Every day we read at least dozens of news in Kenya, on deaths due to car crashes or hitting with another vehicle. We lose a major number of lives due to rash or careless driving. This not only results in a threat to our life but to our dream rides as well. Our driving expert has compiled a set of 12 major safety and car maintenance tips while driving on road in Kenya.
1. Never race the car’s engine during startup
Most of the car owners have a misconception that a car needs warm up only during winters. We just turn the key and expect that our vehicle is ready to drive regardless of fact that this will consume more fuel to ignite the engine, compromising the vehicle of the vehicle and thus, shortening its age. So, it is advised not to race your engine during a startup.
2. Avoid driving at high speed
It is strongly recommended by the car manufacturers that drive slowly during extreme weather conditions. Try to avoid high speeding and even accelerating quickly during too hot days or even in too cold weather.
3. Examine the power-steering fluid
Always use the power-steering fluid as recommended by the manufacturer. Once a month, check its level and if there is a drop in its level, it may damage the power-steering pump making it difficult to steer. It might be possible that there is any leakage in the pump and hoses. Also, get them inspected. You can easily replace the fluid from nearby automotive supply stores.
4. Keep an annual check on Coolants:
We speak to our automotive expert who said,
“Flushing out the coolant every 2 years is good for the cooling system of your car. Over time, it degrades and eventually becomes toxic and thus, may cause overheating and damage your radiator.”
To flush it, firstly drain the old coolant and then fill it with distilled water and add new coolant fluid to it. Dilute the fluid with a ratio of 50:50.
Always fill the coolant to the mark level.
5. Do Not Mix the Coolants:
Many customers usually call us and ask what would it impact my cooling car if I mix the coolants? or “I lastly purchased an orange colored coolant. This time, it is green. Can I mix them?”
We really want to explain this to you that when you intermix two different coolants of different colors, they make a gel-like substance which is too thick to do its job. It can even result in excessive heating of the engine which can damage the engine itself. So, avoid mixing the coolants. Try to buy the coolants recommended in your car’s manual.
6. Maintain the battery:
It is very important to take care of the car battery to extend its life in the long run. An average life of a car battery ranges between 2 to 5 years. So, if you want the battery life last longer, follow these precautions:
Check your battery regularly. Inspect the battery case for damages. Any cracks, if found is an indication that it needs to be replaced.
Keep your battery clean. This can control the corrosion and extend its life.
Always turn off the lights when you exit the car. If you forgot to turn off the lights, it will drain the battery.
Try to limit the nearby drives. If you can walk through your nearby destinations, it will prevent your battery from being drained.
Limit the use of Radio, Air Conditioner, and even cell phone charging if it’s already on a heavy load.
7. Check tire pressures:
In order to ride smoothly, right tire pressure is important for every car. If you are unaware of this, check your owner’s manual. You will find the recommended pressure for your vehicle. Once a week, check the tire pressure. Never inflate it to the maximum PSI. It impacts the comfort and handling characteristics. Apart from this, tire pressure has a great impact on the fuel economy as well as the life of the tires. Always go for the optimum tire pressure.
8. Clean Your Wheels:
You must have seen brake dust on the wheels of your car. This is caused by the eroding of cast iron brake rotor. Car washing liquid is not enough to clean the stains left due to this abrasion. Make sure you buy the right cleaner as per your car wheels. In the market, two types of formulations are sold: one for metal wheels, and others for painted or clear-coated wheels. Buy the right one and clean the brake dust off your car’s wheels.
8. Air Filter:
An air filter needs to be replaced after every 12 months. It is advised to check the air filters once after driving at least 6,000 miles. This will not cost anything but in return, will surely save you from expenses if ignored.
9. Windshield Wipers:
Dirty or strained wiper blades may blur the car front. if not properly cleaned or maintained. Wiper maintenance is very easy. Inspect the windshield wiper blades for cracks or faded color. It might be happening due to the extremity in temperature. This means an exposure to UV rays for a long time, excessive rainfall, snow etc. Ifyes, replace those windshield wipers.
Another method is to keep the wiper blades clean. Dirt and dust that accumulates on the blades can corrode the rubber of the blade, shortening its lifespan, as well as leaving smears on the windshield with each wipe. Clean the wiper blade with a clean cloth along every three months to remove the buildup dirt.
10. Check the spark plugs:
The condition of the spark plugs directly impact the performance of the engine. If the spark plugs are weak or bad, they may create problems like misfires, lack of acceleration or even worse is high fuel consumption. It is better to examine the spark plugs on time. Typically, spark plugs need to be replaced after about 30,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for the limit given. If it hits 80,000 miles, mileage and car performance will suffer.
Although it’s not a tough task, still if you are not good into this, call the technician and let him handle this. Before it causes any damage, changes the spark plugs timely.
11. Check the Oil:
Almost all new cars have service reminder monitors these days which give an indication if the oil needs to be changed. Don’t assume it on your previous intervals. You can also check your owner’s manual for the sam3e. Experts say that you should check the oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. It also depends on the condition of the cars, how many miles they have been driven and under which conditions they are operated. Whichever benchmark you choose, make sure you follow this and get the oil changed. Choose the right oil for your car.
Whereas, an oil filter prevents your car engine’s oil from being contaminated with tiny dust particles over time. Thus, it is essential to replace the oil filter after you run around 40,000 miles. On average, an oil filter lasts for at least two to three years. Make sure you keep an eye on both, oil and oil filter.
12. Brake Pads:
You’ll need to replace most brake pads around every 20,000 miles, but as always, check your owner’s manual for specifics about your model. If you consistently drive like “stop-and-go”, you’ll need to replace the brake pads more frequently. If you’re finding it difficult, pay a professional to do it for you.
Do you have any other auto repairs that you need for your car? Car Maintenance is very important, otherwise, any carelessness might result in an accident. This will not be covered under your car insurance kenya package as servicing your car is in your own hands.
If you don’t maintain it, any loss or damage to the car will be paid from your pocket only. Inspect your vehicle every day.