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Old 17th September 2010, 23:48   #1
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Default Flame Red Palio 1.6 GTX- Story of an Indecisive Owner and a Fiat Car

Aug 30, 2010 11:30 Hrs

"What have you bought? a diesel car or a petrol car"?... Prabhu looks at me just as I crank the engine and start the car...Purrrrrr.

Ravi was perplexed. He is silently sitting at the back.

A huge lump in my throat.

Not tears but something similar in my eyes. My ears were turning red.

"No. This is a petrol car. 1.6 GTX".

Prabhu was silent for a moment and said, "get in, let us go for a ride".
I silently sat next to him as he gets into the drivers seat.

"Why is the engine oil red light is on" Prabhu looks at me.

"I don't know. I didn't notice it". My hands were as cold as the frozen sweet corn that I buy regularly from METRO.

"Nandu, check the engine oil" Prabhu shouts at his garage incharge. Nandu promptly opens the hood and checks the oil level.

"Oil ledu saar" (There is no oil sir) Nandu says and looks at me with puzzled look. I ignored. No point.

"OK. Get one litre fresh oil and pour in to the engine" Prabhu says and in two minutes, the Oil light was gone.

Next fifteen minutes, there was nothing but silence and engine roar of the GTX that filled the car and my heart. Prabhu takes a fast and measured ride of the GTX for 2km on the way to his body shop. As we get inside the body shop, he gets out of the car and says.

"Again, the oil light is appearing. You should have shown me the car before you paid for it. Have you paid all the money"?

"Yes, I have paid all the money"

"OK. No point in discussing about that. Just fill the engine oil and keep running it as long as it runs".

"As long as it runs? you mean, I can not keep this car for long time? I want to learn driving in this car. Do you see any problem in the car? I thought it was in good condition"

"Well, the car has been abused a lot. I do not know why the engine oil was not there. I do not know for how many Kms the engine actually ran without oil. I do not know if there are oil leakages in the engine. I do not know if the fuel lines are OK."

"You mean this car is not worth of one lakh"? Ravi asks. "Atleast seventy thousands"? he continues.

"I don't know what is the worth of this. I do not know how much you need to spend on the car. If you want to learn driving, why did you choose Fiat cars? You should have bought a 10 year old Maruti 800 probably at 30-35 grand and use it for couple of months and sell it"

"But Maruti 800 is not a safe car, I think it is just a tin box" I gave my expert opinion.

"But I am not sure whether you need to spend 1000 rupees or three lakh rupees on this car to get it moving" Prabhu says with firm voice.

"Ok, i want to leave the car for your thorough check up and change all fluids and filters" I was slowly getting on to the reality of owning a Fiat car.

"OK. leave it here. Tomorrow evening you can pick up the car" Prabhu says and asks Nandu to make note of all observations.

Ravi and I slowly walk out of New Mars garage in Moosapet and take an auto back to office. we didn't speak anything for ten long minutes.

Ravi puts his arms on shoulder and says "Don't worry ra. You won't get anything for one lakh these days".


We don't get anything for one lakh that moves on four wheels and has a 100 BHP engine. Last week, I got a call from Carnation where in the sales executive happily tells me that he has a good news for me. He has a 2003 Maruti 800 with him which is in very good condition and would be "just 1.35 lakhs" and he confirms that I was an extremely lucky guy to get this deal. I never ever tried to check that bumper offer.

I get down at Punjagutta to take another auto to my office. Ravi said bye and continued in the same auto to his office.

Time was 13:40 Hrs and it was still Aug 30. My mind was totally exhausted and not willing to take a look at the events that happened in less than last 24 hours.

I need a strong coffee. A very strong one!
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Old 17th September 2010, 23:57   #2
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Wow thats a great start. I hope Mr. Prabhu has fixed your car. beleive me you get good cars for 1 lakh, so dont worry. I got a deal on Fiat Palio for 90K and another fried got a 2001 Ikon for 90K and both the vehicles are in godo running condition. Jusrt cheer up, if its broken, it can be fixed. Waiting to hear more on your story.
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Old 18th September 2010, 00:10   #3
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Sorry to hear that, but you cannot blame Fiat for this. The previous owner has abused the car and he is the one to be blamed.

But dont be stressed. If the car can be fixed for some 20-30k, get it fixed, else, try to find a buyer and sell the car off for the maximum quote you get. In between which year make is it and whats the reading on the OD?

Its always good to get the car checked by a good mechanic. These days you cant even trust authorised dealers who sell brand new vehicle, how can you trust anyone selling a second hand car.

I wish you all the best and hope you get rid of all your troubles either by getting the car fixed or by selling it.

Will wait for the rest of your experience.

Take care.

Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 18th September 2010 at 00:11.
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Old 20th September 2010, 17:51   #4
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Default Ho ja rangeela re

Aug 31, 2010 18:30 Hrs

I get down the auto and slowly walk into the NEW Mars garage near Moosapet junction. There I see the car being shampooed and cleaned. Under the flood lights of the garage, the beast looks gleaming. Alloy wheels look like fresh from the forge. Signs of positive signals ring my head.

"Sir, there were no oil leaks in the car, and we have changed break pads, all fluids, wipers etc" Nandu tells me with a smile.

I resist the urge to hug him on the spot for want of suitable environment. Nevertheless, I vigorously shook his hand to convey my happiness.

Further he says " Sir the bill is INR 11,224"


I looked around and found Prabhu chatting with fellow BHPian, Ravvendra. I go upto him and he says, " Hi gopinath, the car seems to be OK for now. there were no major issues. Keep it runnig and slowly we will learn more about the car"

Ravvendra asks Nandu to start the engine and on hearing the engine noise, he says "this engine is known for its smoothness which I find lacking in this case. May be the car was kept stationary for a very long time and hence the oil was missing when you bought it. Eitherway you were lucky to get this car. The only other car which can match its dynamics and handling could only be a BMW 3 series or something like that"

I was proud.

Ram Gopal Varma insisted that I dance to the tune of "Ho ja rangeela re".

I oblized. Internally.
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Old 20th September 2010, 19:29   #5
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Congratulations. You will certainly turn into another dedicated, proud owner keenly observing every pulse of the Fiat. I reckon the thing with Fiat is that only a handful understand the real working and the rest are forced to spend a lot of time 'observing' the way the car behaves. Probably that gives these Fiat cars an aura about them. With most other cars you are sure what is happening where.

Raveendra ought to know. He has definitely done his share of 'observation'.

Isn't time you presented your beauty to the members?

Happy motoring.
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Old 20th September 2010, 22:16   #6
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You have me glued to this page. Keep it coming man.
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Old 20th September 2010, 22:39   #7
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Awesome narrative for a mystic car that few understood.
Bring it on!
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Old 21st September 2010, 01:29   #8
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Excellent start Gopi, An apt way to start the proceedings for a FIAT GTX, my expectations are shooting up from your thread, keep it running and share your experience.
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Old 21st September 2010, 10:15   #9
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Congrats on your purchase. GTX is one hell of a machine. You will love it.
I made a big mistake 10 months back selling it after owning for almost 7 years . Eversince I have bought and sold 2 cars and still unhappy with what i have now - the so called 'peace giving' cars. U know what i mean!! Palio doesnt really age in any aspects, its really a rare combination of solid weight, excellent drive train, strong body and excellent ride and handling

Maintain it well, ensure all fluids are changed and check heating characteristics. Once u get used to it, ensure wheel alignment is done regularly and you dont get hit in the front by any means. Yes you will need to visit garage 8-10 times an year, but its worth your life.

All Best Pal
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Old 22nd September 2010, 09:55   #10
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Sep 01. 2010 06:00 Hrs

I woke up in the morning with an idea to run the car for few kms in and around my house to check the car in detail. It was still wet inside after the thorough shapoo and cleaning work done previous day. Still sat inside the car making my pants wet.

Apparently I didn't know that practically what I was going to experience would make me wet from inside out. (Though I have read a lot about the GTX handling, what I have experienced that early morning was astounding for a novice driver.)

Just came out of my apartment complex and was moving towards main road (inverted T shape curve) and there I found a big truck coming into my lane and I was coming down from a slope at about 40kmph in third gear.
The road was narrow and I was not very sure (of my capability) to take a fast and yet sharp turning with out pulling over to the extreme left. I could not do that as there was a compound wall and I can not just stop the car on the road as it can not accommodate two vehicles. Else I have to reverse the car and go back to the begening of the road. I had to take a quick decision.

Added to the chaos, I could see a school bus coming in the opposite direction and taking a left turn in to the lane from which the truck was coming from and the lane into which I have to dive into.

I did not know what happened for the next 10 seconds but later I found driving ahead of the school bus in the lane.

Few minutes later I pulled over near a tea stall and had my fingers cold enough to make a vanilla milk shake. Ordered for a quick masala tea and few minutes later gained some energy to racapture what happened.

I did what I used to do in SEGA video games at IMAX. Just look at the screen before and turn the steering with out a fear of getting hit.
I just did that few minutes back. and I promised my self that I am not going to fool around in this car without knowing it completely. Another one was not to play the SEGA car racing game again.

On the way back, I got an idea.

All driving schools in India should only have Palio GTX cars to learn.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 15:08   #11
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Welcome to 1.6 club. what I just read is a horrifying experience unless you are an expert driver. Do not try doing anything silly until and unless you explore all the power and handling capabilities of this car on some highways. It is risky to take such chances in city.

take care, wear seat belts and drive safe.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 17:46   #12
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The highway would be equally dangerous for such manoeuvres, I'd think. Quoting the dialogue in Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibilty" I'd request you not to take the GTX for granted. Do familiarise yourself with all its traits first. A powerful vehicle can be a double-edged sword.

One has to nurture finer sensibilities pertaining to not only driving but also road usage in general. Anyway, sticking to driving, IMHO good drivers know when to lift off, even when there is enough margin for error. So learn to drive with real control first (over the vehicle and your own senses) irrespective of whether its the GTX or a Nano!
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:03   #13
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Hooked to this thread! Nice narration my friend but then I am not surprised, a Fiat does this to you.
I am still not sure why there was no engine oil in the car even if it was standing still for long time.
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Old 22nd September 2010, 18:35   #14
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Many congratulations on your buy gkoneti, the GTX is a great car.
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Old 23rd September 2010, 10:18   #15
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Default It's Warning Again !

Sep 01, 2010 18:45 Hrs

After the early morning blush, I did not try to take the car out on my own on to the roads. Instead engaged a "companion driver" immediately and his job is to just sit next to me and relax.

True. More than learning how to drive perfectly on your own, it is more important to learn about the imperfect driving of other drivers on the road so that you don't get hit. This is the sad situation of at least Hyderabad traffic.

Gopal is an 8 year experienced driver who will accompny sitting next to me while I am on the driver seat. He is going to be with me for the next one month or till the time I perfect the GTX beast whichever is earlier. His job is to correct me & advise me on my driving skills. All these years, I was spoiled by the cab provided by the company and I never tried venturing on to the road by myself.

Now coming to the story,

I took the car to my office and to few client meetings I had and in the evening started early to reach New Mars garage where a painted RH mirror is waiting to be fixed. The car was without both the mirrors and I had to order new ones. As the garage mechanic fixed the mirror, a senior mechanic, Madhu came by and the garage incharge Nandu gave a brief about the car to him. The previous day, Madhu was absent and the car was serviced by another mechanic.

Madhu took the car keys and took the car out for a quick spin. Gopal accompanied him while I went to the accountant of the garage to settle the bill.

As the bill printout came to me, I have observed all the parts and labour charges. About INR 8000 was the parts cost and INR 3000 was for the labour. I will share the complete cost breakup a little later, But I found something wrong in some parts pricing.

I asked Nandu to change the air intake pipe as it was broken. I think it is a very common problem in GTX and in general all Palio models. They purchased a new pipe from Autofin service centre and replaced it. But strangely, the cost was mentioned as INR 1500 where as the original MRP on the package was only INR 1100. I told the same to the accountant and he later corrected it after two days and refunded the excess money charged. But it left a bad taste. If I had not seen the original packing, I would not have got the idea of original price of the part. Lesson: Always insist on showing the original part packaging before replacing the part. Or at least you can ask them to show you all the parts packaging where pricing labels are pasted.

Madhu came back after 15 minutes and gives me this.

" Sir, there is a problem in the fuel injection system or oil sump/strainer. We need to open the oil sump and do a thorough checking"

"ohhh. What's the issue. The car was running fine today" I can hear the heart beat increasing. It was close to 19:30 Hrs and I was in a hurry to go home.

" True sir. You might have never crossed 60kmph in the city traffic. When Nandu told about the oil light issue, I suspected this and took the car beyond 60kmph and the warning light appeared again"- Madhu is clear in his voice.

I was getting annoyed. Just one day before I gave the car for complete checkup and now this is a new issue. Why did they not checked the car completely.

I went to Prabhu and told him- "What is this new issue Prabhu?"

" We can not access the oil sump from the under body and we have to open up the complete engine bay to check that. We thought since the oil leaks were not there, the warning light was appearing only because of the absence of the engine oil" Prabhu explains. He further adds, "If the oil/fuel injectors have any issues, we have to replace them"

Damn man. Too much for a learning owner. " How long would it take to clean the oil sump and what would it cost.? I am not disheartened, but annoyed at the way the car has been dealt with.

" It would take a day to get it done, leave the car tomorrow morning and you can collect it by evening" Prabhu says. " Just cleaning it would be around INR 1200 and I will let you know if the fuel lines need replacement".

Gopal and I calmly take out the car and reached home. I was silent all along and Gopal was driving. He took the car on a short sprint to go beyond 60kmph and the oil light appeared again. As we slowdown, it disappeared.

I asked Gopal to come early next day by 08:00 Hrs so that we can handover the car again at New Mars.

Fiat cars can make you really shaking by virtue of the performance and also the pain it gives. Wow, it's a true replica of Indian marriage.
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