Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Tips that every driver can use

Published:Sunday | December 22, 2019 | 12:19 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Automotives Writer

A driver is only as safe as the motor vehicle he drives.

“Without an engine that operates at full efficiency, a car is a hazard on the roads and a source of stress for its driver,” warns Kurt Harding, auto mechanic. “Any motor vehicle demands steady care and full attention.”

Here are a few pointers every driver could use.

Are oil changes really that important?

“Yes,” advised Harding. “The list of parts that can wear out prematurely or fail when not lubricated is astonishing,” he says. Oil eventually ‘wears out’. Its additives get used up.

1. The camshaft and other parts can be changed when the anti-wear additive is all gone.

2. Sludge can build up fast after detergent has been used up. When the antioxidant is gone, the oil can become too thick.

3. Severe services includes those motorists who make a lot of short trips to the supermarket or the post office. In cases like these, the engine does not have time to warm up fully, and that makes for faster wear.

4. How much you drive makes a big difference. Service is usually recommended at a certain mileage or time, depending on which comes first.

5. We have to put oil in the engine and grease the chassis.

6. Lubrication is needed for the transmission.

7. Lubrication is required for the drive line, rear end, wheel bearings, speedometer cable, door locks, and striker plates.

8. Oil is needed for window mechanisms, accelerator and automatic transmission control linkage, brake cables’ brake mechanism, door hinges, and door latches.

Recommended service

9. The way you drive and the climate make a difference. For severe service, your car will need more frequent changes of oil and transmission fluid than for normal service.

What is the first thing to do if your car breaks down?

1. It may sound simple, but the point is to try to get out of the way of moving vehicles.

2. Do not remain in the middle of the road.

3. Raise your hood, and turn on the emergency flashers. You could tie a handkerchief or a piece of cloth to your door handle. If, unfortunately, you have to stop in the roadway, put up warning flares.

Is it really good or necessary for the engine to be fully warmed up for a long time before driving out?

1. ‘Warming up’ usually means letting the car sit and idle for a while.

2. However, the engine will actually get up to operating temperature faster if you start driving, making the engine do some work.

3. For both engine protection and fuel economy, start driving as soon as the oil-pressure light is out and the engine is running smoothly.

How to remember when to service that motor car

1. As a defensive driver, keep a written record of all maintenance so that you will know when to do it again. Written records may also help in the case of trade-in time or sale time.

2. Whenever maintenance work is done, write down the date, the mileage, the job that was done, and when it needs to be done again.