Let’s put it straight: when you plan to buy or sell a car that’s been used, you want to know where to look for damage or where the agent will try to find faults in order to get a good discount. Definitely, you can encounter (or sell) any kind of damage, from scratches on paint to a hopelessly drowned car. Yet there are car parts that are traditionally first to be checked because they are first to wear out.

So whether you want to know what the cost of repair will be (or what to ask the car repairing guys), or what discount will be OK to make, read the top chart of the most often replaced car parts. The experienced car trader inkoopautos.com  brings you this list from their ample experience. This list is also confirmed by the thankful (or baffled) reviews car owners regularly leave on the dedicated car maintenance websites. You can skip the research and just skim this condensed review.


1)Oil and oil filters

Although we tend to think of oil in the same terms as fuel (consumable rather than a palpable part), it is actually an important part of the car that needs to be checked regularly.  When oil is heavily polluted or runs low, the car won’t start, the engine will go dead unexpectedly or will work with nasty noises. Fresh oil and filter will cost only about $35 to $75, oil, filter, and work. For optimal engine performance, consider using a reliable product like liqui moly engine oil, which is highly regarded by car enthusiasts and professionals alike.

2)Blades of windshield wiper

It may seem a trifle of a car part, but try to travel safely in a heavy rain with poorly working wipers. The material they are made of is easily damaged by weather conditions and dirt particles stuck on the windscreen. Replacement costs about $112 to $170, parts plus work, depending on the car model and year.


No battery – no start. Many a driver has learned it in a hard way. Radio sounds too low, lights are unusually dim, and the car won’t start properly even after battery charging? Checking and replacing the battery is your first stop. It is especially true if a car was operated in very hot or freezing environment. Expect to pay between $70-140 for an average car battery and work.

4)Brake pads

It is hard to overestimate the importance of brakes. Yet, as the highly exploited parts that withstand regular friction, they tend to wear out fast. Squeal or grinding sound in the brakes prompts the immediate rush to the nearest car mechanic. Be ready to cash out anything from $300 to $1,000, brakes and work, depending on the car type.

5)Headlights/ taillights

Although they tend to last longer than regular household lights, they wear out quite fast because of frequent on/off operation and because of mechanical damage they experience on bumpy roads. Once they seem dim during nighttime, it is high time to replace them. Replacement cost of a halogen bulb will amount to $20 at the cheapest, while the whole assembly replacement cost will start at $250 and will continue into the universe.

6)Tires (if they are not blown in the middle of a night drive)

Yes, even if the tire is not punctured, its tread pattern gradually wears out and driving becomes unsafe. Replacement cost depends: one tire will total to $80 per item plus about $20 for work (if you are lucky). So, one tire will cost about $100 for an average car. 4 tires will amount to $400 (basic level), and from that point prices can go up and up.

7)Spark plugs

These crucial parts are prone to breaking down right when you least expect it. Yet, they are delicate stuff that is sensitive to cold, moist and other possible impacts. So once the car coughs at start, fuel runs our fast and the car does not live up to its nominal horsepower, it is time to replace the spark plugs. If you see that they are covered in soot, ash or have a change in color, it is a direct push towards replacement.  Cost: $15 and upward for a set of plugs,  $50+ for replacement work.

8)Pumps (fuel and water)

Pumps wear away because of bad quality of fuel, dirt in the fuel tank or lack of lubrication. Failing fuel pump will starve your car, and failing water pump will cause overheating of the engine, which is also bad. Anyway, have them checked regularly and replace when necessary. Cost of replacement: fuel pump – anywhere between $550 and $900, part and work included. Water pump: from $300 to $770, where the cost of part is only a fracture of the sum.

9)Door locks and handles

Once you cannot close the door properly or get into your car, you begin to appreciate these unassuming but vital parts. Since they regularly experience mechanical force applied to them (and often unreasonable force), they tend to give in often. Replacement costs: from $200 to $600, locks, handles and work.

10)Automatic transmission

Consisting of many details of high precision, the transmission can be damaged by bumpy rides on bad roads or regular over-speeding. Once you hit the mark of 70,000 miles travelled, consider replacing it, or having regular checkups. The cost of replacement can be anywhere between $1800 and  $3400, depending whether it is a salvaged or used transmission or a new one.