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Old 16th March 2005, 21:23   #1
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Exclamation ... And suddenly the gearbox hit the roof!!!

Well, here I am again, with the follow up of the fisrt one...
This incident occoured about four and a half years ago. This is why I had to get my engine replaced.

The Cars:
Honda City 1.5 EXi driven by: My dad.
Opel Astra(with a TC!!!) driven by: My Cousin.
Stretch: Mysore Road Highway(Which NH is it, btw??!)

We were all coming back to B'lore after a really nice trip to Mangalore, and we decided to stop at Mysore for a while. By the time we got back on the road, it had become evening, and we were pressed for time - dad had an important meeting - so we decided to take thee roads a bit quick. In no time we were out of Mysore, and were heading back owards Bangalore in formation (Honda then Astra), cruising at about 120km/h on a ssparsely populated stretch of road. There were a few other vehicles doing roughly 100-110 km/h there as well, so it was a very leisurely sort of drive. Soon it becomes night, but we keep going at pretty much the same speed, slowing down only when there's a curve or a road sign.
We're doing 110 now, and everything looks great, when alll of a sudden this Sonata that we're just behind brakes and takes a REALLY SHARP QUICK LEFT. Dad swerves wildly to the right, then back on the right side of the road. Before we could even recover from that incident out of nowhere we see tons of smoke, and a fire on the sidee of the road.
We slow down, because there's mild visibility(30-35m) and we can just see a truck thats broken down. Theres absolutely no oncoming traffic, so we gain speed again - from about 80 to 100 - and prepare to pass the truck.
Just as we reach the truck, we suddenly see that the driver has kept stones marking the truck - BANG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. And these aren't small ones iether - they're like uncut ROCKS that come upto half the wheel height. Without any time to do anything, dad slams hard on the brakes, forcing the tyres to slip, and we run straight over the rocks. I',m sitting in the passengers seat, and I feel the rock denting the undercarraige after a horrific sound - like someone using a jagged blade to slice through steel. The whole car shakes, and the engine doessn't stall or stop, it just dies. Behing the scene is no better - my cousin brakes hard too (and he's got Brembos, but pathetic suspention), so the whole car starts to lean forward. In the rearview mirror, I literally see the impact and his tyres jump up out of contact.
Finally, both cars come to a standstill (one way or another) and we all get out. First everyone from my car gets out, and then we all go to his car. First thing he does is he opens the door, and hands me the gear lever - THE ENTIRE GEAR LEVER BROKE AS HE WAS ENGINE BRAKING WHEN IT HIT THE ENGINE. Luckily no one is hurt. Suddenly the truck driver comes out, and he gets screamed at by dad and my cousin. The guy lit a fire, and blew all the smoke onto the road sso we could see nothing! On furthur inspectio, the Astra's enine had come loose, and was now hanging at an odd angle. I removed the mats from my car, and I could see a long line where the rockss had pushd the undercarraige up, just in between where my legs had been a few seconds ago. Phew. We opened my bonnet, adn the engine looked fine, apart from tons of smoke. We looked under the car, and got a huge shock. There was a clean cut right doun the engine - amd when I mean cut, I mean the engine had been SLICED OPEN by the rocks. That pretty much explained the sudden death of the engine.
Luckily Insurance covered ALL of it, except 10K, but heck, with total repairs hitting 6-odd Lakh, we didn't mind!! It mainly went towards buying a new engine, as this one had been totaled.

Scary incident, and luckily no one got hurt too bad. My cousin got a cut on his hand from the lever poppng out, but that was all. I love my Honda - the cabin stayed enclosed, albeit a bit re-shaped !!
I have learnt to never trust any Indian road like that again - not much light, and no one around - thats when I get extra cautious.
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Old 16th March 2005, 21:36   #2
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good that u all were saved.
but here is another lesson to learn.even though the trucker is to be blamed ,the persons driving the cars are also equally at fault.had they slowed down on seeing the truck and driven carefully taking the smoke into consideration ,maybe the damage would have been less or maybe the accident would not have place at all.


drive safe.
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Old 16th March 2005, 21:38   #3
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God that must have been scary. Such stuff do happen often. My friend's brand new optra met with a similar fate. He said but only the clutch casing was cracked. But that cost him some cool 2 lakhs above. Again since it was a brand new one (2 weeks at that time) insurance covered the entire amount.
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Old 16th March 2005, 21:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
good that u all were saved.
but here is another lesson to learn.even though the trucker is to be blamed ,the persons driving the cars are also equally at fault.had they slowed down on seeing the truck and driven carefully taking the smoke into consideration ,maybe the damage would have been less or maybe the accident would not have place at all.
Ya, sorry, I forgot to mention that in the write-up...

Ouch. The after sales of Chevy's seem pretty expensive...
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Old 16th March 2005, 22:08   #5
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Thank god you all survived that accident. I have a thumb rule for speeding, I got to have my visibility distance longer than my braking distance. My speed is always proportional to the visibility, which means I never speed in dark roads no matter how deserted it looks.

The stopped trucks with stones all around them are one of the most dangerous features of Indian roads.

When I hear all these kids racing in the night at 150+ speeds on Bangalore roads, I remind myself not to venture out after mid night.

Yes, I need my adrenaline rush, but not at the cost my life or others. I get my adrenaline rush via martial arts which is much safer than drag racing in streets.
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Old 16th March 2005, 23:11   #6
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that was one bad incident maan!!! thank god no one was hurt .........

but yeah the speeds that both cars were carrying should have been less..atleast after that swerve to the right ..when the sonata moved out ! that should have been the waning to slow and cool it for a while....

anyways ...thank god its all over without major injuries...

now drive safe .......

ps- u say u get xtra cautious when no one is around and no lights still u race at nites on bald tyres after this ? one brave guy u r !!

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 17th March 2005 at 06:50.
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Old 16th March 2005, 23:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai
I got to have my visibility distance longer than my braking distance.
One of the best comment I've heard so far. Thanks Samurai. This should a be part of driving instruction in anywhere in this world
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Old 17th March 2005, 01:20   #8
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Lightbulb careful......

What Luck you guys made it out unhurt

but it seems to be your fault mainly since you people did not stop or slow down enough to see it especially since the smoke was there

but then we all learn from mistakes
so will you and many of us...

Drive safe.......
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Old 17th March 2005, 03:05   #9
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Oh man, what a scary story?? 1st time i've heard of such damage to cars. Did this incident take place recently? One would have expected you to slow down after encountering the Sonata but we only notice these things in hindsight. I disagree with Vance that it was mainly aveek's fault. True that he should have been travelling much slower but why did the driver place huge rocks on the road? And since passing cars were hit, i am guessing the rocks must have been placed pretty far into the other lane. If he wanted to warn others, then why not just turn on the parking and emergency lights (assuming that they were functional). Anyways, all we can do is learn from others' mistakes. Good to hear that hardly any injuries were suffered and that the financial burden was born by the insurance company. Just out of curiousity, did the insurance company co-operate and how willing were they to spend 6L on the repairs?
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Old 17th March 2005, 09:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeps
True that he should have been travelling much slower but why did the driver place huge rocks on the road? And since passing cars were hit, i am guessing the rocks must have been placed pretty far into the other lane. If he wanted to warn others, then why not just turn on the parking and emergency lights (assuming that they were functional).
We talking about semi-literate truck drivers here. Most of them don't care about the other drivers. They just want to make sure nobody hits them by placing those rocks. As we all know in any long drive in India it is normal to come across at least 3-4 trucks broken down with such rocks around them. We just have to be ready for it.

Thanks Rudra, you are probably right. I've had this thumb rule for a very long time, I don't really remember whether I made it up or someone told me.
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Old 17th March 2005, 09:47   #11
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Read the road - if there is a truck - ensure that you have a clearance of 2 car widths

Anyway, road races are futile unless you were in Melbourne a few weeks ago or Monaco next month when the roads areclosed specifically for the race
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Old 17th March 2005, 10:12   #12
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hey thats one hellraiser.!!!
why did you accept a new engine only. should have claimed total loss. you have damaged the engine, the under chassis and the cabin they HAVE to give you a new car. that acr will be pretty unsafe and unstable now.
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Old 17th March 2005, 11:05   #13
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Woah man,
Good to hear that all are unhurt.. Thank God..
But like others said this is a common site(trucks parked on highways with stones around or small branches with leaves sticking out of them..
They are to be blamed but u gotto expect these stuff here..
Definetly the cars should have slowed down when u guys saw the smoke... All are at fault..

So hope its a lesseon learnt and taken care of and also the words of wisdom by samurai is so very right..

_Drive safe_
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Old 17th March 2005, 11:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen
One of the best comment I've heard so far. Thanks Samurai. This should a be part of driving instruction in anywhere in this world

Hey Rudra & Samurai,

That is a part of the driving instruction in most places around the world, although its kinda phrased differently - When driving at night (this applies mostly to well constructed freeways and not indian roads), your braking distance should be less than the distance of projection of your headlamps.

cya
R
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Old 17th March 2005, 17:01   #15
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Thanks everyone.. yeah, I know it was my fault too... should have slowed down, but the last thing that you wopuld expect on pretty much the other side f the road is rocks. And its not like they formed a rectangle around the truck, which would definitely have warned us (we were looking out for those, but didn't find them near the truck, so assumed it was safe...) and we'd have probably saved ourselves a lot of damage... but yeah, all this only seems to hit you in hindsight...

Quote:
Originally Posted by normally_crazy
that was one bad incident maan!!! thank god no one was hurt .........

but yeah the speeds that both cars were carrying should have been less..atleast after that swerve to the right ..when the sonata moved out ! that should have been the waning to slow and cool it for a while....

anyways ...thank god its all over without major injuries...

now drive safe .......

ps- u say u get xtra cautious when no one is around and no lights still u race at nites on bald tyres after this ? one brave guy u r !!
Hehe... yeah, its a sorta contradiction in itself, but hey... I'm alive, getting new treads (decided to get GIIIs... pilots can wait till dad decides to buy them...), and the journey should be much safer from now on...

[quote=iceman91]hey thats one hellraiser.!!!
why did you accept a new engine only. should have claimed total loss. you have damaged the engine, the under chassis and the cabin they HAVE to give you a new car. that acr will be pretty unsafe and unstable now.[/UNQUOTE]

Well, the company was least co-operative... I mean, who the heck wants to part with 6 LAKH??!! There was some controversy over wht happened, which is why we couldn't claim total loss. We had to settle fot the eninge replacement, and the damaged part of the chassis got fixed. Ya, the car becomes unstable at around 170-180, but then again, who drives it at that speed?? Especially with the tyres that I had!! The only time I did hit it was when I was dragging with a friend - straight line... was worrried the car would lose it if I turned, so eased off pretty quick...
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