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    Thread: Car Care - Tips and Tricks

    1. #1

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      Nithin's Avatar
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      Car Care - Tips and Tricks

      Please post small tips and tricks about Car Care.

      Let this thread be an answer bank for all who drive/own a car and have common or silly questions in their mind which some of them are hesitant to ask or dont want to ask.

      Let us not be constraint on How to take care of your car.

      This can also have How to drive, How to Park. Road safety tips etc..
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    2. #2
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      Basics first.

      Idle a car for about 5min in the first start of the day<morning>

      Dont powershift when not needed.

      Be linear in the throttle inputs.

      Drive with common sense,give way to fast vehicles as well as morons,use 2nd gear while coming down from ghat roads.

      honk when in doubt

      Beware of lady drivers.

      Switch off the headlights and ac when switching off the car and repeat when starting.

      On the highway ,brake before you enter a curve.

      Many more to come sometime tomorrow.

    3. #3

      not aware that he can set his status here!
       
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      Get the car serviced regularly.. Very important.

      Last time i went to drop off the Accord for service, there was a bloke in a CR-V who came to get his cars FIRST service done at some 24k kms. He simply didn't know a regular service was required and he skipped the previous two services that had to be done. There goes his warranty LOL! He probably deserved it anyway.
      02' Honda City VTEC
      04' Skoda Octavia vRS
      08' Honda Accord 2.4L
      08' Volkswagen Passat
      10' BMW 320d

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      Signal Warnings - For Service

      Most of us know what our different warning lights are for on the dashboard - and if you don’t, it’s time to read up your car owner’s manual to find out! Well, these warning lights do have their everyday purposes. However, car manufacturers often incorporate different signals or purposes in a single indicator light, usually to indicate when there’s a part of the car that needs servicing or repair. As a safe and responsible driver, with the lives of you, your loved ones and other road users at stake, it’s your job to know your car and interpret what these different warning lights mean.

      The first step is to read your owner’s manual or go through it with a friend or mechanic until you understand what each warning light does, and what you would do in response. Then if something does happen, you’re ready and won’t waste time or risk dangerous situations.

      The Engine Light

      If the “engine” light comes on, pull over and turn off your car. This light combines oil pressure and water temperature, so it may be an oil pressure loss - meaning your oil pressure (maybe the level) is too low, or your pressure indicator isn’t working, so it’s transmitting the wrong message. If the oil pressure is low, your engine may be leaking the oil or burning it - important to check out. Maybe you need to switch to a different oil.

      If you have a “check engine” or “power loss” light that comes on, get it checked out with a mechanic. It may not be an emergency, but it does reflect a problem with the computerised engine controls - time to get professional help.

      The Stop Light or The Park Light.

      Normally, the “brake” light usually means that - oops! You’re driving with the parking brake on. However, it can also mean that you have low brake fluid, or your braking system is malfunctioning. Definitely something to check out and service!

      Most people react quickly when the alternator light comes on anyway, since it can mean your battery is not recharging and it will soon go flat. However, if your alternator voltage checks out ok, it can indicate a loose drive belt instead, so have your mechanic look into that.

      Fast Blinking Indicators

      One common feature is the indicator light signal sometimes blinks very rapidly, compared to its normal speed. This can indicate a few things - the indicator light bulbs may not be working or may not be the correct type/wattage for the car, or the wiring may have loosened. A simple test - turn on your car, and then turn on your lights. Push the turn signal lever to the side that is blinking fast. Then get out of the car and check your front and back signal lights, and replace the one that isn’t coming on.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    5. #5

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      ConFUSEd -- The Electrical System

      The electrical system in your vehicle is something you never think about until something goes wrong. Wipers stop wiping. Blowers stop blowing. Mirrors stop adjusting. Then what? Any number of things could cause an electrical component to fail, but if something that was working fine quits suddenly, suspect a blown fuse. The good news is replacing a fuse is something you can easily do.

      Anything that runs on electricity requires a complete circuit to operate. Vehicles have fuses built into these circuits to prevent potential damage to electrical components from power overload. Inside every fuse is a wire designed to separate in two when a damaging level of power courses through it. When a fuse "pops," the circuit is broken and the electricity no longer gets where it's supposed to go.

      The most important thing to remember when replacing a fuse is to always replace one fuse with another of the same power rating. Think of the electrical system like plumbing, and the fuse as a pipe. Too small a pipe will not let enough water through and the pipe will burst. Too large a pipe will allow too much water and through and cause damage. The same holds true for fuses.

      Modern automotive fuses are both color and number coded, which makes correct selection an easy task. Fuses also come in different physical sizes, as well as power ratings. Today's vehicles by and large use either a maxi, or mini blade-style fuse.

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      Older vehicles used a cylindrical glass and steel fuse. No matter what style of fuse they all perform the same function.

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      Finding out what kind of fuses your vehicle has is as easy as finding the fuse block. Consulting your owner's manual is a good place to start. In general, fuse blocks are either located under the dash to the left of the steering wheel, in the engine compartment, or both. Fuse blocks often have a cover that needs to be removed to access the fuses.

      Either on the cover or on the block itself is often a guide to which fuse does what. If your wipers have stopped wiping, look for the word "wipers" or the handy diagram that looks like a windshield wiper. If your tunes have gone out, then look for "radio" or a picture of a radio-and so on. Also in this cover, if you're lucky, are a few extra fuses and a pair of fuse pliers! If not, be sure to pick up an extra pair at the store for future use.

      Once you have figured out which fuse to replace, use fuse pliers or, in a pinch, a set of needle nose pliers to remove and replace the blown fuse with one of the same size and rating. The good news is the fuse did its job; so did you, and you're done. The bad news is that even though fuses sometimes wear out on their own, if the fuse "pops" again as soon as you put it back in or try to use that component again, you most likely have a short or more serious electrical problem.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    6. #6

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      Pay Attention !!

      One reason that some people are hesitant about getting a car, is that they worry about having to pay for car repairs. Not to worry though. Car repairs don't involve some big unpredictable, uncontrollable figure - unless, of course, you have accidentally bought a lemon. Fortunately most car repairs tend to involve the same issues, so they are sometimes easy to foresee, and find a mechanic to fix.

      Brakes

      One of the most common repairs needed are the brake system. No surprise here since we use our brakes continuously, especially in city driving and stop-and-go traffic. It's important not to stinge on brake repairs since they are part of your car's safety system. If you feel like your brakes aren't functioning properly, then head down to your mechanic's and get them looked at.

      Tyres

      Tires are another common component featured in workshop visits. Many drivers are unaware of this, but you can make your tires last longer and reduce the need for tire changes, with one simple step - keep your tires properly inflated. According to MSNBC, about one-third of light trucks and one quarter of all vehicles have under-inflated tires. Aside from increased wear and tear as well as reduced fuel efficiency, under-inflated tires can be dangerous - they can also lead to added pressure, shredding or blowouts. Once you know that your tire needs changing, however, don't put it off - driving with worn tires can lead to accidents.

      Oil Changes

      One of the more frequent auto repairs involves motor oil. Find out from your mechanic what the best oil is for your car, depending on make/model, age and driving habits. If your car is going through too much oil, too soon, you may want to check if there is a leak in the system or the type of oil needs to be changed. Without oil, your car won't run properly, so check the oil level regularly and top up when it's needed.

      Other common auto repairs involve the cooling system (radiator), ignition / electronic controls, steering / suspension, fuel system, transmission / clutch / rear axle, air conditioning and exhaust system.

      Watch-out !

      Now that you know what the most common problems are, you probably want to find ways to minimise them from turning into bigger problems. The first thing to do is get to know your car. What should it look, sound, smell and feel like if all these areas are functioning properly? Conduct your own regular visual checks and be attentive to any strange new noises. Are your brakes squealing strangely? Do you have to press harder to stop the car, compared to before? Learn to tell when something is acting up. Then you can fix the problem before something goes seriously wrong and will cost more to repair - or perhaps even cause an accident.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    7. #7

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      Stop !!!!!!!!!!!

      Your vehicle's brake system is one of those things you only think about when it fouls up (or you do). A general understanding of your vehicle's brake system can save you money, and may allow you to drive more safely and save a lot more than just cash. After all, the more you know, the better you can care for your car.

      Ask any of your physicist pals, and they'll tell you that brakes convert the kinetic energy of vehicle motion into heat. Translation: Brakes stop the car, or more accurately, brakes stop the wheels. There's a big difference, because the most powerful brakes in the world will not stop your vehicle effectively if the road surface has little or no traction. Mash the brake pedal and the wheels will stop turning sure enough, but the vehicle will skid along happily. You, on the other hand, will be a lot less happy. Many drivers tend to think of a skid as "brake failure" when in fact the situation is really a failure of the driver to understand the traction conditions and to drive accordingly.

      The typical passenger-vehicle brake system is relatively simple. When you step on the brake pedal, the force your leg exerts is applied to a device called a master cylinder. The master cylinder contains a piston that pressurizes a network of hydraulic brake lines that lead to each of the vehicle's wheels. At each wheel, that brake fluid pressure operates the brakes by driving pistons that force replaceable linings against a rotating drum or disc. Friction is what slows the wheel, and in turn, the entire vehicle.

      When the friction material (a.k.a. pads, linings, shoes) is almost worn out, metallic tabs are designed to create a squealing noise when the brakes are applied to (hopefully) alert the driver that the brake linings are due for replacement. Heed the warning. Worn linings have less fade-resistance than new linings. Plus, if you ignore the warnings long enough, you can do costly damage to the rotors, drums and other components. Even with regular replacement of the linings, some additional service is typically required over the long haul. The surfaces of drums and discs wear unevenly in normal use and eventually need to be re-machined to work properly.

      All modern braking systems are many times more powerful than the vehicle's engine, so at full throttle, even a very powerful vehicle can be easily stopped with the brakes. All vehicles also have a parking brake (sometimes called the emergency brake) that works independently of the regular brake system. The parking brake typically acts on only the rear wheels and is mechanically operated to work in case of a hydraulic problem with the regular service brakes.

      So, are you ready to stop now?
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    8. #8

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      Clean Air !

      Air + Fuel, BANG, and we have combustion, the moving force behind our vehicle. But before the air reaches our engine; it’ll have to be sucked in through the air filter. Why do we add a filter in between and cause more restriction to the flow of air? Because the filter’s job is to remove solid contamination's such as dirt, dust, and metal particles from the air before it causes any damage to the piston and cylinder wall surfaces in the engine. The more dirt and contamination the filter can trap and hold and the lesser the restriction of airflow, the better.

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      In almost all combustion engines today, all air entering the piston chambers have to pass through the air filter before it enters the engine. Over time, accumulated dirt and debris trapped by the filter will restrict the flow of air. The filter should be cleaned or replaced before it reaches this point because the more restrictive it is, then the less efficient our engine becomes. If an air filter is almost completely clogged, the vehicle might not be able to start, or it might even breakdown halfway through the journey. This is because the engine needs air to combust, and without it, the fuel alone can’t be ignited.

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      While it is acceptable that vehicle owner manual states that air filters be cleaned every service, and replaced every year; professional technicians recommend that the air filter be inspected at every service, and replaced if necessary, even if it has not reached a year of use. This is because every individual have different driving behaviors, and we drive in different environments, thus the air filter might face premature wear and tear. Why risk inefficient filtering, and contaminate your engine with dust and dirt?

      Make sure you get the correct air filter for your car make and model. Be sure to follow the application listing in the air filter supplier's instructions. Be sure not to match filters by external appearances alone. While a filter may look the same, it may not filter as well, or have an inefficient air flow.

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      There are many aftermarket performance air filters in the market these days that claim an increase of performance for your vehicle. While some of these performance claims may hold true, it is uncertain if these filters do a better job of trapping contaminants in the air from entering your engine. In addition, vehicle manufacturers have the rights to void the warranty on your car should your engine fail after using these aftermarket air filters. It is vital to remember that the main function of an air filter is to trap contaminants, and in most cases, the original air filter offers the best protection for your engine.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

    9. #9
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      superb nitin. Thanks for all the info and good thread
      Try walking into YOUR car rather than crawling. For me walking is always best ---GURU SHISHIR

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      Slow Down – When Its Raining.

      Hydroplaning (called aquaplaning in Europe and Asia) occurs when water on the road accumulates in front of your vehicle's tyres faster that the weight of your vehicle can push it out of the way. The water pressure can cause your car to rise up and slide on top of a thin layer of water between your tyres and the road. While hydroplaning, your vehicle rides on top of the water, like a water skier on a lake. In less than a second, your car can completely lose contact with the road, putting you in immediate danger of sliding out of your lane. Try to imagine your vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on a sheet of ice: that image approximates what will happen if you try to brake or steer while hydroplaning.

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      The 3 main factors that contribute to hydroplaning:

      • Vehicle speed. As speed increases, wet traction is considerably reduced. Since hydroplaning can result in a complete loss of traction and vehicle control, you should always reduce speed, paying attention to the traffic around you.
      • Tyre tread depth. As your tyres become worn, their ability to resist hydroplaning is reduced.
      • Water depth. The deeper the water, the sooner you will lose traction, although even thin water layers can cause a loss of traction, including at low speeds.

      How can you tell that you are hydroplaning?

      It is often hard to tell when you are hydroplaning. The rear end of your vehicle may feel a little squirrelly (loose, giving you the sensation that it has moved to one side or the other), especially in a high crosswind. The steering may also suddenly feel loose or little too easy. Watch the road ahead for standing or running water. You can also pay attention to the spray being kicked up by the cars in front. If it suddenly increases it's possible that the driver has hit a patch of water that could cause you to hydroplane.

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      What to do if you start to hydroplane?

      There are two absolutely essential no-no's to remember should you experience the beginning of hydroplaning:
      • Do not apply your brakes
      • Do not turn your steering wheel


      If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. Think of your steering wheel as the rudder of a boat (your vehicle is a boat when in the middle of a hydroplane). Hold the wheel firmly and don't steer in any other direction but straight ahead. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and your steering returns to normal. If you need to brake, do it gently with light pumping actions. If your car has anti-lock brakes, then brake normally; the car's computer will mimic a pumping action, when necessary. If your vehicle’s tyres are still in partial contact with the road surface, you should be able to regain control of the vehicle in the same way that you would on snow or ice.
      2006 May, Safari Dicor 3.0 (88,500 Kms)
      1985 Mar, Suzuki SS80 DX (47,500 Kms)

      2001, MM550 XD
      1950, Land Rover Series 1

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