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Old 25th July 2009, 04:12   #1
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Default My bellezza Italiana - Fiat Linea Petrol Emotion

Hi All,
I own a Fiat Linea Petrol Emotion variant (Flamenco Red) which I bought in April '09. I bought my car from Concorde Motors, Bangalore (Diary Circle).

Firstly, I'd like to thank all the the Linea owners who are regular contributors to this forum. Your initial impressions & ownership experiences played a vital part in helping me finalize the Linea. I had short-listed the Ford Fiesta, Maruti Baleno & the Fiat Linea but I suspect I lost my heart to the Linea and its seductive lines much, much earlier .

I've completed 3300 kilometers & also done my first service. I've waited this long for my first post since I didn't have anything to add other than what's already been mentioned on one or another of the Linea ownership threads.
I have a peculiar problem to report & I've detailed that at the end of my post.

So, here's my initial ownership experience:

Wow Factors[list][*]The head-turning looks & gorgeous lines give the Linea a distinctive personality & road presence. Its still tickles me no end when I see people giving the car a second & third look at a traffic signal or petrol bunk.[list][*]The trim levels provided in the Linea (Emotion) are fantastic & leave most of the competition in a similar price range far behind. I've been (and still am) quite impressed with the endless list of features that this car carries (alloys, ACC, ABS, quality of seat fabrics, etc. (& I could go on for some time on this))[list][*] Ride & build quality that lend it a battle-tank like character. I love the way the Linea smoothes over pot-holes & rides like a car worth atleast twice what we Linea owners have paid for.

Nice to Have Features[list][*]Some of the thoughtful features of the car such as the sun blind, rear AC vent, etc. goes to show that Fiat has tried to provide a car that gives you more than what others in the same class do (& not to mention the foldable key). Sometimes (atleast for those like me), these little features help in swinging the deal decisively.

'Not So' Nice
While I haven't been plagued with some of the commonly reports problems such as the chrome strips falling off & the rattles, I have a few that have been reported by others:[list][*]The seat height adjust makes me want to to bang my head against the wall. I like to position my seat 3 notches higher but it takes only a few hours for the seat to come back down to its lowest level. [list][*]The wiper fluid jets would refuse to squirt. I had to go to the dealer a couple of times to get this rectified but this problem was sorted out only on my second visit.[list][*] Two months in owning the car, the front passenger door wouldn't open from the inside. This was rectified at the dealership within 30 minutes, it turned out that one of the linkages inside the door pad had come loose.

Dealership Experience
My experience at Concorde Motors has been mostly positive. The car was delivered to me one day earlier than promised and the sales & service folks have been courteous & professional. Nothing much to complain about other than some minor niggles.

My most unique of problems
The day after I bought my car, I noticed a couple of black spots on the boot lid & the roof of the car (behind the C-pillar). These spots are clearly visible only when viewed from certain angles while they don't really stand out from other angles. I initially brushed this off thinking that perhaps this was caused due to a mix of the ambient lighting, angle of view and a normal feature of metallic paints. It was only before my first service that I noticed more black spots (8-10 in all at last sighting) in other areas as well.
I promptly reported this problem at the dealership & showed the car to the Service Head who admitted that this was certainly a defect in the paint job. The Regional CSM from Tata who inspected the car was also of the same opinion. While the CSM has said that he would report the problem to Fiat & await their feedback, he was of the opinion that the car would have to be completely repainted & this would be done at the dealer's paint shop. I have the following questions / concerns & would really appreciate it if anyone could revert with their opinions:
1). I have concerns regarding the quality of finish & workmanship & don't believe that the painting at the dealer end would be anywhere close to a factory finish. Even if the initial job is done well, I'm not sure how the paint & the finish would age over time.
2). The repainting could affect the resale value of the car.
3). What are the other options available to me?

This problem has certainly taken the sheen off my ownership experience & I'm quite aghast at how this could have passed QC at both the factory & dealer ends. Perhaps, other Linea owners should also give their car a thorough re-look and see if their cars are also affected by this?
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Old 25th July 2009, 10:37   #2
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A defective paint job... This is definitely not acceptable. Yes, you are right on the count that ther whole body painting for a new car at the dealer's paint shop will definitely not match the quality of the factory paint job. I suggest you write to Fiat about this.
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Old 25th July 2009, 10:40   #3
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welcome aboard the team-bhp linea ship. ahoy!. It is raining lineas here. it augurs well for fiat. congrats. enjoy the ride. Post us some pics
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Old 25th July 2009, 10:41   #4
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The paint job at the authorised workshops is very good. You will not notice the difference at all and it is equally long lasting.
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Old 25th July 2009, 10:53   #5
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Hey first off welcome to T_BHP and congrats on the Linea. It's nice to see another B'lore Linea owner on the forum. Am glad to see that the honest and detailed reviews by other owners have contributed in positive purchase decisions.

The paint job problem surely seems to be unique to your car. I don't think getting the paint job done at the dealer's is a bad thing as long as they have the required booth, able technicians and the exact OEM shade.

I did read another thread yesterday of a Mangalore based owner getting the door painted at the BASF research centre just outside M'lore. BASF are the OEM vendors.You could look at getting the car repainted there and also enjoy a nice monsoon drive

I think it maybe too late to ask for a replacement.
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Old 25th July 2009, 11:05   #6
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Congrats on the new aquisition! as regards the Blemishes on the Paintwork, please post a few pics so that we get an idea as to what it is. repainting at dealer end - A BIG NO NO. i give you my reasons:

1. dealer paint booths spray paint onto the Surface. factory paint booths use robotic arms to spray paint on a magnetically charged surface. so the finish is much better
2. dealers use Racing clear which dries in 15 minutes and takes about 15 minutes to cure. OE aint job uses 155 / 255 clear which requires baking at 70 degrees for 30 minutes. the result Dealer paint looks dull after a couple of years and can also result in orange peels.
3. Factory paint jobs normally bake the paint at 100 to 140 degree celsius as a result of which the paint hardens from the lowest base coat.

Solution: if the blemishes arent very glaring a round of polishing should be fine. if the blemishes are in the nature of Blisters / pimples / pinholes, only that area needs to be sanded using a orbital sander with 400 / 800 / 1200 grade 3M sanding pads, and touched up only in the area of the blemishes using the fadeout technique so as to ensure that the touch up blends with the other body panel paint work. NEVER agree for full body paint job
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Old 25th July 2009, 11:31   #7
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First i would like to congratulate on buying linea. now for your problem i would suggest you to follow up with FIAT and try to get it painted from the factory itself though i am not sure of its feasability. painting at the dealer is not usually upto the mark and yes the paint loses its sheen in sometime though not drastically. i have a first hand experience of that. A well equipped paint shop might be able to do a good job but wouldn't be able to match factory standards. What about professional paint shops like DUpONT i think they might be able to match

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg111 View Post


My most unique of problems
The day after I bought my car, I noticed a couple of black spots on the boot lid & the roof of the car (behind the C-pillar).
==========================
This problem has certainly taken the sheen off my ownership experience & I'm quite aghast at how this could have passed QC at both the factory & dealer ends. Perhaps, other Linea owners should also give their car a thorough re-look and see if their cars are also affected by this?
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Old 25th July 2009, 12:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oxymoron View Post
First i would like to congratulate on buying linea. now for your problem i would suggest you to follow up with FIAT and try to get it painted from the factory itself though i am not sure of its feasability. painting at the dealer is not usually upto the mark and yes the paint loses its sheen in sometime though not drastically. i have a first hand experience of that. A well equipped paint shop might be able to do a good job but wouldn't be able to match factory standards. What about professional paint shops like DUpONT i think they might be able to match
read my story on my link as to how dupont @ tata - fiat A** messed with my colour matching!!! and made me write to Fiat and Get the Job done at the BASF Lab!

Last edited by Sunilrj : 25th July 2009 at 12:43.
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Old 25th July 2009, 19:22   #9
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congrats blitzkreig on the red linea.

I've had my share of paint-issues with my red Linea too.
1. The bumper and body colors were mismatched - TASS repainted the bumpers
2. I had a few black spots near rear-windsheield -TASS repainted that area.
3. The paint inside engine-bay seems faded red - doing nothing as its not visible outside.

Please post pics, so we can better advise you.

Last edited by neotraveller : 25th July 2009 at 19:23.
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Old 25th July 2009, 22:45   #10
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Congrats Blizkrieg
Welcome to Linea-club on t-bhp

pls post pics pf the color issues. Since even you noticed it after some days, let me ask you is it quite visible or not clearly visible?

Last edited by VahanPujari : 25th July 2009 at 22:47.
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Old 26th July 2009, 01:47   #11
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Don't know about your case but i got my S10 rear bumper and rear fender painted because of an accident. they matched colour well rather I think they dont need to because of specification availability. What I doubt is the longevity of shine. that's why proposed Dupont or some other brand which has got its dedicated paintshops not the A S S paintshops

Quote:
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read my story on my link as to how dupont @ tata - fiat A** messed with my colour matching!!! and made me write to Fiat and Get the Job done at the BASF Lab!
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Old 26th July 2009, 23:32   #12
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Thanks all for your inputs, they are much appreciated.

Most of the spots are visible to the naked eye but can't be captured on the camera. I'll try again when the sun's nice & bright, & hopefully, will be able to post the pics for the others to see.

On closer inspection, there are imperfections in other areas as well, & quite glaring ones at that. The rear door on the right hand side of the car has two different shades, lighter in the middle & darker towards either ends. Also, the front bumper has this same two shades all along, there are some spots which are lighter & other ones which are darker. The dealer's Service Head & Tata's city CSM has confirmed that these are indeed defects. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a result of a defective paint job or if there's more to the story than that.

I'll be speaking with the folks from Tata / Fiat this week and will update everyone once I know more (I'm seriously considering asking for a replacement of the car though not sure how feasible that might be). In the meantime, would welcome suggestions / advice / inputs from you.
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Old 27th July 2009, 10:07   #13
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Congrats Blitz,

Welcome to Linea Club.

Reg Paint Job in TASS.
Definitley it won't match with Factory paint job.
I just a week before painted entire bonnet due to bulges issue.
Color has matched perfectly but they don't have thermal paint unit and closed/Zero dust free paint booth.
So many dust particles were seen.After rubbing and polishing some what it's ok now.
Just check FIL for car replacement(FIL never entertain) or paint job from reputed paint booth.
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Old 27th July 2009, 10:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitzkrieg111 View Post
On closer inspection, there are imperfections in other areas as well, & quite glaring ones at that. The rear door on the right hand side of the car has two different shades, lighter in the middle & darker towards either ends. Also, the front bumper has this same two shades all along, there are some spots which are lighter & other ones which are darker. The dealer's Service Head & Tata's city CSM has confirmed that these are indeed defects. I'm beginning to wonder if this is a result of a defective paint job or if there's more to the story than that.

I'll be speaking with the folks from Tata / Fiat this week and will update everyone once I know more (I'm seriously considering asking for a replacement of the car though not sure how feasible that might be). In the meantime, would welcome suggestions / advice / inputs from you.
After 3-4 months & the car has run for 2-3K kms, it seems highly improbable that they replace the car.

However, Try for replacement first aggressively

If thats not happening, tell them that you want the car to be repainted in factory paint-booth only. Some solutions would come out.

Actually, IMO, dealer paint jobs would not be that bad. As far as my experience goes with my earlier car in which almost all front / rear fenders got painted (in 6 years) & I could not see any change. And this happened at 2-3 different dealers at different cities. They had that Thermal booth where they bake the part after painting (atleast thats what they told me, I never knew anything about that at that time)
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Old 30th July 2009, 00:50   #15
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I got a call from the Tata's Bangalore CSM. He told me that he's had a discussion with the Fiat folks & the suggested solution is to get the entire car repainted at the dealer's paint shop in Bangalore. He's confirmed that the paint shop comes equipped with a dust-free room & a thermal booth. He's asked me to leave the car at the workshop for 4 days to ensure that the finish is spot on this time. He also assured me that he would ensure a perfect job. Whotsay? Should I go ahead with what they're suggesting?

Could anyone please PM me the mail ID & contact # if Mangesh's. I'd like to speak with him before taking a final call.
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