There are two popular bumper stickers that never fail to make you smile. The first states ‘the car in front is always a Toyota’. The second is often on a smaller car, like a Suzuki Alto or Starlet. It says ‘when I grow up, I want to be …’ then inserts a photo of a huge 4WD from the same manufacturer. They make us smile – even laugh – because they’re true, so we can all connect with them on some level.
The ubiquity of Japanese vehicles on the road isn’t restricted to small hatchbacks and off-roaders. The heavy vehicle market is full of Japanese vehicles too, from Mitsubishis to Hinos. This makes their truck spare parts easy to find. Supply drives demand, and there are numerous parts suppliers. Not all of them are reliable though, so you need to find the right one.
Find the right seller
A good parts supplier will often have a verifiable partnership with the original manufacturers they stock. They will have a vast number of branches, evenly spread out to service all parts of the country. They’ll probably have a vibrant online presence, a strong customer care culture, and transparency that allows you to inspect and maybe even test the parts before you buy them.
Whether you’re putting together an emergency spares kit or starting a truck parts store of your own, it helps to know the parts that most frequently need replacing. It will show you the must-have for your back room or truck tool kit. These are parts that are frequently used, so they need regular replacement. Try to get parts with a warranty, just to be safe.
There are three types of filters in any car. The cabin filter protects the car interior. It’s part of your car or truck’s ventilation system and is activated when you turn on the air conditioning or open the manual vents. The cabin filters blocks out pollen, dust, and other allergens from getting inside the car. Fuel filters keep contaminants from getting into your fuel tank and fuel lines, which could stall the car. Similarly, your air filter keeps debris out of the engine.
Filters need replacement once a year or so, which is roughly 20,000 km, though this can vary, depending on how frequently you drive and what your route is like. Buy from a reliable aftermarket manufacturer like Hengst. They provide filters that can be fitted into any car or truck without modifying it in any way, and they come with a warranty.
Headlights, taillights, and indicators need to be replaced more often than you think. You may have cracked the cover while reversing, or crumbled it during an accident. If it’s just hazy, don’t rush to replace it. You can use car detailing services that specialise in defogging lights. Some of these services are mobile detailers, so they can drive to your truck stop.
Anytime you get in or out of the truck, check your lights. It’s an easy thing to ignore, and it’s the first thing any traffic cop will look for. Don’t just check the coloured exterior. Check the bulb as well. It may have blown without you noticing, and driving in the dark with a blown bulb can have potentially lethal results, and could even cause fatalities.
A lot of the time, mechanical problems in your truck are a result of frayed or torn cables. They can cause anything from brake fluid leaks to overheating if the radiator isn’t working well. Issues with the electricals can stall your car completely. Unless you have training as a mechanic, it can be hard to tell exactly which cable has a problem. Routine inspections at the garage should include an overview of the truck’s cabling, to be sure everything is intact.
When you’re shopping for spare cables, take an expert with you to make sure you don’t get swindled. It’s a technical component, so it’s easy to be hoodwinked. If it’s not possible to take your mechanic with you, carry the part you want to replace. This way, you can carefully look at the old and new parts side by side to be sure you’re getting the right part. You could also send a photo of the replacement part to your garage for extra confirmation.