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Old 2nd August 2009, 00:12   #1
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Chennai
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Default Fiat Petra - Issues and Advice Needed

Dear Friends,

Its been atleast a year and above that I got an opportunity to post a thread obviously needing experts advice.

Back Ground: I own a Fiat Petra 2004 Diesel ELX Model and am a second owner of the car. When I bought the car from dealer the car had a pecular icon showing up on the Instrument panel and I was told it was nothing but some glow plug which needs to be rectified. The car never used to start at the first shot with all the pistons but one and after couple of tries gets started and the icon goes-off. I went ahead and bought the car in 2006, run around 35000 kms without proper evaluation by a Mechanic . Though I was a Car enthusiast but did posses whatever little knowledge I have now. Fearing TVS Sundram (Chennai) charges I used to give it to a local mechanic referred by a friend and he tries his best to keep away few issues except this icon + starting issue. Later referring to the manual and other sources I realised that I have been cheated on a car with Fuel Pump issue. The car has been a fantastic companion but am concerned offlate on the reliability aspect of the car. I decided to sell off this car though for a very low price considering its capability as a complete car but somehow feel attached to this car. I wish to repair the faults completely and keep it for another 3-4 years esp after reading the article on going for car upgrade versus continuing with current car article at Team-BHP

1. If I end up switching off the car once I reach a destination and starting the car again shortly becomes an issue and had to wait for a chance wherein the engine starts and the fuel pump icon disappears. After that the ride is fantastic and nothing stops it and gives me a feeling as if it can go on and on.
2. If by mistake the car gets swtiched-off like in a traffic jam just not realising the car is in gear taking the foot off from clutch...there you go one has get people to push the car to start again. This had happened once I went with my family and it was chaos at T.Nagar due to my negligence . In another instance after shopping/after collecting cash from ATM, the car refuse to start and did not even crank and I had to get the car started by getting the publilc to push the car.
3. Due to this issue I had to replace the starter motor too often than required otherwise.
4. TATA-FIAT service all fiat cars except this I guess. I inquired with Concorde Motors - Ambattur they said they don't have the skilled labour to service "this" car. My current mechanic being not so knowledgable and having no other alternatives I am feeling miserable.
5. During last mosoon in Chennai after leaving the car in the Rain for a night I realised in the morning when I opened the car that water is stagnant in front and rear foot area (floor). I don't have any clue how the water seeped in ... may be the rubber beeding gaurding the doors needs replacement.
6. Couple of weeks ago I took the car for a temple visit along with my family and just covered couple of meters I realised that the clutch play had gone and oil pouring on my leg. Again with the help of passers by got the car back to the garage and still parked wanting someone to fix the issue.
7. One midnight suddenly the car's horn went blowing and it was so embarassing and I didn't know what to do but cutoff the battery connection to silent it off.

Otherwise the car has been fantastic with its superior drive and handling I just love this car ( I am a Fiat fan too) with its tank like feeling.


Now that I have narrated my sad story I have few questions for which I need the tech and experts guidance and advice.

1. Having owned the car for almost 3 years and living with the Fuel Pump and other reliability issues is it wise to continue with this car esp when it has already clocked 58000 kms .
2. If yes to the question 1, I don't know anybody offering a reliable and honest servicing for this car atleast a knowledgeable mechanic if not the TATA FIAT Service Centres. Any inputs on this?
3. If I were to go by the point of retaining this car, I would want to fix this fuel pump issue once for all and other issues along with due parts replacements as per the Service Manual recommendations. Will this address my concerns on the car's reliability. I would like to be optimistic here esp when I am seeing scores of Premeire Padminis / Matizs still used by people though I am not sure what issues they are facing on a daily basis with their car. How much does this fuel pump issue would cost me...any ideas.

Please advice.

Sorry for the big note and thanks for all your help.

Note: Moderator kindly move this thread to appropriate forum if this is not the right one.
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