Going upcountry for Xmas? read this

Some people are planning to have their festive season celebrations from upcountry to bond with their families there. No problem about that plan. The only issue is to go with an un -serviced vehicle. Roland D. Nasasira talked to some mechanics.

Soon, it will be yet again that time of the year when some members of the public will head to different upcountry destinations for Christmas holidays to celebrate with their families. For those that never use public transport, it means they will have to get behind the steering wheel to drive their cars all the way. To avoid unnecessary breaking down, the car that you ought to use should be well serviced.

Full service
Foska Besigomwe, a mechanic at NCM Enterprises in Wandegeya, explains that when one is making a Christmas journey, the car should be subjected to full service where the engine and gearbox oils should be changed, in some engines oil filters are changed. In some petrol engines, air cleaner plugs are and fuel filters are changed.

“When you change the engine oil, you should also change the oil filter because when the dirt in the unclean filter mixes with the new oil, it makes the engine dirty, affecting its performance where it sometimes fails to run,” he notes. For Germany made cars such as Mercedes Benz, Besigomwe says flashing the engine with flashing oil to remove particles of old oil should be done.

Jackson Mugisha, also a mechanic at Abby’s Garage in Wandegeya, says before one gets on the road for a long journey during Christmas time, it is recommended to open the bonnet and check for enough water in the radiator and in its reserve, open the steering fluid to know whether it is of good quality. Check for enough engine and gearbox oils and brake fluid because there is no way the brake pedal will push the fluid to the brake caliper to apply brakes effectively.

With German made cars such as Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi, Besigomwe aises that, “If you have been using one type of oil, stick to it and don’t change while making a long journey because when a car is on the road after detecting a different type of oil from the usual it has been using, it will indicate that it requires servicing and may sometimes fail to move.”

He also notes that in situations where one may not be able to buy a new air cleaner, it is recommended to blow the initial air cleaner before hitting the road. Other than that, it affects engine performance by slowing it down where it changes sound and uses a lot more fuel to run.

Mugisha says in order to carry out full service for both German and Japanese made cars, it costs between Shs200,000 to Shs500,000 and requires among other items like buying four litres of oil for a Mercedes Benz C200 and plugs, each costing Shs50,000. Because some roads in upcountry places are dirt roads, Mugisha recommends four wheel drive cars that don’t get stuck in ditches where the terrain is rugged.

To avoid running out of fuel in the middle of a journey, Besigomwe says, a car should be filled to full tank right on the onset of the journey.

Ken Kibirige, a mechanic at Roadside Garage in Makerere, says before a car owner drives for long distances, they should ensure that the tyres have treads that ease car movement. Depending on where one buys car tyres and considering their quality, Kibirige says the minimum cost of an original tyre is Shs150,000 and more, depending on the type of the car.

He also adds that, “a car owner should also check that there is enough steering wheel fluid in the steering fluid tank to lubricate the steering wheel action in the steering pump and box so that the steering wheel does not become stiff.” Now you can have a nice festive journey upcountry.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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