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Old 11th December 2010, 19:17   #106
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

Dr. AD: I have been reading your posts right from your Intro thread. Sad, I was not a Bhpian then.

First, your SX4 thread is super!! Very informative thread.

Having owned a A4 then Palio in India and now a SX4. A long journey!I know you were very active in FIAT threads till you bought the SX4.

Nice to see your T-Jet comparo. Believe me, you posted the comparo just when I wanted to ask you for it!! Hope your next car will be a FIAT.
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Old 11th December 2010, 19:51   #107
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by COUNSEL View Post
Dr. AD: I have been reading your posts right from your Intro thread. Sad, I was not a Bhpian then.

First, your SX4 thread is super!! Very informative thread.

Having owned a A4 then Palio in India and now a SX4. A long journey!I know you were very active in FIAT threads till you bought the SX4.

Nice to see your T-Jet comparo. Believe me, you posted the comparo just when I wanted to ask you for it!! Hope your next car will be a FIAT.
Thank you, COUNSEL.

I certainly hope my next car will be an European make. Whether it will be Fiat or something else remains to be seen (or should I say remains to be dreamt).
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Old 20th April 2011, 00:36   #108
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

Dr.Ad - Just finished sipping and licking the last bit of juice from this can (your thread), though I have already decided on the SX4, the only debate in my mind is VXi or ZXi (only due to its safety features), moving from Swift VDi I am sure the petrol price will definitely pinch, but considering that I will not be driving much (mostly highway and weekend city runs) I will adjust to it soon
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Old 20th April 2011, 00:47   #109
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by rajatsingh78 View Post
Dr.Ad - Just finished sipping and licking the last bit of juice from this can (your thread), though I have already decided on the SX4, the only debate in my mind is VXi or ZXi (only due to its safety features),
If you are going for SX4 petrol then ZXi variant gives you best value for money features which includes ACC, leather seats, alloy wheels and much more. So go for SX4 ZXi only.

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Originally Posted by rajatsingh78 View Post
moving from Swift VDi I am sure the petrol price will definitely pinch, but considering that I will not be driving much (mostly highway and weekend city runs) I will adjust to it soon
You may then consider SX4 CNG (if the fuel is available in your city), but it is there only in VXi variant.

PS - Why not considering SX4 diesel? Since you already own a swift VDi.

Last edited by bluevolt : 20th April 2011 at 00:48.
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Old 20th April 2011, 00:53   #110
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
If you are going for SX4 petrol then ZXi variant gives you best value for money features which includes ACC, leather seats, alloy wheels and much more. So go for SX4 ZXi only.

You may then consider SX4 CNG (if the fuel is available in your city), but it is there only in VXi variant.

PS - Why not considering SX4 diesel? Since you already own a swift VDi.
Leather seat is there as an option in ZXi,

SX4 Diesel ZDi is out of my budget, VDi will defeat the purpose of safety
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Old 12th February 2012, 20:22   #111
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

It has been more than a year since I posted in this thread. The silence was due to no particular reason. Anyway, finally I am coming out of my hiatus and reviving this thread. Given the amount of time passed since my last report, I have so many things to tell you guys and it is hard to decide where to start. So please pardon me if this post sounds a bit abrupt. I will slowly make up for the lost time within a few posts.

The car has now run a bit more than 16000km, and overall everything is fine with the car. I made a few road trips over last year, but not as many as I would have liked. (I blame it on the busy work life. But I am aware that without work, there is no car, no petrol, no roads, and no nothing! So I can’t complain too much.) The most memorable of these trips was a Bangalore-Calicut-Mangalore-Udupi-Bellur-Halebid-Hassan-Bangalore trip that I did in December 2010. This was a week-long trip, and the car was presented with the smooth highways, some rural roads, some steep ghats, some absolutely horrible roads full of humongous potholes, some pure offroading (accidentally) and during all of this, it was loaded with 4 adults and a trunk full of luggage. The car took all of this just brilliantly, without a note of disapproval. I got chances to push the car to the limit, and to especially test the ground clearance (one of the main reasons for buying this car). It passed the tests in flying colors. Here are some pictures from this trip:

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_2964.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_3158.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_3196.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_3200.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_3225.jpg

Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT-img_3226.jpg


Another road trip was a drive Bangalore-Pune-Bangalore drive. This was a pretty smooth affair without any real challenge. I kept on driving at about 120km/h all day (with the exceptions of short and sporadic bursts to 140km/h), in a leisurely and comfortable manner. This was way too easy for the car. To give a cricketing analogy, compared to the deadly bouncers, sharp outswingers and venomous googlys that the car faced in my December 2010 road trip, the Pune drive was like facing half-volleys and low full-tosses at a medium pace on a fast outfield. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to keep driving at a comfortable 120 all day! The car was completely stable and well planted throughout. Then another trip was to Pondicherry. This was a mixed bag of some smooth highways and some rural roads. Again, there was nothing that the car had any trouble with.

Thus, overall, I am having a pleasant time with the car. It is doing its job quite well. Yes, there are a few issues (mentioned below), but overall, I am a satisfied owner.

Here is a summary of some specific thoughts on various aspects of the car as of now:

Fuel Economy: This car is not known for its FE, and even I am not too particular about this aspect. I get about 9km/l in city driving (typically bumper-to-bumper traffic without any free stretches) and something in the range of 13 to 14.5 km/l on long drives, depending on the road conditions. I have no complaints about these numbers.

Wheel alignment: This is one issue I am facing. During the third service, the tyre rotation messed up my alignment, and I am having a tough luck in getting this fixed. I complained to the service center a couple of times and they did try, but somehow the alignment is not perfect. I am planning to go back to them this week and I am hoping this gets resolved soon.

Steering: As we all know, the SX4 steering is not the best in its class and it provides little feedback and in general can be a bit vague and inconsistent. Although I do not have any particular complaints about the steering, by now I am getting somewhat bored by its dull nature in general. I really miss the beautiful steering of my Palio. There is nothing I can do anyway. But again, this is not a deal-breaker yet, and I can live with the steering for now.

Rattles: Oh yes, the infamous rattles! Thankfully, I am not facing any major rattles, but there are a few minor ones. And honestly, I totally expected this car to rattle at least a little bit after 15000km, and that is indeed the case. But again, nothing serious at all, and the rattles are faint enough for me to live with them.

Tyres: The stock JKs are showing their age (or their noise, to be more precise) already and now I am hearing some tyre noise that so many SX4 owners with stock JK tyres have talked about. As with my other issues, this is also not a major one, and the tyre noise is completely within tolerable limits even now. However, compared to the early days when I found the tyres to be not that noisy at all, now I am hearing a bit of tyre noise. I think I will change the tyres at about 25000km mark, which should be in about 8 months from now.

Music System:
The OEM music system is very ordinary, and by now I am somewhat fed up with the lack of sound quality even though I am not an audiophile. But again, I have decided to live with it for now.

And several positives: The above list may suggest that I am unhappy with the car, but that is not at all the case. There are several positives. The engine is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this car. The engine is butter smooth even now, and in fact, it is smoother than when it was new. I am thoroughly enjoying this engine, and it is a pleasure to rev it to beyond 3K (which I often do). The engine note is addictive. The pulling power is good enough for most needs. Overtaking on highways is a breeze. The engine never feels strained. The high ground clearance has proved its worth on several occasions. I am also very happy with the space and ergonomics of the car. And the biggest positive is that there are absolutely no unpleasant surprises yet, and not a single moment when I felt something was terribly wrong. As I already mentioned, overall, I am pretty happy with the car.

Anyway, this is all for now. I will post some more details on some specific aspects as I remember them.

Thanks,
-AD
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Old 20th February 2012, 14:34   #112
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Default Fixed the alignment and installed Bluetooth kit!

I went to the service center over the weekend and got the alignment issue fixed. I have yet to drive the car on a highway to confirm if it is really fixed, but it looks like at least at low city speeds, the problem is fixed.

While browsing through the accessory shop in the dealership, I found a nice MGA hands-free Bluetooth kit for the car for Rs. 3000. I did not know this was available. I have been looking for some sort of Bluetooth system for taking calls in the car, and I always regretted that SX4 does not come with Bluetooth connectivity while most other cars in the same price range offer this feature. Well, this MGA Bluetooth kit pretty much solved that problem on the spot and I am very happy with the result! In fact, I feel stupid for not knowing the existence of this kit for so long.

This kit consists of a small device (of the size of a small matchbox) which has a pretty powerful microphone and a big button for accepting/rejecting calls. This device is installed in the top right corner at the top of the driver-side A-pillar. Thus, this is easily accessible for the driver. They did internal wiring to connect this to the AUX-port of the music system, and also to the power source. Pairing my phone to this device was a straightforward one-minute job, and now anytime a call comes, this device beeps (in addition to the normal ringtone on the phone), and if I press the “accept” button, the call is routed through the music system. Whatever the music system was playing gets interrupted and I get to hear the call through the speakers. Once the call is finished and I press the same button again, the music system goes back to playing whatever it was playing. The nice thing is that even if the music system was in switched OFF state, the call switches it ON and puts it back to OFF state after the call is over. Very neat!

The sound clarity is very good, and in all my tests so far, the person at the other end heard my voice as well as the voice of the front-seat passenger very clearly. The only drawback is that there is no display for caller ID/name and the music system display only shows “TEL” but does not show the number. Thus, unless you look at your phone display, you have no idea who is calling. But apart from this, the system works just fine and I am very happy that I found the almost perfect solution for my need. I feel this is a great deal. I totally recommend this MGA Bluetooth kit to all Maruti car owners. It apparently works with the OEM integrated audio systems in all Maruti models, and I believe this is a must have accessory (especially given that it costs just Rs. 3000).

Thanks,
-AD
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Old 20th February 2012, 17:54   #113
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
I know. Jokingly, I was telling some of my friends that I am going to buy some sandbags and keep in the boot. This also helps a bit in high speed stability.

I remember in the US when some of my college friends had old beaten cars with no technology whatsoever to tackle the snowy conditions, we used to keep sandbags in the trunk. That was a good way to add weight on rear wheels and they offer better traction on snow. This was a common practice in the college campus.
Dr.AD, brilliant write up. I can only imagine the one year of heart ache in deciding between heart and head.

There are a lot of people that used to keep sandbags in the Maruti Omni and some even in the Maruti 800 so that it helped with regards to the horrible bouncing when driven on anything less than perfect roads. However, that affected their performance. Not so much of an issue in the SX4 I guess.
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Old 21st February 2012, 10:51   #114
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Dr.AD, brilliant write up. I can only imagine the one year of heart ache in deciding between heart and head.
Thanks a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
There are a lot of people that used to keep sandbags in the Maruti Omni and some even in the Maruti 800 so that it helped with regards to the horrible bouncing when driven on anything less than perfect roads. However, that affected their performance. Not so much of an issue in the SX4 I guess.
Well, I was purely joking with the sandbags story. SX4 does not need those. The ride is not that bouncy. The cars you mentioned (Omni and 800) were extremely light and hence they needed some weight. SX4 is pretty heavy car already (ZXi weighs 1200kg) and does not need any sandbags.

That said, it is still true that the ride quality is better with 4 people on board rather than 1 or 2. That means it needs an additional 120kg or so (average weight for 2 adults) for the ride to really settle down. I don't know if sandbags weigh that much anyway.
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Old 21st February 2012, 11:10   #115
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Thanks a lot.



Well, I was purely joking with the sandbags story. SX4 does not need those. The ride is not that bouncy. The cars you mentioned (Omni and 800) were extremely light and hence they needed some weight. SX4 is pretty heavy car already (ZXi weighs 1200kg) and does not need any sandbags.

That said, it is still true that the ride quality is better with 4 people on board rather than 1 or 2. That means it needs an additional 120kg or so (average weight for 2 adults) for the ride to really settle down. I don't know if sandbags weigh that much anyway.
I guess it depends on the size of the sandbag. The big ones are normally 50 to 60 kg's or sometimes even more

If you do not need the extra weight, then you need to learn to live with the ride I guess. Not ideal but less weight means better mileage so life is full of compromise

Glad that you are enjoying the beast. It is quite a nice car, but a lot of people felt it was overpriced (or maybe just not used to an expensive Maruti). The GC is probably its greatest USP.
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Old 24th February 2012, 20:22   #116
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
It has been more than a year since I posted in this thread. The silence was due to no particular reason. Anyway, finally I am coming out of my hiatus and reviving this thread. Given the amount of time passed since my last report, I have so many things to tell you guys and it is hard to decide where to start. So please pardon me if this post sounds a bit abrupt. I will slowly make up for the lost time within a few posts.
...

Here is a summary of some specific thoughts on various aspects of the car as of now:

Fuel Economy: This car is not known for its FE, and even I am not too particular about this aspect. I get about 9km/l in city driving (typically bumper-to-bumper traffic without any free stretches) and something in the range of 13 to 14.5 km/l on long drives, depending on the road conditions. I have no complaints about these numbers.

Wheel alignment: This is one issue I am facing. During the third service, the tyre rotation messed up my alignment, and I am having a tough luck in getting this fixed. I complained to the service center a couple of times and they did try, but somehow the alignment is not perfect. I am planning to go back to them this week and I am hoping this gets resolved soon.

Steering: As we all know, the SX4 steering is not the best in its class and it provides little feedback and in general can be a bit vague and inconsistent. Although I do not have any particular complaints about the steering, by now I am getting somewhat bored by its dull nature in general. I really miss the beautiful steering of my Palio. There is nothing I can do anyway. But again, this is not a deal-breaker yet, and I can live with the steering for now.

Rattles: Oh yes, the infamous rattles! Thankfully, I am not facing any major rattles, but there are a few minor ones. And honestly, I totally expected this car to rattle at least a little bit after 15000km, and that is indeed the case. But again, nothing serious at all, and the rattles are faint enough for me to live with them.

Tyres: The stock JKs are showing their age (or their noise, to be more precise) already and now I am hearing some tyre noise that so many SX4 owners with stock JK tyres have talked about. As with my other issues, this is also not a major one, and the tyre noise is completely within tolerable limits even now. However, compared to the early days when I found the tyres to be not that noisy at all, now I am hearing a bit of tyre noise. I think I will change the tyres at about 25000km mark, which should be in about 8 months from now.

Music System: The OEM music system is very ordinary, and by now I am somewhat fed up with the lack of sound quality even though I am not an audiophile. But again, I have decided to live with it for now.

And several positives: The above list may suggest that I am unhappy with the car, but that is not at all the case. There are several positives. The engine is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this car. The engine is butter smooth even now, and in fact, it is smoother than when it was new. I am thoroughly enjoying this engine, and it is a pleasure to rev it to beyond 3K (which I often do). The engine note is addictive. The pulling power is good enough for most needs. Overtaking on highways is a breeze. The engine never feels strained. The high ground clearance has proved its worth on several occasions. I am also very happy with the space and ergonomics of the car. And the biggest positive is that there are absolutely no unpleasant surprises yet, and not a single moment when I felt something was terribly wrong. As I already mentioned, overall, I am pretty happy with the car.

Anyway, this is all for now. I will post some more details on some specific aspects as I remember them.

Thanks,
-AD
I just completed 2 years with my own SX4 ZXi last week and am very happy with the decision. I totally echo your thoughts on the positives and negatives.
For the positives, wanted to specially mention the Huge boot space as a big advantage, not just for out of city trips, but also while dropping/ picking up people from airport / railway station and also used for transporting sundry household items.

As far as the negatives go, one additional thing I'd like to mention is the Huge blind spot caused by the A Pillar. It is bang in the middle of the what you want to see when executing a turn (specially a right turn).

Last edited by shreeps : 24th February 2012 at 20:23. Reason: Mentioned A Pillar as A Column Duhhh
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Old 27th February 2012, 16:23   #117
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Default Re: Fixed the alignment and installed Bluetooth kit!

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Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
... I totally recommend this MGA Bluetooth kit to all Maruti car owners. It apparently works with the OEM integrated audio systems in all Maruti models, and I believe this is a must have accessory (especially given that it costs just Rs. 3000).

Thanks,
-AD
Thanks for this tip AD. I will look this one up. I do use a wired headphone and going by the no. of HPs I've lost, I wish I would have explored this option earlier..

BTW does the kit work with other HU's? You are right about the stock music system being average, but if that is changed? Maybe one can discount the price of this and buy an HU with a built in bluetooth feature..
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Old 27th February 2012, 18:36   #118
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Default Re: Beast prevails over beauty. Story of my SX4-ZXi VVT

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Originally Posted by shreeps View Post
For the positives, wanted to specially mention the Huge boot space as a big advantage, not just for out of city trips, but also while dropping/ picking up people from airport / railway station and also used for transporting sundry household items.
Totally agree. The boot space is really good and I have used it to the fullest in a couple of long drives where a week's luggage for four people was easily carried in the boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shreeps View Post
As far as the negatives go, one additional thing I'd like to mention is the Huge blind spot caused by the A Pillar. It is bang in the middle of the what you want to see when executing a turn (specially a right turn).
I agree that there is a huge blind spot, but I don't find this to be a big problem. Before SX4, I was driving a Palio and that also had a big blind spot behind the A-pillar. In fact, I believe (please correct me if I am wrong here) that most modern cars have thick A pillars that create big blind spots. I am used to this in general. But I agree that one needs to be extra careful with the right turns due to this blind spot.

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Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
Thanks for this tip AD. I will look this one up. I do use a wired headphone and going by the no. of HPs I've lost, I wish I would have explored this option earlier..
I also used a headset before this kit, but this kit is an order of magnitude better than any headset. It is much easier and less distracting to hear to the phone conversation through the car speakers (as opposed to headset in your ear where you have to pay much more attention to listen properly). It feels as if you are just talking to a person sitting in the car. It is that much less distracting. Of course, if you want a private conversation and don't want others, especially your better half (just kidding ), to listen to your call, then headset is still the way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LithiumSunset View Post
BTW does the kit work with other HU's? You are right about the stock music system being average, but if that is changed? Maybe one can discount the price of this and buy an HU with a built in bluetooth feature..
Regarding compatibility with other HUs, this is what I was told, but I am not sure if this is really true:

1. For non-OEM HUs (i.e. non Maruti-Nippon systems), they can't do internal wiring and you have to use the front AUX-in port of the system to connect this kit to the HU. That will be unergonomic and also look ugly. However, I don't see a reason why you can't do internal wiring for non-OEM HUs. Maybe one can explore this more.

2. According to the user guide/manual of this kit, for non-OEM HUs, you have to manually select the AUX mode every time you get a call. This will be a pain. For OEM HU, the HU automatically goes to phone mode (i.e. AUX mode) from any other mode when a call comes, and goes back to the same mode (e.g. playing a CD) when the call ends. This is a very important feature.

Apart from these two issues, apparently it will work for any other HU that has AUX-in port.

Thanks,
-AD

Last edited by Dr.AD : 27th February 2012 at 18:48.
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Old 8th March 2012, 12:28   #119
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Default Re: Fixed the alignment and installed Bluetooth kit!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.AD View Post
...
While browsing through the accessory shop in the dealership, I found a nice MGA hands-free Bluetooth kit for the car for Rs. 3000.
...
This device is installed in the top right corner at the top of the driver-side A-pillar. Thus, this is easily accessible for the driver. They did internal wiring to connect this to the AUX-port of the music system, and also to the power source.
...
Thanks,
-AD
This looks exactly like what I need for the SX4 VXi that I booked recently (which I believe has an AUX port, but I'd prefer the AUX port *not* be used by the bluetooth accessory and instead be kept free for an MP3 player, for instance).

Questions:
- For this accessory to work as intended, does the music system necessarily need to be in AUX mode? Will it not work if I am listening to FM radio, for example? (pressing a button to switch to aux mode, then another button to "accept" is a dangerous distraction)
- Can you please tell me the model# of the accessory? My dealership showed a Scoche (or something like that) for Rs 3.9K, and a MGA one for Rs 4.9K. I saw the former seemed to fit into the AUX port externally.
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Old 8th March 2012, 14:48   #120
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Default Re: Fixed the alignment and installed Bluetooth kit!

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Originally Posted by vharihar View Post
This looks exactly like what I need for the SX4 VXi that I booked recently (which I believe has an AUX port, but I'd prefer the AUX port *not* be used by the bluetooth accessory and instead be kept free for an MP3 player, for instance).
No, this accessory does not use the AUX port available on the front side of the HU. It connects to the AUX port through internal wiring, and thus, the front AUX port is still available for your MP3 player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vharihar View Post
Questions:
- For this accessory to work as intended, does the music system necessarily need to be in AUX mode? Will it not work if I am listening to FM radio, for example? (pressing a button to switch to aux mode, then another button to "accept" is a dangerous distraction)
No, the music system can be in any mode (e.g. FM), or even switched OFF! When an incoming call comes and when you press the accept button (or when you dial a number from your mobile), the music system automatically switches to the TEL mode (which is essentially another AUX mode due to the internal wiring to AUX connection; this of this as a new mode added to your system). Then when you press the accept/reject button the end the call, the music system automatically goes back to the previous mode (the same FM channel you were listening to) or back to OFF state if it was switched OFF previously.

As I explained in my earlier post, the manual change to AUX mode (what you were thinking about) is required only for non-OEM HUs. That is what I was told, but not sure if it is true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vharihar View Post
- Can you please tell me the model# of the accessory? My dealership showed a Scoche (or something like that) for Rs 3.9K, and a MGA one for Rs 4.9K. I saw the former seemed to fit into the AUX port externally.
Mine is a Nippon kit. Need to check the model #. Will check later and post the details.
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