Team-BHP > Road Safety > Drive Safe


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 24th September 2018, 17:41   #301
BHPian
 
Turrrb0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Chennai
Posts: 306
Thanked: 447 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
While driving up, this will show as lugging and its easy to sense this and shift down. I usually go completely manual on a lot of stretches of hills. While coming downhill the xcent tries to go to 4th gear easily.
This is precicely the reason why earlier automatic cars came with a PRNDL(Low) mode, and one of the reasons why, I am guessing cars nowadays come with the PRNDM/S(Manual) mode.

Also maybe OT, and no offense. but the Xcent is one of the worse automatic cars I've driven. Its gear ratios are calibrated heavily towards low speed city driving.
That could also be the reason as to the vagueness you felt from the transmission.

just my 2 cents!
Cheers!!
Turrrb0 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 24th September 2018, 21:50   #302
Senior - BHPian
 
BenjiRoss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tamilnadu
Posts: 1,025
Thanked: 1,082 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turrrb0 View Post

Also maybe OT, and no offense. but the Xcent is one of the worse automatic cars I've driven. Its gear ratios are calibrated heavily towards low speed city driving.
That could also be the reason as to the vagueness you felt from the transmission.

just my 2 cents!
Cheers!!
Fully agree. My xcent automatic ensures ease of travel in the city where it spends 98% of the days. It kills the joy of highway driving and is not good for ghat roads. I've written these observations in the official xcent review thread. I've driven a lot of automatics in Australia and assumed that the xcent behaved that way as it is a small engined automatic.
One thing I'll add to this thread is that if you spend a lot of days in the highway or in ghats choose your car well. While all the cars will get you there, some cars will get you there happier.
The official review threads here have a good section on driving and handling
BenjiRoss is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 25th September 2018, 15:51   #303
BHPian
 
Turrrb0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Chennai
Posts: 306
Thanked: 447 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjiRoss View Post
Fully agree. My xcent automatic ensures ease of travel in the city where it spends 98% of the days. It kills the joy of highway driving and is not good for ghat roads. I've written these observations in the official xcent review thread. I've driven a lot of automatics in Australia and assumed that the xcent behaved that way as it is a small engined automatic.

The official review threads here have a good section on driving and handling
Yes, it is a breeze to drive in the city, indeed. Maybe if they just added a 5th ratio, it would've probably made a world of a difference on the highway.

I had the chance of driving it in Mumbai as my aunt owned one, it was great in city traffic. But the moment I would hit the Eastern Freeway(~13km of elevated, uninterrupted 4-lane freeway with no bikes and commercial vehicles, pure petrol head bliss), the shortcomings of the auto box would become obvious.
Not to mention, the low 4th gear meant that it would return extremely poor fuel economy too.
Quote:
One thing I'll add to this thread is that if you spend a lot of days in the highway or in ghats choose your car well. While all the cars will get you there, some cars will get you there happier.
I couldn't agree more!

Cheers!!
Turrrb0 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 25th September 2018, 16:58   #304
BHPian
 
GrandTourer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 214
Thanked: 435 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Safe Driving on Hills

Attachment 1035162

• Go down a particular decline in the same gear that you'd choose to climb it.
I live and breathe this rule while driving. But the number of people I tried to educate on this and yet they coast down a gear higher is way too high. I just don't feel comfortable sitting on a car where the driver does not follow this rule. Same reason I prefer not to take cabs/chauffeured rentals on trips involving hilly areas.


Also, when approaching a slower car on an unlit highway at night, lower your beam in advance and toggle to high beam only when there are no cars ahead. Otherwise use the "sweeper" car as guide.
GrandTourer is online now  
Old 25th September 2018, 17:14   #305
BHPian
 
Turrrb0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Chennai
Posts: 306
Thanked: 447 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandTourer View Post
Also, when approaching a slower car on an unlit highway at night, lower your beam in advance and toggle to high beam only when there are no cars ahead. Otherwise use the "sweeper" car as guide.
+1 to that.
I'd like to add that one should follow that rule even when they are tailing someone from behind in addition to when approaching an oncoming car.
Turrrb0 is offline  
Old 15th October 2018, 22:39   #306
BHPian
 
jeevmenon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN07
Posts: 472
Thanked: 19 Times
Default Ghoom to Tista Bazar - Freaked me out!

Date 3rd Oct 2018 - Headlines: Five die as car falls into Ooty Gorge. I read this and read further and find about these friends from Chennai who drove from Ooty to Masinagudi and this accident happened. It also says driving from Masinagudi to Ooty is ok but no the other way. It says its a steep curvy road downhill from Ooty to Masinagudi and only local Nilgiri cars are allowed to do the downhill and sign boards all along the route instructing drivers to go in 2nd gear. Did'nt I experience something similar a couple of days back? Eeks. Cold Sweat! Deja Vu.

Date 1st Oct 2018 - Around 2 PM Darjeeling Hills in the Great Himalayas. Driving in a Swift from Ghoom to Teesta. From around 2225m come down to 1700m in 23 km to Lamahatta. So far so good though I found out the hard way that it was peculiar and not the typical hill descending with typical hairpins and straight stretches for better driving. Btw, never realised the reason for hairpins but now I do. During my pre-trip research I did see google drawn straight blue line from Ghoom to Teesta but what skipped my mind the altitude we were descending. Living in the plains altitude is never seen while seeing google maps and that did it. Stupid me. Coming to the point, from Lamahatta it was hardly 13 km but we descended 1700m to the river bed at Tista Bazar. All along the sign boards said "1st gear only". The problem is when in 1st gear the revs are too much and you can see the engine struggling and the noise being so much I felt so much for the engine that I move to the 2nd gear. However at the 2nd gear it runs down too fast and I have to apply brake almost constantly which I knew was too bad as well.

Flash back:

23 June 2012 - Chevy Spark - Evening - Change Co-ordinates to Kannur, Kerala. Boys Town. We were driving thru the Kottiyoor Reserve Forest from Iritty-Peravoor-Elapeedika-BoysTown-Kottiyoor. We were on our way to the Kottiyoor temple which I could have taken a diversion from Peravoor and gone via Kanichar. However the adventurer in me wanted to drive thru the forest and so took the former route. I was not disappointed. Very beautiful. Recommended drive. It was a lonely beautiful forest road. I saw a taxi behind me in my rear-view and slowed down and waved to him to slow down. He obliged and I asked him if this road will take us to Kottiyoor. He said yes but why didnt we take the other road which was better and shorter. I said we knew that and just wanted to explore a bit. He said we needed to be careful as there was a steep descent and we have to drive in 1st gear and apply the brakes at regularly intervals to avoid burning out of the brake pads and brake failure. Oh no. That was enough to freak me out. However his advice helped me and prepared me. 1 km for a straight dip from 700m to 500m with no ghats and a 24 hour fog cover. It even has a permanent road-sign which says about the fog and to be careful. I saw a KSRTC go down with screeching brakes down below as I started my descent. Its like a slide.

Back to Lamahatta:

Though the slide of 2012 was 200m descent / km this Lamahatta to Tista Bazar slide though only 170 m/ km was 10 times longer and I found tougher. And believe me 10 km seems like eternity with this condition. So, I go 1st gear, the noisy revs increase, apply the brake, move to 2nd gear, it moves fast, apply brake at regular intervals, move to 1st gear, repeat. Tired of this routine and my heart in my mouth driving a rental car and all travel plans set ahead in clock-work precision it was too much and I stopped mid-way at Peshok. Pulled over. Walked by to 2 folks standing on the road side. I asked them if they were drivers. One of them replied in the affirmative. OK, good. "How did we drive on this road? Wont the brake fail?" I asked him with a strained frustrated voice. He walked to the car, got in. Started the car and tried the brake and said its good. I said I knew it was good but I am scared if it would fail. He told me to drive in 1st gear only and to forget the revs. I saw some local cars drive down without the red brake lights glow. Wow! How are they doing it? Or was it a better gradient we were at? I let the car cool down - both brake and engine. Had a cup of tea. He told me about another full-circle bend a bit ahead and that there were incidents of brake failures and crashes last year. I got further scared.

We started our journey. As we moved a few 100 meters ahead we saw another car - a SK04 Sikkim vehicle - hubby, wife and kid - Swift Dzire if I remember - with a brake failure and at the centre of the road. It happened just then by the look of it. I pulled over. Went and struck a conversation, just for some support. We saw an other Wagon R go by and the old person (local) repeated - please go in 1st gear and asked him to wait for the brakes to cool and maybe it will start engaging again. He asked me to move on. I went back further scared. How much more to go? Slowly but surely we reached the short, circular narrow underpass, crossed it and reached the base. On the way I saw many cars go up and thought thats how it has to be done and not what we were doing.

This article is to help people prepare for a drive in steep downhills. Suggestion is to go from Tista to Darjeeling and not the reverse. Also no matter how many years of driving experience you have, such conditions will test you with usual cars. In my Duster I see in 1st gear on a slope it was almost still. So, the question do SUVs have better engine braking? Is it specified in the car spec? What about 4WD? Are they better? Open for comments on this post and suggestions. Please do share your experiences. Btw I had a new brand Swift zoomcar which had done just 1900 km and 1 month old.
jeevmenon is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 01:07   #307
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: DEL / KOL
Posts: 875
Thanked: 1,056 Times
Default Re: Ghoom to Tista Bazar - Freaked me out!

Hello jeevmenon. Going down in 1st gear down steep slopes is the only way to go if you think it is to fast in 2nd. I used to stay in Bangalore till last month and my in-laws place is Siliguri( my hometown is Kolkata, so I always drive to north Bengal). So Ooty and Darjeeling have been regular trips for me and I know the roads you are talking about.
I have done the roads umpteen times in my Ritz Zxi, Honda City, Esteem, Renault Pulse Diesel, Skoda 1.8Tsi and the list goes on. Even if you think the engine is screaming, trust me that it is absolutely fine. Burning up the brakes is a complete no no. You should check the FE you get even in 1st gear. For example while coming down 36 bend in Ooty after a full tank, by the time I reached the bottom it was showing 29.7 kmpl in my 2017 Honda City facelift. So don’t worry about it.

Last edited by Altocumulus : 16th October 2018 at 01:09.
Altocumulus is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 07:34   #308
BHPian
 
jeevmenon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN07
Posts: 472
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

Thanks Altocumulus. What happens if we drive at a high rev for long periods of time? Will the engine not heat up? On an other note I am sure there are many roads in India with steep inclines. Anyone with their experiences ? Don't find many links regarding this topic on the net. Also, is it possible to tune your vehicle so that engine braking is better than what it comes with?
jeevmenon is offline  
Old 16th October 2018, 09:55   #309
BHPian
 
rahul4640's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 499
Thanked: 372 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
What happens if we drive at a high rev for long periods of time? Will the engine not heat up? On an other note I am sure there are many roads in India with steep inclines. Anyone with their experiences ?
I am not an expert but am writing this because I have travelled on this stretch (Peshok Road) at least seven or eight times in both direction. I know that there are members in this forum like Sumitro (Blackpearl) or Anirban (Fiat 1100D), among others, who has more experiences in driving with much steeper roads of this region. I think with all modern day cars, if you are driving in a sedate pace, you need not normally be much concerned. When the engine heats up, the radiator fan(s) will take care of it. In fact, in "Rock Garden" area close to Darjeeling, I have seen lots of hatchback taxis carrying tourists in much steeper road.
rahul4640 is online now   (1) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 10:20   #310
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Pune
Posts: 761
Thanked: 876 Times
Default Re: Ghoom to Tista Bazar - Freaked me out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Altocumulus View Post
Even if you think the engine is screaming, trust me that it is absolutely fine. Burning up the brakes is a complete no no. You should check the FE you get even in 1st gear. For example while coming down 36 bend in Ooty after a full tank, by the time I reached the bottom it was showing 29.7 kmpl in my 2017 Honda City facelift. So donít worry about it.
Yes, well said Altocumulus.

In today's cars, the fuel supply to the engine is cut off if you are coasting in gear and if the engine rpm is above a set limit. So no worry about overheating or excessive fuel consumption if you climb down in 1st gear on steep slopes.
Rahul Bhalgat is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 11:19   #311
Team-BHP Support
 
Sheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Purnea (Bihar)
Posts: 6,863
Thanked: 8,859 Times
Default Re: Ghoom to Tista Bazar - Freaked me out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
This article is to help people prepare for a drive in steep downhills. Suggestion is to go from Tista to Darjeeling and not the reverse. Also no matter how many years of driving experience you have, such conditions will test you with usual cars. In my Duster I see in 1st gear on a slope it was almost still. So, the question do SUVs have better engine braking? Is it specified in the car spec? What about 4WD? Are they better? Open for comments on this post and suggestions. Please do share your experiences. Btw I had a new brand Swift zoomcar which had done just 1900 km and 1 month old.
I have done both, have lost the number of counts when I went to Ghoom to Lamahatta and then Kalimpong/Sikkim and vice-versa. Most of this was either on my motorcycle and few times in my 4WD Scorpio and once in my 1.2K Swift.

Whenever I had to, I shifted to 1st but most of the times I was climbing down in 2nd.

Let the engine scream near the redline, it is designed for that. The moment you shift into higher gears, you are going to speed up the vehicle, lose control and go off the cliff. I have seen people with frayed brakes multiple times but am yet to see anyone with a blown engine because of high revs.

Once, I was descending a very steep incline in 1st gear and the bike was at 18 - 19 kmph without any throttle input. I shudder what would have happened had I shifted to 2nd as the incline was steep, sharp with falls.

One more thing, I just cannot understand what your query was/is? If its high-revs, then its absolutely normal and advisable to ascend and descend in lower gears and let the revs hit the ceiling.

And this is what happens when you are flat-out.
Attached Thumbnails
ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats-whatsapp-image-20181010-1.16.17-pm.jpeg  

ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats-whatsapp-image-20181007-1.43.35-pm.jpeg  


Last edited by Sheel : 16th October 2018 at 11:49.
Sheel is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 12:06   #312
Distinguished - BHPian
 
arunphilip's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,975
Thanked: 5,967 Times
Default Re: Ghoom to Tista Bazar - Freaked me out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
All along the sign boards said "1st gear only". The problem is when in 1st gear the revs are too much and you can see the engine struggling and the noise being so much I felt so much for the engine that I move to the 2nd gear. However at the 2nd gear it runs down too fast and I have to apply brake almost constantly which I knew was too bad as well.
Don't worry about the engine in first. Worry about yourselves in second!

Yes, the engine RPM is high in 1st. That's because the wheels are driving your engine, and in first gear, the gearbox reduces engine speed to the wheels, but in reverse, the wheel speed is multiplied for the engine. So, you'd notice that for 1 rotation of the wheel, the engine turns roughly 10 times.

But, since the wheels are driving the engine, the ECU sees that the actual engine speed is higher than the requested engine speed (from the throttle), and it cuts fuel to the engine.

So your tachometer might show 3000+ rpm, but the fuel consumed will be negligible.

Coming to engine heating - yes, the engine acts as a compression brake during engine braking, and compression like this causes heating. But this is not something to be worried about, because when an engine is running normally, it is managing tens of tiny explosions every second. The heat produced during normal operation is higher than when coming downhill.

Trust me - you "kill" your car engine more in 1 hour of city driving, than in 1 hour of coming downhill in first gear under engine braking.
arunphilip is offline   (3) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 15:57   #313
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,336
Thanked: 1,384 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

There is an old tip - go down hill in the same gear you will be climbing up at.

In my opinion if your engine is revving upto 90% of its maximum while going down hill, it is fine. Modern ECU will reduce the fuel to a bare minimum in such conditions, so no hit on FE while going down in first gear.

What is more dangerous is racing down in second or higher gear on steep slopes. There is less engine breaking and higher speed may result in taking bends at higher than recommended speed - resulting in flying off the road.

If you use brakes to slow down your descent then eventually they will over heat and stop functioning, a recipe for disaster.
Aroy is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 16th October 2018, 17:30   #314
BHPian
 
jeevmenon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN07
Posts: 472
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

Thanks Arun Rahul Rahul Sheel. Insightful. I feel my Duster at home is much relaxed downhill than the swift hatchback. Does this engine braking vary from car to car? Probably yes. Engine dependent, diesel vs petrol? Torque, power related? This will help to ensure we hire the correct vehicle to be more comfortable. I know people drive all kinds of vehicles on such terrains but just to be more sure and relaxed.
jeevmenon is offline  
Old 16th October 2018, 17:44   #315
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,272
Thanked: 3,808 Times
Default Re: ARTICLE: Safe Driving on Indian Highways & Ghats

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeevmenon View Post
Thanks Arun Rahul Rahul Sheel. Insightful. I feel my Duster at home is much relaxed downhill than the swift hatchback. Does this engine braking vary from car to car? Probably yes. Engine dependent, diesel vs petrol? Torque, power related? This will help to ensure we hire the correct vehicle to be more comfortable. I know people drive all kinds of vehicles on such terrains but just to be more sure and relaxed.
To pile on top of your question, I wonder if cars with short gear ratios will roll downhill better than cars with "taller" gear ratios.
locusjag is online now  
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks