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4 Car Wear and Tear Issues to Watch for After Your Dealer Warranty Expires

The older your car gets, the more prone it becomes to mechanical wear-and-tear issues popping up unexpectedly. While a dealer warranty may cover some of these issues, sometimes timing doesn't work out and you may experience the breakdown of a certain car part after your dealer warranty has expired. To help you prepare for such occasions, we've detailed four of the most major auto wear-and-tear issues to watch out for as your car climbs higher in age and mileage.

1. Battery

The typical car battery lifespan ranges anywhere from 3 to 5 years, with even shorter life expectancies in hotter climates. As the battery rises in age, so can you expect the risk of battery failure to rise as well. And even if there’s no outright failure, it’s inevitable that your battery’s performance will decline as the battery gets older.

Average cost to replace battery:$145 to $366

*Repair/replacement cost may vary based on numerous factors, including make/model/year, location, repair shop, etc.

2. Headlights/exterior lights

Both sets of your car’s lights are expected to eventually fail because of “wear,” i.e. extended usage. Since it’s not always readily-apparent whether your lights are fully operative while you’re sitting in the car, try periodically enlisting a friend or family member to stand outside while you test the functionality of each light. If a bulb is, in fact, burned out, don’t worry because it shouldn’t be a difficult fix; simply consult your owner’s manual to find out how to reach the dead bulb, and what kind of bulb you’ll need to replace it with.

Average cost to replace headlights/exterior lights:$60 to $82 (headlights) and $54 to $126 (brake lights)

*Repair/replacement cost may vary based on numerous factors, including make/model/year, location, repair shop, etc.

3. Brake rotors

Brake rotors are the discs that the brake pads squeeze down on in order to create enough friction for your car to stop moving. But, as with all other vehicle parts on this list, over time the rotors wear and become less effective due to constant use and friction from both the brake pads and calipers. As a driver responsible for 2-plus tons of steel and metal on the open road, the last thing you want for yourself or for any other driver out there is defective brakes. If you notice any squealing or grinding noises when you brake, or if you’re applying an inordinate amount of force to the brake just to decelerate the vehicle, it’s time to get the brakes checked by a mechanic.

Average cost to replace brake rotors:$406 to $559

*Repair/replacement cost may vary based on numerous factors, including make/model/year, location, repair shop, etc.

4. Windshield

The windshield is another vehicle part prone to excessive damage from ordinary wear and tear. In this case, the culprit may be airborne dirt and debris, along with natural climate elements like rain, sleet, snow, and ice impacting the windshield enough to crack or shatter completely. Reckless driving, especially on bumpy surfaces, can further contribute to weakening the glass. It’s important not to overlook the health of your windshield, since without it you can’t always see where you’re going on the road. If you encounter any problems, don’t postpone a trip to the repair shop; get the issue resolved immediately.

Average cost to replace windshield:$200 - $401.

*Repair/replacement cost may vary based on numerous factors, including make/model/year, location, repair shop, etc.

Summing Up

To avoid being on the receiving end of out-of-pocket repair bills for wear-and-tear breakdowns, make sure you that you first take great care of your car at all times. Doing so will prolong and promote auto part longevity. Additionally, make sure you think about acquiring comprehensive coverage through a combination of a standard car insurance policy and extended protection, like a vehicle service contract, after your dealer warranty expires. Having both policies will help ensure you don’t have to pay wholly out of pocket for covered repairs.

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