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  • Drive those fears aways

    Here are a few tips on planning ahead when you have to hit the road.

      Check the weather. A complete weather check can help you pack the right clothes, plan an alternate route, or in cases of extreme weather, a different time to travel.

      Ensure everyone is buckled up. Have child safety seats checked for proper installation.

      Allow plenty of time to drive and reach your destination. Alleviate unnecessary stress by taking breaks for meals, sight seeing, and bathroom stops.

      Keep your distance between vehicles. Assume other drivers, especially those of heavier vehicles on the highway, may attempt risky maneuvers such as sudden lane changes. Drive defensively!

      Make sure your vehicle is ready for a long road trip. Check your oil, tires, battery, cooling system and all belts and hoses. Check to see if all the fuses are there and in good condition. Always carry extra fuses, at least one of every size. Inspect your tyres periodically for unusual wear. Look close for cuts, punctures, embedded screws, nails and other objects, big or small. It is equally important to keep your spare tyre up to par.

      Carry a cellular phone with you. Remember that if caught talking on the cellular phone while driving, you can be fined. Make sure that children know how to use the cell phone to get help in an emergency.

      Don't overfill your vehicle with luggage. A cramped vehicle is uncomfortable for the driver and passengers. Good visibility is essential. Choose a carrier if necessary.

      Travel during off-peak times, if possible in order to avoid traffic congestion.

      Don't stop exercising just because you're on the road. Take a walk or go for a run. Any physical activity will greatly reduce the stress of a road trip.

      When traveling with pets, plan accordingly. Find a veterinarian in the area you are traveling to, and on the way to your destination. He'll be a real help if your pet becomes ill or gets injured.

      Breakdowns can be stressful and even frightening. Taking a few steps in advance can save you time, emergency service costs and a headache. Have an emergency kit ready for many different situations. The kit should meet your individual needs and be equipped with items ranging from spares, light sources, fuses, tyre inflators, to safety kits and other items to attract or provide help. Personal items should be gathered to complete the emergency supplies. Keep in mind your life-style, your family and the regions where you travel and compile items accordingly.

    So, soothe your frayed nerves... and take time to prepare for the long road ahead. We promise that your fears of a bumpy road ahead will be allayed and that your trip will be smooth sailing. So much so that you'll soon find yourself thinking about the next one!

    Drive away City Blues

    The best safety device in a car is a well-trained driver
    Have some tips that can make your driving through the same city roads not only comfortable, but also delightful.

    Check out these 'smooth sailing (read: driving)' tips that will make driving in the city, a whole new experience.

      Avoid filling stations at rush hours. Never head towards the filling station during rush hours. Make sure to fill up the fuel tank and check tyre pressure at your convenience.

      Drive within the speed limits. Avoid the urge to overspeed and cross speed limits. Remember, being five minutes late in this world is better than being five minutes early to the next.

      Always use safe driving accessories. It is very important to check that all the accessories are functioning properly. Adjust the angle of the rear vision mirror according to your own convenience before starting your car. Seat belts and child lock ensure prevention before a mishap occurs.

      Talking on cellular phone while driving is a strict NO. Using cellular phones while driving can be fatal. While speaking on the cellular phone your attention can be diverted from the road ahead. There may be unexpected slowing down, sudden lane changing, etc. by you.

      Avoiding honking unnecessarily. Do not misuse the privilege of having a horn at your disposal. Blowing the horn suddenly creates confusion among fellow drivers. Prolonged honking and the use of certain kinds of horns also contribute to noise pollution.

      Change lanes only with indication. Do not change lanes suddenly and without indicating your intention to move to a different lane. Always overtake a vehicle from its right-hand side.

      Safe backing saves a lot. Careful backing of one's car at low speed and with a backing signal on can help prevent any collision. This becomes even more important in the generally crowded public parking places, where one has to be really deft to manoeuvre the car in or out.

      Relax on seeing red. There's not much you can do about a traffic signal that has just turned red as you approached the crossing! So why not take it as an opportunity to spend a few moments of relaxation?

      Warming the Winter Worries

      Winter driving is capable of challenging the most seasoned of drivers. The long hours of darkness coupled with chilly winds, fog, and snow in some parts of India make driving difficult. Here are some tips to prepare you to drive away those nippy blues!

        Warming up the engine: Though it is very important not to start driving before your engine is warmed up. Do not warm it up with too long idling - 60 to 100 seconds is usually enough time to allow your engine to idle. A cold engine will warm up faster when the vehicle is being driven than when left to idle for long periods of time. When the weather is unusually cold, remember to drive at slower speeds for a few miles to give your car time to warm up.

        Be sure your vehicle is maintained properly: Lights, brakes, windshield wipers, defrosters, radiator and other parts of your vehicle should be in good working condition

        Under the hood: Check the battery. It takes more power to start a car in the cold. Ensure clean, tight connections and proper fluid levels. Clean corrosion from battery terminals regularly.

        Heater & Defogging: Always use the heater with the air conditioner's toggle button turned on 'Fresh air' mode. Set air intake control and air flow control to a well ventilated position and the temperature control function to a comfortably warm position. When the car is fogged from inside, the AC can be used for increased defogging action.

        Check tyre pressure: A chilly morning is probably a good time to check tyre inflation pressures.

        Slow down!: While driving through fog, ensure you drive slowly and keep your eyes trained on the vehicle ahead of you. You should ideally drive at a speed that allows you to stop within the distance of your visibility.

        Don't tailgate: Never hang on to the lights of the vehicle in front, it only gives a false sense of security.

        Fogging inside the car: Turn on the defroster and blower to eliminate condensation on the insides of your windshields and windows

        Lights: Use low-beam lights. In a fog, high beams reflect back on the driver, actually reducing visibility further.

        Indicators: Have your fog lamps and indicator lights on. Getting high mounted stop lights may be a good idea for increased visibility. Avoid sudden stops and turns. Remember, the driver behind you cannot see well, either.

  • Click here to see Fuel Saving tips

  • Wax Works

    If you want to keep your car for as long as possible and want it to look and run great, here are a few do-it-yourself maintenance tips from Hyundai :

      Regular waxing will keep a car looking new for many years.

      If rainwater does not bead on the painted surfaces of your car, it's time to wax it.

      If you wax the car yourself, make sure you start with a clean car and never work in direct sunlight. Run your hand over the surface, it should feel smooth. If it feels gritty like bits of sand embedded in paint, then use a non-abrasive cleaner to clean the paint.

      Only use products designed for automotive finishes. After you finish you should go over the entire surface to look for wax residue, especially around trim and body seams.

      If your car has a black trim, keep the wax away from it. Some waxes leave a chalky film on dull black trims, such as rubber and plastics.

      Before beginning the job, examine the paint closely for chips and scratches and touch them up. Touch-up paint is available at most auto supply stores for the most popular paint colors.

    Don't Let Your Tyres Tire!

    Here are some basics to ensure that your tyres are in shape...afterall good-looking tyres stand great-looking cars!

      It is very important to ensure that your tyres always have the correct air-pressure. This small check itself not only prolongs the life of your tyre but also improves fuel consumption. The air-pressure should be ideally checked when tyres are cold, since tyres that have been driven for sometime build up heat inside, and will show incorrect pressure.

      All tyres do not wear uniformly. Hence they should be rotated (i.e. their positions interchanged) as recommended in the owner's manual. Rotation may be done between the four tyres or between all five tyres (i.e. the spare tyre too).

      Check for a specific pattern of wear-patches on your tyres. This indicates that the suspension may not be proper, and is hitting against the tyres at specific points causing scuffing.

      Pulling of your car to either side means that either insufficient air-pressure or that the wheel-alignment of the car is faulty.

      Regularly check the tyres for small stones and metal pieces that may get lodged in the grooves.

    Monsoon Maintenance Rain Relief for Your Car

    It's that time of the year when the benevolent rain goods shower their blessings in plenty. Though a welcome relief from the intense summer heat, the rains often pose problems for our cars and their drivers, often leaving one stranded at odd hours. Here are some tips to help you and your car through the monsoon.

    For your Car : -
    Electrical system : Make sure that loose electrical connections of your car are repaired. Exposed wires, if any, should be properly insulated. Coat battery terminals with petroleum jelly (not grease) and use a waterproofing spray to keep the electrical system moisture-free.

    Tyres : Ensure that all the tyres have at least 2mm of tread depth and have sufficient tyre pressure to prevent skidding. A cracked tyre should be replace immediately.

    Car body Care : Apply anti-rust coating specially on the underbody of the car and attend to all the scratches and dents on the surface of the paint immediately to prevent corrosion. Apply wax on the car body as it forms a protective layer increasing the life of the car.

    Engine Care : Ensure that the engine is well serviced and watertight. Either use a spray to eliminate the monsoon moisture or unscrew the plugs and wipe them dry with a piece of cloth.

    Interiors : Most carpets rust the floorboards. Place old mast or newspapers on the carpet as they will soak up the dirty water, and keep the floorboard and the floor fittings dry. Vacuum your car interiors regularly to reduce the moisture and to keep your car smelling fresh.

    Wipers :Hard and cracked wiper blades cause scratches on the windshield and reduce visibility. Get new, non-streaking blades, and use soap solution instead of plain water for windshield cleaning. It will increase the visibility when it pours.

    For you : -
    Drives show : At high speeds, the rains create a fine sheet of water between the tyre and the read surface, which causes loss of control. Show driving enables the tyre grooves to clear this film out thus increasing the traction.

    Keep the Headlights on : When driving in rain, switch the headlights on at a low beam. It will increase your visibility and allow other drivers to notice you from a distance.

    Windshield Defogging : Direct the air towards windscreen and other glassy surfaces, it will increase the visibility during rains. However, if your car doesn't have and air-conditioner or heater, keep the windows slightly rolled down.

    Spare Fuse : Fuse tend to fail when moist. Always keep a spare electrical fuse if you don't want to get stranded in a heavy downpour.

    Keep Raincoat or umbrella : Keep a raincoat or umbrella in the car at all times, as you never know when you may need to step out in the rain.

    In an Emergency

    Situation : On turning the ignition key, your car's engine cranks or turns over normally, but does not start. What do you do ?

      Check the fuel level - you may have run out of fuel.

      Check the fuel line in the engine room for leaks.

      If the engine still does not start, it's time to call for help. Just call Hyundai ERS or a Hyundai dealer. Or seek other qualified assistance.

    Hyundai ERS is Hyundai's 24-hour Emergency Road Service. In case your car breaks down and you require urgent assistance, just call Hyundai ERS.

  • No Kidding, when its kids' Safety

    Here are a few tips for the safety of your child when you are travelling in a car.

      Teach children not to play in, or around cars.

      Never leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle, even with a window slightly open.

      Always lock your doors and trunk and keep the keys out of children's reach.

      Watch children closely around cars, particularly when loading and unloading.

      Secure children in the rear seat in approved car seats. Use booster seats for older children.

      When restraining children in a car that has been parked in the heat, check to make sure that seating surfaces and equipment (car seat and seat belt buckles) are not overly hot.

      Kids can fall asleep when they have something soft to lay their heads on. So pop in a couple of pillows.

      If your car has been parked outside on a hot day, make sure the car seat and seat belts are not too hot before buckling your children in the car.

      Carry plenty of water or other fluids when travelling with children to prevent them from dehydration.

    Woman at the Wheel

    It was Sonal Sharma's 25th birthday on May 16, 2002, when she was driving down the Ridge Road in Delhi. Suddenly, a three-wheeler hit her car from the rear. She stopped immediately and stepped out to check the matter. Before Sonal could realise anything, six persons including a woman surrounded her. They snatched her necklace and fled off the scene with her mobile. Unfortunately, such incidents are frequent and it's not unique to one city or one country.

    A few tips to ensure your safety :

      Keep your car doors locked from inside and window panes rolled up while driving.

      Avoid getting into conversation with strangers who may want to know the directions, especially at deserted traffic lights.

      If you feel somebody is following you, drive to a crowded spot or a police station or call-up 100 if possible.

      If you sense something wrong with your car, don't stop midway, drive slowly to a known service station or call your emergency road service numbers.

      Don't leave any valuables in the car, nor expose them to the passers by.

      Park your car in a secure place.

    If caught in a predicament, never let fear be your first response, react boldly and swiftly. A confident response to an apparently unsafe situation would always work to your advantage.

  • 8 bit or 16 bit microprocessor?

    Ever got the feeling you have compromised on something with an 8-bit microprocessor under your hood? Not really! Read on to understand what this means to you as a Hyundai owner..

    What is the function of a Microprocessor under your car's hood?

    New generation cars have various sensors that monitor engine performance. These include the Knock sensor, Vehicle speed sensor and the Oxygen sensor, among others. These sensors control the input parameters to the engine through 'actuators' like the fuel injector and the idle speed actuator through an ECM or the Engine Management System. The microprocessor is a part of this ECM and controls the speed at which the data is carried from the sensors to the actuators. The process speed is normally in milliseconds.

    What is the difference between an 8 bit and a 16 bit microprocessor?

    The difference is faster processing. A 32 bit microprocessor processes data faster than a 16 bit which processes faster than a 8 bit. Normally, the choice of the microprocessor depends on the volume of data to be processed, which in turn depends on the number of sensors used. To draw an analogy, it is like using an advanced Pentium 4 PC for your large graphic applications at work, while a simple Pentium II can fit almost your entire home computing requirements.

    What difference does it make to me as a driver?

    Very little. Most of the cars sold in India today have about 8 to 9 key sensors, which control about 4 to 5 actuators and a 8 bit microprocessor is more than adequate to handle this volume of data efficiently. In terms of speed of processing, a couple of milliseconds hardly make any difference to the quality of the drive or to the performance of the engine, given the above specifications.

    Steer while you brake with ABS

    The most advanced braking system, the Anti-lock Braking System or the ABS is a sure answer to every driver's search for the ultimate comfort and ease in braking even at high speeds. ABS is designed to help the driver to remain in control of the vehicle, on difficult and slippery terrains.

    ABS Complements Hyundai

    Hyundai Motor India has been the driving force in achieving technological breakthroughs in the automotive industry. The safety aspect is just one of many. The Anti-lock Braking System, dual side impact bars, collapsible steering, anti-roll bars, crumple zones, cross bar under the dashboard and reinforced pillars, give every Hyundai a rock solid feel. So, go ahead and take your Hyundai for a spin. The city roads have never been safer.

    • The ABS - what's within...
    • Speed sensors - The Anti-lock Braking System needs precise information to function. It needs to know when a wheel is about to lock up. The speed sensors located in the wheel or sometime in the differential, provide this information by determining wheel lock up during braking. A series of hydraulic valves limit the braking on that wheel.

      Valves - An ABS controlled brake line consists of a valve. Each valve adopts three positions to enable better braking.

      Position 1: The valve is open and the tyre from the master cylinder is passed through to the brake.

      Position 2: The valve blocks the line isolating the brake from the master cylinder, thus preventing any further rise in pressure.

      Position 3: The valve releases some of the pressure from the brake.

      Pump - The valve releases pressure from the brakes and the pump puts that back. When the valve reduces the pressure in a line, the pump is there to get the pressure back up.

      Controller - The Controller is the brain behind the ABS. Before the wheel locks up it experiences rapid deceleration. The ABS controller immediately senses that such a rapid deceleration is abnormal and reduces the pressure on that wheel until it accelerates again. It then increases the pressure till it senses the deceleration again. This procedure is repeated very quickly till the speed has reduced significantly. The result is that the tyre slows down at the same speed as the car. Which in turn stops the car from skidding giving tremendous stopping power.

      Secure children in the rear seat in approved car seats. Use booster seats for older children.

      When restraining children in a car that has been parked in the heat, check to make sure that seating surfaces and equipment (car seat and seat belt buckles) are not overly hot.

      Kids can fall asleep when they have something soft to lay their heads on. So pop in a couple of pillows.

      If your car has been parked outside on a hot day, make sure the car seat and seat belts are not too hot before buckling your children in the car.

      Carry plenty of water or other fluids when travelling with children to prevent them from dehydration.

    ABS - a child's play

    Steer as you brake, brake as you steer! Using the ABS is like a child's play. Rest your foot on the brake pedal but do not relax. Apply steady and constant pressure on the pedal. Never remove your foot off the brake pedal or pump the brake.

    ABS - makes you listen and feel

    Anti-lock Braking has a distinctive noise and feel. So if you find your brakes sounding or feeling different, relax. A groaning noise, a rapid pulsing of the brake pedal, a periodic dropping of the brake pedal, a hard brake pedal and a light that turns on to say low traction, are part and parcel of the braking system.

    Performance Enhancement Fuels

    Premium, Speed, these are some of the latest buzz words that car owners have been hearing about. Some vouch that they improve performance and fuel efficiency while others feel that they do not see any change. The attendant at the petrol pump recommends it strongly and you are perhaps too confused to make up your mind. In this edition, we bring you the facts about the new ‘PEFs’.

    PEFs or Performance Enhancement Fuels are the new food for the vehicles on the roads. These fuels contain advanced additive systems that clean up intake and fuel systems, and keeps them operating at peak performance and efficiency as the fuel gets used by your car. It also provides one-tank cleanup of port fuel injectors.

      The benefits:

      >Maximising power output : With its advanced deposit control additive system, this fuel cleans fuel injectors, carburetors, additive system, fuel injectors, intake ports, and valves to restore maximum power output. They also help keep new engines clean to maintain engine power output.

      Better acceleration : PEFs remove deposits that can hurt acceleration performance. They have unparalleled 'intake valve cleanup and keep clean' performance. With cleaner valves, better acceleration is achieved.

      Better driveability and smoothness : Clean fuel injectors and intake valves ensure good throttle response and driveability. Tests show that PEFs provide smooth engine response.

      Maintaining fuel economy : Air intake and fuel delivery systems are maintained in 'as-designed' conditions, giving precise air/fuel mixture control for minimum fuel consumption

      Reducing exhaust emissions : The deposit control in this fuel helps maintain proper fuel/air mixture so that emission control systems operate properly to minimise hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions.

    Why should you use PEFs ?

    New generation cars like the Hyundai cars use the MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection) technology, where the fuel is injected into the engine through fine valves, for better fuel efficiency and emission control. Impurities found in normal fuels tend to clog these fine holes of fuel injectors thereby reducing the efficiency of the engine. They may sometimes even affect the catalytic converters, leading to increased emission. While the regular preventive maintenance of your Hyundai at authorised service centres will take care of problems like clogged valves and intakes, use of PEFs do help avoid the problem from building up in the first place.

    Therefore, whether or not you feel a perceptible difference in the drive or fuel efficiency, tanking up on PEFs is a good idea.

    PS: Meet The New Age Horsepower

    While reading through test-drive reports, launch reviews and even technical specifications of automobiles, we often come across two commonly used terms for measuring the power of the engine - BHP and PS. If you've wondered what they mean, this piece is for you.

    But first, let's refresh our knowledge on the good old 'horsepower'.

    The original

    The term horsepower (hp) is rarely used as a formal measure now because it is known to have various definitions. However, the idea persists as a handy term in the automotive industry to benchmark the maximum power of internal combustion engines.

    As per the most common definition, 1 hp = 745.69987158227022 W.

    Some of you may be aware that James Watt first used the term horsepower for a business venture where his steam engines substituted horses.

    Then came BHP

    BHP or brake horsepower was commonly used before the 1970's in the USA, is still common in the UK, and was being used till a couple of months back in India. The term derived its name from a device called 'brake', used to measure the true power of an engine. Since the power was not calculated or predicted, but actually measured, it was an indication of a true reading.

    PS revealed

    PS is now the most common measure for power in India, particularly in the automobile industry. PS or Pferdestärke (German for 'horse strength') is commonly used in Germany and Central Europe. The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Braunschweig defines it as:

    1 PS = 735.49875 W.

    The change from BHP to PS has happened because universally PS is employed as a unit to measure and denote the maximum power produced by automotive engines.