Faulty auto parts contribute to up to 12% of vehicle accidents. Knowing when to replace your Volkswagen parts will help prevent you from joining that statistic.
In this article, we outline how to tell if your Volkswagen needs a new part, the options available, and where you can shop to replace your old car parts.
When to Replace Volkswagen Parts
There are many factors that go into deciding when car parts need replaced. Your Volkswagen is not only subject to its model, the road conditions, and weather factors. It also gets wear and tear from how you drive and how often you drive it.
These factors will change the interval at which your car needs new parts. But, there are parts that require regular maintenance and others that can go years without replacement.
Every vehicle owner knows that they need an oil change every six months or 3,000 miles. Many shops that change motor oil will also top off or replace fluids such as coolant, brake, power steering, transmission, and windshield fluids.
They also do a once-over on your vehicle to check on the air filters, tires, brake pads, and your drive belt. These parts either need replacement more often (air filters, tires) or get so much use and are so important to your vehicle's safety that they should be checked frequently for replacement (brake pads, drive belt, etc.).
Some parts that aren't checked as often include your spark plugs, battery, ball joints, and shocks and struts. Some of these parts should last your vehicle's lifetime (ball joints, spark plugs), while others may need a replacement on an as-needed basis (battery, shocks, and struts).
While these parts aren't often checked during scheduled maintenance, you should examine them for wear and tear every year.
Self-Check Your Volkswagen Parts
On a regular basis, if you take your car to a trusted mechanic, they will inform you of what replacement car parts you need. However, if you take your car to drive through oil-change spots, they may not be so reliable.
Try checking the parts on your own in addition to your regular oil changes. A lot of the information you need on your replacement parts is in your vehicle manual. But, here are a few general tips that can help you conduct an all-over sweep.
You can complete this process by checking the following parts.
All your fluids have a line on their container indicating where they should be filled to. If they continue to lose fluid too quickly, there may be a leak. It's possible you need a replacement part.
Belts and Hoses: After your engine has cooled, inspect these parts for cracks, nicks, fraying, or other signs of damage too.
Remove the current filter for inspection. If it is full of dust and the color gray, you should replace it. If it is still white or off-white and not clogged with dust and particles, you can put it back and replace it at another time.
Turn your engine off. Remove the engine oil dipstick and wipe it clean. Then, dip it back in and remove it again.
Check the quality of the engine oil. Gritty oil needs replacement. Also, check the level of engine oil. If the oil does not reach the indicator line on the dipstick, it may be getting low. Low oil needs either filled or changed altogether.
The penny test is the gold standard for checking your tire tread, as it is simple and reliable. First, take a penny. If you don't have one, check your couch cushions.
Place the penny in your tire tread with Lincoln's head pointed toward the tire. If any of his head disappears between the tire treads, your tires are good for a little longer. If you can see his whole head, they need to be replaced.
Experienced car owners may check their brake pads' width on their own. But, as it is a more invasive process, you can always have your technician check them during scheduled maintenance.
Checking your brake performance, however, is simple. Find a place where it is safe to stop quickly. From a speed of around 30 MPH, push your brakes until you come to a complete stop.
Quality brakes will come to a smooth stop and you won't feel any pulsing in the pedal. In a safe area, you can try again at highway speeds. If during either test you feel pulsating, your brakes may need replaced.
First, you should check your Volkswagen owner's manual to know how many miles your shocks and struts should last. If you've passed that threshold, it's a good indication they may need replaced.
However, you can conduct your own tests to determine the quality of your suspension. Find a parking lot for a driving test. Note any acceleration squat, cruise roll or sway, and brake dive as you drive. These events in excess indicate suspension issues.
If you're unsure, you can do a comparison test by taking a newer car for a drive.
OEM Parts Vs Aftermarket Parts
OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. The manufacturer of your vehicle, in this case, Volkswagen, produces these replacement car parts. Third-party competitors also produce aftermarket parts to fit your vehicle.
Aftermarket parts are often cheaper than OEM parts, but they have a few downsides. First, they cut costs by using inferior materials to the OEM counterparts. Second, they may devalue your vehicle in case you wanted to sell it in the future.
The aftermarket part selection is colossal. With so many options of varying quality, you can't always be sure that you're getting the best part. It's important to verify the company's credibility from where you're buying from and also read any of their car part reviews.
Aftermarket parts are also customizable, especially when you are replacing aesthetic parts of a car. Choosing between OEM parts and aftermarket parts is a personal decision based on budget and preference.
Cruise With UroTuning
At UroTuning, we care about your vehicle experience. As auto enthusiasts, we are eager to bring the world of OEM and aftermarket Volkswagen parts to you. Check out our wide range of parts for your Volkswagen today.
And, if you can't find what you're looking for, we can help. Contact us today to find the parts you need with the care you and your vehicle deserve.