Wednesday April 2 2014

Car clinic empowers vehicle owners

Paul Kaganzi and Shell’s Diana Kigozi display

Paul Kaganzi and Shell’s Diana Kigozi display new and used air filters during the My Car Clinic in Kampala at the weekend. PHOTO BY ISMAIL KEZALA 

By Carol Nambowa

Did you know that different types of engines require different kinds of engine oil and that the oil needs to be changed?

This year’s first My Car Clinic held last Saturday at Shell Ntinda organised by the Daily Monitor in partnership with Vivo Energy (a Shell licensee) had a lot in stock for motorists.

My Car magazine’s resident mechanic Paul Kaganzi educated motorists on how the engine works and the importance of periodic maintenance. This was the fourth car clinic in partnership with Vivo Energy and the fifth since the inception last year.

Kaganzi informed the audience there are different engine oils for petrol and diesel engines. “You need to use oil that is suitable for your engine. Shell has Helix oil for petrol engines and Rimula for the diesels,” he said. Under oil, the importance of viscosity was also discussed.
John Paul Kibirige, a student, said: “I mainly came here because our car had some engine problems. I have learnt about the engine and I think the problems are a result of having not changed the engine oil in a period of four years or taken the engine for service. ”

Most of the time was dedicated to periodic maintenance of car parts. First was the engine. “Engine oil deteriorates with time when being used and even when it is not being used, it expires,” Kaganzi noted. “The second part that needs to be checked during servicing of the car is the engine oil filter which removes sludge and metal particles,” he said.

Annet Ssemadaali, a Subaru Forester driver, said: “We have discussed servicing and it has helped me know what to expect when servicing the car and the kind of questions to ask the mechanic.”

Kaganzi shared more on the cooling and heating system and later focusing on coolant. “Good coolant has lubricating and anti-corrosion functions. Some coolants are premixed while others require one to mix them before use. I recommend the latter because then one is certain of the concentration of the coolant,” he said.

Kaganzi stressed the importance of the thermostat, saying: “The thermostat is like a gate keeper. When the car engine heats up, it opens to allow coolant to flow to the engine and when the engine is cold, it closes. One should replace a thermostat after 100,000km.”

Other parts that require periodic maintenance include radiator