Owners that regularly apply tender loving care to their automobiles have a good chance of driving them on their last journeys to the scrap heap with the original engines, starter motors, gearboxes, and turbo chargers. According to an article in the German car magazine auto motor und sport, these parts can today be expected to last a good 250,000 km (155,000 miles), meaning about as long as the vehicle itself. The owner need only replace engine oil and other important lubricants at regular intervals, along with the filter.
In an interview with auto motor und sport, Carsten Graf, tech expert for German automobile club ADAC, says that an automobile “should basically hold out for 10 to 14 years or 250,000 km, whatever the type, engine and gearing.”
The same holds true for other automobile auxiliaries including starting motors, electrics, turbo chargers and pumps. The expert added that in terms of longevity, there was “barely any difference today between diesel and gasoline engines”.
Even standard replaceable parts last much longer in today’s automobiles thanks to their higher quality. An exhaust pipe now manages around 100,000km (60,000 miles), as do axles, bushes and suspension. Spark plugs also have a life expectancy of 120,000km (70,000 miles) – a figure that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. Clutch cables, shock absorbers and brakes hold out for 80,000km (50,000 miles). The parts still requiring most frequent replacement are windscreen wiper blades: these are as a rule worn out after 15,000km (9,000 miles).
Should parts be in need of replacement after a substantially shorter period of use, the ADAC advises drivers to get in touch with their car dealers. Silvia Schattenkirchner, head of consumer protection law at ADAC, says that automobile replacement parts, as with all other parts, “are subject to a defined statutory guarantee of at least one year.”
Customers have especially good cards if a part malfunctions in the first six months after purchase, as burden of proof reversal is in force. This means that the owner is not required to provide proof that the fault was present at the start of ownership. “After six months, the tables are turned in favor of the car dealer, as the customer is then obliged to provide proof that the part had a problem from the very start”, according to the ADAC lawyer.
The situation differs when a garage fitted the part. In this case, there is a guarantee of at least one year.
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