Like any piece of mechanical machinery, your car would eventually deteriorate and require some maintenance work. Sometimes the work can be minor (i.e. adding air to the tires); on some occasions, you might need to replace certain parts.
Define Which Parts Need Replacement
Some car parts wear faster than others because of their inherent functionality and the frequency of their use. Brakes, spark plugs, oil filters, windshield wipers and spark plugs normally need to be replaced more frequently than any other auto parts.
For obvious reasons, braking mechanisms need to be consistently maintained. Make sure to regularly have them checked and replaced (when the time comes) to make sure your safety; and the safety of other motorists and pedestrians. Spark plugs and other ignition components also require periodic replacement. Note that if these parts deteriorate, you would not be able to start your car.
Proactively Do Your Research
Doing your research means getting to know your car and its parts better. You don't need to be an expert mechanic to do this. You can simply use the internet to gather information. Try to figure out what is immediately available to you and which parts need to be pre-ordered. The availability of auto parts generally depends on the model year and make of your car. Newer cars might have spare parts that are easy to acquire; parts for older models might need to be backordered.
Ask the Experts
Asking the experts could invariably mean having to choose the right supplier - especially if you have no idea what you have to do. You can ask your family members or friends about which parts dealers they've had experience with. Look for a store that has a good track record and that is run by licensed personnel. The array of options can be overwhelming, so it would be good to have an expert point you towards the right direction. Typically, shops with more years of experience in the business have better expertise. If you want to purchase auto parts online, take your time to examine product reviews that can give you relevant insights. Compare prices and return policies so that you can determine which shop will offer you more value.
It is easy to assume that high performance, after-market spares are always expensive and that low-class ones are cheap. Quite often, you would be tempted to go for the cheap one because you'd think that it is the more economical choice. Some car parts are sold at a lower price because they have no warranty while some parts are pricey because they carry popular brand names. The most important thing to consider here is the purpose of that particular part.
Keep in mind that faulty replacement parts could put you and your passengers at risk or could give you a lot of hassle. Imagine if your new brakes failed as you are driving on the freeway or if your recently installed spark plug refuses to start on Monday morning. Scenarios like these can guide you in making your decisions when buying after-market auto parts.