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Old 31st March 2010, 17:55   #1
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Default Hot Summer Traffic Jams : Be Prepared

Thanks to the Delhi Government's short sightedness on the Outer Ring Road and the single carriage flyover constructed near Munirka and pedestrian traffic lights at IIT, I have been stuck in traffic jam 3 times in the last 3 days. The narrow road coupled with ignorant road users adds to the chaos. Here is what I mean :

On the road today, The traffic started crawling from IIT Hostel Flyover. I saw 2 Maruti 800s,1 Hyundai Santro, 1 Honda City and 1 Ford Ikon with flashing hazard lights, and open radiators. In my rear view Mirror I saw a truck go from Ok to junk on the incline of a flyover in traffic. Later on at the next red light a school cab Maruti Omni went kaput. I thanked God for letting my 15 year old Maruti have the strength to move on.

In between all this I had noticed one thing, in bumper to bumper traffic, my temperature gauge almost redlined, I was shocked and quickly turned off the AC. And as soon as I turned it off, the temperature gauge returned to normal in a minute or two.

So I came up with a small checklist for summer traffic jams, other BHPians may join in :

@mods - if its been done before, please merge this.

1. Get your AC serviced so that load on engine is reduced when you are running the AC. Also ensure coolant etc. are topped up. If possible, get a regular servicing done to avoid nasty summer breakdowns.

2. While in bumper to bumper traffic, keep an eye on the temperature gauge, especially if running with the AC on. Even sedans can overheat in Delhi's barbaric heat. I was almost a victim of this phenomena.

3. Keep water bottles underneath the seats in your car, this would help in case of overheating of engine. A rule to remember is never to open the radiator coolant cap when its hot. Might help to pour cool water (if available in excess) to cool the radiator before filling it in also.

4. Do not switch off ignition, while it may sound bad that you arent saving fuel, its better than not being able to bring the engine to life again and adding to the chaos. Idling does not cause the temperature of the engine to rise rapidly.

Experienced BHPians may add to the points or correct me
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Old 31st March 2010, 17:58   #2
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Excellent tips f1head. Can we include 'Avoid Overinflate of tyres' ?
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Old 31st March 2010, 18:02   #3
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Nip the devil in the bud. Plan to avoid B2B traffic as much as possible. Nowadays lots of folks also try to start early. Keep that in mind when you start early. Also the time to leave should be something which you not loose sight off.
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Old 31st March 2010, 18:04   #4
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Excellent post F1 Head. to add to your point and Para_7k point -

* Do not Fill petrol in the morning. try to fill petrol late in the evening or early morning when the temperature is low.

* Do not fill air in your tyres during the afternoon. Do it when the ambient temperature is low.

* If your car stalls in the middle of the road, try to move it to the sides. This will avoid unnecessary traffic jams and hardship to others. remember to switch on your hazard light to indcate the other motorists.

* Always have the emergency contact numbers of your A.S.S with you.

Last edited by ElantraGT : 31st March 2010 at 18:06.
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Old 1st April 2010, 01:14   #5
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One very important tip which I have been following for a while now : WORK FROM HOME
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Old 1st April 2010, 13:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1head View Post
3. Keep water bottles underneath the seats in your car, this would help in case of overheating of engine. A rule to remember is never to open the radiator coolant cap when its hot. Might help to pour cool water (if available in excess) to cool the radiator before filling it in also.

4. Do not switch off ignition, while it may sound bad that you arent saving fuel, its better than not being able to bring the engine to life again and adding to the chaos. Idling does not cause the temperature of the engine to rise rapidly.
Hey buddy, sure is an interesting thread! My two cents regarding the above 2 points.

1. Never keep water bottles under the seats. It's a recipe for inviting disaster. What if a bottle rolls over to the front driver side and lodges below the brake pedal? Always keep the bottles in the seat pockets or in the boot.

2. Saving fuel is very important. Instead of not turning off the ignition, one should maintain her/his rides so that it restarts after killing the ignition. Idling is definitely a bad thing to do, unless you don't wanna switch off the A/C, which is pretty much the case in Delhi's summer.
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Old 1st April 2010, 14:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1head View Post
3. Keep water bottles underneath the seats in your car, this would help in case of overheating of engine. A rule to remember is never to open the radiator coolant cap when its hot. Might help to pour cool water (if available in excess) to cool the radiator before filling it in also.

4. Do not switch off ignition, while it may sound bad that you arent saving fuel, its better than not being able to bring the engine to life again and adding to the chaos. Idling does not cause the temperature of the engine to rise rapidly.
Regarding 3 above.
Do not pour cold water into a heated radiator. Aluminum does not react favourably to sudden changes in temperature and you may end up with a cracked cylinder head. Use water at ambient temperature. Yes it will be hot to touch but will still be at a lower temperature than the coolant itself.

4. above +1
Switching off would mean the cooling fans also stops and this adds to further rise in coolant temperature as the heat exchange rate goes down. To do your bit for the environment one can switch off the a/c compressor and make do with whatever cool air the blower throws out. Once you start moving re-engage the compressor or use it intermittently if still stuck in a jam.
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:16   #8
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Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Hey buddy, sure is an interesting thread! My two cents regarding the above 2 points.

1. Never keep water bottles under the seats. It's a recipe for inviting disaster. What if a bottle rolls over to the front driver side and lodges below the brake pedal? Always keep the bottles in the seat pockets or in the boot.

2. Saving fuel is very important. Instead of not turning off the ignition, one should maintain her/his rides so that it restarts after killing the ignition. Idling is definitely a bad thing to do, unless you don't wanna switch off the A/C, which is pretty much the case in Delhi's summer.
Nice interpretations

1. Nice point here, one can probably keep the bottles under the passenger seat from the back side. I meant that water itself wouldnt be boiling if you park the car in sun. I keep 2 1 litre bottles under the passenger seat.

2. I disagree with 2, I usually switch off at all traffic lights if time >40 seconds, but switching off in a traffic jam can be messy if the car refuses to start again. Such a thing can happen to well maintained cars also. And if it happens it causes even more fuel wastage as the jam will further slow down. Just my 2 cents. Idling + AC + Bumper to Bumper traffic is a super recipe for disaster in terms of engine temperature.
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:23   #9
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Folks, is there a relation between engine over heating and the outside temperature especially in B2B traffic when there is not much airflow?

Here again in this thread, the first post says

"I saw 2 Maruti 800s,1 Hyundai Santro, 1 Honda City and 1 Ford Ikon with flashing hazard lights, and open radiators"
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:36   #10
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Yes, when the vehicle is moving the incoming air allows for rapid heat exchange thereby it helps the cooling system in keeping the engine temp in control. Once the vehicle is in a BtoB traffic the cooling system is on its own in forcing the air across the radiator by running the fan, since the incoming current of air is no longer there to share the load. Thereby the heat exchange rate drops and you will observe this on the temp gauge with some movement of the needle towards H. Now when the outside temperature is already high like in summers the heat exchange is slowed down even further thereby overloading the cooling systems in some cases resulting in the stalled vehicles.

Last edited by khoj : 1st April 2010 at 15:44.
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Old 1st April 2010, 15:42   #11
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Great thread F1head !!!

I agree with all the points that fellow BHPians have pointed out.

+1 ::: In a bumper to bumper traffic, keep at least a meters distance if not a 2m distance from the car in front, cooler and cleaner air in front helps, instead hot and dirty air being directly blown into your car from the exhaust of the car in front.

@ F1head ::: Regarding the route ( same to what I use for my daily commuting ) you mentioned, its dirty, the one-way flyover at Munirka is the culprit. As somebody mentioned try adjusting your travel times, if possible, it makes a hufe difference, see below :

if I leave Kalkaji past 0830 it takes me 1h30mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )
if I leave Kalkaji past 0800 it takes me 1h00mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )
if I leave Kalkaji past 0730 it takes me 0h45mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )

It really helps if you have that much of flexibility
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Old 1st April 2010, 18:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1head View Post

2. I disagree with 2, I usually switch off at all traffic lights if time >40 seconds, but switching off in a traffic jam can be messy if the car refuses to start again. Such a thing can happen to well maintained cars also. And if it happens it causes even more fuel wastage as the jam will further slow down. Just my 2 cents. Idling + AC + Bumper to Bumper traffic is a super recipe for disaster in terms of engine temperature.
Yeah I think I went kinda out of context. In a B2B traffic, it won't be a good thing to switch off the engine.
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Old 1st April 2010, 18:34   #13
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Originally Posted by Bubby View Post
@ F1head ::: Regarding the route ( same to what I use for my daily commuting ) you mentioned, its dirty, the one-way flyover at Munirka is the culprit. As somebody mentioned try adjusting your travel times, if possible, it makes a hufe difference, see below :

if I leave Kalkaji past 0830 it takes me 1h30mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )
if I leave Kalkaji past 0800 it takes me 1h00mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )
if I leave Kalkaji past 0730 it takes me 0h45mins to reach work ( Gurgaon )

It really helps if you have that much of flexibility
Yeah, today it took me only 40 minutes due to zero autorickshaws , I goto college hence I do not have that much flexibility, but since its final semester, I can make the time to what I want :P

this particular jam was caused due to this :
Engineer mows down MCD staffer - Delhi - City - The Times of India

It was on the way back from college at around 1:30pm and the jam caused most of the ill-maintained cars to breakdown in super heat.
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Old 1st April 2010, 19:31   #14
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What about cars that dont have the temperature gauge??.. How to avoid the disaster?
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Old 2nd April 2010, 23:18   #15
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1) Never open radiator cap when the radiator is hot. Never ever do that. If opened, the coolant + water mixture will sprout up in the air. Its very very hot and can lead to even serious burns. I have seen disasters due to this. Over smart guys open the hood to impress others and open up this cap after putting handkerchief or some cloth on the cap as the cap is too hot to touch.

2) Apart from pouring in water, is it not necessary to mix coolant also ?

3) We are yet to face overheating in Baleno. If ignition timing is wrong, then M800 faces this overheating issue. Other wise, no overheating issues in Bumper to bumper traffic even in A'bad. The temp gauge will not move above half mark in Baleno and in M800, irrespective of season, max is slightly above half mark. I fail to understand how modern cars face this overheating issue.

4) Lack of temp gauge is wrong thing, specially in Indian conditions. I think ARAI must make it a rule to offer temperature gauge, may be even digital.
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