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Nairobi News : December 20th 2013
20 auto tips ARE YOU A GOOD DRIVER? D riving in Nairobi or any other city can be hectic. The congestion, careless drivers and maddening traffic can make you lose your cool on the road. However, you can maintain your composure by observing a few principles. • Concentration: You must be able to keep you mind on the road and remain conscious of whatever is happening around you. Concentration enables you to keep tabs on careless drivers and how to avoid them, junctions and exits. Most importantly, it enables you to adhere to traffic rules. Don’t allow anything to catch you by surprise simply because your mind was not on the road. • Anticipation: This means reading into the things happening around you. This will in turn lead you into defensive driving. How does it work? By constantly changing your vision between short, medium and long distances using your car’s mirrors, you are able to not only read the road, but also other users as well. You are able to see pedestrians who are about to cross the road, unsure drivers and those learning how to drive or an ambulance that requires you to give way. Anticipation in turn leads to defensive driving, which is all about taking the necessary precautions such as slowing down or stopping for your own safety and other road users. • Skill: Who is a skillful driver? He/she is one who knows how to use his/her controls well. It is not enough that you know how to change gears, negotiate a corner, or even braking. Skillful driving entails positioning of the car on the road while negotiating a corner and mastering their controls so that they don’t upset other drivers. • Knowledge: They say ignorance is no defence and in this case, it is especially so when it comes to driving. Know the rules, master the Highway Code and stick by the rules. Just because you passed that driving test does not mean you know everything, always update your information. Njoki Chege, NN A Peugeot 504 manufactured in 1990. Jeff Angote, NairobiNews. NAIROBI NEWS nairobinews.co.ke Friday, Dec 20 - Sunday, Dec 22, 2013 My Pajero guzzles fuel with unrivalled thirst Hi Neto, I drive a Mitsubishi Pajero IO, 2000cc, year 2003. I have this feeling that the fuel consumption is too high. I have calculated twice and I always end up with 8.7 km/litre. Is that high or just right for this model? What can I do to improve the consumption? I service the car regularly. Another question: A car parts dealer once told me I cannot change the fuel filter; that it’s inbuilt. Is that true? Cate. Dear Cate, Fuel consumption is relational Neto Ombewa Answers all your because very many factors such as engine size and type, transmission type, wheel size, driving habits and the mix of city highway driving come into play. I cannot say your car is unacceptably thirsty but for combined city and open highway driving, it is just average. The IOs are directly injected engines and don’t really have fuel maps similar to the EFIs. Since your car is always serviced, I don’t doubt that you can still do fine with normal unleaded fuels. motoring questions However, if you want more mileage with a GDI engine, I suggest you use Shell V-Power fuel. It is the only high octane fuel around and performs better on directly injected engines. Probably, you will find your car more frugal in open highways. I also suppose that your car has a 4WD option which, if you do a lot of it, your mileage wouldn’t be fine. If you have oversized tyres, you wouldn’t register good mileage either. Check out the above factors and you might just improve your mileage to around 10km/litre in combined city and highway driving. In your second question; it is not true. The fuel filter is “in-tank” and can be changed. The only difference with the “in- line” external filters is that they take longer before they clog up although they are not “lifetime” filters. This is because they A Pajero IO, 2003 model. Jeff Angote, NairobiNews. Got any questions about cars? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with Wheels in the subject line are larger in size and are expected to last longer than their external counterparts. I do not have the figures for your in-tank fuel filter’s life but many manufac- turers mention figures above 150,000 kilometres. Accomplished mechanics say these figures are too high and you might just be courting trouble if you wait that long though it is hardly ever changed. wheels NUTS ABOUT CARS Check your car’s electrical connections Dear Neto, I have a 2006 Nissan Cube 1500cc, with 52,000 kms. The vehicle has twice had this problem whereby it cannot start and the door locks open and close in a rattling manner all by themselves. The indicator lights also come on when this happens. What could be the problem because I fear one day I might get stuck at a dangerous place? Nesta. Dear Nesta, It sounds like your car has inter- mittent problems with its electrical connections. I would first suspect the NATS (Nissan Anti-Theft System) which is an immobiliser function in Nissan models. I am assuming this because it is closest connected to the door locks and indicator lights. Many a time such problems are not really serious but can be painstaking to locate. The problem can be the NATS antenna in the ignition key cylinder, a loose fuse link or the key itself is faulty. This happens when there’s no verification between the immobiliser system and the engine control module and so the vehicle won’t start. Care must be taken because some Nissan systems will count five consecutive attempts to start the engine and lock the system completely. Disconnecting the battery for about 30 minutes and trying to restart the engine with a known registered key will initialise the system. If the problem persists, visit the dealerships or get a professional programmer to unlock the system. I recommend that you have your car’s error codes retrieved to ascertain the problem. I’m tired of cooling off this Peugeot 504 Hi Neto, My 1990 Peugeot 504 runs hot only when it is still. I had the water pump replaced because all the bearings failed. When I drove a few days ago, I had to pull over several times to cool off but I got home eventually. Water came out of the radiator when I tried to add more and I also saw a little smoke in the hood. I have not driven it since then though I would like to keep the classic running any day. Please advise since all I think of is the thermostat. Nathan Khalid. Dear Khalid, I will rule out the thermostat because it usually runs hot at once and maintains status. The problem could either be a bad head gasket or coolant pressure . Another problem in old cars is “cold spots”. These spots remain cool when the rest of the radiator runs hot. If you run your hand along the radiator, particularly towards the bottom, and you feel some areas that simply don’t heat up, then you have a blocked radiator. Rust flakes do settle over time mostly near the bottom region. Water simply flows above and below such areas limiting the cooling capability of the radiator. Visit radiator experts to assess the cooling system.
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