Don’t assume because you’ve got a brand new car (or a tokunbo one), that it’s resistant to failure.
No one prays for his or her car to suddenly break down on such highways.
Anyone that has ever driven through that road, would realise how silent, and dangerous it is, especially if you’ve ever had your car broken down on that road.
In such a situation, you’d realised that those “good Samaritans”, would, in collaboration with those rickety towing trucks, surface, and immediately commence diagnostics, without your permission.
At that point, you already don’t have any options left for you.
If you ever get into such a nightmare, this is what you should do.
1. Your safety is of paramount importance here. Secure all your belongings, and if possible, properly park the car (off the expressway).
2. Calm down, and if you’re tech savvy with technical stuffs, you could immediately commence diagnostics. But if you can’t, ask any of the ” good Samaritans “, to inspect/diagnose the problem. These guys are cunning in their dealings. There’d be a lot of trial and errors on display(oga , e be like say na dis, or that).
The towing trucks would instantly appear from nowhere, and want to come assist you. Their specific assistant would be to cone over and ask for the vehicle to be towed to the neatest mechanic workshop, or to Lagos. When the tow man suggest a tow, tell them you’d want to consult with your mechanic, or the ” good Samaritan “, with you.
3. Monitor the mechanics. This is where the crux of the matter is. Your car, might have just developed a minor mechanical/electrical fault. But if you aren’t monitoring every bit of what the mechanics are doing, that minor fault would be amplified to a major one (costing you time, money, in the replacement of unnecessary parts).
4. Return to your mechanic. After the ” Samaritan mechanics ” have fixed your car, whether permanently, or temporarily, I’d expect you to have your car inspected by your trusted mechanic, to make corrections where necessary. That would save you from future problems.
MAJOR CHECKLISTS BEFORE TRAVELING
1. Do an oil change, if it’s due, or top up if necessary. This would reduce the risk of excessive friction in the engine.
2. Ensure all tyres are properly inflated. Under or over inflated tyres are highly risky for your trip.
3. Replace your tyres, if they are worn. Excessively worn tyres would cause a whole lot if drivability issues.
4. Ensure radiator coolant is at the proper level. Radiator coolants below the LOW level, is a recipe for overheating.
If it’s possible, always have a gallon of water in the trunk of your car. That would serve in times of overheating, where you’d need some water to top off the radiator.
5. Be cautious of where you fuel your car.
6. Check your spare tyre for damage, or under inflation.. Check the jack, wheel spanner and fire extinguishers as well.
7. Inspect all brake pads/brake shoes for wear. Replace any if worn. Do not manage worn brake pads.
- Always determine from the start, if the car needs to be towed, or driven to the mechanic’s workshop for repairs.
- Negotiate the cost of repairs with them before the commencement of work. If you don’t do that, they’ll take advantage of you.
- Be extremely careful when buying automotive fluids on the expressway, especially, where you have hawkers of diesel fuel on the roads. Such places, are breeding grounds for substandard fluids, such as transmission fluids, engine oils, etc. Not minding the brand labels affixed to the fluid containers, most of them are contaminated and adulterated with impurities and diesel fuel.
So, the next time you buy any fluids from such roadside spare part shops, PERCEIVE the ODOUR of the fluid. If it smells, somewhat like diesel fuel, return it, or don’t use it at all.
Igono Joseph Okeme
DW Nig Ltd