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Old 11th April 2008, 16:39   #1
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Thumbs up NEW Safari 2.2 VVT Ex-4x4 Light Gold > The joy, the pleasure & the pain !!

Hi all.
Adding my new Tata safari Ex-4x4 to this forum. I will go through this in a step process.

The need : To buy a vehicle for ROUGH USE. For my discover India trips across the country. 80% highway & 20 % city use.
The options considered: Innova & the Safari. … Don’t like the scorpio from the ride, handling & looks perspective.
The final decision : Innova is strictly NOT for rough use. Liked the ride and the handling and interiors. Very functional. But does not have 4x4 & no adjustable seat height in the G version which is in the same price band of the EX 4x4.
The safari suits my driving style, since I tend to ignore potholes, most speed breakers and other undulating surfaces as provided by most of our roads(as I said earlier-rough use). The tallish stance gives a very good view of the road. The huge glasshouse provides good & clear visibility of the surroundings. Very good view from SRVM’s. Good ac. Comfy seats & seating position. Good arm rests. The overall kit for the price is very good value.
My safari: Its no bull, no beast and certainly no mountain goat( no offence to any buddies on the forum). Just my Tata Safari Light gold Ex-4x4.
Purchase price 1070000/- approx. 90% finance @ 10% for 36 months. 12000 dealer discount + underbody anti rust + Teflon. Bajaj Allianz cashless insurance @ Rs.31665 via Hdfc. Insurance as per price lists of all dealers in Mumbai = 38678/-.
The inaugural drive: 6th April 08-delivery day: cheers:
Forgot to use the PDI checklist on this forum coz I was too busy prior to delivery and at the time of booking. So went to take delivery and just did some basic checks that I could think of and some i remember reading on the forum. Car was ok… the alignment wasn’t upto my satisfaction which the dealer promised to address in the 1st service which I had booked for 2 days later. Took delivery on 6th April – and drove to Shirdi on the same day – back on 7th – approx 750 kms.
The drive to Shirdi: The car revs smooth, N(noise)-less than innova incabin H(harshness)- much better than Innova by miles V(vibrations)-innova scores highly in this respect and the safari is very close, rides smooth, the fabulous suspension just gobbles potholes and other undulations. The overall feeling the driver gets is that of of a ship on wheels. The stretch from Sinnar to Shirdi is a stingy single lane affair which bobs and weaves through twisties. The Safari feels like a ship sailing in rough seas. The ride is good but you have to be careful to keep the body roll in check. The vehicle feels top heavy or maybe its just perception due to the highish seating position. The steering gives you a feel of pretty much nothing and is certainly not sharp. You have to be experienced with correcting under and over steer if it slides out of line on rough roads. I did find the vehicle very composed on straight roads and it does have the superb ability to handle very bad potholes on bends without you losing control of the vehicle. A truly good suspension. Brakes are much better than the Innova. I also felt that the way the safari rides, it does give you a decent amount of time for correction before it rolls beyond control( this again depends upon individual driving characteristics). I did make it a point not to exceed 2500-3000 rpm on any of the gears since the engine did feel tight. The plan is to do a hard run-in upto 2500-3000kms.
The ordeal: 7th April @ 8pm.
Got back from Shirdi on 7th early evening @4pm and then went to the supermarket for some shopping. Was driving off from the mall at 8pm and just stopped for a moment before exiting the mall gate. Kept engine running on neutral while I was adjusting the fm channel. And then the gears wouldnt slot…. None of them. Tried all the stunts I knew about troubleshooting. The 2H was engaged throughout since I hadn’t used 4wd yet… so no issues with that. Then finally called the dealer. The guy on the dealer helpline fone was very prompt. Asked me to turn off the suv, then slot in 1st gear and start with clutch depressed. The suv started moving forward in 1st gear with depressed clutch and there was burning smell. So im told over the fone that it is a clutch problem and the vehicle will have to be towed to the dealership and that they will make the necessary arrangements to have in towed in 1 hour. It was a wonderful new feeling . I was pissed that a new suv not even 2 days old has a major breakdown. Upset and furious that I was stranded with wife and mom in law in my new suv. But I was impressed with the dealers prompt response. So it felt it was like a saving grace from total systems failure. The fone ordeal lasted a full 20 mins with various calls to & fro for confirmations & troubleshooting.
Then I was told to clear valuables from the vehicle prior to towing. So I went back to the beached whale to retrieve my music & system… and on second thoughts I thought I will give it a last try. In the mean time I had sent off my wife and mom in law in the rickshaw.
Woooooaaaaa…. The suv started and all gears were ok.
Suddenly I see had a vision of my dog pissing on me as if my safari was making fun of me. So I called the dealership guys to tell them not to send towing and that I will drive the safari the dealership next day.
The next day 8th April 08 I drove to the dealership at 11am with my co driver-wife. 10-11am my co driver was practicing getting used to driving her kitchen around the city. @ the TASS the service advisor promptly checks and decides that there was air in the clutch which he will bleed since the gears had become very hard and also suspects a clutch problem. I told him that I have my 1st service scheduled for the 9th-thats tomorrow-and I cant wait since I have to drive to Valsad RIGHT NOW(180 kms from Mumbai in Gujarat). So he takes the car in bleeds the clutch etc and then we check the gears which are now slotting much smoother than the day I took delivery. Then they say I can drive off today and come tomorrow with feedback for 1st service.
@ 1230 pm we drive off for Valsad. The gears are slotting well now but still acting tight at times. I mean that sometimes I wouldn’t be able to slot directly to 1st…. so I would have to half downshift to 2nd n then go 1st…. doesn’t bother me… but it should not be the case in a new vehicle. Nevertheless the drive to Valsad was uneventful. The Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway has improved considerably over the years. Distance covered was around 380 kms taking my total odo 1125kms. The return journey included 2 hours of night driving. The lights are good and the spread and focus is acceptable. However I will be adding Hella’s sometime shortly- better night vision.
Ego massage: during the night return drive from Valsad we overtook a few people in an Innova who then desperately started tailing hard but couldnt overtake even though i was only revving upto 2800rpm on the correct gears. Then the safari sailed through a bad stretch which seemed to shake up the Innova thoroughly and we lost them behind. Then i thought , that if i was driving the innova instead of the Safari, the way i drive the safari,the Innova would certainly have been the wrong choice of vehicle for me.

1st service @ 1135kms in 2 days -9th April 08:
Reach service station at 930am. I tell them that the gears are still occasionally tight and 1st doesn’t slot correctly at all times. They decide that the clutch & pressure plate will be replaced. Mr. Advisor also said that there is no need for oil change till 15000. I however decided to rubbish his intelligence and asked for oil & filter change & wheel alignment.
I stayed the whole day at the workshop. I saw them take out the entire gearbox and the transfer case to access the clutch plate. The clutch & pressure plate were replaced with new OE. Don’t ask me how it feels to see ur new 2 day old suv with its gearbox & transfercase taken off. Wow…. It felt great. They used Castrol magnatec which they said is the recommended oil and which I will replace at an outside workshop at 8000kms. I believe that with my driving style(more engine braking and less use of brakes) its best for me to replace engine oil every 7500kms. All the jobs were completed by 430pm and then the service dude and myself went for a 30 min test drive. The gears were now perfect, vehicle tracking straight, no pulling, braking in a straight line. Good job done. Then I made them clean every small stain that I could find on my beige interiors till I was fully satisfied. They however forgot to tighten the drivers seat which was a little loose. It was 630pm by then and I told Mr.Advisor of the deficiency in service and that I would drive in some other day to have the seat fixed without waiting for service. Then I signed all his documents.
Cost of service = 2150( engine oil 7.5lts@250/lt +oil filter+ some consumables-i think they charged me for the 6 cups of coffee I consumed )
Parts replaced under warranty = clutch plate + pressure plate = 8700 approx(free)
Cost of the ordeal = part of the Tata motors ownership experience.

Average fuel efficiency: I haven’t had the time to sit with the calculations but I roughly estimate 11kpl overall (90% highway) with 100%ac. I will be glad to get the astronomical economy figures that some on this forum have achieved, But – considering that this is a 4x4(heavier than 4x2) & my rev happy driving style(engine braking mostly) don’t think I will get more than 12 kpl post running in. I am happy though. But I hope the “cost of the ordeal” doesn’t get any more expensive in terms of time and headache. Im glad that I have the extended warranty.

Sorry guys, no pictures yet. My camera is broken. But will have it fixed before I do my safari’s first real big trip – coming soon.

Lastly, the information posted by all the members on this forum is helpful & highly appreciated and I hope this little piece contributes to that end.
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Old 11th April 2008, 16:49   #2
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1135 kms in 2 days. Now, that's something! Glad to know that your Safari is doing well now. There is a discussion on another thread about initial quality of Safari. Your post might add fuel to that fire .
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Old 11th April 2008, 16:53   #3
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Holy cow !! 1135kms in two days jay with this speed you are going to end a lakh kms, before your safari's first anniversary. i have to admit you are a great enthu my friend enjoying your 4x4 to the core huh ? congrats & drive safe do update us regularly.

EDIT: what exactly was wrong with your clutch plate ? it seems very odd to me clutch plate going kaput for the first 1000 kms.

Last edited by praJEEP : 11th April 2008 at 16:55.
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Old 11th April 2008, 16:54   #4
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Brilliantly written!!

Have a BLAST reclaiming your life!!cheers:
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:00   #5
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Hello JaySmokes, Pity to have the gear box removed in 2 days FLAT, but on the other hand, I suggest you rip the car over the next few weeks or month. If it has to fail early on, It better. If not, you can live with that car for many years. STRESS TESTING .!
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:03   #6
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First of all, congrats for the Safari and welcome to the club.

Its unfortunate that the Clutch gave-in but hopefully all is well that ends well.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:05   #7
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Congratulations Jay. I would suggest that you ask them to check the clutch slave and master cylinder on your next visit to the workshop.

Drive safe.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:18   #8
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Beautifully written Jay. Was an interesting read.

I have heard from Goddy (our member Godfather) too that the customer service from Tata is very good and the response time is pretty quick.

Drive safe.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:33   #9
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Thank you for the detailed report, Jay. Am watching this with intrest.
Congrats on your new Safari, and here's hoping that you don't have major problems in future.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:37   #10
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hey jay,

nicely written dude and man are you racking up the miles or what!!! i've just had a 1200 km stint in mine over the last 4 days since i did a back to back trip from rishikesh and then went to jaipur for a day.

congrats on the new buy though.

hope she treats you well after the 1st couple of hiccups!!!
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:44   #11
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Congrats and welcome to the club

Good to see someone else confirm that Innova's in cabin noise is higher than Safari's. I too felt so. But braking is better of the Innova's right?

And Magnatec? Can someoen confirm if its the right one? I thought it was just for petrol cars.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:49   #12
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Wonderful report, Jay! Look forward to more updates.
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Old 11th April 2008, 17:55   #13
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My plan is to make full use of the 150000 kms warranty well before the 4 years expire... else i would certainly not have purchased a new suv.
Im really unsure as to what exactly was wrong with the clutch plate. The service guy however told me that the pressure plate looked fine while the clutch plate was suspect.
I was happy that the Tass was good. Had read a lot of reviews on many sites of many bad experiences. But decided to take my chances since there is no other option available other than the scorpio & safari 4x4 in the same price range & the safari is something that i can live with the pain if any.
I dont intend to make any cosmetic additions to my vehicle.
Just Hella's, Llumar film and seat covers. Have bought a new weatherproof tent as my dog tore the earlier one. Am loaded and ready, just waiting for the monsoon to arrive. will do a few small 3-5000 km trips before the monsoon though.
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Old 11th April 2008, 18:00   #14
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@ jkdas > i felt the braking of the safari to be far better. Tass put magnatec in front of me. Donno if its right or the wrong one but im gonna change it @7500kms. I dont think the Tass guys know much about the oil specifications as specified by the company.
Nevertheless, the engine is in warranty.
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Old 11th April 2008, 18:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
@ jkdas > i felt the braking of the safari to be far better. Tass put magnatec in front of me. Donno if its right or the wrong one but im gonna change it @7500kms. I dont think the Tass guys know much about the oil specifications as specified by the company.
Nevertheless, the engine is in warranty.
maybe they used Magnatec 10W-40 B3 which I think is fine.
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