Category Archives: Cars

Seat belts – Wear them , it might save your life!

In this post, we will discuss about seat belts. In India there are several world-popular car brands available , previously only had front seat belts. And in the early 2000’s it became mandatory for manufacturers to include rear seat belts.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear Seat Belts?

Inertia – your body will stay in motion in the same direction when the vehicle stops suddenly. If you drive your car at 70km/hr then your body also travels at the same speed, if you do not buckle up your seat belts then you’re in trouble. Sudden breaking would result in you thrown against the dashboard.
People loose their lives everyday in accidents, which could have been avoided by wearing seat belts.

Continue reading Seat belts – Wear them , it might save your life!

How Often Do You Really Need To Change The Engine Oil In Your Car?

How Often Do You Really Need To Change The Oil In Your Car
How Often Do You Really Need To Change The Oil In Your Car

Our body requires air, blood, and water as essentials to live or else we will perish. Similarly, our mechanical babies, i.e., cars or more precisely, a car requires engine oil change or else we will be deprived of its smooth functioning.

How Often Do You Really Need To Change The Oil In Your Car?

Oil is required for the smooth functioning of the engine. Without the oil, the fractious rubbing of the metal generates heat which is unendurable. This ultimately causes irreparable damage to the engine and becomes a total roadblock.

What does Engine Oil Do?

The three responsibilities of engine oil are:

  • Providing lubrication
  • Transporting the harmful particles to the filter
  • Acting as a coolant

What does Old Engine Oil Do?

Remember the supplements in the dirty oil boils out and impurities form in the crankcase. This eats up the metal parts while the water which collects over a period forms mud-like deposits or most commonly known as, sludge.

The oil holds additional coarse particles of metal that are suspended in it, and these particles damage the parts of the car engine which the oil is usually supposed to protect.

What does Engine Oil Do

When to Change the Car Engine Oil?

Earlier, it was necessary to change the car engine oil and filters after intervals of every 5,000 kilometres or even less, depending on the age of the engine. The oil used for the engine, say ten years back, wore out within 5,000 kilometres.

Now, with new technologies in the assembling of automotive engines and with the vast improvements in the quality of lubricant oil, these intervals do not matter now.

In fact, with new automation invention, automakers recommend a change of oil at various levels of mileage. Nowadays, every automaker provides you with a vehicle manual which tells you the consistency of the car engine and the intervals at which you should change your car engine oil.

Some vehicles are even equipped with oil life monitoring systems. They automatically monitor the characteristics of the engine, climate, distance and the mileage.

Engine Oil Change Interval for Cars

Oil and engine technology have changed a lot.  Now, depending on the conditions of the weather and the age of the engine, the engine oil needs to be changed. If the engine oil is not changed the oil gets dirtier and dirtier and eventually no longer greases properly. This results in the increase in friction and the operating temperature which in turn wears away the engine faster.

Fresh oil is required to sustain the life of the engine since the engine is the heart of the car, so changing of oil is the most important thing that has to be done to protect the car engine.

Severe Conditions Compel More Frequent Car Engine Oil Changes

Another condition that may cause damage to the car engine includes driving in extreme heat conditions, racing down or intensive stop and go driving during rush hours, driving the car carelessly without intervals or driving through dusty paths of the country or at high altitude.

By changing your oil frequently due to the above reasons, you may double up the mileage out of a good engine.

Remedies for Excellent Engine Performance
Remedies for Excellent Engine Performance

Remedies for Excellent Engine Performance

Recent car versions have indicators that suggest a change in the engine oil. As discussed earlier, some manufacturers give precise details on the mileages for an oil change. A regular annual maintenance can keep your car in the pink of health.

Used Car Purchase – Check Points

USED CAR PURCHASE – CHECK POINTS

Cars have become part and parcel of day to day sustenance but buying one is not a takeaway for everyone. Not all are gifted to get a brand new eye-candy to boast off, and some may have to settle with second-hand products. But why should one feel bad about getting a used car if it looks good, runs well and satisfies the needs? Here are a few pointers to check on before deciding on purchasing a used car.

Preliminary considerations:

The type of car, the purse amount and the type of usage must be taken into account before deciding to go for a car.

  • The type of car would essentially mean the number of people most likely to travel in it
  • The type of usage would mean long or short drives and the type of terrain the car would be subjected to while being driven.

Once the model is fixed up in mind, second-hand purchases become quite easy because there would be a single-minded set of questions to be asked to various people regarding that model only. Always ask two or three authorised dealers before fixing on an estimate.

Open the bonnet:

 

used car purchase - open the bonnet
Used Car Purchase – Check Points : Open the car the bonnet and check for issues.

Cars appearing like this from behind might have problems in the front like this.

used car purchase - the vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car
Used Car Purchase – The vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car

So it is always better to have a compartmentalised view of the car before deciding to go for it.

Engine:
used-car-purchase-car-engine-condition-checkup
Used Car Purchase – Always check the condition of the engine

The heart of the vehicle should be checked thoroughly, mostly with the help of a mechanic or a person with adequate hands-on experience with automobiles. The flywheels would get rusty after prolonged usage. Checking the engine also means investigating every small component associated with it right from the bearings to the valves.

The belt drives associated with the engines are also mandatory checkpoints. These belts are usually toothed and hence any deformation in the tooth would mean the car has been used too much. The degree of elasticity of the belt would also transform to the quality and quantity of usage. When the belt is slightly pulled and released, the vibratory oscillations should not be more than 1 to 1.5 centimetres.

Usage and distance:

This is one important perspective while buying a second-hand car. If a car is assumed to run for about 30 kilometres a day, it would mean 30 * 365 = 10,950, which can be translated to approximately 11,000 kilometres a year. So if a car (if it is not a taxi) has run more than 75,000 kilometres (which roughly equals 7 years of usage), there are high chances that that particular model has become obsolete. So think twice before buying these kinds of models, because used cars would require a lot of maintenance (at least initially) and hence the spares should be readily available.

Appearance and body:

 

used car purchase - appearence and body condition of the car india
Used Car Purchase – Make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

The car must be examined visually and also by touch. There are certain minor bumps and dents which might not be visible to the naked eye but on sliding the hands over the exterior of the car, one might be able to sense the minor glitches.

The paint and coating also matters; if the car looks old after a sneak peek into the bonnet but it has been painted, there might be recent accidents and paints would mean effective cover-ups. So make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

Tyres:
used car purchase - check points - tyre condition
Used Car Purchase – Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement.

Tyres, which literally set the wheels in motion, are potential sources of implied information. The distances shown in the odometer of the vehicle can be duped but the tyres would show up variations. Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement. Even if the odometer is being reset (in the case of a digital one) or tampered (in the case of a mechanical type), the tyres can act as good measures of guesstimating the approximate run.

For detailed information, the owner’s service log may be examined to check the history of services. This would give a clear-cut picture of how many services the car has undergone, which would eventually decide if one can buy it or not.

Driving condition:

This is where the steering and ABC (acceleration, brake and clutch) of the vehicles come into play significantly. The gears should be shifted by keeping the clutch partially pressed (this condition is called as half-clutch position); this would indicate the smoothness of the transmission system. While shifting, if the gear lever becomes rigid, or if it is harder for shifting, then it means the transmission needs to be looked into.

Also, the vehicle shouldn’t give a rugged feel while driving. Unnecessary wobbles and a roaring noise (typically like that of a note sustained in a bass guitar) at speed ranges of 50 to 70 kilometres per hour would imply the car might cause several problems like engine failure in the near future.

The differentials of the car can be put to test by performing slight turns. If the opposite pairs of tyres (right in the case of a left turn, and left for a right turn) tend to be a bit draggy during the turn, the car might very well be towards its finals stages.

Power steerings are not susceptible to failure very easily; they usually give warning signs before they fail permanently. The initial warning signals would be a freakish screech heard every time the steering is turned to beyond 50 to 60 degrees. This is a minor stage which can be overcome by replacing the steering fluid.

Another way to know the steering effectiveness is to serve it using a single hand. If there is a difficulty in taking a 60-degree turn within 10 meters at 20 km/hr, it is a warning sign that the steering might give in.

Legal documents:

Once the deal is settled, make sure to get all the required papers like RC book, insurance documents and other ownership transfer details from the owner so as to avoid any legal disputes and issues.

Cost and quality are two factors separated by a thin line, especially in the case of used car purchase. Be informed, look close and don’t fall for word magic. Think for a second to buy a second-hand car. Vrooom !

Switched Fuels In Your Vehicle?

petrol in a diesel car engine
Switched Fuels In Your Vehicle? Did you fill up petrol in a diesel car & drove it! This mixing up can happen to petrol car owners too. Do you know what it does to your car engine?

Have you ever been unlucky enough to have your car filled in with the wrong fuel by a careless attendant? Were you careless enough to do get your diesel tank loaded with petrol in full volume?

Or are you simply curious as to what happens if you put diesel into a petrol car? Well, read on to find out what really happens and maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll have a chance to undo your crimes.

Diesel In A Petrol Engine

With so many people switching to petrol cars as of late, it might so have happened that one petrol pump worker, while absent-mindedly talking on the phone, put diesel in petrol car by mistake. Well, undoing what’s done is a hard task, but all’s not lost.

What Happens In The Engine

First up, it should be understood that petrol and diesel are different kinds of fuel, with two different types of engines circling it. In engineering jargon, these are classified as SI (spark ignition) and CI (compression ignition) engines. For the sake of brevity, we’ll not delve deeper into what’s what but roughly, SI engines are to be paired with petrol and CI for diesel.

When diesel is poured into a petrol engine, well, nothing happens. Diesel is a fuel too thick even to start burning in an SI (spark ignition) engine. The only thing exploding will be your brain because of your anger. However, things are not so safe the other way around.

Repairing The Damage

If you’d happened to catch that frustration monger while in action, take it easy. If your tank contains less than two litres of diesel, simply top the rest up with petrol. Your car should run fine, though the mileage might take a beating. The worst thing that can happen is minor damage to your engine.

More than two litres and the whole process gets extremely infuriating. But all’s not lost. There are companies dedicated to such cases where people put diesel in petrol car by mistake.

Now, if you’ve mistakenly started the engine, or realised that the engine’s been running on diesel for quite a while now, stop immediately. Just because diesel isn’t combustible in petrol engine doesn’t mean you are out of danger. Diesel is still a highly flammable liquid, capable of bursting into flames any second.

Knowing When You’re On Diesel

If you were oblivious to the fact that you had diesel in your tank, these signs would tell you whether you’re on diesel/a diesel-petrol mixture in your tank.

  • The engine doesn’t start at all. This happens when your tank is filled with diesel for more than half of it.
  • Your exhaust pipe exudes thick black smoke. Your car is mostly running on a petrol-diesel mixture, which is extremely detrimental to your engine.
  • Engine starts misfiring. This happens while trying to start your car with the wrong fuel in it. Loud knocking sound is an indicator that your engine is misfiring.

 

Petrol In A Diesel Engine

A thousand times worse than having diesel in your petrol car is doing it the other way around. Let me give it to you plain and straight – having petrol in a diesel engine as the majority of your fuel will cause an explosion.

Petrol is a lighter in nature and is readily combustible; small amounts of heat generated in a CI engine will simply ignite the fuel. The explosion produced is big enough to dismantle your engine, or simply blow up your whole car to bits.

The incompatibility of engines does not matter here. The intrinsic nature of a CI engine is to have heat omnipresent within the engine; heat from one drive will be a component in the combustion process of the next drive. This is why older cars take some time to heat the engine up before taking off.

Once in contact with the slightest amount of heat, petrol goes berserk, so make sure you keep your eyes wide open to prevent disasters of such explosive nature.

Repairing The Damage

I cannot stress this point enough-DO NOT START YOUR CAR AT ANY COST.

Just in case the magnitude of your mistake wasn’t so colossal, your car might run. A running car is no assurance that your car won’t explode into pieces later on. If you’re already driving, stop immediately.

Now, if you’re of restless and a dare devilish nature, a small amount of petrol in a diesel car might just be offset with topping it up with diesel, though again, we’re not promising you won’t lose your car. We certainly recommend decontamination for even the slightest levels of petrol in your engine.

When the quantity of petrol is noticeably high, that is, more than five litres of petrol, even God’s grace won’t help you in your will drive it. Manually push your car to the side and wait for the fuel recovery companies to take over.

Knowing When You’re On Petrol

If you’ve ever filled petrol in a diesel car by mistake and drove it, chances are you’re already dead. In the off-chance that you’re alive, these on-the-road tips might be useful.

  • When there’s petrol in your engine, your vehicle will become considerably difficult to start. Make sure to take extra precautions so that you don’t attribute this failure to start to something else.
  • A car running on fuel with petrol in a conspicuous quantity will deliver thick black smoke through the exhaust pipe. This is because your car is running on a mixture of diesel and petrol, with diesel in the majority. This is not just bad for your engine; it might ruin It to the point of no return.
  • Engine starts making loud noises under load. If you’re a diesel vehicle owner, treat these three signs with the highest amount of cautionary actions they deserve. Your life is too important to let lethargy make you ignore/delay in reacting to these threats.