Planning a road trip also includes to think about things that can go wrong and make sure you’re prepared for that. I never travel without a set of good tools and some spare parts that could help me if the Sprinter breaks down. The last thing you want 1000 miles from home is being stranded because of an issue that you could quickly fix if you just had the spare part with you.
I start with the most common issues that you could run into and if I could fix it myself with the tools that I have, I’ll try to be prepared. If the mechanical issue requires bigger machinery to fix then you’re down anyway and need to look for a local shop. So here’s what I’m travelling with:
- Tools: A full set of wrenches, screwdrivers, a ratchet with a basic set of sockets, a breaker bar and an extension pipe and a torque wrench. Also pliers. Don’t forget the 14mm Allen for the differential plugs. Gloves are always a good idea to keep your hands clean. All that is wrapped into a tool roll [@eBay] to save space.
- Spare radiator cap. That’s a no brainer for me: Cheap part that is available at every car parts store but that doesn’t help if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.
- A set of front and rear wheel bearings. Definitely a bigger job for a road side fix but better safe than sorry.
- Serpentine belt. One of the easy fixes on the side of the road.
- Oil and fuel filter. The oil filter is probably not necessary but the fuel filter definitely is. Changing that is easy to do and a clogged fuel filter can ruin your day.
- Fuses: You can do without but they are light weight. In most cases you would need to track down the issue that blew the original fuse in the first place.
- Tape: Electrical tape to fix broken cables. Duct tape for McGyver style fixes. Self bonding super tape: that stuff is amazing and can help you to fix holes in radiator hoses to get you to the nearest car part stores to get a replacement hose.
- Engine Oil. You don’t want to drive with a low oil level and the right type of oil might not be available at the next gas station.
- Code reader: I travel with an Autel MD802 [@eBay] which can read most of the Sprinter specific error codes. More pricey that your average code reader but still cheaper than the Mercedes specific readers.
- To fix electrical gremlins: A volt meter. a cheap one will do the job just fine.
- Last but not least: a service manual on my computer to have all the instructions handy.
So, what’s in your spare parts box? Let me know in the comments below.
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