iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Rajiv Mitra, PTI
April 14, 2004
Here are a few tips to remember for hassle-free driving through the season.

As the proverbial saying goes – "a stitch in time saves nine." In the case of your car though it will save you a lot of time, money and potential hassle and embarrassment of being stranded in the middle of the road with the hood open. A sight that never fails to invite the attention of other drivers passing by. The fact is that we have to give the vehicle a bit of our time in what we would call preventive and routine maintenance.

With the onset of summer, here are a few things you should look in to ensure a hassle-free drive through the coming summer months. And what would be more painful than being parked under the hot sun with a car, which refuses to go?

Some handy tips:

The ambient temperatures go up drastically and so does the operating temperature inside the engine chamber. The car needs to be cooled and lubricated well. Consequently it’s a good idea to change the coolant and flush the radiator and the entire cooling system. This will remove any clogging that might have taken place and ensure a better flow of the coolant through the system. Top it up with new coolant and check the condition of the rubber hoses.

Ensure that the drain life of the lubricant has not been exceeded. The engine needs to be cooled and cleansed and with the increase in temperature the lubricant also loses its properties faster so make sure it is topped up and within its drain life. For an average car the drain life can go up to as much as 5,000 km but in the summer it is better to drain every 4,000 km or so.

Ensure that the fan belts and the other belts are in good condition because they drive the engine’s cooling system and the air-conditioning.

Ensure that the tyres have enough tread depth because higher ambient temperatures can induce a blow out and the chances increase if the tyres are in bad shape – and it is potentially an extremely dangerous condition as high speed blowouts account for significant number of accidents.