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Old 19th March 2012, 09:03   #76
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Default 3000 Km Update

My ride crossed 3000km yesterday. Though it is expensive to use a car every day, I just want to drive my car cause it gives me so much joy. The satisfcation one gets driving a Linea is simply unmatched. There are no complaints.

I tried to do a Blue N Me update but kept getting a Configuration Error. I started with version 5.5 and then 5.6. Looks like I might be running something older than 5.5. Both failed. I did manage to get Eco Drive installed and running.

I ended up putting two small scratches on my car. Luckily, not on the metal. Both were my mistakes. One evening, I was a little distracted while parking my car and ignored the parking sensor alarm. Bump. Right rear corner of the bumper has a small bruise. My heart sank when it happened.

The next bump happened when I was trying to give way to another car and I reversed without looking into my rear view mirror. Again, I ignored the parking sensor screaming out and knocked down a biker. Now; I did not really hurt the rider. I barely moved and I heard a bump. Almost immediately, the riders voice could be heard even though I had all my windows rolled up. He was screaming and then, with his hand, with all his might, hit what sounded like the boot lit twice. The sound of it made me think there could be a ding in the boot. I parked the car on the side street, got out and picked up the gentlemans bike and apologized to him. He kept abusing me endlessly inspite of telling him it was my fault and apologizing to him half a dozen times. When he did not stop abusing, I felt like slapping him but felt it may lead to serious issues. I had no patience left and abused him endlessly. We were just yelling at each other. After a while, I felt this was going nowhere and waited for him to be done abusing. He had got onto his bike. When he stopped, I asked him, are you done, apologized once again and left. He still had words left in him. I walked away ignoring them. This incident made me sad. People today have no patience left in them. This man was not injured, no lid as usual, his bike was already in such a sad conditon that I could barely make out if I had actually caused any damage to it. He was so furious with what had happened, which was hardly anything.

Moving on to better things. This was yesterday noon. I took my car and a friends previous generation diesel Verna to a small patch of road behind Bangalore airport. It was a closed road. So we decided to do some 0-100 and quarter mile testing. It did not go well. We were using applications installed on a android phone. Not the most accurate. My car did the 0-100 in 15 seconds and the Verna did it in 14. I lost due to the poor start. My wheels were struggling to find traction for the first couple of seconds. What was worrying though is my car had lost power when we did the second run. When we did the first run, the phone did not capture the reading, so we did the second run almost immediately. There was no power at all after I moved from 1st gear. The engine was taking its time to build revs. It was as if the turbo and the ecu decided, enough is enough. Just after one run. The car simply refused to accelrate at the pace it did the first time around which was really fast. In the first run, the tires were losing grip even in 2nd. Such was the power being sent to the wheels.

I jumped into the Verna just to have another go and the car felt slower. There really is no point revving this car. We did not time the run. I just wanted to know how the car felt. Being used to the gear shift in the Linea, I had a struggle in the Verna. It is not a bad gear box, just different and I am more used to how the gears move in the gates on the Linea as it is my daily drive.

On the drive back home, from the drag strip, the car felt as if it was in limp mode. It was not responding to throttle inputs with the same urgency. The turbo was alive, just responding slower and needed more revs than normal. It got back to normal after a few hours. I have to say, after we did the first run, which was brutal accelration, my engine was missing every now and then when the car was idling. I had kept the engine running after the run to keep coolant circulating as it was a very hot day. The coolant cools the turbocharger too in a Linea T Jet. The missing sorted itself out too after I parked the car at home and then restarted after a couple of hours.

I was disappointed with the engine behavior. My friend said its probably due to the low miles clocked. I sure hope it is. All in all, it was a fun afternoon. Next time, I am going to do this early morning. It is better for the engine and the results might be better due to cooler air.
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Old 19th March 2012, 09:33   #77
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

I would suggest a thorough checkup before doing any such thing.

I have done enough quarter miles to know that the T-Jet can take a severe beating without misbehaving aftwerward.

You may be putting too much power in the wheels. To get the right start the engine should be at about 3500rpm and not more. The car will wheelspin in second if you are not careful. First in the Jet is very short and you will lose traction from about 4krpm at a standing start.

However my car has never behaved badly even after a round or two of extreme driving. You should not be gunning the car so hard, and also it needs to be warmed up well, with a single trial run before the 'hot lap' to ensure all systems are fine.

Was this the first time you have pushed the car so hard? What you describe is abnormal behaviour, and you shouldn't anyway be doing this sort of stuff on a hot day.
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Old 19th March 2012, 10:04   #78
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

Sorry to hear the experience you had to go through with the biker. Nowadays the Road rage is another menace we have to live with.
I have covered 620 kms so far and have observed that while in 2nd gear, the RPM just jumps to 2000-3000 RPM in no time but car doesn't pick up at all, only engine revving sound can be heard, then I had to put it in 1st (for pick up at slow speed) or 3rd (so the rev comes down) depending on the situation, so all in all the 2nd gear is having narrow power band in my case. One more thing I am confused as to as it has been mentioned in the manual that if the rev goes very high then the ECU and rev limiter kicks in resulting in gradual loss of power, so is it possible that while in 2nd the rev goes up without power and then while by the time ECU kicks in I am in 1st or 3rd, the power is already lost and car picks up very slowly. I am fully confused. GTO has mentioned something related to downshifting in the official test drive thread as solution to all issues, I will go through the review again.
I am eagerly waiting to cross 1000 km mark, I am hoping for optimum performance afterwards.
Sandeep, have you changed the headlight bulbs, if yes then please share the details and if not, any info on what are the alternatives. I am looking for plug n play type bulbs only, don't want to touch the wirings as have heard that Fiat electricals are very complicated.
Would you believe that its already been 8 days and the dealer in Goa seems to be completely incapable in installing the Fiat genuine accessories which I had to buy from Mumbai as he is neither having it and nor any inclination to order it due to obvious reasons. I had bought illuminated door sills from Mumbai and here the dealer is having absolutely no idea of installing it. It gives me shivers as to what kind of service I'll be getting in future. I have to get door sills installed when I will be going to Mumbai next month.
PS- How to install Eco-drive, pls share, thanks.

Last edited by carwatcher : 19th March 2012 at 10:20.
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Old 19th March 2012, 13:46   #79
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

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I would suggest a thorough checkup before doing any such thing.
I don't understand. What do you mean and what do I have to check up? Why is it needed at all?

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I have done enough quarter miles to know that the T-Jet can take a severe beating without misbehaving aftwerward.
This is what even I have read so I came back a little disappointed.

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To get the right start the engine should be at about 3500rpm and not more.
Don't think I was revving any higher than this during the start.

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First in the Jet is very short and you will lose traction from about 4krpm at a standing start.
Correct.

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and also it needs to be warmed up well, with a single trial run before the 'hot lap' to ensure all systems are fine.
The car was more than warmed up. It ran a good 25 km before I did this.

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Was this the first time you have pushed the car so hard?
Yes.

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What you describe is abnormal behaviour, and you shouldn't anyway be doing this sort of stuff on a hot day.
Once again; I agree with you on this. The summer temperatures are now quite bad. I am going to try this again on the same stretch, sometime early in the morning.

The engine skipping a beat was noticed right from the first road trip I did with this car. I could just not get the engineers at Prerana to feel this when I showed it to them. It was more pronounced yesterday after we did the run. Infact; I had completely forgotten about it untill it showed up yesterday.

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have observed that while in 2nd gear, the RPM just jumps to 2000-3000 RPM in no time but car doesn't pick up at all
I don't recall having this problem. At times the car does feel as if there is no power. This is only because of the way you regulate the throttle. Take it gentle and the response is also easy. Do a pedal to metal and the car rockets forward.

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One more thing I am confused as to as it has been mentioned in the manual that if the rev goes very high then the ECU and rev limiter kicks in resulting in gradual loss of power,
The rev limiter kicks in only when you hit the redline, not before. I would give your car sometime to gauge engine response. 600km is still enough to feel the power.

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have you changed the headlight bulbs
No. I did not get the correct model specification for Osram Night Breakers for Fiat Linea so did not buy them. I was shown a set by the dealer and one of the bulbs pricing was higher than what most folks have paid on this forum, so backed off the deal.

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Would you believe that its already been 8 days and the dealer in Goa seems to be completely incapable in installing the Fiat genuine accessories
This is worrying.

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How to install Eco-drive, pls share, thanks.
http://www.fiat.com/ecodrive/

Google Fiat Eco Drive, the website is easy to use. Download the Eco Drive software. Adobe Air will also be installed. You will be asked to feed in information about yourself and the car. The software does not have India listed so just select whatever is there in the Country pull down menu. Another down side is, you won't find a India specification Linea T Jet listed so just select the standard 1.4 petrol engine. Moving on, plug in the USB drive that stores your music for the car. This step is called USB stick preparation. Follow the on screen instructions on Eco Drive software. Once USB drive preparation has been done, with all system turned off in the car, clear all warning messages such as door open alerts (just shut the door) on the multi information display or MID, plug in the usb stick, turn on the ignition ONLY, do not start the car and watch the MID read out. Once it says ECO Drive ON, wait for the display to revert back to what is normally displayed, in my case, day date, time & temperature or just press ESC on the steering wheel. Turn off the ignition, wait for 5 seconds, un plug the usb drive and re insert after a couple of seconds. You are good to go. You might see Eco Drive displayed momentarily each time your crank the car. This is normal. You can turn OFF Eco Drive using the steering wheel controls if you so wish. Eco Drive will start recording your driving habits and correct analysis will be given only after 5 driving trips. I suggest leaving the thumb drive connected for a month before you take it out and plug it back in to your computer. When you plug it back into your computer, load up Eco Drive software, you will notice data being downloaded to your computer. This can take some time depending on the capability or speed of your computer. The results will be listed in Eco Drive software in a easy to read format with graphical illustration. There you go.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 19th March 2012 at 13:49.
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Old 19th March 2012, 15:07   #80
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

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I don't understand. What do you mean and what do I have to check up? Why is it needed at all?
You should not be losing power and feeling sluggishness after one run. Maybe three or four at full throttle, but not otherwise - specially if you don't get the warning lights.

I think you need to get a ECU reading done to see if the engine is behaving normally. The ECU does record a little bit of activity (Eco drive is based on these readings) and it would help to see if your engine is within parameters.

This 'missing a beat' sounds ominous. The last time I faced that in a car, both the ignition coil and fuel pump had to be replaced.
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Old 19th March 2012, 20:29   #81
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

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You should not be losing power and feeling sluggishness after one run.
Yupp but that is what happened. Everything is back to normal now. The engine is not skipping a beat either. No warning lights too. Before I did the run, I had plugged in the usb stick to the computer just to check if it was registering any information and it had with no issues. Information of two trips had been logged as I had done only two.

ECU reading was done as soon as I returned from my Cochin trip. Everything was normal. I was there when they did it. When the engine skips a beat, though it is barely felt inside the car, the owner can notice this, not the mechanic. It was impossible to detect any missing when I was at Prerana as ambient noises and vibrations at the workshop were coming in between. In the quiet of my parking slot at my apartment, it can be felt easily. You can even see the engine shudder a little when you pop the hood. It shuddered even when I was standing with the mechanic at Prerana. He placed his hand on the engine plastic cover. In his view, everything felt normal and it was not a half heart response. This chap took a genuine interest to see if there really was something wrong. If the ECU software is not registering any fault, then all is assumed okay. Even the mechanics depend on this.

After the speed run, the missing was a lot more pronounced than normal. How on earth am I supposed to demonstrate this to a mechanic? I can't take him to the same place and demonstrate what I did. I mean, I can but they are not going to come all the way there. It is too dangerous to do these things on a public road too.
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Old 19th March 2012, 22:20   #82
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

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It was impossible to detect any missing when I was at Prerana as ambient noises and vibrations at the workshop were coming in between.
An easier way to demonstrate (and compare with other similar car in a garage) is to place the palm over the exhaust and feel the pressure. Any missing can easily picked.

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I can't take him to the same place and demonstrate what I did. I mean, I can but they are not going to come all the way there. It is too dangerous to do these things on a public road too.
Where exactly is this place? You mean behind the Old airport?
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Old 20th March 2012, 07:57   #83
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An easier way to demonstrate (and compare with other similar car in a garage) is to place the palm over the exhaust and feel the pressure. Any missing can easily picked.
It is very rare to find another T Jet in for service at the same time as yours. I have another 3 months or 2000km left to send my ride in for first service. Let me try your suggestion at home.

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Where exactly is this place?
This would fall behind the parking lot of the new airport. You can't see this stretch from the airport parking lot or vice versa. You head down hennur bagalur road and skip all the turns off to the New Airport. As usual, there are dozens of speed breakers. You will finally come to a stretch where you can see a divided 4 lane road branching off left. It appears well surfaced and complete. Look a little further and you will notice that the road abruptly ends about half a km ahead. It is about 25km to reach this spot from Lingarajapuram. State Highway 104 is another indication you must look out for. In google maps, enter Lingarajapuram to Kinetix Manufacturing Limited. You need to head well beyond Kinetix Manufacturing to reach this spot.

Head towards ring road from Lingarajapuram and get across ring road and towards Hennur. A majority of cabs use this road to ferry folk to the airport.
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Old 20th March 2012, 11:23   #84
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

Sandeep, Very rarely this happens to me as well. And more importantly, this happens during a sudden burst of "high revving". What I mean is, if am driving sedately or better to say cruising on my Jet at a consistent speed (Say 120km/hr) and suddenly want to rev the engine hard due to some reasons, the car does not budge. But after 10-15 kms of spirited driving (keep her upwards 4500 RPM continuously), the car behaves differently, I mean it responds well to any revs or any any drag.. the point I am trying to make is - suddenly, if you change your driving pattern the T-Jet does not respond and if you keep the revs high for some time, then it changes itself into a different beast (its like some adapting time is required). I have experienced this numerous times in my Jet. So what I do in those cases is to build higher speeds slowly rather than a sudden burst. If I do that, it goes all the way to a double ton without any issues. If I am already ripping her, it responds like a dream to any revs any speed without any hesitation.

Also reg. engine missing a beat, it has happened to me in ghats section sometimes (although long back - like when my car was 5000kms on the odo).. But I have heard this from my friends who own a T-Jet as well. Now it does not happen in my car (mine has 18k on the ODO now).

I feel (based on my observations), its due to the fuel quality. When I change fuel pumps, this happens.. Otherwise all is well.

Did you fuel your car in any other pump before the quarter mile run? T-Jet sometimes does wheelspins in 3rd! Keep us posted about your next quarter mile test. Remember to keep the revs high before the run.. What I mean is have a spirited couple of kms before the run.. (like a warm up session).

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Old 21st March 2012, 11:05   #85
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If I am already ripping her, it responds like a dream to any revs any speed without any hesitation.
This what I experienced this morning. I was doing 150kmph on NH75 and it was effortless.

I don't want to send the car with a complaint when there is no real problem. If the car really is adapting, never heard of this even in more expensive cars, this is just weird. It sounds as if you and your friend have faced similar issues.

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Also reg. engine missing a beat, it has happened to me in ghats section sometimes
Never driven the car in a ghat section but I will be doing this end April. It is not a difficult ghat though. Just Wayanad.

My car has never skipped a beat while on the move or when I accelerate hard during quick gear shifts. I can feel the missing only when the car is idling.

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I feel (based on my observations), its due to the fuel quality.
I am going to go back to the Indian Oil pump where I first filled gas as soon as I took delivery of the car. It is out of the way but worth giving it a shot as I clearly recall the car running without a hitch with fuel from this gas station.

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Did you fuel your car in any other pump before the quarter mile run?
No. I had over revved too causing a good 2 seconds or more in the timing.
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Old 21st March 2012, 15:33   #86
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Default Re: 3000 Km Update

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On the drive back home, from the drag strip, the car felt as if it was in limp mode. It was not responding to throttle inputs with the same urgency. The turbo was alive, just responding slower and needed more revs than normal. It got back to normal after a few hours.
Hi Sandeep,

I had EXACTLY the same problem in my car as well. However mine is a Linea MJD. Whenever I used to accelerate very quickly,at that moment everything is fine, but after that the engine becomes highly unresponsive and sluggish. I had a nightmare explaining and demonstrating this problem to the SA's.

It is actually the problem of the accelerator pedal sensor. According to the SA, the sluggishness happens because the pedal sensor sends wrong information to the ECU resulting in the unresponsive character of engine. When I got that replaced, this issue was totally solved.

When you face this issue again, I suggest you disconnect the negative terminal of battery for about 20 min or so and then reconnect. Now when you drive sedately, everything should behave normally. If you experience that, then its definitely the fault of the Pedal Sensor. Get it replaced as soon as possible.
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Old 21st March 2012, 16:51   #87
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Now when you drive sedately, everything should behave normally.
I do not follow this part. When I drive sedately, everything is normal. It is only when I whip the car does it feel slower to respond but not always. I have to say, this was felt most after I did the first 0-100 run. I suspect Turbo charger over heating or something else, throttle sensor, as you said. This (Turbo charger over heating) should not happen as it is liquid cooled.

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If you experience that, then its definitely the fault of the Pedal Sensor.
I don't follow this line. It was clubbed as one sentence.
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Old 21st March 2012, 18:32   #88
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

I guess I might have confused you. What I meant was that the next time you face the issue of the car being underpowered / sluggish, just reset the ECU by disconnecting the negative terminal of battery for about 20 min. After that drive in the exact same manner as you did before.

Now check for the engine responsiveness after ECU reset. If you no longer feel the engine being underpowered or sluggish, then the Pedal Sensor is faulty.

Another method to pin point the pedal sensor (in case its faulty). Do a 0-100 sprint after ECU Reset. Then keep the engine idle for say 30 sec. Now do another 0-100 sprint and again idle the engine for 30 sec. Repeat this process 3-4 times. If you notice NO loss in power in the first 0-100 sprint but feel the car being bogged down in subsequent 0-100 runs, then the pedal sensor is definitely at fault.

At least thats how they found out the fault in my case. It might be similar in your case. Just try it out.
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Old 21st March 2012, 18:50   #89
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I do not follow this part. When I drive sedately, everything is normal. It is only when I whip the car does it feel slower to respond but not always. I have to say, this was felt most after I did the first 0-100 run. I suspect Turbo charger over heating or something else, throttle sensor, as you said. This (Turbo charger over heating) should not happen as it is liquid cooled.



I don't follow this line. It was clubbed as one sentence.
Every car ECU over a period of time records your driving habits and adjusts itself to those driving habits. Hence when you are normally driving sedately always, the car will adjusts its ECU to those driving habits.

So when one fine day you feel like you want to drive faster the ECU cannot link that to your normal driving habits and take's it own time to think and readjust. This is why you feel that the car is driving sluggish.

This is like your body. You never excercise and one fine day you decide to hit the GYM, your body will give it back by body pains, same is the case with the car's ECU - though here its the sluggishness. (This is just an example)

Hence it is adviced that once in a while you have to always give your car that dose of spirited driving and push it to the limits (road permitting and taking proper precaution for safety of oneself and others on the Road.)

The best way to make the ECU forget is to disconnect your car's battery terminals for 20 minutes and it will reset your car's ECU. Then its like a plain slate, write what ever you want and it will drive accordingly.
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Old 24th October 2012, 20:25   #90
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine

The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine has delivered but not without complaint. I can't help but say this; the Fiat Linea T Jet offers the most satisfying drive in its segment. This is The Best Car for the true petrol head. There is absolutely nothing that can beat this car if you are looking for an involving drive. The power, the handling, the brakes, the steering; all of them connect with you and make every drive an experience. The car feels absolutely safe even at speeds like 170Kmph. The engine maybe reaching its limit’s but not the car. The steering is direct and precise. At no point do you feel that you are not in control of the car. Here is a low down of how things have been over the last ten months with my Linea.

Gas guzzler? This is a mixed bag. In super awesome Bangalore traffic I have seen the mileage drop to as low as 8.5Kmpl. None of this is from the Multi Information Display. These are tankful to tankful readings. At the same time, the car has delivered a shade over 11kmpl on the highway with some hard driving. I guess it is safe the say that the car can deliver better efficiency with lighter use of the throttle on the highway. Fuel efficiency is not the reason you want to buy this car. I know folk who keep their eyes glued on to that average or instant fuel consumption reading on the multi information display. In fact, they drive slow because they keep looking at it. That is no fun. Tell you what, you are not going to be happy looking at it on the T Jet and do not buy a T Jet if fuel efficiency is your priority. This is a car that makes every journey a memorable one and I believe that is more important than how much gas the car guzzles. Pitched beside cars in its segment with the same fuel, I doubt if any car is really that much more efficient. Maybe a Honda City, I do not know.

How does she ride? Fiat have nailed it when it comes to the suspension setup on the Linea T Jet. To some it could feel a little too stiff but I like it this way. This stiffness takes the driving dynamics of this car to another level and I doubt if the any car from the segment and some above it can match the Linea’s suspension setup. The calibration is perfect. Nothing can unsettle this car. The car does not wallow even with a pull pay load. When out on a well surfaced highway, there are times when my wife has asked me why we are going slow when the speedometer is at 110kmph. 110Kmph may not sound like much but that is how well this car shields away the speeds you are doing. There is body roll. This has to do with the slightly tall stance of this car. However, it is far from scary when you are pushing this car.

Does she scrape? So far, not a single brush with any of the speed breakers in Bangalore and I have tried this with 5 passengers on board and an empty boot. The ultimate test came when I accidently ended up on the Manathavadi – Mysore road via HD Kote. This was a big mistake. Those familiar with this road will agree that a bus has to crawl to get through the wreaked HD Kote stretch. There is no road. It is just lumps of broken stone and sand. My car cleared this stretch. It did take a few hits but nothing serious. The front over hang is what kept hitting. The sad part is, all the good holiday resorts are accessible only by this road. Water Woods, Karnataka Government run Jungle Resorts in Kabini, etc; they are all inside this stretch. There are no signs of the road being fixed and it looks like it is going to stay this way.

Ergonomics? I thought I had found the perfect driving position but nope. After a good 7 hours of driving, my right knee started to hurt to the point that I had to stop the car, open the driver’s door and stretch my leg for a couple of seconds. This never used to happen in my previous car, a Ford Ikon. The funny thing is, the car had gone in for scheduled inspection in May and the car was returned to me with a better seat adjustment. I am more comfortable now but there is some design glitch with the seat and the seat back angle. I find myself leaning forward slowly even after I reposition myself. Raising the seat height does help.

After about nine months of driving this car, there have been a few times I have reached out for the wrong power window switch. This was reported in the Team Bhp review as well. It is nothing major but I have to agree that they are placed a little too far forward than normal.

I have no other complaints accessing the various controls for the car. Everything falls into place and is easy to use.

The Blue N Me interface though brilliant has its flaws. The Media Player controls are accessible only to the driver. The head unit does not let you browse folders and change tracks so a passenger can’t do anything. Everything is up to the driver with the steering controls. The controls work on the head unit only when you have the tuner or cd player in use.

Does she rattle? With all that visually cheap, shiny and hard plastic around, I was looking forward to a lot of rattles and some broken plastic bits but none of this has happened. So far, everything is holding on well and nothing looks like they are about to fall off or break. The only thing that did come off was the front left suspension strut cover. It is a small plastic cap to cover the strut bolt. Fiat added this later on when customers reported of rusty strut bolts due to water standing around the bolt area. Off late, the roads in Bangalore don't really exist anymore and do pose a challenge for cars that have a tendency to rattle early. We do have roads, it is just that, when the authorities decide to dig up a well tarred road, they don't seem to understand that it needs to be put back the way it was. This leads to a small hole in the road, then a crater and then nothing.

What about the turning radius? To be frank, I have never really struggled with this. All that is needs is some preparation or planning before the turn. Once you are familiar with the car, you will know how much additional clearance you need to make that u turn in one go. I knew from day one that I have to live with this problem. In the nine months of driving and the innumerable numbers of u turns I have had to do, there has only been one instance where I had to do a 3 point turn. If you were to compare it to other cars, it is terrible.

Is the stereo any good? I have no complaints with using the head unit and Blue & Me. It works really well and I find it incredibly useful. The Blue N Me system received praises from a C class owner too who accompanied me for a drive. The problem is with the sound quality. I have yet to replace the speakers to check if it improves. The stock sound quality is terrible. I have heard good old Philips cassette player car stereos 20 years ago that sound better than this. I do not know what to fault. Going by some of the pictures I have seen of those Italian made speakers, it sure looks like they are the culprit. With just 20 watts per channel from the stock head unit, there is very little scope to get more power to drive better speakers. That is why I am holding back on trying a different speaker. I don't take music in the car serious enough to spend a ton of cash on an upgrade. I made this mistake by pimping out my previous car with a all Blaupunkt Velocity rig that set me back by around 70k and I hardly used the system. When I am driving a car, I am more interested in the noises the car makes. Still; for a car this expensive, Fiat should have thrown in a better stereo or speakers. A really nice thing about the Blue N Me is the system stays on even if you kill the ignition during a conversation. I discovered this very late. I used to keep the engine idling if I was on a call and had nowhere to go. Burnt a lot of fuel.

Does she fly? Oh yeah. I do not know what Fiat have done to that lame 1.4 litre engine in the regular Linea and Punto. With that T Jet badge, the engine in this car is completely different. I don't believe a turbocharger and inter cooler alone can bring about so much improvement in performance. There must be something else. What Fiat have done is a mystery. All you need to do is prod that throttle and the car surges ahead and it gets better as the miles are clocked. It is brilliant. You can hear the turbo spool up inside the car but it is very faint. You can hear it only in the quiet of the morning and when you don't have the air conditioning running. Engine response in higher gears is not as good when the rpm's are very low. The fun begins when you see that rpm gauge get closer to 2000rpm and that is when the car gets into take off mode. Not the best way to describe it; ever seen a mutt running wild with its tongue flying out on one side of its mouth for no particular reason at all? That is how the Linea T Jet is when you get the turbo spooled up. You can get down to speeds as low as 30Kmph in third, mash the throttle and the ton comes up pretty quick. Revving this car is not the way to drive it. Given a nice open road, you can, but the better way to build speed is to use all the torque that is available to you low down the rev range. Sounds very diesel and the T Jet can sound like one on the outside when the engine is cold. The engine is not super quiet even when warmed up. Do I care? No. On refinement, this Fiat engine has to be the most refined unit in the segment.

Turbo lag? Yes and there is no escaping this. The Skoda Rapid diesel can thrash the T Jet when it comes to in gear acceleration. With a good driver, a puny Suzuki Swift diesel can probably take on the T Jet too. When it comes to small engines, a diesel with a turbo charger seems a lot more effective in delivering power and torque. The T Jet is in its prime in lower gears and when you have the rpm hovering around 2000 rotations and above. The car is a riot to drive in the turbo chargers range and that is where you keep the engine speeds. It is addictive. The effect of the turbo is less felt as you go into higher gears. The good thing about power delivery in the T Jet is, even with a pull payload and the air conditioning going, the car does not struggle at all. Acceleration is still very good. I also believe that the engine on the T Jet takes a lot of time to open up. My car is now close to 7900km on the odometer and there is a huge difference in how the car responded when it was new and now. Throttle response is sharper and in gear acceleration has improved by miles. Out on highway, the drive is effortless. There is no hint of strain even at 160kmph. I have taken the car up to 180kmph. Held the speed for a couple of seconds and had to back off for safety reasons. I have yet to find a road that will permit higher speeds for extended periods and be safe at the same time. It is just scary to drive fast on our highways. You need to keep darting around slow moving traffic.

Does she stop? Yes. The brakes are superb. This is a four wheel disk setup that is effective and I have not felt any brake fade at all. I have not had any panic braking situations and I wish to continue this way. Brake pedal feedback is also very good. What I don’t like is the soft compound brake pad material Fiat used for the brake pads. There is no sign of fade; it is just that they coat those beautiful alloys in no time that I have to keep washing them.

How is the gearbox? Shift action has improved considerably as the miles have clocked. This is not a super slick shifter & I find it a wee bit heavy to use. In my opinion, the best gearbox is still in a much cheaper Suzuki Swift. I can deal with the rubber feeling. What is annoying is you can't really quick shift with this box. Clutch travel is really long. Under very bad bumper to bumper traffic I have also noticed the clutch getting stiffer to use. It eases when the gearbox/engine cools down. The ratio chosen for first gear is for an off road vehicle. You need to get out of first almost immediately. It is too tall and hampers acceleration. The ratio between gears is also annoying for regular driving. You accelerate in first and you are suddenly bogged down in second. This is not due to turbocharger lag, the gap is just too big between first and second that you lose all engine speed. This is my only complaint about the gearbox. At the other end, third gear and over drive are bliss. Third can handle very low city driving speeds, thanks to the engine's response too and fifth is built for flat out highway driving. Fifth is really tall. At 180Kmph, the engine is spinning at just about 4400rpm.

What is it like on the inside? I believe there are smaller cars that have better space management on the inside than a Linea. There is no room at all to hold a bottle of water or an extra bag. It is best to dump all baggage in the boot. This way, you have more room for yourself.

The seats are comfortable and provide good support during long drives. The drivers arm rest is perfect when you are out on the highway. Just don't try to use the gearbox too often with the arm rest in place cause that is when it comes in the way and makes gear changing a little difficult. It is better to keep the arm rest away when you drive in the city. You notice the problem when you need to move the gear stick to the slots that are towards the arm rest. Your wrist is in a slightly odd position to do this, making gear shifts a little difficult. The best place to be seated in this car is at the rear. Not for the legroom which is not much but the posture and overall comfort. The rear seat feels safe, you sit higher, it is comfortable and you don't feel the speeds the car is doing. It is a nice place to be too. The leather may not be uber high quality but it does the job. You don't slip around on the seats.

The interiors are nice; just don't look hard at all the plastic stuff. Though the dashboard and many other things are not finished using the best materials, they look durable. The two problems I have with the dashboard are the shiny plastic and dust showing up. Dust showing up, is obviously not a fault of the car, it is the city where I live that has become a mess and this causes more dust entry into the car. Air conditioning or not, dust just manages to get in. It is just that, on other dashboard designs and materials used, dust shows up less. The dashboard reflects on to the windscreen and the surface shows up dust very easily. I end up wet wiping the entire dashboard with a damp 3M Scotch Kitchen wipe every single day. Though this is good at keeping the car nice and clean, it is annoying to see all that dust on the dashboard when you are driving.

Problems? Yes and some of them in my opinion are major ones. I have felt my engine missing, shudder and loose power a couple of times in hot weather conditions and after a long highway drive. I had dragged the car once and the engine lost all its power after the first attempt. I do not know what caused it. It could have been the extreme noon temperatures when I did the drag run. What I do not get is why the engine is missing and the diagnostic software just won't pick up a missing beat. This happens when I over rev the car or after the car has been moving slowly for extended periods in heavy traffic. It has been difficult to replicate the problem at the service centre and so I have left it at that. I face the problem only in the conditions I have mentioned and not otherwise. Off late, I have been using the car every day and there has been no sign of any loss in power but the engine missing can be felt at times when the car idles.

The Blue & Me, MP3 and steering controls died at 4900km. The radio and cd player continued to work.

My odometer started blinking for some weird reason. I have read that this could be due to a weak battery but the battery is good.

Oil leaking from the gearbox. It never dripped. It had leaked, stopped and left the cover damp.

Noise from front wheels when taking a turn in any direction.

The air conditioning blower, stereo and headlamps cut out for a couple of seconds when the car has been moving in heavy traffic for extended periods indicating a low voltage from either the battery or alternator. I have also seen the climate control orange display back light and headlamp parking lights flickering in accordance to the low rpm.

Alternator whine from the front left speaker. This is noticed when the problems listed in the previous paragraph take place.

The solutions to the above problems. 5000Km had come up and it was time to send the car for scheduled inspection. It took a week for me to book a service slot with Prerana Motors located at Kudlu Gate. The Kudlu gate service center is probably the best to get a Fiat car serviced in Bangalore. I am not sure how well they do Tata cars. If they can handle Fiat, fixing a Tata car should be easy. I reached the service station at 815 am and was attended to by Mr. Surendra by 830am. The service station opens only at 9am. I listed out the above problems to Surendra. I was out of the service center and on my way to work in fifteen minutes. Surendra said he would call and update me at 3pm and the call came on the dot. The car was ready which was surprising considering the list of problems I had given. I asked for a delivery and the car was at my work spot at around 515pm. The charges were Rs. 100 for windscreen washer fluid. Ford charges around the same. I tipped the driver another Rs. 100. The bill had several things such as fluid top ups, gearbox oil top up, ecu check, etc. I did find some relay replacement listed. All covered under warranty. Surendra did tell me that the ecu diagnostic check up was clean and showed no faults at all. As for checking loss of power and missing, they could not find anything wrong. The car was responding the way it should according to Surendra. He did admit that they did not push the car to its limits as there is limited scope to do it where they are located.

Blue & Me is fixed and so is the blinking odometer.

According to Surendra, the oil leak from the gearbox was not leaking oil but left overs of over flowing wiper fluid over the gearbox cover. I find this a little hard to digest cause only an oil leak can make the gear box cover look dirty.

Noise from front wheels fixed. Lubrication on some part did the job temporarily. It is back again.

No fault found with the battery or the alternator. The alternator is sending out the correct voltages and everything is good on the electrical part. I will have to check if the air conditioning blower motor, stereo and headlamps cut out again. So far, it has been 2500km post service, I have not seen this problem.

Yet to hear any alternator whine after first inspection of the car. I am guessing that relay replacement has something to do with it.

It is a little too early to comment on the quality of the inspection and all the major fixes. All I can say is the car was washed well and delivered at the said time. The interiors were a little dusty and the rear left seat is more dirty than how I gave it to them. I don't know how this can happen. Guess it took place during vacuuming cause they tend to sit on the seat. Except for the exterior, the cars interiors were cleaner when I handed over the car.

I normally visit the service station to collect the car. This gives me a chance to talk to the mechanic and understand how the reported problems were fixed and what caused them. I could not do this this time around so things like how the Blue & Me, blinking odometer was fixed and what that relay replacement was remains a mystery.

On the drive home, I found the engine a bit more responsive. Noticed this more in higher gears. Air filter cleaning must have done the job. I don't know what they did but all the stereo controls were reset so I had to redo everything to get the best possible sound from it. Besides; Blue & Me was shouting at the top of her voice.

How does the Linea fare with another car from the segment? I drove a Hyundai Verna VTVT. It was a test drive car that had 15000 clicks. It is the segment best seller for a diesel obviously but I found the car to be just okay. The Verna is a sharp looking car but when it comes to looks, the beautiful lines on the Linea, in my opinion, is a more complete design. The Verna is also one of the benchmarks in fit and finish. That is what every review has had to say about the car. I did not think so. I find the steering controls on my Linea to have more quality to it. My colleague felt the steering controls on his folks Nissan Sunny to have better quality than the Verna. The Linea steering itself has more quality to it. The door panels did not make me feel like I was sitting in a better quality car and so did everything else. The stalks on the Hyundai felt like they would break and had no weight to using it. I know light controls are a good thing. Though there are some rough edges on the control stalks on the Linea, I find it more reassuring to operate. To be very frank, I find the negative comments on quality of materials used in a Linea, in practically every review to be incorrect. The interior quality of the Verna did not make me go “Oh my God”, in a good way. The only thing I found better was the quieter operation of the door locks. In a Linea, they sound like re loading a shot gun, probably louder. Driving the Hyundai was just weird. I don't think I crossed the ton, probably neared it. It was impossible to tell what the car was doing. The steering felt super sensitive and as speeds built up, the wheels felt totally disconnected from the road. The suspension felt really cozy when we were driving on a rough patch of road and on another spectrum, useless at speed. The Verna is a very dangerous car to drive even before you get to the ton. It was a full pay load of passengers. I don't know why the dealer sent 3 folk for the test drive so it was 3 from Hyundai, me and my good friend. All seats occupied. I did not find the leg room to be any better in the Verna than a Linea. It is uncomfortable in the Verna. You sit really low and that is not good. I find the cabin in a Linea a better place to be in. I liked the gearbox. Short precise throws and light to use. The clutch was heavy though. Probably due to abuse. The engine does not feel 120+ bhp for sure. It is still quite responsive. This may surprise the T Jet owners, I found the Verna VTVT more responsive in some situations, probably due to the lack of a turbo. The engine's vocal chords and refinement goes in favor of the Linea. Braking was not rated too high on the Verna but I felt they were good. On the overall, I find the Linea to be a better car. It is unfortunate that folk are not giving Fiat a chance with their brilliant Multi Jet engine in the Linea. It surely is not in the leagues of the Verna in terms of outright performance. What is the use, when you build speed in a Verna, the passenger is as scared as the driver as you don't know how the car will react. Not a car I would buy for sure. The above is my personal take on the Verna.

This is the story so far. Living with the Ultimate Driving Machine has been a mix of mostly good times and some problems. This is what Fiat need to fix and I hope they sort things out. Parting ways with Tata is not the solution. Tata has been doing a good job so far. Fiat need to sort out their customer relations, train their engineers well, build better quality cars and start bringing in more Asia specific cars. Get all this right and I will line up for another Fiat. Not that I won't in the present scenario. You can't beat these Italian chaps at building cars that connect with you and that is how good my Fiat is.


Notice the gap on the glove box lip. When on earth are you going to fix this Fiat. Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-dashboard.jpg


The gearbox leak. I was told it was over flowing wiper washer fluid. Looks like oil to me.Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-gearbox.jpg


My first scratch. Nobody heard the car brush against the wall when I was parking the car one night. When I woke up in the morning and did a casual inspection of the car, I saw this. My eyes filled up.Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-scratch.jpg


The rear passengers do not have much legroom. The seats are very comfortable and seat back angle is spot on perfect. You can sit here for hours and your back won't complain. Your legs will.Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-rearseats.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-car1.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-car2.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet : The Poor Man's Ultimate Driving Machine-steering.jpg  


Last edited by sandeepmohan : 24th October 2012 at 20:31.
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