Monthly Archives: March 2017

Car Tips For The Rainy Season

Most drivers know the golden rules for driving in rainy conditions – turn on your lights, slow down, keep a safe distance from the next car – but did you know that you should also take special care of your vehicle in wet weather? That’s because rain and wet driving conditions affect vehicle parts very differently from regular (dry) conditions.

Since the rainy season is upon us again, with hard-to-predict downpours happening almost every day, it’s high time to arm yourself with useful knowledge about caring for your vehicle in wet weather. Here is a simple checklist of five important tips to keep your ride in good shape this season.

It is important not to neglect washing your car!

1. Keep washing your car

It’s tempting to skip the car washing because it’s raining all the time anyway, but don’t give in! Rain actually doesn’t do any favours for your vehicle’s exterior – it leaves behind acidic deposits that eat away at the exposed parts of your car, especially the paint job and any metallic (e.g. chrome) finishes.

The best thing you can do for your vehicle’s exterior is to keep up with regular, proper care. Before washing, rinse off heavy deposits with plenty of water and a microfibre cloth to remove stubborn stains such as bird droppings. Clean the vehicle starting from the top and working down using a soft sponge. Make sure to use solvent free cleaning products.

If you don’t have time for a full wash, a quick hose-down can help neutralise acidity after your car has been out in the rain.

Regularly checking your tyres is important in ensuring safety, especially on wet road surfaces

2. Maintain your wheels for driving safety

During rainy season, it’s extra important for your vehicle’s tyres to be in tip-top condition. On wet road surfaces, vehicles are prone to aquaplaning. This can be due to different tread depths on the tyres, vehicle speed and differing road surfaces.

To minimise this risk, regularly check your tyres to ensure sufficient tread depth for a safe drive. If they are worn, especially below specifications (check your owners’ manual), get them replaced.

3. Up your windscreen wiper game

Your wipers are going to be working very hard this wet weather season, so check on the condition of your wiper blades and quantity of washer fluid frequently. Some vehicles have a warning light that would show up on the dashboard telling you it’s time to top up your washer fluid.

Regular checks on the condition of your car’s wiper blades ensure good visibility even in heavy downpour

Listen out for jerking, squeaking and other noises, which indicate that the wiper blade might need replacing. It’s important to keep all wiper parts in order as visibility is crucial for your safety when it rains.

4. Check your head lights and taillights

Your head lights and taillights are more important than ever during rainy season – not just for illuminating the environment when it’s dark and stormy, but also to indicate your position clearly to other road users. For your driving safety, check that your head lights and taillights are turned on. Dipped beam lights ensure maximum visibility for you and other road users.

You might know of LED displays, screens and even traffic lights, but have you heard of LED head lights? In fact, LED technology is proven to improve driving safety through rapid response and stronger lighting.

In damp or humid weather, you may find your lights lenses fog over due to the temperature difference between the inside and outside of your vehicle. A simple fix is to switch the lights on, and the fog will clear shortly.

5. Weather-proof your vehicle with the right accessories

Investing in accessories to protect your vehicle’s interior from water, mud and dirt is also key to enjoying a more comfortable ride. Protective gear such as rubber floor mats, boot trays and pedal caps are especially useful during the rainy season

Tips to Drive Safely In Flood

One of the goals people may have when they plan to buy a car is often to protect them from the rain. However, rain can still be a problem for people even if they have bought the car of their dreams. This is even more so if there is a heavy downpour which often results in flood. In most cases, car owners are recommended not to drive their car out. But what if they are in need of going out in their car? Well, they need to read through this article to find out how they may drive more safely in flood.

What most car drivers usually assume vs. the fact

There are quite a lot of car drivers out there who think it will be fine for them to drive their valuable car through flood as long as they have their car tyres in good shape. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Even though it is true that today’s modern cars are usually more capable of getting through pretty severe flood, danger still exists. As a matter of fact, even those large 4×4 car drivers should try to be very careful when they are trying to get their car through flood.

This is why Roger Crathorne, the manager of Land Rover Driving Experience, mentions that one thing that may probably put a 4×4 car to a halt is often the water that the car engine is sucking. Also, he mentions that it is necessary for car owners to be aware of where their car intake is located. This is because some cars have their car intake located very low which makes it vulnerable when there is a flood going on.

So how can people drive safely during a flood?

Well, of course, the very first thing that the car drivers may need to do is to try to see how deep the flood ahead of them is. This way, the car drivers can pull over before they approach the flood. They can then see how the other cars, either the larger cars or the cars similar to the size of theirs, struggle with the flood. There is one thing that every car driver should keep in his or her mind. If the flood level reaches a level higher than the bottom edge of the car door, the flood water may get into the car engine compartment. As a result, stalling may take place.

The next thing to do is to drive slowly. It is recommended that the car drivers make use of the 1st gear in order to keep the car at a low speed level. Otherwise, they may create a bow wave. Believe it or not, a bow wave often causes severe damages to cars and they are expensive to deal with. With that being said, it may be better for the car drivers to put the oncoming traffic into higher priority to pass.

Yet, what the car drivers need to do next is to consider driving their cars in the middle of the road. The reason is that flood is usually at its shallowest level in the middle of the road. The middle part of the road is often known as the crown of the road.

If the car drivers happen to approach flood water that is moving fast – probably when they approach a flooded bridge, they must not drive fast. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting their car washed away with them inside!

Standing water is pretty dangerous as well. If people drive through it at high speeds, tyres aquaplane and steering control loss will take place. If possible, the car drivers had better avoid driving their car through the standing water. But if aquaplaning does take place, the car drivers are recommended to take a light hold of their steering wheel and to lift the throttle off until the tyres manage to regain grip.

Another disadvantage that may occur due to driving considerably fast through standing water is that a car may come to a complete stalling, even if the engine sucks only a little amount of water. Those who drive a turbocharged petrol car or a car with a diesel engine should even be more careful since they are often the most vulnerable targets to stalling.

The next thing car drivers need to do as they are struggling to get their car through the flood is to keep on revving to get the car engine running strong. They can do this by slipping their car clutch. This way, they may prevent water from entering the car exhaust as well as prevent the car engine from stalling.

What if the engine stalls?

Well, obviously, the car drivers will have to get someone to tow them out. Yet, if they are not sure enough how deep the flood might be, or if it is moving, they had better stay put in their car until rescue arrives. In the meantime, the car drivers need to make sure that their car bonnet stays closed instead of propped open. Otherwise, chances are they will run into a hard time trying to start their car engine because of the rain-soaked electrics.

What to do after getting through the flood?

Well, the first thing that people should do is to look for any possible scratch, crack, bump or something hanging off their car.

Then, the interior is the next thing to examine. The car owners need to check whether there are any damp patches or not on the carpets, upholstery and the door panels. If there are indeed damp patches, the car owners should not wait for the damp patches to dry out. This will often cause a very annoying damp musty smell. If the car owners are not in the mood of coping with the damp patches themselves, they can get it done by the professionals available.

The car owners should then check the condition of the transmission fluid and the engine oil. If the transmission fluid seems diluted, beige or milky, there is water in it. Therefore, do not drive the car but tow it instead for repair.

The air filter is also very important. If the car owners think that the air filter is damp, they need to replace it and then change the oil.

Going underneath the car to see if there is any mud, dirt, grass or debris is also important. Such things can cause undercarriage damage and they need to be washed in no time at all.

Car owners should also be concerned about the braking system. They need to see if there is anything wrong with it. When necessary, the car owners can get it checked by the professionals.

Indicators and lights are often vulnerable to water damage and rust. If the car owners see any water in them, the car owners should consider replacing the bulbs. Checking should be done regardless.

Last but not least, car owners need to test run their car. If they happen to hear any sound that is not quite familiar to them, they need to check it out very soon. Of course, professional services are always available

Prevent Car Thefts

Many of us own a car today. Unfortunately, with more and more cars flooding our roads, the possibility of car thefts increases as well.

With that being said, it is very important that we take the necessary preventive measures so that we won’t fall victims to car thieves.

What you can do?

Install anti-theft device

You will find it handy to acquire and install aftermarket anti-theft devices in your car. These devices can often be found at various car workshops.

Apart from providing your car with a higher security level, these aftermarket anti-theft devices are often pretty easy to install, meaning you won’t have to spend any extra amount of money to get professionals to install them for you. One example of such devices is known as The Club, where it’s secured around your steering wheel.

here are also other anti-theft devices you can find on the market. These devices include car alarms, immobilisers and GPS vehicle tracking systems

The Club

The Club, also known as a steering wheel lock, is a device that fits and locks onto your steering wheel. It secures your steering wheel in place, making it difficult for thieves to drive off with your car. However, this does not prevent them from breaking into your car, and some studies have also shown that The Club can be defeated with tools.

Car alarms

Possibly the most common anti-theft device out there, car alarms are now fitted to virtually every new car on sale right now.

In a basic sense, car alarms emit a loud noise to alert the owner or anyone else once it senses any attempt at unauthorised entry. They usually trigger when the doors or windows are opened without the presence of the accompanying alarm key fob; some systems trigger if they sense any unnatural movement in and around the car in the absence of the key.

However, the fact that car alarms are so commonplace has resulted in complacency, with people ignoring them due to the constant false alarms that are triggered due to various reasons.

Immobilisers

A more effective deterrent would be immobilisers. An immobiliser is an electric device that is wired to both the engine and the car’s key, and prevents the car from starting or running if the correct key is not present.

The immobiliser device consists of a miniature transponder imbedded in the ignition key head, and an electronic key which sends out security codes that must be matched to the one generated by the car’s Electronic Control Unit (ECU) in order for the car to start and run.

If an incorrect code is detected, the ignition and engine will not be able to start, thereby rendering any attempt at stealing the vehicle useless.

GPS vehicle tracking systems

Taking security further are GPS vehicle tracking systems. Should thieves somehow managed to break past your car alarm and disable your car’s immobiliser, vehicle tracking systems are able to alert the owner as to the whereabouts of the vehicle, enabling him or the authorities to take action.

Vehicle tracking systems typically send data regularly about the car to either a computer or a data centre, which can be evaluated to determine the car’s travelling pattern. So, any anomalies in that pattern would result in an alert to the owner in case of theft.

Law enforcement authorities also have access to this information once they are alerted, so that they can assist with tracking and recovery of the vehicle. More sophisticated systems can even perform a remote shutdown of the car if required, thereby stopping the car thief literally in his tracks