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Old 27th March 2007, 16:00   #1
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Default Car(petra 1.6) Starting Problem - Review of Tata and Fiat service

Hi all,
Hope my experience helps those who takes there fiat cars for service to Tata(concorde motors) or Javali, Bangalore.

My Car is Petra 1.6 EL (2005 model)

After coming back from a long trip of Bangalore-Shimoga-Udupi-Mangalore-Hassan-Bangalore, I Gave my car to Javali for a regular service. They changed, engine oil, Coolant, cleaned Brake pads etc.. + Rs500 for Service.Total cost of service = Rs 2700(approx).

Took the car back and drove back home. Next morning(8:00am) when I tried to start my car, Car refused to start. Cranking was good enough but Engine refused to fire. Tried for next 5 minutes and gave a call to breakdown service of Javali.Those service guys arrived at around 10.30am and tried to start the car, but to all our surprise, car started in its first crank .Tried a few more times, Car started in One crank so the mechanic left saying they cannot find the problem until the problem gets reproduced. Breakdown Services charges - RS 200.

I drove the car the whole day without any problem. But the car again didn't start next morning(Around 9am.).. Just with previous days experience, I started the car again after 10.00am and the car started. Took the car straight to Javali motors and told the problem to them. Also told them that problem have started after the service of the car. Service Guys asked me to take the car to some other service station ( Preferably Tata) because they didn't have a ECU analyzer for Petra 1.6.They suspected that the problem may be in ECU.

I called Concorde( Tata ) if they have a Analyzer and got a positive Answer. Took my car to them. Car was checked with Analyzer and they did not find any problem. All codes were fine. Left my car at workshop thinking that problem may get reproduced next morning. Called them next morning to know that Car started after a few cranks. They analyzed the ECU and found nothing wrong. Suspected the fuel filter so replaced it and asked me to take the car. Picked my Car at around 4pm after starting it a few times and took back home.
Cost of Service & Spare - Rs325

Next morning Again the same problem, Car did not start. Called Concorde workshop and told the problem. Tata Guys were very courteous, They sent a Driver to pick the car from my home(Free of charge). Car was sent to Workshop on Monday.Now I got a call on Tuesday morning saying that the problem have been found and Coolant sensor have gone bad. So they replaced the sensor with another 1.6 vehicle which was in workshop and the car started.I asked them to keep the car for one more morning and test if the problem have really gone.Next morning, I called them and got the know that Car was not starting with the Coolant sensor also. So bad Coolant sensor was ruled out.

These things kept happening for next 4 days, Every day service people used to tell that the problem was fixed and I can take the car but as per my request they kept the car for next morning and the car did not start.
On Friday (5th day) they finally called me that ECU have gone bad and Car start fine with another Palio's ECU. They asked me to send a mail to Fiat Service to send a ECU so that they can get it soon.

I just wanted to be safe, so asked them to test the vehicle again next morning with other ECU. I also told them That I will be reaching there workshop at 7.00am(since it was weekend holiday for me). Reached workshop and started the car( Different ECU) and with no surprise Car refused to start. The other Petra which have my car's ECU started in first crank.

I waited for there service advisor to arrive and asked him to explain what all things he have checked. I asked them to check vapor sensor, Lambda Sensor and Fuel Pump also. They checked it and all of them worked fine with the other car. The way they were working, I started suspecting if they really got trained by Fiat or not . They looked like doing all there PHD on my vehicle. I asked there works Manager to deliver the car. It was 12.00pm afternoon and Car started. so I took the car after paying Rs 319 ( I don't know for what ).
Next morning after a repeated cranking, Car started at 10.00am, I decided to take the car to Javali.

Just traveling around 1/2 km. Car stopped and refused to start. Called Javali breakdown Service. Those people reached in next 1 hr, Tried starting the car and it started in first crank. Took the car to javali and explained about what all things have been checked. Service Advisor promised me to give the car in 2 days saying there may be some electrical problem.

Next morning I called the Service Guys and got to know that Current is not reaching spark plugs and Fuel Pump. They exchanged the relay(red one) from bonnet to Black one( which is below the steering wheel where all electrical fuses are fixed)

Car started in first Crank. They kept the car for one more morning to make sure and starting problem had gone, Next morning car started fine at even 7.00am. As per service Guys working for more than 10 yrs in Fiat have never came across this kind of weird problem

Paid Rs 320 for there Breakdown service + Labor and drove the car back home.It has been more than 1 week and I am starting my car every morning at 6.00am to make sure the problem have gone or not.
Looks like there is no starting problem now and I have been driving my car as before.

Moral of the story is
Always take the car to a place who are more competent and Experienced in servicing your car.

Happy Driving
GD
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Old 27th March 2007, 16:21   #2
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GD, Very interesting issue that was!

Good, that you could finally nail the root cause and fix the same!
Yes, Tata Service Centers though have the Training from Fiat India, they are still in the learning curve and picking up the intricacies of Fiat cars by hit and trial.

GreenTracks/Javali on the other hand has some experienced Mechanics from the erstwhile Sundaram Motors, who know a good deal about Fiat cars.
And I always come here for my regular Service and they've done a pretty good job so far!
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Old 27th March 2007, 16:22   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatDrive View Post
Hi all,

Now I got a call on Tuesday morning saying that the problem have been found and Coolant sensor have gone bad. So they replaced the sensor with another 1.6 vehicle which was in workshop and the car started.I asked them to keep the car for one more morning and test if the problem have really gone.Next morning, I called them and got the know that Car was not starting with the Coolant sensor also. So bad Coolant sensor was ruled out.

Happy Driving
GD
god only knows from whose car they picked up this. This is a blatant cheating to you as well as to that 1.6 present there.
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Old 27th March 2007, 16:35   #4
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Nice of you to share, greatDrive. You're right about taking the car to a place where they have experienced mechs.

From my experience with two TATA service centers and a TVS service center here, the TATA guys are very courteous, smile a lot, have good lounges and make you feel good about having taken the car to their service center. But they don't know cr@p about Fiat cars except what they learn from screwing with the Fiat cars they get for service daily. If you have a major/uncommon issue, may god save you and your car.

The TVS guys on the other hand make you feel like they are doing a favour to you, mess up the car with grease and dust, don't wash it, and make you wait a lifetime for bill settlement. But they know what goes where, and what repair the car needs. They can diagnose most problems after a few minutes with the car and (in my experience) do not press you to change parts if not really needed. I haven't had any major issues with my car (2002 Palio 1.2, touchwood), but I think I'm going to grin my teeth and stick with TVS from now on.
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Old 27th March 2007, 17:25   #5
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I can imagine how much worried you were for a week or more.
Happy to here that car is back to normal without any major issues/expenditure.

According to me Tata guys should donate the ECU analyzer to Javali
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Old 27th March 2007, 17:28   #6
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Going by your experience I feel the Tata guys would have needed an entire 1.6 to try and swap each and every part from the vehicle and do a trial and error method. This would have left the car in their workshop for god alone knows how many 7:00 am mornings.
One of the TATA dealership in Pune named B.U. Bhandari made a smart move by picking up the entire trained staff from Ashwamegh Motors (A Fiat dealership which got shut recently). Now they have a competent staff and good equipment to service cars.
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Old 27th March 2007, 17:38   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
Nice of you to share, greatDrive. You're right about taking the car to a place where they have experienced mechs.

From my experience with two TATA service centers and a TVS service center here, the TATA guys are very courteous, smile a lot, have good lounges and make you feel good about having taken the car to their service center. But they don't know cr@p about Fiat cars except what they learn from screwing with the Fiat cars they get for service daily. If you have a major/uncommon issue, may god save you and your car.
This is exacttly what I felt....
But at the end of the day .. Its your car which matters and tata is really have a long way to go

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadas View Post
According to me Tata guys should donate the ECU analyzer to Javali
Javali have ordered and payed for a ECU Analyzer but yet to receive it from Fiat Mumbai.. Its almost 3 months now and they are still waiting..

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
One of the TATA dealership in Pune named B.U. Bhandari made a smart move by picking up the entire trained staff from Ashwamegh Motors (A Fiat dealership which got shut recently). Now they have a competent staff and good equipment to service cars.
Same ploy was used by Javali Bangalore who picked most of the TVS Sundaram people.

For each Service done in Tata, I got a call from there Service Customer care, Pune.. about.
1. How was the service sir Did you go there for the same problem sir.
2. Was the estimate done properly Sir
3. Was the problem solved. Sir.
4. Did they clean the vechile before delivery Sir...
If you are not Statified, Please feel free to write in to us .. at @...

My single answer was .. Your staff is not qualified enough for Fiats service.

All this customer care bull****.
They should first train there staff who don't know how to deal with problems and then expect them to deliver the goods.

Last edited by adya33 : 27th March 2007 at 20:35.
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Old 27th March 2007, 18:02   #8
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Thank god you got this sorted out. The hard way though. :( My experience with the Tata-Fiat guys at Fortune in Powai is different.
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Old 27th March 2007, 19:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
GreenTracks/Javali on the other hand has some experienced Mechanics from the erstwhile Sundaram Motors, who know a good deal about Fiat cars.
And I always come here for my regular Service and they've done a pretty good job so far!
I agree that Javali have some good Mechanics, But since the problem started just after the regular service at Javali, I suspected these people might have played around with something to get the car back in workshop and make some more money. But since most of the major things were ruled out at Concorde Like all Sensors, ECU, Fuel pump etc.. They have no option but to fix the actual problem.

But this is just my thought and I may be wrong.

Last edited by greatDrive : 27th March 2007 at 19:46.
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Old 27th March 2007, 19:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greatDrive View Post
Same ploy was used by Javali Bangalore who picked most of the TVS Sundaram people.

For each Service done in Tata, I got a call from there Service Customer care, Pune.. about.
1. How was the service sir Did you go there for the same problem sir.
2. Was the estimate done properly Sir
3. Was the problem solved. Sir.
4. Did they clean the vechile before delivery Sir...
If you are not Statified, Please feel free to write in to us .. at @...

My single answer was .. Your staff is not qualified enough for Fiats service.

All this customer care bull****.
They should first train there staff who don't know how to deal with problems and then expect them to deliver the goods.
This is Tata Motors standard practice - nothing specific to Fiat cars. They do ask you all these questions.

If FIAT A.S.S was bad in the few years that it existed here, how can we expect another manufacturer that has its own millions to look after to provide top notch service within a few months of taking over the 50-60,000 Fiats in the country>
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Old 27th March 2007, 21:05   #11
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I share your frustration. I too had similar experience where the authorised Tata Service people could not solve my Indica issue for over 2 months which was resolved, sort of, by a general garage service station. They are certainly courteous, but if they come across a problem they cannot resolve after 2-3 tries, I feel they give up and give excuses for the problem.
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Old 28th March 2007, 11:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriverR View Post
I share your frustration. I too had similar experience where the authorised Tata Service people could not solve my Indica issue for over 2 months which was resolved, sort of, by a general garage service station. They are certainly courteous, but if they come across a problem they cannot resolve after 2-3 tries, I feel they give up and give excuses for the problem.
This info is for steeroid....just kidding..
I think thats because of lack of training/case studies.. being taught as a part of the training process of Servicing a Car.
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Old 28th March 2007, 11:39   #13
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GD, We learned of Hit and Trial Method in mathematics but your car is subject of that method implemented by TATA service in real life...
The experience was pathetic which I can understand but I am sure that might have taught you a thing or two about servicing your car to the right place...

Abhi
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