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Hyundai Holiday Made Easy - Spare parts to pack for a road trip

If you are planning a road trip this December or driving anywhere for the holidays, make sure you’ve got spare parts with you for in case.  You don’t want your trip ruined when you easily could have fixed a problem on the road. 

Some of the main items you should have include fuses, bulbs for brake, indicator and headlights, spark plugs, a spare fan belt, basic tools but here is a more detailed list: 

Distributor cap and rotor, it’s just easier to carry these than reliably find them on the road, with the exception of anything that’s powered by a small block Chevy motor, and you can always tuck the points, condenser and rotor into the cap and keep them all neatly in its box.

Coil, it’s never a bad thing to have on longer trips. If you drive a six-volt car, you should definitely carry a spare. The big name auto parts stores will probably not have one in stock.

Spark plugs, just one is all you really need to carry. If your car tends to foul one or two plugs carry a couple new plugs already gapped, or maybe the full set you will install at the next tune-up.

Lugnut or lug bolt, lose or strip one and you will be glad you had a spare, besides they don’t take up much space.

Clutch cable, some just are not available at the local name brand auto parts stores anymore.

For example, all vehicles should always carry some method of repairing a blown radiator hose. It doesn't mean you have to carry every hose the vehicle has, but perhaps a multi-fit hose and a roll of rubber-weld tape would be sufficient.

A spare fan belt is critical to keep the engine running, but a spare air-conditioner belt will not stop you. However, the amount of room a spare a/c belt takes up is minimal and some may say an air conditioner can be considered vital in the hot outback!

Another common sense area is the amount of spare oil you carry. An 80 series diesel Landcruiser needs nearly 10 litres of engine oil, along with diff, gearbox and transfer case oils. Each of these oils is a different grade, even the front and rear diff oil is different, as the rear is a limited slip diff. To carry enough oil would mean around 20 litres in five different containers. In a break down situation engine oil can be used in all of these areas to allow you to get to civilization. It doesn't mean you can continue your trip indefinitely without obtaining the right oil as soon as practical. An exception to this is an automatic transmission. It needs the correct grade of oil to function.

Carrying a torque wrench and a complete set of ring, combination and open ended wrenches in metric and standard sizes is a case of being over prepared. A set of wrenches in the correct size for your vehicle, along with a few sizes of crescents should be all that's required in the way of wrenches. One item you should ALWAYS carry is a Repair Manual for your vehicle. Even if you cannot fix your vehicle, chances are a passing good Samaritan 4WDriver can, if he has the manual.

Besides car toolbox filled with the tools you need for quick repairs, be sure to keep the following items on board:

Rags: Keep a clean, lint-free rag in your vehicle to wipe your oil or transmission dipstick or to clean the inside of your windshield if it clouds up.

Spare parts: If you replace your spark plugs, save the old ones if they’re not too worn. Carry them in your trunk-compartment toolbox for quick replacements if necessary. The same goes for old air filters and other minor gizmos. A couple of extra nuts, bolts, and screws also are useful to have on hand.

Emergency parts: Carry a spare set of windshield wiper blades, an extra radiator cap, and extra fuses. If you plan to travel in hot weather in remote regions, top and bottom radiator hoses are a good idea. Although they’re more costly, it’s good to carry extra accessory belts.

Spare tire: Check your spare tire often. It’s humiliating to find that your spare is flat, just when you need it.

Lug wrench: A lug wrench is sometimes provided, along with a jack, on new vehicles. If you buy a lug wrench, get the cross-shaft kind, which gives you more leverage.

A can of inflator/sealant: This item saves you the trouble of changing a flat on the road. It attaches easily to the valve stem on your flat tire and inflates the tire with goop that temporarily seals the puncture.

Jumper cables: One of the most common automotive malfunctions is the loss of power to start the engine, either from an old or faulty battery or from leaving the headlights on by mistake.

Flashlights and reflectors: A flashlight in your glove compartment can help your kids locate dropped toys on the floor of the car, enable you to see under the hood if your vehicle breaks down, and serve as an emergency light for oncoming traffic if you have to stop on the road for repairs.

First-aid kit: Keep a first-aid kit in your vehicle. Choose one that’s equipped with a variety of bandages, tweezers, surgical tape, antibiotic ointment, something soothing for burns, and a good antiseptic.

Hand cleaner: Most hand cleaners are basically grease solvents.

Gloves: Keep a pair of gloves in the vehicle for emergencies. Industrial rubber gloves, available at swimming pool supply stores, aren’t affected by gasoline, solvent, or battery acid.

Basic Tools

A small set of basic tools can help out in many situations, even those that are not vehicle related. On big trips we carry two sets of screwdrivers (one large, one small), vice grips, pliers, electrical tape, adjustable wrench, Allen wrenches, a socket set and wrench set with the most common sizes for our vehicle. On shorter trips, or when space is a concern, we omit the wrench sets and extra screwdrivers.

Wrench Set vs. Adjustable Wrench

Adjustable wrenches are compact and at times will be all you need. But there are tight spots where the adjustable wrench head will be to big, and not provide the secure fit to apply the necessary force to loosen or tighten a bolt or nut. If you have the space, carry a set.

Nuts and Bolts

Read the factory service manual for your vehicle to see what the most common sizes of nuts and bolts are. Make sure to buy hi-tensile nuts and bolts as replacements and then make sure you have the wrenches that fit.

Filters, Belts and Fuses

Unless you are positive spare parts will be easy to find everywhere on the road, bring a set of belts, air, oil and gas filters and fuses. Also consider the most vital sensors for your model of vehicle. If the lack of a fuse could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere, you might want to pack it.

Duck Tape

Extinguishers, Triangles and Flares

You should have a fire extinguisher, warning triangle and road flares with you in the vehicle. Keep the extinguisher where you can reach it in case of fire, it's doesn't do much good locked away with all the other tools and spares. The triangles and flares are a great way to get the attention of other drivers coming around the bend. Quite a few countries require that you carry these.

Jerry Cans

In some places petrol / gas stations are few and far between. Often there is no guarantee that a fuel stop will actually have fuel. Take a jerry with you to avoid being stranded. Be careful when crossing borders with cans full of fuel. Officials may demand import taxes on the fuel that’s not actually in your tank.

Tire Iron

Unfortunately tire irons that come standard with most vehicles are the practically worthless "L" shaped models. Invest in a proper spider type lug wrench that will allow you to apply some torque to the wheel nuts. There are collapsible versions available that are great space savers and just as sturdy.

Tire Repair Kit & Air Compressor

Almost all punctures can be fixed on the road with a simple tire repair kit. A small air compressor is necessary to inflate the tire when fixed. Consider buying a can of tire inflator for those times when there is no immediate safe place to change or fix a flat.

hi-lift jack and lift mateHi-Lift Jack and Accessories

The Hi-lift Jack is versatile and built to last. It can be used in any situation requiring lifting, pushing, pulling, winching, and clamping. When off-roading you should not leave home without it.  It is the one piece of equipment that will save your ass.

Hi-Lift also makes accessories for specific situations; Jack protectors keep the mud and dirt out of the mechanical parts. And mounting brackets can secure your jack in place on the outside of your vehicle.

The Lift-Mate allows you to lift the vehicle from the wheel. It is designed so you do not need a jack point on your vehicle. It greatly reduces the amount of lifting needed to jack the vehicle off the ground. If you do not have any hi-lift jack points on your vehicle, consider purchasing a Lift-Mate.

The Hi-Lift Off-Road Kit comes with a nose attachment for winching, a winch tensioner, a tree strap and a sturdy pair of gloves. A cheap alternative to a built-in winch.

Be sure to read the manual before using any Hi-Lift Jack equipment. They may be easy to use, but are dangerous if you do not know how to operate them safely.

Tow Strap vs. Recovery Strap

A tow strap works like a seat belt. It does not stretch and is capable of pulling constant weights over a variety of road surfaces, like towing.

A recovery strap works like a rubber band. It stretches a little and stores a huge amount of kinetic energy. When it reaches a specific tension, it recoils. Recovery straps are good for pulling vehicles stuck in sand or mud.

Volt Meter

A voltmeter can tell you if your car battery is dead, dying, or if the problem is elsewhere. If you have to troubleshoot an electrical problem in the middle of nowhere, a voltmeter is critical.