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Old 1st December 2009, 20:50   #121
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I believe that the warranty ( as in the terms & conditions of the warranty booklet of my Punto, should be same for all fiat cars) will cover the clutch kit provided that it's not a burnt clutch.

The labour is not covered in warranty. I guess that Fiat differs from other manufacturers in this respect - not too sure about this .
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Old 10th December 2009, 20:49   #122
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Hi all been a while since I'v been on this forum but today I went straight to architect's thread to read up .

my SDX has done 31000 Kms in 14 months due for service now.

Architect I had the exact same problem you described however it happened only once at about 18k kms and was on a flyover too . Think I was in 3rd at about 1600 rpm and the whole dashboard lit up engine still running but no power steering and not sure if I remember correctly but I think the brakes went hard too and then everything went back to normal in a second.

The parking brake light comes on whenever I accelerate hard but usually after the fluid top up its fine.

I think my suspension is pretty shot right now with a noticeable difference in ride .... the roads and my driving are to blame for this.

Tyre wear is fine but the inside of my previous left rear wheel was pretty bad .

Architect my gear too gets incredibly hard at times and during the last service the technician had said that some clutch thing had to be changed since the clutch was hard. So can I get it done in the warranty period ?
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Old 11th December 2009, 00:58   #123
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Architect my gear too gets incredibly hard at times and during the last service the technician had said that some clutch thing had to be changed since the clutch was hard. So can I get it done in the warranty period ?
Don't wait. Get it rectified within basic warranty itself. Just try to make sure diagnosis and repair is correct. Where do you go to in Chennai? Concorde or VST?
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Old 14th March 2010, 20:59   #124
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Some nice shots of the Palio MJD coming up on my 2 yr 40k km review. Here's a teaser!
Bring it on, architect! I'm waiting.
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Old 14th March 2010, 23:03   #125
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Bring it on, architect! I'm waiting.
40,000 km completed today afternoon. 2 years is exactly three weeks away. Haven't got around to writing it, though.
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Old 15th March 2010, 21:10   #126
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40,000 km completed today afternoon. 2 years is exactly three weeks away. Haven't got around to writing it, though.
Congrats Architect.
With this speed you will complete 100K in less than 5 years provided FIAT keeps providing us the spares.
I hope your review will be a detailed one as always.
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Old 16th March 2010, 23:31   #127
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Congrats Architect.
With this speed you will complete 100K in less than 5 years provided FIAT keeps providing us the spares.
I hope your review will be a detailed one as always.
Boss, the target is not 100k but to keep this car for at least 200k km. By that time, there will be no fuel or roads left :-)

Review will be detailed but where is your review? You have covered more kilometres than me.
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Old 17th March 2010, 14:49   #128
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Boss, the target is not 100k but to keep this car for at least 200k km. By that time, there will be no fuel or roads left :-)

Review will be detailed but where is your review? You have covered more kilometres than me.

I am planning for a 50K review
I think i will be using the car for 1-2 more years and then pass it on to my wife as we will be needing one more by then. Though we would be needing a petrol but i think i will get a diesel as i have got addicted to it.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 01:04   #129
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Default 2 year 40,000 km review

Today I have lived with this car for two years (two weeks lesser, actually) and 41,500 km.

It has been a good journey so far. Having bought this car in early 2008 got me a whole lot of advice of the adverse kind. Two years later, having toured through bits of North India over almost 17 short trips, driven into an open manhole, got sideswiped by a Vikram in Paharganj in Delhi, hit by a friendly neighbour's Escort in the parking, collected quite a few scratches, acquired scratch-graffiti on the bodywork and spent an unhealthy amount of time on Team-BHP, BCMTouring and the Palio Users Group, I have become emotiomally attached to the car but equally detached about defending my purchase decision. So, ego permitting, here's a (hopefully) balanced review. And yes, it is a long one!

This is the last avatar of the 178 platform in India (if reports are to be believed) and perhaps marks the end of the worst phase for Fiat in India. Ironically, it was also Fiat's first and India's second Multijet powered car. It is not surprising that it is a mixed bag, with its strengths and weaknesses. The key strengths of this car can be summarised in two (okay, three) words: 178 Platform and Multijet. The key weakness can also perhaps be summarised in two (okay, again three) words: Fiat India and Tata.

The handsome proportions, long nose, lack of waistline bulges are classic Palio / Petra / Siena while the slightly fussy rear end detailing, high stance, multijet grille and the more curvaceous headlamps distinguish the Stile Multijet. Internally, things are very different from the current crop of hatchbacks. At first glance, you don't like it if you are not used to it. The overall cabin height is low compared to the tall boys and Indicas, and you notice it when you sit at the rear seat, which is slightly higher. The front seats are low, like sedans, and you need to recline the back if you want the legs to operate the pedals at the correct angle, but the predictable bodylines make it easy to maneuver in the city. Fans of upright seating will be disappointed. The front seats offer excellent support and cushioning and I have many body-ache-free 14-hour-stretches at the wheel as testimony. The rear seats are firmer, but I don't think they are uncomfortable. I have rarely sat there. The steering, gear lever and pedal position is excellent (but only if you are not a fan of bolt-upright seating). The steering wheel never obstructs the view. The A-pillars restrict vision, but I think it's much better than the newer crop of cars. On the front, the roofline is well above and at a good distance away from you, unlikely the mildly claustrophobic severely raked rooflines nowadays. Rear visibility is decent.

Cup-holder- and bottle-holder-enthusiasts will be disappointed with the lack of innovative storage spaces. I carry a bunch of stuff with me including 25 Cds, instant shoe polish, deo, charger, food, handheld tyre pressure meter etc and have finally dumped them all into a HP toner carton that sits on the transmission hump at the rear, held in place between the two front seats. I wouldn't have been able to fit all that in properly in any other car, anyways. The boot carries the amplifier, air pump, my Pulsar toolkit and a 5-litre gallon. Fitting four small bags with the parcel tray still in place is just possible with all this present. Essentially, no complaints on the space front, but best for just four people (remember the carton on the transmission hump?).

Fire up the engine, and critics smirk. This engine is louder than the other multijet cars, both externally and internally, and the characteristic CRDI clatter is all-pervading, especially when the engine is cold. To add more fat to the fire, the Palio's second fan is known for being loud and kicking up a tornado under the front part of the car.

Slot the car into first gear and there is a remote, soft "whump" from near the gearbox. Release the clutch and there is another sound. You're off, and thatís when the you forgive all the shortcomings of this car.

The torque pushes you effortlessly at low RPMs in all gears. However, if it is sheer acceleration you need, the tachometer needs to be worked (this is one of the few small cars with a tachometer even in the base version). Whichever way a manufacturer tunes it, the Multijet engine gives you loads of turbolag and a rush when the turbo pushes you forward in a manner unreal for an efficiency-oriented 1,248 cc diesel engine. This basic nature of this engine is unchangeable.

You can drive this car in three modes. Simple city crawl by driving below 1800 RPM gives you just enough torque to tackle city crawling with minimum throttle input. I have stopped driving for too long at idling speeds as I was used to doing initially. In "Economy" mode you ride the torque wave and upshift at about 2500 RPM. You get enough overtaking power and excellent economy. In the "Performance" you can take this car to its 4500 RPM redline in every gear, but a word of caution, anything beyond 3500 RPM is just an exercise in creating huge booming noises, which do filter in quite well through the firewall into the cabin. For my everyday purposes, upshifting between 2700-3000 RPM gives me the thrills and the economy that I need at the same time.

The turbo and the gear ratios translate into sweet spots on all gears. On 5th gear, 80-120 kph is a breeze as well as a boon on Indian Highways. The lack of ABS restricts the practical cruising speed to 100-120 kph, beyond which the engine is also loud and boomy. So, is it a fast hatchback? Perhaps not, when compared to petrols. The lack of outright acceleration is compensated by the in-gear roll-on (I remember reading that the VGT Multijet Linea out-accelerates the Verna in 3rd gear). Fiatís short gearing on the first two gears puts off enthusiasts, but is useful in city traffic. the gearshifting could be faster, and the time taken to shift due to long clutch pedal travel and gear lever throws makes you lose time in traffic signal drag, if you indulge in one.

This is a car designed with the highway in mind. The power steering, an excellent example of a hydraulic unit with the right amount of feedback, is precise and well-weighted. This car dismisses rough patches with a rumble of the suspension and brilliant steering feedback communicates just when you should slow down. Body roll, is present, but the handling otherwise is good up to most speeds. In short, the balance between ride and handling is one of the best, just what one would expect from a Ford or a Fiat. Like itís other European cousins, low speed ride is slightly harsh but at speeds beyond 50-60 kph, it just cruises past bad patches.

Brake pedal feel is spongy and not progressive, but it has stopped when asked, so far. There is no locking encountered by me so far, but I have had a sheltered life in terms of panic braking.

Is it comfortable and spacious? Yes. Does it utilize the space well to give you umpteen number of bottle holders? No. Does it have all the features? Yes, just about what I consider essential. Except for ABS and airbags, it has just about everything I need. The SDE version does not come with rear wiper-demister and rear power windows (among a few other things) and I could not afford the SDX which had these things.

All this is fine, but what about Fiatís infamous After Sales Support, Parts availability and cost of maintenance? Most importantly, what about the Fuel Efficiency?

Regular Service is not an issue, because most Tata-Fiat ASC have Multijet parts in stock. One-off parts are difficult at times. Tata quality issues seem to have had an effect on Fiat. However, nothing has broken down and most parts replacements have been preventive after observing warning signs. The clutch kit including bearings was replaced at 32,000 km because of the some manufacturing defects (it wasnít worn out). A combination switch was replaced, perhaps unnecessarily, under warranty. A boot hatch lock U-clamp was replaced due to a bad spot weld. The plastic clamp for holding the battery in its tray was replaced. Thatís about it. The first set of disc brake pads lasted only 23000 km and I attribute to poor quality and additional effort required to stop 180-odd Nm of torque in city traffic.

Ever since I have driven into an open manhole, the camber on the left front wheel is out by about a few minutes from acceptable and since the impact on tyre wear is not so significant after rotation, I choose to live with it. Particularly because the solution is either a jugaad I am not keen on doing, or an expensive replacement. Off-late, the same wheel shocker mounting has developed play in it, but the ASC advised me to continue with it for another few thousand kilometres. This will be the first suspension component to go by about 50,000 km except the camber setting.

Service Centers are improving, and I am satisfied with Elegant Cars. They are attentive but you need to be involved as well. Of course, one cannot do much for service centres that have no attitude for good work.

In terms of Fuel Efficiency, the worst I have got is 12 kpl and the best I have got is 23 kpl. One can expect between 16 kpl and 20 kpl in the city depending on conditions and AC usage (which typically creates a difference of 2 kpl). On the highway, 18-20 kpl is easily achievable. One can stretch it to 25 kpl by keeping under 80 kph. Efficiency has improved after around 20,000 km, which is interesting because that is when I upgraded to wider Yokohama A-drives 185/70 instead of the stock 165/80. I think I have learned to extract my best with this engine by now.

Hereís a rough breakup of ownership costs so far:

Cost of Vehicle (on road, without loan): Rs 5.00 lakhs for SDE variant.
Accessories: Rs 34,000. (Seat covers, two sets of ICE, left side external mirror, door beadings, antenna etc)

Total: Rs 5,35,000/- (approximately)

Tyres (at 20,000 km with exchange value) and Anti-Rust coating: Rs 13,500/-

Maintenance: Scheduled Maintenance: Rs 20,500/- (incl. interior dry cleaning at every service worth Rs 500/- and wax polish at ASC once). Thatís approximately 50 p / km not counting tyres.

Non-Routine Maintenance and Accident Repair: Rs 17,000/- (incl. labour costs for clutch kit replacement, painting both bumpers and body panels as well as an additional service).

Total ownership cost in two years Rs 5,87,500/- or Rs 14 / km.

Needless to say, a radio cab would have been the same cost as owning this car. However, looking at the way things are going, I am sure by another 50,000 km, the figures would satisfy the accountantsí on this issue.

However, there is no replacement for the sheer pleasure of driving this car and its enthusiastic go-anywhere mile-munching capabilities. This is where it excels and this is where you forgive the lack of some features and refinement. Considering the poor resale values for Fiat, this is an excellent used buy. No, I am not giving any hints.
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0434-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0378-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0381-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0385-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0386-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0390-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0410-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0420-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0421-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0431-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0439-small.jpg  

Fiat Palio Stile MJD: 1,85,000 km and 9 years!-img_0442-small.jpg  


Last edited by architect : 23rd March 2010 at 01:22.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 10:22   #130
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Congratulations Sid on completing 40k with this marvel !

All I can say is that all of us PALIO owners share the sentiments on every aspect related to a PALIO ownership. FIAT has started to leap in the market with Linea and Punto, its actually a different generation, equipped with all the tech-savy things in the market.

So as per me, owning a Palio and owning a Linea/Punto are two very different ball games.

PS : I am just 3k short of 40k.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 18:06   #131
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Today I have lived with this car for two years (two weeks lesser, actually) and 41,500 km.

It has been a good journey so far.
Congratulations architect! This is an excellent review with even better pictures of your beauty. 41,500 km in less than 2 years justifies the premium you had paid for a diesel car.

I would like to know from you the following:

1. How much was charged from you as the price of the diesel filter? I had got it changed once for about Rs.2800 which is a rather steep price. The TASS had shown me the pack where the printed price was shown as Rs.2950. Recently, in the spare parts price thread, I saw the price of the diesel filter of Punto MJD listed as Rs.930. Does this part fit in the Palio MJD?

2. I have not yet been supplied with grab handles (for rear passengers) and door moldings. The cop filter in the fuel filler hole is missing too (handiwork of the TASS). Are these trivial things available off the shelf in Delhi/GGN?

PS. I have been sort of confined in the city for a long time. So, the kilometres sort of got stuck just shy of 24,000. I guess it will be difficult to get to 40K by December end (i.e. within 2 years).

Last edited by tortoiseNhare : 23rd March 2010 at 18:08.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 19:03   #132
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Thumbs up Congratulations

Excellent Ownership, Siddharth!

Thou I own the Stile 1.6 Sports I still love the MJD, may be later I might buy a used once my driving increases

Yes, the sheer driving pleasure overcomes all the weakness or the cons of the car. The suspension is bit stiff as compared to its older siblings. Rest everything is the same. The double barrell headlamps adds to the beauty.

I'm glad to own this beauty since the 1.6 Sports is also the last avatar of 1600cc 16v DOHC 100PS beast!

Long Live the King!
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Old 23rd March 2010, 19:30   #133
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Great Review. Good to see a happy FIATian.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 23:07   #134
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Originally Posted by Bubby View Post
Congratulations Sid on completing 40k with this marvel ! PS : I am just 3k short of 40k.
Thanks! Hope you are enjoying the beauty. One not-very-happy thing happening is the onslaught of summer. My FE has dropped to 15.xx instead of 18.xx I was getting because of the AC!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Great Review. Good to see a happy FIATian.
Thank you, now that you're only a Ford-ian . But I am very happy for you and seeing your experience it was a good decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
1. How much was charged from you as the price of the diesel filter? I had got it changed once for about Rs.2800 which is a rather steep price. The TASS had shown me the pack where the printed price was shown as Rs.2950. Recently, in the spare parts price thread, I saw the price of the diesel filter of Punto MJD listed as Rs.930. Does this part fit in the Palio MJD?
Cost of diesel filter (fuel filter) is Rs 930/- plus taxes, I got it changed at 15,000 and 30,000 km.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
2. I have not yet been supplied with grab handles (for rear passengers) and door moldings. The cop filter in the fuel filler hole is missing too (handiwork of the TASS). Are these trivial things available off the shelf in Delhi/GGN?
Door mouldings are the same as older Palios (and the alignment is slightly off on my right side). So are the grab handles I think (I have only the Front Left, need Rear ones too). They should be available at Elegant Cars and if not available over the counter, can get them billed on my car. But how will I send them to GHY?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tortoiseNhare View Post
PS. I have been sort of confined in the city for a long time. So, the kilometres sort of got stuck just shy of 24,000. I guess it will be difficult to get to 40K by December end (i.e. within 2 years).
Don't worry, take your time, I am worried I am going too fast and I will have to replace this car sooner than I planned.

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I'm glad to own this beauty since the 1.6 Sports is also the last avatar of 1600cc 16v DOHC 100PS beast!
Both victims of Euro III, except that Fiat didn't need to do much for the Multijet which is running Euro V as well in other parts of the world, I believe!

Last edited by architect : 23rd March 2010 at 23:08.
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Old 24th March 2010, 11:05   #135
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A nice and detailed review there. 40K kms in less 2 years justifies the purchase of diesel. Nice pictures as well.

Once you start driving this car, it just pushes or urges you to keep driving more. I picked up a used Palio and already done 7K kms in about 6 months (that too not using the car for regular daily use) and mind you this is 1.2 petrol.

How I wish I can pick an MJD up for a reasonable price and keep munching more miles
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