As you may know, I’ve been a fan of Indian cars for a long time. India is a unique market with a lot of interesting demands, including low cost of purchase and ownership, efficiency, extreme durability and plenty of utility and flexibility. It’s not an easy market, and as a result, the cars developed for there tend to be rugged and clever. The same goes for maintenance, which is why I think the instructions I’m going to show you here really could only be from India.
When I visited India a few years back to drive a bunch of Mahindras (and one Hindustan) I remember being told by an engineer that for many vehicles designed for the Indian market, especially work and utility vehicles, you should always assume that the way the car or truck will be serviced will involve little more than a pit in the dirt and a hammer.
That may have been an exaggeration, but the vehicles I saw were certainly designed to be rugged and easy to maintain. You can’t expect fancy tools or equipment, and if you want something done a certain way, you better damn well make it obvious.
I think that’s the thinking behind this clever solution for making sure bolts are tightened to the proper specifications:
“Tighten the Bolt until ‘TAK’ noise is heard 3 times,” the sticker on the wrench reads, and I can’t think of a better, more obvious, or intuitive way to make sure bolts get tightened enough.
This toolkit is from a Tata Harrier, Tata’s new flagship SUV. I checked out the Harrier’s owner’s manual, and it looks like their onomatopoeic approach to tire changing instructions shows up there, too:
I’m sure it’s possible other carmakers have included onomatopoeias in instructions before, but I can’t seem to find any examples of SNIKs or PLOPs or SKNORKs anywhere, at least not yet.
It’s also interesting how the spelling TAK just seems to work better than TACK or TAC for this sound; it sounds sharper, more metallic, but in a very subtle way.