Cars & Vehicles

10 Things Every Car Owner Should Know

Why is it important to understand your vehicle?

Almost every person dreams of owning a car, or upgrading their vehicles from time to time. In reality, high quality, brand new cars may attract you when you pass by any authorised dealer show room or a car sale in Sri Lanka. Besides, car dealers may prompt you to spend a fortune on new cars. For instance, fast cars, high end cars or an exotic car with superior features. However, you may prefer to drive used cars. On the other hand, modified cars may be your interest. But no matter what your taste is, if you value your car taking care of it on your own can give you a sense of fulfillment.

How to take care of your car?

Following are a few tips:

1.      Changing a flat tyre

One of the most frequent roadside nightmares is a flat tyre. However, you can change it yourself if you have a spare one. Moreover, you only need a few tools to accomplish this – a car jack and a lug wrench. Furthermore, ensure the surface surrounding the tyre is smooth and flat before you begin. Meanwhile, use a rock or any other heavy object against the remaining tyres to block the car from moving.The steps are pretty straightforward. Firstly, loosen the hubcaps, which keeps the tyres attached to the car. This will reveal the lug-nuts. Use the lug wrench to loosen them. Secondly, jack up the car. This simply means to place the jack under the car near the tyre that needs changing. For this, refer to the owner’s manual to learn the perfect jack placement. Next, bring the spare tyre in line with the holes of the lug-nuts. Replace the tyre by tightening it into place using the lug-nuts. Finally, remove the jack to let the new tyre support the car.

2.      Checking the oil levels

Regularly checking the engine oil is essential for vehicle maintenance. New cars come with electronic oil monitors. However, if you drive a used car or an older model, then you can use the dipstick to measure the oil levels.

Lift the hood of the engine to find the dipstick. This is usually on the left side of the engine with a yellow/orange coloured handle. Thus, it is easy to locate. Next, pull out the dipstick and clean it. Afterwards, insert it firmly back in place. Subsequently, pull it out once more to read the oil levels. The marks on the dipstick are indicators. For example, normal or too low. Furthermore, if the oil is discoloured or too low, make sure you change the oil or top it up immediately.

3.      Changing or toping up oil

On the other hand, if the dipstick indicates that oil needs topping up, then follow these steps. Firstly, remove the cap off the engine oil cap. This has an oil icon on it. Secondly, place a small funnel on the opening to prevent oil from spilling. Next, pour oil gradually through the funnel.

However, it is important to pause for a minute between each addition to ensure the oil seeps in thoroughly. Meanwhile, use the dipstick to measure the oil levels so you can stop once it reaches the “max” point. Once you are done, close the oil fill. Moreover, never exceed the max level. Oil level should neither be too low nor too high. If the oil needs to be replaced, then visit your nearest service station or car clinic.

 4.      Replacing the air filter

The air filter safeguards the engine by absorbing dirt and other particles. Hence, it needs to be cleaned or changed when it becomes too dirty. For this purpose, you can carry out a light test. This means checking how the filter looks under bright light. In contrast, certain car models may have air filters with fabric filtering media. This makes the light test ineffective. Nevertheless, pollution will play a big role in how often to replace or clean the air filter. With this in mind, locate the black box besides the engine. Use your basic tools to unscrew it and replace the filter with a new one when the time is right.

5.      Adding windshield wiper fluid

The basics are crucial. A clean view meets the road safety rules and keeps your automobiles in perfect condition. There is a translucent container known as the washer fluid reservoir. Open the hood to find it. Pour the windshield wiper fluid into the container until full, and press the lid back into place.

6.      Changing the windshield wipers

On the other hand, know when it is time to replace the windshield wipers. For instance, if the rubber is worn out or is uneven on the windshield, then it is time to order a new set of rubbers. For this reason, measure the blades.

Lift the metal arm of the blade at a 90 degree angle. Subsequently, press on the rubber stopper found in the centre of the metal blades. This removes the older rubber from the windshield. Afterwards, attach the new rubber blades onto the metal wiper and fasten them tightly together.

7.      Figuring out the tyre pressure

The tyre are the only part of the car that should touch the ground, so commit to regular maintenance whether you drive a new or second hand car. Check the pressure in the tyres very frequently. This implies better fuel efficiency and a quicker steering response. Overall, it is likely to provide a comparatively better driving experience.

Meanwhile, the process is simple. Use a tyre pressure gauge to test the pressure in the tyres. Indeed, it is ideal to carry this out on cold tyres (at least 3 hours after the last drive). Furthermore, write down the units for each tyre and compare it with the recommended PSI (pressure per square inch) stated by the manufacturer. To do this, firstly press the pressure gauge onto the valve stem of the tyre. Meanwhile, use an air compressor to fill the tyres that indicate low pressure. However, keep in mind that measurement accuracy matters.

8.      Knowing the cooling system

Figure out whether the cooling system is overheating or overcooling. A diagnosis will help you resolve a number of issues that may prolong the life of your vehicle. Therefore, inspect the different parts of this system such as the radiator, cooling system fan and even the hoses. In essence, frequent checking of the components and belts is a must.

9.      Inspecting the serpentine belt

This is a long belt that operates like a pulley. Moreover, it connects with various other components of the automobile such as the power steering pump, alternator, air conditioning, air pump and water pump to name a few. Thus, a defect in the belt can cause a breakdown in other parts of the vehicle. Therefore, periodic checks are necessary to know when the time to replace it is.

10.   How to jump start a car

This only works if the battery is the problem. Therefore, you need to take necessary precautions before attempting this. In the first place, you need a companion car nearby. In addition to this, ensure the disabled car is entirely turned off, including any electrical devices in it. Likewise, do not attempt to jump start the car if the battery is damaged.

However, if you adhere to all the safety rules, then connect the batteries of both cars using a red cable. In this case, connect the positive terminals of the good battery with the dead battery. In like manner, attach a black cable to the negative terminal of the good battery. The key point here is, you must connect it to the negative terminal of the dead battery only if other options are not available. This implies risk. For instance, a battery bolt may be a safer alternative to plug the black cable in. Thereupon, start the car that is in working condition and let it charge the dead battery for about 30-60 seconds. Finally, check whether the other car works.

Automobile market in Sri Lanka

In 2017, there were 7.2 million vehicles in Sri Lanka. Certainly, buying new cars is a straightforward process because of the sheer number of car dealerships in the country. In fact, you can compare cars among a wide variety of brands and models available.

Moreover, some are among the best cars in the mass automobile market. For example, Japanese cars. According to Lanka Business Online, cars with small engines comprise nearly 74 percent of the car market in Sri Lanka. This implies a high volume of cars for sale within a similar price bracket. Meanwhile, premium motor cars such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes make up a niche segment. In contrast, SUVs, hybrid vehicles and vans make up a significant proportion of the car market.

How ikman connects vehicle buyers and sellers

Over the years, ikman has gained a reputation for its excellent e-commerce opportunities. Likewise, ikman is now the go-to website in Sri Lanka to buy cars or to sell your car. Equally important is the value additions ikman offers to its members. Additionally, the website acts as a reference point to compare car prices in the market. The next time you decide to buy a car or want to place a listing under the “sell my car” category, you know exactly where to go.

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