Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

MAINTENANCE > SCHEDULE > GARAGE STOP

Garage Stop

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Whenever you make a garage or gas station stop to fill up with fuel or gas, get into the habit of carrying out the checks below which will not take much extra time but will be well worth it as you could catch any problems early on.

💡 Tips:

Questions:

Maintenance Schedule Garage Stop
Fuel Gauge

Fuel

  • If you cannot remember which side of the vehicle the fuel tank flap is on, check your fuel gauge pump icon (see accompanying picture). This will be indicated by the side the hose, or arrow, is on.

  • Make sure you are putting in the correct fuel type, petrol or diesel. This may be indicated on the fuel flap.

  • Your vehicle may have a handy holder in the flap to place your fuel cap.

  • Make sure you are putting in the correct octane fuel for your vehicle. Check your vehicle manufacturer specifications.

  • Don't pull the fuel hose across the body of the vehicle, which could damage the paintwork.

  • Fill up to the 'first click' of the pump mechanism. This is when the pump nozzle detects that the fuel has reached the level of the nozzle. By doing this you will prevent overflow of the liquid.

  • Don't forget to RETURN the hose to the pump before pulling away.

  • Lastly, remember to return the cap as well as to close the flap properly.

Water

  • Most water reservoirs will have markings on the side and be transparent enough for you to check the level of the water.

  • Top up if necessary.

  • If you are regularly having to top up, fix the leak as soon as possible because each time you top up, you dilute the concentration of anti-freeze in the water.

  • Be very careful if you need to top up with anti-freeze as it is very corrosive to paint.

Oil

  • Check oil level by using the dipstick.

  • You will need to wipe the dipstick clear of oil before inserting again to pull out and check the level. This is because during travel and engine operation, the oil could splash higher up the dipstick than the actual oil level.

  • If necessary, top up with the correct oil (according to your vehicle manufacturer specifications), but do not overfill            with oil.

  • Again, if you are regularly topping up with oil, it may indicate worn piston rings or a leak. Sort out ASAP.

Tires

  • Always check tire pressure and add where necessary.

  • Getting into this habit will allow you to catch any leaks early enough.

  • Make sure you inflate to the correct pressure for your vehicle. There should be a label on the pillar of the driver's side when the door is open.

  • A deflated tire will wear quicker and adversely affect the handling of the vehicle.

  • When checking each tire, at the same time give both the tyre and the rim a visual inspection for any damage.

  • Remember to periodically also check the pressure of the spare tire.

  • Once done, give a quick visual to make sure that all the dust caps are returned and not loose.

Battery

  • Best if you can purchase a maintenance free battery.

  • If you don't have a battery in your car that is maintenance free, check the water level.

  • Distilled Water:

  •       Make sure if you need to top up, that it is indeed distilled          water that is being used.

  •       If in doubt, rather make your own distilled water.

  •       This is important otherwise it can negatively affect the              efficiency of the battery.

  • Do not overfill the battery in a car as this can also negatively affect the efficiency of the battery.

Windows

  • Check and clean if necessary.

💡 Tips for gas station safety

Gas station safety is important to ensure your personal well-being and prevent accidents or crimes. Here are some gas station safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose well-lit and busy stations: Select gas stations that are well-lit and have a decent amount of traffic. Avoid isolated or poorly lit stations, especially during nighttime.

  • Lock your doors: Always lock your vehicle doors, even if you're just stepping out briefly. This prevents unauthorized access to your vehicle and discourages theft.

  • Stay alert and aware: Pay attention to your surroundings and remain vigilant while pumping gas. Avoid getting distracted by your phone or other devices, as it can make you an easy target for theft or other crimes.

  • Park strategically: Park your vehicle in a well-visible area near the gas station's entrance or within view of the cashier. Avoid parking in remote corners or behind obstacles where your vehicle might be hidden from view.

  • Don't leave your keys in the ignition: Never leave your car keys in the ignition, even if you're just running inside the store quickly. Always take your keys with you to prevent car theft.

  • Don't leave valuables unattended: Keep your personal belongings with you or locked in your vehicle. Leaving items like purses, laptops, or smartphones unattended can attract thieves.

  • Be cautious with strangers: While it's okay to interact politely with others, be cautious when approached by strangers asking for money or offering unsolicited help. Politely decline and stay alert.

  • Use cash safely: If you're paying with cash, avoid displaying large amounts of money. Keep it discreet and secure while making your transaction.

  • Use credit or debit cards securely: Shield your PIN when using a debit card and keep an eye on your surroundings while entering your information. Be cautious of card skimming devices and always use secure and reputable card readers.

  • Report suspicious activity: If you notice any suspicious behavior or witness a crime, report it immediately to the gas station attendant or contact the local authorities.

Remember, your personal safety is a priority. By following these gas station safety tips, you can reduce the risk of accidents, theft, or other unwanted incidents.

 What does the oil rating mean, such as 15W30?

The oil rating, such as 15W-30, refers to the viscosity grade of motor oil and indicates how the oil behaves at different temperatures. This rating system is defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Here's a breakdown of what the numbers and letters in the rating mean:

Understanding the Viscosity Rating

The First Number (15 in 15W-30):

  • This number, followed by the letter "W" (which stands for "Winter"), indicates the oil's viscosity at low temperatures (cold start).

  • A lower number means the oil is thinner and flows more easily at low temperatures, which is important for cold starts.

  • For example, 15W means the oil behaves like a 15-weight oil in winter conditions, providing better flow when the engine is cold.

The "W" (Winter):

  • The "W" stands for Winter, indicating that the oil is suitable for colder temperatures.

  • Oils with a "W" rating are designed to perform well in cold weather by providing good lubrication and reducing engine wear during cold starts.

The Second Number (30 in 15W-30):

  • This number indicates the oil's viscosity at high temperatures (engine operating temperature).

  • A higher number means the oil is thicker and provides better lubrication at high temperatures.

  • For example, 30 means the oil behaves like a 30-weight oil when the engine is at its normal operating temperature, ensuring adequate protection under heat and stress.

Importance of Viscosity Ratings

  • Cold Starts: The first number (15W) is crucial for ensuring the oil flows well when the engine is cold, reducing wear during startup.

  • Operating Temperature: The second number (30) ensures the oil maintains its viscosity and provides proper lubrication at the engine's operating temperature, preventing overheating and excessive wear.

Choosing the Right Oil

  • Climate: In colder climates, an oil with a lower "W" rating (like 5W-30 or 0W-30) may be preferable to ensure better flow at low temperatures. In warmer climates, a higher second number (like 10W-40) may provide better protection at high temperatures.

  • Engine Requirements: Always refer to the vehicle's owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended oil viscosity. Using the correct oil helps ensure optimal engine performance and longevity.

  • Synthetic vs. Conventional: Synthetic oils often have better flow properties at low temperatures and maintain stability at high temperatures compared to conventional oils. They can be a good choice for extreme conditions or high-performance engines.

Conclusion

The oil rating, such as 15W-30, provides critical information about the oil's performance in various temperature conditions. Understanding these ratings helps ensure you choose the right oil for your vehicle, maintaining engine health and performance.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving