This article will help you understand some of the critical spare parts of a car and how you can maintain and keep them protected with car insurance.
What are the Different Types of Car Spare Parts?
Your vehicle comes with several accessories that integrate and make it a car. Such accessories are classified into 2 types:
- Electric car parts: Every accessory that requires an electric connection to come into use is bundled in this category. Examples include car stereo systems, headlamps and tail lamps, fog lights, air conditioners, etc.
- Non-Electric car parts: As the name suggests, such accessories don’t involve any sort of electrical equipment. Examples include armrests, bumpers, door handles, and seat covers.
Life Expectancy of Various Types of Car Spare Parts
Having a basic acumen of the most common and crucial car parts will help you go a long way as it will keep you aware of individual maintenance requirements as well as the expiry dates so that you can stay away from expensive repairs as much as possible. Following is a basic list of car parts and their life expectancy you should know:
- Air filter: A dirty and clogged air filter for a prolonged period will not only call for repair but also damage other parts of the car. Make sure you maintain it regularly and replace it when it's time. Usually, an air filter should be replaced annually or after every 20,000 kilometers in case, you drive more than average.
- Tires: Healthy tyre conditions will make sure your car runs smoothly and efficiently. Keep a check on the tread of your tyres and replace them as soon as you see the depth of the tread falling below 3mm. On a usual count, tyres must be changed every 5-6 years.
- Air conditioner: The best way to evaluate if your car’s air conditioner needs maintenance is to see the cooling. If the performance isn’t at its peak, as it was when your car was new, it’s time for maintenance. However, a car’s AC requires servicing annually or whenever the air coming out is not cool enough. Sometimes, it requires a generic cleaning and sometimes a gas recharge.
- Airbags: The most quintessential part of a car is the airbags followed by the seat belt. Airbags are a latent safety feature that comes to your rescue only when the car is severely damaged, hence, don't require recurring maintenance. However, usually, an airbag would be required to be replaced after10 years.
- Seatbelt: The seatbelts of your car keep you in place and ensure your safety throughout your driving journey. Generally, seatbelts don't require maintenance, however, they would need to be replaced if you experience noticeable wear and tear affecting the functioning of the seatbelt.
- Clutch: The clutch's working mechanism is not visible to the passengers of the car, however, its operation and smoothness of operation can be felt while operating it from the providing clutch pedal in a manual car. Generally, a clutch plate functions more than 100,000 kilometers driven, however, if you are frequently driven, it can wear off sooner.
- Battery: The batteries are generally required to be replaced every 4 years irrespective of how much the car has been driven. Regular maintenance is not required for a battery if it’s regularly replaced and not tampered with during general service of the car.
- Brake pads: The durability and wear and tear of the brake pads heavily rely on the running of the car. If you drive frequently, you should get the brake pads changed after 50,000 kilometers of the car's running. However, if that count is not reached, make sure that you replace them every 3 years.
Car Spare Parts Insurance
Now that you have understood that your car’s spare parts also come with an expiry tag, it is important to note that a comprehensive car insurance policy will not cover these spare parts’ expiry and pay for their replacement.
Under comprehensive insurance, when a car accident occurs, the insurer will provide for the cost of ‘reasonable repairs’ only. The spare parts are excluded and would need to be paid for by the insured, in case they need replacement.
If you go ahead and replace original spare parts from your pocket, they will become extremely expensive. The more valuable the car will be, the more expensive will the parts be. This is where car spare parts insurance comes to the rescue for you. This type of add-on requires an additional premium to be paid, however, covers your car's spares parts and will pay for their replacement when required, hence saving you from an unplanned expensive burden.
How do Spare Parts Add-on Cover Help?
Comprehensive car insurance only covers the replacement of the expensive spare of your car in the following 2 situations:
1. When the car is damaged due to an accident
2. When the car is damaged due to a natural disaster
Any other situation involving damage to your car and your insurer will simply deny giving you financial protection even if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy in hand. However, in case you have an add-on cover in hand, you would be protected against damage/theft leading to the replacement of spare parts required.
Following are a handful of add-on covers highly advisable to be bought in addition to your comprehensive car insurance policy:
- Tyre Protection Add-on Cover: When you have a tyre protection cover, you would be reimbursed for any expenses incurred on the replacement of damaged/worn-out tyres. Under this, the insurer pays for all types of repair expenses such as the bursting of the tyre, puncture, replacement, tire cut, etc.
- Key Replacement Add-on Cover: A key is the smallest part of a car but the single-most essential as well. Given its size, the probability of losing a car key becomes extremely high, and replacing it would be quite expensive for you as an original car key is not cheap. Hence, a key replacement add-on will keep you covered in case you lose your car keys.
- Zero Depreciation Add-on Cover: Whenever you would claim car insurance, the insurer would settle the amount after taking into consideration the applicable depreciation on various car parts. The payment is made by the insurer only for the deducted amount and not for the replacement cost of the concerned part.
The rates go as much as 50% for the nylon/plastic/airbags and 30% for fiberglass components. A zero-depreciation or bumper-to-bumper insurance absorbs this deducted amount enabling you to claim a higher amount at the time of settlement.
- Engine Protection Add-on Cover: Your car's engine is not a single unit. It is built using several individually attached parts that have their expiry and maintenance requirements. This add-on will keep you financially covered in case you meet with an accident and the car's engine requires repair and replacement of mechanical parts.
It is now very much evident that not only are various spare parts critical for the smooth operation and functioning of a car but are also expensive to be replaced. Typical comprehensive car insurance would not keep these covered and make you prone to an expensive liability in an accident despite having valid insurance.
Having said that, maintenance is always cheaper than repairs, hence, you should make sure that you regularly service your car as well as its various spare parts so that they are well-maintained, thereby prolonging their life. Meanwhile, car spare part add-on covers in your car insurance policy will keep you protected against damage caused by situations that are not under your control.