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Old 3rd May 2006, 20:15   #46
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Default Mediclaim - List of cashless hospitals

I do not want to be sourpuss in the group. I did not miss the one about Vitamin V for long trips :-)

But all of us can have some medical issues when we travel.

It would be desirable to have a list of cashless mediclaim hospitals in the area of your travels.

I remember, two years back, my wife had to be rushed to a hospital, at around mid night, in Udipi due to a very bad stomach.

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Old 3rd May 2006, 21:51   #47
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Great guys, all inputs are based on one's experiences, one small input from my side too, especially for people owning new age cars, keep a list of addresses of authorised service centres and phone numbers of helplines along your route.
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Old 27th June 2006, 12:51   #48
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That's a hugely informative thread. Thanks Techno.. and all other contributors for making it so rich.

I am new in here, and also relatively new to driving. Already covered a few places of Uttaranchal in my Zen, and wish to cover many places of Rajasthan, HP and Uttaranchal in coming months. A printout of this thread is always going to be in the file which I maintain for my travelogs.
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Old 27th June 2006, 18:29   #49
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Let me add one more point which came in handy...

It is a common mistake many of us have ended up..Either key locked inside the car, or a missed key.

Make a copy of the key on a flat key blank and keep it in the wallet, this comes in handy at times..
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Old 27th June 2006, 19:32   #50
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Very informative thread. One or two small points (in addition to those already made):

Forget violence. That is only for pros -- amateurs will almost always get themselves into trouble by inviting retaliation from the aggressors (who usually are pros). Usually best policy is to remain peaceful.

Prior to the journey make sure you have some good sleep behind you -- this is very important for maintaining concentration on long drives. No matter how good a driver you are, long hours of driving without proper rest will sap your energy and concentration levels. To give you an example of what can happen, on a couple of occasions I found myself cutting abruptly into the lane of vehicles after overtakiing them (while nearing the end of a long journey) -- I was startled by the angry honking of lorry drivers behind me and realized that I was in error. Sometimes the camber of the road can make the car move unexpectedly into the path of the vehicle behind you while you are overtaking it -- this is when you need to maintain concentration, for this scenario repeats itself monotonously while on long drives.

While on the road, watch out for pot-holes, speed-breakers, road dividers, unmanned level crossings and cross-roads -- these can come upon you with no warning, espcially at night. In particular road dividers can be virtually inviisible at night in the glare of the headlights of oncoming vehicles. And you might miss cross-roads and level crossings altogether if you are not alert -- highly dangerous, needless to say. Speed-breakers (sometimes big, almost invisible ones) are usually present at the entry and exit points of villages, prior to level crossings/toll gates and sometimes prior to narrow bridges. And if you start running into a mildly bad stretch of road, immediately slow down -- this is usually an indication of BIG pot-holes ahead.
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Old 27th June 2006, 20:17   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
hey tecnocrat,
that is superrrrrrrrrrrbbbb.
but i think u did forget a very important tool.
i think a pair of jumper cables is very important as it can help u in jumpstarting ur car in case of a battery breakdown.
also spare fuses and spare head-light bulbs .
Excellent point! This reminds me that my car battery is now 6 years old and can conk out any time while on my weekly Mumbai-Pune runs. Need to find out how to use jumper cables, as I don't want to get stuck (especially on the Pune to Mumbai run, which is usually at night -- 7 PM to 9-30 PM). My local mechanic assures me that the battery will not conk out while the car engine is running and has advised me not to switch off the engine during the drive, say, at signals. But this is only practical for a relatively short drive, such as, Mumbai-Pune. Also, in the case of heavy traffic jams, one has no option but to switch off the engine (I usually do not let the vehicle idle for more than about 5 mins.).
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Old 28th June 2006, 11:42   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRC
Let me add one more point which came in handy...

It is a common mistake many of us have ended up..Either key locked inside the car, or a missed key.

Make a copy of the key on a flat key blank and keep it in the wallet, this comes in handy at times..
Hi DRC this point was already covered on original post

Quote:
10) Duplicate Keys: Always carry these & donít keep it in suitcases or in bags which are kept in the car while you leave it for snacks etc, it should be with sum one other than the driver just case the driver forgets the keys inside the vehicle.
@rks: Good point about getting sleep, its very imp not too sleep behind the wheel.
As about violence I have mentioned purely about self defence, sadly there are some place on highways which are still dacoit prone & the advice is for only those who might have to drive through such a patch.

As about your battery I would seriously recommend you changing it, its better to have a new battery than waiting for the battery to die anytime.

Thanks for the other points
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Old 28th June 2006, 14:00   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat
[...]
@rks: [...]
As about your battery I would seriously recommend you changing it, its better to have a new battery than waiting for the battery to die anytime.
What I am doing at the moment to check the status of the battery is the following. Every week, before I set out to Mumbai on Friday evening, I run my compressor on the car battery to check my tyre pressures (which I set to 33 psi, and usually I have to fill up less than 2 psi on each tyre). I do NOT keep my engine running while I use the compressor from the cigarette lighter outlet. My logic is that if the car starts easily after filling up on all 4 tyres (or 5 including spare, which I do check less frequently), that means the battery still has some reserves of charge left and will probably not die on me on this trip. The other warning signals might be if the self-starter or horn don't function as usual -- these will normally give trouble that is noticeable, unlike the lights. However, this may not be safe reasoning, and I also doubt whether my mechanic is right about the battery not failing while the car is running. So the best policy is to change the battery, as you say.

Last edited by rks : 28th June 2006 at 14:10.
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Old 30th July 2006, 19:36   #54
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1.A multi function Swiss knife is really useful.
2.Check the fuel pump..I got stuck at 6 PM on the Ooty ghat in a Maruti 800 with a wife/daughter and dog for 3 hours and it was a nightmare. Culprit-a dirty fuel pump that malfunctioned only on inclines! (got a lift in another 800 with 3 other passengers including a rally driver..but thank God got safely to Ooty)
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Old 31st July 2006, 19:13   #55
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Good suggestion Mohit - never to take a car for a long ride immediately after servicing ( or even the next day ). I had an experience of being stuck between Mysore and Hunsur (on way to Coorg) at night with family in a Tata India taxi about a year ago. The reason turned out that the car was just serviced a day ago and some problem cropped up. We noticed something wrong with the car's accelaration right on Mysore road itself (before the right-turn to Hunsur), but the driver was very confident bcoz the car was just serviced.

Techno - Even I join the queue to take a printout of your original article to keep a copy in my car. Thanks for the excellent article.
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Old 21st August 2006, 23:02   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit
Sort of a percuations: Shouldn't take a car fresh out of service on a long drive. Drive it for a couple of days to make sure that everything is fine. You don't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere courtesy someone forgetting to tighten a nut!
Once after tyre rotation they had kept flat stepny, and luckily I had the punchure within city. But another time didn't face any issues.
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Old 8th September 2006, 17:28   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat
good points webjunk, thx for adding
It's Superb!
And the additional comments of Webjunk is complimentary.
Considering your age I was only thinking how you got this much experience!
And GTO's suggestion about Camera,Chargers etc are also V.Imp.

I have only one suggestion-You need not carry this- but like the Turmeric Powder,it can do the trick-it is tobacco, in any form.
In case your wipers conk off on a rainy day, buy a packet of Cigarettes and wipe the wind screen with the tobacco and water does'nt stick.
I think modern cars don' need any of this,but if u take a old Fiat then better.
Once again thanks for a wonderful posting.
Sukumar.
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Old 8th September 2006, 17:57   #58
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Thanks v_sukumar

Err umm I dont know about age but yeah the reason I could write all this due to the many highway runs that I did with my family & yes many of the safety measures mentioned are not much needed with modern cars but then posted nevertheless & yes thanks for the additional points
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Old 13th November 2006, 17:15   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks
My local mechanic assures me that the battery will not conk out while the car engine is running and has advised me not to switch off the engine during the drive, say, at signals. .
It is not correct that the battery would not conk out while the engine is running. The thing is, even if the battery dies, you wont be affected as long as the engine is running. If by chance the engine gets switched off, you end up being stranded. Believe me.....this has happened to me . It is always advisible to change the battery before the inevitable happens.
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Old 17th June 2007, 22:43   #60
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Default Spare coolant bottle?

Hi
I used to carry a bottle of coolant in my car but recently when my mechanic (educated and Maruti authorised) saw this he said you should never add new coolant to the coolant chamber in case you find the level has dropped. Not even the same brand and exactly the same grade. He explained that once a coolant is being used in the car, its viscosity (stickiness) changes and the viscosity of the new coolant, even if it is the same brand and same grade, will not match with the one that is inside the chamber. So either you completely drain out the existing coolant and fill afresh with new coolant or if you are in the middle of nowhere you add distilled water and try to reach a proper service station where they will change the coolant and check why it had gone down.
Ever since I heard this I keep two bottles of distilled water in the boot (unused so far).
He said viscosity mismatch is an issue with engine oil as well. However, in an emergency you can add fresh engine oil in the chamber, but you must inspect why the engine oil level went down in the first place, get it fixed and then go for an oil change.
I would add one other item from my next trip - a plastic bucket and a mug. This we learnt after my car was parked out in the open in Darjeeling for four days. We washed it near a stream and a bucket and mug would have helped immensely which we did not have. We had to manage it with PET bottles.
Another lesson - check the wiper blades thoroughly and junk it before you realise in the middle of a thunderstorm that it is scratching the windscreen because the rubber is coming off. I am going to keep a spare pair during my long drives from now on.
On a really remote drive you should carry some spares like headlight bulbs, fuses, fan belts or even shocks (in Raid-De-Himalaya they advise you to carry shocks for your car and two spare wheels). The logic is even if you can't replace them yourself, you will most likely find a mechanic who can do the job if he had the right spare.
Sudipto
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