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Old 7th November 2009, 12:13   #1
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Default Rainy day driving visibility in the Swift

The rains have started in chennai and having got just accustomed to the new swift vDi, i was horrified by the overall visibility from a driver's perspective. my earlier car was a santro XO and i am sorry to say that the santro ranks way ahead of the swift in the 'ease of driveability and all round visibility' department.
to start with the swift rear view door mirrors are an absolute pain.despite the size(i call them rabbit ears, they are that big and getr frequently knocked by bikes!), in rain they are absolutely useless(see atttached pics)
there is no rear wiper on a 5.65 lakh car(the santro had it!)so your sight of vision is restricted to the front only. as i was ready to drive to work i remembered my Amby driver's rain-remedy and rubbed a sliced potato on the side windows and voila! the windows became clear.unfortunately it didnt work on the rear view mirror and i had to drive by instinct and ignore the mirrors altogether.
wonder how i am going to manage the night drive back home!!
judging the front end is also quite difficult, especially if the driver is a novice! i have safely installed the parking sensors just in case. the A-Pillar is also quite thick and increases the blind spot area quite considerably. one consolation is that the Ritz is even worse when it comes to front end and side end visibility and judgement.
the suspension however is much, much better in the ritz and the car feels solid on the highway.
the engine though common on both cars is more responsive in the swift and the 0-100 is way quicker in the swift.
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Old 7th November 2009, 14:27   #2
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No offense intended. Just my opinions.

Why didn't you notice these factors during the test drive itself ?

This problem with the Rear view mirrors happen in every car. It does worsen at night when the light from the vehicle behind falls on your mirror.
We have to try to look through it or simply turn around. Only premium cars (Indian standard) come with heated ORVMs which can take care of this problem.

Using the de-fogger wisely will prevent your windows from Fogging up.

If you're worried that bikers knock your mirrors too often, then close them and turn around when you want to change lanes. This will strain your neck though.

Dude, now that you have got the car, you have to learn to get the best out of it.

A few cents from my side on driving in the rain.

1. Turn on your headlights (day or night) and switch on the hazard indicators and drive slow. At least half the people on the road will find their own ways to move away from you.
2. Try to travel with some passenger. You can also offer a free ride to people who use 2 wheelers or public transport. You can get their help to manually defog the windows and make use of them to look at water logs/oncoming vehicles
3. At night slow down. Don't get bothered by honks. When making lane changes, take extra caution.
4. When at junctions during Night, the lights of the on-coming vehicle will glare at your window. Never take guesses while crossing. Roll your window down for a moment and then proceed.
5. Watch out for pedestrians. The corners of the road normally get flooded and they tend to walk towards the middle of the road. Their umbrellas will dobule their width. Honk, if necessary.
6. To improve your visibilty, try using polarized sun glasses that have a lighter tint. There is a thread running on TBHP. Do a search and give it a read.
7. If you feel that you need more height from the driver's seat, use a cushion and sit over it. But beware its not a very safe practice.
8. Lastly, never ever ride your car through water that is high (say more than ankle deep).

Rains are everywhere and not all of us can afford cars that are kings of all features. It is only in the matter of adapting ourselves to them.

The swift is a lovely enjoyable car and every car will have visibility problems when there is a downpour.

The more you practice, the more confident you'll be.
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Old 7th November 2009, 14:37   #3
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just saw this post. most cars these days on our crowded roads have a visibility problem when it rains. why else would most cities grind practically to a halt or snails pace the minute the heavens open up to shower us with water?
this is made worse by all manner of two wheelers and autos and zillions of other things on the roads apart from the pot holes which so liberally dot our landscape.
my specific irritation is with reversing while it is both rainy as well as dark.
while the Swift's cockpit styling is very nice, its rear windows are a bit small as is the hatch window - therefore reversing during rainy conditions without a rear wiper can be irritating.
i find this to be true in my Swift especially after twilight hours and frankly, it is true even in my Scorpio because I dont have a rear wiper on that vehicle either. It was also the same case when I had my earlier Bolero.

I agree with the point made by Para7K about heated ORVMs. Other than this, reverse sensors are most helpful as is the rear wiper.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 7th November 2009 at 14:40.
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Old 7th November 2009, 14:45   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by para_7k View Post
1. Turn on your headlights (day or night) and switch on the hazard indicators and drive slow. At least half the people on the road will find their own ways to move away from you.
A bit OT, but when the car is moving, never use hazard lights. Use hazard lights only when you have stopped the car.

A few months back, I noticed this bad habit of switching on hazard lights when the car is moving. People on the expresshighway just switch on the hazard lights and then drive at high speeds during rain. This creates a massive problem for others. The first time I thought that the Santro with hazard lights on has got into breakdown of car, so I did slow down, but suddendly I realized that the distance between me and Santro is increasing.

It becomes very difficult for others to realize whether the car with hazard lights ON is moving or is parked.

Never involve into this practice.
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Old 7th November 2009, 14:51   #5
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Defogging - try this:

-Push the A/C Switch ON. Set 'function lever' to 'Defrost' mode.

-Shift 'Air Contorl Lever' to ' Fresh Air' mode.

-Shift Temperature Lever to desired temperature position

-Shift 'Fan Switch' to desired speed.

Once you have totally de-fogged the windshield and have a clear view, the controls can be adjusted as per your convenience.

Thanks
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Old 7th November 2009, 15:01   #6
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Swift is paticularly very bad in rains compared to many other cars in its class. But it is not something that you cannot get used to. Drive slow (but not so slow to cause a traffic jam behind you, like many people do) and with extra care in rains. The thin window glasses & sunscreen of Swift leads to frequent fogging inside - use defogger liberally.

And as a general practice give priority to 2 wheelers & pedestrains, however annoying road manners they may have, during rains. Afterall you can afford to spend few extra minutes in the car wqithout worrying about geting wet, but they will have to take care of the downpour and what with the lack of proper pavements & shelters, things only get worse of them. They struggle more than someone in a car during rains.

Last edited by oss : 7th November 2009 at 15:03.
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Old 7th November 2009, 15:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by para_7k View Post
Using the de-fogger wisely will prevent your windows from Fogging up.

If you're worried that bikers knock your mirrors too often, then close them and turn around when you want to change lanes. This will strain your neck though.

1. Turn on your headlights (day or night) and switch on the hazard indicators and drive slow. At least half the people on the road will find their own ways to move away from you.
Paramesh awesome write up buddy. You have communicated all the points that I wanted to mention. There is couple of points that I would beg to differ.

Driving with hazard light on is dangerous. Instead try using the fog lamp. If you don’t have a fog lamp then switch on your headlight on low beam

Driving without the side mirrors is not a safe practice. I know it’s pretty difficult when bikers hit your car, but still it’s better to have the mirror and avoid a regretful situation of you knocking the biker down. That’s even more dangerous so be cautious.

Last edited by ElantraGT : 7th November 2009 at 15:17.
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Old 7th November 2009, 15:17   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingjames View Post
there is no rear wiper on a 5.65 lakh car(the santro had it!)so your sight of vision is restricted to the front only.
As far as I know, the Swift Zxi is still available and has a rear wiper, rear window defogger and an automatic climate control system that does a great job of demisting your windows. It also comes with airbags, which could be quite useful if lack of visibility leads to a crash. Of course, if you tried to save on running costs by buying a Vdi instead of a Zxi, then you'll just have to live with the consequences of having a lower spec car.

A-pillars on the Swift are bad, but you've got to check out the Civic to see how bad that problem can get. I get freaked out every time I take a tight right turn in the Civic cuz a whole scooter could fit in the blind spot.
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Old 7th November 2009, 16:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by para_7k View Post
The more you practice, the more confident you'll be.
1.i didnt take a test drive.never felt the need to.moreover there was clear sunny skies when i decided to buy the car..so never thought about how the car will be in rains.

2.it is not a question of heated mirrors.either the mirror should be well recessed to avoid the rain splashes on the lip of the mirror shell or should have been flush with the sill of the shell that way the rain water would hit the mirror directly and roll off instead of spotting the mirror.
i have posted pics of my Proton Gen2 in another post, check out the mirror design.never had the problem of spotty mirror even in the worst rains.likewise in my matiz or santro.
3.i think switching on the hazard lights and driving is a ridiculous idea..i hope you are not serious! anywhere else in the world you will have your licence cancelled and both you and your car impounded!!!

4. well my point of the whole thing is that the Swift is not such a grand thing as touted to be! i started driving my first car in 1984(an Amby) and i had managed to upgrade my cars steadily to better ones(of real user value) but with the Swift i feel that i have slipped up a bit that's all. under the skin i guess the Swift is just another maruti after all and one needs tone down the expectations with this brand.
however, i wholly agree with your point that, 'now that i have it i gotta learn to live with it'. cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by theEnd View Post
As far as I know, the Swift Zxi is still available and has a rear wiper, rear window defogger and an automatic climate control system that does a great job of demisting your windows.
============
I get freaked out every time I take a tight right turn in the Civic cuz a whole scooter could fit in the blind spot.
do you mean that the civic in India doesnt have the standard blind spot warning indicator??surprise, surprise!

Last edited by Eddy : 8th November 2009 at 02:15. Reason: Please avoid posting multiple back to back posts. Use the edit option if posting within 20 min. Thanks
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Old 7th November 2009, 16:34   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by para_7k View Post
1. Turn on your headlights (day or night) and switch on the hazard indicators and drive slow. At least half the people on the road will find their own ways to move away from you.
Never drive with hazard lights on! Thats a strict NO NO!!
Except, if you are towing or being towed.

Last edited by jagan0677 : 7th November 2009 at 16:36.
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Old 7th November 2009, 18:12   #11
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Guys,

I agree on the hazard lights. But there are some cases where it has helped.

One example is, when I do not want to speed up on a road and a maniac is honking behind me, I turn on the hazard light. He simply moves away thinking I'm not upto something good.

When I'm locating a building on a road, I slow down and drive slowly on the left lane. In this case, people see from a distance and move away.

We're driving in India, where everything has more than one function and adaptability is a key role. Some people use indicators to signal you to overtake them but is that correct ?


I have noted the point and will change this practice.

@ElantraGT, I'm totally against driving without mirrors. That is I have mentioned, we could turn around which would cause a neck problem anyway.
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Old 7th November 2009, 18:22   #12
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The problems are not specific to Swift at all.
There are several threads on how to deal with fogged misty windshields/windows, blind spots, A-pillar, rear wipers, etc etc
Maybe someone could point to these threads and close this thread.
Or title this - "Driving in the rain - tips and tricks".
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Old 7th November 2009, 18:35   #13
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Hazard lights can be used if you are driving slowly compared to the traffic. Its not mandatory that you turn them on only while stopped.
Since the thread starter thinks he is blind sitting in the swift, he can use it and drive slowly.
With A/C ON, you shouldn't see window fog unless you turn them off thinking its cool enough!!
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Old 7th November 2009, 18:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Hazard lights can be used if you are driving slowly compared to the traffic. Its not mandatory that you turn them on only while stopped.
Since the thread starter thinks he is blind sitting in the swift, he can use it and drive slowly.
With A/C ON, you shouldn't see window fog unless you turn them off thinking its cool enough!!
+1 SriShiva. That is what I exactly mentioned.
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Old 7th November 2009, 20:54   #15
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Folks,

Whatever justification we might have to driving in India with Hazard lights ON... Its still DANGEROUS!

Imagine if you would want to take a turn while you are driving that way in a blinding rain! What would you do? A strict NO NO from me for hazard lights ON while the vehicle is in motion. You are only causing confusion & nothing less than that!

Drive with the Parking lights/Front & Rear fog lamps ON during the rain if you want to stay visible while driving slow than the traffic during rainy/foggy day! Using hazards is dangerous for you and to the other traffic as well!

Last edited by anachronix : 7th November 2009 at 20:55.
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