1. WINDOWS DOWN MOTORING
Have you ever noticed when driving with just the driver’s window down that you get buffeted by the wind, or hear that horrible helicopter noise?
Windows down motoring doesn’t have to be this way.
If you also lower the rear window just a quarter you will notice the air smooth right out.
With one window open, you turn your car into what boffins call a Helmholtz resonator. You are essentially making the car act like an empty beer bottle having air blown across it, except at 50km/h-plus.
The effect is called side window buffeting, and this trick will have you cruising comfortably.
2. FUEL FILLER FACTOID
The first stop at a service station in an unfamiliar car can be an embarrassing one. Pull up to the wrong bowser, and your choices include the super-awkward fuel hose across the roof fill-up, or a reverse and reposition – hopefully without annoying other waiting drivers.
The myth is that manufacturers put the fuel gauge on the same side of the dash that the fuel filler cap is on. Intuitive, but untrue.
Manufacturers do give it away, though. A little arrow next to the fuel filler icon lets you know which side of the pump you need to sidle up to.
Follow the arrow, and fuel up with ease.
3. TYRE TRICK
Tyres are the most important safety device fitted to a car. Knowing their condition is vital to making sure you arrive at your destination in one piece.
Tyre pressure is the first step, and we have written extensively on the easiest way to do that, but tread depth is another crucial way to check tyre condition.
Toyo tyres have a special feature built in to help drivers easily keep on top of tread depth. It’s a bar built across the tread that indicates the minimum. There is small arrow pointing to it on the sidewall. Are you tyres worn past this point? Replace them.
Head to our dealer locator to find your nearest retailer.
4. MIST BUSTED
Coming off the back of summer, misted windscreens haven’t been too much of an issue lately. As we head into autumn and winter, however, rainfall and dropping temps mean a return to fogged-up glass and frantic button pressing.
Stubborn mist is a real problem, with the alternative of grabbing anything in sight to wipe it clear less than ideal while driving.
The problem is not one of temperature, it’s one of moisture. If you are having trouble clearing the windscreen, odds are there is one button you have missed – the air conditioning.
Blasting hot or cold air at condensation on the glass will make little difference, what you need is dry air. Your air conditioning is the fastest way to dry out the air in the car’s cabin and clear that windscreen fast.
Don’t have air con? Roll a window down to dry out the air inside the car and reduce condensation faster.
5. CHEAT AN OVERHEAT
A temperature needle heading red in traffic is one of the most stressful situations a motorist faces. With some quick thinking, you can stave off the temperature rise and prevent engine damage.
First, shut down the air conditioning quick smart. Air conditioning puts load on the motor and that is the opposite of what needs to happen in an overheating situation.
Now, turn the heat to the highest possible point and set the fan speed to full. It’s going to be uncomfortable, sweaty and unpleasant, but doing so will transfer some heat away from the engine.
Maintain a distance as large as possible between the car in front’s hot exhaust and avoid riding the brakes.
As a caveat – the sooner you can shut your engine off the better, especially in traffic. The above advice is intended to get you to a safe place to pull over, or to the nearest mechanic.