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Old 23rd July 2007, 16:45   #1
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Lightbulb Tips to consider during Test drive of cars!

(@Mods: Please move to appropriate forum if not for this forum)

These are few tips that I feel are important to be considered during TDing cars, we can keep on adding to that list.

NOTE:- To try out all these, you may need to TD many times (with different people, in different roads, etc). DO IT!! It is worth, before buying an expensive vehicle.

It is always good to go with a group for TD. You can take your family and also your friends who already own cars. Different people will give different perspectives which is sufficient to confuse you . Anyway, you have more data to decide.

Interiors:
Even though you can have close look at interiors on its quality, etc in display vehicle itself, it is still good to watch them during test drive to check if any issues like rattling or so crop up during movement.

Ride and Handling:
This is more important for drivers, so watch it!! Drive in flat and bumpy surfaces/roads and see how vehicle handles the road.

Try out cornering at regular and high speeds, U turns/90 deg turns/etc (to check driver's visibility, bumpy or not, etc).

Try out breaks at different speeds/gears/roads. If possible, try out breaking in wet surfaces too.

Does suspension feel good in rough roads, potholes, etc?

Engine, gear and steering wheel:
Try out acceleration, pulling up in slope with enough passenger loads with AC on, coming down in down hill and moving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Check how fast it goes to higher speeds (if this factor is important for you) and how easy it feels.

Check how easy it is to shift gears up-to-down and vice versa. Does it feel hard in lower gears?

Check how steering wheel feels at different speeds. Do you feel pain of driving a heavy weight vehicle or very easy to control with just fingers?

NVH:
Drive for sometime by closing all windows, observe cabin noise at different speeds. Then put all windows down and then observe noise. Of course not much to investigate, but you should hear significant difference in noise (after filtering traffic sounds) - this confirms sound proof in cabin.

Try out different speeds for fan and check if the noise is decent or too much - during my TDs, I found drastic difference between 2 cars.

Observe vibration during idle and running. In modern cars, you shouldn't feel it (or may be, very slightly).

Find out how drive feels at lower/higher speeds to check if it is harsh or so.

While observing Noise, switch off stereo and also ask salesperson to shut his mouth , believe me it helps!! They always divert your attention by giving marketing gimmicks.

ICE:
When ICE is standard, then you can play different varieties like melody, rock, etc to feel the difference - this is nice to do, but not sure on practicality.

AC:
Very important to observe during TD. Manual: Try out different settings. Observe cooling yourself in driver seat and ask passengers in front/rear seats (if it cools enough and how fast it cools). Automatic: Try out different temperatures settings and observe if it cools enough and how fast it cools.

TD vehicles are normally driven by everyone right after each other, previous guy might have kept at any setting. For very short trips, AC may not really show any change as you intended. Wait for sometime, drop down windows, etc to ensure your settings will take effect.

Ask people sitting in front passenger seat and rear seats on AC effectiveness - do they feel it as you do?

Visibility and ease of use:
Check how these are viewable from driver seat: signal light, vehicles on sides, front and rear. You should get good view of all these.

How easy it is to access various controls (AC, stereo, etc) from driver's seat?

How much difference does it really give when you adjust seat height and slider.

Are you comfortable to look through ORVMs without tilting head too much? Is steering wheel adjust sufficient for you at different settings of driver seat?

Try out taking reverse without guidance from anyone to see if you are comfortable while alone and see if no object in car hides your vision (if so, be aware of it before buying!!).

Misc:
Check leg room and head room for you to see if sufficient. Similarly, ask your family folks for comfort of seats, leg room, and head rest comfort.

Hope this helps!! Happy TDing.....

Last edited by sathya_nars : 23rd July 2007 at 16:57.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 17:27   #2
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sathya that was a real good effort that you gave in. Thanks a lot. Really helpful thread for anyone who is planning on a new buy. One small suggestion from my end. Dont decide just with one TD. and dont TD too many vehicles on a single day. (at least at the final stage of decision making) It might lead to a biased decision based the previous vehicle you drove. I mean if the one you drove earlier was really horrible you might over estimate even a slight increase in power on the next TD vehicle. THings like that.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 18:56   #3
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How about taking a TD in the night. THis should consist of two parts - one with you driving and observing headlights, rear views, etc, and the second, with somebody else driving you OBSERVING the car - to test its visibility for OTHERS.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 20:11   #4
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One thing to keep in mind is that you don't necessary have to rip the car with hard acceleration to see the performance.

The TD should be for testing the car for daily use as well as involve some flat out testing to know the limits.

What we generally forget in a TD is to see the driveability of the motor. How is the roll-on in 3rd and 4th gear. How often does one need to shift in city traffic. These are more important rather than red lining the car in every gear to gauge the performance.

Once you buy the car you really aren't going to rip it everyday or red line it in each gear.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 20:21   #5
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Quote:
Interiors:
Even though you can have close look at interiors on its quality, etc in display vehicle itself, it is still good to watch them during test drive to check if any issues like rattling or so crop up during movement.
Thats pretty subjective mate. How many of us would simply turn down a car and check for a different brand/model only because of rattling sounds ?
Come on they could be fixed.

We have umpteen number of swift owners here who have complained about rattling panels and what not.

They never dis-owned their cars.Did they?

Quote:
What we generally forget in a TD is to see the driveability of the motor. How is the roll-on in 3rd and 4th gear. How often does one need to shift in city traffic. These are more important rather than red lining the car in every gear to gauge the performance.
I 2nd that vid.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 22:58   #6
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As vid6639 has said and rjstyles69 has concurred, TDing a car is to verify the utility of the car against your applications. The entire gamut of its intended usage needs to be tested in a TD, ideally
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Old 23rd July 2007, 23:18   #7
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The only car "I" bought first hand, the test drive fooled me into buying it. Even now when I drive the nearest competitor, I have smiles when I drive mine. But, what the test drive did not indicate was that all other aspects like parts/after sales even supports on remote areas keeps me worried and the car fails to give me build memories that a 38 year old car has given me. Its too much of a worry to drive a car that I like to drive.

So after the test drive please ask the salesman, if I buy your car will I have to rely on you, and you only, to get my car repaired with a genuine spare part.
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Old 24th July 2007, 13:06   #8
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Nice list Sathya, Can this be made a sticky?
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Old 24th July 2007, 14:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
So after the test drive please ask the salesman, if I buy your car will I have to rely on you, and you only, to get my car repaired with a genuine spare part.
Not sure if you will get correct answer. salesperson needs to sell the car and hence he'll say anything.

Best is to ask owners (TBHPians will help in big way) and then decide.
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Old 25th July 2007, 04:16   #10
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good points sathya.

another thing whenTDing always, always take a long test drive.short spins around just wont help.
one test drive isn't enough to judge a vehicle.go to different dealers in your city on different days.that way you can manage a good 500kms on a demo car before taking that cheque book out.
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Old 25th July 2007, 11:17   #11
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Guys, here is a doubt:

Is it possible that the dealers tune the demo cars for maximum performance caring very little about the fuel efficiency ? This way the car "seems" pwerful and responsive during the TD at the cost of FE and the driver is impressed.

I dont know if this happens but I might be tempted to do this if I am the dealer . If it does happen, any way that this can be detected during TD ?
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Old 25th July 2007, 14:35   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddy View Post
Guys, here is a doubt:

Is it possible that the dealers tune the demo cars for maximum performance caring very little about the fuel efficiency ? This way the car "seems" pwerful and responsive during the TD at the cost of FE and the driver is impressed.

I dont know if this happens but I might be tempted to do this if I am the dealer . If it does happen, any way that this can be detected during TD ?
I am sure this can be done in bikes, not sure about cars. Should be possible, but may not give significant boost to performance.
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Old 25th July 2007, 14:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya_nars View Post
Ride and Handling:
This is more important for drivers, so watch it!! Drive in flat and bumpy surfaces/roads and see how vehicle handles the road.
Try out cornering at regular and high speeds, U turns/90 deg turns/etc (to check driver's visibility, bumpy or not, etc).
Try out breaks at different speeds/gears/roads. If possible, try out breaking in wet surfaces too.
Does suspension feel good in rough roads, potholes, etc?

Engine, gear and steering wheel:
Try out acceleration, pulling up in slope with enough passenger loads with AC on, coming down in down hill and moving in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Check how fast it goes to higher speeds (if this factor is important for you) and how easy it feels.
[...]
Check how steering wheel feels at different speeds. Do you feel pain of driving a heavy weight vehicle or very easy to control with just fingers?
Very important to set tyre pressures accurately as recommended by manufacturer. This is often neglected, but can noticeably affect many of the parameters listed above (e.g. ride, handling, braking, acceleration, steering).

Last edited by rks : 25th July 2007 at 14:50.
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Old 25th July 2007, 14:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sathya_nars View Post
I am sure this can be done in bikes, not sure about cars. Should be possible, but may not give significant boost to performance.
Is it ? I think there is a thread running discussing " How to tune your car for performance ? " or something like that. Have'nt gone through it but seems like it is possible
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Old 25th July 2007, 15:07   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rks View Post
Very important to set tyre pressures accurately as recommended by manufacturer. This is often neglected, but can noticeably affect many of the parameters listed above (e.g. ride, handling, braking, acceleration, steering).
Agree, but since manual says cold tyre pressure and by the time we reach petrol pump to fill air it wouldn't be as cold as expected, I used to fill (as per people's recommendations) 2 PS more than what manual says.
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