Head On: Camry vs Accord

img_gallery011camry11Eversince Honda introduced Accord & Toyota launched Camry as their up-market luxury sedan models there has been tough head-on competition between the two.

Although the sales figures suggest that Accord has been outselling Camry looking at their specs the reason isn’t clear. Both have identical 70-litre fuel tanks, near-identical engine displacements (Accord:2354cc & Camry:2362cc) and similar Torque Ratios: 226Nm/4300rpm for Accord while for Camry it is 224Nm/6000rpm.

Top speed of Camry is listed on Toyota Indus Motors (www.indus-motors.com.pk) as 211kph for Manual Transmission version and 204kph for Automatic Transmission. Honda Pakistan (www.honda.com.pk) being more concerned with Safety & Environment hasn’t listed a top speed instead it focuses on the safety / environment-friendly features of the car.

Finally as always it all boils down to the physical ‘looks’ of the car & price of both cars. In that department Accord having a more sleek/elegant & less ‘bulky’ design that Camry (see photos for evidence) wins’ hearts & minds’ of the customer hands-down.

The other factor helping customers decide in favour of Accord is the price tag Rs.4.699M (for A/T) while Camry retails for Rs.5.999M (M/T) to Rs.6.199M (A/T).

The Art of Leasing a Car – How secured is an insured leased car?

Insurance is the only method with which one can ‘reclaim’ some of the expenses incurred in obtaining & using a car. It is adviseable to have complete car insurance even when the car is not leased but in case of leased car the owner of the asset (bank) makes it mandatory for its customers to get complete car insurance. So what does complete car insurance mean?

Complete or ‘full’ insurance as it is sometimes called covers all expenses of repair using original parts for any number of accidents but offcourse there is a catch. The amount for which the vehicle is ‘covered’ reduces due to ‘depreciation’ of car’s value.

Who determines the depreciated value you ask? The insurance companies have a ‘fixed’ 10% annual depreciation as a ‘standard. Meaning your car is assumed to be worth only 70% of its listed price by the time 4th year of lease starts.(Doesn’t matter how well it is maintained it is just all mathematical (not good  commonsense but great ‘business’ sense for the insurer).

I recently had to ‘pay’ 30% value for parts repalced after an accident but still thought it was a good deal so GET IT INSURED.

PS: Some people have even started ‘conning’ the insurers by ‘staging’ fake accidents to claim more than actual but that should be the subject of another post which I’ll write some other time.

Basic car care – the top 4 areas that need checking

caradvice-car-careRemember, your vehicle is as complex as they come, and like every set of machinery, your car requires regular maintenance to give a life time of service.There are a number of essential checks that everyone should regularly carry out on their vehicle. This will ensure a longer life for your car.

Every time you sit in your car to drive, do this

You can make some of the most important checks – which are relatively simple – a part of your driving ritual! Basic stuff like “check your windows are clean and mirrors correctly adjusted” are – seriously speaking – just too lame, they are that obvious. Apart from taking good care of your car, you could also take care of yourself and wear your seat belt every time you sit in your vehicle.

The top 4 areas where a problem is likely to arise

These checks are not only to get great mileage from your vehicle, but also because damn it, it’s your car and you better own up and take some care of it. :/

  1. Under the hood
    1. coolant levels – a common problem in the older cars, especially the diesel ones
    2. battery water/acid levels – I sometimes have to tap the battery to see the water move to ensure that it is between the Min & Max markings
    3. Engine oil level – and here’s how you can change your car oil
  2. Tyres
    1. the tyre pressure should be maintained as properly-pressurized tyres can positively affect not only your car’s handling, but also fuel consumption
    2. check for bald tyres (maybe you need to get the wheels aligned and their camber straightened out?)these can give you anything from a fender bender to a God forbid, 24 car pile up on the Motorway if you are not careful.
  3. Defective brakes – pretty obvious why you need to keep a check on these. You can do that taking immediate notice of any sound that comes from the tyres when you brake. Usually the brakes make this annoying sound when the disc pads have run the entire course of their eventful life.
  4. Defective lights – they can also be dangerous and here’s how to change your car head light)

The above four are the common areas where most faults are likely to arise in your car. And if you consciously keep a look-out in just these four areas, you are – in all probabilities – set to go. Please note I have not included the obvious ‘smoke-belching-out-of-the-car-like-the-car’s-smoking-trees’ syndrome – (you can get a fine from the local government for pollution!) these smoke emissions are more hazardous to the environment than to your car – but please note, the car gives out smoke mostly because of some problem with the engine.

1983accord

Real life examples are aplenty

How many of us know people – friends and relatives – who have cars giving great service for 20, 25 and even 30 years? I remember my friend’s Father had a 1985 Honda Accord that probably still has that new car smell.

Changing my car’s head light

You quite often get to see cars with a either of the two front lights not working properly. Everything seems to be in place, except that one of the lights is dimmer or perhaps not working at all. At night, out driving, one side of the car becomes the ‘dark side’ and if you were to look at it yourself, the car seems to be tipping over or something. This not only kills the look of your car entirely, it is outright dangerous (you don’t want an unsuspecting driver to think that your car is a motorbike and then ram into your car’s darker side!)

If you are the lazy type (is there any other type as well? :/ ), you probably have your car’s headlight in the dark for way too long. Changing the light yourself will not only save you money (some mechanics actually charge like Physicians), but will give you a chance to bond with your vehicle.

Here’s how it is done!

Step 1

Open the hood / bonnet of your car. Pretty simple, right.

Step 2

For the uninitiated (like I was), the car’s head light has two plugs at the back; one for head beam and the other for the ‘normal’ light.

Find the back of head light – it will have something like a round rubber covering/cap. Something like this:

change-car-light003

Step 3

Now that you have identified the back of your head light, just reach out to the plug that goes into the light that you want to inspect/replace – and firmly pull out the plug:

change-car-light004

change-car-light005

Step 4

Now, remove the rubber cap, again using your hands to pull it off.

change-car-light007

Congratulations, you have now reached the innards of your car’s light. In almost all cars (as verified by the car mechanic from whom I ‘learned’ this rocket science :P ), there is a small hook that fixes the actual bulb into place.

Step 5

Just give the hook a firm push and then rotate slightly upwards (or downwards, depending on the hook position in your car) – this should free the hook as you would feel it lighten up and give way.

change-car-light008

You should be able to now easily pull out the actual bulb and holder out of the head light. Pull it out gently from the head light. The bulb is still in the holder.

change-car-light009

Step 6

Now pull out the bulb – hold the bulb not by the glass, but by the metal casing underneath the bulb, and firmly pull the bulb and holder apart.

change-car-light011

Now you can replace the bulb (that is why you took the damn thing out in the first place – no?! Because I took the bulb out and put it back again just to see if I can perform this surgical operation of the highest complexity)

Note, I own a Honda, and the mechanic fitted in a ‘genuine 2 number’ bulb, costing me Rupees Fifty. The ‘genuine’ bulb supposedly costs around Rupees 150. So I am told.

So, hopefully, next time you have a ‘dark side’ at the front of your car, you can replace it easily, safely and cheaply. Not to mention the affection towards your car that you feel after fixing her. :P

Get familiar with driving rules

We all know that there’s a ban on using mobile phones while driving in Pakitsan. In other words, it’s illegal for you to use cellphone while driving.

It’s a different story, whether it should be banned or not.  But my question to you is, do you obey it? Do you try to text someone with one hand on steering wheel anymore?

You know it’s dangerous, you even know it’s illegal now, buNo cellphone while driving sign on Abid Majeed Road, Lahore Canttt still, do you manage to keep it out of traffic-warden’s sight and carry on with your conversation. And it’s not just mobile phones, crossing red lights, over-speeding is not even brought into consideration,  sadly enough!

What will it take to make you understand. Are you that selfish. Don’t you want to change. Why can’t you respect traffic rules and regulations huh? Where’s your conscious, do you always have to wait for the traffic-warden to warn you or worse give you a ticket.

Next time when you’re about to break a traffic-law, just remind yourself that even though nobody saw you, even then Allah Almighty is watching you 24/7. And you will be questionable before him in life hereafter. You better know the answers then huh?

So, can you please start obeying traffic laws, please!

Thank you! :)

Ignore-traffic-sign

Stop-the-violence-traffic-sign

Hunting-traffic-sign

Car-falling-traffic-sign

Static electric shocks from car doors

Has it ever happened to you that you walked to your car, touched the metal of car door and wham! got zapped, yes? Isn’t it annoying or what. So,<img class="alignright size-full wp-image-450" src="http://www.caradvice.pk/wp-con

tent/uploads/2009/03/shock.jpg” alt=”don’t get zapped!” width=”125″ height=”100″ /> you want to know what’s going on. Allow me to explain it to you.

This mild shock is caused by human Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). A phenomenon in which transfer of electrostatic charge takes place between two bodies. It happens very quickly when two bodies carrying opposite charge come in direct contact with each other.

This charging results in when, one object loses electrons from its surface area and becomes positively charged. The other object gains the electron on its surface area to become negatively charged.The small electric shock you may receive from certain objects happens when you become triboelectrically charged. Tribo what?

Triboelectrically charged is a term used for the transfer/shifting/ releasing/loss of an electron from one body to another, after they come in contact with each other and separate. A simple procedure of Give & Take and Opposites attracts I must say.

And it’s not just the car doors, you can even get one from door knobs, metal gates, windows and sometimes even human beings.

How to Avoid getting one?

There’s not much that you can do about it but even then try these one’s out.

  1. Very dry cloth (nylon, silks, rayons and some polys) are more prone to create static.
  2. Try not to touch the metal part of the car. Light push on the window would close the door nice and easy.
  3. Avoid wearing rubber shoes.
  4. Keep a key, coin or similar metal object in your pocket. Whenever you need to touch your car door, door knob or anything that gives you the shock, touch the metal object like coin with it first. It’s not actually the current which hurts in a typical static shock, it’s the arc of current through the air. If you make contact with a key, then the arc won’t need to make contact with your skin, so it won’t hurt.

So, don’t get charged,
don’t let it get you! :) Rich Text AreaToolbarBold (Ctrl + B)Italic (Ctrl + I)Strikethrough (Alt + Shift + D)Unordered list (Alt + Shift + U)Ordered list (Alt + Shift + O)Blockquote (Alt + Shift + Q)Align Left (Alt + Shift + L)Align Center (Alt + Shift + C)Align Right (Alt + Shift + R)Insert/edit link (Alt + Shift + A)Unlink (Alt + Shift + S)Insert More Tag (Alt + Shift + T)Toggle spellchecker (Alt + Shift + N)▼
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Has it ever happened to you that you walked to your car, touched the metal of car door and wham! got zapped, yes? Isn’t it annoying or what. So, you want to know what’s going on. Allow me to explain it to you.
This mild shock is caused by human Electrostatic Discharge (ESD). A phenomenon in which transfer of electrostatic charge takes place between two bodies. It happens very quickly when two bodies carrying opposite charge come in direct contact with each other.
This charging results in when, one object loses electrons from its surface area and becomes positively charged. The other object gains the electron on its surface area to become negatively charged.The small electric shock you may receive from certain objects happens when you become triboelectrically charged. Tribo what?
Triboelectrically charged is a term used for the transfer/shifting/ releasing/loss of an electron from one body to another, after they come in contact with each other and separate. A simple procedure of Give & Take and Opposites attracts I must say.
And it’s not just the car doors, you can even get one from door knobs, metal gates, windows and sometimes even human beings.
How to Avoid getting one?
There’s not much that you can do about it but even then try these one’s out.

Very dry cloth (nylon, silks, rayons and some polys) are more prone to create static.
Try not to touch the metal part of the car. Light push on the window would close the door nice and easy.
Avoid wearing rubber shoes.
Keep a key, coin or similar metal object in your pocket. Whenever you need to touch your car door, door knob or anything that gives you the shock, touch the metal object like coin with it first. It’s not actually the current which hurts in a typical static shock, it’s the arc of current through the air. If you make contact with a key, then the arc won’t need to make contact with your skin, so it won’t hurt.
So, don’t get charged,
don’t let it get you! :)
Path:

Oil change! Do I have to?

Did you know that changing your engine oil or motor oil on a regular basis actually helps optimize the performance of your car. It’s worth-while and cost-effective. Motor oil not only lubricates moving parts of the engine, it keeps them clean, reduces friction, and helps the engine keep its cool :)

It works like this: Motor oil runs through the entire engine lubricating, reducing friction in moving parts, acting as a coolant and absorbs enormous amount of heat generated inside the engine while maintaining its thickness. While it’s running around with a purpose, it absorbs harmful particles on its way too which then deposit in the oil filter. After some times, the oil loses it’s thickens and the oil filter is full of dirt, rust and other bits. That’s your cue that its time is up and now we need a brand new oil to protect our precious metal.

Oil change doesn’t have to come at a price. DIY is the best way but if you don’t feel like it, a quick trip to your nearest petrol station or motor mechanic will do the trick but make sure that they put your vehicle’s oil cap back into place and tighten it.

Oil change? What does it mean?

  1. First the old, well used oil gets drained and replaced with a new one.
  2. Old and rotten oil filter if so is disposed of.
  3. Air filter is checked and if necessary, replaced.

How often should car oil be changed?

There are a number of ways to check if your car needs an oil change or not depending on the type of car:

  • The red or yellow indicator light or warning lamp on the dashboard
  • Blackened engine oil color,
  • Smoke from the exhaust pipe but only tab.test generates authentic results. So the best bet for you is to change your motor oil after every 5000 km or time guideline prescribed by your motor-mechanic.Engine oil dipstick test

The image on the right shows quite noticeable difference between the brand new and the well used, old, darkened engine oil.

Can we use the same oil for petrol and diesel engines?

The answer is No. Diesel and petrol engines burn at different temperature and their engine oil is designed to meet their requirements accordingly.

Don’t forget to scratch it:

It is the duty of car-mechanics and who-so-ever changes engine oil that they must scratch the sticker on the oil bottle or make a hole in the bottle before disposing it of. This prevents the bottle from being re-used. So, it’s important that you make sure, the bottle can not be re-used over and over again.

There are a number of good quality engine oils available in the market Shell, PCO, Caltex etc. So, make sure that you buy the very best because, motor oil is to engine what blood is to human beings because, it’s circulation inside the engine is similar to the blood flow in the human body.

So, which type of motor oil do you prefer for your car and why?

Car Safety: Driving while sleepy

I have had this problem not once, but quite a few times. As a part of my business, I have been going to a town roughly 300 km away from Lahore. I go there at an average of once a month at least, for the last 3 years. My head practically slumping down and hitting the steering wheel is not something new for me, given that I try to catch the relatively calmer roads either early in the morning or late at night. This in turn, leads to a not-so-attentive me.

The Hazard: But drowsiness (or tiredness) has nothing much to do with your current state of sleepiness. Sure, it doesn’t help if you have been awake watching re-runs of Punjabi stage shows the previous night, but one can not be too careful when it comes to attentive driving. This is especially true for long-distance driving. (I will give you the keys to my car if you can prove that you fell asleep while driving in one of our cities!)

The hazard is not that you will fall asleep while driving, the hazard is that you will be unable to pay the right amount of attention and get into an accident. This not only endangers your life, but of others on the road as well. Also, your feeling of tiredness not only comes from a bad-night’s sleep but, according to Mercedes press release:

In addition to the lack of a good night’s sleep, one of the most frequent causes of the dangerous phenomenon of nodding off at the wheel is monotony.

I of course, can second that. Nothing lulls you to a good-drive’s sleep than the Motorway at night! And no wonder Mercedes is telling us about this, given that they are set to introduce this great feature (to be rolled out in 2009) called Mercedes Attention Assist. It will, I daringly presume, assist you in paying attention.

The Mercedes Attention Assist: It takes in numerous factors to actually establish that you are tired, and then warns you to take a break. The values recorded by the system not only include the speed and the acceleration but also the angle of the steering wheel, the way that the indicators and pedals are used,

How Mercedes does it

How Mercedes does it

certain driver control actions and various external influences such as a side wind or an uneven road surface. Observation of the steering behavior is particularly significant: tired drivers can be spotted by a series of typical steering wheel movements which they then immediately correct. The new Mercedes assistance system recognizes signs such as these; if the driver’s steering behavior changes and other indicators also point towards encroaching tiredness, the system outputs a warning at an early stage. A warning signal sounds and a symbol in the instrument cluster advises the driver to take a break.

Huh? Warns us to take a break? I know when I am tired, trust me. I don’t take a break not because I am unaware of my tiredness, but because I foolishly think that I can ‘make it’. I think that it is OK and there is no serious hazard to me or to the inhabitants of my car or the pedestrians etc. It is this thinking that gets us into trouble.

But optimistically speaking, it might take that one last signal from the car I am driving to convince to actually stop to take a break and refresh myself.

Car Technology & Car Safety in Pakistan: As car technology evolves, we get to see decent-sized efforts to make the cars safer. After the technology comes out, this takes another gazillion years to reach the Pakistani markets, which is nothing short of pathetic. If you have an air bag on your car’s steering wheel, that’s a good start (majority of the cars being produced in Pakistan fail miserably at safety; some models of cars as famous as Cultus come without even a freakin’ seat belt! Beat that!)

Mercedes Attention Assist via Engadget (LINK)