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Female mechanic on short vehicles’ lifespan

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By Abraham Adekunle

LadyBenz manager emphasizes need for proper vehicle maintenance.

The unconscious Nigerian culture with electronics, home gadgets and, of course, automobiles takes more from people than they can think of. For instance, every electronic gadget in the home is accompanied by a manual, which is usually ignored by an average Nigerian. If manuals like such are read, it would not be outrageous to assume that a bored teenager with nerdy tendencies has latched on to the paper as a means of curing boredom and quenching his curiosity.

Consequently, these gadgets are poorly maintained, usually due to ignorance, which the simple act of reading the manual would have solved. An electricity generator, for example, in its manual has procedures to complete an engine oil change, preservation for more than three months of unuse, and even how to change its parts. However, it becomes magic to others when a person can tell by certain operative symptoms that the oil is at its minimum and would require a fill-up, or can determine that certain parts have overstayed their use as prescribed by the manual.

Nigerians’ poor maintenance culture affects vehicles’ lifespan.

It is not surprising that the poor maintenance culture that has eaten deep into the subconscious of Nigerians is evident in their automobiles. The Managing Director of LadyBenz Auto-Mechanic Ltd, Joy Obi, has attributed the short life span of vehicles in Nigeria to this poor maintenance culture. She told the media in Lagos on June 29, 2023, that it was important for vehicles to be properly maintained to enhance their aesthetics and guarantee optimal performance.

She stated that a lack of vehicle maintenance is one of the major causes of and has contributed to accidents on Nigerian roads. Obi said that it was unfortunate that many vehicle owners and commercial drivers use engines without adhering to manufacturers’ maintenance instructions. According to her, the average Nigerian does not pay attention to such details. She said that most vehicle manufacturers specify the type of oil suitable for most engines, for instance, but to manage cost, most people go for cheap oil, which could damage the engine.

Important maintenance procedures for vehicles.

As a means of educating vehicle owners, the auto-mechanic gives a number of steps to take to properly maintain one’s vehicle. One of them is regularly performing oil changes as part of one’s vehicle maintenance routine because it helps keep the engine properly lubricated and reduces friction and wears. The lady mechanic says that routine maintenance ensures that one’s vehicle operates at its optimal level, minimizing breakdowns and maximizing reliability. It also helps prevent issues that could lead to unexpected and costly repairs, keeping you on the road with confidence.

Apart from that, it is also essential to maintain components such as brakes, tires, and suspension systems for road safety. She added that by addressing minor issues early on and adhering to recommended service intervals, one could extend the lifespan of the vehicle. She stressed the need for vehicle owners to pay attention to the check engine light, also known as the malfunction indicator light (MIL), noting that it was one of the most common diagnostic lights found in vehicles. According to her, it illuminates when the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic system detects an issue with the engine or emission control system.

Other things to watch out in maintaining one’s vehicle.

Obi added that it was also necessary to pay attention to small details such as the front and rear windows, brake light, the color of the smoke from the exhaust pipe and the plugs. All these parts work hand-in-hand to ensure that the vehicle is efficient. She urged vehicle owners and commercial drivers to also do regular car tire pressure checks. This would ensure the vehicle’s balancing and an even wearing-off of the tires. Incorrect tire pressure could lead to brake failure, unstable movement of vehicles, and other problems that could lead to accidents. She equally advised motorists not to wait till their brake pads are worn out before changing them. Over all, she urged vehicle owners and commercial drivers to imbibe the culture of regular vehicle maintenance.

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