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Kitna deti hai? Fuel efficiency tips

August 25, 2019 / 1 Comments / 562 / Drivepedia

Kitna deti hai?

Probably this is the most frequently asked question in Indian auto space. While the car is responsible for the best fuel efficiency, a lot is dependent on us to gain the maximum out of it. You can follow such simple techniques to get the most for your buck. 

1. Maintain the correct tyre pressure

The manufacturer recommended air pressure is important – not only for a comfortable ride and correct handling but also for ensuring fuel mileage. An under inflated tyre leads to friction and that leads to kinetic energy being lost. Another trick is to actually increase the air pressure in your tyre by a few PSI. That makes the side walls firmer and reduces the contact patch of the tyre but at the same time it can lead to blowouts (if over inflated) and lower grip as compared to correct pressures

2. Drive in the correct gear

You ain’t Vin Diesel. You don’t need to change gear every 3 seconds. Being in the right gear at the right RPM helps the most. Especially if you are in a high traffic area. Another mistake people regularly make is to rev the engine all the way to its redline before changing gear. And while that might be great if you don’t give two hoots about your fuel economy, it makes a Huge difference if you do.

3.  Keep those windows up!

While it might not seem so, aerodynamics play a HUGE part in improving fuel economy. Windows rolled up means that the car’s body is as slippery when coming in contact with the air that it can possibly be. This means that the air flow around your car will be at its best and you don’t need that little extra power to make your air cut through the air

4. Minimise Idling

If your car is going to be stationary for an extended period of time, switch the engine of. An idling car burns fuel without really going anywhere.

So if you have your engine running while you’re waiting for someone, you’re effectively getting 0 kmpl at that time.

Some cars even give a litre per hour consumption on their trip computers to help you keep track. Simple solution. Switch the engine off. Or, if you have the budget, buy a car with auto start-stop technology.

5. Fuel quality 

Adulterated fuel not only lowers the fuel efficiency but also harms the engine. Before tanking up your vehicle, always check the fuel quality. Today you can check the volume and density of fuel being sold at any pump without being charged. It is also advisable to tank up from a big fuel pump in the city that is company owned. While travelling on the highway, avoid filling fuel from small and dodgy looking outlets.

6. Reduce some weight

The heavier the car, the more fuel it will drink.

So ditch that heavy stuff you don’t use anymore, the spare tyre that’s not fit for use or even the tonnes of garbage that you lug around.

Keep the boot empty and clean and watch the fuel gauge become more stable. The extra bucks will make up for the trouble.

7. Turn off the AC when you can

We are aware that conditions in our country don’t allow us the freedom to keep the windows open any longer – pollution and higher temperatures mean that nowadays the air-con is constantly on. But the AC does consume a lot of power and fuel to run, so try turning it off when the weather is bearable. Also, if the air con system in your car comes with climate control, you can turn it off ‘Auto’ mode and keep it in a low blower mode to use less fuel, since the AC won’t have to kick in as many times to maintain the specified interior temperature. But keep the AC on and the windows up on the highway where speeds are higher, since you can actually save gas because of reduced aerodynamic drag.

8. Drive your automatic car in manual mode if possible

Most auto ‘boxes are designed not to upshift before a particular speed. The upside of this is that it generates sufficient torque for the shift, and optimises fuel economy of the upshift as well. However, an automatic gearbox is generally not able to differentiate situations where less torque is required and as a result, often holds the engine in a lower gear than necessary, thereby consuming more fuel

9. Use recommended fuels and lubricants

While oil companies might claim better power, mileage and efficiency from their ‘special’ fuels, switching your car to higher octane fuel, for example, will not make a difference to your fuel economy because your car engine may not have been designed to run on it. So instead of saving money, your fuel costs actually increase, because of the generally higher prices of these fuel variants. Also, only use the manufacturer-recommended engine oil and your car will perform efficiently.

10. Take a walk

A no-brainer this one really. If you don’t need to drive somewhere, don’t. Also, if you have to visit a crowded area, such as a market or a fair, park your car some distance away where you don’t have to drive around to find a parking spot.

It will save you time, the hassle of navigating through congestion and of course a lot of fuel. Moreover, a bit of exercise can do you and the family no harm either.

Monsoon Driving Tips

July 21, 2019 / 0 Comments / 431 / Drivepedia
  1. Check your tiresGood tyres become all the more important during the monsoon because the tyre needs to dispel water out of its grooves constantly to maintain grip with the road. If the tread is worn, there is no place for the water to leave out of the tyre, and the car ends up riding on a layer of water very easily, which leads to loss of traction. This is called aquaplaning, which can result in a fatal accident.
  2. Check your wipers – If your wipers are not in good condition, you will not be able to see out of your windscreen. It’s as simple as that. And since we obviously need the best vision we can get, especially during a spell of heavy rain, it should be high up on your checklist. Have the wiper blades replaced at least once a year, and try to have them in excellent working condition for the rains. The entire wiper arm may need replacing on older cars, since they tend to warp over time, and become unable to exert enough downward pressure on the windscreen to clean it.
  3. Use headlights in rainy conditions – When visibility is poor because of rain, turn on your headlights (on low beam) as this will help other drivers know you’re there. Also make sure that you headlights are in good working order – old, yellowed lens reflectors need to be replaced before the monsoon, especially since wet roads tend to absorb much more light than dry tarmac, thus rendering your headlights less effective. 
  4. Car skidding – Prevention is certainly better than cure, so we stress again to slow down! Try to brake before entering turns, and not mid-corner, and be gentle with the throttle. However, if you do feel your car skidding, remain calm and try “steering into the skid”. What this means is you should look and steer in the direction you want the car to go. If your car doesn’t have ABS, don’t brake as this will only heighten the loss of control, but if the car is ABS-equipped, brake firmly while steering into the skid.
  5. Driving through water – Driving through a flooded area can be extremely dangerous for your car, since all its expensive electronic control systems are put at risk, especially newer cars. As rule, don’t attempt to drive through water that is higher than the bottom of your doors, or you could end up like the guy in the picture. If however, you deem it safe to go through the water, slot the car into first gear, keep the clutch depressed just enough to partially engage gear, and drive slowly through the water. This is to keep the exhaust gases moving out of the tail pipe. If water gets sucked back in, it could enter the engine and render it useless, requiring you to replace it entirely.
  6. The windshield washer fluid – topped up at all times, and clean all glasses thoroughly. Try using a newspaper to clean your windscreens. If you have a dark sun film, that’s going to create a problem at night.
  7. Fuel up! You never know when you may end up stuck on the road. Don’t ever let your fuel tank go below the 1/2 level mark. Also, stock up with sufficient supplies of snacks and bottled water. Chocolates, packaged wafer chips and energy bars make for great snacks to store in your car.
  8. Keep a first-aid kit – torch and umbrella handy. Some members even recommend keeping a small hammer in the car. In the event of flood waters jamming your doors, the hammer could help in breaking the windows for escape
  9. Avoid driving on lane cuts or lane divide lines – your car will tramline much easier in the rains. Also, try to stay off the paint on the road (zebra crossings, lane markers etc.) as the painted surface is low on traction. 
  10. The safest place to be is in the middle lane – Why? Crowned roads will have water settle on either side. Plus, you will notice puddle formation in the right lanes, while the left will always have people joining the road or exiting.
  11. Go slow – It’s that simple. Adopt a conservative driving style and plan for a longer travel time. For instance, brake earlier and with lesser force than you would in the dry. 
  12. Window fogging – occurs due to a temperature difference between the inside surface of your glass and the outside. For example, if you drive without the air-con and all your windows are shut, the cabin is warmer than the outside, resulting in the window fogging up from inside. On the other hand, if you run your air-con on full blast mode, the interiors of your car will be colder than the outside. Thus, your glasses will fog up from the outside. 
  13. When the windows fog from the inside – The best thing to do is to switch the aircon on. It will clear up the screens in a jiffy. The situation is a little tricker when the windows fog up from the outside. The ideal solution is to roll down the windows a little, and let the air flow more or less neutralize the temperature difference. 
  14. Carry a couple of cigarettes –  or a pouch of tobacco in your glovebox. If visibility becomes a problem due to heavy rainfall, rubbing tobacco on the windscreen works wonders.
  15. Pull over when the rain becomes too heavy – Wiper blades can get overloaded during extremely heavy rain, and not be able to function as normal, resulting in a layer of water on the windscreen that becomes very hard to see through. This is when you need to pull over to let the shower pass or at least lighten till visibility reaches a safe level. Make sure you move off the highway or road with your hazard lights on to a safe place where your car isn’t in the path of traffic, or you become a prime candidate for a bad accident.

How to change a Flat Tire?

July 21, 2019 / 0 Comments / 613 / Drivepedia

1. Find a safe location

As soon as you realise you have a flat tire, do not abruptly brake or turn.  Slowly reduce speed and scan your surroundings for a level, straight stretch of road with a wide shoulder. An empty parking lot would be an ideal place. Level ground is good because it will prevent your vehicle from rolling. Also, straight stretches of road are better than curves because oncoming traffic is more likely to see you.

Never attempt to change your tire on a narrow shoulder near oncoming traffic. Keep moving (slowly) until you find a safer spot. While driving on a flat risks ruining your rim, replacing a rim is better than being hit by an inattentive driver.

Make sure to consult your owner’s manual and review their specific steps on how to change a flat tire for your vehicle

2. Turn on Hazard lights

Your hazard lights or “flashers” will help other drivers see you on the side of the road. To avoid an accident, turn them on as soon as you realize you need to pull over.

3. Apply Parking brake

Once stopped, always use the parking brake when preparing to replace a flat tire. This will minimize the possibility of your vehicle rolling.

4. Apply wheel wedges or keep a stone 

Wheel wedges go in front of or behind the tires to further ensure the vehicle doesn’t roll while you fix the flat tire. If you’re changing a rear tire, place these in front of the front tires. If your flat tire is at the front, put the wheel wedges behind the rear tires.

Bricks or large stones will work just as well as “real” wheel wedges. Just be sure they’re large enough to stop the car from rolling.

5. Remove the wheel cap or cover

If your vehicle has a hubcap covering the lug nuts, it’s easier to remove the hubcap before lifting the vehicle with the jack. If your lug nuts are exposed, you can skip ahead to Step 6.

Use the flat end of your lug wrench to remove the hubcap. This will work for most vehicles, but some hubcaps need a different tool to come off. Consult your owner’s manual for proper hubcap or wheel cover removal procedures.

6. Loosen the Nuts

Using the lug wrench, turn the lug nuts counterclockwise until you break their resistance. You may have to use force, and that’s ok. Use your foot or all of your body weight if necessary.

Loosen the lug nuts about ¼ to ½ of a turn, but don’t remove them completely yet. Save that for when it’s time to remove your tire/wheel from the vehicle.

7. Place the jack under the vehicle

The right place for the jack is usually beneath the vehicle frame alongside the tire that’s flat. Many vehicle frames have molded plastic on the bottom with a cleared area of exposed metal specifically for the jack. To safely lift and avoid damage to the vehicle, follow the instructions for jack placement in your vehicle owner’s manual.

8. Raise the vehicle with Jack

To prevent the jack from settling under the weight of your vehicle and coming off balance, place a small cut of 2×6” wood beneath it before attempting to raise your vehicle. This tactic is especially helpful on asphalt.

With the jack properly positioned, raise the vehicle until the flat tire is about six inches above the ground.

Never put any part of your body under the vehicle during or after raising the vehicle with the jack.

9. Unscrew the Nuts

Now it’s time to remove the lug nuts all the way. Since you’ve already loosened them, you should be able to unscrew them mostly by hand.

10. Remove the Flat Tire

Gripping the tire by the treads, pull it gently toward you until it’s completely free from the hub behind it. Set it on its side so that it doesn’t roll away.

11. Mount the spare wheel on Bolts

Now place the spare on the hub by lining up the rim with the lug bolts. Push gently until the lug bolts show through the rim.

12. Tighten the Nuts by Hand

Put the lug nuts back on the lug bolts and tighten them all the way by hand. Once they are all on, check each one again, tightening as much as possible.  You will tighten them with the wrench after lowering the vehicle to the ground.

13. Lower the Vehicle and tighten the Nuts again

Use the jack to lower the vehicle so that the spare tire is resting on the ground but the full weight of the vehicle isn’t fully on the tire. At this point, you should tighten the lug nuts with the wrench, turning clockwise, as much as you can.  Push down on the lug wrench with the full weight of your body.

14. Lower the Vehicle completely

Bring the vehicle all the way to the ground and remove the jack. Give the lug nuts another pull with the wrench to ensure they’re as tight as possible.

15. Replace the Hub Cap

If the hubcap you took from the flat tire will fit your spare, put it in place the same way you removed it initially. If it doesn’t fit, stow it away with the tire when you stow your equipment.

16. Put the equipment back

You have before you a jack, a lug wrench, wheel wedges, your flat tire, and possibly a hubcap. Don’t forget to put all of them in your vehicle before driving away.

17. Check the pressure in spare tire

You should check the tire pressure of the spare tire to make sure that it is safe to drive on. “T-Type” temporary spares, also called “mini-spares,” require 60 psi (420 kPa).  If the tire needs pressure, drive (slowly) to a service station immediately.

18. Get the Flat tire repaired at the earliest

Temporary spare tires aren’t made to drive long distances or at high speeds, so drive cautiously until you’re able to visit a tire technician. A professional should be able to determine whether your tire needs a repair or if it’s time to replace it.

How long does it take? 

Aside from taking your tire to a professional, the above procedure shouldn’t take more than 15 to 30 minutes to change a tire. Just be sure you don’t leave out any steps.

It’s beneficial practice changing a tire in your garage or driveway to ensure you’re ready to handle this situation if it ever happens to you.

Few more Tips: 

Knowing how to fix a flat tire is great, but regular tire maintenance is even more important. In addition to reviewing this guide regularly, remember to do the following:

  • Keep your tires properly inflated
  • Rotate your tires according to the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • Monitor for tread wear

All of these precautions will extend the life of your tires and reduce the likelihood of a flat. While there’s no way to prevent flat tires completely, proper care can improve performance and ensure your tires last as long as possible.

All you need to know about car audio

July 21, 2019 / 3 Comments / 776 / Drivepedia

Bought your fancy car? Great! Unhappy with the stock system of your million-buck car? Welcome to the club J Cars are getting better day by day.

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The ultimate tire guide for beginners

July 21, 2019 / 3 Comments / 552 / Drivepedia

Choose the right tire and the car will love you back more than you love it. However, we are more confused than ever, with all the complex jargons

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