Winter on horseback | The Daily Star

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Air conditioning maintenance for cars

Prepare yourself, winter is coming. And many motorists have discovered to their dismay that a car air conditioning that worked well until November refused to blow out fresh air when summer returns. Instead, he starts blowing hot air into your face, reminiscent of a sweaty man standing too close to you in Ekushey Boi Mela.

Here’s a surprising fact: Car air conditioners often fail during the winter due to lack of use. It sounds counterintuitive, but it isn’t. When in use, the air conditioner circulates refrigerant and oil through the system, which keeps rubber seals and hoses flexible and flat. Without circulation, rubber seals break and leaks can form. Prevention is pretty straightforward. Run your air conditioner periodically in winter. Heck, it beats the cold outside considering that most of our cars have the heater pipes unplugged. Air conditioning should keep the interior less cold than the exterior. Air conditioning also dehumidifies and prevents the windows from fogging up when there is more than one person in the car.

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Survive the fog on two wheels

Fog in Bangladesh is a sudden and bizarre event. It gets terrifying just outside of cities because everyone is using the road as a game. And there are goats roaming the streets like they’re in a midlife crisis.

The most important tips for riding in fog or low visibility conditions: See and be seen. How? ‘Or’ What?

Be visible: wear jackets with reflective stripes on them. Many hardware and motorcycle accessory stores sell high visibility jackets. Well worth the few hundred taka.

Low beam headlights if you have them: Most modern bikes have high beam and low beam headlights. Keep them low to see the road more clearly. High beams reflect off moisture droplets in the air, increasing glare and making everything harder to spot. Avoid HID kits for winter or rain, as the extra brightness causes excessive glare when droplets are reflected. They make everything blinding white. Aim the lights at the ground.

The best lights? Fog lights / yellow bulbs. It is the color that is the least stressful on the eyes and brightens everything evenly without unnecessary glare.

Remember: fog lights aligned too high are annoying at best and quite dangerous for other road users at worst. To be responsible.

Originally published for Shift in 2015. Reused for this issue.

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