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Old 13th February 2005, 13:15   #1
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Default Palio 1.6 GTX long term test report - 50,000 kms

Palio 1.6 GTX – 50,000 km report.

Current odometer reading – 53244 kms.

The car was purchased on the 18th of December 2001 from Anuroop Auto in Mumbai. The palio 1.6 is a scorcher in terms of performance and handling, and by far the most solid car in the small car segment in India. But it lacks out on a few things that have eventually led to a drastic drop in demand for this car. Reports of bad quality of parts, poor fuel efficiency, pathetic after sales service, high cost of spares and the uncertainty of the future of FIAT in India have led people to stay away from this company. Any auto enthusiast would agree on one point that the Palio 1.6 engine is an amazing machine with loads of power to play around with. If Fiat had sorted out its usual problems of good service backup and quality of parts, the Palio would have surely ruled the small car segment.

The car was delivered on the 18th of December, and the quality of workmanship showed from day one itself, when the GTX monogram on the hatch was rusted(on a new car that’s just been manufactured a few days back).

I have had issues with the service quality of Fiat from day one, as the car would find its way into the garage every once in a while, with some problem or the other.

Here is a detailed report on the problems faced by the car and the high maintenance cost –

1st service report at 7968 kms
Complaints –
1. Noise from rear
2. Vehicle idling rpm stays raised when car stops.
3. Vehicle braking not effective.
4. Noise from suspension.
5. Possible oil leakage.
6. Possible brake oil leakage.

Details –
1.Engine oil and oil filter replaced.
2.Fitted coil spring tube and brake shims.
3.No leakage found.

Spare Parts Issued –
1.Engine Oil – Rs.442/-
2.Oil Filter Top Up – Rs.88/-
3.Coil spring tube – Rs.50/-
4.Plate Brake Pad – Rs.131/-



2nd service report at 15439 kms
Spare parts issued –
1.Engine Oil – Rs.497/-
2.Oil Filter Top Up – Rs.88/-


Breakdown of car at 16349 kms.
The cooling fan broke through the radiator, damaging the radiator. The car had to be towed to the Service Centre. The repairs were covered under warranty, so no payment was made.
Spare parts issued –
1.Radiator assembly – Rs.9828/-
2.Radiator fan motor assembly – Rs.6850/-
3.Radiator Coolant – Rs.486/-
4.Collar – Rs.40/-
5.Fan motor resistance – Rs.298/-

There was a small accident with the car during this point of time, where the radiator and radiator fan assembly was replaced. A part of the cost covered by insurance. Don’t have the exact details on when the accident had taken place.

Paid service made at 22913 kms.
Labour Details –
1.Paid Service done – Rs.550/-
2.Lubricate Door Handle – Rs.75/-
3.Topup Oil Coolant – Rs.35/-
Spare parts issued –
1.Engine Oil – Rs.442/-
2.Oil Filter – Rs.80/-
3.Petrol Filter – Rs.80/-
4.Air Filter – Rs.242/-


Paid service made at 29839 kms.
1.Paid service Rs.550/-
2.Engine Oil – Rs.442/-
3.Oil Filter – Rs.84/-
4.Petrol Filter – Rs.82/-
5.Air Filter – Rs.242/-



Mechanical Job at 36098 kms.
The car started overheating with the temperature needle closing in on the warning mark.
1.Replace 1st speed relay – Rs.295/-



Mechanical Job at 36178 kms.
The car continued to overheat and we were unable to use it for a few days till the Service centre could rectify the problem. The car had to be stopped halfway through as the coolant started leaking out due to overheating. The service centre guys dropped by to help me take the car back to the service centre.

The radiator fan motor assembly had to be replaced(within about 10,000 kms!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of it being changed after the accident), and this time we had to pay for the part to be changed, because they said that the warranty period of 6 months of the part being replaced had passed.
Cost of parts and labour –
1.Replace Fan Motor Assembly – Rs.550/-
2.Radiator Fan Motor Assembly – Rs.7766/-
3.Tensioner Bearing – Rs.403/-
4.Alternator Belt – Rs.281/-



Mechanical Job at 37060 kms.
The clutch master cylinder was replaced at this point along with the brake discs and pads.
Cost of labour and spares-
1.Paid service – Rs.550
2.Replace Clutch Master Cylinder – Rs.650/-
3.Replace Brake Pads and Discs – Rs.600/-
4.Replace Sun Visor – Rs.75/-
5.Replace Clock light bulb – Rs.75/-
6.Remove and refit dashboard – Rs.900/-
7.Engine Oil – Rs.500/-
8.Oil Filter – Rs.84/-
9.Petrol Filter – Rs.82/-
10.Air Filter – Rs.242/-
11.Brake Discs – Rs.1632/-
12.Brake Pads(Silicon Coated) – Rs.1688/-
13.Clutch Master Cylinder – Rs.662/-
14.Brake Oil – Rs.106/-
15.Sun Visor – Rs.187/-
16.Clock Light bulb – Rs.43/-



Paid Service at 44951 kms.

Cost of labour and spares-
1.Paid Service – Rs.500/-
2.Engine Oil – Rs.1768/-
3.Oil Filter – Rs.84/-
4.Air Filter – Rs.223/-
5.Petrol Filter – Rs.82/-
6.Motoreco Engine Treatment – Rs.497/-


Mechanical Job at 47529 kms.

The clutch was replaced during this repair job. The front suspension had starting making noise, and the company recommended a check on the lower arms of the front suspension during the next service.

Cost of labour and spares-
1.Clutch overhauling – Rs.1400/-
2.Radiator and Condensor cleaning – Rs.100/-
3.Fly wheel skimming – Rs.350/-
4.Clutch Kit – Rs.4502/-
5.Collar – Rs.68/-
6.Gear Oil – Rs.144/-

Having written to the main PR guy at Fiat a couple of times, I just got a reply from him saying that he would get the car checked from the company, but to no avail.

Mechanical Job at 49546 kms.

Engine started overheating again over a period of time.

Cost of labour and spares-
1.Replaced Engine Thermostat – Rs.350/-
2.Replaced Timing Belt – Rs.1100/-
3.Cleaned Radiator Assembly – Rs.250/-
4.Thermostat – Rs.1684/-
5.Radiator Coolant – Rs.393/-
6.Fan Motor Resistance – Rs.337/-
7.Timing Belt – Rs.1114/-

This time the front lower arm noise was diagnosed to be a Steering Assembly problem(WEIRD – cos I knew this was a suspension problem, not a steering problem). Noisy starter needed overhauling.



Mechanical Job at 53244 kms.

Cost of labour and spares –
1.Paid Service – Rs.500/-
2.Lubricated Accelerator Cable – Rs.0/-
3.Replaced Gearbox Foundation – Rs.350/-
4.Replaced Both Lower Arms – Rs.500/-
5.Oil Filter – Rs.84/-
6.Air Filter – Rs.222/-
7.Petrol Filter – Rs.82/-
8.El pad – Rs.392/-
9.Swinging Arm(Lower Arms) – Rs.4400/-
10.Engine Oil – Rs.440/-

The radiator has developed a leak now, within 30,000 kms of it being replaced. Having changed the parts that I have since the car was bought, I think you guys would agree on the poor quality of parts on the car, and the high maintenance costs of the car. To top that up, the car refuses to cross a fuel efficiency figure of 7kmpl in the city, which goes upto about 10 kmpl on the highway.

As it’s a car that I totally love, its one car I wouldn’t want to sell, and I hope the car does not give me any big problems in the future. Hoping the new plans for FIAT’s revival actually work this time, and bring back the palio to a higher status in the market.

Hope this detailed report gives everyone an idea of a long term ownership report of the Palio. I am sorry for making it such a long article, but I had to cover up all the necessary points in this report.

Thanks,
Salil.
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Old 13th February 2005, 13:48   #2
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@Sahil
The length of the article was all and all worth.
Plus u have given us the entire spare part price list , which I think even FIAT woudnt have ready.
U having the details of all the service bills shows yr care and respect towards his car.

I think U have forgotten one point i.e the tyres. Is the car still running on stock tires after 50k km ? U can update yr review , if they have been changed.

Overall, this report is the best guide to someone looking for a used Palio 1.6, or even a 1.2.
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Old 13th February 2005, 14:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salil_kulkarni

4.Replaced Both Lower Arms Rs.500/-
9.Swinging Arm(Lower Arms) Rs.4400/-
What was reason for changing these two? Unless there was some damage otherwise.
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Old 13th February 2005, 14:17   #4
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Boy, that's a lot of mechanical jobs you got there.

Good review with very detailed info.

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Old 13th February 2005, 16:57   #5
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Indeed a very very comprehensive report on the GTX. But don't you think the money spent is quite a lot ? & Since you don't want to sell it I guess you have no other choice then....
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Old 13th February 2005, 17:09   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salil_kulkarni
Palio 1.6 GTX 50,000 km report.

Current odometer reading 53244 kms.

12.Brake Pads(Silicon Coated) Rs.1688/-

Paid Service at 44951 kms.

2.Engine Oil Rs.1768/-
.

hey Salil,
thats a nice report which can really help prospective palio buyers (if any really exist)


can u plss explain abt the silicon coated brake pads


and why did ur 44951 oilc change cost u 1768 rs instead of the usual 440rs taht u mentioned.


cheers,
satya
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Old 13th February 2005, 18:02   #7
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Hey u scared a hell out of me. Got a new palio a month ago, but 1.9 d, with that kind of mechanical failures 1.6 not advisable, instead I buy a drag racing car and open the engine after each run
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Old 13th February 2005, 20:52   #8
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Really detailed review man, its good you keep all those service records and that IS a lot of money spent on spares...this shows the poor quality of parts...sad but true...

Nice review. keep up the good work.

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Old 13th February 2005, 22:22   #9
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man.. the more i read about Fiat cars on this forum... the more i start to hate them....
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Old 13th February 2005, 22:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
hey Salil,
thats a nice report which can really help prospective palio buyers (if any really exist)


can u plss explain abt the silicon coated brake pads


and why did ur 44951 oilc change cost u 1768 rs instead of the usual 440rs taht u mentioned.


cheers,
satya
can u please explain?????????
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Old 14th February 2005, 01:10   #11
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hey guys,

Thanks for all your replies guys.
I also forgot to mention that the battery of the car failed within the 1st 11 months, and the company did not help me out with a replacement saying it was none of their concern as the batteries came from the battery company. Rather than argue with dimwits with little or no common sense, i was forced to put in a new battery.

Tyres - Rudra, im not so sure about the tyres, so ill just check that up with the office and let u know soon.

Silicon Coated - couldnt figure it out myself either, cos sometimes, its the driver that takes the car to the service centre, so i hadnt checked on this point till a few days back when i checked all previous bills.

The lower arms had to be changed on the car - cos the company said that the arms have a life of only about 45,000 kms(very short for a small car IMO).

Ill also check up on the different price of oil too speedsatya, cos in my earlier bills it says 1 bottle of oil in quantity, and the one that u pointed out it says 4. again one of those times where my driver took the car to the SC.

With regards to having a full detailed service history, ive always believed in zeroing in on one service centre for my car, and making sure the car goes to the same place everytime for every repair, so its easier for me to maintain records too. The whole set of bills was segregated year wise at my office, so would have been a little tedious to take out all old records. All the guys at the SC now know me very well, cos i blast them everytime i go to drop or pickup the car. So when i told him on the phone that i need my full service history, he called me up within 20 mins of my speaking to him and told me that he had got the full set ready and would be handing it over to my driver. The perks of being able to demand for your right, even if it means yelling at the other person.
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Old 14th February 2005, 02:08   #12
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Salil,

Thats a fantastic and honest long term insight : thanks for sharing it! We all know the good about the Palio 1.6, This is the one report that actually highlights the bad in an unbiased manner.

My hairdresser had a Palio 1.6 for about a year. It gave him so many problems that he sold it (at almost 50% of the price) and is today happily driving a Hyundai. He has sworn against Fiat or its dealerships.

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Old 14th February 2005, 02:39   #13
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salil man you had bad luck
my GTX has done 30,000 km and the only problem i am facing is the speedometer
realy detailed review though but i am surprised to see fiats giving so many prblems
my siena did 64kkm without a single glitch and my palio only has a sppedometer problem and is infact more reliable then my ikon
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Old 14th February 2005, 10:28   #14
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hey Salil,
Thats was a really comrehgensive review,thanks for sharing it. I was just wondering about the amt. u spent on maintainence could have got U another GTX.
cheers,
Rai
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Old 14th February 2005, 11:41   #15
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HELL!! thats a lot of money spent. i have a palio 1.2 and ive never faced any of these probs. just finished my 30,000 service, my most expensive to date, 3,700. changed break pads, engine oil, filter and got the allignment done....never really had any big prob as yet!!!
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