Roads; an Explanation

A Road is a smooth path carved out on land for easy movement of people, goods and vehicles from one place to another. These days a road would usually mean an established pathway for the easy movement of vehicles or other form of locomotives from one place to another.

Road may be divided into four types

  1. Private road
  2. 2 lane road
  3. Dual carriage ways
  4. Express way

Private road

Private road

This means for example, the drive way to your house. Road managed by local community or estate. A private road can be individually or organizationally owned and maintained.

2 lane Road

2 lane road

Two lane roads are single carriageways. Traffic flows in opposite direction on each lane. Two lane roads are common in rural and urban areas. Speed limit on this type of road is low because it has too many access points.

Dual carriageways

Dual carriageway

Dual carriage way is a type of roadway in traffic in opposite directions is separated by a central reservation or barrier. In each traffic direction, the road may consist of multiple lanes. Dual carriage  ways are designed to very high standards so it can double as a free or motorway.

Expressway

Expressway

Express ways are roads built for speed. To encourage this, there is controlled and limited access into these types of roads. They are built to the highest of standards. Expressways are dual carriage ways clearly separated by central reservation or barrier.

Expressways have the highest acceptable speed limits.

Difference Between Manual and Automatic Transmission

Cars with automatic transmission is now the choice among drivers. It is easier to drive a car with an automatic gear system. It saves the driver the hassles of pressing down and releasing the clutch when the car has to be moved or stopped. If you have experienced driving a manual transmission car uphill or in a hold up, you will realize how easy it is with a car equipped with automatic transmission

However, manual transmission still has some advantages over its automatic counterpart. 

Advantages of manual transmission

  1. Simple design: the modelling and design of a manual transmission is easier when compared to that of an automatic transmission.
  2. Easy to repair: there is always a higher probability that a faulty manual transmission system can be repaired 
  3. Cheaper: it’s simple design makes it cheaper to buy ,install and maintain.
  4. Better braking efficiency: manual transmission cars are said to have more braking efficiency than its automatic counterpart
  5. Durability: manual transmission is more durable, this is why it is the most preferred for heavy duty vehicles.

Disadvantage of manual transmission

  1. Less smooth driving experience: driving a car with manual transmission is ok, but situations which make pressing down and releasing the clutch frequently such as during a holdup or driving uphill can be stressful.

Advantages of automatic transmission

  1. Smoother driving experience: This is achieved with  computer controlled transmission. The gears are shifted automatically when due and efficiently. It is easier to drive car equipped with automatic transmission uphill and during hold ups. 
  2. Makes Learning driving easier: one of the difficult aspects of driving is learning how to change gears efficiently even in difficult situations. Learners find it much easier to drive a car with automatic transmission as they will be spared the hassles of manually changing gears 

Disadvantages of Automatic transmission

  1. Complex design; compared to manual transmission, automatic transmission has a complex design architecture.
  2.   Harder to repair:  the complex modelling of the automatic transmission make it harder to repair when faulty. 
  3. Costlier; it is more expensive to acquire and maintain a car with automatic transmission
  4. Less durable:  Compared to its manual counterpart, Automatic transmission is said to be less durable

Signs That Your Clutch System is Going Bad

The Clutch is that part of your car that connects the engine to the transmission. It helps to start  to move and regulate the speed of your Vehicle. A failing clutch will give you a not so pleasant driving experience. 

The Clutch is an assembly of different parts, so having a clutch problem doesn’t really mean that the whole clutch system needs to be changed.

Here are some common signs that your clutch system is going bad;

Smell like burning rubber.

This is usually a common sign of a clutch problem. It can occur when the revolutions of the engine and the speed don’t match. For instance,  you may notice this smell when you press the accelerator (throttle) to speed up the car, the engine revolves at higher revolutions per minute and  the car speed doesn’t match up, or takes more than usual to match up. This phenomenon is more apparent when you are climbing a hilly road.

Notice that you may also perceive a burning smell if you are fond of pressing the clutch while the car is in motion.

Grinding noise when changing to gear one

If you hear a grinding noise when changing gears, particularly lower gears such as gear one; then the clutch needs repair. In a worst case scenario you won’t be able to change gears.

Engine running without corresponding speed.

This is a situation in which the RPM is high but your car speed doesn’t match up. A failing clutch may be the problem.

Car vibrates

When you start moving the car on gear one and it vibrates before moving smoothly, the clutch may be the culprit. The car could also vibrate if some parts of the engine mount is loose or broken. The engine mount is what holds the car engine in place.

The clutch pedal is not like before.

If the clutch pedal feels too soft, too hard, or spongy when pressed this is a sign your clutch system needs to be serviced.

How to calculate how much fuel your car consumes per kilometer

To know how much fuel your car consumes per kilometer, follow these steps.

1. Keep driving your car until the fuel level reaches reserve or fuel warning light starts blinking.

2 . Immediately get to the nearest filling station and fill up your car fuel tank. Note the amount of fuel (in liters) that was required to fill your tank from the fuel dispensing machine.

3. On your car dashboard set trip distance to zero from the trip meter, or write down the distance (in Km) covered by your car up to the point when you filled your fuel tank, from the odometer

4. Drive your car until fuel reaches reserve again.

5. At that point read the amount of distance covered by your car from the trip meter on your dashboard. Alternatively, read distance covered by car up to that point from the odometer and deduct from distance covered when you filled up tank at filling station.

6. Next divide the number of liters consumed (what was recorded at the filling station) by amount of distance covered.

For example, let’s say the amount of liters that filled up your car tank at the filling station was 35 liters, and at the time fuel depleted to reserve, you had covered a distance of 250Km driving, then amount of fuel consumed per kilometer can be calculated as follows;

35liters/250Km = 0.14liters/ Km

Or ,the distance covered per liter is 250km/35liters = 7.142Km per liter

Preventive measures that make it difficult for your car to get stolen.

  1. Never get out of your car even for a minute while leaving it running with the car key inside, a thief could just get in and speed off with it.
  2. Mind where you park your car, don’t park in lonely or dark places, your car may get stolen without anyone noticing.
  3. Ensure all car doors are locked and windows fully closed before leaving your car. Partially closed windows even a little space gives an opportunity for the car thief to easily break in.
  4. Park your car with the front facing an obstacle, this will make it less easy for a thief to maneuver your car and speed off.
  5. Do not keep your car papers/particulars inside your car; if your car ever gets stolen, it can aid the car thief in getting it out of reach.
  6. Never keep your spare or valet car key inside your car; car thieves always tend to know where it is kept.
  7. Make sure steering lock is engaged after parking your car.
  8. If your car has a security system or anti-lock device, understand how it works and use it to your advantage. Car thieves tend to avoid cars with anti-theft device at all cost.
  9. If your car doesn’t have an anti-theft device you can purchase a steering lock or clutch and brake locking device.
  10. Putting an anti-theft stickier on the rear windshield or car windows can help.
  11. Always observe your surroundings when driving and getting out of your car, ensure no one is trailing or monitoring your movements.
  12. If you purchased a second hand car, ensure you are giving all the car keys, they are usually 3; the original, spare and valet.
  13. If your car doesn’t have a tracker, you can install one. If your car ever gets stolen; the tracker can help know the car location and get it recovered.

Some Safety Driving Advice

Driving is a serious business; any mistakes could result in serious injury or even death. Good driving is a skill, you learn the first part at driving school and the other part during your driving experience.

Before Driving.

Check that your car is in perfect condition before driving, open the bonnet, check the level of engine oil on dipstick and confirm it is ok, check brake fluid level and also confirm it is ok, if either engine or brake oil is inadequate, you must refill before you start or move your car. Open the radiator and fill up with water if necessary, ensure no leakage of oil under the vehicle, check the tires, make sure they have adequate pressure and ensure that the nuts are tight.

Other things you should check before driving but not critical, include head lambs, brake lights traffic turning signals and horn; if any is malfunctioning, it should be repaired at your earliest convenience. If road safety officials stop your car and realizes any of these aren’t working, you may be fined

It is a good practice to put on your seat belt and put your phone on hands free mode before driving. Don’t drive under the influence or if you are sick.

During Driving.

Safe driving should be part and parcel of your daily driving habit. Always drive at safe speeds and distance from the vehicle in front of you, be patient and use your turning signals when negotiating a turn. Use the rear and side view mirrors to see what is around you. Anticipate mistakes that co- drivers and pedestrians can make in advance and take precautionary steps to avoid them.

Treat pedestrians with respect when driving, on a road with high population of people, drive slowly and use the horn. Remember a hit of your car on a pedestrian can result in you spending a lot of money on treatment, manslaughter charges or jail term.

When driving at night, or very dusty or foggy weather always use the headlamps and fog lights when necessary. To reduce glare when driving at night use the head lamps at low beam. Use high beam and fog lights during heavy rains.

When parking

Always park your car in a way it doesn’t obstruct traffic, don’t park in areas where your car is in danger of being hit. Engage the hand brakes when parking to prevent the car from moving. When bringing the car to a stop on a slope; in addition to engaging the hand brake put the gear in one or reverse or parking gear if your car uses automatic transmission.