Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Driving troubles and lessons learnt

My last post was about finding a new pal.. my very new car. However, for some reason, this pal got very jittery yesterday. While driving on MG road with a few friends last night, a very bad smell came out of the engine when I pressed the clutch. We wondered what it was, but carried on. The car was jerky though. We moved a few meters and were hit by a strong rubber burning smell. The drive was so jerky, that I asked one of my friends to drive and check out what was wrong. The engine was not overheated. He started driving, but the bad smell continued to linger. It was too strong to ignore. We pulled over. Opened the bonnet, to see if there was some obvious we could spot. There was a bad smell, but nothing that my friends could pin-point. I must admit, my knowledge of such things is down there in negatives, which, I again admit, is a bad thing. Once you start driving, you cannot be ignorant about the common things. What if I had got stranded alone ? The thought itself scares me! Thats when I decided, I need to seriously do 'RTFM' on the car manual. And not stop there, learn basics of clutch, braking, engine, etc etc.. whatever important there is to know !

Found this nice link on understanding the mechanics behind clutch: I now have a decent idea of what it is, and what happens when I press and release it.

So, coming back to what happened yesterday.. we called the Hyundai Road Service. They were a little hard to deal with... kept passing the buck from one service station to another. Finally, someone said that they would be at MG road in 45 minutes. We parked the vehicle at Garuda mall and waited for them. Finally at 9:45pm, those guys came. They inspected the vehicle and said that for some reason the fan had stopped working (err?!!).. and the clutch plate was burning.. eww !! Ofcourse to me those terms did not make any sense.. but enough to get me in a panic state. What I was confused about was whether that had anything to do with the way I have been driving. I did not have an answer. Anywaz, those guys assured me that I coul go home without any problem and should get it checked at the workshop as soon as possible. Somehow, alone at about 10 or so pm in the night, I, a learner, managed to reach home safe and sound ! That was one hell of an experience. I have always been uncomfortable with driving at night.. now to ad to that was the feeling that I am not driving correctly.

Now that I understand clutch little bit, I learnt that I am indeed one thing wrong - sometimes at the signal, when I know its going to be a short one, I keep the car stationary just around the half-clutch point.. eww.. sounds bad now that I think of it! I let the clutch plates pressed unnecessary. A good lesson learnt and from now on, will either keep the clutch fully pressed or leave the gear in neutral.

Had been to the workshop today with a friend. My friend found the car to be behaving very strange.. in his terms "yeh car toh ek bhudi ki tarah behave kar rahi" :-( But, surprisingly, the technical guy drove around and found that there was nothing wrong with it. We came out and my friend drove the car again. And this time, he too felt that everything was fine ! Which was and is very surprising. I too found the drive to be rather smooth and not jerky. But there is still some weird sound while driving ! Our only guess is that in the span of about 10-15 mins of that guy driving, the microprocessor somehow tuned something (I do not know, my friend was theorizing) and somehow that caused the things to be working fine ! God, I have no idea !!!!

I just need to drive around for a few days and check if things look and feel OK. If not, would need to get it examined.

The warranty covers only defective parts and not parts that get spoilt due to misuse or abuse. So, I had promptly removed the 'L' board from the car before I took it to the service station ;-) [smart, ain't I ?]. and in this way, atleast till I decide whether to put the sign back or not, I shall drive on the road, pretending to be a learned driver ! wow !! That gives a sense of immense power ! But with power comes great responsibility.. and thats the scary part.

All I now hope for is that everything is ok with my dear new car.. and that it will not ditch me for years to come !

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