Below are some of the most frequently asked questions posed to Al-Futtaim Honda’s experts by Honda owners. In-depth answers have been given to help motorists keep their cars performing at their peak.

Which type of fuel should I use in my car?

Cars manufactured before 1992 should only be filled up with leaded fuel with an octane rating of 92. However, any Honda car produced since 1992 can run on both leaded and unleaded fuel with a minimum octane rating of 95. Motorists are advised to fill up with unleaded where possible as it is better for the environment.

Which factors impact on fuel efficiency?

There are many factors that impact on a car’s fuel efficiency. By understanding them all motorists can save fuel and money.

  • Driving habits. Accelerating quickly, driving at a high speed, cornering sharply and braking heavily all lower a car’s fuel efficiency. Motorists can significantly reduce the amount of fuel their car consumes simply by staying within speed limits and driving smoothly.
  • Engine idling. Sitting with the engine idling in traffic or when parked wastes fuel as the car is not moving. It is therefore recommended that drivers switch off the engine where it is safe to do so, such as when parked and waiting for passengers to take their seats.
  • Car load. A heavy car consumes more fuel than a light one. One way in which motorists can improve fuel consumption is by removing unnecessary items from the trunk.
  • Engine condition. If an engine is not looked after properly it will not perform as efficiently as it can. With regular maintenance from Al-Futtaim Honda’s expert technicians, motorists can expect a tank of fuel to last longer.
  • Traffic conditions. Stop/start traffic that keeps the car in a low gear is not an efficient way to drive but cannot always be avoided. Choosing routes that miss congested traffic can help to save fuel.
  • Under-inflated tyres. When tires are under-inflated they increase the resistance against the car, which puts added strain on the engine. Having fully inflated tyres not only improves fuel economy, but also lengthens the life of the tyres.

How can I take care of my car’s air conditioning system?

When the engine stops, the evaporator component (where refrigerant expands to cool the air) creates condensation, which corrodes the part and causes leaks. To increase the working life of the evaporator, drivers should switch off the air conditioning unit around five minutes before the journey ends. This brings it up to a higher temperature which prevents condensation and therefore lowers the chance of corrosion.

Another simple way in which motorists can care for an air conditioning unit is to regularly check the radiator grille for leaves, insects, dirt and other obstructions that block the grille. This reduces airflow into the system and lowers its cooling efficiency. Lightly spraying the grille with a water hose is a good way to remove these obstacles without causing any damage.

During the winter (when you are likely to be using the air conditioning system less) it is advised to run the system for at least ten minutes a week when driving at a steady speed. This circulates the lubricating oil in the refrigerant which is important to keep the unit running smoothly.

If an air conditioning system is not working efficiently, it is wise to take the car to a service centre promptly for an inspection. If an issue has been caused by leaking refrigerant, the compressor oil will also be lost which means both fluids need to be topped up. The leakage will need to be repaired before the system is fully recharged, which should only be performed by a trained technician.

Why is it important to adjust the valve clearance and how often should it be done?

The movement of engine valves plays a large role in a car’s efficiency. Valve clearance refers to the distance between the valve stem and rocker arm as the components expand when the engine temperature rises. As parts become worn, the clearance distance changes, which reduces power and impacts negatively on efficiency. Adjusting the clearance therefore improves fuel economy and this task should be completed every two years or after every 40,000 kilometres.