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Old 2nd June 2011, 10:29   #271
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

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Thanks Guderian. The Admiral is unhappy sailing around the coastline or doing gunboat duty on rivers...take her to the high seas asap and test out her 16inch guns!
Siiigh (this one is so loud, it reverbrates around the building !)...I guess the Admiral is on coastal patrol until October and deployed in the Home Fleet till then. Yet shall try and take him out into the blue seas once in a way for short trips. Yes, October is when it'll sail on the high seas again. InshaAllah !
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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:39   #272
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

My apologies. I am so used to calling my TFort a her, I forgot your's was a him.

Bhimashankar and places around Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar are pretty good weekend options.

Deolali (new Nasik) has a fantastic artillery firing range, as you probably know. If you know someone in the army there, you can stay there and freak out within the range on Sundays when no firing happens. It is like a 20kmX20 km area with no human being and rolling landscape + mesas and buttes. We used to drive down there often when we were in Mumbai.

The admiral would love offroading there - not tough on the vehicle, yet you can have great fun with family.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 16:12   #273
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Had gone for a general check up to Nandi Toyota. Bad experience again.

1. Saw a bad scratch at the back/right side - someone had brushed against the vehicle in the service centre. They tried rubbing it off, but some discoluration still remains

2. The drivers treat the vehicle roughly - switching off the engine and immediately accelerating, keeping ac on while windows are down, music system volume at full blast etc.

Gave the SA + his boss an earful. They offered to paint the scratched portion for free when I bring it down next.

The good part: general check up + cleaning cost only ~ Rs. 400. So Toyota ownership looks attractive, but Nandi service quality is at fault.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 17:21   #274
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Really sorry to hear about the bad experience.

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The drivers treat the vehicle roughly - switching off the engine and immediately accelerating, keeping ac on while windows are down, music system volume at full blast etc.
So this is happening at all service centers. I don't know why the companies are giving a blind eye to such problems. These grease monkeys need to be punished. Now even Toyota is added to the list. Tata's are at the top for having such problems. Even Mahindra and Maruti are not far behind.

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Gave the SA + his boss an earful. They offered to paint the scratched portion for free when I bring it down next.
I know how you feel but try to avoid this. Remember: Your car will be handled by them the next time.They may pursue the personal grudge they hold. There is very little you can do after they fiddle with your ride.


Words of Advice: However impractical it may sound but; Switch your service center ASAP.


Your friend,

Furebo

Last edited by Furebo : 2nd June 2011 at 17:24.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 12:55   #275
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

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Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
My apologies. I am so used to calling my TFort a her, I forgot your's was a him.

Bhimashankar and places around Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar are pretty good weekend options.

Deolali (new Nasik) has a fantastic artillery firing range, as you probably know. If you know someone in the army there, you can stay there and freak out within the range on Sundays when no firing happens. It is like a 20kmX20 km area with no human being and rolling landscape + mesas and buttes. We used to drive down there often when we were in Mumbai.

The admiral would love offroading there - not tough on the vehicle, yet you can have great fun with family.
Hi Nils ,
Thanks for the tip/s. Had been earlier to Deolali - to the Arty Regt & School - never to the range. Shall try it soon.

Have been around to most of the spot near Mumbai - guess its time to revists all of them !

Thanks again.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 15:08   #276
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

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They offered to paint the scratched portion for free when I bring it down next.
Suggest you get this done soon as they are notoroious to go back on such commitments. Also, next time switch the service center. I am sure toyota has another dealership in your city.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:47   #277
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Yes, I will change the service centre once that small painting job is done after my trip. The others are further away, but the bad attitude/training seems to be institutionalized at the shopfloor, so a switch is warranted. I feel that they are cutting corners/have become complacent after the success of the Innova and Fortuner, and now the Etios.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:10   #278
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

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I feel that they are cutting corners/have become complacent after the success of the Innova and Fortuner, and now the Etios.
I believe Toyota is still and will remain serious about customers. Its the dealers who play the fools. To bring them under control, they might need a small shock treatment. So when you switch the dealership, you might want to pre-wire the new guys why did you change the dealership and set the expectations right.

One step further, you could call up Toyota customer care and let them too know why you have changed the dealership and what is wrong with the current guys. That might help some other customers too.

PS: My bro-in-law used to work for a Toyota dealership and he has told me how the Toyota guys will give them sleepless nights for any customer complaints. So the last thing the dealership wanted was complaints !

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 3rd June 2011 at 18:12.
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Old 13th June 2011, 18:49   #279
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Default Back after the 3500 km roadtrip

Will post a separate travelogue later. The vehicle carried itself well in 40-50 degree (in the sun) temperature. Went over 3 horrendous potholes in the night, and 3 huge bumps at speed. Also had to avoid 3 stupid dogs trying to cross the road at the last moment, 2 idiotic goats and one crazy human who decided to cross the barrier and drop down with his scooter at night - after seeing that vehicles were approaching. I have read about Fortuner's so called tendency to flip trying the Moose test, but the evasive maneuvers I had to take were pretty similar to the Moose test.

After the bumps and potholes, I was worried about the alignment, but can't feel any misalignment yet. Heard minor squeaks from time to time, but they went away after sometime - so not sure what caused them, or whether they need to be sorted out. Am at 14K+ km now, will do a general checkup when I hit 15K.

Where the Fortuner shone:

1. Highway cruising. I reached Pench at 8 PM starting from Bangalore airport at 4.15 am.
2. Bad roads e.g. the last few kms to Tala in Bandhavgarh
3. Going through an intense squall - I had faced something like that during the famous Mumbai flood. The 4WD came in handy.
4. Having to offroad when we couldn't find the way to the Bandhavgarh resort at 8.30 in the night. There were 3 different dirt trails with depressions where the headlights couldn't reach, and I wasn't too keen to get down and explore each one on foot with a torch because of two reasons:
  • The trails were within 30 feet of the core forest boundary
  • There were two human kills by Bandhavgarh tigers in the last one month - the tigers strayed out and killed villagers (small park, big time man-animal conflict with tigers regularly going out and killing cows etc.). I wasn't sure whether our resort was in those tigers' territories
In the end we went on the wrong trail, couldn't find the way back in the night, and had to go over rough terrain to regain the track and regain mobile signal.

A couple of pictures from the trip.

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-mp-trip-137.jpg

Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 100,000 kms up!-mp-trip-1126.jpg

Last edited by nilanjanray : 13th June 2011 at 18:51.
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Old 13th June 2011, 20:50   #280
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

Excellent signs of things to come in TL. Hope your journey is going on well. Best
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Old 13th June 2011, 21:05   #281
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

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Excellent signs of things to come in TL. Hope your journey is going on well. Best
Thanks Mayank. I came back late last night. TL could take a few days because of work that has piled up.
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Old 14th June 2011, 09:16   #282
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Default Re: Back after the 3500 km roadtrip

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Will post a separate travelogue later.
Hi Nils,
Welcome back.
That sounds like a real adventure you've had...
And those snaps are truly delightful and the WU left me panting for more. Wunderbar !
And to think that I missed it. Anyway shall bank on your experiences and land up there post October.
Awaiting the t-log. Do signal once you start.
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Old 14th June 2011, 10:53   #283
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Default re: Soldier of Fortune: Wanderings with a Trusty Toyota Fortuner - 80000 km update

@Nilanjanray: Your teaser account of the trip gives me an idea that you enjoyed a lot. And the capture of the big cat is a testimony to that. Look forward to the whole edition.

Also was wondering if you could provide a detailed picture of the front mounting of the auxiliary lights and whether the wiring is direct or has been integrated with the system?

Cheers
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Old 14th June 2011, 11:10   #284
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Default Re: Back after the 3500 km roadtrip

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Will post a separate travelogue later.

Where the Fortuner shone:

1. Highway cruising. I reached Pench at 8 PM starting from Bangalore airport at 4.15 am.
2. Bad roads e.g. the last few kms to Tala in Bandhavgarh
3. Going through an intense squall - I had faced something like that during the famous Mumbai flood. The 4WD came in handy.
4. Having to offroad when we couldn't find the way to the Bandhavgarh resort at 8.30 in the night. There were 3 different dirt trails with depressions where the headlights couldn't reach, and I wasn't too keen to get down and explore each one on foot with a torch because of two reasons:
  • The trails were within 30 feet of the core forest boundary
  • There were two human kills by Bandhavgarh tigers in the last one month - the tigers strayed out and killed villagers (small park, big time man-animal conflict with tigers regularly going out and killing cows etc.). I wasn't sure whether our resort was in those tigers' territories
In the end we went on the wrong trail, couldn't find the way back in the night, and had to go over rough terrain to regain the track and regain mobile signal.
Did you get the hotel in Nirmal that night on your return?
And did you take the Medchal-Miyapur-Gachibowli-Shamsabad route to bypass Hyderabad?
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Old 14th June 2011, 11:21   #285
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Default Re: Back after the 3500 km roadtrip

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Did you get the hotel in Nirmal that night on your return?
And did you take the Medchal-Miyapur-Gachibowli-Shamsabad route to bypass Hyderabad?
Hello!

Thanks for taking the call that night. We ended up going to Nizamabad and staying there. Yes, we did take the bypass route. And on our way to Bandhavgarh from Pench, we went took the less traveled Jabbalpur - Shahpura - Umaria route which was empty and scenic.
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