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Old 18th March 2012, 20:47   #31
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

I'd like to add 1 point which I consider very vital. When you first crank the engine in the morning, let it idle for at least 20-30 seconds before driving off. It helps the initial circulation of oil in a cold engine which has been idle over the night. Also when you drive off, drive slowly without pushing the engine hard for the first 1 km. till it warms up a bit.
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Old 18th March 2012, 20:49   #32
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Hi,
When a city runabout is taken out for a high speed long distance intercity run, what are the problem areas, if any, we can expect? It is normally these which catch out the unwary.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 18th March 2012, 21:07   #33
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Hi all,
My 4k km run petrol Figo is used like that-
1. Idle for days.
2. Taken out for 1km trip to drop off someone.
3. Again idle for days.

Please suggest me what extra care I would need to ensure that my Figo doesn't get damaged with a usage like that.

PS: Please respond by quoting me instead of using "^^^" so that I can be notified that a reply has arrived. Thanks in advance.

Btw, amazing thread SS-Traveller. Rated 5 stars.

Last edited by DevilsCry : 18th March 2012 at 21:09. Reason: Adding details about my car
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Old 18th March 2012, 21:48   #34
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

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Originally Posted by DevilsCry View Post
Hi all,
My 4k km run petrol Figo is used like that-
1. Idle for days.
2. Taken out for 1km trip to drop off someone.
3. Again idle for days.

Please suggest me what extra care I would need to ensure that my Figo doesn't get damaged with a usage like that.
Nothing much really. Do not rev the car hard during the 1km trip & get the car serviced according to the schedule (time-wise), even if do not reach the mileage landmark.
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Old 19th March 2012, 01:35   #35
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

I may just be repeating what has already been stated on this good thread, in which case read this with my apologies in advance.

* Most modern cars, like modern cricket bats, do not need breaking in. However, it is still advisable to let a brand new engine break in for the first few thousand kms before stretching it to its stated limits.

* Buy petrol at reputed petrol pumps. Pretty self explanatory. Eat well, live well.

* Do not fill petrol at a gas station which is being filled itself! If you see a tanker emptying its cargo into the underground tanks at a gas station, avoid filling there. As the stationís underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment, chances of whom landing in your gas tank can't be ignored.

* Idling, in general is not a good thing for the engine. Computer controlled fuel injection may have optimized idling but fact remains that an engine is in its most inefficient portion of the work-cycle while idling. Researchers from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers claim that restarting a six-cylinder engine ó with the air conditioner switched on ó uses as much gas as idling the same car for ~6 seconds. Idling is similarly wasteful in cold/frigid temperatures too. Contrary to popular belief, drivers needn't warm up their cars for longer than half a minute at the most. The quickest way to warm up a vehicles engine and and drive train is to actually start driving the vehicle, albeit moderately for the first few minutes.

* The owners manuals in a few Ford brand of vehicles that I have owned advised to not turn the steering wheel and hold it at the extreme position. I asked this to a dealership's service dept and I was told doing so could lead to damage to the power-steering pump.

* When stuck in mud, sand or snow, donít make the problem worse by throwing your car from forward to reverse repeatedly, as well as spinning tires at high speeds. If gentle rocking won't get your car out of the ditch, chances are towing/pulling it out is your only option. No point in burning your transmission, differentials and engine in futility.

* If your vehicle is going to be unused for a long period of time, keep the fuel tank full to avoid condensation accumulation in the tank. Think of adding a fuel stabilizer too to compensate for the water buildup inside the tank.

* Keep the payload in the vehicle to only what is essential. Lugging extra poundage is an unnecessary strain on the vehicle, however miniscule it may be.

* I live in a snow belt, and this sounded unusual to me at first - but I have been told to run the air conditioner a few times in the winter, to keep the system fit for the next warm season. The reasoning was that this will prevent moving parts in the compressor from seizing and also circulate the refrigerant around a few times which will in turn help keep the seals soft and supple....it does make sense to me put that way.
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Old 19th March 2012, 03:16   #36
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

One question from my end, do the new Scorpios and Pajeros really don't need to idle for a minute after starting and before stopping? Is there any sort of mechanism in the new cars that keeps the turbo spooling even when the engine is stopped?
Edit: Another question - for diesel cars, why is it said that there should at least be half tank of diesel in the car, but the same is not said in case of petrol cars?

Last edited by BlackPearl : 19th March 2012 at 03:18.
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Old 19th March 2012, 09:24   #37
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

The ford manual states to rev the car @ 3k rpm at least for 30 sec once in a week to clear out the soot and burn the carbon build up in the exhaust and combustion chambers. However the RPM should not be changed erratically. I do this thing once in 10-12 days whenever i find an open stretch. Downshift to 2nd or 3rd and rev the engine @ 3 k for 30 sec.

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Old 19th March 2012, 11:46   #38
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
One question from my end, do the new Scorpios and Pajeros really don't need to idle for a minute after starting and before stopping? Is there any sort of mechanism in the new cars that keeps the turbo spooling even when the engine is stopped?
Edit: Another question - for diesel cars, why is it said that there should at least be half tank of diesel in the car, but the same is not said in case of petrol cars?
ALL turbo-charged engines need to have a small cooling interval before shutting down the engine, ONLY IF the engine is being revved fairly hard (say, >50% of its max revs) for a prolonged time (or revved really hard for even a short time). So, I would idle for 10-15 sec before shutdown on a routine drive in the city (where revs usually don't exceed 2000-2500 rpm), but on the highway, where I am constantly driving at 3000+ rpm, I would let the turbo cool down for a minute or so before switching off.

OTOH, during startup, it is good practice for ANY engine to idle for 30 sec or so after startup to get the engine oil to circulate evenly inside - and that equally applies to the oil flowing to the turbocharger.

Half tank of diesel in the car is a bit of an outdated legend, from the days when diesel was quite a messy fuel, frequently contaminated with dirt, water, lint etc. The older vehicles had their tank suction point a little above the absolute bottom, to let these sediments live in peace at the bottom of the tank. Too little diesel in the tank, and air would get sucked in and fuel flow would get erratic, requiring that the system be bled to start the engine again.

Today, with diesel fuel being a lot cleaner than, say, 30 years ago, the need to keep 10-15 litres of diesel at the bottom of the tank as a sedimentation area is not so important (except when off-roading, with the 4wd vehicle tilted at crazy angles, and the suction point not remaining immersed in diesel, allowing air to be sucked up).

Petrol did not have such contaminants, and there was also no problem if a little bit of air did get sucked into the supply pipe - the carburettor pot smoothed out the fuel supply. With fuel injected petrols, you don't want air in the pipelines anyway, but it is less of a bother than if air entered diesel fuel lines.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 19th March 2012 at 11:48.
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Old 21st March 2012, 12:50   #39
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Regarding running the engine at idle after a start and before switching off:
If you cultivate a habit of starting the engine and letting it idle while you adjust your seat, put on your seat belt & sunglasses, select your FM station/music, place your mobile in its slot etc. - and do the reverse while switching off - you would have done the needful!
It takes only about 15-30 seconds to perform all these actions - and the engine/turbo would thank you for it!

BTW, SS - Fantastic contribution on this 'empathy' thread! Loved the style of writing & content both!
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Old 21st March 2012, 14:52   #40
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Default Re: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilsCry View Post
Hi all,
My 4k km run petrol Figo is used like that-
1. Idle for days.
2. Taken out for 1km trip to drop off someone.
3. Again idle for days.

Please suggest me what extra care I would need to ensure that my Figo doesn't get damaged with a usage like that.
Ensure that you keep at least a half tank of petrol in the car. The reason I say this is when you drive regularly you tend to notice the petrol level and worry that you will run out while driving so fill up. On the other hand, if your level is low and you are only doing a 1 or 2 km trip, you will wind up thinking, it will make it so forget it for now. That is not good as generally a low fuel level leads to impurities entering the system.

Get a car cover and use it. This is not for the engine obviously, but for the body of the car.

Drive the car normally and get it serviced regularly (time bound) as Eddy stated.
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Old 21st March 2012, 15:24   #41
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying_Lancer View Post
Regarding running the engine at idle after a start and before switching off:
If you cultivate a habit of starting the engine and letting it idle while you adjust your seat, put on your seat belt & sunglasses, select your FM station/music, place your mobile in its slot etc. - and do the reverse while switching off - you would have done the needful!
It takes only about 15-30 seconds to perform all these actions - and the engine/turbo would thank you for it!
You beat me to it!!!
For the three years that I had my Swift Diesel this used to be my normal modus operandi and my Turbo was hale and hearty till till the day I sold it. I now do this in the Cruze. In fact, if I remember that if I cranked the Swift and started driving straight away, there was a clear difference in the way the engine behaved... it was always smoother and more refined if I had idled for about 45-60 seconds.

The last 5 minutes of my drive home is usually very sedate and out of the turbo rev band anyway - in fact I use the overrun (car in second, foot off the gas) for the last couple of hundred meters home so the turbo's got more than enough time to cool.

SS Traveller: Fantastic thread, thank you. Threads like these are why I spend so much time on TBHP literally every day.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 11:36   #42
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Lovely thread SS-Traveller! Very essential things that you have pointed out. I have been driving for over 10 years now and I get all excited when I could splash through the still water on the roads. I like the swoosh when the car breaks through the water. Next time, that will be a big no. I run my Swift on 205-55-15R which I've realised a few months from installation, is bad. It's just run 20k from installation and I am in two minds if I should downgrade it already. I am finding it hard to manouver and there is a lot of road noise from the tires. All that and more.

My two cents to this thread. I think its very important to slide down all your windows just after being in the car. This is to remove/eliminate any kind of gases which would have built up over the idle time the car has been. Dad always does it and although I have not made it a habit, I do it occassionally. This is especially for people who use the A/c often.

Cherio
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Old 22nd March 2012, 14:45   #43
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Superb stuff. Thank you very much.

Except for changing the oil in shorter intervals than suggested in the car manual, I practice everything else.

Some of the things I practice.

If your car has a hydraulic power steering unit, you can hear the system put a strain on itself and the engine when you turn the wheel, when the car is not moving. This can kill the entire system.

I try to use the electrical system to its bare minimum when the engine is not running. If I have forgotten to wind a window, I crank and do it. Power window motors are power hungry.

I probably have the luxury and time. I inspect the tires and monitor tire pressure myself.

If the interiors of the car have the slightest bit of dust or sand, I vacuum the car and wet wipe the surface with a 3M kitchen wipe. In a country like ours, it is impossible to keep a car squeaky clean. Do it if you can. Will save you a ton of cash when it comes to interior cleaning.

Shift to neutral when ever the opportunity arises. That is, when you know you have to stop for a bit. Even if it is a 10 second stop, do it. Do not stay on the clutch.

Try and park on a level surface as much as you can. Sure, we have hand brakes. It is a tiny brake shoe or brake pad trying to hold the entire weight of the car. It can fail, it does wear out, put a strain on the cable. By all means, you have to use your parking brake.

Try and avoid starting your air conditioning with a cold engine. It adds a huge strain on the engine. When you know you are about to reach your destination and if the conditions permit, kill the air conditioning a little earlier. You can keep the blower going.

For those who have climate control, use the air conditioning system in a efficient manner. Setting the temperature at sixteen degrees or the LOWEST defeats the purpose of having climate control. All you need is a comfortable cabin temperature.

Kill all electrical systems before turning off the car.

I wait for the fuel priming process to complete before I crank the engine. In some cars, you can hear it, in some you do not. You do not need to do this at all. This is just my way. If your car does not start up in the first attempt, don't try to re start by waiting for the priming noise to stop. Start immediately. Over priming will cause flooding in the system.
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Old 22nd March 2012, 15:16   #44
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Off late I tend to shift to 5th gear directly from 3rd gear ... or if I come to 4th then dont shift up. This is to reduce number of gear shifts in urban traffic. Hopefully helps to prolong the life of the clutch
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Old 22nd March 2012, 15:29   #45
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Mechanical Empathy | Preserving the Car While Driving

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
...If I have forgotten to wind a window, I crank and do it. Power window motors are power hungry.
IMO cranking the engine just to wind-up the windows will draw a lot more power from the battery (as the self starter is more power hungry than the window motor) and also consume quite a bit of fuel.

I think few minutes of music, lights and few ups and downs of windows @ engine off won't affect the battery that much.
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