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Old 19th May 2009, 23:07   #1
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Default Get-me-home tips in case of breakdowns

Yesterday a relative's NHC Type 3 had a clutch failure on a deserted New Delhi road at night. The hydraulics failed, and the clutch would not disengage. Got him to check the clutch oil level over the phone - the reservoir was empty, pointing to an oil leak. No petrol pump nearby, and he didn't want to abandon the car there.

Solution: I advised him to top up the reservoir with plain water. After pumping a few times, the clutch started working again, and he managed to drive the car home.

Repair: Today, he had the car checked - a leaking joint from the pipeline caused the loss of oil. The cylinders (master and slave) were fine. The whole system was flushed repeatedly with hydraulic oil, dried in the sun, the leak taken care of, and the system topped up and bleeding done. Clutch works as good as ever.

Total cost: 1 litre oil + Rs.300 labour.

Ring Road Honda told me the reapir will involve opening up the clutch plates. Estimated cost: Rs.14,000.
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Other tips which have got me home after a breakdown are:

Leaking sump after stone damage: Mix equal parts of Lifebuoy soap and and sugar into a slimy paste with a little water. Aply this to the leak and allow to set for an hour. Top up with engine oil. No leaks.

Leaking radiator: Half a teaspoon of turmeric ('haldi') powder poured into the radiator stops minor leaks. Top up with water if coolant is not available.
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Old 19th May 2009, 23:49   #2
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I advised him to top up the reservoir with plain water. After pumping a few times, the clutch started working again, and he managed to drive the car home.
Thats pretty smart. A few months ago I went 4WDing about 150km from Melbourne and blew a clutch hose, I did have brakefluid but it would just squirt it out through the leak in the hose without even moving the slave cylinder. I was up a hill so I got to the road with Low2 and from there I just double shifted clutchless and drove home, most of it was highway cruising so it wasn’t too hard.
Do you think water would do anything to the hydraulic system? You’ll need to get every bit of moisture out, if it were in the brake lines it turns to vapour and you’ll get brake drag but the clutch doesn’t get hot. As a last alternative water is probably the only option, oil in the system will swell and ruin the O rings in the master and slave cylinders.

I haven’t heard about the Lifeboy & sugar adhesive, might come in handy if I’m really stranded. Whenever I go bush I take epoxy resin (Araldite), superglue, duct tape, metal wire in addition to thick engine oil and my tools.

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Ring Road Honda told me the reapir will involve opening up the clutch plates. Estimated cost: Rs.14,000.
This is for a car right? It only has one clutch plate and the slave cylinder is bolted on outside the bell housing, it pushes on a lever that moves a fork. I don’t really know whats wrong with the car but if Honda says they need to check the clutch plate’s’ I’d be a little sus

Last edited by Gasolinejunkie : 19th May 2009 at 23:53.
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Old 19th May 2009, 23:57   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasolinejunkie View Post
This is for a car right? It only has one clutch plate and the slave cylinder is bolted on outside the bell housing, it pushes on a lever that moves a fork. I donít really know whats wrong with the car but if Honda says they need to check the clutch plateísí Iíd be a little sus
Plural was a typo. But they did say the engine will have to be taken out of its bay to give access to the clutch hydraulics. But then we are going . This thread is about get-me-home solutions!
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Old 20th May 2009, 23:09   #4
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Starter motor jam - a common problem with the M800 and Omni, also seen in many old cars. Turn the key, the starter goes 'click', and then refuses to turn anymore. The starter motor is jammed.

Problem: Starter motor Bendix gear stuck to flywheel ring gear due to worn out gear teeth (usually on the starter motor).

Solution: Slot the gearshift into 4th/5th gear, and push the car backwards. Repeated rocking movements will release the gears from one another. Starter motor will work again.

Repair: Change the starter motor Bendix spring and gear.
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Old 5th June 2009, 21:19   #5
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Default Locked your keys in the car? Does you car have remote keys?

This advice has been floating around on the internet for a long time, but is appropriate for this thread too.

Have you locked your keys in the car? Does you car have remote keys?

This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone:
If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone.

Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock.

Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors.

Note: I've tried this out too, and it works. But I don't really leave my spare remote with someone at home when I travel long distances.
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Old 5th June 2009, 23:31   #6
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Will not work on any car with a radio controlled keyless entry system. Which is just about all of them. Urban legend, this one.

Last edited by ImmortalZ : 5th June 2009 at 23:33.
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Old 5th June 2009, 23:40   #7
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Very nice thread. ACtually what does the turmeric do when put in the radiator. How does the leak stop?

And the lifebouy thing...Does it work with lifebouy only?
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Old 6th June 2009, 01:26   #8
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Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
Will not work on any car with a radio controlled keyless entry system. Which is just about all of them. Urban legend, this one.
Don't know about the technicalities, but it does seem to work for my Accent's remote - an Autocop system.
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Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Very nice thread. ACtually what does the turmeric do when put in the radiator. How does the leak stop?

And the lifebouy thing...Does it work with lifebouy only?
Turmeric forms a plug at the site of small and inaccessible leaks - won't be able to explain the chemistry, but it certainly works. Only precaution: use a minimal amount in modern radiators in small cars - too much can clog up the whole radiator itself.

Well, it works with the old carbolic-smelling Lifebuoy and not the fancy bath soaps. Again, no idea of the chemistry involved.
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Old 6th June 2009, 01:47   #9
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Default Brilliant thread!

Great thread, the info here is useful to anyone who drives.

Cheers and thanks,
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Old 6th June 2009, 19:17   #10
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Great thread. Very useful info being shared here.
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Old 7th June 2009, 00:51   #11
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Older generation cars used to come with capsule fuses.

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These blew quickly, and were equally easy to repair. Wrap them in cigarette foil (the paper-lined golden or silver foil) from a pack of cigarettes (with the papered side outside, and the foil side in contact with the glass and the two metal caps of the capsules), and plug them in again, and the fuse is operational again.

Then came those little plug-in compact fuses (aka standard blade fuses).

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These blow too, but not so commonly because the electrics of a modern car are more fine-tuned and sturdy. And they do provide a couple of spare fuses. So what if those spare fuses aren't there, or you're not sure which is the spare? Even today, that cigarette-box paper still works in an emergency. Wrap a single thickness of paper over the blades, foil side in contact with the blades, and fit the fuse back in. It'll work till you get home.
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Old 7th June 2009, 02:02   #12
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Awesome thread!!

Thanks SS-Traveller.

I like most of the solutions! they're so simple, yet the mechanism involved can be understood only if one has advanced knowledge of the car's systems!

Last edited by sohail99 : 7th June 2009 at 02:05.
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Old 18th January 2010, 19:49   #13
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Default Useful tip to follow when radiator cooling fan stops working and the car overheats

(DISCLAIMER:
  • TRY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.
  • THIS IS WHAT I HAVE EXPERIANCED AND AM SHARING WITH YOU.
  • IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK IN ALL SITUATIONS OR CARS RESPECTIVELY.)
I just experienced this and it worked.

It was my friend's Hyundai accent which had clocked 44,600 kms and was over heating, with the temp needle almost running to red.

A service manager of a Hyundai service center told me to:
  • put the air flow switch to "fresh air mode"
  • put the temperature control switch to "red", that is, turn on the heater.
  • put the blower switch to full speed
  • DO NOT TURN ON THE AC.
  • put the air direction switch towards window defrosting mode (one with 3 arrows facing upwards)
  • open both your front 2 windows.
We drove this crippled car for about 10 kms (called the helpline) following this tip and voila, the car was functioning normally. I hope this is useful for those whose service centers are pretty far off or whose car's fan stops working in the middle of the road.

Last edited by sidindica : 18th January 2010 at 19:52.
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Old 18th January 2010, 20:10   #14
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This will not work in all conditions, because the fan of the AC system is much weaker as compared to radiator fan. It will have some effect
If you drive at at lower reves in top gear(eg 5th gear 60), the air hitting the radiator will cool it enough. What you suggested above will have an effect, but it will be very less.
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Old 18th January 2010, 20:19   #15
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This will not work in all conditions, because the fan of the AC system is much weaker as compared to radiator fan. It will have some effect
But here it is the heater that is on. AC should not be switched on is specifically mentioned. Am I missing something?
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