Everybody knows that there is a set of tools in the
vehicle they drive or ride. The four wheelers come with a jack, a wheel wrench,
besides screw drivers and spanners. Not many bother to buy a few more critical tools
that come handy in situations that we are facing now. Yes, I am talking about the
With a complete lockdown in the country which we are experiencing
currently, the relevance of these tools is all the more evident. So what are
these tools? These are basically 3 critical tools. But before that, let me
explain what could possibly happen to your vehicle during a lockdown, like the
one we are currently experiencing.
A lot of people have not bothered to come out of their
houses to start their vehicles. If any vehicle is not started for more than two
weeks, the possibility of the battery draining itself out is very high. In
other words, it will get discharged. If a vehicle is not started for a very
long period, the battery automatically gets discharged or goes dead. Assuming that the battery is in good working
condition, even though it is dead, a vehicle can be push started.
But mind you, only those vehicles can be push started
that come with manual transmissions. Automatic transmission vehicles can never
be push started. Coming to pushing starting your vehicle, this again requires
certain skills and not everyone knows how to do it. Besides, you also require a
few able bodied people with great stamina to push your vehicle in order to get
it rolling. And if you are in the driver’s seat during a push start, you should
have adequate skills to get the vehicle started or else you will only end up with
your vehicle not starting and a few people huffing and puffing behind your
It is very important that during the lockdown period you
need to start your vehicle at least once a week. There is no need to engage its
gears and move around and flout the lockdown norms. A stationary vehicle is
good enough. You need to put it in neutral and simply start the vehicle and
keep the engine running for at least five minutes. A mild acceleration up to
3000rpm is good enough to keep the battery in the “charged” mode.
Also, since you may not have moved your vehicle, the
vehicle tyre pressure would have also come down drastically in the last 21 odd
days of lockdown. For that there is nothing you can do except use the tool we
THE THREE CRITICAL
1. A tow cable:
A tow cable is always a handy tool that helps your vehicle to be towed to the
nearest workshop in case one is not able to rectify its fault. A tow cable is
also called a tow rope or a tow strap. Towing a vehicle is best left to the professionals
and more importantly, cars with an automatic transmission should be towed with
care to avoid damage to the transmission system. That’s why a flat bed tow
truck is the best option to tow a modern car. A tow cable, nevertheless comes
handy when you have a manual transmission vehicle and you know how to go about
towing your vehicle or towing another vehicle.
2. Portable air compressor: This gadget or tool is a
very handy fellow, even when there is no lockdown. It’s a must-have for every vehicle.
The compressor needs a 12V socket or plug
point and this machine can fill a deflated tyre in just about few minutes.
During this lockdown period, it is but obvious that the tyres of your vehicles
have deflated to a low level. The situation gets worse as the weather gets hot.
A portable air compressor which costs between Rs 1000 to
Rs 4000, depending on its quality and ability, is always handy for any driver.
Since most of the vehicles come with tubeless tyres these days, this machine
can fill up air in a deflated / low pressure tyre and can take you to the
nearest tyre repair shop before it deflates again. One does not have to go
through the painful procedure of changing your tyre all by yourself. And in
times like these when your vehicle is stationary, you can ensure that the air
pressure on all the tyres are maintained.
3. Jumper cables:
These cables are of great help during such times of lockdown. These are
basically two cables, one in red and the other in black, with crocodile clamps
or clips at both ends. These clamps are also known as alligator clamps or clips
with a sprung metal clip with long serrated jaws.
The clamps are basically battery clamps and are made of
solid copper for low electrical resistance, and are used with thick insulated
copper cables to make connections between automobile batteries. These jumper
cables are capable of delivering hundreds of Amperes of current needed to
directly power an automobile starter motor, or to transfer energy from a
charged lead-acid battery to a discharged one.
One has to use these cables with great care. How does it
work? Let us assume you have car ‘A’ that has a lead acid battery that is
completely discharged. In essence it means you cannot start car ‘A’. To get is started
you need to bring in car ‘B’, a car with batteries that are fully functional, very
close to ‘A’. Once the ignition of both cars
is turned off, you need to connect the red wire to, the +ive terminal of car A battery
and its other end to the +ive terminal of car B battery. Similarly, the black cable
needs to be attached to the –ive terminal of the car A battery and its other
end to the –ive terminal of car B battery.
Once the cables are connected, you need to start car B
and then tweak the ignition key of Car A. A draws its battery strength from B
and starts. It’s as simple as that. Once car A starts, you can gently disconnect
the cables. A word of caution here, the cables should be correctly connected
and if by mistake the cables get cross connected, it can create a big spark and
even a fire and can damage the electrical parts of your vehicle.
is a portable device, something on the lines of your power bank that charges
your mobile phones. But a jump box or a portable jump starter is a little
bigger in size but has a lot more capacity. Jump boxes are designed primarily
for jump starting your vehicle, but they can be used for a lot of other things.
Even the most basic units typically come with a built-in 12-volt accessory
socket, which can be used to power any 12 volt device like your lap top or some
The best thing about the portable jump starter is that you
do not need the help of another car or its battery to start your car.
In case you do not have the three critical tools mentioned
above, then you simply need to keep your fingers crossed and hope you are batteries
are discharged. But then there’s always a mechanic round the corner who will
come to your aid.
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