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How to maintain your car in best shape-Part 2

Minimising Abuse:

• If your destination entails very poor roads or horrible parking conditions, cab it up! This strategy works even for outstation trips. My neighbour rents an Innova for the family pilgrimage to rough rural areas, when his Mercedes S-Class could well take him there.

• Don’t allow bad drivers behind the wheel of your car. Be firm and polite when saying no, or just insist that you'd hate to be a passenger in your own car. Also, don’t lend your car out too often. No one cares about your car as much as you do.

• Don’t overload your car with excessive passengers or cargo. Not only does overloading result in undue stress on vital components, it is also extremely dangerous.

• Don’t make your car do anything it’s not meant to. Forget about your offroading aspirations in a FWD sedan. Refrain from splashing through water on that beach trip because it'll make for nice pictures.

• Use a beater car. If you have two or more cars in the house, use the cheapest or oldest car for all the laborious work. Net result : The other, nicer cars look, feel and drive better because they are spared the strenuous runs.

• If you employ a chauffeur, restrict him to driving one car (and not all). Few chauffeurs ever treat cars well and most have rough driving styles. Their sleeping & eating in the car doesn't do the cabin any good either.

At the Petrol Pump:

• Make it a habit to fill your tank up as soon as it reaches the ¼ level. Don’t wait for the reserve mark or low fuel warning indicator. Your fuel pump can get fatally damaged in a dry tank.

• Fill her up with pure petrol / diesel. Company-owned & company-operated pumps come highly recommended. Once you zero in on a pump that serves good fuel, remain loyal to that outlet only.

• Each time that you tank up, give your under-bonnet area a once over. Check the level of all fluids and also if anything's amiss (loose wires, pipe etc.). Screen the air pressure as well. These small steps go a long way in ensuring your car's top health.

• Monitor your fuel economy. There’s no indicator of a car’s well-being as its fuel economy. If the FE nosedives, that’s your first clue to something going wrong.

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