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Welcome to the Naomba Tucheki Mbele Page. In this page motorists will be able to get tips on why its important to perform a regular under the bonnet check over and above taking their cars for regular service every 3-4 months.

Vehicle manufactures recommend that you regularly check various components of your car for your safety and as part of the car’s maintenance routine.

After you have taken your car for service it’s easy to become complacent and undertake no further regular checks.

Every part of your vehicle has been meticulously engineered. Oil is the lifeblood of your car, the wrong kind of oil or insufficient oil in a particular part of the car will increase wear and corrosion.

It is always better and cheaper to undertake preventative maintenance than outright car repair.

This is why we recommend that you check your car once a week and for commercial drivers, at the start of every journey. For more information click on the link: Reference source: https://www.shell.com/business-customers/shell-fuel-cards/health-security-safety-and-the-environment/prevention-not-cure.html


READY, CHECK, GO

The 5 checks are:

Car Checks A6 Pocket Card-01

Vivo Energy Kenya through our Shell Service stations across the country is committed to going the extra mile to help you maintain your car. After you fuel your car, let us check under the bonnet for your journey to Go Well. Our attending Customer Champion will perform 5 essential lubricants checks apart from topping up your wiper water and checking your tyre pressure for free.


TREATED AS A GUEST

Pitstop picture

One of Shell’s key customer promises at the forecourt is that we shall treat you as a guest. We therefore promise to ask you very politely to open your bonnet for us to conduct a free check - Naomba Tucheki Mbele. The under bonnet checks take less than 2 minutes to conduct. In some stations around the country, we have put up a Pitstop area next to the tyre pressure where the checks can be done while allowing other drivers to re-fuel.



ENGINE OIL CHECK

Helix Packs Pic

The engine oil protects your engine in many ways:

By cleaning the engine – Shell Helix oils are designed to clear away dirt, debris and deposits from engine components and to prevent blockages in important oil ways. The oil helps to lock up the dirt and render it harmless until it is removed at the next oil change.

By reducing friction and minimising wear – Shell Helix oils form a protective film over your engine components and have special additives that act between the moving surfaces to prevent contact and reduce drag. This helps your engine to operate as quietly and effectively as the designers intended.

By removing heat – Shell Helix oils carry heat away from hot areas, such as around the piston rings where the temperature can reach up to 320°C, and redistribute it around the engine.

By preventing corrosion and rust – Shell Helix oils help to protect your hard-working engine components from corrosion beyond the normal oil-change interval. Benchmarking studies show that Shell Helix oils provide best-in-class protection and help to extend your engine’s life and avoid some expensive repairs.

For more information click on the link: https://www.shell.com/motorist/oils-lubricants/faq.html


COOLANT

Engine Coolant pic

The engine oil helps to carry the heat away from the hot point but needs a Coolant to carry away the heat from the engine. Many Kenyans are using regular water instead of coolant.

Coolant has special additives that help with the following:



  • Because temperature inside the engine go up as high as 320°C, water evaporates very fast at 100°C and thus not a very effective medium of carrying heat away from the engine. Coolant additives increase the boiling point of water to effectively carry heat away from the engine combustion chamber.
  • As water or coolant circulates around the engine, it is prone to contact with combustion deposits. When water mixes with these deposits, it makes a mild solution of carbonic acid or sulphuric acid in the case of diesel engine cars. The additives in coolant neutralize these acids and thus protect the water pump from corrosion.
  • Plain water when in contact with metals will cause rusting. Coolant additives help to protect thermostat from rusting.
  • Normal tap water contains various minerals. When this comes into contact with the combustion deposits in the hot conditions in the engine, it forms hard water lime scale that block the water jacket cooling system. Premium Coolant is partly made of distilled water that has been removed all minerals apart from H2O.


BRAKE FLUID

Break Fluid

The first sign of a faulty brake system is when you step on the brakes and pedal goes all the way to the floor and the car doesn’t stop immediately. What could be the problem? More often than not, braking system problems are caused by the brake fluid not being changed. Most drivers will just top up when advised that the level is low.

The main problem that any brake fluid has is that it naturally absorbs moisture from the air. This reduces the boiling point and reduces the hydraulic capabilities of the brake fluid.

Have you ever touched your brakes after hitting them hard? They are extremely hot because of friction by the brake pads.

The most critical job that brake fluid should do is cool down the wheel bearing and brake pads. If the brake fluid has a low boiling point, it will begin to boil during braking. Brakes become marshy (spongy) leading to loss of brakes.

Check your car brake fluid, if it not a golden yellow, then your brake fluid has burnt and will require complete draining and replacement. This process of draining and replacing brake fluid is called brake flushing or bleeding.

It’s a 2-man job. To release the current brake fluid, the mechanic goes to the bleeder valve (callipers) for each wheel and opens them. Another mechanic or the driver has to step on the brake pedal about 5 times to force the fluid from the master cylinder (the brake fluid reservoir under the bonnet) to go down to the wheels. This has to be done for each wheel at a time starting from the furthest from the steering wheel. Then the mechanic has to be at the bonnet to put in fresh brake fluid as the other is stepping on the brake pedal from inside the car. If bleeding is not done well, an airlock can form in the braking lines which is as dangerous as having bad brake fluid.

The solution to most of braking problems is to replace the brake fluid every two years and also inspect the braking systems for leakages during service. This service is available in the Shell Helix Service Centres in our petrol stations.


GEARS & AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS

Gears systems are used to for transmission of power from the engine to the driveshaft - a rotating shaft which transmits torque from the gearbox or differential to the wheels.

If you have a manual car, have you noticed your car refusing to go into gear? If you have an automatic car, does it delay before you hear the gear engaging when you shift to park or drive?

A car is supposed to run smoothly without shaking, jerking or making noises. Manual cars are easier to diagnose problems with the gears than automatic cars. To check the manual gear oil level, you would need to go under the car and check at the fill plug at the transmission case.

Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) is the life blood of an automatic transmission system as it cleans the gears, conditions the seals and works as a hydraulic fluid for the gear system. ATF is bright red in colour and has a sweet smell when fresh and working optimally. If a car has no ATF or has insufficient levels, the engine will shut down and stop working completely.

Always check the level of gear oil or ATF when the car is ON and on level ground when it has had a chance to circulate around the whole system. ATF does not burn like engine oil. However, because of the high pressure and heat in the gears and transmission system, it degrades. If you find that the gear oil or ATF is dark or has a burnt smell, you will need to replace it completely.


New models of cars come with new transmission systems such as TVI, Nissan Mattic Transmission that transmit more torque from smaller sized engines. These new automatic systems are more demanding and are requiring Synthetic ATF instead of the normal Spirax S2 ATF. You do not need a heavy oil in your gears as it steals power and slows down gear rotation. Shell Spirax S5 ATF X Synthetic oil is lighter but with exceptionally strong sheer stability that is resistant to oil degradation.


POWER STEERING

The steering wheel is literally what keeps you in touch with your car. For your safety, you cannot afford to gamble with power steering problems. If your power steering becomes very stiff, the problem is most probably the electrical assist mechanism. This is checked at the car fuse box and wiring connections.

However, if you need extra strength to make a turn or hear squealing noise especially when you start the car and you find the power steering fluid is low, investigate further to check that power steering pump is not cracked or the hose is worn out.

Foamy power steering fluid means the wrong fluid was put in the reservoir. ATF is often used as Power Steering Fluid and is the case here in Kenya. The Shell Spirax S2 ATF is widely used as it is exceptionally able to reduce power steering pump squeal even under severe conditions, it helps protect power steering unit components against wear, rust or corrosion and helps to protect against seal and hose deterioration.

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