good motoring
Your car too needs spring cleaning

We have not had much of a spring this year but that does not mean you cannot spruce up your car for the summer. The quote, "Cleanliness is next to godliness," cannot be credited to an Indian. The condition of our streets will confirm that. "But that is the government’s concern," most people will say. What about your car? That is very much your concern.

One item that should be changed is your wiper blades. If they are a year old, discard them. They could leave scratch marks on the wind screen and nothing "uglifies" a car as much as a scratched windscreen does. It also causes loss of vision for the driver and builds up fatigue. At night, loss of vision can be up to 50 per cent. A set of wiper blades is far cheaper than a windscreen. The materials used these days are all exceptionally durable. However, three months ago the temperature was almost freezing. Three months from now it could be plus 50 degrees celsius. These extreme temperatures cut short the life span of the wiper blade which will harden and that is what will scratch the windscreen.

The same applies to the beading on the window sills. That can also harden and scratch the side glass. It can be avoided. Replace the beading.

We are constantly reminded that global warming is around the corner, so take heed. The coolant must be attended to. A coolant which is an year old has lost some efficiency and may need a top up. The coolant definitely needs a checkup.

Global warming means an efficient air conditioner is required. An air conditioner that is three years old or more has definitely lost some of its efficiency. The oils and lubricants need to be replenished. Rats can get to the A/C filter, so check yours. The air vents get choked and this means lesser cool air entering the cabin. In case the conduits are blocked or choked, the A/C is almost useless. In that case, it may be necessary to dismantle the dashboard.

Have you got a vacuum cleaner with a long flexible hose? If not, then borrow one. Open the air vents on the dash board to ‘face.’Start the car and turn the A/C on and the fan to maximum speed. Put the flexible hose to the mouth of the air vent. The fan will push, the cleaner sucks. You will suck out the rotten and dried leaves. Most of the time, they are the main culprit so avoid parking under a gulmohar tree. This tree has gorgeous flowers and to give the flower pride of place, nature has made sure that the leaves are very small so they don’t hide the beauty of the flower. Happily, they shed their leaves all day long and all year long. They will fall into the fresh air intake and dry out. The fresh air and A/C share the conduit. The A/C will work. It is only when you switch to ‘fresh air’, that you will get a face full of dried leaves. Then you’ll have to vacuum the whole car. Nothing will keep the cool without an efficient radiator. In technical jargon, it is the ‘heat exchanger’. During the harvesting season, toori (wheat straw) has been flying around. It will get sucked into the radiator, choke it and reduce its efficiency. To clear the radiator, blow compressed air from the rear, repeat from the rear. Dirt, toori and dried leaves may have choked the radiator. Push them out the same way then came in, otherwise they may choke or even block the air vents in the radiator. It will lose its cooling ability.

It is possible to get the A/C to work with efficiency. It is servicing of the unit that improves its functioning.