Vehicle problems never happen when it is convenient. If you are in a hurry, you can bet that is when something will go wrong. But being prepared can make an annoying problem a mere speed bump in your day. We’ve put together a list of four spare parts you should buy before you need them.
Modern serpentine belt systems are amazing at doing their job. A single belt can power many engine accessories at once in a compact space. While this consolidation has been great for service and engine packaging, it is a problem when that single belt decides to retire. Having the exact replacement belt already on hand means only needing to take time to install it.
Nobody ever thinks of their windshield wipers until they are barely pushing water off the glass and falling apart. Windshield wipers are extremely easy to replace, usually in just a few minutes. Pick up a pair of new wipers and tuck them away in your vehicle. When that big rain storm hits and your old wipers fail, you’ll be glad you have a spare set. Just remember to buy the correct length for your vehicle, and that sometimes the driver and passenger side wipers are different lengths.
Brake light bulbs
A blown brake light bulb is a serious safety issue. Your vehicle may have a handy brake light warning system that alerts you when a bulb goes out. If not, there is a simple method to check your brake lights by yourself but you will need a ground level window located in front of a parking spot. Simply back into the parking spot while watching your rearview mirror. You should have a perfect view of your tail lights and know instantly if a spare bulb is needed. Consult your owner’s manual to find out exactly how to replace your brake light bulb.
It may seem like headlight bulbs only blow at night, but that’s because you only need them at that time. A blown headlight bulb is usually easy to diagnose, you simply won’t be able to see well in the dark. You may also have fogged headlight lenses, but that is another article. Buy a pair of headlight bulbs now and you won’t have to worry about reduced night vision.
Our chosen spare parts you should buy before you need them are all fairly compact and can be easily stowed in your vehicle if you are creative. The glove box and center console are obvious storage spots, as well as a corner of the trunk. Some vehicles have a spare tire well that is great for stashing spare parts or supplies. The idea is to keep your spare parts safely tucked out of the way until the day you need them.
Check out all the maintenance parts available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on spare parts you should buy before you need them, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of his many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.