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Old 30th March 2011, 12:26   #46
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
- Ajay, which service station is this ?
@Fiat_Tarun- Here are the details of the dealer

ACUMEN MOTORS

Address :
Plot No 1, Sr No 19Patil Nagar
A/p Bawdhan, Tal Mulshi
Pune
Pune, Maharashtra
Pincode :411021

Contact Details :
Phone No : / 020 -22951390
Mobile No : 8888999111
Fax No :020 -22953870
Email : serviceacumen@gmail.com
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Old 30th March 2011, 12:50   #47
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay_satpute View Post
@Fiat_Tarun- Here are the details of the dealer

ACUMEN MOTORS

Address :
Plot No 1, Sr No 19Patil Nagar
A/p Bawdhan, Tal Mulshi
Pune
Pune, Maharashtra
Pincode :411021

Contact Details :
Phone No : / 020 -22951390
Mobile No : 8888999111
Fax No :020 -22953870
Email : serviceacumen@gmail.com
This service station is a notorious one. Here you ante up and then get service. Couple of friends with Fiats had a terrible time. And another acquaintance with a Skoda Octi (Acumen had Skoda earlier) did not fare any better. Handle with Care!
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Old 4th April 2011, 14:20   #48
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

So she hit the 1000km mark the day after we lifted the World Cup.

The attached pic tells you a lot Sorry for the blur, the stupid mobile phone camera cannot focus in low-contrast situations.

Jaipur-Gurgaon trip was 232 kms including about 10km of running within Jaipur city, this pic was taken at second toll booth. I maintained an average of about 60km/h till I filled gas, even with relative sedate driving. The fuel average till that point was 14km/l.

For the last 60km run I gassed it pretty hard, had some interesting friendly (I hope) conversations with a quick-moving Passat, which was probably fitted with a tuning box (lots of smoke from the exhaust). It was faster on the straights, but the TJet caught up to it in traffic and on corners. Quite remarkable for a car of <10L, if I may say so.

I did Gurgaon-Jaipur and back in about 7 hours, tried not to push the car above 4500 rpm except for one or two hairy situations. The overall fuel consumption was around 12km/l, the average speed was 62 km/h. The lack of traffic on Sunday morning was very helpful in reaching a high average speed and economy. NH8 is probably one of the most crowded highways in the country, so progress was not as quick as I would have liked.

Never exceeded 140 km/h, and that too only on one or two occasions. Cruising speed was 110-120 as I was a little conscious of the fact that the engine was new.

Driving observations:

Understeer was much more controlled at high speeds. The car went where it was pointed. On the way to Jaipur I was working with the car to figure out where the limits were. She has plenty of composure around high speed corners and in tight overtaking situations (made necessary by slow-moving trucks in the right lane and lots of traffic coming down the wrong way).

Rough patches do not affect the car's pace and it's remarkable how the chicanes could be taken at maximum speed. Therefore my earlier observations on understeer would be relevant only to corners taken under hard braking at relatively low speeds - which is more dependent on mechanical grip. At speeds above 80-90km/h, there is practically no understeer.

The car is relatively comfortable to drive over long durations. I did give it breaks after 2 hours of operation, but I figured that my personal limit would be around the 3.5 hour mark in this car. Out of interest, my limit would be reached at about 2.5 hours in my Opel Corsa. Not really sure of this though. the driving position is somewhere between one where you sit low and the seat becomes couch-like, and one where you sit 'on' the car. As a result it's neither here or there. Given how composed the car is to drive, you could get 5 hours in a single stretch if the seating was a bit more comfortable.

There were a few rattles that started after slight rough patches. Those rattles disappeared this morning, one of them was due to a loose fuel filler hatch that wasn't closed properly and the other was from the glovebox. I've to examine if the glovebox issue is a permanent one or not.

I could probably have managed about 15km/l if I drove the car more sedately, but there was not much point in that. The interesting thing is that the fuels consumption is solely dependent on the throttle pedal and the rpm level. So under acceleration the car drinks like a maniac, but if you use a very light foot and keep the rpm around 2500-2800, the fuel consumption is very frugal. The consumption is best if the acceleration is very gradual. I've seen MID numbers of up to 18km/l on some stretches, so getting good numbers is not a problem if that's what you want.

The tyres are a little odd. I find them reasonably quiet, but also a little susceptible to 'float' when undulating surfaces in the direction of rotation are encountered. Feedback from the steering is very helpful to correct this, but it's quite disconcerting specially at high speeds. I did overinflate them mildly (34/30 as against 33/30 for light load) but it shouldn't make that much of a difference.

And yes, the ABS works. Quite well. Can save your skin. Don't ask how I know....
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Old 8th May 2011, 11:52   #49
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

2-month status update:

1600kms done.

Power steering bug has gotten very bad. Car cuts out at full lock and low throttle, needs to be gassed to move. similar issues in lots of cars: Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

LHS front fender rattling and has slightly detached from running board, creating a large visible gap.

Rattle from rear, cause unknown - could be poor aftermarket ICE fitment.

Engine sound has significantly changed from a purr to a growl. Me likey

Turbo whine now far more apparent than earlier.

Steering even easier to move around. Not sure if that's good or not.

Economy not improving. City average is around 10/11 km/l with reasonably light foot. In Gurgaon given the traffic it's closer to 9, and with a very heavy right foot (my last tank) I am around 8.xx (MID figures, actual unknown as of now).

Not liking the Goodyears. The car needs quieter rubber, and grippier too. These are not good tyres at all. They 'float' too much - too hard? OTOH they should be good for the very bad roads the city has now, with potholes every millimeter. Suggestions and feedback requested.
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Old 8th May 2011, 12:03   #50
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

A standard 1.4 gives around 12.5kmpl with a light foot, so you cant really expect a lot more than 11kmpl on the Tjet I think.
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Old 1st September 2011, 18:07   #51
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

3k update (almost, still to hit 3k).

The average is not improving beyond 9 km/l because of the ultra short runs. The car was due for its 1st free checkup service at the 6mo mark on the 6th of September, but I had a day off today so I got it done.

Nothing eventful to report, except that the service staff was corteous and followed up with me regularly for the appointment.

Niggles reported:

1. Rattling from unknown source. Traced to a link in the right-hand side window, replaced under warranty.

2. Squeaky clutch, a low-decibel sound audible at idle and super-low speeds. Problem has gone away for now, have to go back if it resurfaces. One of those things that came and went.

These are the only two issues in the car. There is a missing bolt cover on the front windscreen runner that looks odd. I reported it, but I don't think it got fixed.

I wanted the oil changed out after initial run-in, so got 0W40 Mobil 1 filled. The filer was also changed. Cost was 5.1k of which about 1k was tax. The oil was 1k/liter or so, and the filter was 400 rupees. Was advised against air/fuel filter change till 1st scheduled service.

I asked them to do interior detailing for me, but I guess they were feeling very lazy. In the end the car came back with filthy seats. There is a difference between an Indica taxi seat and beige Italian leather, but the service staff don't seem to know that. Now I've to hunt down someone who will do this for me, along with a polish and wax.

Total service cost - 5.2k, 100Rupees for battery water topup (?) and the rest towards oil change, filter, the labour for the change and tax. Plus whatever it ends up costing to get the detailing done.
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Old 1st September 2011, 18:23   #52
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

^Yeah get it detailed at a competent place, usually they charge around 900 or so for seat wash etc. I had this problem when I used to service my car at Concorde and it would come back with grease marks and bucket rings on the seats etc. I had to get it cleaned outside. Now I do it myself though and you could do so too if you are so inclined. Cleaning leather seats is quite easy compared to fabric
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Old 3rd November 2011, 18:29   #53
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Default A Travel-not-logue, and service feedback

So my folks were visiting and we decided on a quick trip to Lansdowne to refresh ourselves.

Booked ourselves into the lovely little Oak Grove Inn, very homely and hospitable by all accounts. Interaction with the owner was pleasant, and planned a two night stay.

Started at 6am on Monday morning, expecting a 5 hour drive to destination.

Went through the morass of roads that pass as highways between Delhi and Kotdwar. Figured the destination would make up for the pain. After doing Gurgaon-Jaipur run in 3.5 hours, and various distances in most parts of the country at an average of about 60 km/hr, I was totally unprepared for the experience of driving in UP.

Anyway it took us 6.5 hours to hit Lansdowne. Of which 1 hour was breaks and getting a bit lost. 2 hours was taken to cross distances that should have taken 20 minutes. So my initial estimate of 5 hour distance was correct, give or take.

So after a day of lolling about at the resort we settled in for a good night's sleep, looking forward to a touristy day coming up. At 9pm, the shrill blare of loudspeakers woke up everybody within a 30 kilometer radius. A Ram Leela performance. Since it needed to be fit for the Gods, the speakers were turned up far enough for Him to hear it personally.

I hope He enjoyed the performance, because we didn't. When it finally wrapped up at 3am, we turned in and hoped that was that. Apparently not. We were reliably informed that it would go on for the next nine days.

Checked out, got in the car, and drove back. Right into rush hour traffic. Took us about 7 hours to reach Gurgaon, and took me 5 days to recover from the trauma. I had in all avoided about 6 near-death incidents due to the absolute callousness and chaos on the highway, at least two of them in the presence of a policeman who was in the car (not what you think, I was giving him a lift) whose only refrain was "what to do?".

A couple of days after I arrived, the car went for service to ABS Motors, Gurgaon. Basically the roads had taken their toll on the windows and a few bits had started to rattle. It also needed a bit of going over. The driver came and picked up the vehicle, and it was to be dropped off on Saturday.

After a bunch of follow-up calls, the car was on its way. A few hours after it had apparently left, someone called and apologised because the car had been rear-ended by a truck while their driver was bringing it over. This was on Saturday the 22nd of October.

There was a bit of panic at my end because this was the first hit the car had taken and I had no idea how bad it was. Also an unforseen expense. The service center had already been proactive enough to bring in the poor truck driver and later call in the owner. Over the next few hours they armtwisted the pair enough to pay for the full extent of insurance that would not affect my NCB.

They dropped the car back that same evening, promising to pick it up the week after Diwali. Extent of damage: bumper was dented and punctured through just below the bootlid's lip, and the crease on the bootlid was mangled and discolored. Clearly a low speed impact, but he hole seemed to indicate bumper replacement and not simple repair.

Diwali came and went, and a few hours I walked into office on Monday, there was a call that took pickup details, and a few hours after that a driver was at my doorstep. Today, 3 days later, the car was dropped back. It took me a call midweek to push the process along, but there was no argument from their end. They initially said Saturday, I wanted it quickly and when I called again they said the car would be delivered today.

It was. They did not replace the bumper, simply moulded it back together and filled the puncture. Bootlid repair is undetectable, so all in all a good and reasonably quick job. I'd say the service rating for this station is 4.5/5 for sure, or maybe I've just been lucky

Car has been doing fairly well. The short runs don't do it any favours, so the few times the car gets to stretch its legs, I'm thankful each time. Uneventful car ownerships are usually the best!
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Old 12th December 2011, 13:20   #54
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Default 5k kms update

The T-Jet doesn't get to stretch its legs much, so when somebody proposed a trip to Ranthambore I jumped at the chance.

After thinking a bit about how to travel I was pretty sure I wanted to drive. It would be about 350kms, through largely unknown roads, and I didn't know if I would have company. I didn't mind a drive alone, but it always helps to have at least one more person in the car.

The gang decided that they would hire an Innova for the trip after their train tickets failed to get confirmed till an hour before their departure. Fog was descending fast and after much conversation I managed to persuade them to leave in the morning so they would not have to drive through probable fog at night.

We were supposed to get a 5am start, as is usual when a large group travels we started at 6. Given my travel anxiety, I had managed only two hours of sleep at night and was already a little bushwhacked when we started. Finally two passengers got offloaded from the Innova into my car, and we drove off.

Almost immediately we got into a logjam on NH8, and it is not really funny when this happens at 6.30am. National Highway Robbery, more like.

Took about an hour to clear the jam, clear Dharuhera and get on to SH25. So far we had travelled exactly 50km, a poor show. This next stretch was very surprising. It's like the tollbooth run played in gaming franchises.

Apart from two small patches where roadwork is on, the tarmac was smooth, two lanes with a boulevard. Was capable of hitting speeds of close to 190, though I was keeping it real as the highway was dotted with hamlets and villages. Kept it under 140 for the most part.

Stopped in the middle for breakfast and to let the Innova catch up with the T-Jet. In the hour and a quarter I had been driving, I managed a half hour lead on that car, such was the difference in pace. I was regularly reaching 160, the maximum possible on an unfenced two-lane road.

One toll of Rs. 45 is paid to get through this stretch. Then the Mahua toll where you pay another Rs. 45 and get into Dausa. After Dausa, the road disappears.

The next 30kms can only be called gruelling. Speeds were around 15-20km/h maximum. Basically it is like driving on the surface of the desert, except for the potholes and the gravel. Once a bus overtakes, you can't see anything. The A/C filter was choked in a matter of minutes. The Road to Hell, quite literally.

We reached Lalsot and I stopped to tank up and survey the car. It looked like it had been driven through a sand dune. Everything was rattling. The tires had turned red with the coat of dust on them. I was a little thankful that I had hard, hard-wearing tyres. Not sure if the softer Michelins I was thinking of buying would have taken that kind of abuse.

At this point the Innova obviously caught up, not having to refuel or slow down over the bad patch. We had the last 50km of the ride to go and the road opened up to a lovely stretch of freshly-baked tarmac, and I let her rip. I managed the run in just over 45 minutes, the Innova took another half hour to clear the stretch.

We had to hit the hotel by 1 pm so we could make it in time for the afternoon safari, and since three of us showed up they had to accommodate the whole party. We had a very nice safari, despite the very dusty (thanks to the safari vehicles) and brown forest. Managed to spot a bunch of different delightful birds, and almost the entire four-legged species list of the reserve.

We were being driven back to the hotel not having spotted a tiger, but just as we were reaching the exit we heard that one had been spotted. As it turns out, pretty much all the tourists in the reserve on the evening trip had heard it and there was a lot of excitement at the prospect of seeing a tiger.

When she finally appeared, she was surrounded by a few dozen vehicles, and a couple hundred tourists screaming and shouting. She was really scared, roaring and running through the thicket looking for a place to hide. She must have thought she was being hunted. I felt sorry for her and ashamed of what we as human beings have become. Could not shoot her as she was visible for all of two seconds, and some how even that was enough for me.

It is no better than a modern-day circus, or a hunting expedition but with cameras instead of guns. I saw how quiet the foreign tourists were, and how boisterous the local crowd was. We have a long way to go to appreciate the gift of nature, and seeing how the park was littered with rubbish and plastic, I'm not holding out my hopes.

After the Safari I went back to the hotel to catch a brief nap. In the evening we brought out a guitar and sat around a bonfire, singing, drinking, playing Uno and making up rubbish songs about our trip. It was a blast. The RTDC hotel fixed dinner for us, and all of us crashed for the night.

I had pretty much opted out of the morning Safari as I would have to drive back on my own, but the rest of the gang wanted to go on in case they could spot anything else. I opted for a 11-hour sleep marathon and we went to the fort.

The fort was interesting for the myriad of puzzles one had to solve to be able to attack it successfully, and one understands now how ingenious the engineers of the day were. Respect.

We stopped for lunch at a little Marwari restaurant. After a fill of Dal-bati and the traditional thali, we took off at 3.45pm for the return leg of the journey. I was conscious of the fact that it would be a night drive and that I would need to have plenty of energy reserves, so I plodded along keeping a relaxed pace till Lalsot, not exceeding 120 and being very circumspect and relaxed. I was pretty sure I would try a different route this time and headed left towards Bassi after checking with a few (very friendly) locals.

True to their promise, the tarmac was a dream. I got so distracted I almost went off the road when I mistook a switchback curve for a right. Since my pace was fairly slow, I managed to brake with distance to spare. My co-passengers were white-lipped afterwards, but since we weren't really friends they couldn't berate me much.

Apart from a small 5km run which was under construction, this 45km leg was a great drive for a small highway. The worst of this stretch was 20x better than the best the Dausa road had to offer. We hit NH11A just around the time it got completely dark, which was the plan. In just over two and a half hours, we had hit Dausa (the onward trip run had been two hours, so a bit slower due to the longer run and evening speeds). So far, we had travelled about 130km, 30km longer than the onward route.

The toll booths in Rajasthan are taxing (quite literally). The local operators are slow, uncomfortable with technology, and process information, change and conversation in small amounts at a time. Along with that they have a rocking social life, and frat with their brothers throughout their work hours. I shall never speak ill of Haryana after this experience. Every toll booth took about twenty minutes to clear, if there were six or seven vehicles in a line. Not kidding.

Including all the tollbooth trauma we were subjected to, the 200-odd km run to Dharuhera took us about three and a half hours including one fifteen minute for filling the car's tank, and emptying the human tanks. One particular tank took a while to get to empty, which is why it was fifteen minutes. In the middle of all this the power went out, and the particular gent was subject to a panic attack. Being caught with your pants down in a dark unknown loo in a dark unknown village cannot be comfortable to the most staunch of us. I think he is still in PTSD therapy.

Anyway, we were soon flying through the little villages of Rajasthan. Quite literally, as I hit a couple of unmarked speed breakers pretty hard. The car seemed none the worse for the wear, though I was a little worried and checked the steering and braking after a hit. I managed to stop in time for most except one or two, and every time I braked hard the lady in the back seat would switch on the cabin light and pick things off the floor. Fiat's engineers sure knew it would need big brakes, and the brakes deliver. I suspect I will have a pad change at 10 or 15k, just like in my old car, due to my braking style.

Somewhere along the way I managed to hit the 5k km mark on the car. It took 9 months for me to rack up that much, such is my lifestyle.

Uptil Dharuhera we had an uneventful run, I never crossed the 120 mark on the speedo, as much as I dared to do with the reach of the headlights. At Dharuhera, we drove into another massive logjam. What is it about that place? It took us 45 minutes to cross a 10-minute stretch, so that totted up another half hour on the blackboard. Finally at 11pm we drove into Iffco Chowk, marking the end of the journey.

Total distance: 720km. Onward: 340km, return 380km

Average consumption: 11.9km/l. Onward: 10.9km/l, return 12.3km/l

Average speed: ~56/54km/h, almost the same on both stretches.

Total time: 14 hours. Onward and return identical times, except 1 hour longer drive time on return.

I will upload more pics as soon as my friends create their Facebook albums, if I am able to. You have to excuse my shooting skills, not really my thing.
Attached Thumbnails
Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review-dsc_1420.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review-dsc_1454.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review-dsc_1662.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review-dsc_1661.jpg  

Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review-dsc_1702.jpg  

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Old 1st March 2012, 23:35   #55
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

If you're still watching this thread, we went for the annual service to ABS Motors in Gurgaon.

I must say the service levels of Fiat have really gone way above my expectations. They called and followed through with the pickup. The service advisor called me in half an hour after the car left me, took down all the little niggles I had, promised the car would be ready by the close of play. The guys here are a lot better than the service experience I had with GM when I had the Opel. Considering all the bashing Fiat gets here for their service, so far it's been a decent experience for me. Maybe I'm lucky at not getting accidented (personally - the dropoff driver crashed my car once) or running into any major mechanical issues.

I got texted that my car was ready, late in the evening. Being unable to get transport to the service center and unwilling to accept a drop off, I picked it up this afternoon. Paid Rs. 1300 for full internal cleaning, of which they did a reasonable job. For the first time ever, I got a clean car from the service center.

That was the only expense, given that I had changed the oil out at 3000km. The total cost of running the T-Jet has been this and the cost of filters + Mobil 1 (both discretionary, not necessary expenses). Say around 6k. Plus the 12k I spent on the ICE upgrade in two months time. That is a necessary expense.

The rattle at the rear that sprung up after the Ranthambore trip is still there, though not as much as before. Overall car feels very similar to how it was before the service, maybe a wee bit 'tighter' and with a less throaty note. 90% of the issues are fixed, 9% are the ones I forgot to tell the SA, and 1% is what they forgot to do.

To give you a perspective on how little this car runs. I use it everyday. I made a few trips to Dabur from Gurgaon, a 120km return trip. I also did Gurgaon to Chandni Chowk, another 100km trip. The odo when I gave it in for service read 5800 kms. A little over 10 weeks ago, it was 5300km (300 km after the last pic on the above post was taken). Which is roughly 300km/month.

The penalty of such short running (average 4 km/run) is that the car exhibits far more wear and tear. Oil changes need to be shorter, and one needs to plan out longer drives to keep the car in good shape. Fuel consumption suffers most of all given the car is almost always cold and traffic doesn't allow one to get the best out of the engine.

The advantage of the short run is that it keeps the car mileage (not re fuel consumption) low, and that one tends to go a bit easier on a cold engine, which curbs my natural instinct to gas it.

Last edited by cranky : 1st March 2012 at 23:38.
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Old 13th April 2012, 16:57   #56
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Default Re: Fiat Linea T-Jet - initial review

Due to numerous issues at work and on the personal front, I am relocating to Calcutta.

My T-Jet is on sale, you can view the ad with my contact details here: http://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy-...or-sale/17086/
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