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Old 9th July 2011, 01:36   #1
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Default Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens

The March of Time spares no one.
Many things that were a breeze earlier seem quite difficult once you cross the age threshold.
Recently, I was coming back alone from a late dinner & had a flat at 12.30AM while climbing up a flyover ramp.
Since it would have been impossible to change tyres on a slope,I drove slowly till I got to the top of the flyover, pulled to the side & opened the dicky to access the spare tyre & tools.
It was an ordeal, to say the least.
The spare seemed so heavy to pull out, but that done, while reaching down to the far side of the tyre well to get the jack, I pulled a muscle in my side.
To cut the story short, loosening the bolts & then jacking( the standard one supplied with the car) up the tyre was a major pain-I had to stop & stand up several times to catch my breath & ease aching legs/knees.
But, sweating profusely, the job was done & I got home, clearly realising that youth & its carefree strength were now behind me.
Since then,I've purchased a small hydraulic jack & also put a 2 foot length of pipe to make the job easier in the future.
I would truly appreciate it if wise friends in the forum & other senior citizens could share any other tips to make owning & driving a car easier in old age.
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Old 9th July 2011, 09:40   #2
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Default Re: Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens

Thanks for starting this thread - I would especially appreciate if someone could share tips for senior ladies as well. my mother is 65 and she drives around a bit and her car still runs on tube tyres (OEM alto) which get punctures once every two months.

I'd be more than glad to outfit her car with the right items - she refuses to let me change the tyres at the moment though!
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Old 9th July 2011, 09:43   #3
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Default Re: Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens


Since you've already bought the the hydraulic jack, you should first get an elaborated tool kit; one that will have jumper cables, lots of spanners etc; so in case you're stranded, you wouldn't need to necessarily push the car.

Keep toll free nos. of your car's manufacturer very handy; along with nos. of Exide Batmobile (for battery issues) and your dealer's 24 hr helpline (if it has one).

I am not sure if there's one in Delhi but some cities have these car shops who run something like an AMC; you pay them a few hundred bucks a month/year and they will be at your service for issues like replacing a tyre, providing emergency spare battery/jump start, towing in case of accident etc.

You should get yourself enrolled in the Automobile Association of India; they could be of help in emergency situations.

Happy driving!
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Old 9th July 2011, 09:49   #4
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Default Re: Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens

This is a very good thread you've started Kamal. I often wonder how a senior can cope with the hurly-burly of driving today.
Thankfully, cars are much more reliable today than the days of the Fiat 1100 of the 70's.
One thing that must be done is to take the car every 5000 km for a service, to a reliable and understanding garage, so that incipient problems are detected and taken care of before they become emergencies.
Tyre changing is however something no-one can avoid. We can minimise it by using tubeless tyres, rotating and balancing every 5000km, (at which time they also get inspected for objects embedded and cuts, etc.) However in the event you do need to change a tyre on the roadside, it's advisable to have a couple of phone numbers you can call on for help. Lifting the tyre out, jacking up the car, etc are all very strenuous and potentially dangerous activities. Get someone knowledgeable and fit to do it.
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Old 9th July 2011, 10:44   #5
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Default Re: Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens

Excellent concept. May I suggest a few things -

1. Get a power wheel brace.
2. Get a power/exhaust jack.
3. Keep a lighter socket powered pump. Be sure when you put in a spare it will be grossly underinflated.

This will reduce efforts a lot.
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Old 9th July 2011, 14:01   #6
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Default Re: Driving/Maintenance issues for Senior Citizens

Wonderful and thought provoking thread Kamal ji.

If we seggregate all the issues related to break downs and analyze we can classify them broadly as follows,

Problems : ( Further classifications can be added)

1. Mechanical/ electrical break downs - We have toll free nos and can get help or advice from them. We atleast have a hope about some guy coming and helping after a few hours if not immediately.
2. In case of ill fated Accidents - We have the insurnace guys to answer and take away the car with the help of pick up services.
3. But, in case of tyre bursts/ punctures, unfortunately, we don't have any body to answer.
It's the simplest/ most common problem of the lot across the globe. But, most physical efforts are required only here.

Adding to it, if you are in the middle of any un inhibited road and no body to help you, First pray God to give you the stamina for a few moments and then attempt to change the tires. This would calm the mind too and make you more active later for making quick decisions.

Possible Solutions/ Preventive tools/ Measures :

1. As rightly mentioned by sgiitk Sir, all the listed power tools are mandatory if the vehicle is driven by senior citizens.
2. An elaborated tool kit would do, but it should not weigh much moving and taking it out would drain some of the energies even before thinking of the tire removal. Further, to take out the kit from the boot and then open/ unfold and search for the tools will sap some more energy.
3. Few pnuematic nut/bolt tightner powered by the small external pump connected to the 12V socket in the car would also help in reducing the efforts for tightening / loosening the bolts.
4. Toll free nos/ Automobile association nos ( if you are a member).
5. Preventive maintenance schedule alerts from the Service guys who should treat their Senior Citizens with additional previlages like pick and drop, etc, with minimum/ concessional or even free charges.
6. An umbrella to take rest from Sun/ rain in between.
7. A power full torch, in case, its night time.

Bhpians, Let both the lists go on to help our Senior Citizens have 'Happy Motoring experience!'
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