Mumbai-Pune Expressway Traffic Jam: What motorists are doing wrong when driving

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A video showing a massive traffic jam on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway has been going viral on social media. The video shows cars suffering breakdowns parked on the side with their bonnets open. A recent report detailed that over 100 cars ended up needing repairs on the Pune-bound side of the expressway, having to be towed to the nearby service centres. What seemed like a good utilisation of a long Christmas weekend turned into a nightmare. But what are motorists doing wrong?

Owing to long weekends, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway witnessed traffic congestion leading to over 100 cars breaking down (HT_PRINT)

The video shows most cars are not more than 10 years old. New-age cars are by and large reliable with fewer reasons for breakdowns. However, the high influx over the weekend led to a 12 km-long long jam on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway starting from Dheku village to the Khandala tunnel.

Also Read : What can cause a car to break down on road how to avoid it: Key Tips.

With the section going uphill, most users tend to ride their clutch constantly to avoid stalling the vehicle or rolling back. When you are pressing the clutch pedal only partially, the driveshaft is not fully disconnected and the clutch plate continues to rub the flywheel of the motor. This leads to putting unnecessary load and burning of the clutch plates. This issue is largely seen with manual cars while automatics manage to engage the right gear over time. However, the clutch burn may also happen with automatic transmissions with the creep function engaged due to constantly driving at crawling speeds.

Most users got this wrong about driving on the uphill section of the expressway and accelerated wear and tear on the clutch plate. The issue is not just restricted to the ghat sections but is also applicable when traversing through bumper-to-bumper traffic within city limits. Half-riding the clutch will only wear it out faster, leading to expensive repairs.

Also Read : Mumbai to Manali: Traffic jam, breakdowns spoil Christmas weekend cheer.

2023 Hyundai i20 N Line
The burnt clutch issue is mostly with manual transmission cars (Image used for representational purposes)

About 25 mechanics were present on the expressway to deal with the aftermath of the breakdowns, according to a recent report. Most cars were towed to the garages in and around Khopoli with clutch replacement costs starting from about 6,000, depending on the model. With more cars breaking down, the traffic jams extended to about two to three hours.

Drivers need to remember to fully engage and disengage the clutch while driving. It’s also important to engage the handbrake to avoid rolling back on the ghat sections when stopped. It’s best to do a preventive check at the service centre before a long trip.

First Published Date: 26 Dec 2023, 16:52 PM IST

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