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Old 21st March 2014, 22:02   #166
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Crusoe is throwing some tantrums. Seems like he is upset that we took Neil to Narkanda, not him. :(

The AC isn't cooling. It's making a hissing noise but the cooling is subdued.
While getting the alignment done, the mechanic notified about oil on the engine protection plate. Seems one of the oils (Engine or transmission) is leaking at a very low rate. Dip-stick didn't show any significant drop. Had taken the car to Kashyap but the guys there were extremely busy. So, have booked an appointment for tomorrow morning at Oberoi. Fingers crossed.

Btw, this is what Neil is teasing Crusoe with:

All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done-283dsc04502.jpg

All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done-463img_20140311_085840_edit.jpg
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Old 21st March 2014, 22:34   #167
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Absolutely fantastic pictures and best to get the oil leak checked up asap , hopefully its nothing too major but an oil leak is an oil leak. Let us know how it went.
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Old 22nd March 2014, 13:34   #168
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Wow! simply amazing pictures Biraj. Hope you had a great time. Just out of curiosity, how was the car performance in such low temperatures?
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Old 1st April 2014, 17:31   #169
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Originally Posted by puchoo View Post
Absolutely fantastic pictures and best to get the oil leak checked up asap , hopefully its nothing too major but an oil leak is an oil leak. Let us know how it went.
Thanks, got the oil leak checked but it's yet to be rectified. More details below.

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Wow! simply amazing pictures Biraj. Hope you had a great time. Just out of curiosity, how was the car performance in such low temperatures?
Thanks Azhar, The Punto performed better than my expectations. It started on the first crank in the morning, despite being covered under 2 feet of snow. It had enough grunt to plough its way through all the snow. It was amazing in the hills. It was the plains, where I missed my T-jet as I had to plan the overtaking maneuvers.

______________________

On the AC and oil leakage issue:

I took my car to Oberoi Fiat, Noida on March 21 (Friday). I went there around 2 PM thus, they asked me to bring the car on Saturday morning as AC inspection takes a lot of time.

I reached Oberoi Fiat at 10:00 AM on Saturday (March 22). There was a heavy rush thus, my car reached the service bay at around 11.30 AM. At 4 PM, they informed me that the cooling coil seems to be the culprit and they would need one more day to work on it. The oil leak was traced to the seal on transmission box. As expected the seal is out of stock and they would need ~15 days to get it. They assured that the rate of leakage is too slow and won't cause any damage to any component.

They offered to get my car picked on Tuesday and complete the AC work. I asked them to top-up the AC gas so as to travel comfortably over the weekend. It took them 2 hours to top-up the gas level by 200 grams. I paid ~Rs. 800 for gas and compressor oil and left.

My car got picked up at 10.30 AM on Tuesday (March 25). At around 3.30 PM I decided to make a surprise visit to check the status of work. When I reached the service center, I saw that my car was still parked outside. I went and asked the service manager, the reason for such a delay. His response was that they had 2 other cars waiting for AC work. I asked him the reason behind them picking my car, despite knowing that they won't be able to work on it. He didn't have a response. I told him that I have lost all the trust I had on their words and abilities, and would like to take my car elsewhere. The service manager requested for one more day and promised to deliver the car by 1 PM on Wednesday.

I got my car at 3.30 PM on Wednesday. Since I was traveling, I couldn't inspect it when they dropped the car at my home. I drove it yesterday (Monday), and the AC seems fine. It's still early days but I hope they have sorted out the issue.

The interiors have grease marks on the roof and dashboard. I will clean it myself so, no grouse around it.

There's a scratch on the glove box. Must have happened when they had removed the dashboard to replace the cooling coil. Luckily it's not a major scratch, and something I will be able to learn to live with.

The sealant for transmission box is yet to arrive, expected DOA is next week.

I really don't know how to sum up my experience with Fiat. There have been great days with the car, and equally horrible days with the service center. How I wish Lineas and Puntos were serviced by Hyundai or Maruti.
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Old 7th April 2014, 18:49   #170
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

ACC - Anomalous Climate Control:

While the AC was working fine last week, today it threw another tantrum.

It usually takes a minute (perhaps even lesser) before the AC starts blowing cold air however, today I drove for around 5-6 KMs in rush-hour traffic and there was no cooling effect. I checked the ACC multiple times and as per the display, the compressor was on. I thought the gas has leaked again, and I will have to spend another 2-3 days to get the leakage identified. Since I was stuck in bad traffic on NH24 with Vikrams (Autos in Ghaziabad) for company, I kept the windows rolled up and the AC on. Only the blower was working, and it was blowing my temper higher and higher. I was thinking whether to try Kashyap Noida/Okhla or perhaps try the new dealer in Faridabad that keeps calling intermittently (to check how the car is running). I had traveled close to 6 KMs from home in 20 odd minutes, and the temperature (both outside and inside the car) was increasing. Suddenly the compressor got activated on its own, and the AC started working perfectly fine. I drove for almost another 40 minutes. The AC worked at its absolute best. After this experience, it's certain that AC gas is not the culprit for this issue. So, I left my car for 3 days, paid Rs 2550 (Rs 800 on first day and Rs 1750 on last day) for replenishing the gas, and got a new issue.

Has anyone else faced anything similar? Is this just some normal/harmless prank by ECU or is this a symptom of something big.

In other news, the transmission sealant is still out of stock...
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Old 8th April 2014, 16:08   #171
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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It usually takes a minute (perhaps even lesser) before the AC starts blowing cold air

Has anyone else faced anything similar?
With the car standing under the sun, Yes, it does take close to a minute for the full cold draft of air to be felt at the vents. If parked in the shade, the chill is felt well under half a minute of starting climate control.

There could be a issue with the compressor clutch not engaging. It is more an electrical trigger. Sometimes, the electrical contact points on the compressor unit may have dust accumulated. Cleaning this can help. I had faced this on my Ikon, when I used to own this car. Thought it was something serious when all they did was use a blower to clean the electrical points of the compressor unit and it was all good from then.

Check functioning of radiator cooling fan when you hit the climate control. It takes about 10-15 seconds to start spinning.

An over heating engine can also lead to intermittent functioning of the AC. I don't think this is the case for your car.

Defective AC thermostat can also cause this. It is unable to detect increase in cabin temperature causing delay in compressor start up. Turn it all the way to LO and check.
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Old 9th April 2014, 18:39   #172
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
There could be a issue with the compressor clutch not engaging. It is more an electrical trigger. Sometimes, the electrical contact points on the compressor unit may have dust accumulated. Cleaning this can help. I had faced this on my Ikon, when I used to own this car. Thought it was something serious when all they did was use a blower to clean the electrical points of the compressor unit and it was all good from then.
Thanks Sandeep, even I suspect the electrical points to be the culprit. I called one of the mechanics at Oberoi to check what he considers as the possible reason. Even he suspected that electrical points need cleaning, as they had checked every other component related to AC while changing the cooling coil. He informed that they do not have the electrical contact cleaner spray in stock, so I should bring the car later in the week.

There some other minor irritants in the car i.e. glove box is rattling, the horn-pad also seems a bit loose. So a dealer visit is on the cards.
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Old 10th April 2014, 10:03   #173
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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He informed that they do not have the electrical contact cleaner spray in stock, so I should bring the car later in the week.
Ford used compressed air to clean the electrical contact points. I am sure Fiat will have this at the service center.
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Old 10th April 2014, 11:21   #174
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
ACC - Anomalous Climate Control:

.......
Has anyone else faced anything similar? Is this just some normal/harmless prank by ECU or is this a symptom of something big.

In other news, the transmission sealant is still out of stock...
Anomalous: yes of course! It's a FIAT!

Pranks: You still asking? Well, it does!
Just last day, the horn pad wouldn't work. Just intermittently: its OK now. I was returning from Karnal side! Just would sound, randomly...! Quoting Khushwant ji, "Every part of my car makes a noise except the horn"

I think, me and you, we need to rethink our positioning of Oberoi! The GM says he is busy with the new body shop, a few of the competent techs, for some reason, seem entirely demoralized or depressed, although they did put forward a smiling face when I visited them for the door lock that would not open from the inside, after dis-engaging child lock. (Fixed it myself the next day: true DIY! Just a flexible lock lever which came off! BTW did you buy the ratcheting set? I did, I suggest you do too, and it's DIY from now on! I am serious: my next "service" will be DIY!)
Some work on my car is still pending after the accident. It's one time that I definitely need to go back to Oberoi...post that, I will have to rethink!
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Old 10th April 2014, 12:44   #175
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Ford used compressed air to clean the electrical contact points. I am sure Fiat will have this at the service center.
Ford perhaps had the intention to work, this particular Fiat dealer seems to lack it. Their attitude is to get away with as much work (lack of it), as they can possibly get away with.

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Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
I think, me and you, we need to rethink our positioning of Oberoi! The GM says he is busy with the new body shop, a few of the competent techs, for some reason, seem entirely demoralized or depressed, although they did put forward a smiling face when I visited them for the door lock that would not open from the inside, after dis-engaging child lock. (Fixed it myself the next day: true DIY! Just a flexible lock lever which came off! BTW did you buy the ratcheting set? I did, I suggest you do too, and it's DIY from now on! I am serious: my next "service" will be DIY!)
Their team is at its lowest when it comes to motivation. This sort of motivation is quite normal around April. I don't feel like taking my car to them anymore. Perhaps being nice to them led to this point of being taken for granted. They seem to work better for the pushy and rowdy types. Since warranty is now over, I will start looking for a competent FNG. Still quite far from DIY but I have ordered the ELM 327, and trying to find service manual of T-jet. Love for the car, exceeds the hatred for the dealer.
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Old 10th April 2014, 16:19   #176
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Ford perhaps had the intention to work, this particular Fiat dealer seems to lack it. Their attitude is to get away with as much work (lack of it), as they can possibly get away with.
Maybe but the overall experience with Ford can be about the same as Fiat. The primary difference being, every single part for a Ford car sold in India is available off the shelf at Ford service centers itself. If they don't have it, the maximum you will have to wait is a week. They are highly pro active in terms of sourcing parts from the factory with minimum delays. Though it will cost a arm and a leg, Ford India can still source you a part for the Mondeo.

My first car was a used 9 year old 1.6 Ikon. It was a bad purchase. I spent more on car parts than the purchase price. Not once did I have to wait for a part. Every part was in stock and that is something for a non production model.

Though I was looted at Ford, the authorized garage I was dealing with had some competent chaps who were willing to identify the root cause of the problem instead of just swapping parts and getting nowhere.

What worries me is the T Jet won't come cheap on long term maintenance. Wear and tear components like brakes and clutch cost way over the Multi Jet series. Then there is the question of will the part be available as the T Jet is still a rare sight, atleast in my parts. The mechanics also have lesser working experience with the engine. Hope long term maintenance won't be an issue.
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Old 10th April 2014, 22:05   #177
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Though I was looted at Ford, the authorized garage I was dealing with had some competent chaps who were willing to identify the root cause of the problem instead of just swapping parts and getting nowhere.
The primary problems, in my opinion, with Fiat Service are (in order of the root or bigger causes coming first):

1. Poor sales. This aggravates everything else.
2. Complicated cars. Let's face it, EPS is far more simpler than HPS as there are lesser components which can go wrong. Hydraulic clutches are more complex than cable clutches, etc etc. The Palio MJD uses a 'variable' compressor rather than a simple compressor switched on and off by a thermostat.
3. Due to (1) above, service guys do not want to take time and effort to understand the complexities in (2) above.
4. Electricals which are a little iffy.
5. A general decline in the quality of parts and components, especially plastic and rubber components, over time. Retro Palio > Palio Stile > Punto and Linea. I had my entire engine overheat because a plastic sleeve taking coolant into the engine gave way. I had to change the coolant temperature thermostat with it as well.
6. Availability of parts, complicated by (1) above.

However, by and large, despite the incompetence of the service centre and abyssmal sales, the attitude of the company is still more customer-friendly than Skoda or VW. This is my experience with Fiat in 6 years (I bought my car almost exactly six years ago). I have been through it all, including a 14-day wait for a radiator. At 1,28,000 km now, my Palio Stile seems good enough for another lakh km.
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Old 10th April 2014, 23:28   #178
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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The primary problems, in my opinion, with Fiat Service are (in order of the root or bigger causes coming first):

1. Poor sales. This aggravates everything else.
2. Complicated cars. Let's face it, EPS is far more simpler than HPS as there are lesser components which can go wrong. Hydraulic clutches are more complex than cable clutches, etc etc. The Palio MJD uses a 'variable' compressor rather than a simple compressor switched on and off by a thermostat.
3. Due to (1) above, service guys do not want to take time and effort to understand the complexities in (2) above.
4. Electricals which are a little iffy.
5. A general decline in the quality of parts and components, especially plastic and rubber components, over time. Retro Palio > Palio Stile > Punto and Linea. I had my entire engine overheat because a plastic sleeve taking coolant into the engine gave way. I had to change the coolant temperature thermostat with it as well.
6. Availability of parts, complicated by (1) above.

However, by and large, despite the incompetence of the service centre and abyssmal sales, the attitude of the company is still more customer-friendly than Skoda or VW. This is my experience with Fiat in 6 years (I bought my car almost exactly six years ago). I have been through it all, including a 14-day wait for a radiator. At 1,28,000 km now, my Palio Stile seems good enough for another lakh km.
Hi. I have two fiats currently, a linea and a palio stile.

I would agree that some plastic components of the palio stile were not upto the 100,000 and above benchmark. But: I would want to argue strongly with anyone who claims that even the palio stile is an intrinsically unreliable or troublesome car. Or that servicing it is some sort of traumatic experience of callous ASS. In five years+ I've managed decently, thank you! Though I realize ASS quality perception is a highly subjective business!

I'd disagree whole-heartedly about the Linea or the Punto being somehow troublesome or high-maintenance vehicles with dubious component quality. My experience and of many I know has been somewhat the opposite. The first few batches had a couple of serious fit-finish issues in 2009/2010, and the clutch slave cylinder issue was a pain BUT I at least was happy to see Fiat proactively, despite Tata ASS, address these problems. Cars made in the last 2-3 years have proven quite reliable I'd say.

Having said all this, and having heard good things about many of the new FASS in many cities, I have to say: the FASS in Gurgaon still has much improving to do. Cannot say I am satisfied. Spares availibility is much improved already, I'd say though. And Fiat India is promising further improvements.

So yeah: like you am happy enough holding on the palio for a few more years and maybe replacing the Linea with an Avventura T-jet!!
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Old 10th April 2014, 23:52   #179
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
What worries me is the T Jet won't come cheap on long term maintenance. Wear and tear components like brakes and clutch cost way over the Multi Jet series. Then there is the question of will the part be available as the T Jet is still a rare sight, atleast in my parts. The mechanics also have lesser working experience with the engine. Hope long term maintenance won't be an issue.
I figure that brake pads and clutch are bound to cost more than the multijet: it is a much more powerful car that seduces you into driving...how shall I put it?...sportily!

T-jet sales as a share of total (rising) linea sales have picked up plenty. There are many T-jet ownership threads both here and on teamfiat.in. None reports any maintenance/reliability issues with the engine which, in any case, isn't as exotic an engine as it feels.

The rest of the car's the same as the mjd. So, I wouldn't worry too much at all!
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Old 11th April 2014, 09:54   #180
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Default re: All Hail Crusoe! Fiat Linea T-Jet+ : Four years and 47,000 kms done

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Originally Posted by architect View Post
EPS is far more simpler than HPS as there are lesser components which can go wrong. Hydraulic clutches are more complex than cable clutches, etc etc. The Palio MJD uses a 'variable' compressor rather than a simple compressor switched on and off by a thermostat.
On steering, I don't find a hydraulic system failure prone. They are almost as reliable as EPS. A HPS system will sap more fuel and thats about it. There are very few cars that have got EPS spot on. The Ford Fiesta, Honda Brio and Toyota Etios (tbhp does not feel so for the Toyota). With that, I prefer a good HPS system any day over artificial EPS.

Never figured out Fiat's deal with hydraulic clutches. This is really complicated to fix.

On variable compressors, this is a good thing. I am sure a lot of high end cars use this. This works in the same concept as home inverter based air conditioners. It puts a gradual load on the grid thereby reducing sudden in rush current. We are diverting but just so you know, variable compressors are not a bad thing at all.
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