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Old 10th December 2013, 11:19   #31
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Originally Posted by smilenow View Post
I don't hate FIAT, but it is primarily for people who understand cars, know Mangesh, are aware of issues and what need to be done. For anyone who is a layman, and is a regular car buyer, you will be dead out of luck.
Why I stopped fighting so much , because I had a career to make, I didn't have time to run around getting cars fixed and getting the parent company involved. And that too, every 4th month. If it were a one off case, sure enough I would have ripped their clothes apart, but there is a limit to everyone's patience.

I can't imagine plight of those owners who are not active online, don't know jack and just bought a 'car'. When they face such issues, FIAT is not only losing one customer, but 25 prospective clients in his family circle.
I really liked the comments smilenow and these lines are reflecting my exact thoughts.
There is a general perception or understanding at Fiat that a customer have all to do in life is to maintain his car. Whenever I call up Fiat to complain about the dealership I am nicely told to take the car to dealership to get the issues fixed. This after the car was lying at their service for 8 days.
Fiat needs to understand this very fundamental basics of customer service. A customer is well versed with common sense to take the car back to dealership. But the question is why this issue is recurring and why was it nor fixed at first place. Isn't this a responsibility of Fiat to gracefully come and take the car as a mark of apology and assure things will not repeat? This never happens.

If they claim to follow a process then where is the list of 'lessons learnt' so that this does not happen again?
The dealership to me like 'Nandini restaurant' or other looking good restaurants managed by illiterates who have spent crores in interior but the waiter doesn't know how to hold a plate or serve food like a pro, or rather don't know how to talk to customers, simply because the illiterate owner does not know something called as process.

If nothing then they can do a torrent and illegally download the process followed by Toyota or Honda and least try to mimic them.



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I only buy top models because I want safety first, the dzire accident thread validates my insistence on airbags and ABS. The i10 grand on -road top model diesel vs Petrol has a difference of 1.4 lakhs. That amount coupled with maintenance costs and the nature of distances my car is doing, it didn't make sense to go in for a diesel again. On top of it, the new Honda city petrol is coming home in February so the distance that each car runs, will get split.
Unfortunately I beg to differ on this decision. I just happen to see a thread on team-bp when a Dzire collided with Accent with fatalities. The person inside the Dzire had mutliple fractures in his ankles. There had been good comments about the top end Dzire saying the Airbags saved the person etc.
But according to me, the Dzire did not do a good job. Isn't the car predominantly crash tested for head-on collision? If yes, then why did the ankle fractured? I am unable to fathom the fact that Dzire is a safe car for that matter.

And this is the primary reason for me going for Fiat despite of knowing the after sales niggles. Whatever parts issue, dealership issue, expensive parts etc. everything is forgiven if I know that me and my family is safe once on road. Check the accident pics thread and you will find couple of Fiat accidents at triple digit speeds without any scratch to the occupants.

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Originally Posted by smilenow View Post
*sniff*....... the memories.
Amen! .
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Old 10th December 2013, 14:15   #32
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

That was a really sad story! But the fact that you had the willpower to look after and keep the car for 4 years is something I cannot imagine. To me, only your spouse and kids are allowed to have your time - if a car asks me for so much of my time, I will sell it off.

Jokes apart, I myself have been owning a Punto 1.3 Emotion Pack (75 HP) for the last three and a half years. Though I have written a lot of the following lines elsewhere, I will write again:

- The car has done close to 60K Kms and ownership till now has been trouble free, apart from minor issues like non-persistent rattles now and then. That too, most of the rattles are audible only to me - others that travel in my car don't even notice.

- I have seen good and bad service centres. But till now, haven't faced anything worth a complaint.

- The car has been driven cruelly for most of its life - to the extent that all of the four alloys developed bends and a tyre cracked. Recently I had to change the front elastic pads setting me back by Rs. 4500/-

- A set of brake pads, a set of front wipers and a set of elastic pads are all what I have had to spend on my car till date - totaling around Rs. 8000/- or so. That is apart from four brand new tyres and the regular service costs that includes the oil changes and all - but no need to count that.

- I see a hardness in clutch off late, and am expecting that I may have to spend Rs. 7K or so for changing the pressure plate in the near future.

- So to sum up, I should have spent around Rs. 20K only till date for the upkeep of the Punto, other than fuel, washing and denting / painting expenses.

I still thoroughly enjoy every drive in my car, the occupants appreciate the ride, and I still can't stop appreciating the Punto's beauty. My decision to buy a Punto was purely heart over head. But close to 4 years down the lane, I feel it was head over heart as well. Unless component after component starts failing in the near future, that is.
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Old 10th December 2013, 19:10   #33
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Yea I am going to purchase it. Test drove both 90HP and 75HP and loved both. However I am bit confused on 75HP and 90HP, may be in a day or two I will be clear on my thoughts. Now both my head and heart says Punto.
We have both in our garage, and I would suggest the 75HP if usage is mainly going to be within the city. Otherwise, the 90HP. The 90HP's potential can never be used much in b2b traffic.

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Originally Posted by Rubbertramps View Post
Punto 90hp might be heavy on the pocket. Since my service advisor recently told me that timing belts change comes in at 60k service for 90Hp where it comes at 90k service for 75 hp. So there are these differences as well !!
It is a timing chain, and any FIAT MultiJet is advised this change at 60k kms. It is not mentioned in white & black anywhere, but it is the norm and part of preventive maintenance now, not sure of the reason. It would cost somewhere around 6~10k with labor.

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Quite a pricey parts bin for a Punto. Quite the opposite of what I read in a car magazine where the parts bin was among the cheapest for Fiats. The Linea parts bin is supposed to be cheaper than a SX4. I guess the not so common parts that require attention are expensive. My previous car, a 9 year old Ford Ikon still had the original stalk control units. I am sure that changing it would cost quite a bit.
IIRC, the parts bin comprised of regular spares and consumables and also few body parts that would get replaced often.

@smilenow:

For your reference
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...-recalled.html (Clutch Slave Cylinder replacement in Linea - Cars Recalled)

I do not know what went wrong in your case, had the CSC been replaced then, it would have saved you and FIAT the trouble.
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Old 10th December 2013, 19:11   #34
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

You have pretty well summed up the pros and cons of owning a Fiat.
Only people who are passionate about cars and driving should own one, rest should make do with the Japs and Koreans for peace of mind.
It is disheartening to see a competent product marred down by dismal sales and service experiences. With the Fiat venturing sans Tata we can only hope things to improve.
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Old 10th December 2013, 19:23   #35
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

Feel sorry for the experience you had with your car. I think this can happen with any manufacturer. We have 2 Fiat cars in our garage, while buying both cars, friends, relatives and the whole world was telling its a wrong choice. But somehow the heart won over the head. Till now other than the routine service, we never had any issues.

Punto is my daily ride for the last 2.5 years and I have covered, 42k kms till now. Other that the routine services, the only parts replacement I have done till now is clutch pump (warranty replacement) and brake shoes at 30k kms.

I was even told that Punto interiors are very bad and it will fall down sooner or later, but till now nothing has fallen apart.

Last edited by nkg77 : 10th December 2013 at 19:33.
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Old 10th December 2013, 20:02   #36
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

@ smilenow
I bought the Fiat Palio 1.9D ELX SP in June 2004, and let it go in August 2009 - a tad over 5 years.
In that time, the following major things were changed on my dime:
1) Steering rack
2) AC compressor
3) Front Suspension Arms and tie rods
4) Radiator
5) Pistons & cylinder sleeves (twice) - though the second time they opened the engine, they were contrite enough to admit that the first change was shoddy. So they only ended up charging me for the engine mounts the second time.
6) Fan
7) EGR (twice)
...
...

I used to go to Vivek Auto (Mathura Road). Just like you, I was a celebrity there. Yes, the chai-wallah/ cold-drinks wallah will probably recognise me for the custom I gave him, in addition to my regular deposits at Vivek. I bought the car new in 2004 for 5.7 L on-road. I bought it, despite my well-wishers advising against it. I bought it because it was a great drive, and looked solid, and was comfortable for my family and most importantly my young son.
I must have spent another 3 L at least just on maintenance and running repairs.
Luckily , I could afford to do so (money wise) at the time, because I was young - and had the interest and the cash.
But, I realised by 2009, around the time my daughter was born - that my time is better spent with my kids and family, and at my real job, rather than pacing up & down Vivek Auto's workshop.
So I sold it for 1 L. At the time, I knew I had made the calamitous decision of flushing away all the effort and good money. But, my time with the things that matter was more important than money.
We bought a Toyota Innova.... and quite frankly I hardly ever have a need to visit workshops again. It is a very welcome change.

Now back to Fiat and their cars. If someone has unlimited resources and unlimited time and never ending interest in fixing things that fail - by all means buy a Fiat.
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Old 11th December 2013, 13:21   #37
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Originally Posted by DRIV3R View Post

It is a timing chain, and any FIAT MultiJet is advised this change at 60k kms. It is not mentioned in white & black anywhere, but it is the norm and part of preventive maintenance now, not sure of the reason. It would cost somewhere around 6~10k with labor.
I am aware of that and the same is documented in the manual for the 75hp punto. Now other forums also say the same thing that 75hp doesnt need timing belt change at 60k unlike 90hp. The reason i quoted that here cautiously not to make a fool of myself is since the SA insisted that there is no need of change for 75hp at 60k.
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Old 11th December 2013, 15:46   #38
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

In short, owning a Fiat seems to be a pain. Wonder how many of you guys got the confidence to go with a brand like Fiat which always had dismal reputation. I have driven the Palio and Punto but never felt the awe like many of the forum members talk about the driver delight these cars used to give.

I felt these cars are very outdated from design (interior, exterior) and always short of features. Never was impressed with the dynamics in my short drive stints!

But of course the passionate Fiat lovers will have their views.
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Old 11th December 2013, 16:12   #39
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
In short, owning a Fiat seems to be a pain. Wonder how many of you guys got the confidence to go with a brand like Fiat which always had dismal reputation. I have driven the Palio and Punto but never felt the awe like many of the forum members talk about the driver delight these cars used to give.

I felt these cars are very outdated from design (interior, exterior) and always short of features. Never was impressed with the dynamics in my short drive stints!

But of course the passionate Fiat lovers will have their views.
Dear LandCruiser, people become passionate (in case of Fiat, I would say most of the owners are passionate about their cars) for a reason. I don't think Fiat pays any of the owners for "being passionate" about Fiats. I am in no way suggesting that Fiat makes perfect cars - they have their share of issues too. If you don't understand why the owners are passionate about their Fiats in your short drives, may be you need to take longer drives. If you still don't understand, may be you need not.

About the "short of features" thing - when the Linea was launched in India 5 years back, I think it was one of the most feature rich in its class and may be the one above too. You can try creating an excel sheet with the features provided in Fiat cars and others to realize how they are not that bad even today. Don't forget, Fiat brought the cheapest turbo petrol here.

One last line - I love Fiats myself (and hate them at the same time for many reasons, but love gets significantly more points) - even after owning a Fiat for close to 4 years, I still love it.
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Old 11th December 2013, 16:37   #40
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Default re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
In short, owning a Fiat seems to be a pain. Wonder how many of you guys got the confidence to go with a brand like Fiat which always had dismal reputation. I have driven the Palio and Punto but never felt the awe like many of the forum members talk about the driver delight these cars used to give.

I felt these cars are very outdated from design (interior, exterior) and always short of features. Never was impressed with the dynamics in my short drive stints!

But of course the passionate Fiat lovers will have their views.

Trust me i am no passionate FIAT lover. But i loved the punto in its long drives, the dynamics it exudes. Volswagen users have reported engine related failures and have ended up paying lakhs ! When that doesnt deter the confidence of potential VW buyers, this is a lot saner !
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Old 11th December 2013, 17:21   #41
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Default Re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

@smilenow - You've raised some really valid points. If Fiat is really serious about their stint in India, it's high time that they ensure that the practices at their dealers are process driven instead of people driven. The quality of service that one gets is completely driven by the type of connections one has in the dealership. Once I was on a business trip and my fiancee's car was due for service. I asked her to call and book the service. They picked the car and gave her an estimate which was 1.5 times the cost of normal service and said that the car would be delivered on the next day. I called the SA and asked why it would take so much time. He responds "Sir, yeh aapki gaadi hain? hume patah nahi tha". (Sir, is this your car? I wasn't aware about it.) The car gets delivered on the same day and with genuine charges.

Wish you many miles with smiles in your Grand i10. I always wish Hyundai could launch a turbo-charged Verna with improved dynamics. If only wishes were horses.

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Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
I felt these cars are very outdated from design (interior, exterior) and always short of features. Never was impressed with the dynamics in my short drive stints!
I am sure you have your reasons for such strong dislike for Fiat cars however, it's really difficult to fathom the exterior design and features part. I own a Linea T-jet and there's a Punto Emotion variant in the family. All my friends and colleagues admire the way both the cars look and they also envy the feature list. I am not talking about safety as that has been discussed at length elsewhere.

To appreciate the dynamics of a Fiat, you will need a long drive on a highway. For the short stint on city roads, there are many nimble options available.
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Old 11th December 2013, 17:39   #42
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Default Re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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If you don't understand why the owners are passionate about their Fiats in your short drives, may be you need to take longer drives. If you still don't understand, may be you need not.
From a passionate fiat lover eh..welcome! I didn't say that "I don't understand why people are passionate about Fiats or that I want to understand why they are passionate". I just meant just passionate fiat lovers have their views.
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Old 11th December 2013, 18:30   #43
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@smilenow - You've raised some really valid points. If Fiat is really serious about their stint in India, it's high time that they ensure that the practices at their dealers are process driven instead of people driven. The quality of service that one gets is completely driven by the type of connections one has in the dealership. Once I was on a business trip and my fiancee's car was due for service. I asked her to call and book the service. They picked the car and gave her an estimate which was 1.5 times the cost of normal service and said that the car would be delivered on the next day. I called the SA and asked why it would take so much time. He responds "Sir, yeh aapki gaadi hain? hume patah nahi tha". (Sir, is this your car? I wasn't aware about it.) The car gets delivered on the same day and with genuine charges.
Thats quite interesting. Could you please elaborate on what was charged more so normal men like me would be more cautious during service times. Or can you please PM me the same if its not too much to ask. - A humble Fiatian .
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Old 11th December 2013, 18:48   #44
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Default Re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

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Thats quite interesting. Could you please elaborate on what was charged more so normal men like me would be more cautious during service times. Or can you please PM me the same if its not too much to ask. - A humble Fiatian .
They had added loads of value-added services that were just not required. e.g. wind-shield washer fluid, lubrication of suspension, anti-rust treatment, and few more that I can't recollect now. The initial estimate was 7K and the final invoice (with all essentials) was ~4.5K. One really needs to be careful about what all (products + services) they try to sell during scheduled service. Always keep the checklist handy.

They once applied a really poor quality of wax on my T-jet without my consent and charged ~100 for it. The car surface seemed like somebody had applied vegetable oil on it. I had to spend 2 hours to take all that wax off and then apply a coat of proper wax.
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Old 12th December 2013, 01:53   #45
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Default Re: Journey Ends - Fiat Punto @ 96000 in 4 Years

@smilenow, I can't smile now. I am very saddened to know that you decided enough is enough and called off your journey with the beloved Punto. I am sailing the same boat, my last two services have cost me 100+K. I don't know if I got ripped off by the dealers but I paid so much because they promised it would be for her best (only internally, didn't spend a dime for her external bruises). I am still persisting with the beauty. I started to believe its worth much more to keep her than selling her for peanuts (exchange offers from none other than FIAT). No matter what troubles I have to go through with ASS.

I agree with you totally, she snores till 3rd gear and suddenly could set the road on fire. I am at 86K after 4+ years from Jul 2009 and I hope she stays with me forever.

What's your new ride that replaced this little beauty?
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