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Old 23rd September 2010, 12:48   #16
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I would advise you to take a second opinion from another garage before you allow the engine to be opened. If I remember correctly you had written they had used a 1-litre pouch to fill the engine.

Had the filled in the remaining oil after that? Because 1 litre is barely enough. You can easily check the engine oil level yourself. Start the engine warm it up and switch it off. Open the hood, there will be a dipstick with a yellow handle for you to lift up. Pull out the dipstick, you'll find oil towards the bottom edge. Take a clean paper or cloth and wipe off the oil, be careful oil may be hot. After this insert the dipstick fully back into its place on the engine and then pull it out again. Now check the oil level. It should be between the two holes marked on the dipstick. If it is closer to the lower hole, your oil level is low. It should be closer to the top hole.

Another question is there any sort of white/blue smoke from the exhaust? If not it further leads me to believe that the garage didn't fill in enough oil in the first place.

A way to check your fuel injectors and ignition coil. Start the car and let her warm up and then rev it to the redline, if there is misfiring or hesitation from the engine then you need to check the ignition coils. But if it revs cleanly then there's no problem.

There is also a light on the instrument panel for the injectors. It is a yellow nozzle type light that should come on as you switch on the ignition and should go off once the engine is started. If all these things are in order, do not let them open the engine.

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Old 24th September 2010, 13:12   #17
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Default First Things Last...

Sep 02, 2010 08:30 Hrs

I reach New Mars garage to leave the vehicle for thorough inspection of the oil sump. Gopal will stay back at the garage to update me the whove event.

19:00 Hrs

Oil sump & strainer is cleaned and rest of it is fine. Over a period of time car has accumulated lot of dirt and hence the warning light appearance when the car goes beyond 60kmph. They charged INR 1100 for the service.

A great relief. Went to HP petrol bunk in Sumithra nagar near kukatpally for a tank fill. It took 40 litres. Prabhu said that it is a good one. But personally I think Sivam Auto i(IOC petrol) n Begumpet is more genuine. I think the tank capacity is 47 litres. (please correct me if wrong). Noted down the meter reading for FE calculation though I am not seriously bothered. But a typical Indian economic mind will always be happy if you know that your money is giving you good returns. Otherwiese there is nothing wrong in the question "Average kya hai"?


Sep 04 2010 Saturday 17:00 Hrs

Myself, wife and daughter planned for a movie at Big bazar in Ameerpet. Gopal was driving. Suddenly just few yards before Big bazar, the car stalled and it refused to get into any gear. The engine was running but the gears were not getting engaged.

Frightened. We were in the middle of the road. Switched on the emergency indicators.

i was sweating. I had no idea what was wrong. Gopal says that None of the gears are working including reverse.

I called Prabhu immediately and explained him the situation.

"Just stop the engine, Press the clutch fully, engage the first gear and start, Do it as I say.

Gopal did that, it moved in the first gear forward.

It worked.

Prabhu adds, " Move it as long as it can move in first gear slowly, try to engage second gear, if it works, fine, otherwise, slowly come in first gear to the garage"

Wow, first gear and travelling 7 km back? Is it possible.

We slowly take the car to Big bazar complex and Gopal says that he could engage 2nd gear. Good something is working again. Wife and kid took an auto back home since we do not know how long it will take to travel back to garage.

After one hour, with on-off gears, we some how reached the garage by 20:45 Hrs. Most of the mechanics have left and showed the car to an assistant.

He opens the bonnet and checks the gear levers.

" Sir, the gear cables/levers need to be changed as there is some "play" with in the rubber bush".

"What, what happened" I screamed.

" Sir, since the car is old, the gear cables have gone weak and you need to change at least the small cable. There would be two cables, out of which one of them is weak" mechanic says.

"Can you do something temporarily to make it work?"

" i will try to tie a wire around the bush and let us see it works"

Mechanic get a normal metal wire and ties it around the small gear lever. Engine started and it seemed fine. All gears were working. I asked them how much they would cost.

"These cables are very rarely replaced, so the availability and pricing is not certain. I will check with Fiat and let you know about the availability" Garage incharge, Ravikumar says.

We came back home with dull faces. What to do tomorrow...A thousad questions.

Sep 05, 2010- All day went in just searching internet and Team-BHP to check if there is any solution for this. Could not find anything.

Sep 06, 2010: 10:00 Hrs.

Since New Mars guys need some time to get back on the availability of the gear cables, I thought of showing the car to Digmani Service centre in Tarnaka. I got reference of this from Team-BHP as it was owned by a previous Anuroop service centre incharge, Mr. Iyer.

Iyer checked the thoroughly and says that the car is absolutely fine and there is no issue at all with gear cables.

He said this- " The issue could be with the method of clutch operation. You need to completely press the clutch down before you start engaging the gear. Otherwise the clutch plates stick together and take sometime to release the pressure between them. And during that time, the gears can not be engaged. Ask your driver not to do half clutch gear engagement".

Yes. that was the issue. Now I found the reason. When ever Gopal was driving the car, the issue cropped up. But all the while I was driving the car, I never faced it. So promptly gave a lesson to Gopal strictly about the clutch mechanism. He nodded in acceptance of his fault.

Iyer saved lot of pain that was due. He has engine analyser as well and I am planning to get my car checked during weekends.

I drove the car back to office with light heart. The car was perfectly smooth and nice to drive.

Thanks to Iyer and his acumen of Fiat cars.

that leaves one final mysterious issue which I found in the car and later solved without spending a penny. Will discuss on it tomorrow.
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Old 24th September 2010, 13:18   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter View Post
Had the filled in the remaining oil after that?
Drifter
Dear Drifter, thanks for the suggestions. Yes. They have filled nearly 4 litres of engine oil after the full service.
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Old 24th September 2010, 17:05   #19
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Please check the oil level (using the correct procedure). If they have filled 4 liters, the level may be too high (I am aware that the oil capacity is nearly 4 liters as per the manual)

Remeber: overfilling can be even more dangerous than under-filling. If you underfill, at least you get a warning light. Over-filling is a silent killer
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Old 25th September 2010, 11:19   #20
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Engine oil capacity in the 1.6 engine is 3.8 litres - one who is aware of this will fill 3.5 litres and will ask you to add a small amount before cold start. infact 3.5 litres will cause no harm.
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Old 25th September 2010, 12:01   #21
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Exactly. It is not OK to fill in all 3,8 liters at once. I had to go back to the service center to get the extra oil drained because the mechanic filled close to 4 liters

Last edited by vipul_singh : 25th September 2010 at 12:06.
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Old 25th September 2010, 12:57   #22
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gk, not a great start but i guess it will get good soon.

"Fiat cars can make you really shaking by virtue of the performance and also the pain it gives"

But, I dont agree with this. abused cars of any makes can give a nightmarish time, so while making the purchase one has to be careful. moreover i presume you have picked this car for 1lakh and as you have mentioned you wont even get a Maruti 80 for that price.

So its obvious that when you bu a car like Palios for a cheap price you must be ready for some spending, else am sure the previous owner wont have given it away for such a low price.

and trust me dude once you have driven car of this caliber you cant think of driving a 800 or an alto category car!

however my suggestion, stick to a mech who has knowledge/patience and good intent and within sometime all the issues will be ironed out and you will enjoy this car!

Have fun!
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Old 25th September 2010, 13:42   #23
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Friends, the exact amount of oil filled in was 3.7 litres. It was not 4 litres.

Now coming to the story of Issue of Injector/ECU light in GTX which is the final issue that I have faced so far.

I have faced this issue for two times and my analysis of it is like this.

First time the injector light came 3 days after I bought it from the garage. I presume the pressure wash might have caused some water to percolate into the "relay" ( I am not sure of the exact function of this) which is behind the battery. A day later, the light was gone.

Symptoms I faced when the Injector light was on

1. Engine would start normally but immediately the engine sound and pickup would vary

2. The car would vibrate and shake as you try to move the vehicle in first gear.

3. Pickup would drastically drop and you can not move much forward in first gear.

On second istance, I got this light few days back when the previous day, the car was driven in a heavy rain. Some rain water might have percolated into the relay again.

How did I came to know about this?

I am also a member on Palio User group and one of the member has excellently described about the issue and why the injector light was appearing in the first place. He concludes that it is "mainly" because of the relay getting wet with water seeping inside it. The solution is to get the relay covered in a thick plastic sheet to stop water seepage.


Well that completes the issues which I have faced with GTX so far. Somehow my gut feel says that these are issues which cropped up in the car mainly for two reasons.

1. Improper servicing and handling of the car by the owners and service centres due to lack of knowledge on the car. (Mystic car, somebody aptly said)

2. The Car itself was well ahead of its time when the general automobile customer was stuck with FE and not on performance. Similar experiences were faced by Opel Vectra, Ford Mondeo etc.

Now on, I will share the experiences of driving this car from tomorrow.

A curtain raiser on my experiences.

The other day, I called my friend who was near to my house and offered him lift. His first remark was

" Why did you bought this car, this is a white elephant"

" I beg to agree, But it is a Flame Red elephant, and I would rather call it as "Airavat"- The vehicle of lord Indra and known as "Elephant of the clouds"

True- Only in a GTX, you can glide. All our dirty roads become like clouds...
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Old 25th September 2010, 14:16   #24
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Hey Gopinath, many congrats on buying the GTX. Its an absolute classic and since its a FIAT, I would suggest you join the Fiat Classic Car Club


As already stated by many, FIATs are not everyone's cup of tea. A well maintained GTX will bring a smile to your face which cannot be done by similar priced cars today. You will over a period of time, need to know what's where in the car and also why its there. Once you have done that, I can assure you, you will never have an unforeseen breakdown.


Take care and drive safe
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Old 28th September 2010, 11:01   #25
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Default WC Gopinath

Hi, Nice thread. I can understand your angst but remember you have bought a used car for next to nothing. Every used car needs some work and unless you continue to go to the same workshop/mechanic used by the previous owner it will take a lot of time and patience to get it up to scratch. I normally take about 6 months to a year to get my acquisitions upto the mark. If one wants a trouble-free initial ownership experience a new car fresh from the factory is the way to go.

Though many will disagree with me - I believe that there is no such thing as a Fiat expert or a Maruti expert or a Skoda expert or BMW expert. That is a bit like saying that a doctor is a woman expert or a man expert or a Tamilian expert, Andhraite expert, Bengalee expert, etc. A good mechanic is one who understands vehicles and mechanisms and can 'listen' to them. Though the basics are the same, each manufacturer does things a little differently and the details of the design vary. If a mechanic has worked on a particular model before it helps him identify & rectify things a wee bit faster. If he has not worked on a particular model before, it takes him a little time to figure out how to dis-assemble and re-assemble things, beyond that there is no great advantage in having worked on only a specific model. In fact someone who does not have a varied experience would be at a disadvantage as he follows a set routine laid out by the manufacturer and would be hard put to deal with unusual problems.

Do not worry, your car will get sorted out. Once sorted, the 1.6 Palio will put a smile on your face every time you get behind the wheel.

I saw you on Friday evening on minister rd (I never miss a Palio on the road) and was disheartened to see you in the passenger seat. IMHO it is a sheer waste of a good car if the driver is going to drive. I am already missing my GTX as it has gone in for a complete re-paint so if you need, I could drive yours . (Just joking)
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Old 28th September 2010, 13:44   #26
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@Raveendra -- Do post the pictures of your Palio 1.6 GTX once its complete.
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Old 28th September 2010, 21:17   #27
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Hi Ravveendrra

thanks for the suggestions. I will try to keep one regular garage for all service work. I am just too young to decide who would that be. After spending close to one month, now I can say that there were no "real" issues with the car except the fact that there was no engine oil at the time of buying the car.

It is absolutely smooth and refined now. Suspension is great, brakes are fine, interiors are good and like new and I wonder how could the previous owner just sell it just at one lakh rupees. I guess it was purely a decision based on the FE. Well, I am ok with it. Till now I have done three tank fulls, and FE seems to be near 7 to 8.5 based on traffic conditions and AC usage.

Well, coming to the issue of me sitting in the passenger seat, it was an exception during my official client meetings. I have to go to several meetings in a day and with our traffic, it never becomes easy than engaging a driver. But now, mostly it is Gopal (driver) who sits in the passenger seat. Trust me. After knowing its true mettle, it is hard to sit in the passenger seat.

Now some fashion show...
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Old 29th September 2010, 12:22   #28
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gk, you have got a great looking car at that price, how much have you spent on fixing the car till now?
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Old 29th September 2010, 15:14   #29
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Default Some Economics

Dear All

Now let us review the economics of the car so far. Including Fuel Economics.

1. Car price- INR 100,000 (without engine oil)
2. Complete overhaul of car with fluids, electricals, Air Intake pipe, wipers, RH mirror, general service- INR 11,224
3. Oil sump/strainer cleaning- INR 1100
4. Third party insurance- INR 2896

Total ownership cost- INR 115,220

pending works- LH mirror glass (Housing is intact), cabin mirror, Sun films (the car is having green tinted glass but sunfilms are a must to keep it cool, any suggestions?)

Long term work- Though the car looks OK, the headlights seem to be dull and need a change. Not sure how much they would cost. Another long term work I am planning is to get it repainted. Again not sure of its costs. May be Ravveendrra would help on this.

It is almost one month now and done three tank fulls so far.

1st Tank full FE- 6.5kmpl
2nd Tank full FE- 8.5kmpl
3rd Tank full yet to happen, but so far I observed it could be near 7.5 as the usage of AC is slightly more

Overall impression: It is one of the best Palios ever built for India with in the Palio family range. After experiencing New gen Palio Stile, I can say safely that the build and gear systems are far far better in GTX. Even the build of the car inside and outside is much stronger.
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Old 11th October 2010, 14:39   #30
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Default Update at 2000KM (Odo at 58000)

Since buying this car, I have completed almost 2000km and thought I would update on the status of my GTX.

1. Car is absolutely fine except for the few initial issues that cropped up. There is this occasional fuel injector/ECU light issue that crops up now and then but corrects itself.

2. Discussed this issue with fellow BHPian, Ravvenddrra who also owns a GTX. He says that the issue could be with one of the sensors nearing its life and ECU is going into "Limp" mode as a precaution. This could be understood as a warning for the owner who should not delay further and go to nearest garage to get this sorted out through analyzer.

3. Well, since I am new to this car, I am taking time to go through the learning curve and am being patient. The more I understand about the car, the more it is better for me. I am in active listening mode with my GTX.

4. With four full tanks till now, the FE seems to be settling at 8-8.5kmpl. I am OK with it. Need to check the highway mileage though.

5. After another 2000km, the car would complete 60000km on the ODO and I want to get it serviced again. I saw a Palio service schedule at Concorde motors which asks for few parts change after 60K on the ODO.

6. Suspension seems to be very stiff and I am feeling every bit of it with the recent rains spoiling the Hyderabad roads.

7. Recently purchased cornuba wax polish and applied it myself. The car exterior feels smooth. Cost INR 240

8. Though I bought this car as a training car for me to learn driving skills (Till the time my Polo arrives), actually I see no point in selling this GEM back. Since my net cost of car is very low, I can still spend another 50K for painting, tyres, NEW alloys and films and can keep it for long term. Let my learning curve decide that.

The following are the few short term and long term modifications (In the order of priority) that I want to do to my car. Please advise.

1. Car films: The car is with original green tinted glass and no films. During day time, it is becoming very difficult to keep the car cool even with full AC on with knob at level 3 or 4. Checked with one Garware dealer who gave the following quote for films.

Garware Alps for front wind screen- INR 4000
Garware Arctic Ice for windows and rear- INR 6000

Pls let me know if these prices are OK or high? Or do you suggest any other brand since 10K is higher.

2. New Tyres: I want to stay with stock size. At the moment the car is having Bridgestone 175/65 R14 tyres and I would like to check Michelin XM1+. Spoke to few dealers and they gave quotes ranging from INR 4150 to 4300.

Please let me know if these prices are OK. Do I need to go for wheel balancing and alignment with new tyres?

3. Painting: Front bonnet, rear and top of the car have faded. The original color is Flame Red. I like Nova white of the present Punto. Do you suggest going for new color or stay put with stock color? I am not sure of the costs but will learn from Ravvenddrra. A budget of INR 20K seems to be reasonable.

4. Alloy wheels: The car is having original alloy wheels and some edges are shaved off. Though they do not look ugly, I am not sure of the life of Alloy wheels. How do we check that. Can they last forever?

5. Head Lights: Head lights are faded and they look translucent on the top edge. What would be the cost of original set of lights? Auto Smart in Minister road showed a Taiwanese brand DEPOEX which would be INR 2300 per piece. Are they good?

6. Misc: Emblems, Rear wash wiper, cabin mirror, upgrading music system etc

thank you for listening.
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