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Old 24th January 2012, 10:14   #46
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

I have completed 28k kms on my 2009 Magnum LT. I havent experienced any other car under 10L that can give you this plush ride. Its truly a sofa on wheels. I say this reassuringly because off late I am traveling in a Fiesta cab to work(Onsite in Chennai now) and the difference in ride is phenomenal. Had a hearty drive on may magnum last week when I came back to Bangalore. The only mods I have made are
- Changed headlamps to phillips 100/90
- Auto cop reverse sensor
- ICE changed to Pioneer DVD

I have my experience jotted down in this Forum too. If I was to buy a car in this budget even today, I would have gone with the Magnum.
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Old 5th February 2012, 19:54   #47
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Congratulations Chetan, for getting this wonderful beast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
And before I proceeded, I started taking a scientific approach towards making the right decision: I created a new Excel file (I love spreadsheets) and jotted down my requirements.
Thanks for the mention, Chetan. Pardon me for just reading your initial posts and writing on the thread. I may be repeating things already said before.

Now my approach was anything but one with excel. I somehow can't relate to that at all, for car purchases. One car may not have tons of features, but gives you joy. Another may have all the features but no real joy, beyond the gizmos. However, interestingly, we both landed up with the same car It has some huge extra pluses us 6'tall plus sized guys! ha ha.


Quote:
And then, I stumbled upon this link: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...-upto-12l.html (Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L)
The rest - as they say - was bound to happen!
Am glad, that the thread helped you too. I too am thankful to everyone who contributed to it. When my decision was made on that thread, was about to ask the mods to close it,when NoRules and others showed interest in keeping it going. Eventually we had some pretty nice exchanges on it. Would suggest anyone who is considering a car upto 12L, especially the Optra to go atleast skim through that thread.

Quote:
@Poitive, @Keyur, @drive_or_die, @Torquedo, @brraj and many others: Seldom have I come across more die-hard fans of any car, even in this vast cesspool of gearheads on Team-bhp. Your passion is just awe-inspiring. Your conviction is very infectious. And your writings simply pushed me towards buying THE Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2.0 TCDi!
This car ignites passion! It really does. Hope we all continue to have good experiences with it. Now, if one goes in for a car with passion, even if there are some niggles, one goes through them with a smile. Keyur still seems to swear by the car, despite the issues he had with OE tyres. I too have had an issue which I'll soon be sharing on my ownership thread, but it doesn't take away from how one feels towards this car. It really feels special.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
My initial ownership & driving experience
~~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Stock music system (Oberon) is very liveable
~~~~~~~~~~~~
What I crib about:
  • Light tan dashboard surface reflects on the windshield
~~~~~~~~~~~
  • Clutch is quite hard - will take some getting-used-to
  • Remote door lock and boot lock only available on one key! The second ey is just plain and simple
Music system - Most of the one's on the forum came with Clarion music systems. Had some news that their stock is about to finish. Seems they have already move to a different brand. Chetan, could you please upload a few pictures of the Head Unit? What features does this one have?

Light off the dash - They have given a darker tan on the top, which helps. It did bother me a bit to start with, but soon got used to it.

Clutch - Clutches in diesel cars are usually a lot harder than petrol cars. For that, it is quite OK. Have you been used to driving diesel cars? In case you have and still find it hard, it may be worthwhile getting it checked mate.

Keys - Don't think it would have been difficult for them to have provided a second key with the remote. It would have increased the price of the car by a few grand (about 10k for the Altis, IIRC). Not sure how many would want that. In case you are keen, you may still be able to get it; at extra cost, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
My sister remarked: "It's like sitting in a bloody moving sofa!" - the exact same comment from a few Team-bhp members on the forum
Ha ha. I too had the same thought. It is a darned moving sofa seat. Love that. Though some smaller built members would have liked it otherwise. Guess it has to do with it's (limited) American genes too.

Quote:
Wifey also associates the Chevy brand as an aspirational value - you can understand this if your childhood was in the 70s seeing Plymouths, Impalas and Chevys grace the roads with the paisawalas inside
Some older members in the family have the same impression. See Chevy as a very good brand to be associated with. Brings them images of the Impala. Then I have to remind them that today, Chevy also means a Spark!

Quote:
Bangaloreans - what crime have we done?
You saw amongst the steepest rises a city can see, in modern India! Got to benefit from it (Bangaloreans, now don't beat me up!!!)

----------------------------------------

Running in: Had almost forgotten this one. There are diverse views on this. I am very much one for a slow and graded running in. My views on it can be found here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2482032 (Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra))

Also, do take care of adequate warm ups and cool downs. It is an improtant part of caring for the engine. More in the posts around the link above. Needs 1-2 mins of idling before and after each start, for adequate lubrication of the turbo, which is standard practice in Turbo charged cars. More discussion on it, is there in the posts following the one linked above.

Edit: 10 years old?
I really liked the title to the thread, Chetan. Just to clarify, in some ways, it is not such an old model afterall. You may want to refer to:

1. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ml#post2666395 (Finally! “Driven!” & “Chosen a Diesel Sedan” – The VVS Magnum (Chevrolet Optra))

2. Some views in the posts following this one: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/sedans...ml#post2372505 (Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L)

Last edited by Poitive : 5th February 2012 at 20:03. Reason: Added the Edit part
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Old 12th February 2012, 18:09   #48
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Congratulations Chetan, for getting this wonderful beast!
@Poitive - great to hear from you. (And apologies for not updating the thread in a while)

My responses to your points:
Music system: My bad . It is a Clarion - for some strange reason, I wrote a wrong name
Dash reflection: I meant that the light color of the tan reflects off the screen unlike having a black top. I found a simple fix - my polaroid sun glasses!
Clutch: I have been driving petrol vehicles all along, so my comparison is with the same. I have now gotten used to the clutch but I still find it a bit difficult to use in stop-and-start city traffic
Age of the model: I have been following your thread and thank you for elaborating on the genesis of the Optra. While the current 2.0 is a 2007 model (+ BS4 upgrades), we have seen the earlier versions of Optra around for most of last decade. Hence the perception

Thanks for the tips on breaking-in. I have been keeping the revs less than 2000 and have occasionally taken it to a max of 2500 rpm.

Updates since my last post:
Add-ons:
  • Xenos 170 HD CMOS Reverse Cam with Xenos rearview mount LCD Display SR700BT (with Bluetooth)
    Overall impressions: Average
    Camera gives decent view of the sections immediately behind the car but the corners continue to remain as blind spots.
    The LCD display is adequate at best during the day, but is quite useless as a rear-view mirror in the night.
    Bluetooth pairs easily and readily with my phone. Sound quality and echo cancellation is very decent. Completely liveable as a BT hands-free option. Xenos SR700BT does not come with SD Card or USB option and therefore is limited in its versatility
  • Installed 3M SunFilms - CR70 for the front and RE35 for the sides and rear. I got it installed at 3M Car Care Center in RMV Extension (3M Car Care (RMV 2nd stage, Bangalore)). I was completely bowled over by their professional approach and brilliant customer service. The franchise owner Mr Amit was very courteous (and perhaps took extra care given my Team BHP stickers )

Ownership report - First 1000 kms
I have driven the first 1000 kms in 28 days and I took the car for the first free checkup on 4th Feb. Here are my observations till date:

I like the generous knee-room: The 'older' design of the dash is actually a boon. I find most modern cars have the gear-box console (sorry for not getting the right technical name) eating into the knee room for the driver. I am quite tall - 6 ft, 1 in - and I need a lot of leg room at the foot-well and knee room too. My Optra gives me that!

Fuel efficiency: I have been using Shell Diesel (this is priced at Rs 61 in Bangalore!) & Bharat Petroleum Hi Speed Diesel. This is giving me a city average of around 9.5 kmpl with 100% AC. I will now be changing over to regular diesel and check the mileage. By the way, I drive 30 km every work day at an average speed of 10 kmph in bumper-bumper traffic. This will surely worsen the mileage. I drove 130 kms on the highway with a FE of 14.3 kmpl

Hand-brake: The play in the hand-brake was very generous; got this rectified during the check up

Only problem I have faced till now has been that on the day I installed the sun-film, perhaps a little water had fallen on to the wiper stalk. The wiper would not get switched off till about 3 hours. I guess once the contacts dried out, it got rectified - I did not face any more problem after that though.

My next trip to the service center will be after 5k on the odo. I plan to change to synthetic oil. The dealer - Kropex, Hosur Road - recommends using TotalQuartz 5W40 synthetic oil. Any insights will be helpful.
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Old 13th February 2012, 02:15   #49
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Thanks for the updates, Chetan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
Clutch: I have been driving petrol vehicles all along, so my comparison is with the same. I have now gotten used to the clutch but I still find it a bit difficult to use in stop-and-start city traffic
Diesel cars are usually a bit more difficult in stop and go traffic. Now, as far as diesels go, I am surprisingly happy even in stop and go traffic with the Optra. But I am lucky to not face as much as you. It is only the occasional time I get stuck in such traffic for long.

Quote:
I have been following your thread and thank you for elaborating on the genesis of the Optra.
Hey mate, never heard from you there! Please feel free to share your views on any matter there as well. I don't see it as my thread, really.

Quote:
I find most modern cars have the gear-box console (sorry for not getting the right technical name) eating into the knee room for the driver. I am quite tall - 6 ft, 1 in - and I need a lot of leg room at the foot-well and knee room too. My Optra gives me that!
Had appreciated the precise same thing in the Choosing thread. Some comments about that can be found here (Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L)and here (Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L).

In some ways, car design seems to be regressing - lesser knee room, independent suspensions seem to be on their way out, poorer rear view, higher centre of gravity (though there is a flip side to each of those points as well).

Quote:
Fuel efficiency: I have been using Shell Diesel (this is priced at Rs 61 in Bangalore!) & Bharat Petroleum Hi Speed Diesel. This is giving me a city average of around 9.5 kmpl with 100% AC. I will now be changing over to regular diesel and check the mileage. By the way, I drive 30 km every work day at an average speed of 10 kmph in bumper-bumper traffic. This will surely worsen the mileage. I drove 130 kms on the highway with a FE of 14.3 kmpl
Any particular reason to choose Shell over PSU's, despite significantly higher price? The Magnum seems to sip ample in stop and go traffic. 30kms in B2B traffic on a Magnum can be frustrating - to not unleash that torque!

Quote:
Only problem I have faced till now has been that on the day I installed the sun-film, perhaps a little water had fallen on to the wiper stalk. The wiper would not get switched off till about 3 hours. I guess once the contacts dried out, it got rectified - I did not face any more problem after that though.
How difficult was it to start the car after that? Am wondering, how the battery would have responded to such a drain.


Quote:
My next trip to the service center will be after 5k on the odo. I plan to change to synthetic oil. The dealer - Kropex, Hosur Road - recommends using TotalQuartz 5W40 synthetic oil. Any insights will be helpful.
Engine Oil

There is quite a long thread on Synthetic Vs Mineral on the forum. You may want to refer to that. If one is to not take the car to some extremes, it may be a better idea to spend the same or lesser money, by keeping to mineral oil and change more frequently (at each service - 5k). But opinions on that would vary. I may go in for the 5k mineral option, than 10k-15k synthetic.

There was an interesting discussion on a Honda City thread here (Does anyone buy a Honda City anymore?! Oops! I did-and fell in love with it!!). You may need to refer to some posts before and after this one (do read Charthom's post after this one). IMO, Charthom, is a very knowledgeable member, who keeps a low profile.

Edit: Forgot to mention before - Loved the second picture - the one from a low stance with the headlight.

Last edited by Poitive : 13th February 2012 at 02:17.
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Old 13th February 2012, 17:17   #50
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

@Poitive: thanks again
1. Shell over PSU: I have heard of so much adulteration in fuel pumps that I decided to be safe than sorry, at least for the first 1000 kms. Hence opted for Shell. I do understand it is best to use the base diesel minus the additives (i read this in several threads). Will start doing that now. The service manager at Kropex also advised the same
2. Wiper-stalk problem: I was mostly driving during this time and hence there was no problem. I only had to keep lubricating the windscreen with water so that there would be no scratches
3. Engine oil: Thanks for the pointers - will read up!

An update: I park my car out on the street in front of my compound. Someone threw a brick at my car in the middle of the night, around 3:30 AM!

The brick has caused a dent on my roof at the rear and also chipped off some glass from the rear screen. Thankfully, not much damage was done.

Since mine was the only car damaged, I suspect someone with malicious intent would have done it - but I have no grouse with anybody, and am very shocked at this. The way the brick has hit the car, I can easily guess the source from where this will have been thrown, but it is unfair for me to speculate. Will let things rest.

This has given me heartburn though :(
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Old 13th February 2012, 17:40   #51
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
An update: I park my car out on the street in front of my compound. Someone threw a brick at my car in the middle of the night, around 3:30 AM!

The brick has caused a dent on my roof at the rear and also chipped off some glass from the rear screen. Thankfully, not much damage was done.
This is BAD! Has an FIR been lodged? Since there are more people affected, you guys should get together & file a case. Those people should be nabbed and a lesson taught that they don't do this ever again!

Do you plan to visit the A$$ & get it repaired?
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Old 13th February 2012, 18:03   #52
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This is BAD! Has an FIR been lodged? Since there are more people affected, you guys should get together & file a case. Those people should be nabbed and a lesson taught that they don't do this ever again!

Do you plan to visit the A$$ & get it repaired?
@swiftnfurious - thanks for your concern; I appreciate it.
No, I haven't filed an FIR. I was the only one affected and I can suspect the source of the issue (can you believe it could be as simple as driving from the front of someone's house so that I can park the car in front of my compound, and this causes some people to act vile? I am speculating here and so I am letting it be.)

Will try and post a photo of the damage. I think I can live with it, though it will be like a sore thumb.
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Old 13th February 2012, 18:08   #53
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post

An update: I park my car out on the street in front of my compound. Someone threw a brick at my car in the middle of the night, around 3:30 AM!

The brick has caused a dent on my roof at the rear and also chipped off some glass from the rear screen. Thankfully, not much damage was done.

Since mine was the only car damaged, I suspect someone with malicious intent would have done it - but I have no grouse with anybody, and am very shocked at this. The way the brick has hit the car, I can easily guess the source from where this will have been thrown, but it is unfair for me to speculate. Will let things rest.

This has given me heartburn though :(
Vandalism

Well, since you say the car is parked by the road side your car is subjective to someone's unreasonable ire.

Get the damage rectified and tie that BLACK THREAD to ward off evil eyes. Thats the only solution i could think off. and Chetan, trust me. It works
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Old 13th February 2012, 18:24   #54
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Pavan: Yes, I understand I take some risk by parking my car on the road side. My earlier car - Palio - was damaged likewise by vandals a few years back (remember the regular newspaper headlines in Bangalore some while ago?). I had to get the windshield replaced then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PAVAN KADAM View Post
Get the damage rectified and tie that BLACK THREAD to ward off evil eyes. Thats the only solution i could think off. and Chetan, trust me. It works
This was the exact same advice (nay, demand!) from my wife too. It is obvious you haven't seen my signature
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Old 13th February 2012, 21:23   #55
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I suggest you find a permanent soution to this. I am sure they will find more ways to cause bigger damage if you don't act! I know there is NO proof as such, but lodging a case might bring in a bit of fear to those who you think have done it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
..(can you believe it could be as simple as driving from the front of someone's house so that I can park the car in front of my compound, and this causes some people to act vile? I am speculating here and so I am letting it be.)
I can relate very well. I remember having an incident where I used to park my car on the road side in Bangalore & one day a lady picked up a fight saying, I can't park in front of "her gate"! I don't know how does the public road become her property & more than that, I was parking on the other side of the house; so absolutely no blockade to her entrance as well.

Another incident where a lady was bursting cracker right below my car's fuel tank and when I asked them to move away, they asked me to move my car!! That, in-spite of parking right in front of my building & not theirs!!

Last edited by swiftnfurious : 13th February 2012 at 21:25.
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Old 13th February 2012, 21:35   #56
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@swiftnfurious: hey, thanks much...
I was actually very angry yesterday morning when we noticed this (my wife had woken to the sound mid-night and looked out but she did not notice the dent till sun-rise). It took me some time to come to grips but after I calmed myself, I only feel pity (and contempt, alternatively) for the perverted mindset which would perpetrate such acts.

By the way, there has never been any heated exchange with them, but the day I bought the car, they threw water on it from their balcony. Reason given: They were trying to water their plant kept near the compound from their first floor!! And they said this with a grin on their face!

Neighbors are people we have to live with. If my suspicion turned out to be wrong, then I would have ended up hurting them. So, I am letting it be. I found a simple solution. We also have an old 800 which we also park in front of the house - I used to park the 800 in front and my Optra behind (nearer to this neighbor). Now, we are parking the cars interchanged...
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Old 19th February 2012, 02:57   #57
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
@Poitive: thanks again
1. Shell over PSU: I have heard of so much adulteration in fuel pumps that I decided to be safe than sorry, at least for the first 1000 kms. Hence opted for Shell. I do understand it is best to use the base diesel minus the additives (i read this in several threads). Will start doing that now. The service manager at Kropex also advised the same
Good logic mate. Very good logic, to keep the combustion chamber of the engine at it's best in the running in period. Almost all the fuel in The VVS has been from one particular fuel station, which I quite trust. Is a PSU though.

There was a sticker on our Optra (also reported by others on the forum) on the dash, right of the steering wheel, which states that premium fuel is recommended. I have gone by company recommendations. AFAIK, some cars are tuned for it and the company explicitly states that. Case in point, the Innova. Don't think it applies to the Otpra. You may want to cross question the SE about why he recommends regular diesel.

Could you please point me to threads/posts which suggest using diesel minus the additives?

Quote:
An update: I park my car out on the street in front of my compound. Someone threw a brick at my car in the middle of the night, around 3:30 AM!

The brick has caused a dent on my roof at the rear and also chipped off some glass from the rear screen. Thankfully, not much damage was done.

Since mine was the only car damaged, I suspect someone with malicious intent would have done it - but I have no grouse with anybody, and am very shocked at this. The way the brick has hit the car, I can easily guess the source from where this will have been thrown, but it is unfair for me to speculate. Will let things rest.

This has given me heartburn though :(
Had read your posts on the phone and was aghast (sorry, I wrote so late). Urban India seem to be getting financially richer, but I really wonder if society is moving towards enriching lives. In a sense, we are getting poorer.

I too have gone through envious incidents of vandalism on new cars multiple times (sometimes even within a mall parking). But none has been as stark. Appreciate your restrained approach. You seem to be spiritual, despite your signature.

Last edited by Poitive : 19th February 2012 at 03:02. Reason: Minor update.
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Old 19th February 2012, 21:32   #58
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

Quote:
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AFAIK, some cars are tuned for it and the company explicitly states that. Case in point, the Innova. Don't think it applies to the Otpra. You may want to cross question the SE about why he recommends regular diesel.

Could you please point me to threads/posts which suggest using diesel minus the additives?
@Poitive: I do not recall the exact threads but I was browsing thru a few - many of them are older threads. Listing down a few:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ilburners.html (Premium Diesel for your Oilburners)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...m-engines.html (Do premium fuels harm engines?)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...g-premium.html (Shell petrol/diesel worth paying the premium?)
In general, what I sense is that it may be worth going in for premium petrol, but there do seem to be issues arising out of using premium diesels on modern diesel engines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Had read your posts on the phone and was aghast (sorry, I wrote so late). Urban India seem to be getting financially richer, but I really wonder if society is moving towards enriching lives. In a sense, we are getting poorer.

I too have gone through envious incidents of vandalism on new cars multiple times (sometimes even within a mall parking). But none has been as stark. Appreciate your restrained approach.
Thanks for the concern Poitive. Yes, I agree with your sentiments - in fact, urban life is getting so very disturbing that watching/reading news ends up being a mood dampener.

Quote:
You seem to be spiritual, despite your signature.
I can't claim to be spiritual but if anything, my signature is arising out of my own interpretation of what has got us here...this is not a topic for this forum and so has to be offline (or at most under Shifting gears)
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Old 14th January 2013, 08:33   #59
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

@Chetan, I too had it setup from Car Kemp.

I however face one problem. The Xenos display mount takes about 5 seconds to start up and shows a Xenos splash screen in that duration, before switching to the camera display. The wiring has been done to match the reverse gear and the unit comes on automatically when in reverse and switches off once in 1st gear.

The problem is that when I switch to reverse, I have to wait 5 seconds before the camera turns on. This can be painful when switching between 1st and reverse when parking etc.

The work around has been to manually switch on the screen 5 sec in advance, that way the unit is powered on manually and doesn't switch off when changing gears. The camera engages only when in reverse gear, however, it's almost immediate even when you switch to 1st and back to reverse.

Do you face the same issues with your unit?

Pramod at Car Kemp said this is how all his installs are.

Also, I asked him if it can be directly wired to the power itself, such that when the screen is powered on, the reverse camera is engaged, irrsepective of whether you are in reverse gear. He said, the reverse camera is powered by the reverse gear lights and it's best kept that way.

Can you please let me know if your setup is similar and you face the same issues? TIA.
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Old 15th January 2013, 10:40   #60
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Default Re: From upcoming 2012 launches to a decade old model - my Chevrolet Optra Magnum thr

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Originally Posted by HydroXidE View Post
The Xenos display mount takes about 5 seconds to start up and shows a Xenos splash screen in that duration, before switching to the camera display.

Do you face the same issues with your unit?
Nope, It switches on the moment I touch the panel. No splash screen. Also, my unit just has a Xenos sticker on it. No other branding. Its inevitably a chinese product rebranded by Xenos.

Xenos has evidently started working the program for branding. Hence the splash screen. Get one without any branding and you should be good to go.

These screens are available on ebay for as less at 2k.

Tassem.

Last edited by Tassem : 15th January 2013 at 10:48.
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