Costly Mistakes Kenyan Motorists Should Avoid

  • A carwash attendant at work.
    A carwash attendant at work.
  • The appetite for acquiring cars has seen the establishment of many bazaars in the country, particularly Nairobi which accounts for 60% of all vehicles in Kenya.

    An equally booming business is the spare parts and repair industry that threatens to take over many open spaces within towns. 

    The demand for mechanics has provided employment of many Kenyans who don’t require formal training since many start out as apprentices. 

    A mechanic working on a car at a garage
    A mechanic working on a car at a garage

    Drivers who have been behind the wheel for a long time know how costly it can be to maintain a car, but many new owners are usually taken aback. 

    According to Pius Mutua, a mechanic at Kenyatta, by avoiding the most common mistakes, you can cut down on frequent trips to a mechanic and in the process save money. 

    Strange Noises 

    “One of the most common mistakes car owners make is ignoring the strange noises from the engine or beneath the vehicle. Many drivers assume that since the car is still functional, then such problems can wait,” Pius says. 

    If these sounds are overlooked, they can get louder, and depending on where they are coming from, the car can break down and even stall.

    Ignoring such early warning signs only make the problem worse and more costly to repair. 

    Missing on service appointments

    Servicing your car as required is a good way to catch problems even before they turn into annoying noises which are likely to embarrass you.

    Some problems start developing gradually and can only be noticed when they impact your ability to drive. 

    An engine that is not running efficiently not only breaks down easily but also bleeds your fuel budget

    Not reading the user manual

    Reading the owner's manual is an essential part of buying a vehicle. Since each car is unique, it is important to read the manual to understand the roles of all buttons and gauges in your vehicle. Then you get to understand the distinctions between two vehicles.

    Experts advise that the maintenance part of your manual is one of the most significant. This section contains an outline of the engine as well as guidelines for simple maintenance procedures.

    You'll learn how to do regular maintenance tasks such as testing the oil, cleaning the air filter, removing headlight fixtures, switching windshield wipers, and even adjusting the headlights.

    Your manual would also have a maintenance schedule.

    Ignoring tire pressure

    If ignored, a flat tyre could lead to serious or costly damage. A blown tyre during high speeds could put the lives of both the occupants of your vehicle as well as other road users at risk. 

    Driving with low pressure could also damage your tires more, and instead of having a simple tyre or pressure fix, you will need a new one altogether. 

    Make a habit of visually checking your tyres before you drive. During a regular oil change, ask your mechanic to check your tyres for wear and tear.

    Traffic jam on Waiyaki Way.
    Traffic jam on Waiyaki Way.