing in decreased performance and efficiency which can have a knock-on effect for your emissions. Any problems with car exhaust parts should be resolved at the earliest opportunity not only to look after the environment but to look after you and your passengers by keeping potentially harmful gases out of the vehicle.
Technology is everywhere these days, which is obvious to anyone. Some of it is particularly useful while others are merely gimmicks that nobody even talks about six months after the initial fanfare.
When it comes to in-car tech however, two pieces have become particularly beneficial to all drivers whether they are new behind the wheel or with years of experience behind them. Dash cams, or accident recorders as they are also known, are mounted somewhere on the dashboard to record footage of each journey.
These videos can then be transferred to a computer to either watch footage of the journey back in the case of driving holidays, or, increasingly, it can be used as evidence in the case of road traffic accidents. The footage can be analysed by the police to achieve a correct and faster prosecution, while insurance companies can also use the footage from accident recorders to pay out to accident victims much quicker.
The second piece of useful in-car tech is a parking sensor. These devices can be fitted to bumpers around all makes and models, with speakers and monitors inside the vehicle that will alert drivers to any hazards that they might be close to coming into contact with as they reverse.
They have proven to be particularly useful to those who are nervous when it comes to parking, or those who find their vision obscured by small windows or other issues. Parking sensors give out an audible warning that increases in pitch and volume as the car gets nearer to a hazard, giving the driver time to stop the manoeuvre or to change their line before causing any damage to the vehicles or hazard.
Both accident recorders and parking sensors are now available to buy from Euro Car Parts and our team of experts will be happy to provide any advice or information that you might need should you wish to buy one for your vehicle.
For more helpful advice on car maintenance or the range of car parts available to repair or improve the performance of your vehicle, continue to check the Euro Car Parts blog. All of our products are available to buy online with fast delivery around the UK, or you can click and collect from one of 200+ branches nationwide.