How Often to Consider Replacement Car Parts

Replacing certain car parts every couple of years may seem costly or unnecessary, but these replacements can help to prevent larger mechanical issues or failures in the future.

However, knowing which car parts to replace (and when) can be a confusing ordeal – especially when there’s so much conflicting information on the internet.

Using our 70 years of experience as one of the UK’s largest car dealers, we’ve put together a list of the most common car parts, how often they should be replaced and how to recognise when they’re on their way to motor heaven.


Did you know? If you start driving at the age of 17 and stop when you’re 80, then you’ll most likely have to replace an expensive part of your car around 25 times. Considering this is over the course of 63 years, then this isn’t as bad as it sounds!


Common replacement car parts (and when they should be replaced)

Windscreen wiper blades

When will I know if there are problems with the windscreen wiper blades?

If your windscreen wiper blades become warped or damaged, then they may judder against or partially miss your windscreen.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the windscreen wiper blades?

When you start to notice that your windscreen wiper blades aren’t working effectively, then it’s time for a replacement. This will most likely be every six months to a year.

Headlight and rear light bulbs

When will I know if there are problems with my headlight or rear light bulbs?

You’ll either notice that your lights are dimmer than usual or not working at all.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the headlight and rear light bulbs?

Vibrations on the road, debris and how often you use your lights will affect how long they last. Typically, we’d recommend replacing your light bulbs every year.

Oil filter

What does an oil filter do?

The oil filter is similar to the fuel filter, but instead helps to remove contaminants from the car’s engine oil. It’s these contaminants that can cause damage to the inside of the engine.

When will I know if there are problems with the oil filter?

When the oil filter needs changing, it’s likely that the car won’t accelerate properly and ‘sputtering’ may occur – a term used to describe inconsistent speed variations caused by oil not dispersing through the filter like it should. If your oil pressure gauge drops rapidly, then this is also a cause for concern.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the oil filter?

For older cars, you’ll probably need to change the oil filter every time you change the oil (which should be roughly every 3,000 miles). However, this figure is closer to every 7,500 miles for a modern car.

Tyres

When will I know if there are problems with my tyres?

If cracks or bulges appear in your tyres, then this has likely been caused by over or under inflation and you’ll need to replace them.  We also recommend having at least 3mm of tread depth on all tyres at all times, though the legal minimum is 1.6mm.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace a tyre?

How often you’ll need to replace your tyres will depend on whether you keep them inflated correctly and the way you drive, but you should expect an average tyre to last up to 30,000 miles.


Want to have your tyres checked free of charge? Book your free tyre check with JCT600 today.


Spark plugs

What do the spark plugs do?

Spark plugs do exactly what they say on the tin – they ‘spark’ electricity from the ignition system to power your car.

When will I know if there are problems with the spark plugs?

If your spark plugs aren’t working efficiently, then you may notice that your car is consuming more fuel than usual due to poor combustion. Your car may also ‘hesitate’ upon acceleration and not respond as quickly as you’d expect.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the spark plugs?

How often you’ll need to replace your spark plugs partially depends on the type of spark plugs you have in your car. Some manufacturers recommend that you replace your spark plugs every 30,000 miles, whilst iridium or platinum plugs are said to last up to 100,000 miles.

Water pump

What does the water pump do?

Maintaining a consistent and optimum temperature for a car’s engine is essential for performance. The water pump ensures that the coolant keeps moving through the engine block and cylinder head, before reaching the radiator and flowing back to the pump.

When will I know if there are problems with the water pump?

If your water pump isn’t working efficiently or is leaking, then you may experience problems with your engine overheating and not operating properly (or at all). A warning light will usually be displayed on the dashboard.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the water pump?

Water pumps tend to last a similar amount of time as the cambelt, which is up to around 60,000 miles. By regularly changing the water pump coolant and topping the engine up with oil, you’ll greatly extend its lifespan.

Clutch

What does the clutch do?

Within a manual car, changing gears requires disrupting the power from the engine to the transmission. This is because when your car is switched on, the engine is constantly turning, meaning the wheels would always be in motion if it wasn’t for a source of friction. This is where the clutch comes in.

When will I know if there are problems with the clutch?

If you start to notice the clutch slipping a lot or difficulties in changing gear, then you may need a replacement clutch.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the clutch?

General wear and tear of the clutch depends on how often you drive and shift between different gears, but you’ll usually need to replace it around every 60,000 miles.

Cambelt (or timing belt)

What does the cambelt do?

The cambelt (also known as the timing belt) helps to keep the pistons and crankcase at the bottom of the engine in sync with the cylinder head and valves at the top.

When will I know if there are problems with the cambelt?

One of the most obvious indicators of a worn or loose cambelt is a squealing or rumbling sound when the engine is first started. If the cambelt is badly damaged, then your engine may even fail to start.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the cambelt?

It’s recommended that you replace your cambelt up to every 60,000 miles. If you want to extend the life of your cambelt, then keeping your car in the garage will help to lessen temperature fluctuations that can cause the rubber to expand and contract.

Flywheel

What does the flywheel do?

Making up part of the clutch alongside the clutch plate and pressure plate, the flywheel (often made of heavy steel or carbon fibre) is a large disc that’s attached to the crankshaft at the rear of the engine. Its role is largely to store rotational energy to keep the engine in consistent motion.

When will I know if there are problems with the flywheel?

If the teeth of the flywheel are shaved off or damaged in some way, then this can cause problems like loose spinning (this will resemble the sound of a drill) or grinding against the starter gear. The clutch may also slip more than usual.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the flywheel?

It’s recommended that you change the flywheel every time you need to change the clutch, which is roughly every 60,000 miles.

Fuel filter

What does a fuel filter do?

The fuel filter is designed to stop any ‘nasties’ from reaching your car’s engine. For petrol engines, these are things like impurities and debris, whilst the fuel filter for diesel engines helps to prevent water from building up and corroding the interior.

When will I know if there are problems with the fuel filter?

Initially, you may experience poor fuel mileage, followed by struggles with starting the engine or maintaining power. The ‘Check Engine’ warning light may also be illuminated.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the fuel filter?

With most modern cars, you’ll probably need to replace the fuel filter every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.

Brake pads

What do car brake pads do?

Most of us will know that brake pads help to slow down or stop a car abruptly, but the actual mechanisms are a little more complex. When pressure is applied on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid in the calliper pushes the brake pads for each wheel against the rotating brake discs, resulting in the necessary friction needed to brake.

When will I know if there are problems with the brake pads?

Many cars are equipped with brake pad sensors that will indicate when the brake pads need replacing on your dashboard. If you don’t have this, then you’ll be able to tell if something’s wrong when the car starts to feel as if it’s pulling to one side or if there are grinding noises or vibrating sensations when using the brakes.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the brake pads?

How often you’ll need to replace the brake pads largely depends on general use and how often you’re stopping and starting at junctions or traffic lights. However, this tends to be up to every 70,000 miles (or roughly every five years).

Alternator

What does the alternator do?

Making up the automotive charging system consisting of the battery and voltage regulator, the alternator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy to power the engine, headlights, heater and more.

When will I know if there are problems with the alternator?

Most modern cars will display a warning light when there’s an issue with the alternator. However, any noticeable changes in electrical output, such as dimmed or flickering lights, may also indicate a problem. If this is coupled with growling or whining noises, then this could mean that the pulley or bearings attached to the alternator are wearing or misaligned.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the alternator?

Alternators typically last around seven years, or roughly up to 150,000 miles.

Car battery

What does the car battery do?

Fully rechargeable, the car battery supplies power to the car by feeding the starter and starting the engine (but we’re sure you already knew that!).

When will I know if there are problems with the car battery?

If you crank the engine but it doesn’t start – or if the engine doesn’t crank at all – then this is a probable sign that there’s something wrong with your car battery. You may also notice pale blue or white rust appearing on parts of the battery exterior.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the car battery?

On average, most car batteries will last up to seven years with regular use. The more frequently the car is driven and the longer the battery is kept fully charged, then the better the overall battery life will be. Car batteries also tend to last longer in cooler climates (which is good news for us Brits).

Head gasket

What do head gaskets do?

The head gasket plays a critical role within the functioning of a car’s engine. Sitting between the cylinder head and the block, it seals the oilways and waterways from the cylinders so that oil and coolant can circulate freely in the engine.

When will I know if there are problems with the head gasket?

Since head gaskets are under a considerable amount of pressure within the engine, they’re the most likely to fail and need replacing. White tinted smoke coming from the exhaust pipe and overheating under the bonnet are signs that your head gasket may have blown.

When is it likely that I’ll need to replace the head gasket?

So long as you look after your engine and cooling system, then you can expect the head gasket to last up to 200,000 miles in a modern car.

How often should I have my car serviced?

When it comes to buying replacement car parts, it’s recommended that you don’t try to change them yourself (unless it’s something simple like a windscreen wiper blade or headlight bulb). If a replacement car part is fitted incorrectly, then this will cost you more time and money in the future. Therefore, we recommend that you have your car serviced on an annual basis, so that any critical issues can be found and dealt with properly.


As a JCT600 customer, you’ll benefit from a replacement vehicle whilst we service your car, which can take anything from one to four hours. We’ll also notify you when your next service appointment is due. If you’re interested in booking an MOT, then you can find out more about our servicing and repairs here.


How to check tyre tread depth for safe and legal driving

When it comes to road safety, ensuring that your car tyres are in the best possible condition is one of the most important things you can do.

So what is the required tyre tread depth? How is it checked? And what are the risks if you don’t perform these checks?

We’ve answered your questions below…


What are tyre treads?

Tyre treads refers to the grooves that run along the circumference of your car tyres. These grooves help to disperse water away from the contact points of the tyre, improving grip and allowing you to drive more safely.


What is the legal tyre tread depth in the UK?

The minimum tread depth required for car tyres in the UK is 1.6mm. This tread depth must run across the central three-quarters of the tyre.

However, this is the bare minimum requirement and isn’t sufficient for long-term use. Here at JCT600, we will mark your tyres as red at 3mm in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.

What are the risks of not checking your tyre tread depth?

If you don’t check your tyre treads and have enough depth, then you could be at risk of:

  • An increased stopping distance – Imagine that you’re travelling in your car at 50mph on a rainy day. With the minimum legal tyre tread depth of 1.6mm, it would take around 39.5 metres to come to a stop when braking. With 0.8mm of tread, this increases to 53.1 metres.
  • Aquaplaning – In wet conditions, your tyres may lose contact with the road surface and instead travel on top of the surface of the water. When this happens, you won’t be able to brake, steer or accelerate properly.
  • Increased fuel consumption – The shallower your tyre tread depth, the harder your car must work to put its power to the ground.
  • Penalty points and a fine – Besides the risk of having an accident, you may also receive three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 (per tyre!) for having worn tyre treads.

It is the car owner’s responsibility to ensure that their tyres are safe and legal to drive on the road – not just for your own safety, but for the safety of others too.

How do you measure tyre tread depth?

Knowing how to check your car’s tyre tread depth – or having someone else check it for you – could save your life in the future.

How to check your tyre tread with a coin

The ‘20p test’ is a quick and easy way to find out if your tyres are under the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm.

Simply take a 20p coin and place it into the main tread groove of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p is not visible and it slots within the groove, then your tread is above the legal limit.

However, if the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe to drive.

Using a tyre depth gauge to check your tyres

If the 20p coin trick isn’t reassuring enough for you, then you can use a tyre tread depth gauge (DTG) to measure the depth of an individual tyre groove.

You can also buy combined pressure and DTG gauges – or kits that supply both separately – for your convenience.

Checking the tyre tread wear indicators

Look out for these small bars, which are moulded into the treads in several places around the circumference of the wheel. If these are clearly visible at the surface of the tyre, then you’ll need to replace it.

How much tread is on a new tyre and how long should it last?

A new tyre should have around 8mm of tread before use. The longevity of your tyre largely depends on how well you treat it, from avoiding things like heavy braking to rotating your tyres regularly and maintaining consistent and adequate tyre pressure.

If you follow these tips, then you can expect your tyre treads to last you from 30,000 to 60,000 miles.

Check your tyre tread depth for free with JCT600

For the most accurate indication of how safe your tyre treads are, we recommend that you have your tyres checked professionally by one of our qualified technicians. We carry out FREE Tyre Checks at all our dealerships.

> Book your free tyre check

> Browse our list of dealerships

> Buy replacement tyres for your car

In summary, checking your tyre tread depth is quick and simple and doesn’t have to cost you any money. However, the effect it can have could be enough to keep you safe (and within the law) on the roads.

Yorkshire Days Out: 7 of the Best in 2019

Looking for a great day out in Yorkshire? We’ve pulled together seven essential places to visit, with options for all weather!

With rural beauty, rich heritage, vibrant cities, and the best people, it’s not difficult to see why Yorkshire folk are so proud of their county. It’s also a place that’s home to sporting greats such as Jess Ennis-Hill and the Brownlee brothers, as well as acting giants Dame Judi Dench and Sir Patrick Stewart. Oh, and food icons such as Wensleydale Cheese and Betty’s Fat Rascal.

The list of things that makes Yorkshire great is pretty long, but as a company proud of its Yorkshire roots, we would say that wouldn’t we? Check out one of our must-see sights, or another one of the region’s countless attractions, and judge for yourself…

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Land Rover Quiz: How much do you really know about this iconic British brand?

If there’s one thing that most people know about Land Rover, it’s that they’re the go-to brand for luxury 4x4s. However, there’s a rich history behind Land Rover that only the most avid of fans will know about – plus plenty of exciting projects in the pipeline, too.

Want to test your knowledge of Land Rover trivia? Take our quiz below to see if you’re a true superfan. Once you’re done, make sure you share your results on social media to challenge your friends and family!


If you still need to up your knowledge on Land Rover, then check out these fun facts…

  • From Defenders to Discovery vehicles, modified Land Rovers were the cars of choice for over 18 years for the Camel Trophy – one of the world’s most adventurous motor competitions
  • The second ever Range Rover actually had six wheels and was converted into an airport fire truck
  • Land Rover helped their customers to avoid paying taxes by designing their Defender 110 with 12 seats. Technically, this qualified the vehicle as a bus, therefore allowing customers to be exempt from heavy tax
  • Land Rover don’t just dabble with cars – they’ve also expanded into bicycle, pushchair and coffee manufacturing

JCT600 have been an approved Land Rover dealer since 2018. Why not browse our new Land Rover deals or check out our used Land Rovers for sale?

Fleet Vehicles Explained: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking into sourcing vehicles for your company and want to know more about how fleet vehicles work, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find most of the key information here, but we’re always happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

What is a fleet vehicle?

Fleet vehicles are cars or vans which have been leased or purchased by a company for their employees to use for business purposes, which they can pay for on a monthly basis – a bit like getting a car on finance.

How many vehicles are in a fleet?

There isn’t a set number of vehicles in a fleet.

Some businesses may require one vehicle, and some may need several hundred – it all depends on the number of employees in a business, and their individual requirements.

That said, the larger the fleet, the bigger the benefits.

The DVLA, for example, offer a scheme to help with administrative tasks for companies who have a fleet of more than fifty vehicles. It enables companies to tax a whole fleet at once, rather than on a ‘per vehicle’ basis.

Our vehicles for business team work with you to find a solution to you and your colleagues’ motoring requirements, whether big or small.

Does my business qualify for a fleet?

As long as you can provide proof that you run or own a business, using appropriate forms of ID, then you will be able to qualify. The usual checks apply of course, just like when you go to lease or finance a car for personal use.

What happens after I qualify?

If you do qualify, our business partnership team are here to help. They’re industry leaders in sourcing vehicles to match the needs of your business, as well as your budget.

Which vehicles are available on fleet?

We’re proud to be trusted by the world’s best manufacturers, and we’re able to offer you models from 21 different car brands.

Click here to see which vehicles we currently have business leasing offers on. Can’t see what you’re looking for or have a question? Get in touch here.

Are fleet vehicles cheaper?

Fleet vehicles tend to be cheaper due to favourable terms that can be applied, as well as incentives and monetary rebates. For example, leasing companies can reclaim the VAT on the vehicle, so they can offer savings. It’s usually the case that the more vehicles you buy, the more you will save!

Are fleet vehicles new or used?

Fleet vehicles tend to be new, which means they’ll be under warranty, and have the latest fuel-efficient, low-emission engine, and the newest safety features as standard. Great for your peace of mind, and your employees’ safety.

Are there any other benefits to owning a fleet vehicle?

One of the benefits of owning a fleet is that it saves a business purchasing vehicles outright every few years.

It also means that every few years you can upgrade to a newer, more modern vehicle.

Leasing is also “off balance sheet”, which means liability doesn’t show on the company’s accounts.

If you’re looking for a fleet solution, we can help. We can offer you a dedicated account manager, as well as access to extended demonstrations. With great relationships with several leasing providers, we’re well placed to support you with any needs your business has.

Free Car Fuel Benefit

If an employee drives a company car and receives free fuel for private use, it is subject to tax.

It’s important to estimate their private mileage beforehand, or it’s likely they could end up financially worse off.

You can calculate Car Fuel Benefit by using the purpose-built calculator on the gov.uk website.

Whole Life Costs for Company Car Fleets

There are multiple costs to consider in preparation for purchasing fleet vehicles. These are referred to as a vehicle’s ‘Whole Life Cost’ [WLC].

The factors to be considered in WLC are as follows:

  • Vehicle Purchase Price
  • Vehicle Registration Fee
  • Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)
  • Fuel Costs
  • Service, maintenance and repairs
  • Finance
  • Insurance
  • Residual Vehicle Value
  • Class 1A National Insurance Contributions (NICs)

Fleet: key terms explained

The world of vehicle fleets is fraught with jargon and acronyms, so we’ve put together a glossary of the ones you’ll see most often.

  • P11D – A form sent to HMRC annually by employers stating any employee benefits such as a company car.
  • P11D Value – The total value of the car including list price plus VAT, delivery charges and any optional extras such as sat nav.
  • Benefits-in-Kind [BIKs] – BIKs are benefits that an employee receives that is not included in their salary. Often referred to as a ‘perk’.
  • Class 1A National Insurance Contributions – Class 1A NICs are payable on any benefits-in-kind [BIKs]. They are paid by the employer.
  • Plug-In Car Grant – A government grant available to subsidise the purchase of an electric vehicle.
  • Residual Vehicle Value – Residual value, or resale value, is the predicted value of a vehicle in the future.
  • Vehicle Excise Duty [VED] – An amount payable on all vehicles, which is calculated based on your car’s CO2 emissions.
  • Vehicle Purchase Price – The amount of money that was actually paid for the car, rather than the given list price.
  • Vehicle Registration Fee – A one-off fee payable to DVLA when a vehicle is first registered.
  • Whole Life Costs [WLC] – The costs associated with running a vehicle such as fuel costs, service and maintenance, which need to be considered before purchase.

Think fleet could be for you? Contact our business partnership team to find out more about our tailored fleet motoring solutions.

The 5 coolest unofficial Jaguar concepts from designers around the world

Since 1935, Jaguar has been a byword for inspirational design, and a badge of British manufacturing pride.

The E-TYPE, launched in 1961, was described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made.”

In that era, Jaguar was known for ‘Grace, Space, Pace’ – “a special kind of motoring which no other car in the world can offer.”

Source: Silodrome

Innovation remains core to Jaguar’s DNA, and next year they’re set to bring back the E-TYPE as an electric car based on the original 1960s design (rumoured prices from £850k).

For a taste of what else is on the horizon, Jaguar’s official concept cars page is a good place to start. But what happens when you let other designers loose to come up with their own futuristic Jaguar car concepts? 

Here, we take a closer look at 5 of the coolest we’ve found…

Jaguar ‘Consul’ concept

This autonomous vehicle concept takes inspiration from the E-TYPE, with a design intended to maximise interior space and passenger privacy. The final render on a rainy city street is pretty convincing – we’d certainly love to take it for a spin.

Designer: Hanchang LIU and team – Transportation Design student at ISD-Rubika, France.

Source: Behance

Jaguar ‘C-XJS’ concept

This design is described as a modern reinterpretation of the super-rare Jaguar XJ220S – a modern hypercar concept, sketched in striking 80s neon tones.

Designer: Youki Kotani – Automotive and Transport Design student at Coventry University, UK

Source: Behance

Jaguar ‘Naked’ concept

This bold, sci-fi inspired design imagines what a Jaguar might look like in 2035. The car features an electric motor, and 3D-printed ‘space frame’. Batman wouldn’t look out of place in one of these. 

Designer: Team Naked, Brazil

Source: Behance

Jaguar ‘Envision XK’ concept

The Brazilian team behind this have adapted the recognisable XK design, introducing elements from later models including the CX-75 and F-TYPE.

Designer: Jenn Mueng – Designer, Menlo Park, California, USA

Source: Behance

Jaguar ‘Out of This World’ concept

We’re not too sure what to say about this one, as the designer didn’t provide any commentary, but what’s not to like about a chromed-out Jaguar parked up on a surreal alien landscape. As an intrepid interplanetary explorer from the future, what more could you want?

Designer: Pavel Protsenko – Post-Production Designer at Positive Pictures Production, Kyiv, Ukraine

Source: Behance


So now you’ve seen 5 of the coolest unofficial Jaguar concepts the Internet has to offer, why not check out some our entirely real Jaguar cars for sale? For one of their more futuristic models, take a look at the electric Jaguar I-PACE models we have in stock.

Should I buy a diesel car in 2019?

When deciding what vehicle is right for you, the fuel-type will likely be one of the main considerations.

If you’re wondering whether diesel is the right choice for you, there are a few things it’s worth knowing about so that you can be confident you’re making the right decision.

In this article, we’ve covered everything you need to know about the pros and cons of buying a diesel car in 2019.

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Car Insurance Explained

Car insurance is a product that provides financial protection in the event of an incident that causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property or animal.

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10 Essential Tips for Wet Weather Driving

The great British weather isn’t always perfect, with an average of 156.2 days of rain a year! That’s why it’s important to be prepared to drive in wet conditions, as safely as possible. We’ve pulled together ten things that you need to consider before heading out in your vehicle on those damper days.

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What to Do if You Have a Car Accident

Being involved in a car accident isn’t something you want to think about. However, it’s important to be prepared in case you do find yourself in this situation, whether it’s a minor collision or a major accident.

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