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Old 3rd September 2010, 11:59   #76
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Hello Dr AD,
Nice review would say you have covered all aspects of the car which is very beneficial for any person planning on a SX-4. My 2 cents on your tyres, you have mentioned on the lack of grip in trying situations. Agreed they are bad but again how frequently would you be driving over such terrains? you have mentioned that you frequently do Bangalore - Pune highways which is not as testing as your Wayanad trip.

Would suggest you to chew up the tyres and then go in for the replacements.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 19:06   #77
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In my initial review, I had mentioned about the annoying reflection of beige dashboard in the windshield. Well, in the three pictures in my latest review showing the view from the windshield, you can clearly see this reflection. These pictures were taken in somewhat mild light (under cloudy skies), and still there was this reflection. The reflection gets much worse in sunny conditions especially when the sun is in front of the car and the sunlight is entering straight from the windshield.

I also noticed another minor reflection problem. In the night, the illuminated buttons (for fog lamp and HL level adjustment) located on the rightmost corner of the dashboard (near the right OSRV mirror) reflect in the OSRV mirror. Actually someone else had already mentioned this in another SX4 review and I remember reading this (but unfortunately don't remember who mentioned it), but this time I got to experience this myself. A little annoying, but not a big deal.


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Originally Posted by abanka View Post
Have even touched a mileage of 20 KMPL without AC on the B'lore - Hyd highway. (did a night drive and it was quite cold; so dint require AC).
Since you did this night drive, what did you think of the headlights? Just curious to know if you found the stock headlights adequate, assuming you are running on stock lights.

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Originally Posted by ku69rd View Post
Hello Dr AD,
Nice review would say you have covered all aspects of the car which is very beneficial for any person planning on a SX-4. My 2 cents on your tyres, you have mentioned on the lack of grip in trying situations. Agreed they are bad but again how frequently would you be driving over such terrains? you have mentioned that you frequently do Bangalore - Pune highways which is not as testing as your Wayanad trip.

Would suggest you to chew up the tyres and then go in for the replacements.
Thanks. And thanks for the advice on tyres, which I completely agree with. You have read my mind on this. I know the weakness of these tyres now, but I also know that I will face these conditions rarely. For my daily driving and also for normal highway driving I found the stock tyres to be adequate. I will certainly upgrade to better tyres eventually, but till then, it makes sense to extract as much as possible from these tyres and upgrade when these are somewhat (if not totally) worn out.
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Old 4th September 2010, 13:49   #78
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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
In my initial review, I had mentioned about the annoying reflection of beige dashboard in the windshield. Well, in the three pictures in my latest review showing the view from the windshield, you can clearly see this reflection. These pictures were taken in somewhat mild light (under cloudy skies), and still there was this reflection. The reflection gets much worse in sunny conditions especially when the sun is in front of the car and the sunlight is entering straight from the windshield.
The windshield reflection is most annoying when the car is passing under trees.

The shade of the tree leaves and the glare from the sun because of the light passing between the leaves creates a great contrast.

May be, you can add one such image, for the sake of completeness.

Rohan
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Old 6th September 2010, 19:52   #79
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Default Review of Accessories

I got some accessories with SX4 as a part of the dealer freebie package, and I installed some at my cost. I was using some devices or equipment in my Palio and now I am using those in the SX4. Further, I have some items which I believe are 'must have' items especially on long road trips. Here is a short review of all these items.

Sunfilms: I got Nanolux 40 sunfilm installed on four windows and rear windshield, as a part of the freebie package. I was interested in exploring options such as 3M or V-Kool, but the dealer did not give me any choice and I was stuck with Nanolux. Anyway, I read a few reviews and realized that Nanolux is not a bad brand, so I went ahead with it. Although I did not have any choice in the brand, I did have a couple of options about the film specs. I chose the Nano 40 series, which has good visibility (40%), which means it does not look very dark, and yet has good heat rejection (50%) and 99% UV rejection. From the spec sheets I saw, it appears that 60% heat rejection is probably the best one can get even with very expensive films (please correct me if I am wrong here), and hence I think 50% heat rejection is not a bad thing.

I realized after installation that these films look very light (and sometimes it looks like there is no tint at all), but I am happy with it because it offers great visibility from inside even in evening light. Here is a picture of how the tints look:

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-nanolux40.jpg

As can be seen from the picture, the tints are very light. I am so far happy with the heat rejection of these films (as experienced in a couple of road trips). However, since I bought the car, the weather here is mostly cloudy (or mildly sunny at best) and I did not yet experience hot sunny days. I will need to reserve my final comments on these films until I experience how they perform in bright sunny and hot conditions.

By the way, the installation is good and I haven't yet spotted any air bubbles. I was a bit worried about air bubbles because of experiences of some other bhpians, and the dealer claimed that about 5 to 10% bubbles (I have no clue how these percentages are defined and measured) are "normal". Thankfully, there are no air bubbles in my films, at least not noticeable.

Reverse parking sensors: I got RedSoul reverse parking sensors (4 sensors on the rear bumper) with a small display installed at the bottom of the left A pillar. I got this also as a part of the freebie package, and again, I had no choice in the brand or even the device. I did not want the mirror type displays because they invariably rattle or get loose over time (I had experienced this in a few cars). Therefore, I was happy with the device that the dealer offered. Here is a picture of the display fitted near the bottom of the A pillar:

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Based on my experiences so far, I think these are very useful and I would put these in the "must have" category especially for a car like SX4 with relatively lesser rear visibility. I have got used to them so much that I have "blindly" parked my car on a couple of occasions just trusting these sensors. I am not sure if this is a good idea though. I invite comments from fellow bhpians who have more experience with these RedSoul sensors. Do you think these are totally trustworthy or will they mislead me some day?

Door sill guards (or whatever these are called): I got these installed at my cost (see picture below). I think these are purely cosmetic items, though I like to believe that they also serve a purpose of protecting the door sill from scratches. In any case, they look nice!

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Stanley leather for steering wheel and handbrake: I got this done just recently, after about a month of driving (including the Wayanad drive) with "bare" steering wheel. I wanted to get this done right away after I got my car, but somehow did not get the time.

Both the steering wheel and the handbrake lever are wrapped with genuine leather that is hand-stitched. I am very happy with the stitching quality and the overall fit and finish. The main problem was to match the leather color to that of the steering wheel. I explored the entire catalogue of Stanley (with all types of leathers), and did not find an exact match with the original color of the steering. Finally, I chose the 'medstone' color available in their Satin leather (1.2 mm thick). This color came closest to the original color. When I compared a small piece of this leather (from the catalogue) with the steering, the match looked extremely close and I selected this. Unfortunately, after the job was done, I realized that the match is not that great and there is a noticeable difference in the shade of this leather as compared to the steering. But anyway, it looks good nevertheless and I am satisfied with this. The handbrake lever is of course done in black leather and hence there was no color matching problem here. Here is one picture of the steering wheel:

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-steeringwheel.jpg

I am very happy with the feel of this leather. I think 1.2 mm is the right thickness because the leather feels nice and soft and yet the wheel does not feel much thicker than the original wheel. It really feels very nice to hold this wheel now. I believe the stitching quality and overall fit and finish is comparable with typical OEM leather steering, and the quality of leather is not only comparable but even better than some of the OEM leathers offered in the sub 10L segment.

Navigator: This is my favourite toy, and I believe this is an absolute must-have! I am using Mapmyindia Vx140 since January 2010, and I am extremely impressed by this. Here are a few snaps (including a couple of random screenshots):

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The maps are very accurate in cities such as Bangalore and Pune. I have driven to may totally unknown locations in Bangalore by just following the directions given by this device, and it has never failed me. The database of some 1.5 million predefined "points of interest" is very impressive and it includes all hotels, restaurants, business places, banks, ATMs, petrol pumps, government offices, tourist places etc. I have found that most of the places where I needed to go were already in this database and hence it becomes very easy to just select these from the database the navigate to them.

Even on the highways, the maps are very accurate especially on major highways such as Bangalore-Mumbai (NH4). It was very easy to find hotels and restaurants even in small towns along the way (on NH4), and I used this extensively during my last Bangalore-Pune road trip.

However, during my recent Wayanad trip, I found that the accuracy of the maps was a bit poorer on some remote roads. The location of the car was often shown to be off the road, although still shown to be following the general directions and trends of the road. In such situations, if we apply some guesswork and common sense and properly interpret the data, then we can still navigate using the maps and hence it is still fine. Thus, I believe the maps are useful even in remote areas. By the way, this inaccuracy in maps was only in some roads (especially the Gudlur-Vythiri stretch), and in many roads in Wayanad the accuracy was good. For example, from Mysore to Gudlur (via Gundlupet), and even from Gudlur onwards on Calicut road for some distance the maps were very accurate. Only on the interior portions of the Gudlur-Calicut road the accuracy deteriorated. While returning from Vythiri, on the Vythiri-Kalpetta-Sulthan Bathery-Gudlur road, the maps were accurate all the time and there was no problem whatsoever.

One systematic problem with this device is that it does not know your altitude very accurately, and the map database contains only 2D data (X-Y plane). Thus, it has no clue if you are driving on a flyover or if you driving under it. Hence, in cases of flyovers, it sometimes gets confused and gives laughable directions such as asking you to turn right while on the middle of the flyover. Therefore, one has to be careful while interpreting the directions on/at a flyover, and use some common sense. Apart from the flyover problem, I haven't found out other serious "bug" in the device and overall I am very happy with the maps and the directions.

In addition to the maps, the device has some very useful and interesting features. For example, you can select to log your trip data and then the device logs your speed and times at every point on the route. You can later analyze this data to calculate your average speed, maximum speed, total trip time, determine at what time you were at a particular location and your speed at that location, etc. I always log all my trips and enjoy playing with the logged data afterwards to analyze my drive. This feature is also useful to quantify the delays due to traffic jams and quantify other bottlenecks during your day-to-day city driving.

Overall, this device is worth every paisa and I highly recommend it to anyone who is considering a navigation device in their cars.

Here is one picture of the dashboard which shows the parking sensor display, the navigator and the steering wheel all in one shot:

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-dashboard1.jpg

Tyre pressure gauge: I got this tyre pressure gauge in one of the Autozoe outlets in the US.

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With its release valve, it is very useful to set the right tyre pressure. Because of the poorly calibrated air pumps in most tyre shops or petrol pumps, and also because when you drive there most likely the air in your tyres is already heated up, it is virtually impossible to get accurate air pressure in your tyres. I use the commonly recommended method to overcome this. At the end of my day when I am about to park my car for the night, I go to a nearby air pump and fill air to high pressure levels such as 36psi (or something like that). I park the car for the night, and next morning check the pressure using this pressure gauge. Most likely it will read 33psi or something like that because the air in the tyre was already heated up when it was filled to 36psi last night. Then, using the release valve on this gauge, I release the air slowly till it comes down to 30psi (assuming I want to set it to 30psi), and then close the release valve. This way, I can accurately set the pressure to any desired level.

The only negative point, that too a minor one, about this pressure gauge is that the scale is too large (0 to 160 psi) for a car tyre. I would have preferred to have a scale in the range of 0 to 40 psi or something around that.

Air compressor and tyre inflator: This is another must-have item especially when you go on long drives and go out of city areas. I got this compressor in an Autozone outlet. It plugs in the standard 12V power outlet in the car (or the cigarette lighter socket) and can be used inflate tyres (in case of a flat tyre, for example). I have tested in once for the sake of checking it out, and it worked fine. Thankfully, I have not had any flat tyre since I got this compressor (about 4 months ago), and hence I can't verify its utility in real-life flat tyre situations. But I am sure it will be useful .

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I always carry the compressor and the tyre pressure gauge in my car. I keep a small bag in the trunk with these two items and also a first-aid kit, some towels, torch, and a pair of commercial grade hand-gloves should some hand-work be needed. I believe this bag is my must-have kit on any drive!

Thanks,
-AD
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Old 7th September 2010, 11:11   #80
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thats a nice list of accessories. I guess you should test this tyre guage once in a month types, keep it under check. Also, let me know, is the cable so big that it reaches from cigarette lighter socket till all the tyres around the car ?
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Old 8th September 2010, 11:23   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
The windshield reflection is most annoying when the car is passing under trees.

The shade of the tree leaves and the glare from the sun because of the light passing between the leaves creates a great contrast.

Rohan
Very true. The reflection is very bad while passing under trees. However, I am not sure this particular scenario has much to do with beige dashboard. I have experienced very annoying reflection while driving under trees in various cars even including those with black dashboards (which otherwise had no reflection problem). So I guess reflection under shadows of tree leaves and the lights coming through in-between is a different problem altogether, although a very annoying one.

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Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Also, let me know, is the cable so big that it reaches from cigarette lighter socket till all the tyres around the car ?
Good point. I had checked the cable length in Palio and it was big enough to reach the tyres of Palio when plugged in the cigarette lighter socket. I need to recheck the same for SX4 (for SX4 this length required will be longer due to longer wheelbase). Thanks for reminding me to check this.
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Old 8th September 2010, 14:37   #82
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*** AD - Amazing review of the accessories. Truly impressive!! ***

How is the recalculation of route on MapMyIndia should you miss a turn?

Who installed it for you?

- Thanks -
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Old 8th September 2010, 14:41   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
Very true. The reflection is very bad while passing under trees. However, I am not sure this particular scenario has much to do with beige dashboard. I have experienced very annoying reflection while driving under trees in various cars even including those with black dashboards (which otherwise had no reflection problem). So I guess reflection under shadows of tree leaves and the lights coming through in-between is a different problem altogether, although a very annoying one.
Thanks. I'm glad to know that this happens even in cars with black dashboards.

I was thinking that it was because of the beige dashboard in my i10.

Rohan
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Old 8th September 2010, 14:50   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhasin View Post
*** AD - Amazing review of the accessories. Truly impressive!! ***

How is the recalculation of route on MapMyIndia should you miss a turn?

Who installed it for you?

- Thanks -

Thanks! The recalculation is done automatically and happens pretty fast (within a few seconds after you deviate from the current route). Basically you select a starting point and a destination point, and then the best route (defined using a couple of options) is loaded in the system as "current route". The movement of your vehicle is tracked and plotted on this route, and you are given next directions. As soon as you deviate from this route, the device knows this and knows your new position, and it recalculates the route to your destination from your current position (i.e. the new position), and starts giving you directions using the new route. This recalculation happens in a few seconds, as I mentioned.

The installation is trivial. Basically there is a stand that is attached to the windshield (or any smooth portion on the dashboard, if available) using a suction cup. The navigator device fits on this stand using a small clip. You can anytime remove the device from the stand, and even remove the stand from the windshield if required. Removal and fitment are both trivial things and do not require any skills or expertise whatsoever.
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Old 9th September 2010, 19:05   #85
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@DR. AD: Since you did this night drive, what did you think of the headlights? Just curious to know if you found the stock headlights adequate, assuming you are running on stock lights.

I dont know how to quote a message in the reply so am directly putting in the message to quote.

I would say the lights are just about OK in night drive especially when its raining. When I did the B'lore - Hyd (~600 KM), it was raining for almost the entire distance so I dint cross 100 KMPH for the journey. But with fog lamps turned ON, the results are quite satisfactory. I have never faced any issue when I am driving on pitch dark roads.

Another thing I observed was that the headlight feels poor if the opposite traffic is coming with high beam even on a 4 lane highway (which is quite annoying on a GQ kind of highway). This was an issue even with 100/90 philips bulbs with a relay system I had fitted in my earlier Wagon R.

Oops!! forgot to add that I am running on Stock Headlights.


Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please use the "edit" button if posting within 20 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:37   #86
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how much did the navigator cost you please?
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Old 23rd September 2010, 09:54   #87
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how much did the navigator cost you please?
It cost me Rs. 14,000. The MRP was Rs. 15,000, but I got Rs. 1,000 discount thanks to some special promotional offer running that time.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 15:45   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD
I have not had any flat tyre since I got this compressor and hence I can't verify its utility in real-life flat tyre situations. But I am sure it will be useful.
It sure would be useful. I have one for the last 5 years in my car and while I never used it for a flat (my tyres are tube-type), I use it for periodic pressure checks. Ofcourse, being small-capacity compressors, filling a tyre from empty will take quite some time.

Since your slime-compressor has a quage on it, IMO it is redundant to have the pressure gauge also in the car. Especially if your compressor has the option to set the pressure on the gauge on reaching which, the comp will auto-cut off (mine has it).
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Old 23rd September 2010, 22:25   #89
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Since your slime-compressor has a quage on it, IMO it is redundant to have the pressure gauge also in the car. Especially if your compressor has the option to set the pressure on the gauge on reaching which, the comp will auto-cut off (mine has it).
Yes, you are right. The pressure gauge is in a way redundant. However, just to check and adjust pressure, it is much more convenient to use the pressure gauge (especially due to the nice release valve) than the compressor which is much more bulky. Therefore, I use the pressure gauge for routine pressure checks and adjustments, and will use compressor only when I need to inflate the tyres.

In fact, this reminds me that I need to buy a tubeless tyre repair kit and add that to my travel essentials. However, whenever I think about this, I feel that it is never that easy to fix a puncture, and instead, it is lot easier to inflate the punctured tyre using this compressor and drive for a short distance or simply remove the wheel and use the spare wheel. Hence, I am not sure about the utility of a tyre repair kit. What do you guys think?
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Old 24th September 2010, 01:50   #90
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Good thread AD. Amazing amount of detail you are providing there. I loved reading despite the fact that SX4 is not my fav.

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
In my Palio, the temperature reaches only about 1/4th of the gauge, and that too after about 10 minutes of driving. Then it remains at 1/4th for majority of the time, but keeps fluctuating a bit depending on the relationship between AC compressor and radiator cooling fan. As has been discussed to death in various Palio threads, Palio has a funny relationship between AC compressor and cooling fan. However, in Palio 1.6, the temperature is all the time at 1/2 mark or a dash above that. Thus, it seems that SX4 1.6 behaves similar to Palio 1.6 in this aspect. Also, I could not sense any relation between the AC compressor and radiator cooling fan in SX4. Any comments, guys?
The 1/4 and 1/2 dont mean much because the scaling could be different on the 3 cars.

Also, in the newer cars temp gauge is not really hardwired. Its motor driven and and controlled by the ECU. When its fixed like that, ECU is basically telling you not to worry. In reality the temp will be jumping up and down depending on AC load, airflow and gradient....kinda like your Palio.
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