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Old 1st August 2005, 00:17   #1
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Exclamation Diesel car maintenance help required!!!

Hi

I am currently considering (quite seriously) the first diesel vehicle purchase of my life. While I am aware of diesel engines from fooling around with the generator at home, I am a newbie as far as maintenance of a diesel car/vehicle goes.

If there are diesel car owners in the forum kindly educate me on the issues likely with a diesel engined vehicle, any sort of self-maintenance procedures or routines that would help, what to watch out for, et al. With the petrol engine things were pretty simple - checking oil and other fluids regularly was all that was required. I am also worried about stuff like engine bay washing - is it advisable for these engines?

Also, are K&N filters available for Diesels and if yes, how effective are they on these engines? Do they void the warranty as they would for petrols?

What sort of additives are available for Diesel? Is Hi-Speed diesel / TurboJet Diesel as effective as Speed or Power is for petrols?

ANY sort of feedback would be welcome. In all probability I should be going in for the Tata Safari 3.0 CRDx unless the test drive brings up something really unpleasant.

This might sound a bit paranoid for some of you, but I'd like to be prepared well in advance since this is a totally different powerplant from the ones I've lived with all these years. Dont want any nasty surprises, nor do I want to have unrealistic expectations.
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Old 1st August 2005, 01:21   #2
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Hi Steeroid,

Nice to know that you are looking for a safari...my friend bought a second hand safari last week...its a 97Model...have no more info bout it...

Well, i driving a 96 Conti(Company engine), since the past 2years and i have had no problems with it at all...i guess its becoz, i regularly change the Engine Oil, and the related filters every 5K Kms...I've herad that there is starting problems during chill winter mornings(especially in Diesel Engines), but I have had no starting problems even after not using her for 5 to 6 days also...i have had no battery related problems, car is running on AMRON since past 3years...

As for fuel, i have found no difference with Turbojet, but SHELL is going simply great on my car...i get a very good FE so wht more do i require from a diesel car....

Regards,
c10.

Last edited by c10 : 1st August 2005 at 01:22.
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Old 1st August 2005, 08:10   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c10
As for fuel, i have found no difference with Turbojet, but SHELL is going simply great on my car...i get a very good FE so wht more do i require from a diesel car....
Thanks for the info, Chetan. Since you mentioned Shell, I must go slightly off topic here to say that I recently filled in one tankful from a Reliance petrol station for the first time and it gave me at least 10% more mileage than normal. Thats regular unleaded, too! The car went over 500 kms before a refill for the first time since I bought it.
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Old 1st August 2005, 09:50   #4
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Steeroid,

since you already mentioned that you will be going for a Common Rail engined car, I don't think maintainance will be an issue or anything like that. Diesel engines have come a long way
We have TATA Indica & TATA Sumo in our family, no issues with maintainance if you stick to regular servicing schedule
But diesel engines being oil burners you will have to check/top up oil level more frequently compared to Petrol cars
there is no problem with cars starting in winter, the only thing is you have to wait for the coil to get heated before you crank the engine (normal for any diesel car) also I don't know whether new Safari will be turbo charged but if it is then you will have to run engine at low RPM preferebly at idle for atleast one minute before starting your journey and before stopping your engine

and last thing for diesel
BE PREPARED to have lots of noise
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Old 1st August 2005, 10:04   #5
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Quote:
recently filled in one tankful from a Reliance petrol station for the first time and it gave me at least 10% more mileage than normal.
although i don't know for sure but most probably the "normal petrol" available at reliance has higher octane number than available at other stations

as for speed diesel it is diesel with additives they won't make much of a difference on a new car, don't know about turbo jet but if it has higher cetane number than normal diesel then it might be advantageous
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Old 1st August 2005, 11:30   #6
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Hi Steeroid, since you are planning a Tata Car let me give you some tips as we have owned 3 Tata Indicas and one Indigo in the family in the past 5 years. One of the indica is exclusivly with me for almost 50K.
Lets start with the good points. Excellent FE, and low maintainance costs. Now all these cars were serviced regularly. Dont know about the Crdi safari but the indica was frustrating to drive due to low power, with petrolheads shaking their everything in frustration. But the 62Bhp indigo is really good, and reaches 140 easily. Though no dragstar the mid range is good. This translates to good highway drivablity. The Safari should even be better.

Now lets come to the detais.
The biggest scare, which is actually a myth is the maintainance costs. How this starts, well lets see. If you look at the amount of maintainace money spent on an indica, you will find it to be twice of a santro/WagonR. If you look at the odo, it will also be twice the reading. A couple of years ago Autocar india did a survey on running costs. The results. Per km. Tata indica was cheapest to run. but an avg indica did twice as much running as other cars.

So all you need to do is service her at regular intervals, and you will find that all you pay is the service cost and engine oil change, apart from the engine decarb which is recommended at 50K and brake pad replacement, shocks etc., which is standard for all cars(60K).

Not lets come to the really bad part. What gives in a Tata car. Well one fine day you may find that the speed no 1 in your AC blower gives same air flow as speed no 2, causing you to shiver or use the HVAC. Or if you are really unlucky your Thermostat may give way at 30k causing your car to report wrong temp readings and your AC to shut down as a protective measure. In older indicas tail lamp could fuse, but mine is a 2002 V2, and i am still running 50K old tail lamps.

Now coming to the indica with me, she hasnt been so lucky on maintaince front,
The failures
1. Glow plugs
2. Thermostat
3. AC blower speed problem
4. Rodent problem, which trashed my alternator/AC compressor and wrecked a perfect battery. Use the search feature and you will see what all that guy ate. Cost me more than 10k if i look at the complete damage.

Now apart from rodent problems, i have not have had anything. That was the only problem due to which i was stranded as the car refused to start. But i have driven from altitudes ranging for 2500mts to beaches, from broken roads to the expressways, from Madurai to punjab. She has seen the oldest (NH1) and newest(NH 95) highway of india too. Never a problem. The AC works like a dream.

But a word of caution. If you are planning to skip services, skip on engine oil changes, stick to a petrol. The MPFI engine service interval is 10K which you can stretch to 15-20K without major problems. Cant be so sure about Tata. Though i have seen services being skipped(Even on our pre V2 indica), without problems, a diesel engine is not something to abuse.

Keep her well and a paid service will cost you below 2K. I do not know about service interval though. Are they saying 10K or 5K?

Now coming to your specific queries.
K&N : No idea, but is said to liberate about 2-3bhp in NA engines. Yes they would void warranty.
What to check and engine bay washing : Same as Petrol. But make sure you heed to the turbo starting warning(1 min thingy warning you will see in yellow stuch to safaris).
Turbojet/High speed : Yes they are effective, but most pumps will sell you normal diesel as TJ/HSD. So fill normal diesel and keep a bottle of the System D, unless you are filling from normal pumps.

As for expectations do not expect Tuscon style interiors. The plastics will be a tad poor quality and look slightly cheap, but then i doubt good plastics are worth another 6 lac for ya!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 1st August 2005 at 11:32.
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Old 1st August 2005, 12:29   #7
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Exactly. Just do the oil changes regularly & that will save you a lot of trouble.

Hey tsk,
Quote:
The failures
1. Glow plugs
2. Thermostat
3. AC blower speed problem
These are exactly the same problems I'd faced when we had the car for around two years!
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Old 1st August 2005, 14:16   #8
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hey tsk 1979 nice write though i don't agree with you.
TATA Indica & TATA Safari are two different cars from ground up

the TATA Indica just after V2 was built for India (& later improved & exported) while TATA were exporting Safari for some time, the difference is very easily seen if you sit in both cars

also don't forget Safari is LUXURY SUV from TATA while Indica is BUDGET SMALL CAR

so not necessarily the problems you had in indica will be faced in safari
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Old 1st August 2005, 14:44   #9
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I know things are different here, but talk to a Safari owner and he will say the same thing "Electronics suck" Pre 2001 safaris used to face faliure of power window system and likes. Now things have improved both for the indica and Safari. Tata does not try to brush problems with cars into the carpet, but actually does something about them. But if you see an indica/indigo/Safari of the same month, and then ask owners about the problems, it will be similar.
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Old 1st August 2005, 16:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeroid
a Reliance petrol station for the first time and it gave me at least 10% more mileage than normal.
Well Steeroid, i too did fuel up my Conti with Reliance Diesel twice and the result was WORST FE...

I usually drive to Tumkur every week, and it takes 8Ltrs max on SHELL Diesel, but when did the same distance with Reliance Diesel, it consumed nearly 10Ltrs...This is my experience with Reliance fuel, and its the worst experience...made up my mind that i will never fuel my car at Reliance again...

Regards,
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Old 1st August 2005, 18:47   #11
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Quote:
but talk to a Safari owner and he will say the same thing "Electronics suck"
my neighbour has a Safari the second edition (?) brought in 2001 he has so far faced no issues mechanical or electrical, all he has done is stick to maintainance schedule
second gen cars are vastly improved & this third generation will be even more improved so i don't think the issues faced in pre-2001 cars will appear
also the silent upgrades from TATA really help out here
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Old 1st August 2005, 18:49   #12
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Thank you all. Rest assured that I do not skip service intervals. In fact I do an oil + filter change every 5k kms in place of the recommended 10k kms for my Accent. I'm a bit paranoid about these things. Trouble is, I'm also a bit paranoid about any squeak or rattle in the car - this will take some major getting used to if there are such issues on the Safari DICOR.
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Old 3rd March 2007, 17:51   #13
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Default Petrol to Diesel Vehicle migration, Driving habit changes

Hi All
I am currently owning a 800 and am looking forward to buy a safari dicor. In addition to the sheer size of safari that I shall be required to handle, I have been told that there are driving habits also that need to be changed in order to take care of migrating from a petrol->diesel vehicle.
Can someone please educate me as to what all changes would I need to adapt for the above migration?

regards
pogu
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Old 4th March 2007, 00:26   #14
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Mainly the difference lies in the RPM ranges at which the Petrol and the Diesel engines make their usable torque.

Petrol engines are rev happy and loved to be revved hard to extract the full potential, rather than the diesels which feel most relaxed at the maximum torque rpm. Modern diesels have a rpm range on which they make a flat torque and thats the range we should be at most of the time. Meaning we should study the rpm/gear/speed correlation to time upshifts so that the higher gears fall in the band.

So going by the above, the diesel requires far more gear changes to accelerate to a certain speed (say 100 kmph) than the corresponding petrols (which rev upto sometimes 9000 rpm). However once on a decent cruising speed in 5th gear (at around the max torque rpm) acceleration is a breeze on modern diesels (involving just a foot down). So diesels come to its own on the highway but in stop and go traffic most diesels are still a pain to drive. Not to mention the turbo lag (on turbodiesel cars)which makes its effect felt mostly on city driving conditions.

Moreover turbo'd cars need a delay after coming to a stop to switch of their engines.

Lastly but most importantly, the difference in process to be followed at the pumps!!
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Old 4th March 2007, 01:00   #15
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From 800 to Safari?! Thats like Stuart McLittle to Simba. No amount of text will prepare you for the culture shock.
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