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Old 19th October 2006, 20:08   #1
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Default ARTICLE: Preparation for an Indian Road Trip

There are few things in life as enjoyable as a simple road trip, and successful drives have always been the result of careful planning. Team-BHP shows you how to plan your trip:

Preparing the car:

• Tune up your car by having it serviced and checked at least a week before the trip. This advance check-up will head off possible problems on the road and give you enough time to fix any errors caused by the mechanic such as loose fuses and filters.

• Start your trip with a full tank of fuel and make it a habit to fill up at the level rather than letting it run down to near empty. We also recommend buying fuel only from company-owned petrol stations in large towns.

• Carry a can of engine oil and radiator coolant in the trunk. If you drive an older car it would be wise to stock up on extra hosepipes and fan belts, too.

• Learn how to change your tyres. In addition to a puncture repair kit, you should bring an extra inner tube. Most highway tyre-repair shops do not have the facilities to repair tubeless tyres.

• Duplicate keys will help if you lock yourself out of the car. Carry them in your wallet so they don’t get locked in the car, too.

• Dont forget to carry a photocopy of the car's documentation i.e. registration book, tax receipts, insurance and so on.

• Have fog-lights fitted on your car in case you encounter extreme weather conditions. They will also be useful if your headlights malfunction.

• Carry the 24-hour roadside assistance number if you have this service.


Other things to carry:

• Cash because credit and ATM cards often don’t work in small towns and villages. Loose change can make toll payments fast and convenient.

• Maps if you are driving on unfamiliar roads. Team-BHPians recommend WIAA, TTK, Eicher and Lonely Planet India maps.

• A mobile phone with a roaming facility and don’t forget the charger.

• A camera with extra film or memory.

• A first aid kit and medicine for common ailments like carsickness, colds, headaches and upset stomachs.

• If you wear prescription glasses, bring an extra pair with you.

• Bring snacks and drinking water; these can be a boon in traffic jams.

• If you are traveling with children, pack some baby food, finger food and juice. You should also think about bringing toys to keep them occupied.

• CDs and cassettes. Music will provide entertainment and keep your mind alert on the long drive.


Planning:

• Plan out a tentative schedule.

• Make hotel reservations well in advance if you are planning an overnight trip.

• Research good restaurants along your route.

• Get a good night’s sleep before your road trip. Being well rested will help you concentrate on the road.

• Wear light, comfortable clothing for the trip.

• Avoid night driving: security is an issue and bad road conditions are hard to see at night.

• Start early to beat the city traffic.

• Take a break every 90 minutes and use this time to get out of the car, stretch and have some refreshments.


Related Articles:

Last edited by GTO : 8th November 2012 at 09:08. Reason: Adding link to Tyre Burst Article
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Old 19th October 2006, 22:09   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
Learn how to change your tyres. In addition to a puncture repair kit, you should bring an extra inner tube. Most highway tyre-repair shops do not have the facilities to repair tubeless tyres.
Just one small clarification. Along with puncture repair kit, an air pump (either foot or battery operated) would come in handy in case of puncture or air leakage in remote locations. I am assuming that "puncture repair kit" does not normally include air pump.
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Old 20th October 2006, 07:26   #3
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There's something like a spray which can be used to inflate tubeless tyres incase of puncture/leakage. It'll be a good small thing to carry in the car trunk.
And this can be very helpful in needy times.
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Old 20th October 2006, 10:01   #4
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a tow rope also comes in real handy in tricky situations.

dont listen to soft songs (opinions may vary) but its known to calm our nerves in turn making us lethargic.

in hot weather do use A/C & keep the temperature towards chiller cause it keeps the driver alert (Volvo study showed this, so in their cars the driver's seat gets little extra chill from the air con)

keep a day or two free at the end of the journey to settle back before starting ur work again

also unscrew all the wheel screws & put them back. this is to prevent from not being able to change the tire in need, when we find that the nut has jammed.

keep following this link because loads of more information is on the way
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Old 20th October 2006, 10:32   #5
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One very cool trick, that i learnt from a truck driver on a remote road in Karnataka......

if you have a flat and while unscrewing the nuts from the wheel, the nut slips, pack some sand into the spanner (won't work if you have an open ended, or a regular ring spanner, but most repair kits come with the capped type ring spanner) , and then try and remove the nut....works like a charm............



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Old 29th October 2006, 12:13   #6
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Always carry a Fire extinguisher be it a long journey or city driving. The can may also come handy to shatter the window glass just in case you get stuck in your car with jammed doors.
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Old 30th October 2006, 09:11   #7
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well i missed out a big utility item useful to carry at all times named the swiss knife. long journey or short journey or no journey, it always comes in handy.
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Old 30th October 2006, 10:10   #8
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Hi,
In addition to what all the others have said make a small tool kit of your own which should comprise of the following:

1> Screw driver + & - both.
2> A monkey spanner
3> A Plier
4> A roll of Electrical insulation tape
5> Monsoon Tape
6> M Seal Fast curing
7> Spare fuses min 2 of each(especially main fuse located in engine compartment)
8> Allen Key set(if you have any gadgets fitted that require the same)
9> small role of 18 guage electrical wire(approx 1 metre)
10> Spare head light bulbs.
11> Spare fanbelts & hosepipes

The above shall keep you equipped for any emergency. Even if you do find assistance more often than not they will lack the basic tools and basic items like the above are difficult to find on the highway or small villages leaving you stranded.

Viper

Last edited by viper : 30th October 2006 at 10:12.
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Old 30th October 2006, 12:54   #9
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Viper, add the knowledge to use them properly. A frined of mine who has been using various cars for 5 years never changed a tyre. Chat with your mechanic briefly what could be done on your car if you get stuck, what are the likely failures.

Know to locate and identify the parts.

(this is not for experts)

I would also add a pair of jumper wires. They come in handy for the cars that can not be push started.

A good flash light with the battery still alive.
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Old 1st November 2006, 18:36   #10
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Excellant thread.. I have a question. Is there any site where we can download good quality road maps of South India? Atleast a one that shows the towns and distances between places. I would appreciate if anyone can send me a soft copy, if they have one. I propose to drive around south India in a few weeks from now.
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Old 1st November 2006, 18:57   #11
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Do not keep anything loose in the floor like bottles, slippers (especially driver's) etc. In case of emergency braking it can get underneath the brake pedal and may hinder braking.

This applies to day to day driving, but more relevant in high speed situations.

regards
tifosi.
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Old 1st November 2006, 19:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mail4ajo
Is there any site where we can download good quality road maps of South India? Atleast a one that shows the towns and distances between places. I propose to drive around south India in a few weeks from now.
mail4ajo,

I suggest you pick the Road Atlas and Distance Guides for the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka - published by IMS. These have district-wise road maps which are the best I've seen so far.

I've felt that IMS is better than TTK. The links below should tell you what the books look like and they are available at most major bookstores.

Tamil Nadu
http://www.indiamapstore.com/map-pro...s/IMS0023.html

Kerala
http://www.indiamapstore.com/map-pro...s/IMS0015.html

Andhra Pradesh
http://www.indiamapstore.com/map-pro...s/IMS0002.html

Karnataka
http://www.indiamapstore.com/map-pro...s/IMS0014.html

An investment of around Rs. 200 that will do you good.

Note to the Moderators: I have no association with IMS except as a user of their maps.
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Old 15th February 2007, 14:08   #13
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Default wheel spanner for imported alloyz !

Dont you guys think that if you'r having a set of imported alloys , the standard issue spanner from the car tool kit might not work hence wouldnt it be advisable to carry the size wheel spanner ? as the roadside tyre puncture fix guy might not be having the same ?
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Old 15th February 2007, 14:14   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellstar View Post
Dont you guys think that if you'r having a set of imported alloys , the standard issue spanner from the car tool kit might not work hence wouldnt it be advisable to carry the size wheel spanner ? as the roadside tyre puncture fix guy might not be having the same ?
A very valid point. When I fit new chrome Bolts onto my alloy wheels, I realised that the standard issue wheel spanner, was slipping. I did purchase a chrome-vanadium wheel spanner taht worked well and have it in my car ever since.
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Old 15th February 2007, 14:26   #15
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A good site for online maps is Maptell - India Maps, India Free Map, India GIS, India GIS Data.

Click on maps in the links and choose the state from the drop down box. You can zoom in and out of the map. Its pretty cool.

Use IE for better viewing. (though u will still have to scroll up and down).

Its far better than many of the free sites that i know of.
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