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Old 16th September 2010, 00:07   #1
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Default Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)

A car is becoming a necessity rather than a requirement in a city. And here at Bangalore, with soaring auto fares and crowded buses, the best alternate is a bike or a car. Bike is the best as long as you are riding alone or with a pillion, but with marriage and an additional member added to a family of 4, a car was on priority list.

With 80K in cash, I went on a hunt in the used car market for a car.


My only concern was a car with price under 2lakh (the additional amount, thought of going in for a loan, it was a stupid idea but had no go).

With M800, Alto, Santro, Esteem, Accent in mind, I visited most pre-owned car showrooms every time I came across one. Either the price was too steep or didn't have an option of loan from the showroom. By then, the list also came down to either Alto (my other halfs favorite, at that time) and Santro.

Couldn't find a decent Santro within 2lakh range. And the asking price for Alto's were surely sky rocketing. Surely, Maruti has a very good resale value.
Made numerous calls to owners who had posted on Sulekha and most of them had a buyer or were already sold. And at 1 time, I completely turned pale and red when a single owner, lady driven, 2007 black Alto LXI with a mileage of 27K posted on sulekha for 1.6lakh was sold within 2hours after posting the add.

After months of search, I came across an ad in Sulekha for a used Palio GTX (November 2001 model, registered Jan 2002) for sale. It was 2nd owned and the asking price was 1.1 lakh.

Checked with my friend and he was against FIAT for its *** and spare parts availability. Plus, the concern of FE being low for a 100HP didn't sound so good for my friend. So dropped the idea of going for a FIAT.

The same weekend, the same friend and I went on a day long hunt for a car. Starting from Yelahanka, we covered all the pre-owned showroom till Kalyan nagar on outer ring road. We planned to take a deviation towards RT nagar and check the remaining showrooms in that locality.


Just then I came across a printed paper with list of names and cars for sale in my bag. Showed it to my friend and stopped upon the GTX which I had mentioned to him a week ago when he saw the price. Since the owner was located in Rammurthy nagar, just a few kilometers from Kalyan nagar, we decided to check with him and take a test drive. Called the owner and he asked us to come immediately as there was another prospective buyer taking a test drive.

Reached there in about 30 mins. The beast was standing under scorching sun. This was the Flame red. At first glance, it looked like a sedan with the long hood unlike any other hatchback. The paint had faded especially at the top and rear. Lots of scratches and a small dent at the rear. Tyres were good still a long run. This was a Mangalore registered (KA-19-MA-xxxx). The reason owner wanted to sell his car was he had a city for his wife, and was buying another car on company lease.

My friend decided to take the test drive as I was not so comfortable with driving (with less than 500kms of driving on highway). He was surely impressed with the engine. It took time not to press the pedal so hard as the beast could move in 2nd gear from stand still without pressing the pedal. AC was not so good. Took it on a yet to be constructed road covered with gravel and there was noise from the rear, but that didn't bother much. The steering was precise and the engine sound was linear. Clutch was hard and the breaks were weak. It surely needed a servicing and seemed like the car was neglected for quite some time.

Once finished, we took some time off for tea. My friend was at this time half minded. He was bothered with the factors of *** and FE, but on the other side, the price tag of 1.1 lakh was tempting.

The discussion went on a while and I finally made up my mind to go for it. Gave my friend a explanation that my usage is low. Less than 500kms a month averaging 3K a year. And considering that I will have to go for a loan for at least a lakh if I have to go for any other car, I could use additional amount and the EMI towards this car. That should cover the price of Alto in the next 2-3 years considering my low running. He agreed and I had this big grin on my face...

Went back and I decided to take a test drive as I had decided that this car was mine. Wow, was what I uttered after stepping on the pedal. Having driven a Alto, Zen, and a Fiesta, this was way over them in terms of handling and power. In-fact, I stepped down the car after driving for about 300mts and offered my friend to drive. I was literally shivering.

Came back to owners house and decided to bargain. As there was another prospective buyer, I didn't try to bargain much and settled for the same asking price with pioneer system and autocop. However, owner backed up from giving the autocop later having a word with his wife as she wanted it for her city.

I was okay with that I decided to give him a down payment of 10K as confirmation. Told him I will be back on Monday / Tuesday as my parents were out of station.

Was eagerly waiting for the day and went back to him on Monday and settled the deal. finished the documentation and were out with the car in an hour. My friend drove it home and I took his bike.

The following were the observation made by him & me in the next few days.

- Brakes are weak.
- There is a screeching noise when the car starts and the rpm reaches 3K and settles down to 1K.
- RPM reaches 3-4K when the clutch is pressed while changing gears.
- Very soft ride and precise steering.
- Seats are a bit low but comfortable. The fabric on seat is what came from the factory and is in good condition.
- Left ORVM broken and needs replacement (eventually removed it a few month back).
- The paint is faded badly and needs re-painting. Considering it to be done by March 2011. Option limited to Verna Red or Punto Red.
- Needs wheel alignment. The tires are the stock. Considering tubeless with same profile but after the tread wears.
- Rattling sound from the rear. Possibly from driver side rear suspension.
- Poor lights. Right filled with fog and water. The coating is gone and needs replacement.
- The doors are tight and no free movement.
- The right and left AC vents are not working. The ones in the middle are not too powerful.
- Suspension is very soft and every time I go over a speed breaker with all 5 passengers, the base touches the ground.
- Less work for my left foot in slow moving traffic as the car moves superbly well in third gear. In-fact, it moves from stand still with all 5 passengers on board in 2nd gear.

Likes about the car:
- Spacious inside for 3 well grown adults to sit in the rear.
- Good leg space both in front and rear.
- Huge boot space.
- Huge steering. Feels like a truck steering but very comfortable.
- Good torque and powerful engine.
- Good high speed stability and maneuvering.
- The Solid build. Put pressure on the hood and do the same on any other car (also consider sedans) and you will know.

Dis-Likes:
- Its a head-ache to decide on a good ***.
- Spares are a bit expensive. (2.4 K for a single headlight unit).
- The door design. Its sort of curvy. I get hit on the cheek if I'm not careful while opening the door. Hard to explain though.
- Very weak breaks. Both at high speed and very slow speed. Hit a scooter in front of me once as the car didn't stop even though it was at speeds < 5km/h.
- The noise from the rear. Its very irritating.

Got most of the issues mentioned above checked a few weeks ago when I gave it for 1st service. Never found time to leave it for service until it was a requirement as the headlights were not working and had to go on a long drive. Will write a review on service later. Serviced the car after driving 2.4K kms after 10months of owning it.

Overall, I'm completely satisfied with this buy and the car. Never had I thought I will have a 1600cc engine with 100bhp power in my garage.

It sure is a BUEATY from outside, with the BEAST under the hood.
Attached Thumbnails
Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1329.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1331.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1330.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1335.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1333.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1336.jpg  

Acquired: Palio 1.6 GTX (11/2001 model)-npic1338.jpg  

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Old 16th September 2010, 01:55   #2
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This is a nice surprise.Let me be the first to congratulate you!
I myself and my mom is looking for a second hand hatch in the 1-2 lakh range and i agree with you,maruti's have high resale value.Only found a handful of zens which i liked.
I have never seen a GTX in this colour before,to tell you the truth it looks a bit on the dull side.Do paint it Red
The only problem is GTX's are rare although will keep a lookout for it.Do give an estimate for the cost of ownership and FE and whether everything was within budget,will be helpful.Thanks
1.1lakh=100bhp=best bang for the buck!

Last edited by avishar : 16th September 2010 at 01:56.
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Old 16th September 2010, 06:48   #3
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@manarcane: Congrats on getting the most loved car on T-BHP. Loose the other stickers and get her the one she truly deserves, Got BHP?

About the tyres, you sure they will last long? In the pics they look sorry. Maybe the mud is making them look bad!

Now that the deal is done, no point asking what you did/didn't. But would just ask you to get her cleaned - exterior/interior, make it spanking new! It IS a new car for you, treat her like one!

Hope the GTX keeps you happy!
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Old 16th September 2010, 13:15   #4
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Congrats on the beast. Like Avishar mentioned, they paint looks dull or may be its due to the way the photo is taken.

The interiors need a thorough cleaning. On the observations made, here are my thoughts in bold

- Brakes are weak. It might required to replace the brake pads. Do give this priority as this beast needs as good a stopping power.
- There is a screeching noise when the car starts and the rpm reaches 3K and settles down to 1K. This may be due to the timing belt noise.
- RPM reaches 3-4K when the clutch is pressed while changing gears. Not sure on this issue
- Very soft ride and precise steering. Precise steering is normal, but the soft ride isn't. The ride would be a little stiff at lower speeds, as speeds increase so does the ride quality
- Seats are a bit low but comfortable. The fabric on seat is what came from the factory and is in good condition. - The Palio can be driven for long hours. Though the design is old, its pretty ergonomic and would result in fatigue free driving.
- Left ORVM broken and needs replacement (eventually removed it a few month back). Get the new ones. But looks out for the fake ones, which does not fit properly and yield to rattles
- The paint is faded badly and needs re-painting. Considering it to be done by March 2011. Option limited to Verna Red or Punto Red. - Formula red is the best color for this beat
- Needs wheel alignment. The tires are the stock. Considering tubeless with same profile but after the tread wears. get the michelin XM1+
- Rattling sound from the rear. Possibly from driver side rear suspension.
- Poor lights. Right filled with fog and water. The coating is gone and needs replacement. Will cost around 2500 for one (non motorized)
- The doors are tight and no free movement.
- The right and left AC vents are not working. The ones in the middle are not too powerful. Cleaning the AC ducts/filter might solve the issue.
- Suspension is very soft and every time I go over a speed breaker with all 5 passengers, the base touches the ground. - Something That even i am facing with my palio
- Less work for my left foot in slow moving traffic as the car moves superbly well in third gear. In-fact, it moves from stand still with all 5 passengers on board in 2nd gear.
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Old 16th September 2010, 14:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Congrats on getting the most loved car on T-BHP.
What is the source of this information! ()

Congrats on getting this beast. I hunted plenty for a 1.6 sport when I wanted a palio, but ended up getting the 1.3 Diesel which I drive now. The palio itself is a beast. I'm very happy for you and your hundred horses. Take good care of her!
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Old 16th September 2010, 20:39   #6
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Thank you all.
I'm surely happy with this beast. Have owned it for 10months now and never did I have to regret my decision on going for it. Infact, wify & I chant palio, palio, everytime we come across one on the road.

avishar: This color is called the Flame Red. The paint has become very dull. Especially the rooftop has faded completely.
FE that I've got in city is 10 (doesn't matter if AC is on or off). this is not done on a full tank test basis. Rather on a empty tank. Never got a chance to fill her up till neck. Not sure of the FE on highways as I've never taken her yet. Petrol used is normal at HP (opposite Jakkur, railway gate).

nkrishnap: The screeching noise is due to starter. That's what I was told by Vijay at Hariprasad Automobiles. However was told that its not a problem and may reduce on its own.
Changed the brake fluid and the brakes are just above average now. Will consider changing brake pads.
Got the AC vents checked and the ones in middle are working with good blow. However, the ones in side are still low.
Will consider Formula Red.
Will have to lay off on tyres for now. I'm quite happy with the current set of tyres considering my usability.
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Old 16th September 2010, 21:03   #7
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There's one issue which I realized a bit later. Not sure how I missed it while doing visual inspection. May be I was too happy...

There is paint peeling off on most of the areas. And the underlying paint is Orange (Tangerine Mist). However, in RC book, the registration is made with color Flame Red.

It made me worry for a while. But since its registered with Flame Red in RC book and I'm also considering painting it again, stopped bothering now.

Any advice / thoughts on this!!!
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Old 21st October 2010, 08:53   #8
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Hi All,

I have a major concern with my Beast.

I was doing a close inspection of the ECU and was shocked. The ECU reads Palio rst 1.2 8V.
This belongs to the 1.2 NV as I got this confirmed with Concorde Motors.

My Car recently stalled for no apparent reason. Got a local mechanic and said the battery is down. Got the battery charged and car still wouldn't start.
Got another mechanic and he said the Ignition Coil is kaput. I asked him to check the TDC sensor but he didn't know what it is. Instead reasoned that the current is
passing to the Ignition Coil but but not going to the spark plugs. I was ok to get it replaced. Checked the price and he said its 5K odd. I asked him for the part number so that I can make sure it is for the GTX. He got hyper-active and said if you don't trust me, don't come to me.

Towed the car to Hariprasad and it was diagnosed that the TDC sensor has gone kaput. Got it replaced. Took 5days for the part to arrive.
Cost of TDC Sensor: Rs 1580/-

Checked with Vijay, the proprietor of Hariprasad automobiles regarding the ECU. He said its not possible that you have a 1.2 ECU as the wiring is completely different in both.
Upon inspection, he confirmed it was of 1.2 NV and the complete wiring harness has been altered. His guess is that the previous owner must have replaced with 1.2's as he may not have procured the part for GTX.
He got the ECU hooked to scanner and there were a few errors that were deleted.

However, he said since there has been no problem, I can continue with the same. However, due to difference in programming, my engine makes a strange (woosh) sound when crossing 100km. Please help me on this. Will this be a problem in long run. I've not faced any problems or issues except that the engine makes not so smooth noise above 100 km.

I am planning to change it, but will take time due to Vitamin M. Till then (may be a year), is it fine to run it in its current setup.
I'm also plannning to get it repainted to Colorado Red / Formula Red in April. Please give me your suggestions. What should I take care of first, ECU or painting.

ECU quote from Concorde: Rs 9500/- Will take a week or two to procure. Add to it the wiring harness and labour, cost will come close to Rs 20,000/-.

Painting quote from Hariprasad: Rs 28,000/- for formula red. He doesn't have a paint booth, but I have checked a petra being painted and looked good.

Help
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Old 21st October 2010, 11:28   #9
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manarcane I am really baffled to know that your GTX has a 1.2NV ECU plonked into it buddy. I am not a tech guru here but sure's hell can assure you that it will really affect the performance GTX is known to deliver adversly. :(
Also, when you say that you can procure an ECU from fiat, I really doubt if that would be a GTX ECU since you mite end up with a Stile ECU. Not sure how much of a difference this would make.
For the painting, I would honestly recomend you Sai Colorium near JP Nagar. They have an enclosed painting area and are pretty neat with the job. PM me in case you need any help since I know the owner (Ananth) pretty well.
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Old 21st October 2010, 12:24   #10
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I think getting ECU replaced should be first priority, if and only if GTX 1.6 ECU is available. Basic difference being number of valves it has to manage and GTX used 16bit computer whereas 1.2 used 8bit. Changing that also might improve the FE. In Bangalore traffic you might be getting close to 10 kmpl. I do not know how much you get now.

After 50k km you should also immediately change brake pads. Palio brakes are sure stopper. Did you get the head light changed?

Also look for mechanic who is working with Palio for years. In my experience most of the TATA dealers do not have well experienced Palio mechanics unless they have employed from previous FIAT dealerships. Dealing with Indica and Palio are two vastly different things.

I was surprised to read about soft suspension as GTX was made to have stiff suspension to handle the speed.

One major difference between petrol and Diesel palios - Diesel had all electronic control (Clutch and throttle) and better weighted steering. That made diesel versions little smoother than petrol.

Still I think the car once you get properly serviced will give you many more years of trouble-free performance.

Congratulations on acquiring one.
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Old 21st October 2010, 15:16   #11
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@ Vik0728: Thanks for the offer. I will surely PM when I'm ready for getting the Beast Painted.
I have checked the Part number on few GTX and its the same that was told to me by Concorde Motors. However, they need advance payment before they order.

@ CANPUSH: What I meant by soft was that it can take any bad road without making the passengers uncomfortable and throwing around.
I am getting 10 kmpl in city driving. On a recent trip of 300 kms on a not so good road, I needle pointed just above halfway mark. Was mainly driving at 60's in 3/4th gear. So expecting a minimum of 15kmpl on a proper highway.

At present, I have savings only for getting the work done for any one. Painting / ECU change.

I don't feel much difference as far as performance is concerned, but the engine goes out of breath when crossing 100 although it moves on. Feels like its getting restricted.
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Old 21st October 2010, 17:31   #12
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@manarcane

Congratulations on acquiring the GTX. Wish you many happy miles ahead with the beast.
Would suggest you to try Mr. Venkatesh from Gowri Automobiles(ph: 9379192193) for the initial inspection since he deals only with FIAT vehicles. Many of TBHP Bangalorians do visit his workshop to get the work and service done. He is rated as the one of the best available mechanics in & around Bangalore.

Browse through few Palio related thread on this forum and you will get a fair idea of how and where to get the work done.

Welcome to the GTX Club
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Old 21st October 2010, 21:37   #13
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Congrats on your purchase.
Formula red color will definitely make this look stunning.
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Old 22nd October 2010, 06:44   #14
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Thanks ravikn & rock18.

@ravi: Thanks for the contact, although I already had it. Will give him a visit soon.

And to mention, it was your thread, JVH's, RedMM50 & Ravvendra's thread which brought in the confidence within me to go for the Beast.

@rock18: If I'm not wrong, you got the S10 run 14K, correct?
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Old 22nd October 2010, 09:26   #15
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Am not sure how I missed this thread

Anyway, congrats for acquiring 100 horses in your stable. Am sure you would now have learned to tame them ;-)

I would advise you to visit a competent mechanic, spend some good amount of time with him and just sort out what exactly needs to be done not only now but in the near future. Personally, I feel its a slightly abused car and not very well maintaned going by the pictures. But thats how you fall in love with this car. You get it for peanuts, spend some time with it and get all things sorted out with some vitamin M and then finally you get more than what you were hoping for. It's sort of restoring a Jeep or a Gypsy lol!

And for the painiting process, keep it at the end when all the niggles have been sorted out. The biggest issue seems to be the 1.2 NV's ECU plonked into the 1.6's heart. Please do not run with this combination and the logic of nothing has happened so far and I might as well run like this does not hold true forever. This and everything related to the engine bay, timing belts, bearings, suspension should be the first priority.

All the best!
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