How Do I Know if My Car Parts Need Replacing - Before It's Too Late

For some of us, knowing when our Lexus needs servicing is second nature. It’s like we were synched the day those keys fell into our hands. We become one with our vehicle and any time there’s even a hint at mechanical hiccup, we can feel it. For others, there couldn’t be less understanding between owner and auto about when something in the car needs fixing.

Both relationships are acceptable, and both should still come with the knowledge of the signs to watch for that might indicate a near future trip to the shop for part replacement.

The key in any relationship (with your car, of course) is to catch the problem before it becomes a problem. Some of the most common broken parts that sneak up on drivers are the oil filter, battery, air filter, brake pads, air suspension and fuses. Two of these parts can be particularly problematic or dangerous if they fail: the battery and the brakes.

Today, we’ll look at some of the signs Lexus owners should keep in mind for these two parts to make sure that we all stay safe on the road and our vehicles stay in mint condition.

5 tell tales that your battery needs replacing:

  1. Engine turns but doesn’t start. This is the most common sign of a dead battery. Even if your ammeter says the battery is good, have ears out for the engine turning without a consequent start. Don’t continue trying, you don’t want to flood the engine.
  2. Intermittent success. If the car starts fine one day, but not the next, and this becomes a pattern, you’re probably looking at a soon-to-die battery.
  3. No lights. Since the battery is behind all car accessories and lights, you’ve got a problem to address.
  4. Jumpman. If you’ve become a regular cable jumper, you need to take your car in for servicing. Time for a new battery! It doesn’t matter how old or new the battery is. If you keep jumping, you’ll wear out your alternator and starter on top of the battery. Just replace the battery!
  5. Cranking is difficult. If you feel an irregular tension when starting your vehicle, there’s probably a problem with the battery. If it happens once or twice, no need to fret. But if it starts happening a few times a week- time to go in!

5 tell tales that brakes need maintenance:

  1. Squealing. This is not a normal sound! In fact, brake pads come with wear indicators that will when it’s time to replace them. Listen for this sound, and don’t ignore it. If you’ve missed the window for squealing sounds, perk your ears for a harsh grinding. This is significantly worse. It means you’re past the warning; your brake pads are worn through. Get your car to the shop, STAT.
  2. Pulling. If it feels like your car is less than obediently responsive to your turns of the wheel, it could be the brakes. If one or more of the brake pads has worn out, friction would be uneven and this would cause the car to feel like it is somewhat out of control when you turn.
  3. Slower brake time. This is probably caused by thinning brake pads. Brake pads create friction between pad and wheel. If the pads are worn thin, they cannot effectively stop your car.
  4. Too easy. If your pedal nearly touches the ground and moves way too quickly beneath your foot, you could have any number of problems with the braking system.
  5. Vibrating. In extreme circumstances, it’s normal for the brake pedal to vibrate beneath your foot. But if you feel vibrations under normal braking circumstances, you probably have warped rotors.

2 tell tales that oil pump needs replacing:

  1. Clanking. If you hear any clanking noises, it’s likely the car telling you that there is not enough lubricant in the engine. Insufficient lubricant allows friction to result from parts rubbing against each other. Take you Lexus in for inspection, but it’s likely a sign of a defective oil pump.
  2. Check Engine. This sounds like common sense, but too many people dismiss the light as a reminder to do routine maintenance. A bad oil pump could be causing problems and if so, its ramifications are mighty.

The signs above are incredibly valuable and help catch a bigger catastrophe from taking place on the road. But let’s not forget about good ol’ preventative maintenance.Practicing these habits below will help you avoid the problem that eventually leads the bigger problems:

9 tips for preventative auto care:

  1. Read your owner’s manual. But, seriously, do! Every vehicle is different. Browse through your Lexus manual to refresh your memory on when to change oil, filters, etc.
  2. Check fluids. Learn how to check your power steering, coolant, wiper fluid, and antifreeze on your own. If your manual doesn’t explain, ask to watch a mechanic once. Then you’re good to go!
  3. Change oil regularly. Even if it isn’t time, yet.
  4. Window streaks? Replace the wipers- insurance likely covers this expense.
  5. Replace the cabin air filter. This is a DIY project after a trip to our auto parts store.
  6. Have your sparks plugs changed. It sounds like a hefty load, but it’s worth the hassle to avoid an engine problem later on.
  7. Keep tabs on your battery. Clean it with a battery cleaning brush. While you’re keeping it bright and shiny, be on the lookout for leaks.
  8. Get serpentine and timing belts replaced according to your manuals’ instruction. Have them inspected regularly to make sure they don’t need replacing before that quoted time.
  9. Replace your engine air filter if it’s dirty.

Did you get all that? It’s a lot, we know! But that’s why we’re here. For any servicing questions, maintenance tips, appointments for air filter replacement and brake pad replacement, Discount Parts Monster is here for you! Call us to schedule a service or just talk shop- we’re around for both!