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Old 14th December 2016, 07:38   #271
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Default Re: Continuously driving in 3rd gear on mountain roads

Not really sure what to write. But as a practice once I touch 2000 rpm, a swap over a gear. Just hearing the engine straining hurts. Yes, the lower third keeps the car on a tighter leash, though.
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Old 14th December 2016, 07:52   #272
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Default Re: Continuously driving in 3rd gear on mountain roads

I drive my Etios in 3rd all the time in the city. AT that gear its like an automatic and the RPM is just around 2K.
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Old 14th December 2016, 08:51   #273
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Default Re: Continuously driving in 3rd gear on mountain roads

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Depends on what RPM range he was driving in, if it was between 2-3k its perfectly fine and it's not straining the engine.

In fact lugging the engine can lead to overheating more than revving it. With most SUV's, the radiator fan is belt driven, so it's rpm dependent, keeping the revs higher provides better airflow especially at high altitude.
The moment I read the thread title, I instantly recalled the issue you and Ace had faced in your sojourn to the mountains.

Apart from over-heating issues, while climbing up or going down, one shouldn't let the rpm stay at idle or just above idle. Putting it between 2000/3000 revs while climbing will ensure that you have sufficient power to climb and won't face issues if suddenly a steep gradient comes up and you are caught off-guard. Has happened with me.

While going down the hill, those rpm's will provide very good engine braking and this is what you *need* instead of your car's brakes at most times.
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Old 14th December 2016, 09:32   #274
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Default Re: Continuously driving in 3rd gear on mountain roads

There are two things. The gear for coming down is the same as for going up that slope. You must have control of the car from the gearbox at all times. In the old days of four speed boxes, the gap between 2 & 3 was huge, so we ended up using a lot of 3 in the downhill sections. One should ensure that on is not driving on the brakes, but is controlling the vehicle primarily by using the gearbox.

I will say, you got a good driver in the vehicle.
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Old 14th December 2016, 18:10   #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shardil View Post
Dear T-BHP members

Need advice on the following issues which i recently noticed.

While being driven by a taxi driver in the hills leading to Gangotri i noticed that he was continuously driving the car in 3rd gear even when on speed as high as 50 at times.

When i asked him, wont his car get overheated or strain the engine since he is driving in 3rd gear for the entire trip of over 200 km and a speed as high as 50 km/hour? He replied negatively and explained to me that -driving in a steady 3rd gear and at such stead pace, the engine is better protected even if the engine is being driven in low gear and the heating will never happen. Also driving in 3rd gear allows better control of the car, lesser gear shift and much lesser brake.

I always had the notion that driving in low gears continuously for such long distance is bad for the car engine.

Can anyone please help understand this issue- can i follow his advise while driving in the hills, ie. driving at steady pace (how much it should be?) in 3rd gear throughout the journey?

Many thanks in advance.

Do you think it is safe and advisable and safe enough to follow such an approach ie drive in 3rd gear?


Cheers
DS
You always want to stay in the powerband of the vehicle and utilize the engine braking potential of the vehicle. For a petrol car that would mean 2000-3500 rpm and for a turbo diesel around 1500 to 2500rpm. With third gear at 50kph you would be around 2000rpm in my diesel figo. So its perfectly fine to be doing 50kph in third gear. Third gear gives you the flexibility to operate easily between 30-60kph and stay in the power band which would have been your operating speed most of the time during your trip to gangotri. In fact having driven across himachal and uttarakhand, I would say that third gear is by far the most used gear whether going uphill or downhill. It's only on very good hill roads that you get to shift to fourth otherwise most of the time I find myself using third gear like your driver did.
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Old 14th December 2016, 19:36   #276
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Default Re: Continuously driving in 3rd gear on mountain roads

Quote:
Originally Posted by shardil View Post
While being driven by a taxi driver in the hills leading to Gangotri i noticed that he was continuously driving the car in 3rd gear even when on speed as high as 50 at times.

...

driving in a steady 3rd gear and at such stead pace,
1. the engine is better protected even if the engine is being driven in low gear and
2. the heating will never happen.
3. Also driving in 3rd gear allows better control of the car, lesser gear shift and much lesser brake.
The habit of the driver is certainly not off the mark and especially while being driving in the Gangotri area.

Above,
1. very true, but only if the range of the rpm is within the allowable limits of the gear or a tad bit more but not more than just as much as necessary to gain and retain continuous momentum up the hills
2. not entirely true as incorrect or very heavy revving may shoot up needle upto heating mark and will need appropriate handling accordingly
3. very true, whether up or down the hill or mountains as many have said before, with respect to engine braking as well.

However, what is missing is the Altitude Adjustment for lack of oxygen in high altitude areas.

In Hills / Mountains oxygen being heavier is sparser.

Now consider Gangotri and Himalayan ranges where is starts becoming rarer and much rare at even higher altitudes.

So the engine needs the proper quantity of air in effect oxygen intake be it naturally aspirated or induced through blower/turbo-charger.

Some ECUs are programmed to compensate for this lack and automatically bring into effect induction.

However, not in all conditions, you may observe the effectiveness of the above ECU electronics.

The best bet is keep the engine at reasonably middle higher revvs to compensate by increasing air intake by crankshaft belt driven mechanisms (motors, turbo-chargers). Speed is only the consequence of the higher revvs in that gear.

The true grit of this I experienced when we had to revv the lowly powered Innova a bit hard always about or above 2000 rpms, up the higher Ladakhi slopes to keep the air aspirations and keep the momentum up. In normal hills, especially in Western Ghats, the need is much less, I can just amble along easily at much less revvs and low/high gears.
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Old 15th December 2016, 11:20   #277
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Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Could someone say as to how to drive an automatic while going down the hill?
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Old 12th February 2017, 13:16   #278
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Default Driving Habits on our highways !!

Penning a few observations which we commonly face, are aghast about and can do little to correct:

1. On all highways worldwide, the fastest lane is the closest to the road median (first lane), and the slowest lane is the closest to the road shoulder. Indian drivers convert this logic the other way around, and are not in the least apologetic about how they drive we find slow moving cars/trucks occupying the first lane unapologetically, and nothing in this world (except an earthquake) can shake them off from their lousy driving habit. The same Indian drivers drive like saints in other countries, follow rules to the "T", only because regulations and discipline are strongly enforced.

2. Two wheelers have enough space on the lane beyond the road shoulder, but will ride in the middle of the second lane, blocking fast moving traffic, the first lane usually blocked off by trucks, who drive in that lane to avoid two and three wheelers, add a few tractors as well to the mess

3. Driving at night with high beams in full glow seems to be a pleasure for most drivers, little realising the risk these high beams pose for drivers on the other side of the road as well as drivers ahead of them

4. Overtaking: it's funny to see three-wheelers and trucks trying to overtake each other, even on busy highways, with scant respect to driving rules and faster drivers

All of the above habits, in my opinion, will take multiple generations to vanish, and unless road traffic regulations, education and enforcement match up to global standards, I see little hope for improvement.

Solicit views on these and other observations, follow Team-BHP'ians would have no doubt encountered.
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