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Old 16th August 2008, 19:41   #1
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Default fiat petra 1.6 el : 30000 kms review

hi all

i felt that its about time i shared my feelings about my car with all you passionate car lovers out there.
i shall go in a bit of flashback first.
i purshased a tata indica dls in 2005 as i was impressed with the spacious interiors(since i used to drive a 800 earlier) and thought abt fuel economy and diesel cost as well.but 2 years later i was literally fed up of the indica and just wanted to dispose it off.starter problems,suspension problems,fanbelt issues,steering problem,alignment problems,car stalling in trafficand not starting again. you name it and i had it.

finally got a good deal and sold it off.

i had spent so much on the indica that i didnt have the guts to go for a new car with in 2 years.so opted for a used car within 3 lacs.
i luved the baleno and was hell bent on one.also test drove the ohc vtech and 1.5exi but was unimpressed with low seating.
after a month of searching and countless testdrives i had almost finalised on a 2004 baleno though i had to increase my budget to 3.75lac.
just then i saw a silver coloured petra standing in the sun.i had heard abt the petra but never driven it or for that matter i had never even seen it on road.wife liked it immediately and enquired abt it.it was a 2005 petra elps done 19000 kms and in excellant condition and the quote was 3.05lacs.didnt want to but wife asked me to take a td.well thanks to her i took one and i loved it.the smooth acceleration was too good.even better than a baleno.took a long td and the car raced to 100 pushing us back in our seats.after driving the indica this car seemed like a racing car to me.i saw my criteria of speed and raw power being fulfilled.the interiors were decent too.fiat had also given a factory fitted tape-fm.but i new nothing abt the car.came home searched the net.came across this amazing website,read allthe forums and next day cracked a deal at 2.65 lacs.

now after 10 months and 10,000 kms i just do not regret my decision.just looking for excuses to go on a long drive.
the ride quality is excellent.there was a bit of body roll but i feel that fitting a rear spoiler has marginally reduced it.love the way the car tackles potholes.
its a superb cruiser on the highway.overtaking is a breeze.just floor the pedal in any gear and my job is done though i feel a shorter gearing would have been more fun.
fuel economy was around 9-10 in city and 13-14 on highway with 80% AC.have got a LPG kit fitted in it bcause of the increasing cost of petrol.get around 6-7 in city and 12-13 in highway on lpg.the 1.6 engg is nicely compatible with LPG and there is absolutely no change in performance.the boot space is also decent in spite of the cylinder.

wot i dont like is are the rear view mirrors.they are too small and not convex.they dont cover a wider area.
the AC doesnt cool in standing position on LPG mode.have to constantly press the accelerator and increase the revs to 1000 rpm for the AC to chill.guys any advice on this problem?
no tube less tyres :(
too much of road noise and tyres screeching especially while making u turns.
weak head lamps.fitted a relay but that doesnt help matters.scary to drive in heavy rains when visibility is poor.
no place to fit fog lamps.
no place to keep a bottle.

overall iam quite pleased with the car and planning to keep it for another 10,000kms atleast.will post pics if you guys say so.
please forgive me for the really long review

Last edited by Rehaan : 16th August 2008 at 21:20. Reason: 2 smileys per post max. Please read the Team-BHP rules before continuing.
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Old 18th August 2008, 11:04   #2
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Hey buddy,
That was a pretty comprehensive review. Glad to see that you are enjoying the car.
Here are a couple of suggestions -
1 - for the ORVMs, you can get those small circular mirrors, which you just attach on top of the ORVM's. Those should help
2 - Well, the car has done nearly 30,000km. If you plan on keeping her for another year or two, then you can always get new tubeless tyres from the market. The noise and screeching is because the tyres aren't all that great. A new set should see you smiling.
3 - You can change the bulbe. Philips Night/Crystal Vision in highly recommended.
4 - The Palio had fog lamps in some models and since the Palio and the Petra are identical on the outside, I am sure you ought to be able to get fogs put in a good authorised workshop.
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Old 18th August 2008, 13:18   #3
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Nice review and good luck with your car

Quote:
Originally Posted by shantyrocks View Post
the ride quality is excellent.there was a bit of body roll but i feel that fitting a rear spoiler has marginally reduced it.love the way the car tackles potholes.
Petra rolls slightly more compared to a Palio sports but nothing alarming. I am kind of surprised that you mentioned it, as I think Indica rolls more anyday. Btw, fitting a spoiler doesn't reduce body roll, it is just psychologocal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shantyrocks View Post
the AC doesnt cool in standing position on LPG mode.have to constantly press the accelerator and increase the revs to 1000 rpm for the AC to chill.guys any advice on this problem?
Rev should increase as you switch on AC. Is it happening? Else get it checked.
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Old 18th August 2008, 13:41   #4
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Shanty, Congrats on your Petra 1.6!

You got a good deal for that 2005 Petra! Enjoy!

Suggest you to change your tires to 185/195 width tubeless tires, go for Michelin XM1+, offers good comfort!
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Old 18th August 2008, 13:55   #5
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Nice review of the car.
I agree that S322 tyres are not good enough on curves, Better go for wider profile tubeless tyres from Michilin or Yoko (195/60/r14)
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Old 18th August 2008, 16:06   #6
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thanx a lot guys for your valuable inputs.
@lamborghini : will surely check out those circular mirrors that uv advised about
fog lamps will have to be fitted outside the bumper and not in them else holes will have to be drilled :(

@whiteknight : as u said it might be psychological but after fitting the spoiler i can take curves on the ghodbunder road at 80kmph< where as earlier i always took them at 70kmph>. mayb iv got used to the roll and dont feel it much.
with the indica i was never confident to take those curves at high speed
revs do not increase when i put on the AC.the idling rpm is around 700 and it remains at that.but the AC chills nicely on petrol mode without any increase in rpm when stationary.
the car actually cools down when i switch on the AC! i still havent figured out how it happens.
the AC cools even when the blower is on zero.guys is this normal?

@finney : thanx for your wishes dude!
iam still running stock tyres.i enquired with my local tyre retailer and he said that my tyres are good for another 5000 kms minimum. will surely go for a change after that.

the screeching noise doesnt actually bother me.i like it.in fact its the people walking on the road who get scared listening to the noise

@greatdrive : will wider profile tyres affect fuel economy?
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Old 18th August 2008, 17:32   #7
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@shanty - wider tyres will affect FE but the difference will be marginal. Maybe a 0.1kmpl difference.

Also, if you fit any fogs, they will have to drill a hole in the bumper but it doesn't really make a big difference to get the Palio fogs fitted as the bumper is plastic and not metal. It is advised to not drill through metal as it might cause rust.
Guys, please correct me if i am wrong.
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Old 18th August 2008, 18:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shantyrocks View Post
revs do not increase when i put on the AC.the idling rpm is around 700 and it remains at that.but the AC chills nicely on petrol mode without any increase in rpm when stationary.
the car actually cools down when i switch on the AC! i still havent figured out how it happens.
the AC cools even when the blower is on zero.guys is this normal?
That does seem abnormal to me. The engine idling rpm with a/c off is 800-850 and not 700. With the a/c on, it should shoot up to around 900 rpm, and then drop back to its original position when the a/c cuts off.

Car cooling down with the a/c is normal since the fan remains on constantly with the a/c switched on. Also, the a/c works at zero position, so thats normal
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Old 18th August 2008, 22:25   #9
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i made a mistake with my earlier post guys.checked the RPM carefully and it idles at 800 and not 700 but it does not shoot up when i switch on the AC and iam positive about it.
i asked my mechanic about it and he said that the engine is quite powerfull so it can take the load of the AC without any increase in RPMs.dunno how far its true.
he also said that if the flow of LPG is increased the AC will cool in stationary position but at the cost of fuel economy.
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Old 16th December 2008, 18:26   #10
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Shantyrocks, first up congrats! The Petra is awesome..we have one with 60K km on the clock and it runs like a dream!

Wrt the AC cutoff: the Fiats (incl the new Palio) have a loud, 2nd fan with a separate relay. This relay fails quite often, but is not expensive to replace. Its the relay that governs the AC cutoff, etc. So get that done at the earliest.

Wrt the lights: beware of upsizing the bulbs. Sometimes, the higher power bulbs melt the plastic headlamps because of the extra heat that they generate. You are better off fixing Hella spots in the front...ask the guy fixing it to holster the brackets to the portion of the chassis exposed when you open the bonnet (where the car eng.#, etc are given). There are holes of different sizes here, and no drilling is required. The bracket can then be extended out through the slits above the number plate. Insist on a separate switch + relay for this setup.

Cheers and happy motoring
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Old 17th December 2008, 00:12   #11
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thanks for your advice ice!

by the way guys i had a ICE upgrade in my car.i removed the factory fitted tape-radio and installed a sony xplode system with auxillary input.i have retained the original speakers.the mechnic has done a wonderfull job of opening the centre console and removing the system and cutting the panel so as to fit the new panel.

bye-bye FM finally
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