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Old 19th October 2010, 18:21   #1
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Default Car towed away by traffic cop with the handbrake engaged!!

Recently my Alto was towed away from a "No parking" zone by the traffic cops. The handbrake was engaged when they towed it away and I complained about this later when I paid the fine and picked up my car. They said the hand brake disengages the moment the car starts rolling (after overcoming the initial resistance when being towed) and thus no damage done.

What a piece of crap!! If this were to be true then hand-brakes would never have worked as intended.

Then they said the hand brake disengages automatically when the car is tilted (nose-up) when hoisted by the tow-away truck

More crap, these guys are so innovative with their lies!!! There was no point in arguing with these jokers so I let go.

Later, I checked the effectiveness of the hand-brake and it seemed OK. Now I am wondering if it could be true what they said? However can a basic car like Alto have such a mechanism? Also, I think handbrakes are only on the rear wheels for a FWD car.

Car gurus, please comment
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Old 19th October 2010, 18:28   #2
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How are you tires?

Are they still round or are that partly flattened.
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Old 19th October 2010, 18:31   #3
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Cops usually loosen the bottom nuts on the brake cables before towing it. I have seen them do it when they tow cars with hand brakes engaged.

That said you are at fault coz you parked in a " NO PARKING " zone.
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Old 19th October 2010, 18:35   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Cops usually loosen the bottom nuts on the brake cables before towing it
Do our cops have such knowledge on these techy things? Appreciate to throw some light on this pls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
That said you are at fault coz you parked in a " NO PARKING " zone.
+1

However the cops could've just locked up the right side front wheels instead of towing; I've seen them doing this nr US consulate in Chennai.
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Old 19th October 2010, 18:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Recently my Alto was towed away from a "No parking" zone by the traffic cops. The handbrake was engaged when they towed it away. They said the hand brake disengages automatically when the car is tilted (nose-up) when hoisted by the tow-away truck.
If this were true, people would not be able to use the hand-brake for parking on slopes methinks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
However can a basic car like Alto have such a mechanism? Also, I think handbrakes are only on the rear wheels for a FWD car.
No, the Alto (nor any other car that I know of) does not have any such mechanism. The hand-brake lever just operates a loop of cable that's attached to the rear brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjstyles69 View Post
Cops usually loosen the bottom nuts on the brake cables before towing it.
The best possible explanation, the cops might not know the nittygritties, but the tow-away guys usually do. And really nice of them to tighten them back enough for Chewbacca not to notice !

P.S. - Never knew cops were so imaginative

Last edited by im_srini : 19th October 2010 at 18:44.
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Old 19th October 2010, 18:43   #6
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Being a Wookie you should have used the strength of your arms and beaten them to pulp. :P

Surprised that cops make the amount of effort to unscrew stuff! Was the brake effective when you got into the car? As in, it must have been engaged, so was it holding?

@RJ
With the lack of parking spaces, I doubt anyone's to blame!
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Old 19th October 2010, 19:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
However the cops could've just locked up the right side front wheels instead of towing; I've seen them doing this nr US consulate in Chennai.
Sometimes, space is very much a concern, that they will need to tow the vehicle away to some other place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
Are they still round or are that partly flattened.
I think, with the vehicles nose up, and all the load on the rear tires, and hand breaks being not that powerful, the tires will roll and not slide, and that would mean that they will be round. The break drum/mechanism might have taken quite a beating though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Then they said the hand brake disengages automatically when the car is tilted (nose-up) when hoisted by the tow-away truck
The tires may roll, but that does not mean the hand break has disengaged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
Later, I checked the effectiveness of the hand-brake and it seemed OK.
You seem to be lucky. The police station must be near to where you parked your car.


- Experts, please comment.

Last edited by dhanushs : 19th October 2010 at 19:27.
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Old 19th October 2010, 19:32   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Do our cops have such knowledge on these techy things? Appreciate to throw some light on this pls.
Your question is answered below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
The best possible explanation, the cops might not know the nittygritties, but the tow-away guys usually do. And really nice of them to tighten them back enough for Chewbacca not to notice !
It's usually the tow away chaps who do this and cops don't do the towing work, they simply supervise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
@RJ
With the lack of parking spaces, I doubt anyone's to blame!
I would still think twice if I were to park at a no parking zone, but then that's just me .
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Old 19th October 2010, 20:07   #9
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In my experience, the accompanying helpers are expert at opening all makes of cars in a flash and disengaging the handbrake manually.

Your Alto will probably be a relatively easier car to open by inserting a flat metal/plastic strip in between the window beading and pushing to open the door.
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Old 19th October 2010, 21:50   #10
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Not to mention the pace at which they lift the two wheelers into the trucks and fun to watch the people running to get their bikes off from there. But I appreciate the manners of Traffic cops in Bangalore. I have seen cops banging the car door,bonnet with their lathis to make you move even if you are sitting inside the car and finding your keys.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 02:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
How are you tires?
Are they still round or are that partly flattened.
That was a good one!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by im_srini View Post
The best possible explanation, the cops might not know the nittygritties, but the tow-away guys usually do. And really nice of them to tighten them back enough for Chewbacca not to notice !
I wish it happened that way, I really don't know.
Yes, the outsourced tow-away guys do the dirty job and it was they who gave me the techy gyaan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
Was the brake effective when you got into the car? As in, it must have been engaged, so was it holding?
In the heat of the argument I forgot to check that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
You seem to be lucky. The police station must be near to where you parked your car.
Yes, the police depot was just 1/2 km from the place where I had parked. Lucky me!!

I asked a Maruti mechanic, he says all Maruti's hand brakes are drum type and the holding power (actuator/piston something) becomes negligible after it heats up, maybe after driving 1 or 2 kms with the brakes engaged.
So what are the damages?
If you could engage the handbrake earlier with 3 kat-kat-kats, now you would need 4 kat-kat-kat-kats.

That was a "nevermind too much" type of a reply ...... cool !!

Last edited by Chewbacca : 22nd October 2010 at 02:33.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 08:41   #12
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I have a doubt regarding cars with rear drum brakes.Do they assit during braking or only meant to be used for parking?I mean when you brake your car does the rear drum also work along with the front disks or its the front disks alone?What about the cars with disks on all 4 wheels?
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Old 22nd October 2010, 09:20   #13
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Guess a couple of folks have already covered it.

Once you start 'pulling', the hand brake effectiveness goes down after some distance. this may be either due the heat etc. there wouldnt be noticable damage either to the brakes or tyres.

The tyres would 'roll' and not drag, hence they would be fine.

The handbrake would continue working also normally, as you discovered.

With regards to the above point - handbrake is effective in motion as well and not just to park.
But well, the stopping power of the handbrake is limited. If you were to pull it during motion - it would try to stop your car but if you keep the power going to the wheels .. handbrake would not stop motion here. This is what i mean by the holding power is less.

Consider it to a similiar scenario where sometimes people forget to dis-engage the handbrake and drive on. They do drive (albeit realise that the car is not as 'free'). oNly later do they realise that their handbrake is on.

HEre also there isnt much damage to either the brake or tyres. This is what logic the cops were giving to you. It is accurate to an extent.

Last edited by jigbarai : 22nd October 2010 at 09:22.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 09:38   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chewbacca View Post
So what are the damages?
If you could engage the handbrake earlier with 3 kat-kat-kats, now you would need 4 kat-kat-kat-kats.

That was a "nevermind too much" type of a reply ...... cool !!

Don't worry, if you were engaging handbrake with just 2 - 3 kat-kat-kats earlier, you were not engaging them enough. They would have offered only some resistance, not enough to prevent rolling. The Alto handbrake needs 6 - 7 notches to engage fully, only then will it engage enough to almost stall the car if started with brakes still on. With just two or three notches, it is possible to drive the car without noticing any resistance. Check the manual of your Alto, it is mentioned there!

Guys, I have another doubt. What will the cops normally do if the car is also parked in first/reverse gear, apart from the hand brakes? I think then they will ruin it for good.

Last edited by Gansan : 22nd October 2010 at 09:54.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 10:02   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
I have a doubt regarding cars with rear drum brakes.Do they assit during braking or only meant to be used for parking?I mean when you brake your car does the rear drum also work along with the front disks or its the front disks alone?What about the cars with disks on all 4 wheels?
All four brakes work together in all cars. IIRC one front wheel (disc) and one rear wheel (drum), usually in left/right combination, is supposed to work in Marutis, so that at lest 50% braking power is available even if one circuit fails. Is this correct? Can some gurus throw some light on this?
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