Tag Archives: tips

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.

Your Car’s Split Personality: A Mode for Everyone

Gone are the old days when a car came just as it was: a single driving ‘mode’ for everyone. But, of course, like everything else in the evolving world, technology brought in upgrades. Today, our cars come with choices of different driving modes; something to suit every driver’s personality or need.

Driving modes give us the option to choose how we want to drive and customize this to meet different conditions, all at the touch of a button. They can change the way our car performs and even how it sounds and feels.

The question is, what are they and how exactly do they change the way we drive? Some of the more common driving modes include:

ECO MODE:
As the name suggests, this mode can also be called Economy, as it is designed to reduce fuel consumption and improve the car’s efficiency and mileage. In the ECO mode, the engine, transmission, and air conditioning is altered for better fuel economy by adjusting the operating parameters and reducing the response rate of the throttle. This mode adjusts the car for more environment-friendly driving.

COMFORT MODE:
The most ideal setting for long commutes and the smoothest drive. COMFORT mode gives a good balance between Eco and Sport settings. It is ideal for day-to-day use as it softens the suspension and provides an easy, comfortable drive. It is the most well-balanced of the drive modes.

SPORT MODE:
May also be labelled as Dynamic mode, the SPORT mode is the opposite of comfort and economy and is suited to more ‘spirited’ drivers. The intensity of this mode depends upon each car model and manufacturer and is meant to provide that extra exhilarating and aggressive driving experience.

CUSTOM MODE:
The CUSTOM mode lets drivers customize their drive with a little bit of the best features from the other modes. Basically, this mode gives you the option to tailor your drive based on your preferred driving style.

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However, it should be noted that just because cars come with the same modes, doesn’t mean that the mode will be the same for each car. There could be a noticeable difference between the same modes in two vehicles.

So, for those of us who can never afford a Porsche and want to know what it feels like to drive a sports car, for the environmentally-conscious, and for those who just want to cruise down the road, these driving modes are the next best thing to giving us that experience.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Helmet

Traffic laws or not, wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle is an absolute necessity. Helmets cannot prevent an accident but it could be the deciding life or death factor in the case of a collision. But more often than not, riders tend to pick helmets based on looks and comfort over practicality and safety.

*Section 129 of the Motor Vehicles Act ’88 states that:
Every person riding on a motorcycle of any class or description should wear protective headgear.

Where headgear stands for:
a) By virtue of its shape, material and construction, could reasonably be expected to afford to the person driving or riding on a motorcycle a degree of protection from injury in the event of an accident; and
b) Is securely fastened to the head of the wearer by means of straps or other fastenings provided on the headgear.

When buying a helmet, there are always certain criteria that need to be looked into: the type of helmet, protection level and the correct fit.

A couple of things to take into consideration for the best helmet fit:
· If you wear spectacles, make sure the helmet sits comfortably on your head while wearing them
· The helmet’s inside lining should not be too snug and tight, pressing on your ears.
· Pick a helmet that suits the shape of your head

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Types of Helmets:
Not many people realize that the type of helmet they buy should depend upon the type of riding they’re going to do.

Full-face helmet:
Full-face helmets are the most recommended. The all-around head and chin coverage offers maximum protection making it the most popular and safest choice. They’re suitable for city commute as well as for high speeds. This helmet type also passes the aesthetic test in the looks department as it comes with unlimited designs, graphic elements and customization.

Flip-up Touring helmet:
Flip-up helmets are generally heavier due to their flip mechanism. Although it’s a variation of the full-face option, they are easier to put on and come with an integrated visor. This makes them a popular choice amongst travellers as they are a lot more comfortable for long distances.

Jet and Police Helmets:
Not the safest of choices, because they don’t offer as much protection as a full-face helmet with chin coverage. They are usually considerably lighter and airier in hot weather and are more suited to city commute; hence these helmets are not meant for high speeds.

Open-face or Skullcap helmet:
Unfortunately, due to our constant hot weather, a lot of commuters wear an open-face or skull helmet. A skullcap helmet may look comfortable and provide plenty of airflow on hot days, however, these are not recommended as they barely ensure any protection for the sides of your face.

Today’s market is filled with so many helmet choices, it’s easy to find one that checks all the right boxes for your safety, comfort and even looks. But the main point to remember is, while all helmets don’t provide complete safety, they do provide some level of safety; so, always wear a helmet!

Sources:
* http://diu.gov.in
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Bike Troubles? We’ve all got them

India has quickly become the world’s largest two-wheeler market. With its considerable population size, most of which own a two-wheeler. It is a common sight to see hundreds of motorcycles on the roads, rather than cars. We Indians have come to depend so much on our bikes, that our whole day gets messed up if our bike breaks down in any way. Unfortunately, using the vehicle as much as we do on a daily basis, there are bound to be some mechanical hiccups.

Things to keep an eye on:

Weak battery:
Almost all two-wheelers are equipped with an electric start and this starter is entirely dependent on the battery. Your bike’s battery should have sufficient power to turn on this motor, but it needs high voltage from the battery for ignition. Signs of a weak battery is evident if your self-starter, horn and headlights don’t work well or even not at all. Quick tip: you can try pulling the clutch lever first and check if it starts up.

Low fuel:
It may not happen often, but it does happen occasionally; when your fuel gauge is inaccurate. Although it might seem clichéd, it won’t hurt to shake your bike a little and listen closely for any splashing inside your fuel tank.

Clogged fuel:
Sometimes your fuel control valve can get clogged with rust and dirt. Just make sure that corrosion doesn’t build up that could also lead to leakages.

Neutral mode:
Some bike may be required to be put into neutral for it to start, rather than the clutch lever. Put your bike into neutral and try to start it up.

Check the tailpipe:
With the amount of travelling that we do on our bikes, there’s a good chance of your bike’s exhaust getting clogged; it’s always a good idea to check the exhaust if you have any pets or animals in the area.

Engine cut-off switch:
We often use the ignition key to turn off the bike instead of the engine cut-off switch, but yet try to crank that engine. This is quite a common mistake.

There is nothing more frustrating than having vehicle trouble when you need to go about your day as planned. Just remember to not panic and follow through with these common issues first.