Probably one of the most underrated car on Kenyan roads, the Nissan vehicles happen to be a more reliable vehicles than previously thought. The Nissan has always been associated with reliable vehicles and selling one in Kenya is like selling pork in the Middle East, you post the sale on social media and be assured of a thorough stoning and people making offers that are half the price you would have expected. Well any Nissan that holds its resale value may be a very rare specimen. That aside it’s not uncommon to see a Nissan hood up with the engine steaming, they are also termed as unreliable and a pain to maintain in various platforms.
I was surprised when some of the best mechanics I know told me that the best car to own is a Nissan, well I had to ask them about the myriad of problems we hear from car owners and the answer was simple, “Nissan is as delicate as a lady you need to treat her right.” That left me with more questions than answers but I later got the answers. Any car not only Nissans need proper handling but A Nissan needs more pampering. There some basic things you should do every morning, those basic steps determine how well the vehicle will serve you. After consultation with several mechanics and some research I concluded the reliability of a car depends on how well you maintain it. Here are some basic tips on how to take care of your car.
Before starting your car every morning there are some steps you should take, sadly most car owners don’t and they blame the car. You need to pop your hood regularly and see what is going on there. You need to regularly check the fluid levels of your car, this are essential products for any vehicle. It is recommended to check fluids every 15 days preferably when the engine is cold so as to get correct values. Check your coolant levels so as to avoid issues with overheating and top up where necessary. Check the brake fluid in automatic vehicles and also the clutch fluid in case you own a manual car. Check oil levels and top up where necessary.
Just like humans excrete in various ways to cleanse our bodies and get rid of dirt from the
system, vehicles need that too, unfortunately there hasn’t been invented an automatic way which the car does that by itself so that’s your responsibility. It is recommended that you have your oil changed at around 8000kms, some wait till the car clocks 10,000kms because that’s what is written in some oil labels but remember the vehicle manufacturer has his own reasons for the mileage he gave, so stick to your car owner’s manual and if you have non, most mechanics recommend the 8,000kms so as to ensure the oil is not completely worn out. It’s also advisable to flush the coolant system and brake lines as per the manufacturer’s specifications. The air filter, oil filters and fuel filters should also be regularly replaced as per the manufacturer’s specifications.
The point of contact between your car and the ground is the tyres that is a part that also need to be checked. When did you last check your tyre pressure? Well every day your tyres loose a little pressure due to various factors so it’s advisable to check them regularly, probably every week, this will allow you to note a faulty tyre with a slow puncture. Properly inflated tyres aid in a cars handling and fuel economy. Over inflating or under inflating them will lead to a myriad of issues starting with the fuel economy and vehicle handling. This will lead to premature wear of tyres, bushes, suspension and other parts.
Still on your cars shoes, when did you last rotate your tyres? Did you even know that you needed to do that? Well you may have noted that front tyres on your car wear out faster than your rear tyres, this is due to the fact they handle around 60% of your cars weight and they suffer more stress as you break and also turning. Well depending on your driving style you may as well have noticed a particular side tyre may wear out faster than the others. Well the uneven wear of tyres can cause issues with suspension since the ride isn’t as smooth as it should be. Before you blame a certain car brand for being notorious in premature wear of bushes and suspension or even a bumpy ride, do due diligence and rotate your tyres. This should be done after between 8000km
and 16000kms after you replace the whole set. Rotating the tyres will ensure they wear out
evenly, not only saving you cash on the tyre but on suspension too. The rule of thumb when rotating tyres is that front tyres will go to the back and front tyres go to the front. If you are using directional tyres (meant to rotate in a specific direction, they an arrow showing direction of rotation) it’s basically front to back and vice versa maintaining left tyres on the left and right tyres on the right, but if you have non-directional tyres you can do a X format where front right goes to back left and back left goes to front right and vice versa
The last no brainer tip on how to maintain your car is using manufacturer recommended parts regardless of price. Avoid cheap knock off parts when replacing vehicle parts and also use the ones specified by the manufacturer. Use the recommended tyre pressure and wheel profile so as to avoid strain on your suspension. Use the recommended oil type and avoid fake oils that are all over our market, if the manufacturer recommends mineral based oil for your engine no matter the praise given to synthetic oils don’t use them on your vehicle and the inverse also applies incase manufacturer recommends synthetic oil for your car do not go for mineral based oils due to price.
The most reliable car is the best maintained car and for all this to work you also need a good mechanic, so be wise as you get a mechanic. If you observe this you will end up enjoying the services of a car that people claim to be useless.