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Old 24th July 2009, 15:41   #136
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Originally Posted by deepclutch View Post
Last week during a Very Heavy Rain in the hilly highway near koothattukulam(MC Road,kerala) around 20:00hours visibility levels stooped very low despite having 100/90 headlamps.I wonder whether a Fog lamp will help in such scenario much?moreover ,parking is not an option in those parts of MC road.I have never experience such a heavy rain BTW!.
All cars and other vehicles uses Hazard Lights since it was the only option to be seen by other vehicles!
I have driven through some very very dense fogs before, and found the normal tail lights to be sufficient (provided that the head lights are turned On). And also one needs to slow down to suit the visibility.
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Old 24th July 2009, 15:54   #137
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Experienced near brake failure last week during my trip to Kerala due to rains. I was going from Munnar to Kumarakom via Kottayam. From Kottayam to Kumarakom, all the roads were completely waterlogged, somewhere water being more than 1 feet high. I forced the car through the water logged roads, mostly in 1st gear to avoid water entering the exhaust.
Now reached Kumarakom in the evening, and again took out my car for a night drive, and didn't check the brakes much. After sometime while on the Kumarakom-Vaikom road, a bus came in front and had to brake hard, but the brakes simply refused to work and created a loud screetching sound as if some metal is rubbing against each other . Somehow I managed to control the car by coming down the road and almost hitting a biker. Then I realized that water had entered the brakes. Later I tried pressing the brakes number of times to wade the water out of them, but little help.
Even next day, same thing happened for almost 20-25 kms, and after that the brakes started coming back to normal.
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Old 24th July 2009, 18:53   #138
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Experienced near brake failure last week during my trip to Kerala ......
Does not sound like a problem caused by water. Could something metallic have got lodged between the pad and disc?
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Old 26th July 2009, 05:01   #139
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Why switch off the Air - Conditioning when entering water ?
Very good question. And I found the answer a bit hard way in my Maruti 800. I will narrate the incident.

Few years back, I had to negotiate a waterlogged stretch on a road. I was in a bit of hurry. So, decided against changing my route. And it was the first wrong decision. If you can avoid getting in deep water, then I would suggest you do that. So what I did was, to enter this stretch which even some diesel cars like Safari were avoiding. They just turned around and followed an alternative route. The biggest mistake I made was that I entered with A/c switched on. And I think most of you guys who have driven an 800 know that its engine fan is battery driven. It is made of plastic and is linked with the A/c switch. If A/c is on, then this fan is automatically switched on. So, during the time I was in water, this fan was constantly on. And the plastic fins could not rotate at their normal speed due to the water. So, the plastic melted from the point it was attached to the motor and the fan would not spin. (free ho gaya, as the mechanics say in their lingo). Of course, the car did not stall at that point.

And in hurry, I did not notice the engine temp rising after coming out out of water. So, just after driving 4 km away from that water dip, the engine heated and head gasket leaked. The car had to be towed down to the garage. It cost me Rs. 1800/- for the new fan. Total bill was around 3000/-.

But it taught me a useful lesson which came handy while negotiating those unending water trails en rounte Leh in my Zen. I would just roll down my windows, switch a/c off and enter the stream at very low speed. Just enough for the momentum. Switching off the a/c also frees up more torque.

One more thing I can suggest is not to rev hard. As the gurus at team-bhp advise, rev up the engine just enough that it does not stall. And if you have one of these modern MPFi engines, you do not have to worry much. It won't stall if you take care. And to give you an example, my Zen was stuck in icy cold Bharatpur nullah, on the way to Leh. I could see only the top of the bonnet. Rest of the car was submerged. The car lay that icy stream for 45 mins. And it started in that stream in the first crank! I had known maruti to be a trouble free car up till that point. And I have actually started respecting Japanese build quality after this incident. And so has my friend who was driving that day. To be honest, I had never respected these light Jap cars before this incident, having learnt to drive in Mahindras, Fiats and Ambassadors.


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Originally Posted by gpa View Post
He might even rear-end your car if he's following close (bumper to bumper) if you suddenly step on the brakes.
I think idea is to gently squeeze the break pedal just enough so that the rear brake lights are switched on for few seconds. It gives a signal to the guy who is tailgating you.
You can also use this technique during normal driving too. Sometimes we just slow anticipating a halt. The break pedal is used only at the end, when we pull up completely. The problem is that sometimes the guy who is following you may not realise your intention as your car is impairing his view of the road. And he is unable to realise the obstacle at some distance as you are. So, it is advisable to gently tap the break peddle so that he can see your brakes lights and slow down instead of rear-ending you.

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Originally Posted by psp62in View Post
After a bad car pile-up in Dubai about 2 years back (~80 vehicles involved) due to poor visibility in fog, the local traffic dept issued an advisory warning drivers against this WRONG practice. Why cant our authorities do the same?

A very simple solution exists to warn the vehicles behind you, instead of using the Hazard lights. Just switch on the headlights or the parking lights. Because with that, the tails lights get switched on too, and that really helps. The virus also has spread to Mumbai-Pune expressway tunnels).

This ridiculous practice exists perhaps only in India. If one tried it in other places, the driver would be give a ticket. I have not seen any traffic authority ever trying to discourage such practices.
In good ol' days, when I learnt driving, this problem was not there. Giving indication for overtaking was very simple. There was no a/c. Speeds were normally around 50-60 kmph. The guy at the rear would just had to honk or blink the headlights. And you would wave you hand outside the window, signaling him to pass. And also, you would release the accelerator to allow him to pass.
Things have changed now. With windows rolled-up, and powerful music systems put to their full use, driving is not what it used to be. One, nobody would roll down the window to give you a pass. Secondly, it is rare someone slowing down to let you pass. The roads are filled up with ubiquitous monkeys. Instead of signaling you to paas, they would start double-laning so that you cannot overtake. Secondly, if you find space to overtake, they would start to accelerate as if they have suddenly realised that this is some sort of a drag race competition. With rising traffic, road manners are taking a back seat. Which makes the situation getting out of hand manifold. With these rolled up windows and closed air conditioned cars, we are losing our open attitude of driving.

There has to be a universally accepted 'signal' for the age old 'hand-wave' overtake signal. I had read somewhere that we can have an extra light in the rear to give that signal. It can be a green light so that it is not confused with yellow indicators and red brake lights. I was thinking why any such solution is not already incorporated in developed world. One assumption would be that, developed countries have highly advanced highway infrastructure. For e.g. Expressways in USA and Autobahns in Germany. These multi-lane highways have a dedicated overtaking lane. Second assumption is that these countries have very organised system of training and licensing of drivers. And on top of that, there is strict traffic law enforcement. So maybe these countries do not have an acute need to have an new alternative to traditional method of hand-signaling for overtaking.

So my question is why our country does take the initiative to solve the problem we are facing? Why cannot we have an additional light in the rear light cluster. It is not that preposterous. I mean, there was a time when a move to make turn-indicators mandatory on two-wheelers, was not appreciated by many Indian manufacturers like Bajaj and Enfield. But eventually we have seen these changes become standard. Remember those initial bajaj chetaks with ugly looking indicators snapped on.

Or we can have any of the other solution suggested here as an answer. But it has to be incorporated in the traffic manual on India. So that it is universally acceptable. And there is no addition to the confusion already pervading on Indian roads.
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Old 26th July 2009, 16:49   #140
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Originally Posted by psp62in View Post
I have driven through some very very dense fogs before, and found the normal tail lights to be sufficient (provided that the head lights are turned On). And also one needs to slow down to suit the visibility.
heh.it is more of thick rain than fog and it is not a hill station through which I was driving!Ofcourse, I have to slowdown very much since the visibility has reduced to very low levels in the Hilly narrow road with some other vehicles following me till few kilometers(even though they can overtake).

@asethi:you have to put some acceleration and along with some fast braking to heat away the water entered, if it has drum brakes.that is what I usually does in extreme conditions.
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Old 26th July 2009, 17:57   #141
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Then I realized that water had entered the brakes. Later I tried pressing the brakes number of times to wade the water out of them, but little help.
From the looks of it, its seems like your brakes were soggy as they were soaked from the water. If you were able to regain full braking potential when they were dry and then have the incident repeat itself in the wet again the next day, how many kms have you covered on the car and have you had a brake pad change in the past?
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Old 26th July 2009, 20:40   #142
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Drying brakes:

whilst driving normally, but slowly, press left foot gently on brake pedal and release as you feel the brakes bite. Repeat a couple of times.
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Old 26th July 2009, 22:51   #143
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All cars equipped with ABS will have a trouble free braking in rainy conditions.
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Old 26th July 2009, 23:18   #144
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Really?

Just how does ABS make any difference to wet pads and wet discs?

ABS mythology --- increasing the danger of driving
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Old 27th July 2009, 00:44   #145
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Originally Posted by gpa View Post
From the looks of it, its seems like your brakes were soggy as they were soaked from the water. If you were able to regain full braking potential when they were dry and then have the incident repeat itself in the wet again the next day, how many kms have you covered on the car and have you had a brake pad change in the past?
Yes maybe the pads were soggy, as they were completely in water for almost 20-25 mins. My car has run total of 33K+ kms without any brake pads change. I've experienced this for the first time, and don't really want to try this again! :-)
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Old 27th July 2009, 02:15   #146
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hillram --- seeing it again, my post looks really rude, and it's too late to edit it.

I didn't mean to be offensive (sometimes it just comes naturally <Blush>) in disagreeing with you. Apologies for the tone.
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Old 27th July 2009, 09:56   #147
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Originally Posted by asethi View Post
Yes maybe the pads were soggy, as they were completely in water for almost 20-25 mins. My car has run total of 33K+ kms without any brake pads change.
Get your brake pads changed at the earliest. ~33,000 kms is good service from your brake pads and they will be nearing the end of their service life. Braking in dry conditions will be fine, but as you noticed, the braking distance increases considerably in the wet.
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Old 27th July 2009, 10:07   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
All cars equipped with ABS will have a trouble free braking in rainy conditions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Really?

Just how does ABS make any difference to wet pads and wet discs?

ABS mythology --- increasing the danger of driving
The ABS system, will actually not help if the pads are soaked. What it will do is decrease the braking distance by a few metres. But if the pads are really soaked, the braking can also be poor with ABS.
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Old 27th July 2009, 10:43   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
All cars equipped with ABS will have a trouble free braking in rainy conditions.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Just how does ABS make any difference to wet pads and wet discs?
My 2 cents at myth busting. The main purpose of ABS is not to improve braking but to maintain traction between the tyres and the road surface under braking. As long as traction exists, it is possible to brake or even accelerate. This allows you to make evasive maneuvers and avert a collision.

ABS comes into picture only when the tyres are at their limit of adhesion, not when the brake pads or discs are their limit. So, ABS will not improve braking if the the brake pads are wet or the master cylinder is bust. It is a myth that ABS is a cure all for all braking issues.

Now, ABS would not be helpful on its own if it kicks in when just one tyre loses traction and there is still traction on the other three tyres. In such a case it would be helpful to have EBD which would distribute the brake force across the different tyres differently for more effective braking. Infact this is what actually happens in modern cars. When the ABS system detects that one of the tyres is rotating slowly compared to the others, it reduces the brake force on that tyre.

So when we are talking about cars with ABS, most of the time we are talking about cars with ABS and EBD. EBD kicks in before tyres lose traction while ABS kicks in after the tyres lose traction. But then there are some who might say EBD is just a part of ABS.
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Old 27th July 2009, 16:38   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hillram View Post
All cars equipped with ABS will have a trouble free braking in rainy conditions.
Ram, ABS only helps your car maintain itself in a straight line when you do panic braking but will not help in improvement of it in any way.
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