Vehicle maintenance, a necessity for healthy shelf life


Cars mean different things to different people. For some, they are luxury items to showcase social status, while to others, they are simply utilities that aid mobility or generate income.

Whichever category one falls into, it is imperative for motor vehicles to be properly maintained in order to enhance their aesthetics, and guarantee optimum performance. Shedding light on the benefits of effective car maintenance, Babatunde Folarin, of Larin Motors, said maintenance determines a car’s effectiveness and efficiency, just as it keeps the vehicle in good condition, as well as, elongate it lifespans.

Folarin, who advised motorists to service their car engines after going for between 9, 000 to 12, 000km, pointed out that oil lubricates the engine, and stops substances that could retain dirt from building up. Failure to do this, he said leads to the build up of dirt in the engine, which ultimately reduces the lifespan of a car.

He also recommended regular car tyre pressure checks, saying this will make the vehicle balanced, as well as make the tyres to wear off evenly.Folarin noted that incorrect tyre pressure could lead to break failure, unstable movement of vehicles, as well as other problems that could lead to mishaps.

Worried that some drivers are unmindful of their vehicle’s maintenance details, he advised that such motorists keep a diary of changes or repairs effected, be they major or minor, stressing that such information would help them know when to carry out the next repairs, without waiting for the vehicle to show signs of stress or breakdown.

He further observed that not many drivers know that they have to change their brake pads each time they hit 35, 000 to 40, 000km, adding that paying scant heed to such developments could lead to the rotors not performing effectively, or even packing up.

Speaking in similar vein, Shola Olaitan of Shola Autos, advised motorists to replace their air filters yearly, or each time they hit 45, 000km, saying a dirty air filter obstructs acceleration, and is capable of damaging the combustion chamber, leading to engine failure.

Aside this, Olaitan also called for attention to be paid other small details like the front and rear glasses, mirrors (both inside and outside), the smell and colour of the smoke from the exhaust pipe and the plugs, saying all these work harmoniously to ensure the efficiency of any vehicle.

He noted that while the colour of smoke could tell the condition of the engine and the nature of oil used, checking the spark plugs and replacing them after every 90, 000 to 100, 000km would help the vehicle function efficiently.

According to him, a well maintained vehicle could last many years and still performs effectively, adding that vehicles, especially those manufactured from Year 2000 upwards, were highly sensitive to manipulations, and owners should refer complaints to professionals, as fiddling with them by quacks, could lead to bigger and complex problems.

While pointing out that there were modern auto repair outfits that make use of the latest technology, as well as scanning machines to detect even the minutest faults, Olaitan added that the these outfits operate as one-stop shops that are capable of fixing faults and giving expert advise to drivers on the best way to maintain their vehicles.

Most of these shops, he said, have professionals that are specially trained to handle complex challenges, as against the roadside mechanics, whose stock in trade is trial and error.

For Adebowale Yusuf, an auto electrical technician, apart from observing safety measures and getting to know ones vehicle inside out, it is important to take key steps when vehicles are going to be parked for lengthy periods.

According to him, “If one must not drive his/her vehicle for a while, it would be proper to cover it with tarpaulin, park vehicle under a shade and ensure that there is sufficient fuel in the tank that will facilitate warming the engine from time to time.

Alternatively, Yusuf added that car owners, who intend to park their vehicles for a long time could also either disconnect their vehicle batteries, or get qualified auto technicians to stop the flow of electricity from the battery to other sections of the car, noting that turning off the engine of a vehicle does not necessarily mean that there is no power flow in the system.

Afis Onitiri, a panel beater, advises car owners to be wary of pot-holes laden roads in view of the damage they cause motor vehicles in the long run.He was, however, quick to ask them to always listen to strange sounds that may emanate from their vehicles, explaining that before any vehicle finally breaks down, it must have given enough warning signs, which its owner must have ignored. Onitiri added that carrying out the right checks at the right time remains one of the best ways to keep vehicles going, irrespective of the age.

In this article:
Babatunde Folarin
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