Vehicle Consumables: What and When to Replace

Spark plugs are consumables

For all car systems to work well and long time, you need to replace vehicle consumables timely.

What are vehicle consumables? – They are oil, fuel and air filters, windshield wiper blades, power steering and transmission fluids, tires, spark plugs, belts, wires, brake pads, and other parts which should be regularly replaced due to their wear-out. Let’s talk about some of them.

Air Filter

Internal combustion engines, either naturally aspirated or turbocharged, need a constant flow of air. Air is a component of the fuel-air mixture that burns in the cylinders, and it must be clean for dirt particles not to access the engine and not cause defects.

There is an air filter in any vehicle’s intake system. If this filter becomes dirty, the amount of air in the mixture may decrease, the engine will run on a rich mixture, fuel consumption will increase, carbon deposits will form in the cylinders, etc.

To prevent this from happening, the air filter must be replaced according to the manual but given the degree of pollution and dustiness of the air in a particular region, operational conditions (ride on frequent off-roading, for example), and driving style. An average driver changes the air filter every 6,200 miles (10,000 km).

Ignition System

Spark plugs should be regularly checked and replaced, as well as rightly chosen depending on the engine. They differ in the number of electrodes (one or two), dimensions, and heat value.

Simply put, spark plugs must be accurately selected for a specific engine according to special catalogs offered by the spark plug manufacturer. Errors in this matter can lead to disruption of the processes of sparking and combustion of fuel in the cylinders. Naturally, the engine life shortens if using unsuitable spark plugs.

You should also replace high-voltage ignition wires every 12,400 – 18,600 miles (20,000-30,000 km). This enables a stable work of the ignition system, powerful sparking, effective ignition, and complete combustion of the fuel-air mixture.

Timing Belt, Timing Chain

A broken timing belt or timing chain immediately disables the internal combustion engine. So, you should replace the belt and rollers in time according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

The chain drive also needs maintenance, although less often. Experts recommend performing a preventive inspection of the belts for damage or stretching at each scheduled maintenance.

As for the replacement, the timing chain on some engines needs to be changed every 62,000 – 93,000 miles (100,000-150,000 km), and the timing belt, together with the rollers, is usually replaced every 31,000 mi (50,000 km).


Any extraneous sounds, knocks, or vibrations during engine work signal a malfunction. In some cases, the problem is solved by replacing belts, rollers, pulleys, ICE support pads, etc. In others, engine diagnostics and repairs are needed.

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