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Old 17th May 2013, 16:25   #76
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Default My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - 28,000 Kms Report

It's been a long while since I updated this thread. The Indigo has now covered 43000 kms, which means three services. The car has been reliable for the most part, except for a tyre failure and two (yes, two) power window motor replacements. Minor irritants still continue to be minor, and I have found workarounds for most.

The Tyre Failure

This happened at around 16K kms. The car was constantly pulling to the left, even after an alignment. I finally took it to the service center and left it there. The SA called me up and told me that the tyre was damaged, a possible manufacturing defect. I went over and he showed me how the tyre looked like a bike tyre under full inflation. Aked him to claim warranty, but he told me that it would likely be declined, because I had already had a puncture on it.

I hadn't used the spare at all, so I decided to buy one new tyre and use it alongside the spare, moving the used tyre to the spare. So now, I had new tyres at the rear axle. I had a bit of difficulty procuring the same GPS2 tyre as the spare, since most dealers only had GPS3 by now, which had a different pattern.

Cost: 4200 bucks
Irritation Level: Above Average. I shouldn't have had to pay for what was clearly a manufacturing defect.

At about 18,000 kms, the car got a dent on the rear door, courtesy of a drunk driver who rammed his Omni into my car. The van wouldn't go up a slope, so he was repeatedly reversing and trying again, each time banging hard into my rear door. I and a couple of friends pulled him out, and during the ensuing conversation, learnt that he was a priest at a nearby temple! Anyway, the priest had no trouble paying for the damage, in exchange for us keeping quiet and not involving the police.

The denting and repainting of the rear door was also done at this time. Kulathunkal Motors gave me a bill of 20K (yup). The SA called me up and told me that inorder to match the paint correctly, the entire side would have to be repainted. He said that an insurance company person would call me, and to insist that the entire side be painted. It was a bit fishy, but I agreed, since I was assured that it would all be covered in insurance. And it was. All I had to pay out of hand was Rs. 500 as tax.

I had one of the most unpleasant experiences at Kulathunkal at this time. While the car was being painted, I requested the body shop SA to see my car being done. He directed me and my friend to the top floor and we spent some time watching the car get worked on. Suddenly, the SA comes up, and tells us to get out in the rudest manner possible, like we were trespassing in his bedroom on his honeymoon. My friend and I took this issue up with the Customer Relations Manager, who apologized. Still, this left a sour taste in my mouth and I decided I wasn't going back there.

Expenses: 500
Irritation Level: Extreme++

20,000 kms Service
Since Kulathunkal was blacklisted by me, I looked at Focuz Motors, an ASC about 1.5 km from my house. It was uneventful and cost about 5K, owing to replacement of transmission oil (every 20K kms) and some other parts (air/fuel/oil filters). Sorry for the lack of detail, but I have the receipts filed away. They even found a CD and the remote for the music system that I thought I had lost.

Power Windows Failure I

Shortly after this, the front passenger side power window stopped working, getting stuck in the closed position. Focuz Motors replaced the motor under warranty. Focuz motors doesn't seem to have anything other than regular service parts in stock, and everything else is ordered from Chennai, causing delays. It took them ten days to get a replacement PW motor, including a wrong part being sent initially, but the replacement itself took under an hour.

Cost: NIL
Irritation Level: Medium. It's hard to ask people the way, or to hand money to pump attendants.

I asked the SA what could have caused such a failure, and he said that the front window glass of the Indica/Indigo is the largest of any car in India, which makes it quite heavy on the motors. He showed me a car that had AutoCop after market PWs. These were installed on the doorpad, so they're more ergonomic, but it took an age for the front windows to wind up.

Power Windows Failure II : 25000 km

I was just about to start for home after a trip to Thodupuzha. As I wound up the window, and heard a creaky grinding sound, a snap, and then frantic whirring. The window was about halfway up and stuck. The service centre there was RF motors. By this time, the car was out of regular warranty and into extended.

RF Motors informed me that they couldn't process the extended warranty, as it is dealer dependent. As a stopgap, they propped up the window in the closed position for my trip home. This meant a return to the dreaded abyss that was Kulathunkal Motors.

Kulathunkal Motors were eager to see me return, they had a new CRM, and an improved attitude. They told me that the requisite part would be shipped overnight and told me to come back the next day, by which time, the extended warranty replacement would also have been approved.

When I went back to my car which I'd parked opposite to the reception entrance, I noticed that there was something off about the tail lamp. There was a BIG hole in it! I questioned the security guard, who said he had seen nothing, claiming that it must have been that way when I came in. I inspected the surroundings and found the missing pieces of my tail lamp in a nearby flower pot. I pointed this out to him and he started squirming a bit, possibly because I was likely foaming at the mouth.

I went inside and raised hell, prompting the new CRM to run down and consult with the security. The security then revealed that Kulathunkal's own Sumo had done the damage, and the driver had hidden the plastic bits. The sheer nerve of these people! The CRM immediately turned to me and said that the unit would be replaced by the dealership, no problem. I had him give it to me in writing, and left.

The PW unit and the rear tail light were replaced the next day itself at no cost, and they also threw in a free water service, polish and a box of tissues as a goodwill gesture.

One thing I don't understand is why they replaced a perfectly good motor when it's just the cable that has snapped. Why does this only come as a set? I hope outside garages have ways of repairing it, as it costs about 4K and doesn't seem to be reliable. It's a SIEMENS unit, btw.

Cost: NIL
Irritation Level: Do I even need to say anything??

Last edited by vivekgk : 17th May 2013 at 16:27.
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Old 17th May 2013, 18:16   #77
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Default My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - 35,000 Kms Report

30,000 kms Report: AC Blower Icing

As the car neared 30,000 kms, we started getting calls from Kulathunkal Motors and Focuz, reminding us about the upcoming service. Though I was loathe to deal with Kulathunkal, Focuz was a bit crowded and I needed the car done quickly. Kulathunkal agreed to return the car the same day provided no other issues occured. The driver side ORVM which was broken by a truck was held on with about 5 rolls of tape.

The only issues I still had was the blower clogging up on >150km drives and the rear suspension.

Blower Clogging: When this happened, the there would be no air coming out of the ducts, and water would start dripping on driver's and passenger's feet! This issue was reported on every service since 10K, but neither of them ASCs were able to resolve it. Focuz at least managed to diagnose it as Ice building up on the coil due to the vents for condensation getting clogged, rather than the recirculation flaps getting stuck, as I'd thought. They always said they fixed it, but the issue occurred on every long drive.

Suspension Noise: The problem appeared whenever we drove over a really bad patch of road, esp when the shock extended. Ride quality didn't suffer, it was just irritating.

The blower issue was reported to Kulathunkal at the 30K service yet again, and they recommended some kind of product for AC system cleaning. This would supposedly clear out any mould or fungus that accumulates in the system, thus putting an end to this issue. I was skeptical, and the treatment was costly at 1.5K, but I agreed. The total bill for the service came to 7K, which included replacement of driver side ORVM. I painted the top part myself with a spray can of similar shade. I learnt the hard way that it can't be used to hide scratches on the bumper.

In the next two months, the car covered 10,000 km, because my sister's wedding was coming up. The Indigo took us all over Kerala to deliver invites, fetch guests, dropping off bride and maids at beauticians, and all other kinds of errands and duties, including being used as a mini pickup with the seats folded. Not a squeak of protest was heard. That's right, the suspension had finally stopped squeaking on its own!

But the engine had gotten rough and horrible at 35K, especially since I had switched back to regular diesel. The Turbo was making a horrible racket too. We seriously considered exchanging it for any other car when we were buying a Punto for my sister. The dealership didn't offer us a good price, so the idea was scrapped temporarily.

Shortly after,the car was given to MAS Service at Kalady, Trivandrum for some scratch removal and denting as part of the wedding prep. To be true, the idea was also to touch it up before disposing of it. But then, I had an idea and asked them to change the oil and the all the filters. The oil used was Veedol Max drain 15W40, which was available in an offer pack (5L for price of 4L), OEM oil and fuel filters were used. The difference was tremendous! The engine was now completely back to its old self!

I now believe that Kulathunkal Motors had skipped the oil change in my car. There is no other explanation for how lethargic my car had become just 5K after the service. The filter had been changed, which was probably what kept the engine from seizing.

We were now so satisfied with the car that any and all plans for replacement were cancelled. The car had now covered 39K with no major shunts, was giving a steady 15 kpl in city and 18-19 kpl on highway, and was smoother than ever since I started feeding System D to it. It was now time for a cosmetic upgrade!
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Old 18th May 2013, 01:19   #78
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Default My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - 43,000 Kms Report

With the car now nearing the 40K mark, and having made the decision to keep it for some more years, we thought the time was right for some upgrades. Parking sensors and a reverse camera were on the list, followed by an upgrade to alloys, subject to availability of funds.

An in-dash screen was out because of the single DIN console, so the screen would have to be on top of the mirror. The sensors chosen were the new smaller dia type, and the distance display was superimposed on the reverse camera itself, rather than having a separate LED indicator. Because I searched around, I was able to have the screen, camera and the sensors bought separately and installed for under 5K which was a lot less than what was quoted at accessory shops. This was done at 37K.

A trip to Thodupuzha showed that the blower icing issue had not been resolved, despite the vent cleaning debacle at Kulathunkal. To add insult to injury, I found the same Wuerth cleaning kit for sale online for half the price they charged me!

But I had found a workaround for the issue. When the flow starts to suffer due to ice build up, I simply turn the AC off and run the blower on full speed. The air is still cold because of the Ice melting off, and the pick up is better because of no load! When the flow is completely restored (about 10 minutes), I just turn it back on. Jugaad, I know, but I really don't trust the Tata ASCs to open up my dash and put it back rattle free as it is now.

Next up was a set of alloys. I'd always wanted a deep-dish design with lots of spokes. Found exactly what I wanted at the second shop I went to. I've already uploaded the pics on the Alloy Wheels Show-off thread.

The 40K service was done at Focuz and cost under 8K. They recommended a system flush and some other additives. I said yes to the flush and no to everything else. System D is all the additive I need. And somehow, the car is completely quiet and rattle free now. Like the old Volkswagen ad, if something's rattling, it's probably the loose change!

We went on a small trip to Ponmudi recently. I was trailing my sister's Punto MultiJet. My BIL seems to be a fan of the hairpin bends, and was leaving me in dust after every turn. To my credit, I did manage to catch up by the next turn! After a while of this, my Dad put on the brakes and told me to slow down, he couldn't even hold the handycam steady because of all the lurching, and we were here to enjoy the scenery, right? So, I slowed down, and stopped for some pics and a whiff of fresh mountain air...

My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - Sold at 6 years and 72000 kms!-wp_20130511-7.jpg
My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - Sold at 6 years and 72000 kms!-wp_20130511-9.jpg
My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - Sold at 6 years and 72000 kms!-wp_20130511-10.jpg
7 a.m near the Ponmudi summit. Pics taken on my Lumia 710. No edits, I didn't expect them to turn out as nice as they did.

You can see how the wheels have changed the stance of the car. It might be a placebo effect of the Vitamin M, but I swear, the car feels lower and more planted, with less roll and better turn in.

I had hoped to have more regular updates, but Alas, I have to leave Trivandrum for my job, and the car stays with Dad. For Now. Have Fun Dad, Drive Safe!

Last edited by vivekgk : 18th May 2013 at 01:39. Reason: Grammar Correction
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Old 18th May 2013, 02:30   #79
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Default My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - Lighting upgrade

A little backstory first, because I love to tell people what I know.

The Indigo CS from 2009 onward comes with dual chamber headlamps from its bigger brother, the full size Indigo. This means that it has a pair of 55W H7 bulbs for the low beam, placed on the outer side of the unit, and a separate pair of 55W H1 bulbs on the inside, for the high beam. The low beam is designed for a nice, big even spread, while the high beams are narrow and more focused.

When the high beam is on, the low beam is not cut, which means you get the spread of the low beam and the focus of the high beam. It also means that the high beams, being placed away from the edge of the car, are less likely to blind oncoming drivers. It's one of the better things about Tata, which is now offering the same setup on all of its cars, from the humble Indica eV2 to the Aria and the Storme.

Now that the backstory is complete, let me come to the matter at hand. Low beams. While the spread is great, the brightness is just adequate. I'm too nice and don't have the heart to blind other drivers by switching on high beams all the time, so I decided to go for an upgrade. Two options were available.

Option A: I could upgrade to a 100W or 130W H7 bulb, but this would require major additional initial investment in the form of separate wiring, relays, ceramic holders etc. Plus the extra heat generated would likely melt or yellow the plastic headlamps over time. And the total power consumption for the headlights would go from 220w (55WX4) to 310W-370W. If I decided to change the high beams as well, the total consumption would be anywhere from 400W-520W! Only advantage is that replacement bulbs are cheaper.

There would also be all kinds of icky additional wiring under the bonnet, in addition to the one for the aftermarket Bosch Tractor horns I had fitted. Which btw, are great for causing incontinence in people who are in your way and refuse to move.

Option B: Get a pair of Osram Nightbreakers or Philips XtremeVision replacement bulbs. These are of the same 55W rating as the stock bulbs, but due to some awesome engineering and suspected black magic, they produce 100% more light. The catch: They also cost about 8 times more, @ Rs 1500 a pair at Car Park near the Thampanoor Ralilway Overbridge, Tvm. On the plus side, they can be installed easily (by yourself, if you're feeling masochistic and want to have an idea of what doing keyhole surgery without the screen is like) and the installation takes 5 minutes. The effects are quite awesome! The additional brightness added to the already great spread means that I don't have to use the high beams at all most of the time!

For me, it was a no-brainer. I wholeheartedly recommend Philips XtremeVision to everyone. They also had it for H1 high beams, maybe later.

This post was supposed to be at the end of the last one. I just forgot about it and only remembered now. Please feel welcome to comment and ask questions!

Last edited by vivekgk : 18th May 2013 at 02:34.
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Old 21st May 2013, 14:52   #80
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Default Re: My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - 43,000 Kms Report

Originally Posted by vivekgk View Post
You can see how the wheels have changed the stance of the car. It might be a placebo effect of the Vitamin M, but I swear, the car feels lower and more planted, with less roll and better turn in.

I had hoped to have more regular updates, but Alas, I have to leave Trivandrum for my job, and the car stays with Dad. For Now. Have Fun Dad, Drive Safe!
That's one good looking CS. You have really maintained it well. It is inspiring me to carry out some upgrades on my CS. I believe your's and mine are the only running CS on team-bhp, or may be other's have not started any thread ever. Love the alloys on your car.

I haven't had any issues with my car (completed 5 years), a petrol one, till now and taken it to Delhi and other places in north India from Bangalore and back. This is one heck of a value for money car. But, off late I have moved away from TASS and found one good local mechanic.

Seems that I also would have to keep my car for few more years as my better half has completely sabotaged my SUV plans :(

Last edited by ambujlal : 21st May 2013 at 14:53. Reason: grammar
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Old 27th July 2016, 00:56   #81
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Default re: My Classic Ivory Indigo CS - Sold at 6 years and 72000 kms!

Well Guys, I'm back in Trivandrum, and the Indigo has covered 71500 kms. Or I should say, it had covered 71500 kms, as we've sold it. More details below. But first, an update on the ownership experience.

The 50000 kms service was again done at Focuz, and the AC coil was replaced, costing 12K, as AC had lost all cooling. This happened because of a breakage in the coil due to icing. The icing issue was something that had bothered me from the start, and none of the ASCs were able to find a permanent solution for it. This was the last service done at a Tata ASC for this car.

The 60000 kms service was done at a FNG, MAS Service at Kalady, Tvm. They have competent mechanics and very reasonable rates. They also have a closed paint booth and do tinkering work as well. I used to maintain my old M800 here, and also the Nano as well as the Indigo for any body related works. This was the first time I was doing a major service of the Indigo outside. The fanbelt as well as a pulley was replaced as it became noisy after having to drive through some water (20cm deep). The cltch pressure plate was also replaced. Service was satisfactory, and there were no issues at all.

At 65000 kms, the chinese Acelera tyres had begun to show signs of age. They would probably have lasted another 2000 kms, but I had the opportunity to buy another set of Kenda tyres, and decided to go for it.

The 70000 kms service was also done at the same garage, and included some touching up and full body polishing to restore the paint sheen. It made a world of difference to the car. Two shocks were replaced as they had become noisy.

Shortly after, we went on a trip to Ernakulam via the NH, and it was possibly the most torturous ride of my life, with the trip taking 8 hours each way due to heavy rain and really horrible roads, as well as stop-go traffic.

It was this drive that finally convinced us that it was time for us to upgrade. The Indigo was a great car for highway runs, where the engine would be barely ticking over at 85-90 kph and ready for overtaking at a mere press of the pedal, but for pretty much every other situation, it was bad. The driveability was bad due to the turbo lag, The FE wasn't as good as the common rail diesels, and it just looked very dated.

The horrible roads seemed to have made the car rattle worse than ever from the front right. I took the car to our FNG rightaway, expecting more replacements, but it was just the brake caliper that needed some shimming. The car was running quiet again afterwards.

Thus began the hunt for a replacement for the Indigo. The original plan was to retain the car till the new one was delivered, and then let it go, either in exchange or through online ads. The highest quote offered to me by any dealer (not including the exchange bonus) was 1.75 lacs by Hyundai, and the lowest was 1.25 lacs by Honda Auto Terrace. In the end, I was able to sell the car for 2 lacs, under the condition that the car had to be handed over right then. As we had the Nano for any urgencies, this didn't seem like much of an issue, and the car was driven off quite immediately.

The price I got was a very good one, considering that the average market price was around 1.5-1.6 lacs. It was the good history of the car, the well kept interiors, new-ish tyres and overall appearance that increased it's sale value. If I'd treated the car like a typical Indigo, it would have fetched a lot less, assuming I managed to find a buyer for it. The buyer admitted quite frankly that this was the best-kept Indigo he had seen, and took the vehicle without even a test drive, after turning on the engine and listening to it.

Looking back, was it the best decision to buy the Indigo? Probably not. A Swift or Figo would have given a much better resale value, and far less niggles. But, at the time, we needed the utility of a sedan, and the lower running costs of diesel, and had a very limited budget, and the Indigo made sense.

I think that overall, I spent a lot less on regular maintenance of the car than I would have in another diesel car. It was excellent VFM, it managed to surprise me pleasantly in terms of outright performance, reliability was never an issue and was surprisingly fun to throw around corners, once I upgraded the rubber and the wheels. I like to think that the limited powerband, the heavy clutch and the lack of safety features like ABS made me a better driver, as I learned to use the clutch less, to use the gears to the maximum advantage, and to judge breaking distances better.

Would I consider another Tata? Most definitely. The Tata Zest is a car that I consider most seriously as a replacement for the Indigo. However, we have decided to move to higher segment this time around, and so all compact sedans are out. Tata unfortunately, doesn't have a car between the Zest and the Safari and the Nexon seems too far away, so I won't be buying a Tata now. However, we will be upgrading the Nano next year, and hopefully the Pelican will be launched by then.
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