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December 15, 2012

Loose wheel endangers drive

(Continued)

When shopping for parts, you may find bearing and hub assemblies for as low as $60, but I’d resist the temptation. Look for a respected name part such as AC Delco, SKF, Moog, Timken, Raybestos or other recommended by a local parts house for about 2-4 times that. When it comes to parts that hold my wheels on or stop the truck, I steer clear of the cheap stuff.

NOTE: In a follow-up to the column on a trunk emergency kit, several readers offered additional suggestions. A few thought I was nuts to carry so much dead weight around; it does depend on the trip if the “B” kit gets thrown on board. Here are some great additions, as space permits:

— Will: 30 feet of rope.

— Mark and John: Lithium flashlight batteries, which last perhaps a decade.

— Neil: Prepaid phone and charger.

— William: Toilet paper, kneeling pad.

— John: Small axe or hatchet.

— Florence: Folding shovel, washer fluid, de-icer.

— Jerry: Nylon tow strap, forehead LED lamp.

— Hal: Tube of E-6000 sealer (available at craft stores; Hal says it works better than anything else he’s seen), lightweight cigarette-lighter air compressor.

— Blaine: Tire plug kit, which works better than sheet rock screws but requires tire deflation and reinflation.

Brad Bergholdt is an automotive technology instructor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, Calif. Readers may send him email at under-the-hood@earthlink.net; he cannot make personal replies.

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