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Old 30th March 2012, 15:22   #1
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Thumbs up My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Mods - assist to put this under right section. Unsure on where this will go !. Thank you.

Background (doioioioioinionining...... - its the rewind process)

Jan - Jul 2011: Spent hours on debating (internally & externally, maternally & paternally, officially & unofficially), looking at options - Maruti to Skoda to Hyundai to Toyota.

Note - Have got my licence about 5 years before !!!!
(no brainer here - Think some good looking girl asked me - do you have car licence ? & there i go !)

And there are few reasons - why am against buying a four wheeler all these years:

- Do you need one ?. If you can commute in Public transport in western world - why not in India ?
(if someone says, in western world, you get air conditioned, good distance between passengers - no one will stand on your toes, perfume smell only - if not Mysore sandal or medimix soap & it is very punctual there - HOLD on.
Travel in London tube on a hot (i mean 23 degree celcius) day - especially the central line - you will know what i mean !!!
- Can you survive through 2 wheeler ?. With Suzuki Access 125 - man you can fly !
- Which is more convenient for 2 adults - 2 or 4 wheeler ?
- Age factor - Push as long as you can. You still see grand dad's driving two wheeler & having fun !
- [though a meagre contribution, but still] Go Green. If you can reduce your road-space occupancy & save energy - why not do it ?

But then, every Dog has a day & am no exception !.


Aug 2011
Made final decision - am going to enter the road with my own four wheeler - Like it or not !.

Decided - will buy the old car to make myself comfortable. Also to get-away from the fear factor of my own questions
- what will happen, if a cycle fella scratch my car (knowingly/unknowinlgy) ?
- What will happen, if i get stuck in the mid of the road & create chaos ?.
- What will happen, if i happen to hit a pedestrian - not my fault, but still happened ?.
- What will happen - if the world become flat one day ? etc etc.

STOP. Now the color version.

Sep 2011
Shopping is one nice thing & window shopping - even more beautiful. I know - many guys disagree, but once you start enjoying - you will love it. [I spend atleast 10 visits, 20 shops, 30 hours - before i finalize my shoes !]

Gone to various second hand dealers in the city (chennai). TSM, ABT, TVS, Mahindra, Hyundai, Jains and few locals. Most of them not warranted a second look - thanks to the maintenance and wear & tear.

[One note to the propsective sellers - please make sure you do everything to maintain the vehicle in good shape and while selling, make all the basics right. It is not going to radhi-walla, rather - it is going to someone who is looking for experience through your car. Don't scare them please]

Few gone to next level. The discussion, detailing etc & just a instict told me - should check the service history [believe me - no one told me this & it is a simple common-sense, but make lot of difference... read on]

few examples.
1. Alto - looked amazing with alloy wheels and leather seats and well maintained. Service history said - the car came to shed every 3 months for some or other reaons ! [Reject]
2. Santro - Nice piece. 5 year old. 45k done. Fairly priced. Check the history - Boooom - the kms reading is (re)starting at 18k after doing 72k. Good the service center do take note of the kms run - every time !. [Reject]
3. Zen - another gem. But crossed 90k. But with some major changes (failures) in mid-way - as per service history. [Reject]

Again - all these are just a learning by posing many questions & ensuring you give the Buying carrot to the respective Dealers. No one gives this information for free. So, You go as new car buyer - but becuase it is only after 3 months, till then you want to use someone else car (or) ask for some second hand cars with them & gradually - let us just check the service history for these 2 vehicles please etc. Some other story or way-out with another dealer !

Finally,
The last one i saw in Toyota U-Trust in ECR [I did some window shopping in this place as well, but 3rd time visit - was lucky to get this goodie !].
- Santro Xing 2003 Model
- 2 owners (1 - individual, 2 - company owned/lady driven)
- 36k run
- Stephney Unused
- Insurance till mid 2012
- 1.75 lacs Nett

Checked the Service History in the Hyundai showroom (again - another story building etc etc). It was clean and regular interval servicing & highest bill throughout was 10k !

Asked one of my friend (who own Ritz VDI) to Test Drive. All good words - against his diesel vs petrol. Both tall boyish - so its even. Minor observations (clutch tight, view difference etc)

Booked the car next day. Gave cheque. Got honored. Delivery date fixed.

Day 0
Got another friend (who owns Alto - guess non-power steering one) to take delivery. He was very happy to drive this to my home - that told me 'how good this machine is' [If i think of that day now - it is hilarious - am really then !]

- Get into the show room & ask for the sales person
- Sign papers & ask him the car
- Go to the garage & see the vehicle (someone is doing the last minute polishing !)
- Give papers to security & complete the gate pass
- Get the nod - it is done. Ask friend to start the vehicle
- vroooooooom
- Fill Petrol, Visit Saibaba temple & say thanks
- Reach home & park the vehicle
- Take Auto & both go to office back

hahhahahhahhha. sorry - am really being weird in the whole thing. Never realised Car purchase is a process & you have something to do before & after !. But then, All izz Well !!!


Day 1
Came early from Office - got the guts to take the keys - go to parking lot and start. Ignition - Gear - Clutch release - STOP
One more time - STOP
One more - STOP

Day 2
I know driving. Again do it in bright light (mid-day) & when there is no car in the nearby parking lot. Ignition - Gear - Clutch release & Accelarate. Moved a bit & STOP
One more time - moved few more yards - STOP
ok. Am swetting. Reverse & back to position

Day 3
After food. Late evening. Want to try my luck in breezy weather. Ignition - Headlights ON - Gear - Clutch release - Moved a bit, but stopped.

The driver talking to the apartment security walked-by & said 'Enna aachu ?' (what happened). Me - 'No. am just starting'. He made a casual remark 'ok. Check the Hand brake once'

[I know - this may not sound very good to all & especially in this forum - But Yes. There I am - trying to drive my vehicle first day on my own - with the Handbrake ON !].

Once this BIG problem(!) resolved, I did a round & round & round in the apartment compound for next 15 min - till my excitement of driving 4 wheeler came to neutral !.

With the initial days enthusiasm & team-bhp stickers in hand, got few snaps of 'My Santro' and updated in the 'Introduce Yourself' thread. Here is the link -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/introd...t-nervous.html (I am on the podium & am not nervous !!!)

Then the days passed by -
- drove after 11.00 p.m for 2 days
- drove few kms in lanes, streets and roads
- drove on day, mid-day & evening
- drove on plain / colorful (!) roads, bridges
- one day during lunch time - drove long on highway (guess NH4) - when i took the vehicle to office & came back only in the evening.

Started taking the vehicle to all those places - wherein i never thought - i will & i used to curse people (before) who travel by 4 wheeler there (t.nagar, mylapore, chrompet etc - wherein the road width can accomodate only a car & cycle - but we use it as two way !)

So, now - as i stand, have completed 5000 kms (in 5 months) - driving within the city & with only one injury to the car (it was day 10 - when i ventured to travel in busy traffic & Bus (Public transport) fella taught me - how to respect him !!)

Thanks for reading & it is indeed a great feeling to achieve this (it is nothing like how SRT felt when he got 100th 100, but just close to that !).

As promised myself - will be getting the new car in the next few months (Honda Jazz - where are you ?) & may be - am better equipped to write a Ownership review here !

And last word for first timers - Spend time choosing your vehicle (old or new). Do Basic checks (service history for old - definetly !). Enjoy your purchase & initial days. They are like school/college days - you will cherish for years !!!

Cheers,
Jay.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Apart from the first time purchase experience, with due respect to this forum - let me list my personal view on the machine. Frankly - me, mere mortal got very basic knowledge on the machines - so, please spare any errors !.

General:
- Graduating from 2 wheeler to 4 wheeler is a boon. You tend to have that proud-feeling the momemnt you get-in.
- Sparing the initial days of looking at everyone on the road with suspicion - as if their only motto is to hit you & run - fades away in few days and you start relaxing
- Concentration towards changing the gear (based on speed), ignition off at 1st or 2nd gear in the mid of the road may be - just the first few days hiccup, after that, you are tuned to move around free. Subconcious stores all relevant data for you to drive.
- Initial days one tend to get annoyed by honking around, unorganized pedestrian crossing, rash auto fellas etc. Again - few weeks gone - you will become one among them !.


Specifics on the machine:
- Top most liking is the convenience - excellent visibility, easy to adapt, brilliant thigh support, Backrest adjustment and the 'for 5' capacity !
- Technically, the gear shift, clutch, steering are indeed a great support - especially for the first timer.
- The Steering need a mention here. Drove the Maruti800/Alto during the driving-class (licencing) period & man - the power steering is a must ! [Do we still have any more non-power steering vehicles ?]
- Indeed this one is Value-for-Money. Remember some other post referring Honda City & Santro are the hot-cakes in used car market. Why not, it is time-tested !

Few open questions as well (with TD experience & 5k km done - you tend to notice more....)
- isn't the gear shift could be better ?. It get stuck sometimes, especially the reverse one. And my wifey facing trouble in getting it from 3 to 2. She says, its too painful. [Though have not felt myself, can see her point here. Is the driving style (or) the position of gearbox in santro - could have been better ?]
- isn't the clutch too hard ?. Few long-drives (about 70-80 kms in one sitting) did gave a knee / calf muscle pain. And rememebr talking to the Hyundai service & they did mention clutch being hard, but recommended not to change - if the car is for temporary use.

BTW, quick summary on - what have done so far with my Santro:
1. Have replaced all the tyres - when i felt the steering wobling & why not - it is 8 years old anyway !
2. Serviced in Jan (after 3 months of driving myself). Nothing major. Bill about 5k.
3. Some minor expenses in between (wiper change, back-door glass got stuck (lever problem ?), Headlight bulb replacement etc).
4. Once got stuck in the mid of the road with flat tyres & with an auto-driver help got it replaced. Funny enough- next day, when checked for puncture - we found nothing !.
5. Few things judiciously follow:
a) Check the mirrors, seat position & any obstruction on the parcel tray to ensure clear visibility.
b) Seat Belt
c) Fuel & Tyres
d) When parked - lock, check area around car & the position (straight or not !)
e) Daily cleaning by someone.

Appreciate your time for reading.
--------------------------------------------------------------

Last edited by gjiyap1 : 2nd April 2012 at 12:20. Reason: final touches
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Old 3rd April 2012, 09:04   #2
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd April 2012, 14:42   #3
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Thanks GTO - moving the thread to Ownership section.

Btw, missed mentioning the FE. It is ~ 12 - 14 kmpl

The calculation of FE is simple. ODO reading (difference of day 1 & day n). Total of Litres filled so far (from day 1 to day n). Divide Kms by fuel.

Am filling petrol in the 'Indian Oil'.
[Reason(s) 1. Got station one near home & another near office 2. Citibank credit card. No service charges & the points are converted to Turbo points & you can get them redeemed for Petrol !]

Few questions - for the fella BHPians to help:
- Which one is economical & good for machine. Gear Shift according to speed ? (or) Push a little further in the lower gear ?.
[Considering chennai traffic - you get 200-400 mtrs gap & am always puzzled, should i move to 3rd gear and drive smooth & change back to 2 or drive in 2 but just push the accelerator for that short distance - & avoid gear shift !]

- Single hand driving. Is it a good or bad practice ?.
[Just as a casual thing, most of the time, am using only the left hand and right is placed on the door handle. Yes on need basis, both hands are in place, but wondering....]

- Frequency of air-check ?.
[Again a two wheeler practice, i check air everytime - i fill fuel (which is 99% tank full habit ! - which means 200 km run). In case of car - am not too sure - whether it is required (again it also tank-full fuel & say the drive is 300 kms).

Thanks in advance.
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Old 3rd April 2012, 17:00   #4
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

That was a very emotional first car buying experience you have penned down. It reminds me of the time when I purchased my first car. I had also got my driving licence after my initial driving lessons. But it took a lot of practice in real life conditions to become a fluent driver.

Santro is a great car for a first time car buyer.

Frequency or air check should be 2-3 weeks.

One handed driving is not a good practice. Try to keep both hands on the steering wheel in 10 and 2 o'clock position or 9 and 3 o'clock position, whichever suits you. Use the left hand for gear change and then position it back on the steering wheel.

About gear changes, it is better to leave it in low gear and avoid frequent gear changes, especially since you are not a fluenty driver as of now.

Don't worry too much about fuel efficiency in city conditions. First concentrate on improving your driving technique.

A more accurate way of measuring fuel efficiency is full tank method. Fill petrol upto auto cut off and reset trip meter. Drive around till your tank becomes near empty (doesn't have to be fully empty). Again fill petrol upto auto cut off (preferably at the same petrol pump). Now divide trip meter reading by the number of litres of petrol filled to get your FE reading.

Rohan
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Old 4th April 2012, 09:54   #5
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Congrats on your first car, i still remember when i bought my first car, it was also a 2nd hand back in 2009, then i had asked an uncle to drive it from the owners place to mine. Next 3- 4 days I spent at a driving school refreshing my driving and then 5th day took the car to Goa on a holiday
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Old 5th April 2012, 15:00   #6
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Thanks Rohan - Points taken on two hand driving, FE calculation, Gear change & air-check.

& Thanks Motomaverick. Hopefully, i will make an attempt for long drive - before i off-charge this one !.

One other question - if someone can answer, what is the coolant refill period. Remember this is been done during service. But when looked at it sometime last week, it was empty. So, filled it with filtered-water (means, water processed by aqua guard !).

Is it just a general practice - you fill water periodically & fill-coolant during service (every 5000 kms) ?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th April 2012, 15:31   #7
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Congrats on your new ride. Enjoy your car and drive safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjiyap1 View Post
The calculation of FE is simple. ODO reading (difference of day 1 & day n). Total of Litres filled so far (from day 1 to day n). Divide Kms by fuel.
Sorry, but I did not understand the above line.

I prefer the tank full method, as it is more or less accurate.
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Old 5th April 2012, 16:19   #8
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjiyap1 View Post
One other question - if someone can answer, what is the coolant refill period. Remember this is been done during service. But when looked at it sometime last week, it was empty. So, filled it with filtered-water (means, water processed by aqua guard !).

Is it just a general practice - you fill water periodically & fill-coolant during service (every 5000 kms) ?
Congrats on your 4-wheeler decision, I guess in Chennai it is more or less a need to keep ourselves safe on the road :-(

If you did get a owner's manual, you can check the frequency during which the coolant should be replaced. Filling water alone is not sufficient, nowadays all cars need a coolant = ethylene glycol + water in a certain ratio.

If you don't see any coolant in the auxiliary reservoir, better get it filled up as per the specification in the owner's manual.

One note however, a friend of mine managed to pour coolant(or water,dont remember) into the brake fluid reservoir a few months into his first car experience, so do it under daylight.
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Old 17th April 2012, 19:42   #9
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Default Re: My first 5000 kms in a four wheeler, & the background

Just a quick update on FE. My first analysis through product method i.e. average taken from - Total km travelled divided by total fuel filled in a given period seems good still.

Yes. This time have done full-tank method. "E" to "E" !. 401 kms / 30.81 = 13.01 kmpl. Am glad !.

Just had a glitch 2 days back. The AC-Air Blower does not work on 1 & 2 and at 3 (which is generally very noisy) work as usual. Checked with the Service center today & he said, 'regulator may be gone. It costs Rs.750/-'.

Am not too sure - i understood the real problem. If the regulator is gone - how does it work on 3rd ?. Am i missing something in understanding here ?
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