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Old 23rd May 2011, 20:49   #1
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Default Emergency Driving - Without engine power

What do you do when you have loss of engine power? This thread will share technique of emergency driving without engine.

Now there is no magic in driving without engine. The procedure is simple and often is called getting towed. But there is a whole lot of things that you should be aware of when you have to get driven without engine power of your own car.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 22:31   #2
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine

Interesting topic. Though I'd suggest you change the title to read "... Without engine running" or "..Without engine power" . Current is a bit shocking.

Actually had to once get towed in our Tata Sierra behind a 407 truck for about 70 kms at 1 in the night. We were being towed by a chain so there was no way of maintaining distance from the truck in case of braking. Thing to note here is that with the engine off, the Sierra's brakes and steering become rather useless and with a maniac as a truck driver, it was a nightmare. Unfortunately there was no way of conveying it to him either. Was just glad to reach home that night. Alive.

Looking forward to your inputs.

Cheers,
Adi
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Old 23rd May 2011, 22:54   #3
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine

Looking forward to reading the pearls of wisdom shared here! Although I carry a tow rope in all my cars; haven't had the oppourtunity to use them (thank god!!) apart from once when I helped out a lady in a broken-down Accent.

Last edited by nkapoor777 : 23rd May 2011 at 22:56.
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Old 23rd May 2011, 23:10   #4
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine

I once towed my morris minor using my m800.
My mechanic was in the morris. I was driving the m800.

The kind of drifting that occurs in the lighter tow car needs to be experienced to be believed. Key thing was to never accelerate hard.
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Old 24th May 2011, 00:09   #5
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
... Key thing was to never accelerate hard.
Similarly, never brake hard or follow a steady slow pace. I believe Sudev will explain the whole(other/additional) points much better than I can.
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Old 24th May 2011, 02:47   #6
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
What do you do when you have loss of engine power? This thread will share technique of emergency driving without engine.

Now there is no magic in driving without engine. The procedure is simple and often is called getting towed. But there is a whole lot of things that you should be aware of when you have to get driven without engine power of your own car.
ROLF reading the title.
Is this a sequel to the previous posts "Emergency Driving - Without clutch / brakes"

Jokes apart, when driving downhill without engine power, or being towed, the ignition key needs to be inserted and SWITCHED ON, else your steering will get locked with a 30 degrees turn either way. I had a real nasty experience after foolishly removing the ignition key while being towed.

If the battery is good then EPS will assist the steering however this depends on the car make and model. Cars with hydraulic steering are much more difficult to steer with a dead battery or ignition OFF.

Brakes too will not work, they too are hydraulic on all cars. Don't even attempt to brake, it's futile. You are max 20/30 feets behind the vehicle in front so keep a sharp eye on the distance and the slackening of the rope.
Keep one hand on the hand-brake, just in case;
Be ready to engage the 2nd or the 3rd gear to control the speed if you notice the rope slackening suddenly. If engaging gears, release the clutch slowly to avoid jerks that may break the rope. Do not attempt to engage the 1st gear since you won't be able to and will cause damage to the gears

Keep windows open, fasten seat belts, turn on emergency blinkers. When being towed memorize or save the mobile number of the person towing your car and keep in touch.

Last edited by Chewbacca : 24th May 2011 at 03:14.
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Old 24th May 2011, 07:27   #7
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Default

Ohhh the minds and power of mods. The title is changed and so some fun is lost. But let that be.

Obvious that the car with out engine(power) will have to be moved with other means. Tow is most likely. Coasting downhill may be option in rarest of cases statistically speaking (just try computing probability of engine failure when going downhill).

First you need to determine what is cause of engine failure and state of vehicle. Sometimes towing should not be done and only a crane or flat bed carry away truck is the option.

Already we have a few pointers building up.
Leave the keys inserted to prevent steering lock.
Have mobile number of other guy (tow'er or towee).
Keeping windows open.
Turn on emergency blinkers.

Please pour in your experiences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
When being towed memorize or save the mobile number of the person towing your car and keep in touch.
I'd say establish clear means of communications. Instead of mobile I'd say use hand signals. Clearly establish what means what and make sure the other guy has understood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Is this a sequel to the previous posts "Emergency Driving - Without clutch / brakes"
Not really but more like series of threads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
Similarly, never brake hard or follow a steady slow pace.
Errrr...you mean? OR ?? I would use AND!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
The kind of drifting that occurs in the lighter tow car needs to be experienced to be believed. Key thing was to never accelerate hard.
Neither brake hard. Yes this is vital for the tow'er

Quote:
Originally Posted by nkapoor777 View Post
...apart from once when I helped out a lady in a broken-down Accent.
At risk of being called MCP - expect you'd be always around when ladies need help.

POINT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR View Post
Interesting topic. Though I'd suggest you change the title to read "... Without engine running" or "..Without engine power" . Current is a bit shocking.
COUNTERPOINT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
... ROLF reading the title.
...

Last edited by GTO : 25th May 2011 at 12:54. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another!
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Old 24th May 2011, 09:37   #8
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Date: June 2009
Place: Just before Nakeela on return for Leh
Problem: One of the Scorpio's in our convoy bust a fan belt, and we had no usable spare! (We had one spare, but of an older model Scorpio).

I have a 4x4 Scorpio and a 5-ton tow cable. Hitched that up to the other Scorpio and towed it up past Nakeela and to the top of Gata Loops, driving slowly, with headlights & blinkers on.

Communication was by means of short-range radio between cars and by horn. One long beep from towed car = stop. Two short beeps from towed car = ready to move.

At the top of Gata Loops, we disengaged the tow strap and then let the crippled car go down Gata Loops slowly in 1st / 2nd gear using full engine braking (as the brakes lose power assist when the belt snaps). Since it was all downhill, the engine did not overheat, as it was barely above idle speeds.

Once we reached the bottom of Gata, we'd let the crippled Scorpio drive a little till the engine began to overheat. Then we'd stop and tow for a few kilometres (mainly on uphill slopes).

Repeat the process several times (very tiring) till we reached Sarchu (about 42 km) and then left the Scorpio there while we proceeded to Jispa. Next day we got a mechanic from Keylong, went back to Sarchu, got a right-size spare belt sent down from Leh and fixed it.

All in all that was some heavy-duty towing experience, especially since it was across one of the world's highest passes!

Cheers,
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Old 24th May 2011, 15:43   #9
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Already we have a few pointers building up.
Leave the keys inserted to prevent steering lock.
Have mobile number of other guy (tow'er or towee).
Keeping windows open.
Turn on emergency blinkers.

Please pour in your experiences.
Ask us jeepers. Have been towed or have towed numerous cars that have broken down.

Tips:

Always keep a whistle. Once i had an electrical fire in the jeep and landed up without a horn. While getting towed, many a times bikers would try to squeeze in. Luckily i bought a whistle on the way and could warn them off.

We always carry a sticker which says "On Tow" which should be pasted behind your car (which is being towed) which will also have a diagrammatic representation of the vehicle being towed.

Come to a mutual understanding of hand / other signals that the driver of the towed and towing vehicle will give each other. The towing vehicle driver should always have one eye on the rear view mirror.
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Old 24th May 2011, 18:45   #10
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

This is Teun with his ride called Sulky.

He is from Amsterdam and is on a tour all the way to Myanmar in his Sulky. I worked on his ride for a burnt starter when he was in Pune.
One of his experiences...
His car stalled on a highway somewhere in Iran. He got a pickup truck driver to tow it. This truck guy gradually went on increasing speed even though he was warned against doing so. At 60kmph, Sulky started wobbling. Teun tried to signal the driver by honking and flashing lights but in vain. In a few moments the car toppled and was dragged on the highway for 100 meters. Luckily there were no serious injuries. The carrier on the car opened and all the stuff was scattered accross the road.
Though the cars we drive wont face such situatuion, I still thought of sharing this experience.
The damage can be seen all over the right side of the car.
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Last edited by Tejas Ingle : 24th May 2011 at 18:47. Reason: Additional text
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Old 24th May 2011, 19:04   #11
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Sudev sir is coming with some serious emergency topics these days, lolz.
Scenario: Snowed in Changla, a gypsy that refuses to climb any slope greater than 5 degrees, weather packing in, daylight fading quickly.
No other vehicle in sight untill a local Scorpio comes along. Refuses outrightly to tow on those slopes that too up hill. After a lot of persuasions and cajoling it still doesn't get the required result. But we stall the gypsy in such a manner that the scorpio cant sidestep. We give him two options: Tow us or stay the night with us on the slopes. He says he can go back to TCP to report a breakdown and get us a recovery vehicle who will come since it is a fauji gypsy. We say no, the help had already been declined thanks to our larger than life egos and there was now way we were going to have a smirking havildar tow us up to Changla, not on our dead bodies.
After 30 minutes as the light faded and his passengers groaned in protests he relented. Towing a gypsy with 4 adults and enough ration and stuff to feed a platoon with a Scorpio having 4 adults on a wet slushy slope at 10K is no mean thing. 4 times he stalled and burned his clutch trying to get the vehicles moving. he was also afraid as the thing (it cant be called as a rope) with which the tow was beign done was about 6 feet in length and after tying around the tow hooks left almost nothing to imagination between the two bumpers. Anyway the scorpio's driver door was kept open as he was given direct instructions on how to let the clutch slip slightly and then pick up momentum on those slopes. The instructor had to then run and clamber aboard the moving gypsy, a small feat in itself at those heights. But once we got started there was literally a lot of looking back. I was half afraid that he is going to drive over the cliff with us in tow as he spent more time looking back at us than the road ahead. Managed to reach changla and the guy didnot even wait for us to untangle the thread before he sped off. But key points on slopes whether you are beign towed or towing:-
1. Ensure both vehicles have tyre restraints to prevent them from rolling backwards.
2. If possible keep as much as a short rope between the two vehicles as you can dare and afford.
3. Ensure there is no slack at the intial roll out and the two rope is taut.
4. Some amount of clutch is slipped.
5. Load in the towed vehicle to be kept at minimum possible during the initial start.
6. Devise hand/audio signals for slowdowns and sharp turns.
7. Drive very slow and it helps if the driver up ahead has an arm resting on the window ledge and his neck occasionally careened outside to check the progress sideways.
8. Let the rear vehicle stop before the lead vehicle applies the brakes, better hand eye coordination required.
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Old 24th May 2011, 19:14   #12
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Sorry for the strict OT.
Mods: Please delete/remove this post, if it doesn't belong here (obviously it doesn't). But I hope not to get any infractions for this. The only reason for me to post this here is that I did not see any topic with the heading "Emergency Driving - Without Accelerator"

After reading lots of threads about emergency driving without engine power, clutch, brakes etc., I am totally offended by not seeing a thread for "Emergency Driving - Without Accelerator", which our hero Vijay has done superbly and has even won a race.!!

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Old 25th May 2011, 06:36   #13
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

@callvvijay : So what prevented you from starting a new thread "Emergency Driving - Without accelerator"?? LOL
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Old 25th May 2011, 13:48   #14
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Brakes too will not work, they too are hydraulic on all cars. Don't even attempt to brake, it's futile. You are max 20/30 feets behind the vehicle in front so keep a sharp eye on the distance and the slackening of the rope.
Keep one hand on the hand-brake, just in case;
Be ready to engage the 2nd or the 3rd gear to control the speed if you notice the rope slackening suddenly. If engaging gears, release the clutch slowly to avoid jerks that may break the rope. Do not attempt to engage the 1st gear since you won't be able to and will cause damage to the gears

Keep windows open, fasten seat belts, turn on emergency blinkers. When being towed memorize or save the mobile number of the person towing your car and keep in touch.
So handbrakes are the only option when being towed (besides engine braking)? What is different about handbrake mechanicals compared to pedal breaks? Dont they pull on the same brake drum wire?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tejas Ingle View Post
This is Teun with his ride called Sulky.

He is from Amsterdam and is on a tour all the way to Myanmar in his Sulky. I worked on his ride for a burnt starter when he was in Pune.
One of his experiences...
His car stalled on a highway somewhere in Iran. He got a pickup truck driver to tow it. This truck guy gradually went on increasing speed even though he was warned against doing so. At 60kmph, Sulky started wobbling. Teun tried to signal the driver by honking and flashing lights but in vain. In a few moments the car toppled and was dragged on the highway for 100 meters. Luckily there were no serious injuries. The carrier on the car opened and all the stuff was scattered accross the road.
Though the cars we drive wont face such situatuion, I still thought of sharing this experience.
The damage can be seen all over the right side of the car.

What happened to Teun who was in the car? I mean what kind of minor injuries did he suffer?

PS: Also waiting for the next thread - "Emergency Driving without Wheels..." <Koff!> <Koff!>

--Ragul

Last edited by Ragul : 25th May 2011 at 13:49.
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Old 25th May 2011, 14:09   #15
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Default Re: Emergency Driving - Without engine power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
So handbrakes are the only option when being towed (besides engine braking)? What is different about handbrake mechanicals compared to pedal breaks? Dont they pull on the same brake drum wire?
The brake pedals work hyraulically. That is the brakes are activated by hydraulic pressure. They are assisted by boosers which apply the braking force and the driver applies a very little force. The hand brake works mechanically, which are activated by cables. Hence when the engine is not running, the booster is not working leading to ineffective braking. The mechanical hand brake can be used to control the speed at this time. Besides the main pedal brake is applied to all four wheels. The hand brake is applied to the rear wheels only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
What happened to Teun who was in the car? I mean what kind of minor injuries did he suffer?
Teun suffered a few scatches from a broken window glass. He was able to walk out of the car. Started a new thread. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...e-journey.html

Last edited by Tejas Ingle : 25th May 2011 at 14:12.
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