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Old 14th May 2009, 15:56   #1
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Default My First Car - Palio 1.9 D experience

Hi T-Bhpians,

Though this is my 3rd post (other two being some funny stuff), i am a member of this forum for quiet a long time. I joined this forum in Oct 2007 and from then on i am a passive member who reads many a threads a day and familiar with the names of top guns of this respectable forum.

I am currently living in Bangalore and I am working for a French multi national company located in one of the many concrete jungles(read Eco Space) in the outer ring road, Bangalore.

2 years ago around this time of the year i decided to buy a pre-owned car. After doing some basic math, i decided on a diesel car. The options were Ikon 1.8, Accent CRDI, Petra and Palio. i looked around a few used car dealers and found that the Ikon and Accent are above my budget. So i decided on FIAT (i have a liking for the Palio since it was launched).

Having decided on the Car, i looked out for Palios and Petras, Petras are hard to come by and the ones that come for sale demanded a huge price (one guy asked for 4 lakhs for a 3 year old one with 30K on the odo). One saturday i came across 3 Palios (Silver, White and a gold one) with a dealer. The Gold one was immaculately maintained, however the asking price was beyond my reach. The white one had 78k on the odo and the Silver one had 42k on the odo; also its a fully loaded one with ABS. The asking price was 3 lakhs and i negotiated it down to 2.5 and finished the deal. It was a 2004 Aug model and the car looked clean and dent free but the AC was not working.

Paid token advance, finished paperworks for Loan, noted down the Odo reading and left the place (The car stays at garage till the loan gets sanctioned)

It took a week for the loan to get sanctioned and i took delivery of the Car on the week of Gandhi Jayanthi. Drove the car out of the garage with my brother to a local but good mechanic. The only thing i have to do was recharge the AC. It costed me 1200 and bingo!! the car is as good as any pre owned car (atlease thats what i thought)

That being a long weekend, a trip was already planned to Bheemeswari fishing Camp which is some 150 km from Banglore. My then girl friend (now wife) came down from Chennai on Friday morning and we set out to Bheemeswari Fishing Camp along with my brother and another friend. I was so excited because of my "new" car and we are making a trip on the very second day.

The route was not pre planned and we missed the turn from the Mysore Road; i kept on driving till Mandya and asked for directions. We were informed that the fishing camp can be reached through Halgur but the road is not "that" good. We continued the drive towards Halgur; the road was good in patches and very bad for most of the part. I was doing less than 40 and negotiating the occasional small rocks that crop up in the middle of the road.

And suddenly there was a big thud sound (i knew something hit the underside); I hit the brake hard and through the rear view mirror i can see a trace of black fluid; i turned off the ignition, released the bonnet lock and came out of the car.

The trace of black fluid is the engine oil; Man the hit was so hard that the oil sump was smashed and split open. So there we are; stranded in the middle of a jungle with a "New" car that cant move on its own.

This has become a long post. I will continue the rest in my next post.

Thanks for your patience guys.
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Old 14th May 2009, 18:37   #2
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your post has all the makings of a palio edge of the seat thriller dude!!
we are waiting for part 2 along with pics
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Old 14th May 2009, 18:52   #3
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Correction guys: That was not Gandhi Jayanthi weekend. It was some long weekend in August.

So there we are; stranded in the middle of a jungle with a "New" car that cant move on its own.

I opened the bonnet and could see the engine bay smoking and it was damn hot. We pushed the car to a side and saw what banged the car's oil sump. As i said before the road is very bad and there was this 1 feet wide crater running across the "road". From the drivers perspective i didn't notice the gap in the road and drove through it. Thanks to the work of some local people, they have put some big stones to fill the crater, when i drove through the crater and landed on the gap, the action of the suspension caused the front of the car to go down. My bad, 2 stones were sticking upright and the oil sump hit them hard causing it to break and split open.

I called up friends in Bangalore to find out any FIAT service centers which can help. But no luck. No people in sight, we were standing around the car discussing the next course of action. If the girl was not with us we would have opened up the Royal Challenge we were carrying and downed a few rounds.

We hear the sound of an approaching vehicle and it turned out to be a bus with people sitting on the roof. Bro and friend quickly decided to board the bus and reach Halgur, find a mechanic and come back. They board the bus and manage to cling on to the foot board.

So here we stay, me and my girl waiting for bro and friend to retun with a mechanic (in my mind i knew its not going to help, towing is the only option).
I was desperate for a smoke; as my better half hates me smoking, i didnt carry a pack with me. Now we hear a feeble sound of another vehicle;a splendor with two guys on board. They stopped near us and i saw them carrying a gunny bag. They are on their way back to their village after purchasing goodies from Halgur. Small shop keepers. I paid 50 bucks for a pack of cigarettes. Girl stares at me and i stare back, she keeps quiet.
One of the guys looked under the car and suggests that the gear box is broken. I kept quiet puffing away the cigarette. Inside i was nervous to be at that place with a girl and a broken down car. You get the jist.

Man those guys are really godsent; I will continue in the next post.
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Old 15th May 2009, 03:30   #4
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Hi krsh77, this sounds interesting but sad that happened to your car on the very next day of buying it. But it can happen to any car, anytime. Glued to this thread to know what you did & how you managed to get out of the jungle.
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:43   #5
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If you are thriller fan, team bhp is the place to be these days. Good going.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:50   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shantyrocks View Post
your post has all the makings of a palio edge of the seat thriller dude!!
we are waiting for part 2 along with pics
Thanks for the comment shantyrock, sorry to say that i do not have pics. though i had my FE150 with me, i was too upset to take photographs. May be because this is the first incident.

Quote:
Originally Posted by djjebs View Post
Hi krsh77, this sounds interesting but sad that happened to your car on the very next day of buying it. But it can happen to any car, anytime. Glued to this thread to know what you did & how you managed to get out of the jungle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderernomad View Post
If you are thriller fan, team bhp is the place to be these days. Good going.
thanks djjebs and wanderer; i will be posting the next part soon. Got some bugs that has to be taken care of now.
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Old 15th May 2009, 18:40   #7
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Can't wait to read the next part and eagerly waiting for climax scene 'thriller raja' krsh77 saar !

Last edited by pranava999 : 15th May 2009 at 18:44.
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Old 15th May 2009, 19:44   #8
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Interesting account waiting for the next installment
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Old 15th May 2009, 22:53   #9
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So, you still on the road?

That too with your girl, a smoke and a shop on wheels...

When is the next screening?
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Old 18th May 2009, 12:24   #10
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Sorry guys, i was pretty tied up the whole weekend. Didn't even switched on the laptop

OK, here we go

The two guys offered to help us by towing the car to Mandya which is the nearest town. Now don't think about a Splendor with a Palio on tow. So the plan is this, the guys will go to their village and find a Sumo or Qualis and come back to the location.

I called my brother on this mobile, luckily Airtel had network coverage. They were still travelling on the bus towards Halgur. I told him about the 2 guys and about the "help on the way". They cannot just get down the bus and come back as they cannot find a vehicle without reaching Halgur, so they go to Halgur.

Around 30 minutes should have passed and we hear an approaching vehicle which turns out to be a Sumo with 4 guys on board. As they came closer i could recognize the guys sitting in the middle row, the same guys who offered to help me a while ago. The Sumo stops and 3 guys get down and the sumo drives forward to find a place to reverse.

The 3 guys help me to reverse the Palio, man it was damn heavy at 1300 kilos and the steering felt like a truck steering( i never drove a truck). It took a while to get the Palio reversed.

Now the Palio is in place and Sumo in front of it, the guys get down to business. They had a rope in the Sumo and tied it on the tow hook of the two cars and we are set to go. There was a gap of approximately 10 feet between the cars.

Another vehicle is coming towards to us, it was a load auto with my bro and friend standing on the luggage area. Man everything is in place now, it was quiet a relief.

Except me and girl, everyone board the Sumo and we start towards Mandya. It was well past 2 in the afternoon.
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Old 19th May 2009, 14:48   #11
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It took almost 2 hours to reach Mandya, on the way the rope snapped once and we had to shorten the distance between Palio and Sumo. Driving without a running engine is a pain. The steering was too hard and so was the brake. The Sumo was driven very carefully and every braking was signalled in advance by the Sumo driver.

So we reach the garage in Mandya, i could see an Amby and a Mahindra 540 being worked on. The owner of the garage Durai comes to us and he is a mallu guy settled in Mandya. He assured me that the vehicle will be ready in 2 to 3 hours. That gave me high hopes, atleast i can go back to Bangalore the same day in my Car. Car was pushed into the garage, jacked up and the mechanics get busy under the car.

No words will be enough to thank the Sumo guys who helped us to get to the garage from the middle of the jungle. We thanked them and paid them 2K for their "towing service". We shook hands, i hand over them my card in case if they need any help whenever they are in Bangalore (never had a call from them though).

As per Durai it takes 2 to 3 hours to fix the car (remove the oil sump, weld it, fix it back, fill it will oil and drive home; However this would not be the case). So we go for some food, we were extremely hungry after the ordeal.

Atleast we are in some place with people around and the car being worked on in a garage; we walked around, found a hotel and filled up ourselves with dosas and gobi manchurian.

It should have been an hour or so. We stroll back to the garage hoping the oil sump should have been removed and sent out for welding. But what awiats me in the garage is not so good. Durai says the hit was too hard, all the bolts are jammed and they managed to loosen only a couple of bolts till now. The mechanic keeps on hitting the bolts with a chisel and hammer and it was around 9 in the night when the oil sump finally came off the engine.

More shock follows, oil stainer broken, main bearing oil seal busted, the oil sump cannot be welded.

to be continued in next post.

Guys, i know the thread has lost its steam, no more thrills. However this is originally a long term ownership report
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Old 19th May 2009, 15:57   #12
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dude...
we shall prefer a 2 and half hour thriller movie rather than half n hour episodes which take away the excitement.settle down for a complete report when you are absolutely free with nothing else to bother you.
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Old 19th May 2009, 16:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shantyrocks View Post
dude...
we shall prefer a 2 and half hour thriller movie rather than half n hour episodes which take away the excitement.settle down for a complete report when you are absolutely free with nothing else to bother you.

dude, this is bullying

Anyways, sorry for the piece meal posts. I was trying to post whenever i had a chance and some free time. I will complete the fishing camp incident in my next post.
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Old 21st May 2009, 12:09   #14
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Here we go, i am finishing off the incident in this post.

The spares has to be brought either from Bangalore or Mysore and that can be done only the next day. So we decide to stay at a hotel in Mandya and have my friend in Bangalore bring the spares next day.

Durai arranges his brother's Amby to drop us off at Hotel Sridevi. But damn they wont give us a room as there is no proof to show that me and my girl are married (we tried to convince them, but didnt help ). I decide not to take any chances with other hotels and end up facing issues for staying with my girl. Made a call to Durai and told him the situation; he agrees to drop us at our home in Bangalore (really didnt feel like taking the state bus to Bangalore after the tiring day). So we travel back to Bangalore in Amby and reached home at around 12 in the night. We had some ice teas and wound up for the day.

I have to get back to Mandya the next day with the spares, but fortunately Durai's friend was coming to bangalore and i was told to buy the spares and give it to him. So i go to JC Road and bought the oil stainer, oil sump and the main bearing oil seal. All came to around 4 K ( i dont remember the exact amount). I met Durai's guy near Nimhans and gave him the spares.

I call Durai in the evening to know the staus of my Car, he said that the car will be ready by next day evening. So the next day i am supposed to go to Mandya to collect my car. But i was bit lucky, he had to come to Bangalore for some reason and he agrees to deliver the car.

So the next day evening after 6 i got my car back, looked like nothing has ever happened to the car. i took a drive with Durai beside me and everything seemed to be fine. So i pay him, thanked him a lot and drop him at him at Shivaji Nagar.

So this was my first incident with my first Car that too within 24 hours since i took delivery of the car. It made by poorer by 10K including towing charges, food, travel back to Bangalore, spare parts and Labour charges.

Apart from this there was not an issue in the car for the next 3 months, travelled to Kanyakumari and back, then a 3 days trip to Coorg. The car is rock solid in highways and i use to touch 145 in straight empty stretches.

The goods so far: Drive comfort, solid build, reasonably good FE, i get 13 in bangalore city and 16 in highways. rear seat comfort is also good. I rarely sit in the rear seat because most of the time i drive as i love to drive.

The bads: AC is not a chiller, cools enough but wish for some more.
Engine noise is on the higher side; though the cabin is quiet when the windows are rolled up.
Absence of rotary knobs for AC temperature control.
The FIP warning light which stays on even after the engine starts, I have found an workaround and learned to live with it.


These are for the initial 3 months since i owned the car.
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Old 21st May 2009, 15:44   #15
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All was was going well till i decided to change the auxiliary belt. The belt looked a little worn out on the outer side so i went for a new belt. This was done in a local garage near to where i stay. Bought the original spare and got it replaced. The guys took some time to replace the belt complaining about the complexity of Palio.

In that week while i was going for lunch with my colleagues, i hear a rumbling sound under the hood; i stopped the car and opened the bonnet. The belt was coming off and it snapped while i was looking on. Huh it was a couple of days old belt and it snapped.

I was aware that the water pump is driven by the timing belt. So driving the car wont be a problem; the steering will be harder though, battery wont get charged and AC wont work. So we proceeded for lunch and then back to office. That evening i drove straight to the garage. The mechanic suggested that the belt may be a faulty one and we replace it with a new one. Everything fine till the next morning though i noticed that the engine noise is on the higher side. The next morning i start the car and it sounded like a tractor. i drove straight to the garage, the mechanics have no clue why the engine is sounding like that.

That was the start of the issues.

The car behaves fine except for the higher noise and vibrations. After the engine gets warm, the noise level is normal (may be i get used to it). So one Saturday i decided i should fix this somehow and went to Prerana on the Old Madras Road. The Service Engineer test drove the car and told me to replace the Fuel Pump. What the heck? i suggested to him that it may be timing issue. He was stubborn to change the Fuel Pump and it takes 15 days. The replacement pump will be a re-calibrated one, not new.

I shrugged off this and kept driving the car as it didnt give me any trouble except for cold starts(noise will be high). I even to Kanyakumari (my hometown Nagercoil) via Mysore - Kerala thru the ghats. a total of 1000 km in a day. The car behaved superbly with 100% AC on.

Then one day i read about Green Tracks in Hosur road, went there on a Saturday morning and the diagnosis was spot on. The timing is not right. Anyways i was planning to change the timing belt so this was the time, changed the timing belt and its tensioner. Problem solved

The reason for the timing issue: When the alternator belt snapped while the engine was running, shreds of it went inside the timing belt compartment and this caused the timing belt to slip one or 2 teeth.

I make a note that Green Tracks is the one for Palio, but not for all Palio issues.

So far the Car is damn good except for the higher noise level and vibrations. No other issues even though the car was driven for really long drives across south India. This is about 8 months of ownership.
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