A Beginners Guide To Car Service

We all love our cars. For some of us, they are like our babies. We name them, we take care of them, and have some of the best experiences of our lives in them. From the moment we own them, they become important aspects of our everyday lives, and taking care of them is as intuitive as taking care of ourselves. That being said, cars are complex machines, with every version of each model having its own needs and specific modes of care.


When you buy your first car or upgrade and get a new model, it is important to take the time to understand the condition and needs of your vehicle. As a driver, having this basic knowledge and skills can help you save costs and identify problems early on before they become dangerous and even more costly. This beginner’s guide to car service provides easy tips that focus on three important areas; fluid maintenance, tire servicing, and the cooling system.


Fluid Maintenance


Manuals are important resources that give car owners first-hand information on repair and maintenance. Therefore, the first step is to always create time to read through the manual to acquaint yourself with some mechanical ideas and take a hands-on approach in the servicing process and realize long-term cost benefits by doing so. In this beginners guide, the car manual covers the car fluids such as engines, battery fluid, transmission fluid, brake fluid and power steering fluid.


Engine fluid


The engine fluid is the engine oil. The manual indicates the maximum capacity of the fuel tanks and therefore, you can always check the level of the oil using a dipstick. Check the level of engine oil and water regularly or at certain predefined intervals specified in your manual. The following steps should be followed during the checking process:

  1. Ensure the engine is turned off

  2. Clean the dipstick before dipping it into the fuel tank

  3. Dip the dipstick back

  4. Take it out again and read the fuel level.


Brakes Fluid


Check the reservoir and ensure the indicated minimum and maximum fluid levels are not surpassed – there is no need of removing the lid during the check-up. The minimum-maximum mark is critical such that the brake fluid should always be in between the two points. The dashboard light of your car can help know when the brake fluid levels are lower than required.


Power Steering Fluid


Ensure the power steering fluid reservoir is clear to visibility to enable you to see the fluid level. Use a dipstick if the visibility of the reservoir is not clear.


Transmission Fluid


Locate where the transmission fluid is reserved with the aid of your manual and use a dipstick to check the fluid levels.


Battery Fluid


The car’s battery should always be in good condition. If the battery has signs of corrosion there could be some leaks. In this case, replace the battery carefully ensuring that you do not come into contact with the leaking acid. In case the battery fluid is low, refill it using water and do not discharge it excessively because it may overheat and cause other problems.


Tire Servicing


Purchasing tires with the right specifications


The manufactures always indicate the specifications of the tires and this can also be available in the manual. The specifications range from the size of the tire to pressure, to temperature and standard measures are provided for each aspect to achieve the car’s maximum utility.


Checking the Tire Pressure


Pressure gauges are used to check the amount of tire pressure. If you already have one, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Ensure your tires’ temperatures are low – the best time to measure pressure is during cold hours.

  2. Check the manual to confirm the recommended tire pressure.

  3. Insert the gauge onto the valve.

  4. Fill the pressure while reading on the pressure gauge.

  5. Stop refilling when the desired amount of pressure is reached – this can be the same as the recommended pressure in the manual.

  6. Put back the valve cap.

Changing Tires


Ever experienced a flat tire along the highway during a family excursion? I know it feels frustrating especially if one is unable to change the tires by themselves and the nearest garage is some miles away. Changing tires is imperative and inevitable when the tire leaks due to a puncher. Here is a guideline on how to change the tire:

  1. Have the right tools in place.

  2. Place the car on level ground and apply the right brakes.

  3. You can use wheel chocks by placing them opposite to the wheels you are replacing. If replacing the front tire place it in the rear wheels.

  4. Open the nuts but do not remove them first.

  5. Lift the car using the jack.

  6. Remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare one.

  7. Close the nuts on the spare tire.

  8. Lower the car.


The Cooling System: How to Flush

  1. Take a look at the manual to understand the cooling system and be able to locate each component.

  2. Drain the cooling system via the radiator

  3. Remove the thermostat located at either the upper or lower radiator hose.

  4. Flush out the water until the cooling system is clear.

  5. Reinstall the thermostat and ensure the reservoir is disconnected

  6. When fully drained, refill the cooling system with manufacturer-recommended distilled water.


For easy and quality service maintenance for your car, download the Carhoot App today, you can easily get it on both the Google Play Store and the App Store!



The Economics Of Cars: The Value Of Transparent Pricing When It Comes To Car Care In 2021

Why do most people feel overcharged after a trip to the garage? Why also do most drivers, whether male or female find going to the garage as scary or uncomfortable as a trip to the dentist? (No offence to any dentist! )It’s because people can tell the difference when they are seen as real and valuable consumers versus being seen as human cash signs. For most drivers in Africa and particularly Nairobi, the only forms of expenditure they can constantly control when it comes to their cars are fuel and insurance costs.




Peace of Mind Comes At A Price


The consistent need for vagueness and mystery by mechanics and car care providers when it comes to their services has led to the growth of a world of mistrust. People are sick and tired of not knowing where their hard-earned cash is going to, every time their car needs a repair. It makes absolute sense why with increased disposable income, and improved standards of living, many drivers living in urban centers today flock towards established car service centers and dealerships, despite the costs.




Drivers Are Becoming Smarter & So Should The Services They Receive


There was a time when the relationship between mechanics and car owners used to be as precious as that of a man and his barber. A quote or estimate would be accepted with little complaint…after all, who else would the driver turn to? Today’s African drivers are smart millennials who are accustomed to using the tools available to them to make the best possible decisions for their lifestyles. Thanks to the internet, many drivers – especially the new ones will use their time to hunt for the best-reviewed and trusted car care services in their area. They leave nothing to chance because they understand the true cost of their trust. With all the options and information available, consumers are overwhelmed with choice and their only burden is whether they are willing to put in the effort it takes to make better decisions. Many will even follow the social media accounts of the service providers who have managed to capture their interest, and the real G.O.A.T.s will even DM pre-existing customers to confirm whether what they are saying online is true.


Why? Because cars are aspirational and highly valued assets that contribute to a person’s status in society. With the investments they have made into acquiring these new symbols of status, today’s drivers’ are willing to spend more on car care services as long as they are assured they have placed their trust with the right brand, receive the necessary data they need to plan their spending and get quality personalized support.




Technology & Digitization Is Making Transparency Easier To Achieve.


Before the dawn of the digital era happened, almost every garage in Kenya operated on word of mouth quotations and handwritten invoices (some still do). The only way to verify the actual cost of a part or service was the word of a“trusted mechanic,” who often used your choice of attire or gender as a price guide. Today, any and every mechanic in the continent is a Google Search away from being branded as trustworthy or not. But just because drivers can search, or call to make sure they aren’t being conned; doesn’t mean they should. According to Jodie L. Ferguson and Pam Scholder Ellen’s publication on the Transparency in pricing and Its Effect On Perceived Price Fairness, “When the consumer is presented with a price increase, transparency in pricing may help the consumer to understand the economic rationality of the seller’s decision to set that price” By being proactive with costing, members of the local auto-care industry could benefit from a much-awaited show of trust and avoid the negative assumptions that come with unexplained costing.


Today, digital innovations such as prescriptive analytic tools and smartphone applications for cars such as Carhoot are treading where no local auto-care brand has gone. By placing everything in the hands of the drivers, these tech tools are erasing decades of mistrust within seconds. With this newfound control, Kenyan drivers are able to select services based on their current and immediate car care needs and receiving on-demand information, pricing and support in regards to their needs. Carhoot is doing more than making it easier for drivers to trust Car Care services but is also slowly working towards saving lives.


RTAs (Road Traffic Accidents) in Kenya rose by 60% immediately after the President of Kenya, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the national lockdown and a lot of the resulting deaths were wrongly blamed on driver error and drunk driving. Poor vehicle maintenance was ranked as one of the top 5 causes of RTAs in Kenya between 2016–2019 according to the NTSA. Thanks to COVID-19 and health safety regulations, many people used their cars less, in a bid to stay home but also, fewer people saw the need to actually take care of their cars. The lockdown lift resulted in hundreds and even thousands of people rushing to the roads without even checking their tires. One of the leading reasons people aren’t motivated to practice basic car care practices is because of the fear of the assumed high costs.


Transparent Pricing helps drivers:

  1. Understand just how much they need to plan for future and similar repairs;

  2. Understand whether their current vehicle is an ideal fit for their lifestyle financially;

  3. Properly account for expenditure when it comes to their vehicles;

  4. Enjoy and even be more inclined to seek for car care services;


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Everything You Need To Know About The Carhoot App

Kenya is a nation of uncelebrated car lovers. With all the cars on our roads, it’s actually surprising someone else hadn’t thought of this; but we don’t mind being the first ones. CarHoot is a tech solution, for a tech-nation full of tech-loving drivers. We take care of all those little (and sometimes not so little) aspects of owning a car in Kenya. Think of all the things you could do if you never had to spend another minute in the garage “supervising” your mechanic, and still keep your car in tiptop shape? Think of all the airtime you could save from calling your friends, family and even exes trying to figure out why your car is making those funny sounds? And honestly, who else needs to know that you accidentally locked your keys in your car again. That is an entirely private matter we can help you deal with privately. All you need is an internet connection, and our app installed on your smartphone. We have literally made it our business to swoop in, just like the coolest heroes in your favourite comic books growing up (Avengers and Batman excluded) and very much save the day!




What Does It Do?


CarHoot helps users gain access to:

  • 24 Hours roadside assistance and rescue services;

  • On-demand auto service and repairs with real-time updates to keep you in the loop;

  • Free pick up and drop at your convenience;

  • Our verified network of drivers;

  • Our verified network of garages and repair shops;

  • Genuine car parts and spares with a warranty; and

  • Transparent and hustle free car imports.


How Does It Work?


Once you have the app downloaded onto your smartphone, all you have to do is:


1) Select Your Preferred Service


We offer a wide range of services. From helping you tow, fix flat tires, deal with dead batteries, top-up fuel, unlock your car and assist during accidents. In addition, we take care of maintenance activities such as general servicing, wheel maintenance, installing trackers & car radios, detailing, upholstery and custom repairs. All you have to do is choose what you need at the time and initiate a request through the app.




2) Confirm Your Details


It pays to be sure. Once settled on your service, confirm your car details and location information. This will enable our team to reach you and your car in the quickest time possible, with the right tools to help you.




3) Process Your Payments


Our online payment system is empowered with the best encryption tools, allowing you to process and make payments seamlessly, Once you have processed your order, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the Car Hoot team to get the ball rolling. Honestly, it’s as easy as driving an automatic…actually easier.

Car Care Resolutions We Should All Try To Keep In 2021!

Happy 2021 from all of us at Carhoot!


We are all still reeling from the unique and history-defying year that was 2020, and as the entire world clamours to achieve a semblance of normalcy this year… there are a few things we should talk about. For instance, have you considered adding your car to your New Years resolution list this year? Think about it, we use our cars every single day. They are our secret keepers, junk carriers, and food stores (sometimes) and its only fair if we give them the much-needed TLC they need to stay slaying for as long as we need them.




Stop Skipping Service Appointments


Taking care of your car and going for service checks can be annoying and boring but it can also save your life and the life of other drivers. Aside from the safety implications, keeping up with scheduled service appointments may seem expensive but these checks are vital in ensuring in preventing more expensive issues from arising and affecting you and your vehicle. Keeping up with your car service maintainece checks ensures that:

  1. You save money on preventative repairs;

  2. Keep your car running efficiently and safely;

  3. Keep your car in great resale condition;

PRO TIP: Take advantage of Carhoot’s automated car maintenance reminders by downloading the app today on Google Play and the Apple Store.




A Clean Car = A Happy Driver


Let’s promise to keep the junk in our cars at a minimum this year. Aside from helping us feel a whole lot better in a clean and great smelling car, getting rid of unnecessary junk and items is very important for road safety. In cases of accidents, items that are not properly strapped down and stored can cause injuries. Also, regularly vacuuming your car interior and keeping it clean will help maintain its resale value and prevent damage to the interior and seats. This year lets all promise to make proper use of our cup holders, wash our car interiors and exteriors regularly and go for detailing as often as we can afford to.




Resist Your Road Rage Cravings


We are all human, meaning none of us are perfect drivers. So, no matter how annoying it gets when someone cuts you off or is driving slowly on the highway, take a deep breath and remember that we all make mistakes. The truth is, they most likely did not intend to cut you off or have a whole world of reasons as to why they made that wrong turn. Being nice and polite is way more productive and helpful to other drivers, even in times of accidents and small mishaps.




Protect The Environment


Our highways still remain as some of the most littered areas of our cities and towns across the world. The only reason for this is because of a cultivated culture of littering through our car windows. Invest in a collapsible car dustbin for your car to store all those candy wrappers and food packaging during your road trips and make it a rule fo you and any occupants in your car to dispose of any trash responsibly.




Learn A Few Car Maintenance Skills


There is no better feeling than learning a new skill. Especially for new drivers, it pays to know what is happening or going on with your car. Whether it’s learning to change your tire or understanding just how your engine works. These skills may come in handy when you are driving in remote places where access to car care professionals is limited and will also help you properly relay information during those instances you need professional assistance from your mechanic.


We hope that 2021 is a great year for you and your vehicle!



How To Keep Your Car Running Smoothly In A Pandemic

This year has been entirely unique thanks to COVID-19. Our modes of interaction have completely changed. For a lot of us, our daily drives to the office were cut short in favour of remote work systems, and we no longer had to pick our kids from school thanks to online classes. As a result, our cars haven’t enjoyed or received as much attention as they used to. An idle and unmaintained car can be a huge source of danger and we at Carhoot took it upon ourselves to share a few COVID-19 car care tips before we embark on our holiday road trips & adventures:


Keep It Clean

It’s really important to keep your vehicle clean, especially if you are going to leave it for long periods of time. Our cars collect tons of germs and dirt, and this can create serious health risks, not to mention, affect the longevity of your car. Research shows that our steering wheels are the dirtiest parts of our cars and with COVID19, maintaining clean surfaces is a life-saving necessity.


Dirt on your car can:

  1. Limit your visibility. The headlights are subject to all the dirt, road grime, insects and light as the front end of your vehicle, which can quickly eat into the lens surface. This can severely reduce the spread of the headlight beam, making it harder to see and be seen.

  2. Lead to corrosion and rust. Remove enough paint, and the underlying metal will be directly exposed to water and moisture in the air, leading to rust. Even if all the paint is intact, there will still be small unpainted areas at the edges of panels that are still susceptible, especially when salt is present

  3. Breaking Through Clearcoat. Modern car coatings are made up of a primer, a colour coat, and a clear coat. Breakthrough the layer of clearcoat, and your car’s paint will age a lot faster. The clear coat is there to protect the underlying coloured base coat from UV light and physical damage so your car stays the same colour for years. Once that protective layer is removed, the colour will bleach out from light exposure, while it will wear down faster because it isn’t as abrasion-resistant as the topcoat. Primer is designed to adhere to the metal and provide a surface for the paint. If it’s exposed, it will draw in moisture, further accelerating paint damage

  4. A car cover is a worthy investment and will help protect your car from the elements, especially if you will leave it unused for extended periods.

Make sure you get it thoroughly cleaned and pay attention to all those little hard to reach spots.


PRO TIP: Spray any unpainted metal with undercoating to help protect against rust and plug in some steel wool in your exhaust pipe to prevent little insects & critters from messing up with your car. You can also use the Carhoot App to request for detailing before storing it.




Keep Your Tires Healthy

When it comes to tires, vigilance is key. Under-inflation is one of the leading causes of tire failure. If tire pressure is too low, too much of the tire’s surface area touches the road, which increases friction. Increased friction can cause the tires to overheat, which can lead to premature wear, tread separation and blowouts. Flat tires are a constant danger on our roads and one of the ways you can develop a flat is if you don’t use/move your car as often. You can keep your tires in tip-top shape by:

  1. Filling them with nitrogen prevents air from running out quickly and running flat. Remember in Chemistry class, when we were taught Nitrogen is heavier than Oxygen…well, facts like these come in handy when keeping your tyres in great shape!

  2. Rotate your tires regularly…you can set reminders on your mobile devices or Google Calendar to make sure you don’t forget!

  3. Make sure your tires are inflated to the recommended air pressure levels as per your manufacturer and be careful not to exceed the recommended limit.

  4. Don’t engage the parking brake if you are going to keep your car in storage, as it can become “frozen” and difficult to disengage. If you’re worried about your car rolling, get some wheel chocks or blocks of wood to wedge against the tires.

  5. If you have access to the right tools & space (flat and preferably concrete floored storage space/garage) you can consider raising your car to take off weight from the tires and suspension.

  6. Lastly, always check ALL FIVE TYRES before going anywhere. Even your spare tire needs some TLC before any road adventure.

PRO TIP: Make use of the Carhoot App to replace your old tires with high quality and verified tires, and get your tires balanced.




Check Your Fuel, Fluids & Pow

Cars use a lot of fluids to function properly. A car generally has around 6 primary fluids aside from fuel. If you are not going to use your car as often or even at all, you still need to keep up with your car’s recommended fluid maintenance checks. Keep your car running smoothly by:

  1. Keeping your fuel tank full when storing your car. This will help prevent moisture from building up in the fuel tank. Fuel can last up to three months but adding an ethanol-based stabilizer can help keep your fuel lines and engine safe from corrosion.

  2. Check all your fluid levels (engine coolant, transmission fluids, brake fluids, antifreeze, etc )and change them as needed. If you live in colder areas like Limuru & Kericho, make sure you keep a close eye on your antifreeze levels.

  3. Change your engine oil often. It is also recommended that you run fuel through the system every once in a while to keep your engine healthy. Don’t forget to change your oil filter too!

  4. Your car battery will lose charge (discharge) if it isn’t driven in a couple of weeks. All you need to keep your battery running is to connect it to a trickle charger or battery tender with an automatic shut-off feature or float mode. This will make sure that your battery doesn’t get overcharged. The battery can remain in your car or be removed while it’s hooked up to the battery tender.

PRO TIP: Keep a full fuel canister in your garage or on hand, and remember to top off your fuel tank every time you store your car. Alternatively, you can make use of the Carhoot fuel delivery feature if you run out and don’t want to leave home.


We hope you learnt a few neat tricks and drive safe this Festive Season!



We Officially Launched The Carhoot Mobile App!

As Abraham Lincoln said, “ Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Building Carhoot has been an incredible journey, undertaken by a team of passionate, dedicated, and most of all talented individuals who made it their mission to bring this beautiful vision to life.


Like any other event these days, the launch was held virtually, with attendees from all corners of the globe joining in. The majority were tech professionals, who were curious to check out the app’s features and engage with Carhoot Founder & CEO, Moses Kihumba. The event was kicked off at 10 AM, EAT by our accomplished moderator, the amazing Mercy Orangi, a Developer Relations Expert who works at Andela and who is a respected member of the global and African tech community.


Carhoot aims to take advantage of Kenya’s impressive digitization and extensive mobile penetration rates, by giving local drivers access to verified, trusted and convenient services within Nairobi easily. Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft once said, when asked about where he sees technology heading in the future, that “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” According to Mercy, this is exactly what Carhoot is bringing to the table; a tech-powered local solution to an immense local problem that is available at the touch of a button by everyday tech-savvy drivers.

“Moderating this event was an absolute joy and very apt personally for me, especially being a female driver, because a lot of my car trouble stories revolve around mechanics who take advantage of a % of female drivers who are not quite savvy in car care knowledge hence either bluff them on e.g. parts being changed during service, or overstating car part and car service costs .”


Mercy Orangi — Developer Relations Expert in Africa


One of the star features the app boasts, is providing drivers with transparent and open financial management when it comes to taking care of their cars. Since most Kenyan garages are jua kali establishments, it is often quite easy for new car owners or people who aren’t as knowledgeable about cars to fall prey to irregular and unethical pricing practices. The app allows users to pay standard and consistent rates for each service or product and keeps track of each expenditure on your behalf. It is incredibly interesting to note that 72% of our event attendees do not believe that men and women pay the same rates for car care services. For female drivers who are often targeted and made to pay ridiculously high rates for regular services, the app is a huge blessing, that will help solve the huge prevailing gender bias practices in the local auto care industry.


Why Carhoot Exists & The Significance of The Launch Event


As Kenya’s first homegrown end-to-end car care and maintenance mobile app, Carhoot is a huge deal. We are a middle-income country that has marked a huge increase in motorization over the past decade, yet proper access to affordable car maintenance services is still sorely lacking. Kenya has also noted a 46.5% increase in RTAs (road traffic accidents) according to a report by the NTSA (National Transport Safety Authority) with poor vehicle conditions being ranked as one of the key contributing factors to this sad state of affairs. Despite this fact, very little is being done to create public awareness on the importance of proper vehicle maintenance in saving Kenyan lives; with almost all of the focus being directed towards curbing drunk driving. Part of Carhoot’s mission is to help Kenyan drivers understand the huge & life-saving value of car care, by using technology to build a nationwide culture that encourages vehicle maintenance.


Being a public platform that allows for ratings and feedback by end-users has raised confidence and trust in using the platform for a myriad of car care requests as shared by Mercy and a majority of the event attendees. The Carhoot mobile app is readily available on both Google Play and the App Store ensuring accessibility to as many Kenyans living in Nairobi as possible. The local tech ecosystem in Kenya is definitely growing in the right direction, by creating tech solutions to local problems, and judging by the amazing feedback we received, many of the attendees are eager to see the actualization of Carhoot’s infinite growth potential in scaling both our user base and the number of services we currently offer.

The Keynote Address by Carhoot CEO & Founder, Moses Kihumba


The launch was something that Moses has been looking forward to for a while and he began his speech by expressing his extreme good fortune and gratitude for being part of an incredible team that is bringing a game-changing idea to life! Reinstating one of his hero’s, Albert Einstein’s most famous quotes about the impact of technology, he reminded us all about Albert’s famous calls to the public to appreciate the value of innovation, and understand how dramatically it could change our lives.


Moses further went on to question one of the most common notions held by local drivers, that the quality of service delivery when it comes to vehicle maintenance is directly impacted by human interaction. For many car owners, being present means your parts aren’t being stolen or tampered with…but does this argument still hold water in a modern world? The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has given us all access to multiple incredible innovations, from banking to communication, to requesting or taxis and even ordering food…spending precious hours under the hot sun in a garage should no longer be a common aspect of our everyday lives in this day and age.

“True innovation today, is centred on humans. It’s focused on our behaviour, our passions and our needs. As that is what makes innovation meaningful, it’s how it transforms our lives and the way we live. Today we bring you Carhoot. An innovation that has been designed to make your car ownership experience completely new.”


As we continue to live with the global shadow that COVID-19 has cast on our lives, many people have been unable to properly maintain their cars and keep up with regular service checks. Minimizing social interactions has come at a heavy price that most people assumed was due to poor lifestyle choices; but in fact, the silent danger posed by unmaintained and unserviced vehicles has led to several deaths this year. In Kenya, we witnessed high levels of RTAs during the first weeks after travel restrictions and the major nationwide lockdown was lifted. It is safe to say that a significant number of these accidents were a result of poor car maintenance. Attendees further verified this during a live poll we conducted, with 61% stating that COVID-19 had negatively impacted how often and thoroughly they looked after their cars.


“The Africa automotive insights report by Deloitte found that 47 percent of car owners in Kenya, service their cars at jua kali and open-air garages. What we want to do is make car servicing as easy as ordering your next meal. It’s difficult to remember to schedule things like oil changes and brake jobs with so many other things going on in your life. Not to mention being at the mercy of some dishonest mechanics, who may bleed you dry if you still don’t know what an oil filter is.”


With Carhoot in the hands of local drivers, social distancing and regular car maintenance can happen concurrently, and drivers can rest easy knowing that their cars are in good hands. Carhoot users are able to track progress and receive updates on the status of their vehicles. The pick-up and drop off feature further allows users to live their lives and attend to more pressing matters without having to do everything on their own.


Carhoot’s presence in the market comes at a time when we have a population that is tech-inclined, with car ownership is on the rise, with more than 3.2M registered motor vehicles in Kenya (As of 2018). The value of time has only risen and people have better things to do than spending precious hours and even days under the sun, waiting for their cars to be fixed. Beyond automation and the ability to provide car care services more conveniently and at more affordable rates; the app also gives us the opportunity to gather much-needed data, to help improve and better identify needs and gaps in the local automotive industry.


We would love to thank everyone who joined and also all the thousands of people who engaged with us on social media during the launch!



Special appreciation to the entire team at Carhoot for making the launch a huge success. For any queries in regards to the app, kindly send an email to jambo@carhoot.app and a member of our team will get back to you. You can keep up with the latest #CarhootNews by following our social pages on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Navigating Through Car Trouble Like A Pro With Kids In Your Car.

It is about that time of the year when plans for trips are in overdrive because Christmas is right around the corner. This year may be a little bit different but people and families are still travelling. Over the past week, the CarHoot Team has received numerous story submissions from our online fuel giveaways and a good number involved car trouble stories where the unfortunate car trouble survivors were parents and caregivers ferrying their kids to or from school, sleepovers or on a road trip when their cars hit some kind of trouble. So, we went ahead and did a ton of research, because if we are being honest, car trouble causes so much stress and anxiety and with younger passengers on board, things can get very intense pretty quickly; especially with toddlers and babies! With CarHoot by your side, things are much but there are still some life-saving tips that we all need in these situations:


Standard Car Safety Tips for Parents & Caregivers


Before we go into safety tips for kids when your car is in trouble, we have to first go through the basics:

  1. Ensure the baby/toddler/young child is safely and properly strapped into their car seat at the centre of your back seat and ensure that they ALWAYS seat in the back. This is because airbags weren’t designed for kids and can not offer them the same level of protection they do to adults. The car seat straps should all fit snugly, especially over the shoulder and thigh areas. The rule here is straps should always lie flat, never twisted. TIP: If you can hold or pinch even a bit of the straps harness between your fingers, it’s very loose. For slightly older kids, consider the use of a convertible seat that can carry up to 30kgs weight.

  2. Keep your kids comfy for the road in attire that allows their legs to move. Shorts, loose-fitting jogging pants or sweats and even leggings are great options. This will make it much easier to strap them in properly. If the weather is freezing cold, first strap in your child, then cover them up with a blanket. TIP: NEVER buckle a blanket under the straps.

  3. Slouching and head flops are common problems for babies and especially newborns in car seats and this can be addressed by adding support to their shoulder and neck areas. TIP: rolled up diapers or towels are great DIY solutions in case your seat isn’t specially made with custom head and shoulder supports. NEVER use a blanket to pad your child. For babies with tilting heads while in their car seats, just make sure the car seat is at a 35–45 degree angle.

  4. Ensure your child keeps ALL their limbs, body parts in the car. Especially for toddlers, talk to your child about why its important not to stick their head or hands outside car windows, even when your car is parked.

  5. Always ensure that your childproof car door lock settings are always active. This feature is available in most cars and ensures your young one can not leave the car unsupervised or without your permission.

  6. Snacks and water for long trips are essential and will help keep your kids hydrated, calm and well behaved. Avoid sugary drinks and snacks as you want your toddler well behaved and relaxed. TIP: forward-facing car seats are best, especially during snack time so you can easily monitor what they are doing from the driver’s seat.

  7. Make sure any loose and unnecessary items are strapped or placed in the glove box to avoid the risk of injury. TIP: Teach your kids to use the cup holders if they are old enough in case of bottles or drinks.

  8. Keep your child happy in the car by engaging them with conversation, music, audiobooks, soft handheld toys and create a reward system for good behaviour in the car and on trips. A rowdy toddler, crying baby or angry child can greatly affect driver concentration. TIP: It is okay to pull over, park your car and give your child some attention if the need arises.

  9. Never leave your child unattended in a car. Opening the windows slightly does not help reduce heat levels on a hot day and especially in dark-coloured cars the heat levels rise quite rapidly.

  10. Ensure as a driver you maintain extreme caution. Avoid driving under the influence or fatigued at all costs. It is okay to pull over and take health breaks even when you are late. Avoid speeding, using your phone and even hands-free devices, as they can limit your concentration while driving.

Life Hacks During Car Trouble In The Presence of Kids


These things happen so this is what you can do to ensure your day and your kids day doesn’t get worse:

  1. STAY CALM! You are probably freaking out, especially if you are in the middle of nowhere but panicking will make the children anxious and increase your stress levels. Take a few deep breaths and make the necessary calls. TIP: If you have CarHoot on your phone, describe your issue in as much detail as possible to our team and we will dispatch the required help in under 30 minutes if you are in Nairobi.

  2. If your car starts making funny sounds or is not performing the way it usually does, do not hesitate to investigate. TIP: Park your car on the side of the road preferably away from bends and activate the hazard lights. If you have to step out of the car to make checks, calmly communicate the same to your kids if they are older. For younger kids, take another deep breath…your case is a little bit different.

  3. If you are the sole adult or caregiver and your kids are young, and you need to check on the condition of your car, first make calls to family members or close friends and notify at least two different people of the situation. Secondly, ensure that your indicators are on and enlist the help of fellow motorists or friendly bystanders to ensure you have extra eyes on your child or children and car.

  4. If you ABSOLUTELY have to step out of the car for a little while, ensure your kids are within your line of sight and the front seat car window are fully open and that your kids can easily call out or you can hear your child.

  5. Always travel with a car safety kit, that has snacks, an extra car phone charger, snacks, water, blankets, jackets, diapers, tissue, wet wipes and a reflective vest aside from first aid items.

  6. Keep your kids in the loop especially if they are older and give them updates so that they avoid worrying too. TIP: Make the situation part of the adventure and even use it as a learning opportunity and teach them how to deal with problems calmly and effectively.

  7. If you have to wait for roadside assistance, entertain your kids and keep yourself and themselves busy by playing games like I Spy or even singing songs until help arrives.

Choose Joy!

99 Problems But A Car Ain’t One: Transforming Car Maintenance for African Drivers

Isn’t it funny how we can order almost everything at the touch of your fingers, but when your car battery dies the only place you can turn to is your phonebook and that might not even be enough? CarHoot’s sole purpose is to remove the cumbersome burden of car maintenance from regular car owners in Africa. With


the added pressure of social media and the growth of aspirational cultures and habits, the world’s largest population of youth is even more determined than before to join the ranks or the car-owner clique. The reality is that no one understands just how hectic maintaining a car in Africa can get. The situation is even worse for female car owners and drivers who have to overcome gender bias from mechanics, service providers, and even other providers.


Women Belong Behind The Wheel!


After the laughter has died down from all the jokes, memes, and puns surrounding women drivers what we are left with is a society that preaches water and chugs a crate load of beer. There’s a huge gender bias in the local Kenyan automotive industry that needs to be called out. It’s 2020 and the fact is that a lot of female car owners pay more for regular car maintenance services just because of their gender. There is a silent expectation for women to have a man in their lives to help them with their cars and that’s far from reality. We are surrounded by strong independent women who drive and take care of their cars better than most people and it’s not fair that they get still get targeted in this day and age.


One of the main reasons for CarHoot’s existence is to right these commonly accepted wrongs and create a semblance of equity. By shifting the burden of car service maintenance to our platform, it doesn’t matter what race, gender, religion, or tribe you are. Everyone deserves access to great service without stress.


Let’s Put An End To The Paranoia


Want to know a shocking fact? 59% of Kenyan drivers have no clue whether the spare parts they buy are genuine. Stories of people taking their cars to be fixed and leaving with their genuine working car parts switched out for fakes or sub-standard parts are commonplace. That’s the main reason why most of us can’t trust our mechanics even when they are great guys. We end up spending way too much unnecessary time “supervising” what’s happening; and if we are really honest, some or most of the time we don’t even have a clue what’s happening.


CarHoot is here to give you the freedom to take care of your car without stress, find all the proper spare parts you need, and get access to free and fair pricing.


Only 14 days to our big launch! Make sure you join our virtual event and stand a chance to be part of the lucky few who try the app live and even win a few cool giveaways!

Why Carhoot Is The Ultimate Hero For Tech-Savvy Kenyan Drivers

Car trouble is one of those nightmares that can actually turn into a reality. From punctured tires to stalled engines, these things have that nagging habit of happening on days you need everything to go right. CarHoot is a mobile car maintenance and service app that takes care of the stress, baggage, time and worry associated with car problems of every kind; And just like our fav heroes, its more than a one-trick pony. CarHoot gives its users access to verified and high-quality spare parts with a warranty, and can even help users buy or import a car!


You Are On Your Way To An Important Meeting And Your Engine Stalls?


Maybe its a job interview or the day you are meant to give an important presentation to your board or star client…car trouble can change your life (or be the reason it doesn’t change). Picture yourself cruising slowly along Waiyaki Way during the morning rush hour and your engine quits while you are driving! Time slows down and you can feel as you slowly lose control of the power steering. Panic gives way to reality and you engage your brakes and switch on your hazards. Now, its not just the matatus and many cars causing the morning traffic. You feel the pressure, time is slowly ticking by, a good samaritan helps you steer your car to the roadside and you pull out your jumper cables but your baby just won’t start. You call your mechanic, but he is all the way in Industrial Area and isn’t available for another hour or so. The next thing on your mind is probably who to trust with your vehicle as you find a way to go to your meeting on time. It’s a Monday, you have to find someone who is free and knows about cars and can afford to spend whatever time it takes to babysit your car with the mechanic. You look through your phone book and realize your head hurts and your sweaty cause everyone you trust is busy! …




No Stopping Reggae…Life Goes On With Carhoot!


With CarHoot the safety, security and care of your car are all we are about. We believe that as a working professional time is money and yours is better spent worrying about more important things. Spending the whole day or days in the garage is the opposite of productive. Our dedicated team is available 24/7 to give you any type of roadside assistance you need. Once you have dropped your pin, confirmed your location and described the issue, all you have to do is place your order and a member of our team will be with you in under 30 minutes. For such cases, we even have verified drivers and towing partners who will take your car to a verified garage and you will receive an update via text message on your phone. Once your car is ready for collection, you will be notified and billed accordingly.




Privacy, Peace Of Mind & Independence


Car trouble can be embarrassing, especially if you are not into cars, or are new to driving. Sometimes you don’t want to make that call to your parent, partner, friend or even ex. We all feel better when we can take care of things on our own and CarHoot provides just that. We guide our users on everything they need to keep their car running smoothly. From service reminders and deals to premium wheel care and genuine spare parts. All you need is the app!




New Ride, Who Dis?


Looking for an upgrade? The car sales industry in Kenya has been known to have more than a few bad apples. This makes it harder for drivers to trust the good car dealers around and avoid been taking advantage of by unsavoury characters. Our transparent car import service allows users to work hand in hand with a dedicated agent, who will guide them on the best countries to choose from depending on the model they are looking for and even help with the annoying clearing process. Everything is recorded on the app, protecting both the customer and the agent from any “monkey business.” Furthermore, our rates are extremely competitive, giving users access to unmatched and affordable quality services.


JOIN US as we ride into a new era of better days and better drives. Submit your email to the contact form at the bottom of our homepage and get an alert when we launch in 23 days. The app will be available on both the Apple Store and Google Play.

The Trail Blazing 2014 Nissan X-Trail SUV

The X-Trail has been a favourite on Kenyan roads since the early 2,000’s and has greatly shifted previous perceptions about the brand. Compared to other Japanese automakers, Nissan has really had to put in a lot of work to redefine its brand image and even the playing field. The love its designers and engineers have shown the X-Trail, speaks volumes. This car is now a full SUV in its own right, providing drivers access to a 7-seater beast that is versatile, affordable and extremely enjoyable to drive!




Engine Power & Driving Experience




Powered by a 2.0L MR20DD petrol engine that is linked to an Extronic CVT, the X-Trail is available in both 2WD and 4WD. The people at Nissan retained the previous engine due to its reliability in earlier models and invested in significant changes to make its fuel consumption even better than it already was. The 2014 X-Trail boasts a fuel tank capacity of 65L and a consumption rate of 16.4 Km/L making it one of the most affordable SUVs in the market to maintain. Its 8.3 inch ground clearance and sturdy muscular frame means that you can comfortably navigate across even the most rugged terrains with ease. The Nissan X-Trail 20X Extremer X and its counterpart the Nissan X-Trail 20X Extremer X Emergency Brake Package both heighten driving experience thanks to their added off-road packages. However, the X-Trail’s biggest handicap is its famous “lazy acceleration” speeds. It goes from 0-100 kph in 10.8 seconds and has been known to lose power when fully loaded.




How Safe Is It?


Often positioned as a car suited for large families who love adventure, the X-Trail’s safety is constantly under scrutiny. It is comforting to note that the Nissan X-Trail 2014 has received a 5-star rating from Euro NCAP for several years now. It scored well in both front offset and sidecar crash performance. Its safety system makes use of an Active Ride Control (ARC) which levels the track and helps detect bumps. The Active Engine Brake Control has also been a great help in improving engine braking, and managing turns. Other safety-enhancing tools include vehicle dynamic control, side-head and side-chest airbags, anti-lock brakes, a blind-spot detection system, standard regulation seat safety belts, electronic brake distribution, and automatic moving object detection.


Inside the X-Trail…




The X-Trail’s spacious and comfy interior has contributed greatly to making it a fan favourite. The added seats placed it in direct competition with the Toyota Vanguard. Drivers and passengers alike can take advantage of the more than sufficient cabin storage thanks to multiple cup holders, seat pockets and compartment areas. Users can easily switch between both 5 and 7 seat options, with the 5 seat option giving access to a huge amount of boot space. The 7 seat option is great if you travel in large groups, with the two back seats in the third row ideal for children. It also has a mounting point Isofix for child seats on the outer seats helping parents cut down on the time it takes to properly fix car seats.






The 2014 Nissan X-Trail is a highly versatile car built for adventure. Its dominant safety features give drivers an added layer of confidence both on and off-road. However, its winning feature comes down to economics. Not only is it extremely affordable and easy to maintain, but the X-Trail has one of the best resale values in the market.


With Carhoot App you can easily take advantage of our dedicated import agents on WhatsApp and have a model with your personal specifications delivered to your doorstep. The best part about Carhoot is, your journey doesn’t have to end after buying your car…we offer a wide variety of car solutions from service and maintenance to accessories and genuine parts.


Visit either Google Play or the App Store and enjoy your car ownership experience like never before!