What’s in your spares parts kit? A good kit is a vital part of 4WD’ing. Even a small kit could be the different between getting back on the road and enjoying your trip or ending up on the back of a tow truck. No matter what you drive there are a few essential spares that are a good idea to carry.
Air and fuel filters. If you get some bad fuel a quick change of the fuel filter will mean you don’t have to risk running a potentially clogged up or damaged filter which may lead to further problems. Checking and changing an Air Filter takes no time at all, if the air filter is looking a little clogged up a quick change will ensure your car breaths cleanly. Clogged filters can also wreak havoc with sensitive vehicle sensors which could lead to poor performance and economy.
With a little bit of mechanical knowledge wheel bearings can easily enough be changed on the side of the road and spending an hour or 2 pulling apart the wheel hub beats putting your 4WD on a truck. Just make sure you have the appropriate tools to change the bearings or your spares will be pretty useless.
Uni’s are just another part of your vehicle that wears overtime and requires servicing. If you’ve racked up a few km’s and your Uni Joints haven’t been changed in a while, chuck a spare set in your kit.
Grease, Oil & Fluids
You can’t replace your wheel bearing without grease so make sure you carry a suitable bearing grease. Take a small amount of engine oil to stay topped up. There’s no need to take enough for an oil change unless you’re on the road during service intervals. If your car has known oil weeps or burns through oil, then a mid size bottle would still be fine.
You should always keep your break fluid topped up to the correct amount on or off-road, so keep a bottle in the garage and chuck it in the car for long trips. If you’re bottle has already been opened, remember that break fluid only has a self life of about 12 months.
Carrying any other oil or fluid comes down to personal preference and your vehicle. If you have lines/hoses running in precarious places you may want to take a bit of spare hose and some of the fluid or oil associated with those lines.
Three other notable mentions that are easily carried with your oil’s are WD-40, a true lubricant – like Lanolin, and a Mass Air Flow (MAF) cleaner.
If your car runs multiple belts it’s likely they won’t all be the same size so make sure you have spares for each size. If your 4WD runs a single belt its even more vital to have a spare, if your belt breaks you’ll loose alternator, air-con, power steering and cooling all at once.
Nut’s and Bolts
Don’t just grab any old nuts and bolts, a few random sizes might be suitable for some small bush mechanics but you’ll need exact sizes for major components. Get under your car and take a look mounts and suspension components. Get a couple of spares for each size required. Take a look in the engine bay also at any brackets or mounts.
Wheel studs and nuts are another vital spare. Studs will take a bit of effort to change but still beats getting a tow. Wheel nuts take up no space so take a few, loosing one off a wheel is all it takes to loose them all.
Check your cars fuse box and get a bunch of assorted spares to suit. Also check any other electrical accessories that have been added to your car, as they may use a different type of fuse.
If you’re running a Petrol 4WD add a couple of spark plugs to your kit. Also consider add an octane booster additive to your spare fliuds as you can’t always get premium unleaded in remote places if you need it.
Vehicle Specific Spares
You know your car best, so consider past or common issues you’ve had and bring the appropriate parts. Also do a bit of research online or talk to your mechanic and find out what the common issues with your car are.
Don’t throw parts away!
If you’ve replaced a part for an upgraded component and the original part is still in good condition don’t throw it away, keep it as a spare. Or say you were replacing a part that comes as a pair, if only one requires replacing keep the good one. Obviously use some common sense though and take the most practical spares, you don’t need a spare for every part on your car.