Your mechanical questions, answered!

Qualified mechanic Adam Adler has spent half his life under the bonnet of a 4WD and has worked for some of the top accessory companies and workshops. He knows what it takes to get your vehicle out there and back home in one piece. He runs the online aftermarket store www.nutsabout4WD.com.au

Big Laps require wise planning, especially when it comes to spares.


Hi Adam,

I’m setting myself up for a trip around Australia in roughly four months time. I just wanted to ask you what spares do you think I should take for the trip.




Hey Ross,

Sounds like exciting times ahead!

For spares, I think it depends on what 4WD you are driving in most cases.

Traveling up north to the Cape, there are usually people around, so if you really need it I think you would be able to get help along the way. Reason being, I believe when you pack spares, it shouldn’t just be for yourself but also in case you need to help out someone else.

Spare nuts and bolts are essential as things tend to rattle loose. Water hoses, hose clamps, spare fuses, electrical tape, cable ties and wire are all necessities things as well. Plus a bit of engine oil in case the engine burns some along the way and maybe some spare brake fluid and gear oil.

I’d suggest wheel bearing kits and grease, a brake line clamp and a spare set of fan belts, possibly a spare idler pulley for the fan belts as well if you have one.

Alternators and starter motors are great to have but take up a lot of room, if you have room great but they can usually be sourced along the way if needed.

If you have room and have a spare shock absorber I would just take one front and one rear. If your 4WD has struts then that will be a bit more difficult.

The best advice I can give you though is to make sure you have the 4WD serviced and checked over thoroughly before you go. Things like the timing belts and water pumps should be done. Wheel bearings and all driveline oils should be replaced as well as brake fluid. Diff breather kits are an advantage if you will be doing water crossings and make sure you have a good recovery kit.

After every day of hard driving it would be good to give the 4WD a quick check over the before embarking on the next leg of the trip. You might just find that loose bolt that is about to fall out. You will also need to make sure you have tools with you as well.

The list of spares grows the longer or the more remote you go, and given the room you have.

I hope that helps,



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