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Old 17th March 2012, 01:14   #16
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

A very good compilation SS Traveller.
I could relate to a lot of points you have made since I treat my bikes and cars with care and softness.
Hardly rev them(except a few times on Fifo since I got FFE) ,
use gears to slow down,
turn of headlamps at signals and
let the engine idle for a minute before starting off for the day.

Standing still with headlamps on is something I have noticed and always wanted to sensitize people about. I had almost even thought of distributing pamphlets mentioning the same at signals at some point.
Does not make any sense draining your battery, putting more load on the alternator to charge the battery when you car is going no were.
Some signals in Bangalore are 3 minutes long , not to mention traffice jams!
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Old 17th March 2012, 03:32   #17
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Excellent thread.

Here's my contribution for bodywork:
1. Always wax your car at least once every 3 months
2. Any bodypart which has been scratched and the metal exposed needs touch-up, either at the workshop or a D-I-Y if you want to save money and for minor dings.
3. Use only a car shampoo for washing the car body. Leave the cloth detergent and dishwashing liquid at home. They cause damage to the car's paint surface.
4. If you had fun at the beach, ensure the undercarriage of the car is washed clean of the salts. Salts are extremely corrosive.
5. Use a basic trim protectant for the interiors. They help prevent the plastics from getting faded in the harsh Indian summers.
6. For washing the car, use a microfibre wash mitt. Ensure it is free from dirt and grit. After washing the car, use a microfibre towel or pure cotton towel which is clean for drying. Anything else shall scratch the surface.
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Old 17th March 2012, 04:52   #18
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Wonderful thread to spread the awareness, how to take care of the car to make the components last longer. There is one more area which gets neglected quiet often and when it brakes down it creates lot of inconvenience.

Air Conditioners are easy to maintain, to have efficient cooling.
  • Raise the temperature before stopping the car to ensure the moisture is blown away, this ensures the AC does not have bad odor.
  • Keeping the condenser area clean, this impacts the effectiveness of cooling power of the AC.
  • Use AC regularly/occasionally, as i have seen cars where AC has never been switched on and when eventually it is switched on it spits lots of bad odor, and is not effective.
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Old 17th March 2012, 08:26   #19
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Thanks SS-Traveller for the great thread. Over 100,000 km from the stock clutch is simply amazing in our conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
I see people complaining about poor life of OEM batteries. How many of you top up/check the distilled water lever in your batteries? I do and my WagonR's stock OEM battery will complete five years on 4th April, My Karizma's stock Amco battery completed three years in Feb and I always use self start in morning.
Is a top up with distilled water needed for the maintenance free batteries? If so, how frequent should this be done?

The Swift Diesel binges on battery. Any step to enhance the battery life will save a lot of money. It is very costly, 7K+ at the minimum.
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Old 17th March 2012, 09:19   #20
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

One more thing use genuine spares instead of cheaper ones.
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Old 17th March 2012, 09:43   #21
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
(Pls. note, my use of it, not them or him or her!)
My thoughts exactly. Cannot assign a gender to a car!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Just to give an example, if I have to, I'll drive through (deep) water, knowing fully well that corrective action will have to be taken very soon if a breakdown is to be averted. In my philosophy, reaching shelter (at night) takes precedence over use/ abuse of vehicle.

Knowing, and taking a call is one thing. Not knowing/ caring and doing it is folly. That is what I think you are referring to.
Precisely. Human life takes precedence over vehicle life - and if one HAS TO, one calls upon the car to deliver 110%, in an emergency... as mentioned before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
If you are unfortunate/brave enough to have got your car into water above the hubs, a day at the workshop to check and clean out traces of water from every moving part would be a great idea. If this happened during your 5000-km roadtrip, you would do well to carry out the checks locally, rather than wait & drive back 2,500 km before having your FNG attend to the same once you are back home. The resultant bill may just hurt a lot more (apart from the risk of being stranded 1,250 km from home).
And knowing you, I know you would actually do the cleanup yourself once you are out of water, without even waiting to find a mechanic locally!

I have driven on a flat tyre for miles in the middle of the night, till I found some habitation and light, and destroyed perfectly good wheel rims in the process (and human life takes precedence over vehicle life), only because I considered the risk of stopping to change tyres at a particular section of some highway to be very high.

The Scorpio I drive today has TPMS, which I consider to be the biggest boon for the type of driving I do.

Edit: Thanks, everyone. Didn't expect this thread to get a 5* rating.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 17th March 2012 at 09:46.
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Old 17th March 2012, 09:47   #22
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Excellent thread.
When I was learning to drive, My father used to scold me when I turned the steering while the car was stationary and I learnt from then. Have you seen the rubber left on the road after a PS car does a lock to lock turn.
Anticipate stops is another good one. I have seen so many cars zipping right upto the red light and braking severely
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Old 17th March 2012, 09:56   #23
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Thanks SS-Traveller ! I would like to mention about drive shafts and why they fail early:

Drive shafts carry engine power to wheel and they face quite a stress too.They fail early when:

1. Doing wheel spin on a daily basis.
2. Wheel spin or sudden acceleration on full lock (either side)
3. Using quite a big up-size thereby increasing load on drive shaft
4. And this is most important: not checking the drive shaft boot and driving on torn and leaking one. This boot prevents water and dust from seeping inside the axle join. Once its torn, sand enters as soon as you drive few Km's and it slowly grinds the joint bearing and surrounding parts making them loose and make that "kat kat" sound.
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Old 17th March 2012, 10:32   #24
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post


Is a top up with distilled water needed for the maintenance free batteries? If so, how frequent should this be done?

The Swift Diesel binges on battery. Any step to enhance the battery life will save a lot of money. It is very costly, 7K+ at the minimum.
Only sealed batteries do not require maintenance, otherwise all so called maintenance free battery require top up.

Make sure whether your battery is sealed one or if it has caps or flaps then it means it will require maintenance.
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Old 17th March 2012, 20:58   #25
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I have driven on a flat tyre for miles in the middle of the night, till I found some habitation and light, and destroyed perfectly good wheel rims in the process (and human life takes precedence over vehicle life), only because I considered the risk of stopping to change tyres at a particular section of some highway to be very high.
And I've knowingly knackered an almost new (<5000 Km) old Izuzu engine!

It would be interesting if our race/ rally drivers put in their viewpoints. One does not win/ get any points if one does not finish. But then again, babying the car is unlikely to get one in the points.

Regarding the bad habits power steering breeds: I was reminded of an interesting anecdote. A friend of mine was appearing for his driving test in Germany. He claimed that he got an earful from the examiner because he was sawing away at the wheel, without putting the car in some sort of motion!

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 17th March 2012, 21:22   #26
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

I like this topic. My dad always told me to remember that I was finally driving a thing made of different bits of metal, fuelled by different types of oil and the only things between me and the road surface was some bits of rubber on a round bit of metal.

Looking at the way he drives his car, he is extremely careful over bad roads, pot holes and so on. I totally appreciate that because he looks after his cars really very well indeed. Much to learn from the older generation. Too easy to scoff at their careful ways but thinking more deeply one realizes the value of the way they do things!
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Old 17th March 2012, 21:45   #27
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
EDIT: For tyres I can think of one more thing, rotating the tyres every 5k kms enhances the life of the tyres.

I religiously get the oil & oil filter changed every 5k kms along with 5 tyre rotation as meant for a FWD vehicle.
Please include the spare tyre in the rotation (unless the spare tyre is of a different size). I have seen so any cars that are 5 year old, and the spare is never used. At 5 years, it has to be discarded anyway...
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Old 18th March 2012, 15:56   #28
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Please include the spare tyre in the rotation (unless the spare tyre is of a different size). I have seen so any cars that are 5 year old, and the spare is never used. At 5 years, it has to be discarded anyway...
Didn't I mention 5-tyre rotation, that means spare is included.
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Old 18th March 2012, 17:48   #29
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Wonderful no-nonsense thread indeed. No matter how might that specification looks, one needs to understand that most of that works as promised under the ideal conditions.

Maybe some tips on lubrication regularly after every water servicing, will also help. Like door squeaks? I've heard WD-40 is a degreaser and is a temporary solution to do away with squeaks. A little googling and I see that I need a WHITE LITHIUM GREASE SPRAY to actually kick in some greasing effect.
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Old 18th March 2012, 19:07   #30
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAS View Post
Excellent thread.

Here's my contribution for bodywork:
1. Always wax your car at least once every 3 months
Apart from this very important point one more thing which can be done to keep the car as new as possible is by covering it when not in used. I know it is not possible for many but it really helps. If your car is used only on weekends then it will be unfair to keep it uncovered in the sun for the whole week. Covering also protects from minor scratches and thieves eyes!

PS - It's my personal experience.

Last edited by bluevolt : 18th March 2012 at 19:08.
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