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    Thread: Car Care - Tips and Tricks

    1. #11

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      Tinting Your Car

      Everyday, rays of light from the sun blasts through our windows and this poses quite a bit of a problem, as not only it literally bakes us with the heat from the infrared spectrum, but the visible light makes it difficult for us to focus on the road. And not to mention our lovely upholstery could be ruined by the UV rays.

      We cannot see infrared and UV rays with our naked eye, but it is radiated by the sun all the time. We can only see the brightness of sunlight, and feel the heat burning on our skin. In a car, coming into contact with sunlight is inevitable, as we are surrounded by the windscreen and windows, which allows sunlight and its associated rays to penetrate into the cabin easily.

      Solar control tint is the answer to reduce and reflect these rays away. The tint is simply a plastic film or metallic laminate which is applied to the laminated glass windows in the car. While the basic idea is the same, the tint films come in different compositions, causing varying effects on the optical and mechanical properties of the glass it is applied to.

      Selecting a tint is no easy matter. While price plays an important role, it is also vital to note that tinting films are not created equal. Dyed film will fade quickly due to the UV rays, while some metalized film may be an issue to contact-less parking tags or toll tags. In general, metalized films are superior to that of dyed films, both in performance and lifespan.

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      The following are the main specifications to look out for when choosing a tint film:

      VLT – Visible Light Transfer

      This figure (in %) denotes the amount of visible light transmitted by the tint film. Simply put, the higher the %, the brighter your cabin gets. Theoretically, if this figure is 100% then there will be no change to the visible light entering your cabin. Whereas if this figure is 0%, there will be absolutely no visible light entering your cabin.

      * When choosing tint films, be sure to check with your local transport authority (RTO) regarding the minimum VLT required.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      IRR – Infrared Rejection

      This figure (in %) denotes the amount of infrared rays rejected by the tint film. The higher % the better.


      UV Rejection

      This figure (in %) denotes the amount of UV rays rejected by the tint film. The higher % the better.

      TSER – Total Solar Energy Rejection

      This figure (in %) denotes the total solar energy (VLT+IR+UV) rejected by the tint film. This should be one of the main selection value to observe and used for comparison between different tint films.

      Although different tints may boast the same or similar specifications, the construction of the tint must also be taken into account. As these films are exposed to prolonged heat and rays, those with sub par construction would disintegrate quickly, effectively reducing its working lifespan and the film will soon fall short of its quoted specifications.

      A quality tint film will last longer, typically 5 years or more with a factory backed warranty which is an indication of the manufacturer’s confidence in its film. In addition, the film will stay closer to its specifications over time as it does not deteriorate as fast as sub par quality films. Thus it will be wiser to invest in a quality tint film from the beginning.

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      The benefits of installing a quality sun control film is numerous, apart from keeping the harmful UV rays at bay, it will effectively reduce the heat entering your car’s cabin, thus reducing the load on the air-conditioning unit which translates to better fuel mileage. On top of that, it will also increase the strength of the window, providing extra hold should the glass breaks in an accident. Judging from the benefits, solar control films should be one of the first items to install after purchasing a car and no motorist should be without it.
      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. #12

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      Control Your Fuel Consumption

      With the recent petrol hike in the country, many are complaining about the amount of extra money they have to spend to fill up their cars. It will be tough for the frequent traveller who spends most of his/her time in the car, especially if they don’t have any petrol allowance. Many do not know that there are few easy tips they can follow in order to save up the petrol usage.

      Drive Smoothly

      On the average, research in Australia shows that a potential 30% fuel saving between an aggressive stop/start driver and a smooth driver. So, be smart with the way you drive.

      Travel Light

      Get rid of your heavy luggage or unnecessary things from your car. Things like Cricket kit, woofer box or even your roof racks and bull bars does affect your car fuel consumption. Get rid of them if you are not using it. The lighter you travel, the more distance you can get.

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      Tyre Pressure

      Always make sure you always have the proper tyre pressure for your car. The best is to check it every once a month, but if you are a frequent traveler, it is advisable to check the pressure every 2 weeks(preferably fill it with dry air or Nitrogen). Not only will it contribute to fuel saving, it is also a safety pre-caution to yourself and the car.

      PS: Be careful about the free air available in all the fuel stations, the pressure gauge in most of these machines is not calibrated. To avoid over/under inflation, preferably carry a pressure gauge with you or use a foot pump.

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      Service Your Car

      Take good care of your car by sending it to service right on time. Get regular services as recommended by the manufacturer. Even a dirty air filter can affect your car's performance, so it's worth having these things seen to.

      Speed Control

      At city speeds, you won't save much fuel by slowing down slightly - the difference in economy between driving at 50km/h and 60km/h is negligible. But you can make a more significant saving at highway speeds - going at 110km/h will save you around 10 per cent in fuel over going at 130-140km/h.

      Choosing Your Fuel Brand

      There are so many brands for you to choose. If you decide to test and choose the best for your car, plan it properly and do it in a certain period of time. Temperature, humidity, the type of driving, and many other factors can affect your fuel consumption on a given day. So going through one tank of fuel isn't enough for accuracy. You need to monitor for 5 or 10 tanks on each fuel type to make a fair comparison.

      Once you are able to find the one that goes further, stick to it and make sure you don’t change the brand regularly. The deposits from different brands might effect the fuel consumption in your car.
      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

    3. #13

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      Watch Out.....Wiper Blades

      When the words high performance and automobiles are mentioned together, windshield wiper blades are not usually what immediately come to mind. The truth is that all the performance under the hood is not going to do one bit of good if forward or rearward visibility is impaired. Worn and malfunctioning windshield wiper blades can in fact be dangerous regardless of what kind of vehicle you drive. One moment of impaired vision can quickly translate into an accident. The good news is that replacing and even upgrading wiper blades takes minutes and can provide improved visibility even in the worst of weather conditions.

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      At its most basic, the windshield wiper is a thin strip of rubbery material attached to an assembly that holds the strip against the windshield. The job of the windshield wiper is to squeegee water, dirt, bugs, and the like off the windshield and clear up the forward line of vision. Rear wiper blades also come in handy to remove the same from windows facing backwards. If most of your driving is done in a temperate climate then the simplest of wiper refills or wiper blades may be the answer to your entire windshield wiper needs. If heavy rains or downright harsh weather is more the norm than upgrading to heavy-duty or higher performance wiper blades may be the better solution to seeing clearly.
      High performance wiper blades are available in the market for all types of vehicles. The most common high performance blades available here in India is the from Bosch called the Aero Twin.

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      Oddly enough, the harsh weather and extremes in heat and cold are not the main factor in wiper blade decay. Most wiper blades take their greatest amount of abuse while sitting idle baking in the hot sun. The same UV rays that make the days long and lazy in summer can cook the flexibility and usefulness out of the material the wiper blades are made of. The irony is the end of summer often brings with it some of the worst in weather. Worn blades that worked fine during the occasional summer squall or shower will usually give up their usefulness when the first storm hits.

      Don’t be lazy to change your wiper. It’s simple and easy to do it by you.
      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

    4. #14

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      High Intensity Discharge

      HID or more widely known as xenon lamps due to a gas inside the bulbs, have been growing immensely popular over the past few years, coming as standard or optional equipment on various European and Japanese cars.

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      Why is this lighting system taking over the automobile industry by storm? Apart from being brighter: at least 70% more light output than conventional halogen headlamps, it consumes only 35 watts per capsule, VS halogen’s 55 watts per bulb. In addition, it has a life expectancy of 5 times longer than standard halogen lamps (2,000 hours VS 500 hours or less).

      Click image for larger version. 

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      Did you know that, there are currently no aftermarket HID kits manufactured by major lighting companies, and they do not endorse aftermarket HID installations.


      It is very easy for a driver to distinguish a car equipped with HID or normal halogen headlamps, as HID’s lamp emits light with a slight bluish tint. HID headlamps have a longer and wider range, thus improving the driver’s fields of vision. Driver fatigue is also reduced as a road that is illuminated more brightly and widely by HID headlamps, reduces the amount of concentration needed, so drivers do not risk being weary so quickly.

      A full HID system consists of:
      • Bulb
      • Ballast
      • Ignitor (external, integrated into ballast or integrated into bulbs)
      • Reflector/Projector
      • Lens

      HID headlamps are rather sophisticated equipment. While many vendors and shops boast the facility and HID kits that can be installed to a car which does not have HID as standard, there is more to HID than just fitting a HID bulb in place of the halogen bulb. As the beam of light from a HID lamp is brighter, wider and further, the reflector or projector of the car must be aimed and aligned to ensure that it does not cause glare or affect the field of vision of other drivers on the road. The arc light source of HID headlamps is fundamentally different from that of halogen headlamps, thus HID specified optics are required to collect and distribute the light. To illustrate this point, think of it as putting on someone else’s glasses: you can probably make them fit your face, but you won’t see properly.

      Did you know that, an improperly installed aftermarket HID kit would cause danger to other road users due to the uncontrolled beams of light and glare emitted from optics which are not specified for HID usage?

      Cars that come standard with HID headlamps will usually come equipped with a lens cleaning system as well as an automatic beam leveling control. Both of these measures are intended to reduce the high-level of glare that may be caused by HID headlamps.

      Be weary of advertisements of HID kits using the name of a reputable lighting company. They are intended to give the potential buyer the illusion of legitimacy, whereas the fact is that while some of the components in these kits are manufactured by the companies mentioned, the components aren’t put to their designed or intended use. So far, none of the major HID lighting manufacturers endorse such installation of their products. The only safe and legitimate aftermarket HID headlamp system is one that replaces the entire headlamp, which includes the lens, reflector and/or projector, bulb etc. with optics designed for HID usage.

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      It is tempting for owners to upgrade their cars with HID lighting systems, but if there are no headlamp replacements from the automaker, or an optional upgrade to HID, it is better not to tamper with the lighting system at all. This is because while the driver may benefit from the advantages of HID, other road users will suffer the consequences of a bad installation, blinded by the stray beams of light and glare, which may in turn cause road accidents!
      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. #15

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      that's a good info about HID
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    6. #16

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      Hot Wheels

      One of the more common upgrades to top the list of car owners today would be aftermarket wheels. Although stock wheels that come with the car is more than adequate for daily commuting duties, aftermarket wheels offers more advantages than just aesthetics.

      Click image for larger version. 

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      These days, most car manufacturers offer alloy wheels as standard, and only a handful still offer steel rims. Unquestionably, alloy wheels are far superior when compared to their steel counterparts.

      Performance benefits of alloy wheels:

      Stronger, more durable
      Lighter, improves steering response, handling, acceleration and braking.
      Increased brake cooling, alloys are excellent conductors of heat and additionally, they can be designed to allow more cooling air to flow over the brakes
      Increased rigidity, can significantly reduce wheel/tire deflection in cornering

      There are thousands of alloy wheels to choose from, but not all alloys are created equal. It is important to note that different materials, manufacturing methods and processes practiced by different manufacturers would result in alloys of differing quality, strength and precision.

      Alloy wheels are either made of one, two or three piece construction type. One piece is as its name indicates: the wheel is made in a mold as a single piece. Two piece wheels are made of two separate pieces, the center and barrel that is either welded or bolted together. Three piece wheels consist of the center, inside rim half, and outside rim half. The pieces are bolted together with fasteners.

      The other criteria to take note is the manufacturing method, which is vital indicator of the overall quality and performance of a wheel. Generally, there are 2 types of manufacturing techniques:

      Forging

      Considered to be the ultimate manufacturing technique, forging is the process of compressing a solid billet of aluminum between the forging dies using in excess of 13 million pounds of pressure combined with heat. The result is a wheel that is very dense, very strong and therefore can be very light. However, the cost of tooling, equipment, development etc. make this type of wheel a premium, and forged wheels usually commands a high price in the market.

      Casting

      The basic idea of casting is to pour or suck molten aluminum into a mold and allow it to harden until the finished wheel is cool enough to be taken out of the mold. While it sounds simple, there are manufacturers that have developed better casting methods, and some even have proprietary techniques to further improve the quality of the finished wheels.

      Casting Vs Forging : http://www.esi-group.com/products/casti ... eTip16.pdf

      Although most of our cars will never see a race track, it is important to choose a quality wheel that is strong and durable enough to withstand the daily use and abuse on our pot-hole-ridden roads, while maintaining its precision to ensure our car handles properly.

      More Info : TYRESAVE: Technical Information - Guide to Alloy Wheels
      More info :
      AMG Australia : Specialised Alloy Whe ... formation
      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. #17

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      Fuel Saving Devices -- Should I Get One ??

      With the rise of fuel prices and reduced subsidy by the government, many motorists are looking at ways to reduce the fuel consumption of their vehicles, and make their machines more fuel efficient.

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      There are many devices in the automotive market today promising fuel saving capabilities and increased engine efficiency. Some claimed to magnetize the fuel going into your engine for a more complete combustion, others claimed to swirl the incoming air to your engine for a better and complete air-fuel mixture. These devices are further accompanied by various independent lab tests and testimonial from “users”.

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      Most of these devices claim up to X% more fuel efficiency and X% amount of more power. But by stating “up to”, even if you’re netting 0% gains, the device manufacturers are not lying, as they would claim that there are many variables in play. The fact is, it is true, there are many variables affecting fuel efficiency of an engine, factors such as driving style, air temperature, traffic conditions, general condition of the vehicle, other power usage in the car such as air conditioning and etc.

      Instead of reading all the marketing materials, we should stop for a moment and ask ourselves. If any of these fuel saving devices worked, wouldn’t automotive manufacturers buy the technology or the company behind the fuel saving device over? The automotive industry is very competitive, and they are constantly carrying out research and development to design fuel efficient cars with lower emissions. If these devices really worked, and an automotive manufacturer was to buy it over, wouldn’t that give them an advantage over all the other manufacturers? And if did indeed worked, wouldn’t automotive manufacturers fight over it? But that is not the case.

      Keep in mind that these fuel saving device manufacturers are minuscule compared to the likes of automotive giants. And the resources available to an automaker are 100 times more, not to mention they are able to hire the brightest scientists, physicists and chemists. If these devices worked, even if automakers don’t buy the fuel saving device designs, patents or its company over, they can easily design a similar device with its vast resources. Yet they did not. Surely, automotive manufacturers would test every possibility of raising the performance and efficiency of its cars. And again, that is not the case with these fuel saving devices. It is a very clear message, which is- automakers do not think it works, and it’s not worthwhile to pursue.

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      Rather than spending money on these devices that are not proven, we’re better off spending the money on quality engine oils, which will lubricate and protect our engine and keep it at an optimum condition. Using well blended petrol will ensure that the fuel fed to your engine is of premium quality to keep your engine running smoothly while cleaning your engine to maintain its peak performance.

      While there isn’t any fuel saving devices that work today, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a fuel saving device that would work in the future; there might be a possibility. But until one such device is proven and adopted by the automotive industry, we should examine these devices with considerable skepticism.

      So let the buyer beware.

      More Info : Fuel saving gadgets - a professional engineer's view
      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. #18

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      Lifeline........ Or Brake Lines

      The braking system in a vehicle usually consists of the brake discs, brake pads, brake callipers, brake fluid and brake lines. In the system, one of the weakest links is the brake lines.

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      With the varying pressure in the brake system, the brake lines undergo a tremendous amount of stress, especially during sudden or emergency braking. The last thing we want is for them to deform and flex under such situations. If they do, we would lose brake pressure, and in turn, lose braking power.

      A Tiny cut or leak that allows brake fluid to escape from the brake lines is sufficient to disable the entire braking system.

      Generally, our vehicles come equipped with standard rubber hoses. These hose are usually made with three parts. On the inside, a corrosion and brake-fluid resistant liner is responsible to keep the brake fluid in. Next, a steel webbed mesh is clad around the liner, giving the brake line its strength to resist from bulging and deforming. Finally, around the outside is a thicker rubber coating which serves to weatherproof the steel mesh and protect it from the harsh environment.
      Rubber deteriorates over time, resulting in the rubber hose deforming and flexing, losing brake fluid pressure and resulting in a loss of braking power. Thus, it is vital to have the brake lines inspected by trained technicians during the vehicle’s periodical service. As brake lines are inexpensive, it would be advisable to have them replaced every two years or three years, even if it appears to be fine. A fresh set of brake lines would definitely recover any loss of braking power, and provide a peace of mind.

      More Info : S2000 brake hose replacement
      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. #19

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      How to remove window tinting ??

      When old window tint starts to bubble, the glass looks like it has nasty tumor. Light splotches disbursed over dark tint give the car that urban-beater attitude - whether that's your intent or not.

      The typical warranty on window film is two or three years against cracking, bubbling or de-laminating. The tint's adhesive eventually dries out, at which point bubbles start to appear.

      You may be tempted to try to repair the damage, but one bubble indicates that the glue is nearing the end of its life cycle. Instead, remove all of the film. This will save time and money whether or not you intend to re-tint the glass yourself or take it to a shop.

      No special tools or talent are necessary to remove old window film. All you need are a few household items and a sunny day. The operation shown here applies to all tinted windows, particularly ones that have defroster lines, which can be damaged by razor blades. As such, heat and chemicals are the best ways to proceed on this type of glass. This rear-windshield job took about an hour and a half.

      Step 1

      Old tint can be removed with common household items, including black trash bags, ammonia, steel wool/Scotch brite and a razor blade or knife.

      Step 2

      Spray the window's exterior with soapy water, cover it with a black trash bag, smooth the plastic flat, then trim the bag to fit the glass. This will absorb heat, which makes the film expand so that both layers will peel off together.

      Step 3

      Inside, protect any close-by upholstered surfaces, and then spray the window film with undiluted ammonia. Make sure to spray all the way to the edge.

      Step 4

      Trap the ammonia against the tint with another trash bag or, for small windows, plastic wrap. Then let the window bake in the sun for about an hour to soften the tint's adhesive.

      Step 5

      Lift a corner of the film with a fingernail or, failing that, a razor blade. Be careful not to nick the defroster lines. The film should peel off in whole pieces; keep the tint moist with ammonia as you strip. Use a razor blade to scrape off any tint that didn't peel.

      Step 6

      Remove glue residue with ammonia and 0000 (Super Fine) steel wool or Scotch Brite, wiping with paper towel as you go before the ammonia dries. Finish by removing the exterior trash bag and cleaning both sides of the window with glass cleaner.

      More info : How to Remove window tinting from car windows Page 1
      More info : Window Tinting removal Info
      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

    10. #20

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      One of the most useful and excellent topic in this forum . Good going Nithin :handgestures-thumbup: .
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