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Old 2nd April 2012, 12:35   #151
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

I would like to share the Tyre puncture experience with TATA nano that I went through recently.
After I realised that my rear tyre is punctured I parked it on a safe place and set out to replace the wheel. I had no past experience of replacing the wheel except that of a two wheeler's. I took out the lifting jack, I knew it was under the co-driver's seat. Removing it from there was easy . Next challenge was where to place the jack safely under the body. But pleasantly surprised that it turned out easy. Those two semi-circular protruding marks were staring at me suggesting that this is the location to engage the jack.I checked those marks at other three wheel locations and they were there at all the 4 locations , this assured me that it is really for jack location. Then I began to rotate the small jack lever , it was very easy initially but as the vehicle weight started falling on the jack it became so painful , ultimately it was just impossible and my fingers could not take it anymore. I wrapped my hanky over the lever and slowly kept going, taking short breaks in between I managed to jack up the car fully. Removing the three wheel-bolts was easy. Removing the spare-wheel from the bonnet was even easier. In last 2 years I never cared to fill the air in the spare wheel because the filling valve is not accessible and I always thought that removing the wheel must be cumbersome. At re-bolting the spare-wheel I was thinking how much tight the bolts should be rotated. Again a surprise came my way , after rotating for a while with increased force at every turn , finally it gave a charring sound. I realised that it must be the 'stop-now' signal. Same was repeated for all the 3 bolts. After bolting the spare-wheel I realised that air pressure in the wheel is hardly 25%. So I drove the vehicle with Hazard lights on and speed less than 10km/h, thankfully the puncture shop was at a distance of less than a kilometer. Removing the puncture of this tubeless tyre was the easiest job in the world for the mechanic, he happily did it in just 5 minutes , though the charges for removing the tube-less tyre puncture is higher than tubed ones !

I conclude below points through this experience -
Good part on TATA -
1. Tubeless tyres.
2. Easy and intuitive marking on body edge for jack location.
3. Easy access and and easy to remove re-fit spare-wheel.
4. Storage of jack under the co-driver seat is very neat and easy.

Bad part on TATA -
1. Jack rotation lever is really bad design and very painful to lift the car using it.
2. Spare-wheel air filling valve is not easily accessible when in mounted condition in the bonnet. This makes it difficult to timely update the air pressure.

Last edited by ramesh : 2nd April 2012 at 12:49.
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Old 2nd April 2012, 14:20   #152
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

I had a smallish test drive of 2012 Nano, it was a CX variant. I am considering this vehicle for my wife as her routine close by runabouts.

Few observation on my parts after the brief TD:
1, It's very spacious, I was very comfortable in the driving seat. My wife managed to sit just behind me on the rear seat even when the driver seat was slided back completely.
2. The acceleration of this thing is just WOW, I was doing speedo indicated 80 Kmph in no time, I still had a feeling that there was some serious speedo error and if this is not the case the composure of the car at that speed was great.
3. I didn't find the clutch to be hard as repeatedly reported by number of members on the forum.
4. The non power assist steering is surely hard to operate but only when car is at complete standstill, it get pretty lightened even at the slightest on movement. I feel this should not be a deal breaker.
5. The brakes were inadequate, retardation was coming only after lot of travel of brake lever. On inquiring with SO, he came up with standard excuse of it being an abused TD vehicle.
6. AC was as good as it can get.

The exchange bonus deal is still on, I found the CX to be the most VFM variant, will take a call on buying one soon.

I feel that CX variant is the most VFM variant
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Old 4th April 2012, 09:42   #153
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

What is the word on the clutch for the 2012 Nano? I have read mostly negative comments for the clutch on the first generation Nano. To be more specific, a heavy clutch and one that does not hold for long.
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Old 5th April 2012, 23:46   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BANDHAV View Post
I feel that CX variant is the most VFM variant
Thats what most feel while buying a Nano, but take my advice , go for LX.
Dont think much about spending 20k more for LX since i feel it is much more VFM and complete car than CX.

LX is the best selling variant in Nano
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Old 6th April 2012, 22:08   #155
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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
a heavy clutch and one that does not hold for long.
Heavy clutch = YES
Does not hold long = Not true, could be limited to specific examples.
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Old 7th April 2012, 12:49   #156
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I am experiencing a very notchy gear box! Engaging 1st gear is a challenge; all other gears are quite smooth. Is this only me or anyone else also experienced the same?
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Old 7th April 2012, 13:19   #157
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I am experiencing a very notchy gear box! Engaging 1st gear is a challenge; all other gears are quite smooth. Is this only me or anyone else also experienced the same?
I have the exact same issue with 1st and sometimes 2nd. During the various servicings TASS has adjusted the clutch, and changed gear oil. But the issue remains. I feel its to do with the gearbox. Do other Nano owners also have the same issue???
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Old 7th April 2012, 19:31   #158
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Originally Posted by methilsunkara View Post
Do other Nano owners also have the same issue???
I experience this issue sometimes with my car. Engaging the first gear is difficult while slowing down to under 10. In this situation first gear engages only at standstill or after a couple of efforts.

Meanwhile, someone has managed to give the first scratch to my car, front bumper and over the tire bulge on left side. And this happened when the car was parked in the residential parking. And no sorry note or nothing of that sort
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Old 8th April 2012, 02:55   #159
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

I had issues when car was new, but now i am used to the way in which you slot in first gear, which is a bit unusual ( the gear slot is slightly wider i guess, which makes it slightly difficult to slot )

But once you are used to it, you will never notice it.
Gearbox does not have any issues, and slots perfectly.
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Old 9th April 2012, 09:58   #160
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Quote:
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I had issues when car was new, but now i am used to the way in which you slot in first gear, which is a bit unusual ( the gear slot is slightly wider i guess, which makes it slightly difficult to slot )

But once you are used to it, you will never notice it.
Gearbox does not have any issues, and slots perfectly.
Ironically, when the vehicle is shut down; the gears slot in perfectly. A few people confirmed that the clutch is hard and slotting 1st and even rear gear (with a krrrr) sound happens.
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Old 9th April 2012, 12:38   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avingodb View Post
I experience this issue sometimes with my car. Engaging the first gear is difficult while slowing down to under 10. In this situation first gear engages only at standstill or after a couple of efforts.
I also used to feel that this is a problem , as I have now used Nano for 2 years I realize that this might be a good feature of gearbox , at speed more than 10kmph it resists to switch over to 1st gear from 2nd , but if same you try at lower speed than 10kmph the gear change happens smoothly.
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Old 9th April 2012, 14:59   #162
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

My driving impressions:

The centre console and the wiper obstruct driver's vision. At least the wiper should have been tucked below the bonnet line. Though one can get used to the same, this is a big irritant.

The rear seat has more than sufficient legroom, but sorely lacks under-thigh support. I couldn't sit on it comfortably for even two minutes. This is a big issue specially as the person behind the driver cannot stretch his/her legs under the driver seat (which houses the battery).

The gearing is interesting. I took a brief ride in the city, with max speed touching 40kmph on a brief empty stretch. The fourth gear was never engaged, and I thought I shouldn't have used even the third. While taking corners, I struggled in second with the car stalling once. I was alright in the first. So I think the first two gears should be more than enough in the city driving. This is both good as well as bad. Good because both the first and second gears are well spaced out so you can actually drive around only in the first without feeling out of breath at slow speeds. Bad because the engine revs are a pain to your ears.

The start of the car sends shivers down the spines of all occupants. The idle is pretty silent, though.

Power steering is not needed.

Drum brakes on the front wheels are the biggest upset. Specially after having driven all the cars with front discs, you won't want to trust the drums. Though they are adequate, they are just that. They don't inspire any confidence.

While I could fix the rear seat (replace it with something bigger), and could live with the obstructed view from the front windscreen, the drums are something I cannot live with nor change.
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Old 9th April 2012, 20:05   #163
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Quote:
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Ironically, when the vehicle is shut down; the gears slot in perfectly. A few people confirmed that the clutch is hard and slotting 1st and even rear gear (with a krrrr) sound happens.

Clutch is surely hard, and you need to lift your leg a little to press the clutch.
I have noticed that most people who drive my nano for first time cannot adjust to the clutch, they end stalling.

I do not have any issues with gears even while in motion, krrr sound is an indication that clutch is not fully depressed, isnt it?
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Old 16th April 2012, 12:18   #164
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Our own Pune based Nano LX has done 12000 kms in 14 months - a brilliant car and an amazing value for money.


Problems that we faced - The car had a weld failure for the clamp that retains the stay rod of front bonnet. Replacement of the bonnet and painting (spare bonnet comes unpainted) was done under warranty.

Other services - TASS also upgraded the software for the ECU, changed the starter motor to a new type, replaced parts of the wiring loom and the clutch cable (which was getting hard to operate) - all free of cost.

The TASS also spent a lot of time trying to align the front wheels on three different machines to get rid of a squeal when the car does full steering wheel lock turns (you do like doing this, don't you?). Despite the TASS' best attempts, the squeal has not completely gone away. We were told that a number of Nanos have this issue and it should not cause premature wear of the tyres or pulling on one side etc. We take their word for it and live with the problem.

Experience - Apart from the several long distance drives to Mumbai, Alibaug, Satara, Nashik etc. the vehicle has done several off road (or even no road) drives. The high ground clearance just encourages you to leave the tar and go right across fields - and the Nano loves pretending being a mini SUV, something that it was never designed to do.

Our car has done tractor tracks, dirt roads, unfinished roads with only sharp stones (this is probably the worst type of road), up and down steep slopes, through axle deep water (the brakes needed to dry out - no other issues) - always with the AC running. In each case, the car performed amazing well and without missing a beat. At the end of some of these rough road outings, I expected to find all four wheels punctured - but the tyres, even the skinny front ones, are stronger than they look.

I am a railway enthusiast and the Nano helps in getting to remote locations for photographs - almost all images in the first few pages of this website are a result of the Nano's off-road abilities. Flickr: apuwdm2's Photostream

Although there is no document to support this, I feel that the sound/heat insulation in a LX is better than CX, consequently, the former is quieter and has better air conditioning.

About the regular maintenance -
1) Take care of the air filter (~ Rs. 120 - just change it every few thousand kms)
2) Air-conditioner filter (~ Rs. 100, a real pain to remove/fit but the cleaning/changing of this delicate plastic mesh will result in a fresh torrent of frigid air)
3) Coolant level - over the 14 months, our car has consumed an entire bottle of 'Thanda Raja', the recommended coolant - there is no leak but this is the normal loss seen in any car. If you need help with the instructions on servicing the three sections, please mail me on apuwdm2 AT gmail DOT com

During the 2nd and 3rd free services, the TASS in Pune did not bother topping of the coolant bottle and the car was returned with a level in between full and mid position - twice! The clue to this situation was the frequent operation of the radiator fan, even after just a small drive. We topped up the coolant and the car was back to normal.

With a service interval of 10,000 kms, does Tata Motors seriously expect the coolant to last the entire period? These are some of the points that the owner must do themselves. Otherwise, buying the Nano was one of the best decisions we have have ever made.

Apurva
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Old 17th April 2012, 11:56   #165
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3) Coolant level - over the 14 months, our car has consumed an entire bottle of 'Thanda Raja', the recommended coolant - there is no leak but this is the normal loss seen in any car.
I doubt if this is normal on any other car. I remember when I used to drive my uncle's Premier Padmini, adding coolant to the radiator was a novelty and adding oil to the engine was a routine chore before any long drive (> 100kms).

I did briefly face some engine heating issues with my M800 - MPFI and had a period where I had to top up the coolant.

With the Santro and then the Ikon, I have never had to add any coolant to the reservoir. I am sure most other cars today require little under the bonnet by way of periodic maintenance.

Consumption of the coolant may be a specific trait of the Nano, but in no way is it the norm in today's cars.
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