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Old 13th August 2013, 07:13   #541
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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I was searching for the mandatory headlamp level setting control, when my son pointed out what it says on the website under features for all variants - to the effect that it is done via innovative suspension design, automatically.
In high-end cars, there are 2 ways this is done
  • A sensor in the rear suspension detects how much the loaded rear has squatted (based on travel) and will adjust headlamp automatically
  • Some cars (mostly SUVs & wagons) have auto leveling which means, the rear is lifted by a hydraulic system when loaded so that it never squats under load
No idea how on a inexpensive car like Nano, TATA can afford either of these

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I have to find out what make the audio system is, but the sound quality is impressive. With rear speakers neatly implemented, it fills the car well.
Perhaps TATA reasoned that the quickest and cheapest way of addressing the noisy engine issue is to throw in a high quality audio system : )

Last edited by Mpower : 13th August 2013 at 18:16.
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:45   #542
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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In high-end cars there are 2 ways to doing this
  • A sensor in the rear suspension detects how much the loaded rear has squatted (based on travel) and will adjust headlamp automatically
  • Some cars (mostly SUVs & wagons) have auto leveling which means, the rear is lifted by a hydraulic system when loaded so that it never squats under load
No idea how on a inexpensive car like Nano, TATA can afford either of these.
I dont know how exactly Nano does it, but I see two factors which make quite a bit of difference to the need for headlight leveling in the Nano. The 1st is the pre-existing rearward weight bias in the Nano, thanks to the rear engine lay out. The 2nd is the reduced length compared to most other cars, which also affects the balance.
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Old 13th August 2013, 09:10   #543
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

On my visit to the dealer for the 'soft launch' of the 2013 Nano, I made it a point to ask my salesman about this feature. He says there's no screw or no way for the owner to adjust the headlight beam and it must be taken to a workshop. He did speculate maybe the bulb could be repositioned, however it seems to be mere speculation.

Of late I have noticed my high beams are too focussed on the middle of the road, and I could do with a bit of spread. However since there's no way for me to do it, I shall try and get the workshop guy to do it in front of me. Maybe over this weekend.
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Old 13th August 2013, 10:29   #544
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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No idea how on a inexpensive car like Nano, TATA can afford either of these
Perhaps TATA reasoned that the quickest and cheapest way of addressing the noisy engine issue is to throw in a high quality audio system : )
No idea, the headlamp levelling thing is a mystery. AFAIK, along with the stuff like extra headlamps, warning triangles, first aid kits and seat belts, quickly adjustable headlamps so as not to blind on coming traffic is a CMVR requirement. That is the only reason why all cars come with these things now.

The engine isn't noisy to people inside the car with the windows up and AC on - the latter is quite silent too. Noisier than the engine is a whine - probably somewhere in the drive line. But one can listen to music at normal levels, so that is nice. Except for the volume adjusting buttons that I don't like.
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Old 13th August 2013, 11:41   #545
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The 1st is the pre-existing rearward weight bias in the Nano, thanks to the rear engine lay out. The 2nd is the reduced length compared to most other cars, which also affects the balance.
Exactly how I think it is done. The rear suspension seems stiffer than the front.So more weight in the vehicle may lead to the vehicle sagging at the front,not at the rear
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Old 13th August 2013, 12:24   #546
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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Exactly how I think it is done. The rear suspension seems stiffer than the front.So more weight in the vehicle may lead to the vehicle sagging at the front,not at the rear
Doesn't seem right, that. If two people sit in the rear, how can the front sag? The only thing I can think of is that the headlights are correctly aimed under full load at the rear, and when this load is missing, the aiming will shift downwards. Less light for the driver, but a set up like this will keep on coming traffic from being affected. And in a city car of a Nano design, the downward shift of the aim may be insignificant and not matter to the Nano driver.

Last edited by Sawyer : 13th August 2013 at 12:25.
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Old 13th August 2013, 14:21   #547
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Doesn't seem right, that. If two people sit in the rear, how can the front sag?
imagine a lever with one end hinged to a fixed support(point A).The other end is movable(Point B).if you load the lever even very near to point A,the lever will move downwards at point B.If the weight distribution is towards the point B(due to point A being higher than point B),the effect will be even more.If the rear of the nano is taken as point A,(stiffer at rear) and front of Nano as point B,this could work.

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The only thing I can think of is that the headlights are correctly aimed under full load at the rear, and when this load is missing, the aiming will shift downwards. Less light for the driver, but a set up like this will keep on coming traffic from being affected.
This is a plausible conclusion,but I haven't noticed this loss on the highway,because I don't use the high beam other than when overtaking.Also why would Tata reason it as 'innovative suspension design'? I will try to check with some friends at Tata Motors.
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Old 13th August 2013, 16:22   #548
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

I understand the lever comparison, I still can't see how it fits. First, the fixed point A isn't fixed, the rear of the car is suspended. The rear suspension is stiffer because the rear of the car carries more of the car's weight than the front. I can't imagine that with two people sitting in the rear seats, the car won't sink down at the rear.
Only TML can shed more light on this subject, if they choose to.
The problem I see with my conclusion is that I can't see the government guys agree to that logic to allow the straightforward solution - they will simply say, the rules say levelling knob should be there, where is the levelling knob...
You also may not notice the loss on the highway, if that is indeed how it is done, but it may well be that you will see more of the highway with 2 people sitting at the back!
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Old 13th August 2013, 18:20   #549
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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The problem I see with my conclusion is that I can't see the government guys agree to that logic to allow the straightforward solution - they will simply say, the rules say levelling knob should be there, where is the levelling knob...
I think the rule states that the car have some kind of provision so that beam is adjusted/adjustable when the rear squats. It could be either manual or auto. Don't think something like an S-class would have a knob
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Old 13th August 2013, 19:19   #550
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

That they would know, the high tech solution. My doubts are about the Nano solution I was guessing about, how that would pass scrutiny.
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Old 14th August 2013, 20:47   #551
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

Some light on the levelling thing, after talking to a dealer friend. The regulations provide for a band that is permitted for vertical movement of the headlight beam. Because of the design of the car, which would include the short length referred earlier by someone here, a fully loaded Nano's headlamp beam is still able to stay within this band. Remember too that Nano is legally classified as 4 seater, so fully loaded means less at the rear for it than for other cars.
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Old 14th August 2013, 20:53   #552
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

Good info thanks.

So basically what the Nano does is place the passengers in the center rather than towards the rear...so when loaded, the car squats on all 4s rather than just the rear...meaning the headlights tend to move vertically down rather than pivot up and blind oncoming traffic.

Reg noise, I did test drive a Nano (2012 MY) on my recent trip and found it rather loud during take off (clutch release). In addition to the noise there was a shudder that the cabin picked up and resonated.

Once on the go, the noise level was acceptable.
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Old 14th August 2013, 21:08   #553
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

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Good info thanks.

So basically what the Nano does is place the passengers in the center rather than towards the rear...so when loaded, the car squats on all 4s rather than just the rear...meaning the headlights tend to move vertically down rather than pivot up and blind oncoming traffic.

Reg noise, I did test drive a Nano (2012 MY) on my recent trip and found it rather loud during take off (clutch release). In addition to the noise there was a shudder that the cabin picked up and resonated.

Once on the go, the noise level was acceptable.
Perhaps not quite as you say on the headlights. They do pivot up, but the resultant vertical movement of the beam is within the band permitted by law. Which means that they don't pivot up enough to trouble on coming traffic. This may also be because of a combination of the move down you describe and some pivoting up.

I haven't found any extra noise over and above that most cars make during take off - it is likely that once one gets used to the car, less throttle gets applied for take off than when one isn't so accustomed to its take off behaviour.
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Old 14th August 2013, 21:20   #554
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

Yes you're right. Its mostly straight down with minimal pivoting such that its stays in the band...and that's how they are able to get away with it.

They are able to place the passengers more towards the front (centered) because there is no engine up there.

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Old 15th August 2013, 17:20   #555
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Default Re: Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

Hi, I'm a newbie and this is my first post. As a prospective first-time car buyer, I naturally visited this forum to gather some info, particularly on the Nano. After reading the review on the first few pages, I was a bit deflated to read about the Nano's [in]ability to negotiate higher gradients, especially from a stationary position.
I wrote to Tatamotors about exactly this possible defect in their car, and received the following reply [quoting the relevant bit]:
Quote:

The Tata Nano has a Gradeability of 30% which has been much appreciated by all our customers and we have not received any complaints whatsoever from our customers about handling steep slopes even with 4 passengers aboard. The Nano’s rear wheel drive configuration also helps its grade-ability.

I'm now even more confused about the car's performance. Any advice from actual Nano owners would be highly appreciated. Thanks.

Last edited by Mpower : 15th August 2013 at 18:33.
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