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Which Car Parts Wear Out First?


The top 10 car parts most likely to fail due to simple wear and tear have been revealed by specialist insurer, Warranty Direct.


Suspension arms top a list which shows that around one in three* repairs to vehicles aged between three and seven-years old will be due to a wear-related failure.


Manufacturer new car warranties only cover material or manufacturing defects because wear-related failures increase in frequency as a vehicle ages and moves outside the traditional three-year cover period.


The Warranty Direct data shows that even small parts which will wear out over time – like the bearings in a water pump – could set you back an average of £209 to fix. Meanwhile, larger components like gearboxes cost on average £1,378.65 to put right.


“The statistics highlight the importance of checking the small print on longer term new car warranties and after-market policies,” says Duncan McClure Fisher of Warranty Direct. “Those with ‘wear and tear’ exclusions mean the consumer is left to foot the bill for worn out parts.”


Motorists are also advised to verify the level of cover throughout the duration of the advertised warranty period as the cover level may deteriorate as the car ages.


Table showing top 10 parts that fail due to ‘wear & tear’



Percentage of all repairs

Average repair cost

Suspension arms



Ball joint



Steering rack






Water pump



Wheel bearings



Fuel pump









Automatic Gearbox




McClure Fisher adds: “It’s not reasonable to expect manufacturer warranties to cover parts that wear out but, on the flip side, motorists are not necessarily aware that, as their car gets older and wear-related failures become more frequent, they won’t necessarily be covered unless they have a policy that covers wear, such as ours.”


Warranty Direct cover starts from £15 a month and can be obtained by visiting or calling 0800 731 7001. The Company is the UK’s leading provider of direct automotive warranties and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority to offer its customers complete peace of mind.



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