Let’s talk some things that every driver must know about his car. And discuss some facts and myths as well to keep you rolling whenever you’re out on roads.
A well maintained car is something with is not only pleasurable, tension free but comfortable and safer as well. Check regularly for following things:
> Engine Oil level
> Coolant level
> Brake Fluid level
Battery water is equally important, make it a monthly exercise. Have a look around your car every second morning, check for the following things:
> Check Tyre pressure
> Look out for dents and scratches
> Check for oil leaks, if any, get it repaired
> Check for Coolant leak
> Check for Brake Fluid leak, not only under the engine compartment but also near wheels
> Turn on all the lights and make sure that no bulb is fused or malfunctioning
> Operate all the door locks once
> Check for smooth operations of Clutch, Accelerator pedal, Brake pedal and Steering wheel
After all these things, check the wipers and see if they have cracks, also keep the wind shield washer liquid filled keep adding water at frequent intervals. Always adjust ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirrors) and IRVM (Inside Rear View Mirror). Keep them clean as well, all the mirrors and glasses must be kept clean to keep the visibility enhanced of the driver and the passengers.
Never keep the tank full, half amount is just okay because the more fuel you carry, the more weight the engine has to pull, so get the tank half filled, try car pooling because no matter how costly fuel gets we won’t stop travelling but solo driving is quite boring, make it fun with friends or colleagues. If travelling isn’t possible like that, use other means of transport like Mass Transit Systems or motorcycles. Cars are safer but fuel prices are equally important so is heavy traffic. Avoid all these things if possible.
Sometimes, we all love to have a date with our lovely car, some deserted place or finely carved out highway on some mountain. Well, if you love to go to such places, we won’t stop you, but here are a few things which can help you to not to get stuck anywhere in the middle of your date:
> Always keep an eye on the fuel gauge and the interval at which fuel pumps fall
If on mountains or ghats, use engine as much as possible, engine not only helps you slow down but also keeps the brakes under normal working temperature. Hot brakes fade out and decrease the braking efficiency.
> Use lights to signal instead of horns, on curved roads the others may not get an idea from where the sound is coming, anyway the sound on such a beautiful day doesn’t makes sense, peaceful environment is what we go out for. If you still can’t manage to drive without horn, remember If you can drive without headlights you are a good driver, if you can drive without horn, you are a better one. Be a better one and not a good one.
> Never cross a flooded bridge, no matter how short span it has, water’s might is something which mustn’t be under-estimated at any cost.
> Drive carefully in the cross winds same way, everything that Nature has given us, to support our lives, can kill us more quickly.
> Terrain is equally important, no matter what tyres you use, no matter how costly they are, under loose terrain they skid, under wet road conditions they skid, under hard braking they skid. Since we have most of the roads of tarmac it’s quite easy to judge how loose the surface is or how clean it is, try to drive away from the centre line of the road, road has banking to dry it as quickly as possible, drive on the ‘existing tyre lines’ made by other vehicles, the centre line of the road gets slippery due to the divider marking and the side of the road gets slippery due to lesser tyre movement.
> Judgment is quite important, since we Indians tend to follow less traffic rules (many are not even bothered) keep judging and interpreting those who are ahead of you and those who are following you, an alert driver with normal brakes can make a complete halt before an unattentive one with Anti-lock Braking System, maintain enough distance as well.
Also, whenever you see boulders on road, try completely avoiding them instead of keeping them in the centre, no matter if you have Hummer or Toyota Fortuner, laden ride height is lower than ground clearance of the car. It also changes while accelerating and decelerating.
These days, dacoits are quite common on highways and they have found a great way to stop a car, they throw eggs on the windshield and panicking driver tries to wash it with wiper liquid which is a wrong way to counter such condition, instead, the windshield must be left untouched until you reach a safer spot else the water when mixed with eggs, turns white and bars the visibility up to 95%.
I would also recommend to avoid night journeys, not only because of dacoits but also because of headlight distraction, most drivers love to drive with high beam, also known as ‘upper’, I will never know the love for it, many motorcycle manufacturers these days adjust the beam so that it goes up in the sky with a pillion on board, that’s even pathetic. Drive with low beam, your car has headlight leveling device, adjust the beam height so that you can drive comfortably at around 80 kph on highways at night, any faster speed can be lethal or hazardous and over speeding not only consumes more fuel but more time as well (that’s another story and we’ll talk about it later sometime). Try maintaining a steady speed of; say 80 kph instead of doing a 0-100-40-60-100-60-80….. And so on because it’s average speed which gets us on destination on time and not top speed.
We at MotorBash.com, would love to hear more from you on this, we have kept it short so that we can post another installment of this safety document, we love to see drivers and riders performing safely, India has changed a lot when it comes to mobility, now vehicles are not just something to commute from point A to B but also a stuff for enjoyment and fun, let’s keep it healthy. Next time we will talk about Alcohol and drugs and driving and the after effects. Till then, drive safe, wear seat belts and helmets, and respect other riders and drivers out on road.