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.

Safety Reminder: Monsoon Driving Ahead

We all love the “pit, pit, patter of the raindrops”; the weather cools down, the air smells fresh and clean…but with more rains comes more responsibility – driving responsibility. When commuting in the rain, we have to be extra careful of everything, especially with the state of our city roads and traffic. Here’s a couple of reminders for that little extra precaution.

Check your tyres!
Make it a habit to check your tyre condition before you leave. Do the one rupee coin test to check if your tyres need replacing. If your tyre tread is below the minimum depth of 2 mm, it’s time to change your tyre. When driving in the rain, if your tyre tread is worn down, there is no place for the water to be dispelled out, which leads to loss of traction with the road. This can cause your car to start hydroplaning.

Inspection!
Inspect everything at least once before you set out. Check your brakes, your windshield wipers, and your fuel level. Check that your headlights, fog lights and blinkers work. You don’t want any of these failing if you get stuck in a heavy downpour.

Go Slow!
We get it; you want to get off the wet roads, out of traffic and to your destination. But that doesn’t mean you need to risk your own and everyone else’s safety. It’s always the right choice to drive slower than your usual pace during the rainy season for the simple fact that it takes longer for your car to slow down on wet roads. Braking doesn’t guarantee that your car will stop on time. Wet roads are extremely slippery, making it difficult to get enough traction to stop.

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Plan Ahead!
Traffic is bad on regular days, but on rainy days, it’s gonna be worse. Always plan ahead and give yourself ample travel time to get to your scheduled day.

Light it up!
It’s always advisable to turn on your headlights – on low beam only – when driving in rainy conditions. This will let other drivers know you’re there when visibility is low.

Sink or Swim?
Well, in this case, don’t do either! Avoid flooded roads as much as possible. All your electronic systems and controls will be put at risk. Not to say if there is a pothole under all that water, your car is more than likely to get stuck in the ditch. Never try to drive through water that is higher than the bottom of your doors.

Be Prepared!
Always, always have an emergency kit in your car at all times; extra clothes, shoes, flashlights, tools and even some non-perishable food. You never know when you might need them.

ENGINE OIL VARIANTS

We all love to buy a car, but the ultimate thing is to maintain our lovely car properly. But while the engine is the heart of the car, the oil is its blood. It is the biggest responsibility for every individual to know the variants of oil which are used for your car’s engine

What is Oil Viscosity?
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid’s flow. The thicker the oil, the slower it will flow. The oils fall into viscosity grades 10W-40. 10W bit (W=winter) simply means that the oil must have a certain maximum viscosity or flow at temperature. The lower the “W” numbers the better the oil’s cold temperature performance.

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What are the Different types of oils?

Fully Synthetic:
A fully synthetic oil is mainly preferred for fuel efficiency and better mileage. You can examine the product is fully synthetic or not by its SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) rating will be 0W-30 or 0W-40 or 5W-40.
*0W-30: Fuel economy savings
*0W-40: Enhances engine performance and power
*5W-40: Ensures good cold starting

Synthetic Blend:
Synthetic blend oil is very cheap to get, but it is not highly recommended for your car’s engine. Because when it comes to fuel economy and performance, it is not up to the mark; you will have to change the oil very often. For a better way, we can use semi-synthetic which is a combination of motor oil and synthetic oil. It provides better protection against engine wear. The SAE rating for semi-synthetic includes 5W-30, 10W-40 and 15W-40.
*5W-30: Better Protection
*10W-40: Good Protection after starting out
*15W-40: Better at reducing engine wear

Conventional Oil:
Conventional oil is the origin for motor oils, and later, it was produced by the base oils of hydrocarbons, poly internal olefins, and polyalphaolefins. It’s SAE ratings are 10W-40 and 15W-40. Conventional oil provides basic protection for most engines and it’s the ideal oil for people who have very ordinary driving styles. And it’s cost-effective.
*10W-40: Basic protection for a variety of engines
*15W-40: Oil needs to be changed more often

For better performance of your engine. Oil check should be done every week as recommended by the car manufacturers. Oil consumption depends on the model of the car and driving style.

Automobile Service & Vehicle Maintenance Blog