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Old 7th February 2009, 22:14   #1
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Default MH12 to TN69 - The story of Fiat Petra 1.6 EL

Story behind purchase

It all started around mid 2006 when I was smitten big time by the Fiat bug or to be precise the 16v 100bhp bug. When you spend most of your internet time on Tbhp this is the outcome and seeing a sparkling S10 everyday in your office parking lot only adds fuel to the raging fire.

This desire slowly gained momentum as I joined PUG and started hearing a lot of hosanna’s about the 100bhp engine and the thrills it gave to its drivers.So one fine day spoke to my friend in AutomartIndia,which is now Mahindra First choice.He ,like everyone I conveyed my wish to,was completely baffled and gave me advice about the now LEGENDARY Fiat A** and the 6-7kmpl this engine returned,poor resale etc etc etc.But my mind was pretty much made up by then and I stuck to my decision.Seeing that there is no point in trying to convince me,he now tried cajoling me to get the 1.2 as it would return better mileage and as per him this was the only variant that saw some movement in their outlet.I had none of it and hungup after informing him to keep watch on any 1.6 coming his way.

During this time, I believe ACI featured S10 in its Buying used car column and I now was running out of patience. Finally I got a call from my friend.I was informed about that a S10 which had done around 56k kms and in good shape had come to his outlet.He also informed me that a Petra too would be arriving in the coming days.Off I went to his outlet straight from office. Saw the car. It appealed to me straightaway and I took a TD.I was floored.After return had a close inspection of the car.With help of PUG-ers contacted Jay-Vijay to get info on the service history of the car and spoke to another friend in Bajaj Allianz insurance to check if the car had any claims.News from both quarters was encouraging and asked my friend to keep the car for me as I wanted to show the car my better-half.When I asked my friend if I need to pay any token advance and he cheekily replied “Don’t worry,it’s a FIAT and it will stay .I got this car here because of you else,we would stay away from this brand”.With that assurance started this thread to get response from Tbhp

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...ecide-s10.html (Help me decide on this S10)

Next day being a weekend,started to Automart outlet from my residence in Chinchwad and had a very cinematic experience.Pune guys can understand this.Just as I reached Nashik phata signal it turned red.I saw the very same S10 taking an U-turn and heading off towards Dapodi.OMG,whats happening here.My heart started racing for some reason and to make matters worse the signal took an eternity to turn green and I was caught well and truly in traffic near the petrol bunk which comes just ahead of Mahindra showroom.Finally I reached the outlet after 40 long minutes and my fear turned reality.The guy who took the TD paid the whole amount for the car through cheque rightaway.Got so mad with myself and asked for my friend.He was in Mumbai for some work and his junior without knowing about earlier day happenings had sold this car.My heart sank.

Started back home with sulken mood and my wife suggested checking the used cars division of Wondercars in Chinchwad.Still sulking went there to see a S10 parked there.All my hopes went for a toss as we checked the car.The TD too was so uninspiring and this car already had 3 owners.One quick call to Jay Vijay confirmed that the car had a shunt and was repaired recently.Returned home with a vow that I will get that elusive 16v100bhp.

Spoke to my friend and gave him an earful about the happenings.He apologised and promised me that he will lookout for another car and promised me that he will keep the Petra for sure.In a very few days,got a call from him.This time I went with my better half so if the car is to our liking will pay advance money immediately.As we entered the outlet saw MH 12 CD 7040 for the first time and to be frank it was not love at first sight.To make matters worse I had horrible experience with my earlier Santro,which was again bought used from AutomartIndia.That car met with 3 minor accidents and in all 3 incidents the car was stationary while some idiot just banged it.Why this story now,because its regn number was MH12 XX 704 :-( .Wifey refused to even enter the outlet and wanted me to return home straight away.

I don’t have belief in all those and somehow convinced my wife stating we have an additional 0 now and hence the ill omen will stay away :-) .So took the car for a TD.I felt the same responsiveness as like the S10 I drove earlier.But there were a few cosmetic glitches like left side rear view mirror broken \ right rear tail lamp broken \ center view mirror was not there \ rear left door switch which controls the interior light was not working.

These were minor but I could hear a sound from driver side suspension whenever the car hit a bump.I tried that deliberately again and confirmed that something was amiss with right side suspension setup.Called Sandeep in Jay-Vijay and he told me the car was serviced in their place 3 months back and it was a clean car.When I told him about the noise, he offered to do a complete checkup rightaway if I could get the car to their outlet.So went directly to Jay vijay service centre.Upon further inspection found that the right side ball joint has given away and needed immediate attention.Otherwise the car was in a good condition.

Returned back to AMI and the negotiation started.Automart agreed to fix all the issues and also replace the standard cassette player with a MP3 headunit.With all this,the price was fixed at 2.95 lacs for the April 2004 – 1.6EL which had clocked 22,xxx kms.My friend kept his promise and got the car delivered as promised with all work done.

---Contd-----
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Old 7th February 2009, 22:17   #2
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Experience with the car

I think enough has been said about Petra’s abilities on this forum and I am not a too technical guy to give better information than already what is available on this forum.So will provide my views from a layman’s perspective.

What appeals to me more in this car is its excellent city driving capabilities in addition to the awesome power of this engine.It can chug along in 3rd\4th gears during city drives and when the road frees up can bring a childish grin to your face as well.
Handling has been superb and I had awesome fun on the winding roads of Pune-Goa \ numerous Pune-Konkan \ Kambhatki sections.This is one aspect which I miss sorely in Chennai,but this have now been taken care by the Coimbatore – Sathy – Gopi route,whenever I visit Coimbatore.

Now to the ever present question “ Mileage kya hai” .First tank fill after I got the car returned me 10.xxkmpl with A\c on always – this with the spirited driving I did with the newly acquired 100 horses.I was happy and wanted to know how much it can return with some sedate driving.So next time it was complete sedate driving and it still returned 10.xx.So that has been the story so far.Mileage never went below 10 and never crossed 11 in city conditions.The best ever I got was 16.xxkmpl I got during the Pune – Hubli run enroute to Bangalore.I have no complaints whatsoever on this front.

Maintaining the car too has not been a problem until recently.I am not sure what the future has in store at Chennai.But while at Pune,BUB was good and I never understood all the horror stories that I read\heard about Fiat A**.Since shifting to Chennai,this has taken a slight beating but I am not ready to giveup yet.

As far as major expenditures on the car go:
• Switched to Goodyear 175\65\R14 tubeless from the OE Bridgestone S322’s
• Replaced complete suspension setup when the ODO read 32,xxx
• Clutch too was overhauled during the same time( I did this as the car was moving to TN to do duty as my parent’s place and I didn’t want to risk doing such major work at a unknown TASS)
• Starter motor had to be replaced around 42,xxx (This was done in Chennai by Concorde and I was really pissed off by them – had to contact Mangesh at Fiat to get my grievances addressed)

Some memorable experiences

The team outing which we did to YMCA lakeside at Nilshi.There was no road whatsoever and Petra crossed those stretches with all guns blazing with 5 pax onboard

Visiting Bushi dam during the monsoon’s of 2007 and I had a gala time with my family having completely forgotten that my security system remote was in my pant pockets.Result - remote conked and I had to open the doors with key.The security system reset button inside the car didn’t work and driving around lonavala looking for a mechanic with siren’s blazing full time.When I look back at this incident,it looks funny but not then when we had lot of suspecting eyes on us.

The numerous other long \ short drives we did and never did my Petra give me trouble – not even a puncture during those numerous drives.Touchwood.

So when it was time for me to relocate to Chennai I didn’t have any doubts in my mind on what to do with the car.It was plain simple,get NOC and re-register in Chennai.The process was initiated in April 2008 and I received my Tamilnadu registration mark last week.Yes it took a whopping 9 months and the road tax that I paid in TN was more than what was paid in Pune.

Was it worth all this.Well let me narrate this incident – if you have had the patience to read till now,I hope you wont mind reading this as well.

Linea gets launched in Chennai and when you are a Fiat fanboy,as called on this forum,you cant escape the TD fever.So went with my better half for a TD and she fell for it immediately.So considered buying Petrol Emotion Option pack(Yes yes,you heard it right.This after going through so much pain to re-register the car,afterall we are Tbhpians right).Concorde offered to get a buyer for my Petra and immediately got their evaluator to decide on a price.As he took the car for a TD,I had a lump in my throat and when I looked at my wife,I could see that she too was going through the same emotion.
At that point of time I realised,MH 12 CD 7040 ceased to be JUST a car long time back.Its very much part of the family now and if at all I buy another car,it will be only when I can afford a second car and definitely not at the expense of selling my beloved Petra.
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Old 7th February 2009, 22:23   #3
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wow! another FIAT Lover. So sad that the S10 slipped right through your fingers. Dont worry. Alls for good.All the best. Dont forget to Post some pics for us.
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Old 8th February 2009, 07:21   #4
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@jraj : Reading your account right from association to present day almost made my eyes moist. I think I can also call myself a Fiat Lover and Loyalist. My first car was Fiat Uno 1.2 ELX, bought used in 2002. I had always admired the lines and design of the Uno, so when it came to buy a car it was my natural choice ( Have something against most JAP cars ). Inspite of people warning me about the legendary Fiat A*S*S, My retort had been that I had maintained a RD350 for 4 years so I can definitely take care of a FIAT. Lots of near and dear tried to dissuade me from buying Fiat trying to explain the virtues of Maruti and Hyundai, but my heart only knoew one thing, it was FIAT Uno that was to be. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a 2 week old classified mentioning a FIAT Uno 1.2 for sale. Immediately called up and was relieved to know that the car was still available for sale ( I guess FIATs do move very slowly in the used buyer market). Went and saw the car same day evening and TD it. It was like love at first drive. Ample power with capability to overtake bigger car through proper gear shift ( Talking 2002 here. Still retains most of those characteristics but we have more powerful cars now) Brought home that car with 32k odd on the clock. My 3 days a week run from South Delhi to Faridabad through the shooting range hilly road used to be an awesome experience. Also did countless number of official trip between Delhi - Chandigarh ( Best time till date is 3 Hrs and 20 minutes). These drives and my overall ownership experience made me a FIAT fan and I kind of influenced my wife to buy the Palio, when she needed to buy a car.(Now, thats called a full FIAT family).

Having driven my Uno almost across the length and breadth of the country, including places where only Jeeps dare to go, its been a awesome ownership and heart fulfilling experience till now. But I guess age is catching up with the car (8&1/2 years old and 1.1L kms)and time to move on to a next steed. I'm being egged by the family to sell the Uno to make way for the new car ( Parking space problem) but my heart is unwilling to let it go . After all its is a bond that complements one another and cannot be described in words. So the UNO stays while I look for my steed.

Seeing the Linea confirmed my faith in FIAT as a maker of legendary cars. Hope they continue making driver centric car. Amen!

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Originally Posted by jraj View Post
Experience with the car


Maintaining the car too has not been a problem until recently.I am not sure what the future has in store at Chennai.But while at Pune,BUB was good and I never understood all the horror stories that I read\heard about Fiat A**.Since shifting to Chennai,this has taken a slight beating but I am not ready to giveup yet.
Try Sundaram Motors, they are good. Else Try Anna Auto Garage in Ambattur. Used to be Fiat Authorised service point.

Last edited by Rehaan : 8th February 2009 at 19:23. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the MULTIQUOTE button instead of making multiple consecutive posts in the same thread.
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Old 8th February 2009, 09:07   #5
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Originally Posted by jraj View Post
At that point of time I realised,MH 12 CD 7040 ceased to be JUST a car long time back.Its very much part of the family now and if at all I buy another car,it will be only when I can afford a second car and definitely not at the expense of selling my beloved Petra.
I can understand how it feels. I am also planning to change my car but somehow not able to think of selling it. Probably will keep it with me for long. And since Fiat' resale is so bad that I would like to keep it rather selling it for pennies.
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Old 8th February 2009, 10:34   #6
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Quote:
jraj : ... As he took the car for a TD,I had a lump in my throat and when I looked at my wife,I could see that she too was going through the same emotion.
The wife being atleast as attached to the Fiat as you are : That's one happy family, I guess.
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Old 8th February 2009, 11:37   #7
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Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Dont forget to Post some pics for us.
Lost almost entire set of my photos when my HD crashed last month.Will have to take some to upload here,will do so soon.

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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Try Sundaram Motors, they are good. Else Try Anna Auto Garage in Ambattur. Used to be Fiat Authorised service point.
Thanks Milecruncher.I think I will stick to MyTVS now on.No more Concorde for me.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
The wife being atleast as attached to the Fiat as you are : That's one happy family, I guess.
For wifey,the attachment is with the car and its just a coincidence that the make happens to be Fiat :-)
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Old 8th February 2009, 16:00   #8
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Default MH12 to TN69 - The story of Fiat Petra 1.6 EL

Hi Raj. Always keep in mind that "Once a Fiat fan ALWAYS a fiat fan" irrespective of whatever shortcomings their products have!

I was in the same boat as you and your wife. It was heartrending for me to part with my Fiat Uno (FIRE 45) yeah the very 1st model and i can understand both your feelings when you were going to trade in your Petra. When the Fiat Uno was 1st launched wayback in the 90's and bookings opened i had to run on the last day to give in my application because my folks at home had sat on it. Guess lady luck smiled as i got the allotment no.150 out of a total booking of around 14,760 bookings done in Chennai alone if i remember correctly. She was really special to me even more as i had to fight to get her and i really felt bad when the time came for her to part company with me because one of her cylinders was on the verge of packing up and oil consumption was being gulped so as to say. Was a real workhorse and she used to fly on the Chennai - Bangalore (old madras) road. Needless to say much about her brakes. They were just perfect and gave that feeling of confidence at high speeds. Treated her real well, did research and went abroad to pick up a specially designed A/C Unit for her as the initial UNO's that came were all NON A/C's. Subsequently the indian A/C's (sanden vikas) were all hotch potch with a overloaded 507 comprressor. A/C worked like a gem after having fitted it and i did not encounter a single problem. They were kinda like made for each other I stll feel bad after selling one fiat but I draw solace from another fiat, her elder sibling my Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX. When this one goes in due course i WILL just have to get myself another fiat maybe a Grande Punto. No other go. My garage space is just not complete without the presence of a FIAT parked in it.

See what happens when you get too attached to your car/s

regards
___________
97' Fiat Uno 45 FIRE (sold)
02' Fiat Palio 1.2 ELX
08' Maruti Swift Dzire VDI
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Old 8th February 2009, 16:56   #9
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Written straight from the heart. If ever there was a story on lifes uncanny coincidences, this one is it. You got a flair for story telling, Jraj! Come to think of it, the Petra is still a competitive sedan. Torquey & quick 1.6 100 horses, robust suspension, outstanding ride quality and comfortable interiors.

How about some pictures?
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Old 8th February 2009, 17:22   #10
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Originally Posted by jraj View Post
Experience with the car

Maintaining the car too has not been a problem until recently.I am not sure what the future has in store at Chennai.But while at Pune,BUB was good and I never understood all the horror stories that I read\heard about Fiat A**.Since shifting to Chennai,this has taken a slight beating but I am not ready to giveup yet.
As MileCruncher said you could have tried Sundaram Motors the erstwhile Fiat dealer but if i'm correct they will undertake to do the maintenence/repair/service of all fiat cars that have ONLY been sold by them and NOT by other dealers as they have relinquished their Fiat dealership. This is more towards retaining their loyal customers and also because they deal in other car brands as well and if they take care of their loyal customers in all probability the same customer will consider the other car brands that they deal in when we are car shopping.This is what they told me in person as my Palio 1.2 ELX still gets looked after by them AVOID Anna Auto Garage in Ambattur as i have visited them once for a mela on the behest of Sundaram Motors and their infrastructure is a far cry from even being GOOD. Infact they were appointed by Sundaram Motors inorder to decongest and cater to the no. of cars piling up for service at their Anna Salai service centre.

No TATA dealer service for me When the Fiat GP comes maybe even a private mechanic would be far better.

Guess you already know that My TVS belongs to the same TVS group that includes Sundaram Motors as well. Well some of the 'My TVS' outlets are franchisees and some are operated by the company themselves atleast in Chennai. This was how it was earlier. Don't know if it is still the same. If it is still the same then maybe you could evaluate giving your petra at the company operated one as they may in all probability have the same channel for spares as does Sundaram Motors.

Quote:
Some memorable experiences

So when it was time for me to relocate to Chennai I didn’t have any doubts in my mind on what to do with the car.It was plain simple,get NOC and re-register in Chennai.The process was initiated in April 2008 and I received my Tamilnadu registration mark last week.Yes it took a whopping 9 months and the road tax that I paid in TN was more than what was paid in Pune.
Did you enlist the services of some agency to process the NOC / re-registration work or did you do it yourself? AASI, Chennai does this work and they are quite efficient and quick to a certain extent. Atleast they will let you know where you stand.
regards,

Last edited by Rehaan : 8th February 2009 at 19:25. Reason: Quotes fixed. (End quotes with a [/quote] tag)
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Old 8th February 2009, 17:43   #11
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One hell of a narration, JRaj.

With two recent vehicle sales in the family, I know how difficult it is to part with one!

Care to share few photos of the guy?

Last edited by HappyWheels : 8th February 2009 at 17:45. Reason: reworded! :)
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Old 8th February 2009, 17:51   #12
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A very good narration. Each and every drop of love is very much evident in these words.
Well, wish you a lot more happier moments with your love.
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Old 8th February 2009, 18:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Written straight from the heart. If ever there was a story on lifes uncanny coincidences, this one is it. You got a flair for story telling, Jraj! Come to think of it, the Petra is still a competitive sedan. Torquey & quick 1.6 100 horses, robust suspension, outstanding ride quality and comfortable interiors.

How about some pictures?
Very True. I guess no one would ever be able to answer the question as to why that car was stopped. ANyways. Lets see the pictures soon.
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Old 8th February 2009, 19:04   #14
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Nice read on a Sunday evening, thats what I had now. As always, its a FIAT owner who comes up with heart warming story.

Waiting for some pics of the beautiful Petra.
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Old 9th February 2009, 10:09   #15
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Guess you already know that My TVS belongs to the same TVS group that includes Sundaram Motors as well.Did you enlist the services of some agency to process the NOC / re-registration work or did you do it yourself? AASI, Chennai does this work and they are quite efficient and quick to a certain extent. Atleast they will let you know where you stand.
regards,
Thanks for this info.Have done 2 services since the shift to Tamilnadu.Once it was done at MyTVS Coimbatore.They were the FIAT dealers and they put me in touch with MyTVS Chennai-the one on Whites road.So I think I will continue further servicing there.Second service was done at Concorde,ECR and was not a very pleasing experience.

Unfortunately I didnt enlist the services of AASI and did the work with the help of my dad's friend.When I started the NOC process in Pune,I didnt have any address proof in Chennai and hence had to initiate the process with my permanent address in Tuticorin - southern most part of TN.Its a small town and those chaps took their own sweet time.

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Originally Posted by speedzak View Post
A very good narration. Each and every drop of love is very much evident in these words.Well, wish you a lot more happier moments with your love.
Thanks a lot for your wishes Zak.I have read about the troubles you had with your Diesel Petra,but I have been lucky so far :-)

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Very True. I guess no one would ever be able to answer the question as to why that car was stopped. ANyways. Lets see the pictures soon.
+1 to that.In mid 2007,PUG-ers in Pune came to know about 50 odd Diesel ELX's left with FIAT.We tried forming a group and thought of discussing with FIAT but was told that they were to be distributed to Fiat executives and not for sale.
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