• Atul Prasad

Bike Lives Matter (...Cars too)

These are very tough times that we are in. The times when it's very important for us all to stay at home, not just to keep ourselves safe but also the people around us. Now, while we are all stuck at home, a lot of us have taken it upon ourselves to indulge in a hobby. The choice of hobby differs from one individual to another. Over the past week of April 2020, we have done a bunch of live interactions with some renowned people who had some pretty interesting tips to give about their particular hobby or hobbies. An array of hobbies were discussed upon.  This one is for all the automotive enthusiasts. I know what you’re thinking! “You need to step out to indulge yourself in such a hobby!”. Well, not really. This is not about “What to do when you’re out there riding your motorcycle?” and all that jazz. This is about something far more important than just owning a vehicle and riding or driving it around. The maintenance of your vehicle. Essentially, how to keep your vehicle healthy, in the times of COVID?  So we, at Hobbyist World, did a live interaction with some well known folks in the business of automotives i.e. 

  1. Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor-in-chief, car and bike and Director, World Car Awards.

  2. Vir Nakai, Adventure Motorcyclists.

  3. Jaskirat Nagra, Founder of Sarbloh Motors.

Here are some interesting tips from each one of them, listed out just for you! Siddharth Vinayak Patankar :

Most of our machines are modern and require very little when it comes to maintenance when compared to the older ones from the 80’s and the 90’s. The most primary thing is, you’ve got to safeguard your vehicle from different elements. Wherever you might be. A lot of us don’t have the luxury of a covered parking space. So if your vehicle is parked out there facing the elements, just make sure that it doesn’t get direct exposure to the sun. You can avoid the sun exposure for your vehicle by just getting cover or an old piece of tarpaulin etc.  It's not like the sun is going to damage the vehicle but too much exposure can end up damaging the plastics used inside the build of a vehicle. The interiors of a car can also be safeguarded by parking your vehicle under a tree or a shed, because when the car is exposed to extreme heat, that can result in moisture which in turn might lead to rusting and also act as a great breeding ground for bacteria especially now since we’re trying to stay as clean as possible. A car, when parked in the sun, can be very inviting to a plethora of bugs.  Since you have to stay inside, you must start the vehicle for at least 2 or 3 minutes regularly and you’d want to pop the hood just to make sure if all the cables are good and intact (rats love to feast on wires of cars that are parked for too long). You don’t really need to keep your fuel tank at full, instead just start the vehicle every couple of days. Some of the older cars, leaving them parked with the parking brake can cause it to get jammed although it's really rare for it to happen. So a better idea would be to leave the car in a gear unless you’re on a slope. Vir Nakai :

A motorcycle, be it old or new, you have to ride it more often than once or twice a week but in times like these when riding out isn’t an option, you need to start it and keep it idling for a few minutes just to keep the engines working in ship shape. You also must park your bike with the main stand instead of the side stand.  Jaskirat Nagra:

During this lockdown period, as we can’t take the car or the bike out for a spin, what we need to do to keep them in ship shape, is to start the vehicle and bring them up to the running temperature. Once the vehicle is brought up to the right temperature, that is the time the viscosity of the oils come up to the optimum levels and that is really good for the vehicle.  When a car is parked for a long time on the road or in your driveway, you might notice a flat spot on the tyres especially on concrete surfaces as it absorbs the air out of the tyres. So the solution to this is to park your vehicles on planks, if you find any, or if you have a particular parking spot, you need to keep pushing the car for 6 or 7 inches in order to constantly change the contact point of the tyres with the ground.  You also need to air the tyres to the optimum levels so they don't flatten out that easily. So like Siddharth mentioned about having your car parked out in the open and resulting in the heating up of your car interiors, what you can do to prevent that is by leaving your car window open just a little bit. Not all the way but just a little bit. It also helps in opening the bonnet and cleaning out all the leaves as this will prevent rusting. Every nook and corner of the car needs to be cleaned out.  Nowadays a lot of cars have hydraulic power steering or even electronic power steering. So it is always a good idea to occasionally turn the steering lock to lock as it helps the hydraulic fuel to stay lubricated. For all the electric car users, you should not let the batteries run down to the minimum levels as it might be difficult to recharge them again. So these are the important pointers to keep in mind while you’re trying to keep your vehicle healthy during this lockdown. It is essential to tend to your vehicle especially in these times when they have to be stuck in the same spot for weeks on end. A car or a bike, they all are either built to make memories or already have stories entangled along with the roads they’ve tread on. So keep them healthy because “vroom” is the only word they’ll ever say.