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Old 14th November 2008, 19:01   #1
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Default Palio Stile 1.1 - Service woes and much more

Being new to the forum, I feel the first thing I ought to do is to thank all of you for your continuous commitment to share your experiences. The first thing that I noticed was the vast amount of knowledge that one could gather from the experiences that had been shared by members and instant replies from Super Knowledgeable gurus to the cries of help from the lesser mortals.Thank you all very much.Let me not bother you further with my gratitude and feelings towards this forum.

I am based in the NCR region and I own a Palio Stile 1.1 SLE (October 2007).I wanted to share my experiences with the car for I felt that I should give back to the community which has offered me much more.
Coming back to the car, the Palio, as we all know it has somewhat reached a cult status because of the reasons best known to all of us.

But then the service, A.S.S, has also been a point of heated discussions and an object of mockery throught the years that FIAT has been here, especially after they had launched Palio in India.

I started with my first service at Dhingra Motors, Gurgaon, where I should say the experience was average and I felt that they were better at looting people (a fact that many have come to acknowldge) than actually servicing cars.

The second free service was done at A ONE motors, Mathura Road, and by then the ever reliable Palio (as people claim it is) had started out on the trouble giving path. There was this constant coolant leak that I had been experiencing and this I brought to the notice of the service advisor at A One. The car was with them for the whole day and then when i took it back home the very next morning there were a few drops of coolant under the car as usual. Took the car back to the service center and to cut a long story short it took them close to 7 hours to get things sorted out. The problem was a Elbow Clip which was changed.

Till now the driving experience has been tremendously satisfying especially on the highways, where one gets a safe feeling travelling at high speeds. The mileage that I have been getting out of my car is 13+ with AC on all the time in City and 16 without the AC and the calculations are based on a tank full to tank full method. The average returned on the highways with AC on all the time and doing speeds of approx 80 KMPH was 16.

The third service was done at Vivek Automobiles purely to check how they fared against A One. The experience was no less that horrible I must say. The service advisor while making the job card was putting in estimates and to my utter surprise/shock he wrote 550 for Throttle body cleaning. I had checked the checklist that is there on the service leaflets and it clearly mentioned Throttle Body cleaning as one of the jobs that had to be carried out for free. But then somehow the advisor felt that even though it was a free service, the points/jobs mentioned at the back of the leaflet were chargeable to the client/customer.

I spoke to the supervisor at Vivek and he had the same line of thought. So finally I told them its not a problem with me but make sure its clearly mentioned in the bill. After getting back home and after at least 20 calls I got in touch with Mr. Mangesh Kodalkar who is Manager Customer Services with Fiat India. Finally he called up Vivek and when i went to collect the car the supervisor immediately apologised and was repeatedly telling me that this would never happen again.

I went for a alignment/balancing check up after noticing that the inner side of the front right tyre had gone bald. The mechanic at Tyre Shoppe, Noida, upon inspection informed it was due to the negative camber -1.5 and he was not too eager to touch anything as he felt the car was under warranty and hence should be taken to an authorised center. I took the car to Vivek and their alignment machine was not working. But they insisted that they could take care of the issue with manual method. I went to talk to their General Manager - Amitava Mukherjee, who thought it was ok if the machine was not working. And then upon being confronted about the pathetic state of service that they were providing he said " I wonder why FIAT entered into an alliance with TATA." This was something that I personally feel that a customer would never want to hear at least when one of the strongest reasons that he/she might have bought the car in the first place was the fact that the servicing would improve because of the FIAT-TATA alliance. Anyways then he started talking about issues with Palio multijet and to my surprise he openly admitted that there are issues with the cluctch because they have mated the same one that they were using on the old model - Palio 1.2.

Guess what its been a week since i got the alignment job done at Viveks and their machine is still not working. Have to write to Mr. Mangesh again. Phew.
To cut a long story short, I would strongly advise people to think twice before they make a decision on FIAT cars. The cars are no doubt good but then they have to be serviced and thats what spoils the fun.

Cry for Help - All Gurus :
Kindly recommend a good alignment center in Noida, as I am still facing issues with the alignment. The car pulls to the right.A call would be immensely appreciated - 9999134472.


The worst part is that there is a noise coming from the axle as well when i take a U Turn to the right. Guess I would have to deal with the same incompetent set of morons again sometime over the weekend.
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Old 14th November 2008, 21:04   #2
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Just go quietly to Samyak. PM Architect for their number. You'll post a happy thred asap.
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Old 15th November 2008, 00:08   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruiser View Post
upon inspection informed it was due to the negative camber -1.5 and he was not too eager to touch anything as he felt the car was under warranty and hence should be taken to an authorised center.
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The worst part is that there is a noise coming from the axle as well when i take a U Turn to the right. Guess I would have to deal with the same incompetent set of morons again sometime over the weekend.
AFAIK, the camber on the Palio cannot be corrected by Wheel Alignment. Only the Toe can be corrected. In that case, there is a problem with some part of your suspension. Maybe both these issues are related.

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Anyways then he started talking about issues with Palio multijet and to my surprise he openly admitted that there are issues with the cluctch because they have mated the same one that they were using on the old model - Palio 1.2.
I don't think the Multijet gets its self-adjusting hydraulic clutch from the 1.2. But it from the 1.9D. No problems reported so far by people who have done 15,000-17,000 kms.

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After getting back home and after at least 20 calls I got in touch with Mr. Mangesh Kodalkar who is Manager Customer Services with Fiat India. Finally he called up Vivek and when i went to collect the car the supervisor immediately apologised and was repeatedly telling me that this would never happen again.
At any Tata or Fiat Service centre, this seems to be the only way to get things right if the ASC doesn't co-operate.

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Just go quietly to Samyak. PM Architect for their number. You'll post a happy thred asap.
Look, I am not being paid by any Tata-Fiat ASC, but I have a very poor opinion of Vivek Automobiles and there are many members here who will agree with me. I strongly recommend that you go to Samyak Motors (now called Elegant Cars) and show them the camber as well as other problems. Try and get these issues fixed before your warranty expires. I can't promise you anything except that Samyak Motors has been an entirely different ASC for me and similar sufferers at the hands of Vivek Auto - hrsraghav, vipul singh, vikasb and others. So it may work in your case, too.

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But then the service, A.S.S, has also been a point of heated discussions and an object of mockery throught the years that FIAT has been here, especially after they had launched Palio in India.
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Originally Posted by bruiser View Post
To cut a long story short, I would strongly advise people to think twice before they make a decision on FIAT cars. The cars are no doubt good but then they have to be serviced and thats what spoils the fun.
Well, given your experience so far, I don't blame you for statements like these. A car is only as good as its A.S.S. However, here are my two cents.

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Till now the driving experience has been tremendously satisfying especially on the highways, where one gets a safe feeling travelling at high speeds. The mileage that I have been getting out of my car is 13+ with AC on all the time in City and 16 without the AC and the calculations are based on a tank full to tank full method. The average returned on the highways with AC on all the time and doing speeds of approx 80 KMPH was 16.
Well, atleast you have positive experiences with the car, if not the A.S.S. And good FE too, I guess, for 1.1 CC 57 BHP engine pulling that heavy a car.
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Old 15th November 2008, 17:29   #4
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Just go quietly to Samyak. PM Architect for their number. You'll post a happy thred asap.
By lunchtime today, 60% of bruiser's problems were already solved and he was another Samyak convert! Happy thread coming up, I guess.

On a side note, Wake up Fiat, and give a dealership to the Samyak guys as well. Just an unlisted-on-the-web ASC won't do.
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Old 15th November 2008, 18:41   #5
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Time for that email to Rajeev Kapoor to go out as well. Most of us never wanted/care about a Linea launch. Maybe GP, yeah that'll be lovely - but most of us just wanted to a decent A.S.S

Shame on Fiat on getting the basics wrong. If they just put decent salesmen and tightened service, they'd triple palios overnight. Much more quicker/better returns than launching linea. #($*#$*( whatevers!
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Old 15th November 2008, 22:24   #6
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Default Samyak - Elegant Cars ROCKS

@architect - Mate I do not have words to Thank you enough.Man should we all be thankful to this forum as well or what.

The experience today completely reinforced the trust that was lost due to A.S.S provided by TATA-FIAT spoilt brats namely, A One , Vivek Automobiles, HIM and Dhingra.I wonder why Samyak doesnt appear on the website as a recommended service center for FIAT cars.

From the moment the advisor started working on the job card, I could see a tremendous difference in attitude.The way the General Manager Mr. O.P. Sharma leads his troops from the front is commendable.Excellent job Samyak.After my job card was done and after Mr. Sharma had gone through it he offered to take a test drive of the vehicle.As soon as he started driving he had diagnosed half of the problems.The major issue was the alignment thingy which was sorted out in about an hour.

And then they started working on the rest of the issues mentioned in the job card, like an issue with the fuel gauge.Even after having a tankful the gauge at times used to show E and the light for Low Fuel warning used to come on.It was just a matter of minutes before it was resolved by a technician.

After that came the issue with the noise that was coming from the front of the car while taking a U Turn to the right side.Now while taking the test drive Mr Sharma had clearly pointed out that this was not an issue with the drive shaft, a diagnosis which proved correct at the end of the day and he also told me that he had a feeling that the issue would take rather long to be pointed out in the first place itself.The issue itself was quite strange as the sound was not there when the steering was locked completely to the right.But then the level of commitment shown to resolve the issue was tremendous.Not even once there was a slight change in the attitude/commitment from any of the technicians working on sorting out this issue.

In the end after a whole day of opening the front axles,bumper, losening and tightening the nuts around the engine mounting area, the problem still persisted.And it was a pleasent surprise to see the GM of a TATA-FIAT service center apologising for the same.Not only did he promise to resolve the issue on a weekday ( when there arent too many cars around), the total charge on the bill was just for the alignment, whereas the technicians weree working on the car for the whole day, working on small things like tightening the nuts on the doors, checking oil levels, filters and stuff like that.

I drove back home feeling a lot better and finally seriously thinking about buying another FIAT (Linea).

Had it not been for architect and Samyak(Elegant Cars - Mr. O.P. Sharma), FIAT would have lost another loyal customer.

@architect - Thanks again mate.Keep up the good work - You are the torch bearer . By the way, called up another friend who has been suffering at the hands of Vivek.He is facing an issue with coolant leakage and he going to Samyak tomorrow.Another Samyak convert for sure.cheers:
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Old 15th November 2008, 23:11   #7
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Well, so that makes 4 "converts" (excluding me) to Elegant Cars within 3 weeks! It proves that commitment (and even that of one person, Mr Sharma, in this case) can make a huge difference even in the face of other problems.

Well, I am planning to write to Fiat (both Mangesh and the CEO). But I would want maximum signatures from NCR Fiat owners (especially those who have bought the cars after mid-2007) who have suffered at the hands of bad dealers and ASC while Fiat just refuses to promote the good ones.

The point is:"Will it make a difference?"

The counter-point to that is: "If Elegant Cars and Mr Sharma thought in this way, they would have shut shop long ago!"

Anyway, atleast your issues have been resolved (or will get resolved soon).

And how about pronouncing Elegant Cars as the "Official TBHP Service Centre for Fiat Cars in Delhi-NCR" .... LOL

Last edited by architect : 15th November 2008 at 23:15.
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Old 16th November 2008, 23:01   #8
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Seriously guys this should go to all top lines at FIAT. They should assess dealers based on peformance. Why is samyak not a dealer?
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Old 18th November 2008, 12:53   #9
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I have highlighted this issue to Mangesh Kodalkar, Service Head Fiat. In fact we had discussed Vivek and other NDL dealers with him when Pune Palio Users had met him 2 weeks ago.

Guys, can u subscribe to PalioUsersGroup on yahoo groups. It is extremely active and we have regular meetings and discussions with Fiat guys.

Cheers
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