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Old 31st January 2012, 16:31   #1
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Thumbs up Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Hello Everyone,

This is my first thread on Team BHP. So you guys can imagine the excitement and feeling I must be going through while writing this.

To give a brief, this is about how the Vista conquered a track which only a SUV could have done. Path was between mud, dirt, gravel, loose stones, steep climb, boulders - means no traction and grip at all. Moreover, mine is a Petrol Indica Vista SAFIRE which is one heavy vehicle and is definitely underpowered.

It was month of May 11. My best friend from Bangalore was in town (Pune). An impromtu trip to Bhimshankar was planned and we started off. It is a 120 Kms drive from my place. About 30-40 Kms before Bhimashankar, on the right we saw a dam and decided to explore it on our way back.

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We did not know what was waiting for us right behind this wall!!

Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER-dsc_0191.jpg

Jumping directly to the adventure spot. It was about 3 PM when we again reached the dam. After much discussion, it was decided that we will go and check out the place. The road to dam was through a hill and was not in a good condition. We reached the dam and as it is with all such places, it was completely deserted. There was just one guard who bluntly refused to open the gates and did not allow us to enter. What a sad moment it was!! Disappointed, we sat in the car and just drove a little further. To our surprise, there was a huge water body behind the dam and the view just reminded me of Pangong Lake.

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Since we were at a height, there was no way we could reach the water bank. But then, there was a small diversion on the left which we thought would take us there. There started the dirt track. This was just the beginning and we were totally unaware what was waiting for us. The route was manageable till a few 100 meters.

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Then there came a right turn and the mystery unfolded. We were wrong about this route taking us to the water body easily. Mind the word easily here. This route led to the water body but via a steep decline and all over the place there was dirt, gravel, loose stones, big boulder, wild thorny plants. Still, I felt confident that vista could make it. Asked my friend and dear wifey to get off the car, slotted my baby to 1st gear and approached the steep slope slowly. After 100 meters, I had to again stop as there was a huge boulder midway hidden between some plants. There was no way I could maneuver the vehicle without moving that stone.

At that point of time, I was in a do or die situation. Neither I could have reversed not I could have moved forward. But, we gathered all power removed that huge boulder. Again the Vista started rolling. Finally, the rough patch was over and I hit the smooth sand surface. Happy and overjoyed, I didn’t realize I reached too close to water and got my car stuck in the wet sand. Half of my front wheels were stuck in the wet mud/sand. My other partners in crime were slowly walking down, clicking pics without even realizing that the car is stuck. This how the below photo got captured and if you see carefully, you should be able to see the car stuck in the mud. By this time, it was already 4.30 PM. There was no help around and it was just 3 of us.

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Then started the struggle to get the car out. Tried all we could but nothing helped:
- reversing and then moving forward,
- Tried to lay the foot mats so that the wheels could get some traction and grip.
- Dig out extra mud.

All this led to a lot of wheel spinning and the car was got so much deep that the front bumper was touching the ground. No way could we pull it out. Neither was there cellular network to call for help. Since, it was all unplanned and we were in a panic situation, I do not have the exact pics to describe this but in the pics when car is out you would be able to see the mud wrapped tires.

The pics below will show you how deserted the area was. We were not able to spot the highway from where we came down :

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Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER-dsc_0203.jpg

Suddenly, we saw 3-4 men sitting at a height. We reached out to them for help. Though they were a bit reluctant and finally agreed to come down and help us. As a final attempt, they lifted the car from front and then with full throttle in reverse gear, we were able to pull the car out. What a moment of relief it was!!!

Vista Relaxing..

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The snapshots below will show you the place car was stuck and how deep it was :

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My wife is trying to show the depth to which car was stuck by standing next to it.

Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER-dsc_0201.jpg

Relaxed for a while, clicked pictures and almost forgot that we have to climb back. Coming down is always easy but going up is tougher. Finally started the return journey. My dear vista had already struggled a lot and but this is another battle which she needs to win. After the smooth surface, when that incline approached it was a tough trail. The wheels weren’t getting any traction, stones and gravels were getting thrown left-right-center due to wheel spin but the car was not moving. I really felt sad for my car. Had the car not moved from that point, we would have stuck again as the tires were getting deeper in the grooves created due to wheel spin. After 10 minutes of struggle, I could finally pull the car out and boy, what experience it was. The car was literally jumping left and right. Immediately after reaching the top I had to take left. Since, the car was under full throttle, after reaching the top, had I not controlled the vehicle, both (me and car) of us would be in a ditch as there was not much scope.

Finally, we reached the highway. My wife literally kissed the car with so much passion as if she could feel the pain through which it went through.
Sometimes only after pushing to extreme limits you understand the limit of anything. I think a 4X4 SUV could have done this with much ease but still, hats off to the VISTA and the driver too (after all, as important the car is, equally important is the driver.)

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This made us realize that Tata vehicles are made strong. Vista came out with no underbody damage, no dents due to flying stones at the time of wheel spin when climbing up. It made for a memorable day and a great learning experience. Though, I never attempted any such stunt again since then, but it triggered a new desire to own a 4X4 which could satisfy my such exploration needs. Since, then my hunt for a 4X4 is on. More on this hunt later.

Regards,
Aniket
--------------------------------------------------
Tata Indica Vista Safire Aura ABS - June 2010
Bajaj Pulsar 180 UG4 - Dec 2009 (sold in Dec 2011)

Last edited by aniket.tiwari27 : 1st February 2012 at 08:10. Reason: Insert pics in between the texts instead of putting them at the end
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Old 1st February 2012, 08:51   #2
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Aniket: Exciting adventure.

Remember:
1. Do such jaunts only in presence of company of another vehicle
2. When stuck in sand do not spin wheels uselessly. They just dig deeper. Sometimes it is better to put the car in first/reverse gear and then without using clutch crank the starter. Create a ramp this way.
3. A bit of push along with above does wonders.
4. Once the engine sinks in (due to wheel dig) and sits on ground the wheels cannot get any traction. And at this stage it will require much more effort to pull it out. So follow #2 point.

Enjoy.
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Old 1st February 2012, 11:13   #3
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Aniket: Exciting adventure.

Remember:
1. Do such jaunts only in presence of company of another vehicle
2. When stuck in sand do not spin wheels uselessly. They just dig deeper. Sometimes it is better to put the car in first/reverse gear and then without using clutch crank the starter. Create a ramp this way.
3. A bit of push along with above does wonders.
4. Once the engine sinks in (due to wheel dig) and sits on ground the wheels cannot get any traction. And at this stage it will require much more effort to pull it out. So follow #2 point.

Enjoy.
Thanks Sudev Sir for the tips.

I learnt the lesson hard way and did not try any such thing again. This I realized mainly when climbing up because when I started the descent, the car rolled down easily. This made me feel that it is easy and it will not be an issue.
Secondly, when I reached down at the flats, I went too close to water. Wanted to click a classic picture with Vista washing its leg in water with a beautiful backdrop!!
As it was first such dare devel stunt for me, it made for a good learning experience. It helped
- me realize mine and the car's capability
- to understand not to venture out at such terrain alone.
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Old 1st February 2012, 13:55   #4
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

A good learning experience not to do such in future and also allowed you to know the Indica's limits and capabilities.
It's in such conditions that the Tata Indica/Indigo family surprises us ,eventhough they are cars carrying Tata's truck legacy and robustness forward.
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Old 1st February 2012, 14:12   #5
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

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Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
A good learning experience not to do such in future and also allowed you to know the Indica's limits and capabilities.
It's in such conditions that the Tata Indica/Indigo family surprises us ,eventhough they are cars carrying Tata's truck legacy and robustness forward.
Exactly. The interior build quality, plastic fit and finish could be poor in Tata cars but the chasis and body frame appears to be strong.

This extensive use of metal makes it heavier. The Indica Vista Safire Aura ABS weighs about 1040 Kgs (Kerb Weight). For a heavy vehicle like this, the power figures of 65ps/96Nm torque does not justify and makes it underpowered. It is fine for city driving but is not at all fun to drive on the highways.

Though this did not stop me driving it In 20 months of ownership i have driven 23500+ kms and I must say, it never let me down. I still long for more. Planning a trip to Mount Abu next week.
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Old 1st February 2012, 15:24   #6
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

In addition to the 4 points Sudev sir mentioned:

5. If you find the wheels spinning, reduce the air to about ~10 psi. It will help a lot.
6. In slush - Steer left-right-left , so that it effectively increases the contact patch.
7. Push-Push-Push, even if the vehicle is slightly moving, it will save your day.
8. Instead of a floor mat, put in some pebbles or stones.
9. In a high revving petrol, NEVER push the pedal to metal. Use only as much torque you want just to move, to prevent wheels spinning. If possible, use the 2nd gear.
10. Try rocking the car - forward-backward, and use the momentum to move in the required direction, along with the engine power. It might help.

Last edited by dhanushs : 1st February 2012 at 15:26.
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Old 1st February 2012, 15:35   #7
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Tata makes strong chassis, but guess what, the underbelly is as delicate as others. Not sure of the new Vista, but in my old Indica was heavy and over many years of usage the suspensions would go soft, and quiet a few times the underbelly would either scrape or hit something big that comes on the road.

On the terrain i see rocks, stones, ditches, all have the potential to damage the underbelly of Vista and render it motionless.
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Old 1st February 2012, 15:52   #8
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Hey Ankit,

That was an adventure!!!

But it was a great risk you took as GC of vista is not great and there is always a chance of damaging the car. You are lucky to get out and the picture of your wife kiisng the car sums up the story well!!!
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Old 1st February 2012, 16:06   #9
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Default Re: Vista Safire - Goes offroad, gets dirty and emerges a WINNER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Hey Ankit,

That was an adventure!!!

But it was a great risk you took as GC of vista is not great and there is always a chance of damaging the car. You are lucky to get out and the picture of your wife kiisng the car sums up the story well!!!
The GC is just 165mm. We indeed were lucky to get out of that situation.

It was one panic situation that evening for us. Never tried anything like this again. I get shivers thinking what would have we done, had those guys not come to help us. There was no network coverage even though we had all four major networks (Vodafone, Idea, Reliance CDMA, Airtel) and the area was completely deserted.

And you know what, she had warned me before we started going down but I thought it will not be an issue and convinced her. Later it was that "I told you so" story

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
Tata makes strong chassis, but guess what, the underbelly is as delicate as others. Not sure of the new Vista, but in my old Indica was heavy and over many years of usage the suspensions would go soft, and quiet a few times the underbelly would either scrape or hit something big that comes on the road.

On the terrain i see rocks, stones, ditches, all have the potential to damage the underbelly of Vista and render it motionless.
Luckily, it came out scratchless. I took it to a washing center the next day and examined the entire underbody but did not see any damage unless I missed out on noticing anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
In addition to the 4 points Sudev sir mentioned:

5. If you find the wheels spinning, reduce the air to about ~10 psi. It will help a lot.
6. In slush - Steer left-right-left , so that it effectively increases the contact patch.
7. Push-Push-Push, even if the vehicle is slightly moving, it will save your day.
8. Instead of a floor mat, put in some pebbles or stones.
9. In a high revving petrol, NEVER push the pedal to metal. Use only as much torque you want just to move, to prevent wheels spinning. If possible, use the 2nd gear.
10. Try rocking the car - forward-backward, and use the momentum to move in the required direction, along with the engine power. It might help.
Thanks for few more tips. Will definitely keep these in mind.

I did try point 6 but the wheels were not moving as there was not much room because the engine sunk due to wheel dig caused by prior efforts of reversing/forwarding the car in attempt to pull it out.

As you rightly mentioned in point 8, when the floor mats did not help, we did put stones/pebbles but it did not work initially. It helped when those god send guys came to help us. They lifted the vehicle from front along with a push, this clubbed with the pebble effect and reverse gear helped the car to come out.
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