Category Archives: Car Safety Tips

Adapted Vehicles

Having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t drive. There are many ways to adapt your car to your needs.

What are Adapted Vehicles?
Depending on their specific needs, people with disabilities can often drive safely by making modifications or adding adaptive equipment to their vehicles. With the improvement and increase in technology, the number of people using adapted vehicles has also increased.

Are people with disabilities allowed to drive a vehicle in India?
A person with a physical disability can get a driving license in India depending on their physical capacity and what is the equipment needed to assist them. According to the Motor Vehicles Bill in 2019, those with mental health issues, are visually or hearing impaired, or have limited motor skills, may not be eligible. People suffering from loco-motor disabilities are eligible to drive an Invalid Carriage if the licensing authority is satisfied that they are fit to drive one.

Getting a license:
As per current guidelines, a differently-abled person is required to pass both the written and practical tests. They have to get their modified vehicle approved by the concerned RTO (Road Transport Office) to ensure it meets safety and emission requirements. Once approved, the person may apply for a driver’s license and submit a disability certificate along with it. They cannot be denied the opportunity to apply for a permit or license because of age or disability.

But despite having these guidelines in place and the attempt to make the process easier, nearly 80% of disabled drivers do not have a licence because of various difficulties in obtaining one. We can only hope this changes in the near future to give everyone in our society equal opportunities and inclusivity.

Tips to Minimize Wear and Tear on Your Car

Preventative care, careful driving and regular maintenance all contribute to your car’s longevity, making it stay longer on the roads than in a garage. Proper care also helps you save a lot of money in the long run. Here are a few tips on how to make sure the wear and tear in your car is minimized.

Stick to your maintenance routine:
Familiarize yourself with your car’s maintenance schedule and stick to it. As your car age, more maintenance is required and car manufacturers always recommend regular service intervals. If you don’t do a regular service on your car, you run the risk of causing damage to your engine and other parts because service centres know what needs to be checked and replaced with time, such as spark plugs, oil, filters, etc.

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Never miss an oil change:
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine and over time the motor oil begins to degrade and lose its lubricating and cooling properties potentially damaging metal-on-metal contact. Regularly changing your oil and filter can save you in the long run, the failure of which could have you replacing your whole engine!

Warm-up!
Everyone is always in a hurry and it’s not uncommon to want to jump into our cars and rush off. But experts recommend that it is important to give your engine a minute or two to warm up. This helps your engine oil heat up and lubricate all the parts. It’s also best to avoid higher RPMs and speeds until the engine is properly warmed up and running at normal temperature.

Give your brakes a break:
Prolong the life of your brake pads and discs by easing up on constantly using them. The safest way to do it is by slowing down. The faster you drive, the more you will need to step on the brakes sharply. Keep a safe distance between the vehicle in front of you, which will give you more time to come to a slower stop without having to jam on the brakes often.

Use the parking brake:
A better option is to engage the parking brake when you stop. First, step on your brake pedal and then engage your parking brake; put the car into park and release your foot off the pedal. This will prolong your car’s transmission allowing the parking brake to take the car’s weight and not the transmission.

The RPM Gauge and ‘Redlining’

All cars come with multiple dials on its dashboard. While most of us are familiar with the fuel gauge and the speedometer, there is that one other dial that’s a bit more complicated – the tachometer or RPM gauge. So, what exactly is a tachometer? By definition: It is an instrument which measures the working speed of an engine, typically in revolutions per minute (RPM). In short, it helps inform us how fast the engine is turning and rotating. The tachometer aims to read the rotation of the engine’s crankshaft and it also lets you know when to shift.

These days, cars with automatic transmissions are slowly discontinuing tachometers, but they are an absolute necessity in manual models to let drivers know when there is a problem with the transmission as well as precisely when to shift.

What is ‘redlining’?
You will also notice that compared to a speedometer, the RPM gauge displays smaller numbers such as 1-8, with red lines on the higher digits. These red lines are the danger zones for your engine. When you fail to shift to a higher gear, the needle moves to the red line. If your tachometer reaches these red levels, it can cause overheating and excessive wear on the engine. But although some believe this will cause your engine to explode, all modern cars incorporate a fuel cut-off that will stop an engine from reaching the point where it could cause permanent damage, typically just past the redline itself. The tachometer is just a way to tell you that your engine has reached its maximum RPMs. The best way to avoid this is by shifting gears within the range of your engine’s maximum performance whenever possible.

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What happens if you redline?
The red lines are there for a reason; but if you do accidentally end up in the red for a fleeting instant, you have little to worry about as long as you don’t do it again. You could also book a check-up for your car if you’re worried.

Prevention:
Most cars these days have a rev-limiter built-in and prevent you from redlining by setting up the system to cut off the fuel flow to the engine, or to disable the ignition system until the engine falls to a safer speed. The safest bet, however, is to avoid over-speeding the engine and not upshifting the gear.

When is the right time to change your oil, and why?

Your car’s engine oil varies depending upon the vehicle model. You need to replace the oil at least once after a year has passed for normal cars, and after 6 months for turbo-engine cars. This is because engine oil deteriorates faster if the car is driven at high speed, due to friction. But as engine oil deteriorates over time, it is also necessary to change the oil element according to the period of use as well.

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Severe Condition:
In this case, there is a need to replace the engine oil earlier than the recommended period. If you are driving in the mountain tracks or rough roads for a longer period, this will put the car in a severe condition. Also, if you are driving in the city repeatedly, to your work or shopping, it is one of the reasons that result in a severe condition.

Normal Operation:
In this case of normal operation, there is no particular problem in the oil change and it depends on the driver who drives the car in a manual speed and with the proper driving.

Not Too Much Driving:
In this case, you need to replace the oil at least once a year for normal cars, and after 6 months for turbo-engine cars. If you drive your car once in a blue moon like 1-3 times a month the engine oil deteriorates and the mileage is also reduced. And if you are a diesel engine user then you will be facing an ignition issue as well.

High-Speed Driving:
In this case, you should replace your oil early, because engine oil deteriorates faster if the car is driven at high speed. So the deterioration of the engine oil will also increase.

It is always better if you change your car’s oil regularly as recommended by the manufacturers, as it can increase your car’s performance as well as it increases your car’s mileage.