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Old 14th October 2008, 14:17   #1
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Exclamation Autoclutch Review

Hey People, just an update on this thing Autoclutch, from my end, thought of sharing here, could be useful to someone

N.B. This is not to complain the system, but to make ppl aware of a product which they might be thinking of buying so that they can make an informed choice.

I had this autoclutch in my Santro Xing, installed in the car in Dec 04 in Bangalore. It used to work like the following. (rewording in a better way just for the sake of ppl here)

1. It has a button on the gear knob. (very similar to automatic cars but a smaller button)
2. Press the button and change the gear.
3. When you press the button, the sensor gets activated and gets the motor into action which presses the clutch (you can see the clutch getting pressed)
4. Release the button after changing the gear and press throttle.
5. The speed of clutch getting release is dependent on how fast you revv (it can also be adjusted using a knob provided by autoclutch-fitted under dashboard)
6. The same process applies everytime you need to change gears
7. When you press brakes, the sensor again gets into action (it understands you have pressed brakes) and presses clutch

If you compare this with manual gears, No you cant overtake manual cars in pickup, but on a steady chase, you can catch them, no problems with that.

Now coming to the problems with the system.
1. There is a motor fitted, which gives problems unknown to even the importer of this system.
2. There is a computer sensor which fails for reasons unknown the people servicing. (gives beep beep sound)

In short, there are some things like motor, microsprocessor etc which drive autoclutch and can fail anytime (in the middle of the road, anyplace anytime) without any reason. Then you need to drive the car in manual which is always an option you have (saving grace to reach home ) The system is very moody, it fails when you least want it to and when you take it to the service center it might work fine so they guys will never be able to crack the issue.

The biggest problem, VERY VERY POOR SERVICE. I had installed this in Bangalore and now in Delhi, went to two service centers, Bhasin Motors at Rajendra Place and Deep Hyundai at Wazirpur Industrial Area ( none of the ppl cud fix the problem, got in touch with the guy from Pune who handles this in India.)

I had a very strange problem, the system used to fail after few hrs of driving (non ac) or with few mins of driving (with AC on), took this to Bhasin service center several times, but the problem was not caught (as the system was very moody, it never failed at a service station and the guy couldnt understand the problem), so after two months of this issue spoke to the guy from Pune, he said he understood the problem and recommended me to goto Deep Hyundai.

Went to Deep Hyundai, showed the problem, their service engineer claimed he understood the problem (reason given by him - the cable is cut so it gets stuck in the cable pipe), and the cable cannot be replaced as they donot have any spare parts. So a call was again made to Pune to send the cable. It took around 3 weeks for the cable to be delivered to Delhi. Needless to say the system was faulty and not in a condition to be used till that time.

Finally the cable came, I was asked to come before 9AM on Sunday morning (reached promptly) but being sunday, deep had other priorities so I was kept waiting for around 7:30 hrs and the cable was fitted around 4:30 PM , time taken to replace cable -- 15 mins, the mechanic said, its working fine, but I wasnt convinced, I took the car for a test drive and the problem occured in the middle of the road (I had switched ON the AC ), then the pain of the system came in front. The Deep Service engineer, opened everything of the system but couldnt rectify, consulted the guy from Pune and they finally came to a conclusion on someother part being faulty. The guy from Pune, told me that I have suffered enough and he will send the part by flight next day and will be installed free of cost the very next day. I wasnt convinced and asked him to reassemble the system and took my car back. was charged around Rs 1600 by Deep Hyundai even though the system became WORSE. Now the system was so horrible that it wouldnt take the car even for a few meters (doesnt matter with or without AC)

Then my chasing started for the spare part, first he said, it will come by flight, then he said its gone by Truck then he said the truck is stuck in Gujarat after two weeks of same story he tells me that he didnt send the component for my car, but mixed up about somether component for someone else and says SORRY), after two weeks of 2 calls per day how can a person say that he didnt know he didnt send part for my car.

I was trying to tell him what the problem is and how my car has become worse in the last visit, he wasnt interested in listening, and kept on insisting that there was some other problem and the Deep Hyundai guy wouldnt have made the problem worst.

Seeing the pathetic service, lack of understanding of customers woes, lack of spare parts, lack of understanding of the system I finally got autoclutch removed from my car and it didnt fetch me even a single penny, all money gone the drain.

Inputs from me, the device is excellent, but only WHEN IT WORKS, and there are very frequent failures. The product will get 1 out of 10 in reliability from me as a user who had it for around 4 yrs and spent one visit every 1 month to the service station.

Summary
Pros

1. Easy to use
2. Forget the clutch (left leg is free)
3. Is Dual and doesnt play with Manual gears, so switch off and drive in Manual gears
4. Noiseless
Cons
1. Very poor service
2. Very high failure rate, very moody, you never know when it will fail
3. Frequent trips to service center required
4. Trips to service center and even paying money doesnt guarantee that it will be working fine
5. Lack of knowledgable engineers (one each with Bhasin and Deep Hyundai)
6. The engineers are trained on Fitting of the system - NOT repairing
7. So they are all interested in fitting the system and making money, but repairing is in issue
8. Servicing your system is the last priority for these people and they will mint the money from you for minor issues.
9. Faults are not rectified and the suggestion given is to replace the system.
10. So even after spending 40k you cannot be sure if this will be helpful

I hope this info helps those who are thinking or have heard about this system.
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:38   #2
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Thanks a ton for the info..
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:49   #3
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This was one thing I was interested in buying for my uncle who had hurt his leg in an accident. I wanted it to try first and in the Test Drive vehicle itself, it was acting funny.
Many of my questions were left unanswered. It didn't take long for me to decide against it. Lucky!
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:05   #4
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Darn i was looking at this option for a second car, in the future.
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:08   #5
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Thanks a ton tanwaramit for the priceless info. Have always thought about adding this system in my second car, a Santro so my wife could start driving it occasionally.

Now, after knowing this works only occasionally I am very wary of it and have banished such thoughts altogether.

Thanks once again for this review and am very sure this would save many a person's hard earned money from being washed down the drain.
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:20   #6
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hey tanwaramit, thanks a ton for this info.
looks like it does not work afterall.

I was just talking to my mechanic to get the same installed on my palio (so that my wife could drive more often).

could you also please tell me how much did this auto clutch cost you.

I am sure this review of yours would save the hard earned money of many like me and others
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:22   #7
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Is this the same Automate product you were talking about in the thread below?

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...-automate.html

Seems you were quite happy with the product initially, but over time the pains it has given you have started to outweigh the joys you got out of it.
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Old 14th October 2008, 16:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
The biggest problem, VERY VERY POOR SERVICE. I had installed this in Bangalore and now in Delhi, went to two service centers, Bhasin Motors at Rajendra Place and Deep Hyundai at Wazirpur Industrial Area ( none of the ppl cud fix the problem, got in touch with the guy from Pune who handles this in India.)
I am still curious to know why you went for the product the 2nd time, when you already had had a bad first experience?
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Old 14th October 2008, 17:57   #9
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Hi amit,

> just an update on this thing Autoclutch, from my end, thought of sharing

Sorry to read this. You had put in your impressions in another thread earlier.

Service is an issue.

@gods-envy,

> I was just talking to my mechanic to get the same installed on my palio (so

With a hydraulic clutch, it would be difficult, though a kit is supposed to be available. I would not go for it, unless the importer would do it ad take money only if you are satisfied.

> could you also please tell me how much did this auto clutch cost you.

Way back in 2003, I paid 26000 for the kit including fitting. It was in an Indica diesel and the fitting was done in Coimbatore.

As Amit has put it, it is a beautiful system wile it works.

The one from my Indica was installed in an Alto in Bangalore a couple of years ago. The last I heard, it was working perfectly. Not in active touch with the person, though!
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Old 14th October 2008, 20:51   #10
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IMO any aftermarket fitment to engine or transmission (Read CORE/CRITICAL COMPONENTS) will be unreliable. If the fitment really had the reliability and there is a huge demand from the customers why would OEM themselves not find a way to give it as a feature?
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Old 14th October 2008, 23:35   #11
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Thats so sad to know that 40K went to waste! Thats a lot of money! One could have spent elsewhere or on fuel itself.
Very unfortunate for you but many thanks to you for bringing it to notice as many who were thinking of installing it will refrain from doing so. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 15th October 2008, 00:01   #12
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Thanks for that insightful review...My dad has been after me for some time to get this fitted to our Innova after reading one of their ads in Autocar...

I kept telling him it was crap. well good to know I was right. Sorry though for your bad experience...
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Old 15th October 2008, 12:20   #13
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Sorry to hear about your experience. I guess, it makes sense to pay the premium for a factory-fit automatic transmission. Good news is, the options are only increasing now (i10, Honda City, Corolla, Scorpio).

Thanks for sharing such a detailed review with the community.
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Old 15th October 2008, 13:01   #14
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Sorry to hear about the problem - A.S.S is always a problem with these things... But this thread was a eye-opener. Back in 02' june when I got my License, I was 'SCARED' to drive on (up)slopes. I was very seriously comtemplating to get this thing fixed and learnt that it cost 25K in bangalore. Somehow I did not have the money after getting my Alto (luckily i think) and also got used to 3 pedals eventually.

But ALL my questions have been answered on how this thing worked.

Ps - could you post some pics of the system (inside the cockpit, also underthe hood if you can?

And --- May be some guru's can assist you in a DIY project to overcome the problem. I am guessing this is just a simple mechanism (high price doesnt mean a thing), with a sensor and motor. My bet is - on many cars in India - the ignition wont start unless the clutch is depressed. May be 'that' sensor is used differently is this system. (i remember even the vespa scooter with button start had such a system). And if the motor is something that (can) run off a simple 'wiper' or such a easily available motor - we 'may be' able to fix the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trrk View Post
Way back in 2003, I paid 26000 for the kit including fitting. It was in an Indica diesel and the fitting was done in Coimbatore.
Rajesh - did not know that before. I will take this up in my thread and get some more ideas from you... :-)
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Old 15th October 2008, 18:20   #15
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Hi santosh,

> Somehow I did not have the money after getting my Alto (luckily i think)

The demo car was a Zen and it worked nicely in that. But my driving was all in the city.

> I will take this up in my thread and get some more ideas from you...

You have the wrong car now.

But there is hardly anything that can go wrong in that system.
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