The beauty and strength of communication lies mostly in a dialogue. When the receiver ‘gets the message’ and the sender ‘gets the feedback’, communication has done its full circle. Sadly, this circle is often never looped/complete when the communication is between cars and their drivers. It’s heartrendingly worse, amongst Nigerians, especially because most do not understand the car language, and leave the car feeling frustrated. But this frustration is soon served hot and sizzling to the car owners, often with disregard to owner’s schedule, location or status.
Cars talk! They might not do so in human language but certainly, they speak. The car language has key parts and after years of conversing with cars, we at CARvity, would like to share, what we would like to call Automobile dialects. They make up a vehicle’s language and include: visual, audio, motion and odors. Cars speak more to our senses than they do to our ears only. Let’s take these apart, one after the other, shall we?
Visual: One of the most amusing yet infuriating claims I hear Nigerians make is “that thing doesn’t mean anything”. This is in response to seeing a malfunction indicator light (MIL) e.g. check engine and VSC, on the dashboard. “I have used the car like that for 3years”. “Check engine means service soon”. The list can go on yet stay humorous yet horrifying.
Cars display these lights so we can get a sense of where they hurt, or at least investigate the hurt. To assume that the car seeks luminous expression only, is setting ourselves up for some future embarrassment at the least. Also, cars communicate visually by oil leakages, fumes (of varying colors and thickness) and changes in fluid colors. To keenly observe these and respond accordingly, is to speak of one automobile’s known and trusted dialect.
Audio: Most engines have a normal sound. So just like your pets, cars can whine when all isn’t well. When the exhausts leak or the engines stutter, the new sounds point you in the way of the symptoms and often, in the direction of the cure. Listen to your cars, you will be amazed how much you will hear.
Motion: In the words of legendary scientist Isaac Newton, “every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force”. To bring this home, permit a remix please: “every car will remain quietly idling or in uniform performance in a straight line unless compelled to misbehave by the action of an external force”. This force can be anything between a jerk in your car to a burst tyre. Cars will begin to hint you of possible mechanic issues by an unsteadiness of motion or even the uneasiness when they idle. This ‘external force’ must be investigated unless you are sure that this force is straight from your ‘village people’. Observe your cars motion…for your good!
Odors: Smell is key. Fluids that leak from an engine or gear or steering pump can give off a discomforting smell especially when the engine is heated from driving a distance. Your exhaust pipe’s emission can become smelly with fumes that assault not just your nose but, in some cases, your eyes too. Your car saying “I’m constipated” and the earlier you fish out the cause of this smell, the better. But if you ignore this or treat it with disdain, just like terrible body odors (AKA B.O), one day, it will embarrass you.
It is noteworthy to add that, one issue in a vehicle can trigger more than one automobile dialect. For instance, random misfiring in the cylinders can elicit lights on the dash, affect the idling of the vehicle and impact on the smell from the exhaust due mainly to poor/incomplete combustion.
If listening to your car’s language has been near impossible, follow CARvity on our social platforms and see how your senses begin to discern everything your car does. Assuredly, you and your car are better off communicating than choosing the common option of a monologue.