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Old 24th June 2009, 11:32   #1
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Default Fiat Palio - S10 - The legend lives on ! EDIT - Now Sold

When I was in my engineering final years, guess back in 2002/2003 Fiat India launched Palio S10 with loads of fan fare. . I fervently remember I had a S10 picture as my laptop wall paper and had a small poster pasted in my study room. I come from a small town, so we just had one S 10 in town, and we used to follow it in traffic to get a closer glimpse at the beast. What an irony 6 years down the line a small dream comes true, I wake up one morning and I realize I own a Palio S 10, wow man that feels something, guess God has been kind enough! I always felt the trick was just 500 odd cars, make it niche with those itsy-bitsy bits that elevated a next door hatchback to one with some attitude

For starters my s10 ( 2003 Oct) has every single thing intact as it has rolled straight out of the show-room, a sporty, racy body color called Canary Yellow, a spoiler, side skirts, five-spoke alloy wheels with Michelin rubber, and Tendulkar’s signature and logo scattered here and there (which for me is the worst part). Inside, two little engraved metal tags on the front left door and on the boot sill tell you the number of the car, and the logo again appears on the upholstery. (Billa no 246!)

What I really like and is different from even 2009 hatch backs is a meaty leather steering wheel, non-slip metal pedals, a leather gear lever knob, a silver finish music system with six speakers that too in 2003 !

Personally for Palio 1.6 GTX / S10 is undoubtedly the best hatchback manufactured yet in the country till date, ohh how much I love those bold Italian lines, flame shape tail lamps and with all the goodies that the S10 is loaded with, it becomes that much more irresistible. What makes it really hot is the 1596 CC 16-valver power house that pumps out 100 horses at 5500 revs and 14 kgm of turning force at 4250 rpm. It has 16 valves clamoring for attention. And with a power to weight ratio of around 92.6 bhp per tonne, (Hope these figures are correct) the Palio gets into the bigger boys league, it kind of a bully for all hatch-backs!.

The revised the gearbox in the S10, where they have changed the ratios in the third and fourth gears, simply to offer better mid-range performance really packs a punch. I have personally felt the difference as I have test driven quite a few GTX’s and Zen’s. Then you have the superb body balance, which give you an exemplary ride quality and mature handling that bigger cars could emulate, I feel am in full control even at 120-30 Kmph ranges. The S10 genuinely takes the Palio a notch higher than the GTX, and I feel my 72,000 km run S10 would beat any new hatch back on Indian roads hands down. Because on every straight you get, you know that there’s plenty of meat for a hatchback, and every action of downshifting, let’s say while overtaking, gets the engine singing lustily, leaving others behind in a blizzard of Canary Yellow mist. Downshift, a little tap on the brake pedal, and round off the apex with another thrust on the accelerator – you can do this for hour’s day in and day out without tiring. The best part is the constant wonderful and near perfect coordination between the meaty steering wheel and the chunky gear knob, which just heighten the experience. That’s when you realize that this car is something special. On highways even though its sapping humid and hot, pollution that leaves your face black, many a times when am in a mood to play I just shut of the loud A/c, windows down just the to hear the engine sound, man its music to my ears, wicked

I would have loved to won a brand new piece, but thanks to Amit this S 10 is in superb condition. My buying experience was bit hectic once I had seen the car I had made up my mind this is it

Now the not so pleasant part of my short ownership, the fiat badge on the front grill was missing, I have made atleast 100 phone calls to spare sgops , Tata- Fiat A.S.S, but the answer has been NO ! I just dnt like the blank the missing badge has created! Hope fellow members can help me

The body color has disintegrated at edges of the body (Kind of white fungus or something which didn’t go after one polish, I tried to sand it my self, rubbing polish and all , but it still shows less improvement) I would post some pictures of the affected areas , hope you guys can suggest something) Actually I dnt want to repaint it , I want the company color.

The clutch feels bit spongy and kinda doest not come up fast , I guess time for clutch assembly replacement

The A/c cools well at night but is left wanting in sun, I guess gas top up or may be blower servicing

The central looking aint working don’t know what’s wrong, Tata-Fiat A.s.s poked around it for 45 mins , and then said we need a day to solve it

Now car is superb and feels really good , after reading all members experience with all A.s.s am bit scared to give it to any authorized service guys, what if they goof up something, I dnt know any reliable mechanics around , please help all fellow GTX/ s10 owners

But one thing once am inside the car and wake up the 100 horese , my worried of good A.s.s and spares left behind in the yellow mist, just as other regular hatchbacks....

Pictures and further report to be continued

Last edited by karizma_devil : 24th June 2009 at 11:36.
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Old 24th June 2009, 11:38   #2
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congratulations! I am sure you are loving it and sure Amit must be missing watching this beauty in in parking lot. However, I am sure, he'll just fill it with a New Punto!

Although we have seen this cars pics, as a custom, don't forget to post pictiures!

Drive safe.

PS: Is this the SP version of the S10?
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Old 24th June 2009, 12:22   #3
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So you finally bought it huh!

Congrats and will look forward to second round of ownership with the beauty Amit having covered the first.

Regarding A.S.S, majorly there are 2 problems with the Palio
1) Diagnosis/fault finding
2) Spare parts

Befriend an independent mechanic who knows a thing or 2 about the machine. T.A.S.S will do more of a replacement job than diagnosis and repair. Since yours will be out of warranty car, it will be expensive

Regarding spare parts, have patience and be ready for a hunting spree.
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Old 24th June 2009, 23:17   #4
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Congratulaions again Varun, I followed you here from your old thread.

That is a neat write up on the buying experience. Yes, the S10s are special and go much beyond the badges and other gee gaws that other manufacturers put on for a "Limited Edition".

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Old 24th June 2009, 23:40   #5
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There is a post today on Amit's thread with someone offering help on the Fiat badge front. Check it out.
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Old 24th June 2009, 23:41   #6
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Congrats Varun, followed your passion ha ? Thats some experience. Good show. Enjoy her to the fullest!
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:57   #7
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Amazing machine ! Congrats Bro !
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Old 25th June 2009, 09:59   #8
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Congrats buddy, You cant go wrong with S10!!
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Old 25th June 2009, 11:02   #9
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Thats a good review that you have penned Varun. Through years of Fiat Ownership one thing I have learnt is not every mechanic can handle them. The original Fiat Dealers are the best bet as they always had a few people who were FactoryTrained by Fiat and know the machines inside out. I think Shaman (if they are still operating) in Mumbai would be best bet for maintenance. Else look for specialist.
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Old 25th June 2009, 11:24   #10
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Wow, great write up of your new car. Congratulations!!! Seems like magic when your childhood dreams come true. The S10 is really the king of hatchbacks. Sad that they had to spoil such a great looking car with Tendulkar's signature all over.

Anyways, once you get into the drivers seat, all the lil niggles just vanish. Take good care of "billa no 246".

Safe driving buddy!!!
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Old 25th June 2009, 11:34   #11
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OK Varun, the car that brought tears to Amit while parting, has brought cheer to you---great going, man! Congrats!
BTW, what small town were you referring to--that had only one S 10?
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Old 25th June 2009, 13:53   #12
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Someone said that Fortune Powai has a lot of technicians from Anuroop, Goregaon. I found Anuroop the best Fiat dealer and the technical knowledge was very good too.
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Old 29th June 2009, 10:59   #13
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@ amtak - No its not the SP version.

@ JVH - Yes man its really wierd because i was made to understand at Tata-Fiat that 1.6 Stile sport and 1.6 S 10 share a lot of parts.. but they do not have certain spares !!!!

@Ravveendrra : Thanks for all you help , i went the opera house shops, found few useful things. Thanks again.

@ Milecruncher - ya its bit difficult to trust these mechanics .. my car is in great shape so i dont want people to poke around and mess up !

@vnabhi : Am basically from Bhubaneswer , when i was in my engineering days .. there used to be 1 S10 in town , not sure now whats the count.

@amit : Ya would try and locate fortune , in the mean ehile I took her to a small garage near Hiranandani Thane for minor repairs. Planing to go to Balaji - tata Fiat thane for other jobs this week end.

In the meanwhile just to update you guys coolant went in, the tail pipe is being welded ( The steel tip to the exhaust), then air gas top -up ( Its freezing cold now), It would go a " Car Spa" for interior cleaning, underbody rust treatment, polishing, ( @ Amit - Good new I have almost removed those stains from the body- Sanding and then rubbung polish) teflone coating and complete cleaning of the car.

Yes at last i found the from fiat badge , the garage guy gave me a used one which was fixed up with fevi-quick !! ( Free of cost)

Front brake pad replacement, left head lamp assembly replacement , new Philips Crystal Vision for head and fog lamps ( Guys can anyone help me where can I find these bulbs in Mumbai)

Next phase may be next months ( Deficiency of Vitamin M ) leather seats, K & N filters , Clutch assembly replacement ( Would it help if i go in for Ist stage performance Clutch )

Thats it once it comes back from Spa i shall post some pics.

I missed I drive her bit aggresively , efficency is about 7-8 Kmph / Liter .

Last edited by karizma_devil : 29th June 2009 at 11:01.
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Old 29th June 2009, 17:31   #14
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Hey ...great explanation of the S10. As a fellow S10 owner, I can feel every word you mentioned.

Yes, the S10 came with goodies that many cars even today do not offer & I think it is the last hatchback in the country to sport that awesome engine. I've touched close to 200kmph on the Mumbai-Pune expressway a few times, the best part is that its composure is the same as at 120 kmph.
Whenever I'm in a blue mood, one dab of the throttle & I'm back smiling again! What more, even today she turns heads that not even a new car does.

My S10 is a 'Billa no 48', has clocked 98000 kms & has everything original, except for the alloys that I changed last year as the original ones had lost shape. I have fitted customised AURA alloys (14X6) 98 PCD (hard to find eh?).

I get my car serviced at Shaman Auto (Sewri). They do a decent job & my suspension problem was sorted out quite well. Don't risk giving your S10 to any garagewala, unless he's proven with Fiat cars, especially the 1.6.
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Old 30th June 2009, 09:08   #15
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@ ntrack : Thanks for you word of caution, I have just welded the tail tip , and a few petty jobs like ( Coolant Top up, gas top up and all ) , major jobs like clutch plate assembly replacement shall be done at Tata - Fiat A.s.s !

Happy motoring enjoy your Billa no 48 !

Guess we all S 10 members in Mumbai should meet up soon , what say guys ??
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