Tips to Effectively Use the Car Air-Conditioner

Picture this: An afternoon in summer, returning from the shopping with bags overlapped both the hands, scorching sun overhead, and anyhow managed to open the door and got ourselves settled inside the car; then it come to realization, how good it would have been when someone else had turned the AC on for us before we get inside the car. Well, that couldn’t be possible without a robot, or some advanced technology, or at least a chauffeur. But conventional audience like us, who had owned car purposely for commuting need, always tend to forget to service the car ACs before summer, and end up hassling with the AC knobs to cool as fast as possible. To avoid such circumstances, mentioned here are some tips, stated how to use the car’s AC effectively in order to save bucks as well as time, and also enjoy a cool breeze while driving.

First thing first, always park the car in shade. The sunbeam makes the cabin a heated furnace, and so the AC may not find itself capable enough to eschew the heat and fill-in the pleasant air. And we knew how difficult it is to find a shaded parking spot every time. If not succeed in getting a one with complete shade, then opt for a space which at least draws a shade during the afternoon, or at least half of the time the car is parked. This would aide in reducing the green-house gas effects on the car. The least, if not possible to get the shaded at any cost, then use the films and other articles on the windshield and windows to avert sunlight entering the cabin and heating up the entire area.

Tips to Effectively Use the Car Air-Conditioner

However, if all the efforts had failed of safeguarding the car in shade, and you have to drive the car with that heat, then avoid switching the AC just after getting inside. Wait for some time, and let the car exhales the heat what it has sucked, we mean drive the car without AC for a mile. Before pushing that AC button on, make sure a 90-degree turn had been crossed in the speed of 25-30kph with all the windows open to fly out the heat from one side of the window due to inertia, and also let in fresh air from the other end.

This is the most commonly sensed idea, like the fact common sense is very uncommon; we too may have evaded this one from our memory. Always start the AC in low then gradually increase its speed. Starting on a high is like someone wakes you up in the mid of the dead night and had asked to go to office with full enthusiasm. The best way is to control the temperature and blower for gaining the maximum outputs in the initial minutes.

This is one for a mid stage; note it, once the AC started blowing on our faces, turn ON the Recirculation Mode. In the gist, the AC system won’t suck air from the outside and it will use the one present in the cabin. and as a result, the cabin air would start getting cooler, the system will work less to further cool that one down instead of continuously cool the one sucked from outside.

Now, this tip is for the last stage when reached destination. Don’t shut off the engine before killing off the AC. To be a bit precise, shut off the AC quite a distance before the destination and let the fan do its task for a while. It’s not simply mentioned here to cut on the fuel-expenses, but a technical reason to be the main reason behind this action. When the AC is in work, we are well-versed with the water formation under the car coming from the evaporator, which also stays cool minutes after the AC is switched off. Due to its tendency of remaining ice cold, when turned off, and the hot air passes over it condensation takes place and water droplets start forming on its fins. To the rescue, when the fan is laid ON it dries out the condensation around evaporator and its surrounding, which in turn also avoid the bacteria formation and that dirty smell which occurs due to dampness.

Hopefully, the aforesaid tips will guide you to upkeep the AC for a longer time. Here, posted below are the small nips and tuck that are “also” meant to be taken care of.

Once a year make sure the air filter are replaced and also don’t skip the periodic schedule of maintenance. Ask service personnel to spray some anti-bacterial substances into the AC’s ducts and vents.

Importantly, if felt the need to replace the refrigerant, always opt for a certified dealership that only stocks original replacements for your vehicle.

Last but not the least, the AC is meant to take a charge on the fuel-consumption, which also affects the engine to an extent, so maintain precision when using them, with also a favour of responsibility to be shown for it. And don’t try to make you’re car an igloo when outside the temperature is matching the daytime of an arid desert. It’s for the reason that, human body is not meant to handle an extreme variation of temperatures, with the very low temperature inside when stepped outside the heat may get you fainted. 24-degree Celsius (75 F) is enough to stay pleasant inside the car, safe and dry.

Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Car

The chances of car breakdown increase drastically during the winter season, forcing the motorists to make expensive call outs for help and wait stuck at a side of the road. But, you can avoid all those potential troubles by applying the following Winter maintenance tips.

Make it a point to remove any leaves that sometimes find their way into your car. Just as leaves and twigs can block gutters in your house, they can also wreck the equivalent havoc on your car. When leaves or any other organic matter stuck in areas of your vehicle where water is supposed to gush out, your vehicle can get corrosion or leaks. This can mostly happen in the air plenum close to the windshield.

In case your vehicle has a sunroof, its drains that flow water that creeps past the seals down to the ground, any leaf stuck in there can lead to wet headliners and make your journey worse. Therefore you must check those drains before leaving.

Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Car
Sometimes birds may make nests under the hood of your vehicle. This is less common, but creates a bigger problem. In any such case you may require a mechanic as well as an animal trapper to get this problem fully solved.

You must make sure that you have cleared all the ice from the windscreen of your vehicle. Ice on windscreen is a common occurrence during the winter. It is important that you don’t drive your vehicle until your vision is clear because poor visibility could cause accidents on the road. Make certain that wipers are in good conditions but do not try to use them to remove hard ice from the windscreen as it could damage them. If the wipers’ blades are torn, then this is a high time to replace them.

There is an anti-freeze – a colored fluid – in radiators of you vehicle. This fluid plays a vital role by preventing your engine and radiators from freezing during the winter season. You must regularly make sure that your anti-freeze levels of the fluid in the radiators are between the minimum and maximum. This vigilance will help avoid potential damage to the radiators or engine. Before changing the anti-freeze fluid, it is highly recommended that you consult a qualified mechanic or your local dealership.

 Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Car
You also must keep an eye on oil levels. You should check them regularly. Low oil levels can cause a big damage to your engine. You can use a dipstick to check the levels of oil in your vehicle. The level must be between the maximum and minimum level.

Your vehicle is in contact with the road through its tyres. Therefore the quality of tyres has a big impact on the drivability of vehicles. Keeping tyres in high quality has also become more important due to deteriorating condition of roads. Experts recommend that tyres must have a minimum tread depth 2mm. The tread disperses lose water as well as snow from the roads so that your vehicle does not aquaplane.

Tyre pressures are also important. You should check pressures in the tyres of your vehicle at least once a week during the winter season. It will make sure that they reach the manufacturers recommended levels. This will help you avoid any potential accident on the road.

Ways To Save Money on Car Maintenance

A research has recently showed that 70 percent of people use their cars for luxury purposes. So they treat their cars as a delicate thing and spends way too much in maintaining them. It is good to treat the cars as a delicate thing, but there is no reason to spend unnecessary money on car maintenance. There are many a measures that one can take to minimize the cost of car maintenance and save a few bucks at the end of the month.  Mentioned below are a few steps that one can take to minimize the costs incurred in maintaining cars.

Keep the parts of the cars dry:

I have seen many people who keep their cars out of the garage and when it rains the parts of the cars get wet and it, in turn, affects in the motors and performance of the car. The Motor gets cooled and stops the warming of water, while the byproducts of the combustion get combined with it and the motor gets affected very badly. As a result when you start the motor it faces problems in warming up properly and it gets tough to start the engine. It is then better not to use the cars for short trip. You might have to walk to that place.

Car Maintenance

Don’t change the oil unless and until it is needed:

Do not go according to the oil company, they may tell you to change the oil before it is needed. Go thoroughly through the users’ manual. Use the car and if you feel that there is a problem with the oil only then change the oil. Do not change the oils every 3000 miles. It is an old rule and does not apply with most of the modern day vehicles.

Don’t change the oil

Go to your trusted local mechanic rather than going to the dealer:

Find any trustworthy mechanic near your place. Going to the dealer all the time means you will end up spending much more money than required, but if you go to the local mechanic he will only repair the thing which is needed to be repaired. But make sure the mechanic you choose is trustworthy and has good reputation in the area. But if your car is suffering from any major problem then you better take it to the dealer as the local mechanic may not always understand what is needed to be done and may end up complicating the problem even further. But for minor issues, take your car to your local mechanic.

Local mechanic

Use regular fuel at times:

Most of the cars that ply on the road today only to use premium oil, but in reality few really require it. So also try using regular oil, it may actually work. It won’t affect your car’s mileage. Efficiency may get hampered a bit, but in most of the cases the performance parameters remains same more or less. If you are using turbo-charged or super-charged cars then it is recommended that you follow the car manual.

Regular fuel at times

Keep the tires in proper road condition:

Try to use directional tires rather than using rotational tires. Always try to keep the tire pressure as it should be, it keeps the tires in good condition. Ask your friendly mechanic to take care of it on a regular basis.

Tires in proper road condition

Purchase the parts on your own:

Purchase the parts of the cars on your own as it saves a lot of money. Do not let the mechanic to buy your parts as he may overcharge you for the parts. And always survey the market before buying the parts. There are always stores where you will get the same parts at a lower rate.

Car parts

Keep the car light in weight:

Remove unnecessary items from your car and keep it light to achieve maximum performance out of the car. It is always difficult for a car to give its best when it is loaded with stuffs.

Keep the car light in weight

How To Achieve That Extreme Handling In Your Ordinary Car – Part 2

By far in the part 1 of our article, we already gave you a fair idea that you actually don’t need to own a luxury car/sports car in order to get a good deal out of your car. Just with few handy tricks, will make your car better than the rest of its siblings and obviously will stretch a smile upon your face.

But before we can go any further let us first see take a quick recap of what we have covered in our part 1 article.

  1. If one wants a real dude deal out of his car, then my opinion would be to invest in the best tyres because that is the final link between a car and its tarmac. You won’t believe the difference it will make. Use the best possible widest rubber tyres in the car. Purchase a VFM sports tyres which is available in almost the 60 percent of the cost of those ultra high performance tyres.
  2. Opting for the upsizing of the tyres is easy but keep in mind that the lower the profile of the car, more sensitive the tyre will become. I might just repeat the words of experts. The ultra profile tyres are more sensitive to the camber changes and the suspension tuning. The obvious way to tackle this disadvantage caused by the increased wheel diameter and its width is to incorporate the light weight wheel. These light wheels make it much easier to apply brake and accelerate and this whole process helps to grain structure and provide superior strength for the weight.
  3. The super fine suspension set up can be achieved by lowering down the excess body motion. The experts say “roll under the hard cornering, dive under braking and squat under acceleration-they all create problem for the driver”. The vehicles when rolled, the front suspension, the bottoms, sometimes even the rear suspension is the worst treat to the tyres especially at the time of cornering hard. This increases the amount of load on the tyres resulting in an instant loss of traction at the bottom of the car. So the first thing to be done is to control the excessive body motion as already stated. One can use stiffer springs, as they will help in bottoming out under roll, resisting roll and combination of dive squat and roll and to counter the more rebound energy, one need to install the shocks with more damping.

So now here is the forth and the most important trick for you, as we promised:

Balance on wheels:

After covering the important points like tyres, unsprung weight and body motion we can now redirect our attention towards the balance of the chassis. But why balance of chassis? The reason is to achieve the neutral handling. Now, the fastest way around the corner is when the all four tyres slide the same amount because then the car uses the grip of each tyre to its maximum. Many experienced drifters (and we really mean experienced) prefer a neutral car, as it allows the driver to have many control options for getting sideways. Most of the car’s from factory comes fitted in with an under steer. They (manufacturers) do it because this way the car automatically becomes the easiest handling mode, even for a noob driver.  But if you want the maximum acceleration of the car then understeer won’t be able to give you that, as the understeer uses the front tyres and the traction of the rear tyres go waste which makes understeer the boring and the slowest process way around the corner. If we don’t want to opt for the understeer then we’ll might probably end up on oversteer. It generally occurs at the time of high acceleration or the limit where the rear tyres slide before the front. Experts drifter excessively i.e. continuously uses oversteer to control the tyres raising it to an art form.

Slip angle is defined by the difference between the direction the car is moving and the direction the contact patch of tyre is pointing. So by manipulating the tyre’s slip angle, one can alter a car’s handling balance. At the extreme slip angles, the contact patch actually slides across tarmac. The load placed on the each individual wheel while cornering is called the primary dynamic contribution to slip angle. When subjected to cornering, the more the pressure is there on the tyre, the greater it is supposed to have a slip angle. People wonder why the nose heavy front wheel drive car can run a large slip angle than the rear tyre. It is possible because these cars have more weight which at the time of cornering puts the load on the front tyres. At this point of time the front tyres of the car slide first, causing it to understeer. Whereas the cars with the rear engine have the large proportion of weight on the rear tyres. As the consequences, the rear tyres run a large slip angle giving a natural tendency to oversteer. Now the third type, the mid engine cars are supposed to have an evenly distributed weight equal at the front and rear tyres. This generally produces equal slip angle at the time of cornering giving it a more neutral handling. So, what we get here is that by properly manipulating the slip angle and the tyre load by controlling the weight transfer, and that’s what the key to balance the chassis is.

Now how does the tuner manipulate the tyre load and the slip angle? That is by tweaking the anti roll bars, spring rates, tyre pressure, the shock dampening and most importantly the tyre size. Now the first thing to be done is changing the anti roll bar and spring. A stiffer spring on one end means more weight transferred on the outside tyre at the time of roll in at the corner. The best thing what you can do to your understeering, front wheel drive car is to run a bigger anti roll bar to tune out understeer. Second come the tyre pressure and tyres size. Though people wonder how can a tyres size affect the balance of chassis but it’s been proven by many experts that the tyres size really affects the chassis balance. Generally we see that the Porsches have a wider rear tyre. This is because this enables them to have traction at the rear. Many front wheel drive auto racers and road racers have wider front tyres in order to achieve more grip at the front. Now here come the shocks, though not literally. Shocks might not be that important when we are talking about the balance of chassis but yes they can definitely improve the balance right after the initiation of turn. Soft shocks can get the car to steady point of weight transfer faster. When there are stiff shocks installed, they can delay weight transfer. This makes it clear that the shocks become really necessary to know how a car feels after the mid turn and also at the time of turn.

Now the ideal car is the one which slides on all four wheels without the application of brakes or throttle but that obviously doesn’t exist whereas being able to provoke slight oversteer by lifting the throttle and a more aggressive oversteer with the slight braking while at the time of cornering. Rear wheel drive cars can possibly invoke oversteer with a large application of throttle. This kind of balance gives a skilled driver the most options.

Car maintenance tips – Tyres, brakes and suspension

Driving to work is usually a chilled out process if you are an enthusiast however when you are driving just for the sake of reaching your office, then it is actually a chore. Enthusiasts would note even a slight dip in performance whereas the ones considering driving a chore would rather not take notice. The purpose for this article is that because you all know that we cater to both the segments even though we abhor the latter and are very much a part of the former. We have given you some of the car maintenance tips for your tyres, brakes as well as suspension components.

The first and foremost thing is to go through the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is written keeping in mind the test results of the components used in making the aforementioned parts. The manufacturer actually test these materials under extreme conditions so that an average customer shouldn’t feel conned should his vehicle’s brakes pack up before the scheduled time frame. Tyres are one thing which every owner’s manual would ask you to check every 5000 kms and rotate them. This would make sure that the wear for the tyres is even. Also re-balance the tyres. This is important because when the tyres were fitted on to the car, they had a certain amount of rubber on them however as the time passes by, the tyres start losing that rubber on them. If you are more of the types using the launch control{found only in some Porsches and BMWs in India} in your car often, then your tyres would be eaten up at a faster rate. Balancing them allows to have a smooth ride whereas an unbalanced wheel would lead to pulling of the vehicle to one side of the road or a choppy ride quality. When you have a holiday, remove all those stones and rubble stuck in the tyres. This would be one way of ensuring that the tyres have a longer life span. Also, regularly ask the service technician to let you know if the tyres need to be changed. One more important thing to keep in mind is to even use the spare tyre while rotating. This would mean an even tread for it also. Check for the tyre pressure every week. If your tyres are of the tubeless variety, then stick to nitrogen. It is cold and helps get optimum performance from your tyres. If there is a sidewall which has burst, it would be best to replace the tyre and not wait for sometime.

Brakes are a vital and single handed way of bringing a vehicle to halt faster. These are life savers and need to be tended for carefully. The disc brake pads tend to function with lesser efficiency should they be wet and it is imperative that after washing a car, never try to speed. The disc brake rotor would have to first wipe the moisture and then apply pressure to the wheels to retard motion. Dirt and grime stick to the wheels and this also affects the brake application. If you would have ever noticed, try to stop a vehicle while you are in mud and it would take the  same time to stop it as you would take while in wet road conditions. The owner’s manual would also specify as to when to replace the brake drums or the disc pads. Many owners wouldn’t care to check the brakes as long as they are functioning. Few would think twice when they hear a grinding noise or even a squeal when applying brakes. Usually the squeal appears when there is dirt stuck inside the brake drums or even the disc rotors. Periodic cleaning of the brakes would eliminate this problem. The service personnel would check if the drums are worn out or even if the disc brake calliper needs a replacement. Resurfacing or polishing of the brakes would also help them in giving optimum performance.

Suspension is one component which enables a car to absorb all the shock waves transmitted from the road surface and cushion the occupants from the road harshness. Driving on rough roads leads to a premature wear for the suspension components. When joints and the suspension bushings wear out due to regular use, then it is best to get them replaced. If they aren’t replaced within time, the steering as well as the wheels also start wearing off prematurely. If these aren’t repaired in time, they would eventually make the vehicle lose traction, impede the braking abilities and also provide a harsh ride quality. Some ball joints from the steering system also tend to wear out because of a worn out suspension. When you hear a thud sound every time you go over a pothole means that one or more of the bushings have worn out and require your immediate attention. Small sounds are indicators of something going amiss in your car’s suspension. A suspension which hasn’t been maintained well would also lead to the cabin developing rattles. Some rubber parts which form part of the suspension components also start wearing off after some time and this would also lead to improper balancing of the vehicle leading to accidents. We may have seen many of the public transport buses on the roads with a saggy suspension. To maintain the suspension integrity, it is best advised to go slow over potholed roads or roads with bad infrastructure. Also don’t overload the vehicle than what it is supposed to be. In a routine checkup, always get the undercarriage inspected for any damage due to flying stones or debris. Watch out for any leak from the suspension.