4-wheel driving has become synonymous with adventure. If you own a Toyota that’s been modified for the off-road, there are few places it can’t take you to. If however, you have a Toyota that doesn’t have any add-ons and you’re looking to equip it with a few so you can take on the great Australian outback, then you’re probably looking at all the different accessories and mods available and considering which ones you should get. The truth is, there are just way too many Toyota cars parts accessories that are meant for off-roading. However, not all of them are deemed essential. While most of them will improve your experience one way or another, they might not be worth your hard-earned money…yet.
So where should you start? Which are the most important off-road Toyota cars parts accessories that you shouldn’t venture without? Obviously, the answer to these questions can depend on the type of 4×4 you intend on doing. However, there are a few accessories that you should get regardless of the type of terrain you’re trying to conquer.
The bull bar, also known as a ‘roo bar is one of the most important 4×4 accessories you can get for your Toyota. It offers front-end protection from collision by taking most of the impact. Bullbars are especially important if you intend on travelling off-road during sunrise and sunset or in open grazing areas when the risk of kangaroos passing through is high. Additionally, the bull bar is the first line of defence against small rocks, trees and logs when traversing an overgrown track. When browsing through all the different bull bars, make sure you get one with high enough ground clearance that sits low enough on the front of your Toyota to prevent restricted view and reduce reflection from the driver’s seat. The bull bar should be made of strong, durable materials such as aluminium or steel, be rust-resistant and compliant with Aussie standards. Lastly, you need to make sure the bull bar doesn’t interfere with the triggering and effectiveness of your airbags.
Chances are you and your Toyota will find yourselves stuck in a rut at one point or another during your adventures. There’s no preventing getting stuck, so you should at least make sure you’re always prepared. Having a winch and recovery tracks will ensure you’ll always get out of a sticky situation. Winches are the more expensive option out of the two, but they require less manual effort to get yourself unstuck. The winch is typically mounted on the bull bar, and you’ll need a tree or another nearby vehicle to strap onto for recovery. Recovery tracks, on the other hand, are more affordable, but you might need to dig around the tyres before placing them so that your Toyota can gain traction and momentum to get out of mud, snow or any other kind of slippery surface.
Snorkels aren’t considered a necessary accessory by many, but they’re crucial if you’re going to travel through any type of water. Every engine needs a cold air intake mechanism in order to operate properly. The air intake of 4x4s is on the inner guard or front grille, which means that when you’re travelling through rivers, creeks or beaches, water can get into the engine and damage it considerably. This is where the snorkel comes into play. Snorkels basically replace the standard air intake point and raise it significantly higher to prevent water from getting to the engine. As a result, your engine will get cooler and cleaner air, as there are fewer contaminants and dust at roof level. This also protects your air filtration system from degrading, especially when riding through dusty outback roads. The snorkel should be made from quality plastic with a decent UV rating to make sure it can withstand the harsh Australian climate.
Auxiliary lights are another must-have, especially if you plan on driving throughout the night. Many off-road tracks are so remote that there’s no light in sight. Standard 4×4 vehicles don’t provide enough light to drive through rugged tracks or the beach at night, so you rely on auxiliary lights for safety. But even if you don’t plan on travelling at night, obstacles or track detours can leave you travelling in the dark. The best auxiliary lights are those that provide you with spread and distance. You want the lights to provide you with enough illumination to brighten up your immediate area at a wider angle, but you also want them to provide you with enough illumination far ahead of you with a focused beam. LED auxiliary lights are the most popular solution, as they’re the most powerful and durable. However, LED lights are also the most expensive up front, but they last for over 50.000 working hours, which is significantly longer than what halogen, incandescent and HID lights last.