Your Life Comes apart when Your Car Breaks down

Your Life Comes apart when Your Car Breaks down Jun/2005
Santa Clara, California
Safdar Jamil

Event Report ( By A.H. Cemendtaur ) :
Cars and people have become synonymous in California. When someone says, “I am out of gas” it doesn’t mean that person is free -- thanks God -- of any gastric problems; it simply means that his/her car has run out of gasoline. Similarly when they say they are low on water, they are not complaining of dehydration; they are talking about their car. “I am” stands for “My car is.” Pitiful, indeed! But such is the California reality. Here you can’t do much without a car. Without a car you are a person with mere dreams; you need a car to drive down to whatever you want to achieve in life. Koshish Foundation, a San Francisco based non-profit organization involved in education related projects in Pakistan, has been arranging lectures on topics of wider interest to the community. The latest lecture arranged on June 15 was on automotive care. It was given by Safdar Jamil who works at a hardware company but holds cars his passion and has been tinkering with their mechanical systems since his childhood. With the aid of handouts Safdar Jamil briefly explained the various systems requiring periodic maintenance in a car. He also gave precious advice on all things automotive.

Buying and selling used cars:
Never buy a used car at night. Looking at a used car from some distance and paying attention to the shades of the various panels will tell you if the car has been in a major accident. California requires the seller to obtain smog certificate of the car, and the buyer should insist on getting that; otherwise it is a big hassle if you find out later that the car you just purchased is not clearing the smog test.
When inspecting a used car start the engine and listen to any unusual noise; check the tail pipe to see if there is any visible smoke. Take the car for a test-drive; take your hands off the steering wheel to see if the car has an alignment issue (car will steer to a side); give the vehicle hard right and left-hand turns to check the integrity of the CV joints. Beware of cars that leak engine, brake, or transmission oil. Even if a crafty seller has washed the engine before your inspection to hide traces of leakage, looking closely you can identify places where oil trickled down earlier.
When selling your own vehicle ascertain the value of your car by checking its price at (blue book) and by reviewing cars of same make, model, and mileage being sold at various web-sites (for example

Periodic maintenance saves hassles and money:
The most important maintenance feature is to change engine oil after every 3000 miles. Keep optimum pressure in the tires, and never drive a car if it is overheating. Cleaning battery terminals will give longevity to the battery beyond its normal life of two years. Change the coolant in the radiator based on manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid choking the tubes with chemical deposits. Radiator can be drained by opening the drain plug at the bottom of the radiator. Don’t drain the rejected coolant in public sewer. Severalauto shops (for example Pep Boys) take your old coolant, engine oil, nd other rejected fluids for free. Buy refurbished parts if they carry the same warranty as the new ones. For replacement parts your first call should be to the area junkyards where parts are taken out of wrecked cars and are sold at a onsiderably low price.

In his spare time Safdar Jamil fixes whatever cars he can lay his hands on. He can be reached at 408-364-0462 for advice and car repair work.

Safdar Jamil



Koshish Foundation ®