So, the holiday time is coming near…Many of you probably have already started with the planning process. Even I have planned a nice road trip with my best of buddies. I’m sure like me, many of you must be planning to go to some Ghats. While I’ll say the plan is fantablous, the problems associated are such a pain in the bums. If you didn’t plan it well, you might probably end up getting frustrated all the way in your “supposed to be cool” journey with your friends or family for that matter. So, there are few steps involved in the planning process. I’m sure by the end of this article you might become aware as what you should do and what not.
Ok, so you drafted the final plan. How it will start, where will be the pit stops, where to eat, to wait and to arrive. Right? And now you think it is as simple as the spelling of your own name. It’s not! So, firstly you should surf the net and find out how many checkpoints are there in the journey. You just can’t simply assume that there none in your way and simply draft your beautiful idea. Purchase a small map of the route or take out a printout from the net itself and mark those checkpoints. Also take an account of various garages in the way. Reason being that the ghats is the place where surprisingly maximum breakdown occurs. Maybe because of the strain the vehicle goes through in those places.
Now before leaving, make sure that your vehicle is in a good shape. If it’s been really a long time since your car exchanged gratitude with your mechanic then I guess it is now time. Take your car to the mechanic and tell him that you are leaving for this particular place, and to make this car suitable to bear the pain. I guess he’ll understand it and will do the required changes accordingly. But if you are not sure whether the mechanic is the right person or not, then do check your car by yourself. Make sure that every part of the vehicle that you think is really important is in good shape. Pay a special attention to the brakes, gear lever, brake oil and the engine oil.
Now you’ve done all that and you probably have started the journey, now what? Now, drive as you usually drive until you reach the descended road. Make sure that n between you and the vehicle in front of you, you have enough of distance. If you are stuck in heavy traffic on these roads, which I’m sure you would, then take a special care. There might be loads of trucks carrying steel rods and bars, I guess you know what to do, try to keep a secure distance. There’ll be lot of stops which might irritate your car’s engine, so don’t unnecessarily assault your car’s throttle in those places, keep it calm but do not switch of the engine it might even more irritate your engine.
While climbing the ghat, switch off the air conditioner. Keep a tab on the temperature gauge to make sure that it is not over heated. If you feel there is a problem with it, then there’s no harm in taking a halt. Do not open the radiator cap, let the engine cool down by itself, by the time you can enjoy a snack. Also, make sure that you don’t forget to switch on the hazard light. One more thing to make it simple for you, do not try to do any stunts with your car. I mean not the actual stunts (anyways you must not attempt them, as well) but rather that filmy crap like throwing water over the heat throbbing radiator. Do it if you want to get blasted or burnt. Seriously. You know why, because the sudden change in temperature might bring a crack in the cylinder or worst a minor blast (capable enough to shock you). Now, since the engine has cooled down, now start the engine and add the coolant or water.
If you have to stop in between the traffic and on a slope then make sure that you switch on the hazard light and wisely use the hand brake. Avoid the habit of half clutch or slipping it in general term. If the vehicle is not able to pull off, then you probably give it enough of space and time to cool down a bit. If you vigorously use the half clutch then your car might revert back in such an awkward way that you’ll be stranded in the middle of your journey. To tell you the least, it might burn your clutch plate.
Now, this should have to be kept in mind before starting the journey but better late than never. Keep your all three rear view mirrors clean. Make sure that all three provides you with maximum clarity. Adjust them accordingly, though I’m sure they were already adjusted. Besides all those safety steps, one that might be the most important step which is that on those ghats, you probably have to use the lower gear. Ensure that you have a total control over them. If its is a normal descent then try to keep the car on second gear which means that you will be driving it on the 40-50 kmph speed. Make sure that you don’t exceed the limit written on the sign board, those are specially pasted over there for you. Besides don’t try to think that you are wise rather actually, ‘be wise’.