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  • Reasons Why A Vehicle's Engine Overheats

    The ideal temperature for most vehicle engines’ ranges between 85 to 105 degrees. However any defects within the engine’s components will cause an abnormal rise in temperatures leading to the overheating of your vehicle. Some of the most common reasons why you might find your engine overheating are Your vehicle’s engine may not cool properly if there’s a leak in your car’s radiator, water pump, head gasket, hosepipes or thermostat housing. The leaks may be as a result of general wear and tear and you need to contact your mechanic to fix the situation before it deteriorates. The engine may overheat if you install the wrong coolant. It can also find it difficult to stay cool if the water to coolant ratio in the cooling system is inaccurate. Leaks, clogs or problems with the radiator fan means that heat can’t properly escape your vehicle, which will cause a rise in temperature. The water pump is a simple centrifugal pump driven by a belt connected to the crankshaft of the engine whose work is to circulate fluids whenever the engine is running therefore any problems with it can result to the engine overheating. If there are no leaks and the coolant is properly installed, you might need to check your hose pipes which may have accumulated dirt and other unwanted particles blocking the flow of fluid. You can remedy the situation by flushing the system and refilling the coolant tank. Oil lubricates the engine and contributes to the cooling system of the vehicle by removing up to 70% of the unused heat in the engine. However when oil levels are low there is minimal friction which prevents excess heat from escaping as the engine is running. Ensure that you constantly check your oil levels and always top up when you start running low. What you need to do Be equipped and always have some spare water and coolant, especially when you plan to travel over long distances. Inspect your radiator cap and replace it when necessary as it plays a crucial role in maintaining pressure in your entire cooling system as it prevents overheating and boiling over of therefore a weak and worn out cap results to decreased pressure and which can cause the engine to overheat. Monitor your temperature gauge and look out for unusual temperature levels. In case temperatures rise to abnormal levels pull over, shut the vehicle and open the hood to allow the engine to cool off faster. If you must continue driving, wait for at least 20 minutes for the engine to cool off. Turn off the AC and turn on the heater. Even though this may be a little uncomfortable for you and your passengers it will greatly assist in transferring heat off the engine into the passenger compartment. Look for leakages from the coolant system, radiator, hoses and the engine area Drive smoothly which is particularly important in a stop and go traffic situation because when you accelerate and break in quick succession you increase the engines workload causing it to work overtime, generating more heat than is necessary. Do not be caught off guard! Have a safety and tool kit in your vehicle at all times just in case of an emergency What Not To Do There are also some things that you need to avoid or you might be setting up your car for trouble or worse still endangering your safety and that of your passengers. Do not continue driving because if you do you run the risk of boiling your cooling system and permanently damaging your engine. Do not turn on your AC to cool down the vehicle, in fact you should instead turn off the heat that has the effect off transferring the heat off the engine into the passenger compartment. Do not pour water over the engine because a sudden change in temperature can easily crack the engine’s body. Do not remove the engine’s radiator cap while the engine is still hot because the coolant is still scorching hot and can spray out and burn you in the process. You need to take full responsibility of the well-being of your engine because should extensive damage occur, you may be forced to replace it entirely which can prove quite costly hence be sure to take proper measures to reduce instances of your engine overheating.

  • 3 Ways To Navigate Your Way The Smart Way

    In this digital age, technology is slowly redefining how we operate. Advancement of technology continues to significantly improve our everyday lives, one very popular example being the mobile phone that has become an integral mode of everyday communication we can hardly imagine being without. Other than making those important calls or sending messages, did you know that you can make use of some innovative features and applications on this same gadget and easily turn it into a navigation tool? Yes that’s right! You can conveniently use your smartphone to get directions and information on traffic updates, ensuring that you find the fastest routes to your destination. Unlike traffic updates on the radio which are in most cases too general and more often than not irrelevant or unreliable, you can use a mobile app on your smartphone to pick and choose your preferred travel route(s) and customize your traffic information with more accuracy. With these easy to use apps you will never need to drive around aimlessly or ask for directions from strangers in-case you’re travelling to unfamiliar destinations because all you have to do is identify the area on the map, set a pin and be on your way! The downside of using your mobile phone as a navigation tool is; it drains your phone battery since you will need to turn on the GPS however, you can easily fix this by ensuring that you always have an extra charger in the car. The fact that you will also need to use your phone while driving can be very distractive and increases the risk of a traffic accident. Additionally some navigation apps will automatically turn off your notifications and cancel your incoming calls and texts. You might also need to have reliable internet connection on your phone throughout your journey which might prove hard especially if you are travelling in some remote areas of the country. That said, having navigation apps can greatly assist you maneuver your way from one place to another irrespective of how well you’re acquainted with an area, beating traffic and help you get to your destination on time. You should therefore consider downloading these apps and turn your phone into a driving assistant. Let us have a look at some of the most common navigation apps available on android or apple stores that you can download to help you conveniently find your way fast and easy. WAZE Waze is the world’s largest crowd sourcing navigation app that uses data from its community of users to provide quicker and alternative navigation routes on a map. Though not widely used in Kenya, the app is slowly gaining popularity due some of the cool and innovative features it offers such us; a voice navigation feature, the ability to auto update routes meaning that it can identify changes in your normal route and offer you less congested alternative routes to use, a carpooling feature that allows users to share rides and its speedometer feature that reminds you of your actual speed (You can therefore set an alert sound in case you drive over the limit). MA3ROUTE This is a locally developed crowd sourcing navigation app that provides information on traffic, matatu directions and driving reports obtained from motorist and other road users. The platform relies on its users from around the country for information about transport and current traffic conditions which is then conveyed to other users via the mobile App, web and SMS. The platform mostly sources information in real time from its community of over 1 Million twitter followers situated around the country making it potentially the most reliable source for updates on accidents or incidents on the road. GOOGLE MAPS The app is available on all android devices and downloadable for iPhone users as well. It is by far the most widely used navigation app both globally and in the country largely because it provides a more precise and in-depth description of geographical locations, for instance through Google’s ‘Street View’ a vast majority of areas in large towns and rural centers around the country are well documented right to the street level, allowing users to view locations in 3D and from a drivers perspective. The app also has a host of features that one can make use of such us automatic rerouting, suggestions on local sites and amenities to visit such us hotels and restaurants, a voice navigation feature, navigating in real time, transit information (for example matatu routes & schedules) and traffic alerts that provide users with contextual info about traffic conditions in real time.

  • Driving in The Rain - What You Need to Know

    After much cry from Kenyans due to the serious dry weather that was biting most parts of the country, we can now breathe a sigh of relief to the sight and smell of sweet rain.  As a motorist though, how prepared are you to tackle showery environments? Driving in the rain does bring with it a fair share of risks and it is quite essential to take extreme caution.

    How Safe is Your Car?

  • Profiling the BH5 Subaru Legacy GTB

    Reviewing My Own Car

    Followers of my newspaper column must have realized by now that I did in fact buy a Subaru back in 2016, a change in my driving life that I introduced to much fanfare (read it here:

  • Time to Address Odometer Tampering

    Second-hand car dealerships are common in our major towns. With the assistance of the internet and social media, this business has been extended online right into living rooms.

    Over the past decade, there has been growing demand for used vehicles, especially saloon cars, with at least 70,000 such vehicles entering the Kenyan market yearly.

  • Driving On a Budget

    With a tight budget to work with this “njaanuary”, one expense that you need to keep a close eye on is your motor vehicle expense. Here are few tips to help you ensure that your car does not drive you into financial ruin this month, pun intended.

  • The Future of Cars

    Despite the recent unveilings of futuristic cars that are supposedly better in every way, cars as we know them are destined for a highly inconceivable future. I have yet to meet someone who can predict the future. Take for example the meteorological department in any country in the entire world.