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Old 7th May 2008, 18:40   #16
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Originally Posted by spadival View Post
The battery compartment had rusted thru and the battery had fallen off on the way without any of us noticing !!
This was an Issue with Omni we replaced the battery compartment 2-3 times in 5 years of ownership.

Have faced breakdowns in My dad & uncles cars

Premier Padmini 84 model: On a highway The oil reservoir's(was that an oil pump? don't remember now was a kid then ) pipe got cut with engine all over the place. We had oil fumes inside the cabin. It wasn't a complete breakdown as we drove a few kms where we found a mech
Another time the accelerator wire's lock dropped midway so we had to tie it with a rope

Premier 77 model: Battery compartment melted due to acid & broke terminal clamp had tough time making it hold. There were more & solving them DIY was fun

But none of the above issues were complete breakdowns & we were able to solve almost all of them on the spot.
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Old 7th May 2008, 19:00   #17
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Well..a nice thread to share our experiences:

1. Hindustan Trekker: 1984 - 1995: Great vehicle if one does not exceed 70 kmph..gave 14 kpl on the underpowered HM diesel engine. Above 70 kph, hell breaks loose starting with the top hose, bottom hose, fan belt, to engine with and ending with the head gasket failure:

2. M800 - 87-94. Trouble free but for battery change once in 2.5 years and clutch cable every 40K kms. Sold after 1,20,000 kms of hard abuse. The whole family learnt to BANG the doors in the puny 800 - My first love.

3. 97 Carb Zen: 97-02: None did 55K kms before selling it.

4. 02 Indica 02: well good car but the usual tata follies: PS, CL, wiring harness, etc etc

5. 97 Carb E zen: None, but under braked and couldnt handle above 140Kph.

6. 05 Hyundai Accent: None, periodic lower arms replaced twice: front left one only. Periodic tyres replaced every 25K kms. Now running 3rd set at 55K kms.

7. 73 CJ3B: Completly rebuilt the vehicle and learnt a lot: thanks to Arka [ex670C] sold it as could not find time to spend with the vehicle

8. 97 Gypsy King: No problems as long as it was stock..problems galore with LPG convertion especially in off road. Now have a new engine transplant and 4x2 headers, K&N filter etc.. great on road, off road and on TRACK!

9. 89 Mahindra MM540: Usual jeep bugs..but a very strong vehicle if one does not bother about finnesse. Great Off road.
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Old 7th May 2008, 19:12   #18
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Breakdowns in the 800 due to the clutch cable seems to be a common problem.Can anyone shed light as when the cable needs to be replaced before it snaps.
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Old 7th May 2008, 19:20   #19
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My share of Breakdowns

Hindustan Landmaster- Petrol (1957)

Brake failures – I guess that was a common problem with abmy, the Mark 4 my dad owned also encountered a couple of brake failures

Headlight failure- was due to some short-circuit. Couldn’t fix it soon as I was travelling to Kottyam at around 11 in the night. The solution was to follow a KSRTC bus all the way to kottyam. I know this doesn’t constitute to a breakdown, but in the middle of the night driving with no headlight was scary

Misaligned wiper – This was really funny, again on the way to kottyam, full family on board, when I switched the wiper (Old shaped ones) , the blades were wiping outside the rubber beading of the windshield. Again had to follow a couple of vehicles to reach my destination. No wiper – rain in Kerala – that’s a tough call

Starter trouble – Had come across this on a weekly basis , solution was easy, change to 4th gear – push the car up and down, you hear a click sound and its ready.

Broken axle – this was the worst, had a narrow escape, was overtaking an another car on the NH, suddenly the front left axle broke , lost control, headed straight to the side of the road, missed a huge tree by inches. Had the right axle broke I would had a head on collision with a Bus

Hindustan Contessa Classic 1.8GL (1990)

Brake failure thrice, once it was close – On the way to Madurai, the bus a few meters ahead of me stopped at the bus stand (well it stopped in the middle of the road) . I wasn’t at a very high speed, the road from TVM to Nagercoil is pretty narrow, was doing somewhere around 50 or 60 ( it was pretty early in the morning ), pressed the brake, it was like a free clutch, downshifted the gear, luckily the bus moved and I was able to bring it to a halt with engine braking.

Well there was one major breakdown, but I don’t know technically what happened, driving at really high speeds on the way back from kannur – angamally to kottyam, suddenly a big “thud” sound, and the car is dead, none of the gears fall , doesn’t start. It was almost 6 in the evening, whole family with me, and I had to get back to college the next day, I found a mechanic close by and told him to tow the vehicle to his workshop, gave him my home number, hired a Jeep and got back home. The driver picked up the car a couple of days later.

Tata Sierra Turbo ( 1999) Sold

This vehicle never let me down – though Cochin was the furthest this vehicle has gone. The major problem with it was a Hissing sound coming on higher acceleration and the vehicle is not pulling as it used to. Again I am not pretty sure with the technical terms – there is a L shaped rubber pipe coming from the Turbo – which apparently was torn and the air was rushing out. Couldn’t replace it for almost a week as the part was nowhere in the state. It was finally replaced by a rubber pipe used in the TATA lorry( not the exact dimensions) had to tighten it with clamps, anyway, it fitted well and everything was normal.

Toyota Qualis RS (2004)

Only one minor issue – But which can constitute to a breakdown. The remote fuel lid opener under the drives seat would not work. Simple thing isn’t it? But without opening the fuel lid, there is no way you can fill diesel at the fuel pump. The cable used in it is similar to the bicycle brake cables, somehow managed to pull it manually and the lid opened.
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Old 7th May 2008, 20:10   #20
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Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
Breakdowns in the 800 due to the clutch cable seems to be a common problem.Can anyone shed light as when the cable needs to be replaced before it snaps.
in the M800,
the clutch gets harder and harder to depress, then during the last 2 or 3 days, there is a grating sensation when you depress the clutch. that is the cable getting frayed and rubbing against other metal parts.

then, finally, the clutch becomes very free, but the car wont move
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Old 7th May 2008, 21:03   #21
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Here goes...

MM540DP 1988 with an Isuzu 2.2 NA, 5 speed GB and converted to 4x2 (I did not do that!)

Breakdowns, or rather minor niggling problems since Aug'06:

1. Rear right wheel came off at ~50km/h; the vehicle rolled on the brake drum for ~ 20m and stopped without drama. The wheel was recovered and reinstalled by borrowing nuts from the spare and couple of other wheels. I could never figure out the cause for this incident, as I had checked the wheels a while back, and everything was ok then.

2. Brake failure - twice due to damaged joints at the drum end, replaced the brake lines and things are ok now.

3. Clutch failure - Actually the hydraulic clutch actuator fails, due to a mismatch between the master and slave cylinders, this happened about five-six times until I replaced the cylinders with those from a Tavera and Sumo.
Recently on a trip to Alibagh, a push rod in the clutch mechanism broke, replaced it with a long bolt and carried on with the journey.

4. Water loss - Lost count, the damn thing used to consume more water than diesel, replaced all hoses, got the radiator sealed and now thing are ok, but I always carry 2-4 lit of water as a precaution.

5. Oil cooler damage happened twice because it hits the engine mount at idle.

6. Glow plugs had to be replaced once.

7. The GB gets stuck in reverse sometimes, but that is a 15min DIY job.

8. The fuel pipes had to be changed once.

Add a few minor electrical problems to this and the list is more or less complete. The vehicle requires fortnightly maintenance checkups.
I don’t know why, but I love this car.

PS: A disaster was averted thanks to the tough construction of the MM540 a while back. I hit a ~45cm tall concrete block at 60km/h at night and nothing happened to the vehicle, except the bonnet being flung open. There was no damage anywhere, the tyre, the wheel; the steering and the suspension were all fine after this massive impact.
The loose concrete block from the road divider was obscured by the high beams of oncoming traffic.
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Old 7th May 2008, 21:12   #22
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Santro 2000 Model (DX ?) 1.1lac Kms, no puncture or breakdowns!

Santro Xing 2005 XG; 55Kms, no breakdowns! No puncture!

Fiat S1; starter issue; couple of times.

Last edited by jkdas : 7th May 2008 at 21:13.
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Old 8th May 2008, 00:08   #23
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Broken clutch pressure plate spring and the car stalled in the middle of the road.I was unable to shift gear or start the car or do anything.Had to call MASS and get the car towed.I think whole clutch assembly was changed.Car was Maruti Zen at around 60k. I was just back from a trip to Mangalore and while coming back I had a issue with gear change,it became very hard and it was difficult to change gears.But it got automatically sorted out once I stopped the car and flicked the gear.Luckily nothing happened till I reached bangalore But just after few days the break-down happened.
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Old 8th May 2008, 10:04   #24
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With my previous car(Santro) the only break down was dead battey, that too after 4.5 yrs of running perfectly well. I used the car for 4.5 yrs, driven 75000kms. Except the dead battery and a couple of punctured tyres I had no any problems.
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Old 8th May 2008, 15:55   #25
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Palio 1.6 (2006)

1. Failed clutch (10k) - Car was stranded when I visited some relatives outside Hyderabad. Gears would engage but car would not move an inch when u press the [FONT=&quot]accelerator. Issue was clutch was fried. later found out that it was due to broken oil seal.

2. Hot crank (19k) - Car refused to start if switched off after a run of 40-50 km. This was due to a failed regulator which was replaced later.
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:05   #26
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post

6. Premier 137D : Surprised? So was I. That engine was basic and crude, but unbelievably reliable. Ran for over 1.5 kms with hardly any breakdowns, after which she was sold. Simplicity rocks!
Just 1.5 Kms and you sold it??.Now I'm really suprised.
I know you meant 1.5L but couildn't resist it
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:06   #27
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Gypsy: 1994-2002: 55000 kms.
No breakdowns.
Maruti WagonR: 2002-2007: 35000 kms.
No breakdowns.
Scorpio CRDe 4WD: 2006-present: 13000 kms.
No breakdowns.
Maruti WagonR: 2007-present: 7000 kms.
No breakdowns.
...end of boring report....
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:19   #28
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Ohh.. Forgot to mention that the same Maruti Omni (the one with the battery breakthrough) ended up with a seized engine on our way back from Goa to Mangalore!! Luckily, I had gone along with my friends, so had plenty of manpower. We hired a Tata 407, loaded the van onto it and took it to M'lore for repairs!!

We still have the van with us even after 15+ years .. No problem whatsoever after the engine was overhauled.

Last edited by spadival : 8th May 2008 at 16:25.
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:26   #29
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Dad's Premier President (1972)
1. On the highway, the 'retreaded' tyres gave way. Had to buy 2 tyres for the rear on the way. This was not really breakdown since he drove on (the tubes were intact)
2. The petrol tube melted at one place since it was touching something hot in the engine bay. Since the tube had extra length, it was cut short and re-connected!
3. Clutch pedal spring coming off: This was 'repaired' by a workshop guy crawling under the stranded car and put the spring back on!

Accent 1.6 (Oct 2003) (done just 25k kms now)
A puncture. Was in the first year of the car. It was a manufacturing defect with the tube and the dealer bore 50% of the replacement cost

Esteem (Dec 1997) : Bought this used car 1.5 years back. Had 80K on the odo. Had a breakdown due to overheating (radiator fan stopped due to faulty thermostat).

M800 (1996 model bought in early 2001 with odo reading 36K). Odo reading at around 95 k now. Only one breakdown so far: Stopped on the highway after driving for about 10 kms and couldn't restart it(however the car was unused for more than a week then). Had to take help from people around to push it. (The battery has been changed since). Preventive maintenance helps!!!!!!!

Last edited by Jeep : 8th May 2008 at 16:29. Reason: Corrected
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:30   #30
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1991 Premier Padmini: (50000km in 10 years)
every imaginable problem with the electricals. Changed Battery, Bush, Armateur. Disposed it off since was not sure whether it will start

2004 M800 (18000 km)
Tube in the spare tyre was faulty and gave problems after the first wheel rotation. got it replaced by Ceat since it was on warranty
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