The se­cret. . .

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Sport/leisure -

Just do some re­search be­fore you buy, it will go a long way.

When­ever we talk of en­gine life, we can never over­look en­gine oil the qual­ity and the oil change in­ter­vals. This point can never be stressed enough, en­gine oil makes ev­ery­thing work, it re­duces fric­tion and heat. You need to get it right ev­ery time.

Change your oil at the right time which is an av­er­age of 10 000km de­pend­ing on the type of oil used. By so do­ing you re­duce the amount of dirt and par­ti­cles that hurt your en­gine. If you keep old oil for too long, sludge will build up in your en­gine.

Most of the en­gine prob­lems em­anate from that sludge build-up and too much dirt or par­ti­cles in­side the en­gine. Ev­ery time you change oil you also need to change the fil­ter as well or the new oil will be con­tam­i­nated. There is no point chang­ing the oil and keep­ing the old oil fil­ter. A small per­cent­age of con­tam­i­nated oil will con­tam­i­nate the rest.

Car main­te­nance has been re­duced to just oil change for most peo­ple as the econ­omy con­tin­ues to bite. Keep­ing your car for longer how­ever, also en­tails tak­ing care of it as a whole, es­pe­cially all the mov­ing parts. Lubri­cat­ing the bear­ings, drive shafts, steer­ing com­po­nents is equally im­por­tant. It in­creases the life of all these com­po­nents and the car as a whole.

Re­mem­ber strained sus­pen­sion puts more load on the en­gine to pro­vide move­ment and more load means less life. Dust boots also need re­plac­ing as well when they are worn out, if they are not re­placed other earthly com­po­nents like wa­ter, mud, sand etc will find their way in and shorten the life of the drive­shafts, CV joints, steer­ing racks and ball-joints.

There are al­ways other ways of pro­long­ing your ve­hi­cle’s life like steer­ing while car is in mo­tion. Newer cars have power steer­ing and it’s easy to steer even when the car is not in mo­tion but with the en­gine run­ning.

With older cars that do not have power steer­ing, it’s harder to steer a sta­tion­ary ve­hi­cle such that it be­comes a re­flex to steer when the car is in mo­tion sim­ply be­cause it’s eas­ier. Like what they say, trust the lazy man to find an eas­ier way to do the job. It is wise how­ever, to al­ways steer when the car is in mo­tion to re­duce stress on the steer­ing com­po­nents.

Lastly, once in a while check your cool­ing sys­tem for leaks block­ages etc. Do a flash and make sure ev­ery­thing is work­ing fine. When you change your tim­ing belt, change your wa­ter pump as well to avoid fail­ure at the most in­con­ve­nient of times. A valu­able as­set would be to find a ve­hi­cle hand­book that de­tails ser­vice in­ter­vals for your spe­cific car and re­li­giously stick to those in­ter­vals.

Above all, take time to un­der­stand your ve­hi­cle. It’s like a baby, at­tend to ev­ery whine and darker days will be few. Slowly you will find that it’s not that hard to reach that mil­lion mark. Till next time — Happy Mo­tor­ing.

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