Monday, November 8, 2010

Defensive driving ~ Vehicle Roadworthiness/Upkeep

We have already learned factors that contribute to fatal accidents include:
1. Road design/condition
2. Weather/climate/terrain (general description = natural occuring factor)
3. Vehicle roadworthiness
4. Driver's attitude.

Item 1) is an overall infrastructure laid by a governing authority. Putting aside the possibilities of 'political and economic adversaries', a road is deemed a NON-Variable (not individual controllable) to the average motorist. Traffic mass is a collective Variable not to be manipulated by any individual.

Item 2) being natural, occurs at unpredictable frequencies, albeit with all sorts of newsfeeds from the media, again falls into the NON-Variables.

A motorist has a certain degree of control over the condition of the vehicle he is driving (Item 3), depending on his knowledge, financial capability, concern for roadworthiness.

A. There are motorists who read lots of motoring books/mags, have some loose ringgits to spare, who strive hard to be 'a motoring engineer of his own'. They get hold of a vehicle, dig deep into their pockets and 'renovate' their toys. Yes, Inside Out.

Such attempts, besides rendering a new car void of its warranty, will also throw all the weighted-and-connected mechanisms of the car off-ballance.
For example, a 1.3L car should not be traded with another engine of higher capacity. By simply putting in a bigger engine, the power throughput generated couldn't be safely harnessed by the original brake calipers.

Fitting bigger calipers wouldn't help too. A bigger engine burns hotter, requiring a stronger flow of coolant throughout the block, hence the need for a bigger radiator and blower.

Bigger calipers demand bigger tyre rims, upping the ante of 'unsprung weight'. The four tyres in contact with the ground, in turn gets torque more powerful than the suspension could handle, likewise with the mounts/attaching points of the engine/chassis. Joints are most susceptible to collapse due to stress.

Changing all the innards, will render the whole car useless. (Unroadworthy, in this case). The rigidity of the original car body CANNOT withstand all the reverberations that ripple through when in motion. Metal fatigue sets in earlier than calculated by the car engineers. (now you know why a rally car have support bars crisscrossing the cabin,, NO, IT IS NOT FOR AESTHETICS).

to be continued...

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