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Old 24th October 2008, 13:49   #1
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Default Is there an art/science of driving over different types of potholes?

Let's face it. Potholes are a reality and one can't wish them away.

They come in all shapes, sizes, stretches and configurations. All of us would have driven in almost all different types of potholes and would have figured out our own ways of how best to tackle them.

The question I have is:

Is there a an 'art/science' involved on how best to drive over potholes -- apart from the obvious one of 'slow down and drive carefully' ?

Here is my experience of the negotiating various types of potholes (based on driving Gypsy/Palio):

Pothole type: inverted speedhump that runs through out the road .
Driving Experience:
1. Slow Speeds: You can easily take this one on but one has to be careful about the front bumper as it can scrape at times (especially if one has skirtings in the bumper)

2. Moderate Speeds: Causes a loud 'thud' sound and jarrs the bones and gives the whole suspension a workout

3. Fast: If you just whizz past, then I have observed that nothing happens. It seems like that the pothole (inverted speed hump) was just not there.

Pothole type: A pothole on one side of the vehicle.
Driving experience: Almost same as above. However, one would feel the pothole even while driving fast through 'steering' feedback.

Pothole type: A road that is simply full of small/medium potholes (the tarmac has peeled of exposing the foundation)
Driving Experience:
1. Slow Speeds: You do feel the potholes and this just irritates the hell out of you. You are continuously steering all over to find suitable potholes to drive over.

2. Moderate Speeds: Same as above, but the 'steering part' reduces. This does give some workout to your suspensions.

3. Fast: In the Palio, I seem to glide over but in Gypsy you still feel the potholes to a great degree. I don't know what the long term effects would be to the suspensions here.

Pothole Type: Beginning of layers of tarmac -- one top of other (this is not exactly a pothole but kind of a 'step' on tarmac).
Driving Experience: At all speeds this hits your vehicle hard. Best approached at very slow speeds. At high speeds it just jarrs your body and whole vehicle.
Apart from above, I have also observed that the shape of the pothole and the direction in which you are driving matters. For example if the pothole entry is 'lower' than the 'exit' of the pothole then one needs to be extra careful while driving fast/moderate speeds.


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Old 24th October 2008, 14:27   #2
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In cars you will also see, that when you fly and get a thunk, you end up with a bent rim, more often than not. However this is not applicable to gypsy and MUVs which have stronger rims and longer sidewalls, but in cars, its a real killer.
Every second car I see in delhi has bent rims
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Old 24th October 2008, 14:38   #3
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Interesting topic. What I normally do is to find space between two potholes, with a WagonR at my disposal in most cases you somehow find space to take your car slowly without getting into the pothole. The advantage with a small car
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Old 24th October 2008, 15:15   #4
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Best solution is to get a big car - SUV - with bigger tyres and glide over them!
that's what i used to do in my safari.
However, nothing better than slowing down and negotiating the pothole. A point to note that many a times you see a pothole at the last moment and the slowing decision will then rest at the speed and gap you have with the car behind you. Slowing down then may help avoid bent rims but will get you a broken bumper.
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Old 24th October 2008, 18:30   #5
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Get a Safari. One will suddenly wonder where all the potholes disappeared to?

And with a Palio, never speed over bad patches on roads. When the suspension gives in, it will make the wallet and calendar cry. We're stuck up with a Petra now due to unavailability of suspension spares. That too, at prohibitive prices. Ma gaawd!!

Regarding fast driving over potholes, it is going to effect the vehicle sooner or later. Broken bushes, damaged mounts, bent rods, rims, loosened shocks... list may just keep on growing. So, be careful if you love your vehicle.
But nothing of the above applicable in case of a Safari. LOL!
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Old 25th October 2008, 15:33   #6
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Default Speedbreakers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
...
[b]Is there a an 'art/science' involved on how best to drive over potholes ...
Khan_sultan,

I think there is a simple and logical way to tackle speedbreakers more effectively and comfortably (especially for passengers in the back).

This would apply for the speedbreakers that are fairly small, or a hump where they just laid some cable under the road and didnt patch it up well. Typically driven over at speeds 20km/h +


When you're a few feet away from the speedbreaker, tap the gas for less than a second. This transfers load to the rear and therefore raises the front of the car, uncompressing the front suspension a bit. Going over the speedbreaker at this point makes it a little less harsh.

Immediately after this, let of the gas (maybe even softly just tap the brake) to transfer the weight to the front and unload the rear suspension as the rear wheels travel over the speedbreaker.

Surely, this adds a little accelerate/brake movement for the passengers, but if timed right it greatly reduces the sudden up-down of the speedbreaker and therefore makes the ride over it a lot more pleasant.


Heres a related thread as well :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...fast-slow.html (How to drive on bad roads? Fast or Slow?)

cya
R
cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 25th October 2008 at 15:34.
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Old 25th October 2008, 16:44   #7
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I have observed that driving fast over broken surface can feel more confortable then driving slow.

However, the risk is if the bad road deterioates some more and you hit the potholes at 60 Km/H. Not good. So as far as possible I tend to slow down and try to crawl over them.
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Old 25th October 2008, 19:15   #8
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well ,one IMPORTANT part forget is , driving in pothole infested roads in moderate speeds with heavy traffic -for example: highways etc .
What I have learned is to drive sure in zig-zag way but without swerving too much on LHS or RHS.and to detect water filled potholes ,you have to develop a 3rd eye for sure .yeah ,experience will get you detect the water filled potholes almost accurately.
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Old 25th October 2008, 20:01   #9
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One tip probbly most people would be aware of is not to break 'in to' the pothole, rather slow down much earlier and start accelerating once in to the pothole. Same thing applies while approaching sharp speed humps also. This will reduce the impact and will help avoiding the under-body scraping.
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Old 25th October 2008, 23:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
In cars you will also see, that when you fly and get a thunk, you end up with a bent rim, more often than not. However this is not applicable to gypsy and MUVs which have stronger rims and longer sidewalls, but in cars, its a real killer.
Every second car I see in delhi has bent rims
+1

I had a similar problem on my Santro LS. I hit a pot hole on the fly which was not visible due to the shade of trees on the highway. The jarring and thunk were very well felt in the car, but later on reaching the destination, found that we had a bent rim. On enquiring at the service center, the guy just said that Santro's have soft rims sir, you should be careful on potholes!! Now i dont know what he meant by soft rims

If you are able to spot the pothole well in advance when driving, then slowing down and going over it is the best possible option to take care of the suspension as well as the passengers in the car. Else as pointed out, suspension does take a beating, if not immediately but definitely in the long run!!
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Old 25th October 2008, 23:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Khan_sultan,

When you're a few feet away from the speedbreaker, tap the gas for less than a second. This transfers load to the rear and therefore raises the front of the car, uncompressing the front suspension a bit. Going over the speedbreaker at this point makes it a little less harsh.

Immediately after this, let of the gas (maybe even softly just tap the brake) to transfer the weight to the front and unload the rear suspension as the rear wheels travel over the speedbreaker.
+1 to this. I do this as well (though never thought of it technically as put above :-) Of course, many BLR speedbreakers don't lend to any kind of driving style :-(
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Old 26th October 2008, 00:20   #12
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Best practice is to drive slow on bad roads, it will save your car from getting hurt At speedbreakers, one should go dead slow from corner such that only one side of car is on seedbreaker. This raises the car a bit saving front bumper and silencer from touching road.

There are couple of really bad speedbreakers on the way to my home, see what happened (to an unlucky guy's zen) few days back, even the oil filter was damaged causing oil to leak.

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Old 30th October 2008, 21:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hashim View Post
There are couple of really bad speedbreakers on the way to my home, see what happened (to an unlucky guy's zen) few days back, even the oil filter was damaged causing oil to leak.
The set of three speed breakers did so much damage? Was he going too fast?

Last edited by Rehaan : 1st November 2008 at 12:54. Reason: Quote fixed.
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Old 30th October 2008, 23:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post

When you're a few feet away from the speedbreaker, tap the gas for less than a second. This transfers load to the rear and therefore raises the front of the car, uncompressing the front suspension a bit. Going over the speedbreaker at this point makes it a little less harsh.

Immediately after this, let of the gas (maybe even softly just tap the brake) to transfer the weight to the front and unload the rear suspension as the rear wheels travel over the speedbreaker.

Surely, this adds a little accelerate/brake movement for the passengers, but if timed right it greatly reduces the sudden up-down of the speedbreaker and therefore makes the ride over it a lot more pleasant.

I was trying this during the day !! I think it requires a little bit of getting used to until it becomes almost a second instinct.
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Old 31st October 2008, 19:23   #15
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Default Masters Degree

You can get a masters degree in this subject, if you can practice on Karnataka roads.
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