Roll into the new year with a smooth ride

Friday January 12 2018


By Mustafa Ziraba

Last year was a good year for car lovers. There were a lot of varieties and many people bought themselves new wheels while others got rid of their old ones.
However, it is the new year and it is the season when we make resolutions.
Perhaps, some of us have already made our resolutions but the one thing many of us forget is to ensure that we are safe on the road or behind the wheel.
It is not too late. Make that resolution now and find ways to keep your car in good shape and in perfect condition to ensure that you and other road users are safe.
Start 2018 with a healthy car by ensuring that you do basic repairs, servicing and of the some of the following.

Keep on top of your car’s fluids
It is okay for you to cut back on the what you drink, especially those with alcoholic content but it is not okay for the fluids in your car. Ensure that your car has sufficient engine coolant and oil, brake and transmission fluid.
If any of these start being in short supply, your car will probably get a fault or breakdown in the worst case scenario.
While transmission and brake fluid leaks are very unlikely, you should check the coolant and engine oil level at least once a month to make sure it is between the minimum and maximum mark in the reservoir tank.

Check pressure and condition of tyres
If you can remember to step on the scales as part of a January keep-fit routine, you can surely check the pressure and condition of your tyres every fortnight.
Check your tyres regularly to avoid premature wear and tear as well as preventing a flat-tyre, puncture or, in more serious cases, an accident. A little shake or an unfamiliar vibration is not a minor issue, it means either a tyre, rim, or some part of your suspension is out of alignment. Have all suspension and tyre problems checked as soon as you can to avoid costly repairs.

Quit texting while driving
Far too many drivers have a habit of typing and sending texts while behind the wheel. With the New Year, it will be wise to drop this habit. Many people have lost or ended a life because of this. Therefore, quit multi-tasking while your are behind the wheel because it is dangerous.
Simply refrain from any temptation that takes your mind and eyes off the road.

Create repairs savings account
Yes, you may roll your eyes but this is relevant, especially for used car owners.
Many drivers want to take good care of their car and handle repairs as soon as they come up, but the cost is often not so inviting.
Instead of allowing car repairs to come as a surprise, start a savings account for your car. That way, when repairs come up, you will have the means to effect them.

Address minor problems early
It is easy to hear a strange noise in your car and hope that it will go away. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Many drivers drive cars with a minor faults. It might be a weird noise or a warning light on the dashboard.
However, while you might be driving the car without major difficulties that small problem is likely to become a much bigger one with time. In the new year, aim to get all those niggling issues sorted before they become bigger and more expensive.

Go somewhere new
Though all of the above resolutions can help you enjoy your car more and keep you safe, they require some work of sorts.
Ensure that you find some time to enjoy your car by taking a road trip to some place you have never been. This way, you might find a few issues that you might want to fix.

Drive smarter
Preventative car maintenance starts behind the wheel. Bad driving habits wears out car components. Accelerate and brake gently. The savings you make by driving 120 kilometres per hour are less than 10 minutes if you drove at for instance 70 kilometres per hour. Avoid road rage.

Keep the car clean
Do you remember how clean your car was when you first picked it up? There is probably a good chance it doesn’t look so clean anymore.
Mud, rubbish, food crumbs, spilled drinks and unnecessary items can pile up quickly in the car. Rather than put it off until you can no longer stand the clutter, consider spending at least She10,000 at the washing bay, say every weekend, to clean things out.