What will replace the car

Brake pads, oil, ...Wear parts in the car:When is what due?

Small cause, big effect: if you don't maintain your car regularly, you risk expensive repairs due to consequential damage. When and which parts have to be replaced depends on the interval and driving style. BILD.de explains.

Drivers of new cars are in good shape: the on-board electronics indicate when an oil change or the next inspection is due. With older models, a look at the signs in the engine or in the door pillar helps.

In the case of some wearing parts such as tires or the starter battery, the holder can usually identify the wear himself. Otherwise, those recommended by the manufacturer are Maintenance intervals listed in the on-board manual.

These should be meticulously adhered to, especially for the toothed belt. If it breaks, it usually results in major engine damage.

Auto parts with expiry date: starter battery

The electricity storage system does not last a car's life. A new battery should be found after four to five years to prevent a complete failure. In the past, car batteries were only used to start the engine, today they have to supply devices such as air conditioning, seat heating or the infotainment system.

The age of a battery can be read from the “freshness date” printed on it.

Brake pads

The wear and tear depends heavily on the driving style. According to the GTÜ, those who often climb into the irons may have to change the pads after just a few 10,000 kilometers. But sometimes they also last 100,000 kilometers. A visual inspection in the specialist vehicle workshop provides clarity about the condition.

According to the ZDK (Central Association of the German Motor Vehicle Industry), this should take place once a year and independently of the inspection. Markings in the brake pads indicate when the wear limit has been reached.

New models inform the driver via a warning light that the change is pending.

brake fluid

Manufacturers generally recommend changing the brake fluid every two years. The reason: Over time, it attracts water from the ambient air. Because brakes get very hot during operation, this water evaporates.

This can seriously impair the braking effect. As a quality check, workshops offer boiling point measurements for the brake fluid.


There are no time limits for discarding tires. However, experts from the VDA (Association of the Automotive Industry) and ZDK recommend replacing the tires after around six, but at the latest after ten years, as the rubber compound hardens and becomes porous over time.

The last four digits of the “DOT” number on the side of the tire provide information about the manufacturing period - “1112” roughly corresponds to the 11th week of 2012. Regardless of age, the tires have to go down as soon as the tread depth is less than the statutory 1 , 6 millimeters. For security reasons, it should even be four millimeters.

Timing belt

The toothed belt transmits the power from the crankshaft to the camshaft. If it breaks, there is a risk of major engine damage. To prevent this from happening, manufacturers recommend replacing them in good time - sometimes after 100,000, sometimes only after 180,000 kilometers.

Specifications should be strictly adhered to.

Air filter

This is intended to protect the car's engine from contamination in the intake air.

As a rule, it is located in a housing and consists of a paper-like fiber fabric in lamellar form. If the air filter is too heavily contaminated by dirt particles or suspended matter, it is changed as part of the inspection intervals.

If you drive too long with a dirty air filter, the exhaust gas behavior of the engine can deteriorate and its wear can increase.

Cabin filter

Intact filters keep the passenger compartment almost free of pollen. And in winter, cabin filters prevent the windows from misting up thanks to good air circulation.

Depending on the manufacturer and filter type, the ZDK recommends changing between 15,000 and 40,000 kilometers, but at least once a year.

10 tips for a long car life

  1. Regular oil changes: The engine oil lubricates, reduces the friction between moving parts, picks up metal particles and combustion residues caused by wear. Additives in the oil keep the residues in suspension and prevent deposits in the engine. At some point, however, the oil is saturated with dirt. Tip: Change at least once a year, observing the manufacturer's information on the type of oil and viscosity.
  2. Adhere to the maintenance intervals: Only if the workshop ticks off every checkpoint on the inspection plan strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions will they really not overlook any errors. Every corner of the car is sighted, any damage is detected and repaired at an early stage. Regular replacement of the toothed belt (if any) is particularly important.
  3. Warm up carefully: The heating of the engine components after a cold start is uneven. The oil also takes a few seconds until there is sufficient pressure and all lubrication points in the engine are supplied. Wear is greatest in the cold start phase. If you want to protect your engine, you should warm it up for the first ten kilometers with a maximum of 2500 rpm.
  4. Run the engine cold: Turbo engines, in particular, should cool down for one to two minutes after full power use. Otherwise the oil could carbonize on the extremely hot rotor shaft (rotating axis of the turbine wheel in the turbocharger) and thus clog the oil ducts. If this happens, sufficient lubrication of the bearing points is no longer guaranteed, and there is a risk of expensive replacement of the turbo.
  5. Avoid short trips: The engine wear and tear is greatest in the first few kilometers after a cold start. Condensing fuel dilutes the engine oil, high friction and large temperature differences stress the materials inside the engine. You should therefore avoid short trips such as getting bread rolls and unnecessary cold starts.
  6. Avoid high speed: Drivers of kilometer hogs know: high engine speeds mean high wear and tear. Even those who warm up carefully and change the oil regularly, accept greater wear and tear in frequent full-load operation, as the forces that occur in the engine increase with the speed. Speeds of up to 3500 rpm are optimal.
  7. Good ventilation: A quality feature of many classified ads: garage cars. However, a carport would be much better. Because optimal ventilation is ensured here, the wet car dries faster, especially in the rust-sensitive cavities of the body. Closed individual garages are often not well ventilated.
  8. Regular cleaning: Here we don't mean the regular drive through the car wash. The washing brushes do not reach many places. Door and hood edges, wheel arches, wheel arches and the underbody should be cleaned regularly by hand or with a high-pressure cleaner, because this is where dirt and rust pockets are hidden.
  9. Cavity preservation: If you want to secure the eternal life of a collector's item for your used car, you should think about subsequent cavity preservation. Thorough treatment with a special anti-corrosion wax or grease will protect the car from serious rust damage for years.
  10. Protect the chassis and tires: Anyone who slams over curbs at high speeds and crashes through potholes will wear out tires, axle and steering joints in fast motion. Internal damage to tires, such as torn carcass threads, is dangerous because they cannot be seen from the outside and there is a risk of tire blowouts.