How to keep a car in good condition
Here are a few suggestions on how to look after your car and keep it in top condition for a long. For the newer generation of cars now available in India, we should not apply the same traditional methods used by our fore fathers to take care of their cars. For example never ever raise a cold engine of a car, especially in the mornings as used to be the practice in the older days.
This is a practice that was used in the ancient cars which had carburetors. The high RPM was meant to clean the carburetor. Modern cars have electronic fuel injection systems and the inefficient carburetors are no more used. It is a very bad practice to raise or increase the RPM of a cold car engine. Car engines are designed to run warm, so give the car a chance to warm up by driving slowly for the first few Kilometers. A 30 second idle period before driving the car is good because it will allow fresh engine oil to reach all the friction points of the car engine. Long idle running of car engine is not good because it wastes fuel and also bad for the environment.
Do not shut down when Car Engine is Cold
Do not shut down a cold car engine immediately after starting it. Make sure car engine is hot before shutting down. This is to prevent water condensation in the engine cylinders. When a cold car engine is started you must have noticed the water droplets that are coming out of the exhaust. This water is produced by the hydrogen molecule in Petrol or Diesel or CNG or LPG. All of these fuels are Hydrocarbons - made up of Hydrogen and Carbon Molecules. They burn to produce H2O and CO2. In a cold engine the water in the exhaust condenses inside the engine cylinder and is pushed out through the cold exhaust. If you off the engine at this cold stage, there will remain substantial amount of water in the cylinders and exhaust path. If the car is left for long time in this state, it will cause corrosion in the Engine. So, make sure whenever you start a cold engine, do not off it immediately, but keep it running for about 5 minutes to make sure there is minimal condensation inside the car engine. Keeping the cold car running for a few minutes is also good for the longer life of the Car Lead Acid Battery.
Why idle a cold car engine for 30 seconds before putting it gear
The reason that a cold engine should be idled for half a minute before putting any load on the engine is to have fresh lubricating oil go through all the friction points in the car engine. When a hot car engine is stopped, the oil in the engine head and around the piston rings for example, will all drain into the oil sump and whatever little oil remains on these surfaces will remain static on very hot surfaces which may change the oil's physical properties. Modern engine oils are very resistant to high temperatures, but still oil in car engines have been known to 'coke' or get burned to form solid particles. So a 30 second idling of car engine will wash away all the stagnant oils and bring fresh oil to all the friction surfaces of the car.
Why Idle car engine before shutdown
Before switching off a hot car engine, running the car engine at idle speed for 30 seconds to a minute for petrol and diesel cars and upto 3 minutes for a turbocharged diesel car is a good practice. The reasons for this are:
- As soon as the car engine is stopped, the car engine water circulating pump also stops working, but the engine is still very hot and a small quantity of cooling water remains stagnant in the hot-engine head. This can cause the stagnant water to boil and subject the car cooling system with high pressures.
Also the stagnant oil in the hot car engine head could get over heated and 'coke', the formation of charred/burnt engine oil which produces solid particles which can block some of the fine engine oil lubricating paths.
When the car engine is idling, the hot engine is cooling down since cooling water is circulating in the hot engine and the radiator fan is working to cool the circulating hot water.
- Diesel Engines with Turbochargers must be idled for 3 minutes as recommended by the turbocharger manufacturers. The reason for this is that the turbochargers run at very high speeds (100,000+ RPM) and even after the car is switched off, the turbochargers continues to rotate at high speed for some time due to inertia forces. But there is no circulating oil to lubricate the turbocharger once the engine is turned off and this can damage the turbocharger. HKS, one of the top Japanese turbocharger makers says "The number one cause of turbo failure is oil 'Coking'. Oil 'Coking' occurs when a turbocharger is not properly cooled down and the oil that normally lubricates the center cartridge heats up and forms solidified oil deposits."
So our advice to all motorists is that it is a good practice to idle petrol and diesel cars for at least half a minute and turbocharged diesel cars for 3 minutes before switching off. No harm can come to your car if you practice this rule, even if you doubt whether it will do any good. For turbo-charged cars this is a must, in fact there are lables stuck on some vehicles reminding them to idle the car or truck. We have a picture here of this lable.
How to run in a new car in India
Running in or Breaking in a new car used to be very important in the old days, but now the manufacturers do not officially recommend any breaking in period for new cars. Even so, it is important that you do not drive a new car at excessive speeds nor raise the engine RPM beyond what is required. In India, many drivers tend to raise their engine RPM, especially in the mornings when they start a cold engine. This is a very bad practice that can lead to early death of your car engine.
The best option is to start driving the car after the 30 seconds idling after engine start and drive at the slowest speed possible for the first Kilometer to get the car engine to the right temperature. During the first 1000 kilometers of a new car, try to avoid driving at a constant speed and engine RPM for more than 10 minutes at a time. Vary the speed or engine RPM slightly every now and then. Better not to use the Cruise Control during this first 1000 kilometers of a cars life. Also note that you should not idle a new car for more than 5 minutes. For example you should not be sitting in your new car with the engine idling and the AC on waiting for someone for fifteen minutes. After the first 1000 Km this is fine, but keep a watch on the engine temperature gauge.
How to keep car looking new
In the old days car paints were solvent based and you were told not to apply any wax or polish on your car for 90 days, so that the wax does not block the last traces of solvents from the paint to escape.
Modern cars do not use solvent based paints, but still it is a good idea to resist from the use of wax and polish on your car for the first 30 days.
This is just to avoid the possibility that some modern resin based paints may still be curing during this period and giving off minute traces of low boiling chemicals. During this period washing your car with just clean water and very little home hand dish washing liquid soap is the best solution. We recommend the home hand dish washing soap rather than a car shampoo because most of the car shampoos contains additives like waxes, silicones and acrylics to leave a thin film on the car for enhanced shine. After the first 30 days car washing should be done using reputed car shampoos and polish. This is the link to Amazon.in for some of the best Car Care products in India
A new trend in car washing is Waterless car cleaning, which uses sprays of specially formulated solutions that makes it easy to remove all the dust and the grime (oily black deposits from exhaust fumes) from the body of the car. Special shine and gloss enhancing chemicals like polymers, waxes and silicones are incorporated in these formulations which are in aerosol cans, and makes it easy to make your car look like new in just a few minutes of spraying.
It is better to use special Microfiber cloth when cleaning with Waterless aerosol cleaning fluids. These microfiber wiping polishing cloth is usually provided with the waterless car cleaning kits. These specialised waterless car cleaning sprays have ingredients which makes it easy for the dust to come off the car body without leaving any scratch marks or polishing marks on the car body. Amazon.in is one of the best online shopping website for Waterless Car Cleaning products in India
Scratch resistant coating for cars
One of the problems in India is the paint chipping off from the front portions of the car due to small stones which become airborne when cars and especially trucks pass over them. The you tube video below from 3M, who have unique product: The 3M Paint Protection Film, show how the stone-chip damage happens to a car and how it can be prevented with this 3M Paint Protection Film.
The 3M Paint Protection Film is available in India and it is better to contact 3M direct to get advise as to where the nearest 3M dealer is who can apply the 3M Paint Protection Film to your car and how much it will cost. 3M is a multinational Company at the forefront of all types of films, paints, etc. Some inventions of 3M include the masking tape in 1925, 'Scotch Tape', 'Post-it notes', etc. Many 3M products are used in the original manufacture of most cars like BMW, Mercedes, Porche, Ferrari and all our Indian car manufacturers. In short 3M is a company whose genuine products can be 100% trusted. This is the link to the Indian website of 3M Paint Protection Film and this is the link to 3M US website about the 3M Paint Protection Film.
There are companies other than 3M who offer Paint Protection Films like DuraShield and this is the link to the DuraShield US website, but we are not sure if they have agencies in India to apply their films.
Best car polish products available in India
The top car polish products available in India are from 3M, Waxoyl and Dupont with their Teflon products. We will give a brief introduction to each of these companies and their products and end with the website link to each of these Companies
3M is an multi-national multi-billion dollar Company who have to their credit the invention of some of the most useful products in our daily lives. 3M inventions include Masking tape, cellophane tape, Scotch tape, fabric protection sprays and the list goes on. They have a big set up in India and they have franchisees all over India to do the application of the 3M Paint Protection Products. This is the link to the 3M India Paint Protection Products website. You can also buy online from Amazon.in the full range of 3M Car Care Products in India
Waxoyl Car Care India
Waxoyl is a Swiss Company with an international presence. They have been very famous in Europe for more than 50 years as the leading providers of corrosion protection and Car beauty aids. To quote from the Waxoyl website "The name Waxoyl stands for more than 50 years of experience in the battle against corrosion and weather damage. Trusted by specialists the world over: car manufacturers, railway contractors, ship builders and construction machinery producers among others. Waxoyl AG, Switzerland, has patented breakthrough technologies in car care and corrosion protection, and has been the most respected company in over 100 countries around the world". This is the website link to the Waxoyl main website.
Waxoyl has an Indian distributor called Opulent and this is the link to the Waxoyl Indian Distributor based in Pune.
Teflon Car Care Products from DuPont
DuPont does not actually sell any Teflon products directly into the retail market, but rather it sells its Teflon additives to manufacturers of Polishes and Waxes. Any of these polishes and Waxes which contain Teflon additive will have superior performance. This is what DuPont says about Teflon on their website: "Protecting your vehicle, inside and out ..... Teflon® surface protector helps shield your wiper blades from becoming clogged with snow and ice and helps provide a more durable wheel that stays cleaner and has fewer scratches. Teflon surface protector can be found in waxes and cleaners that help keep your vehicle looking newer, longer. Look for the Teflon® brand on car care products for increased performance inside and outside of your vehicle." This is the website link for DuPont Teflon® Products. 3M and Teflon car care products are available online in India from Amazon.in 3M and Teflon car care products