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Old 22nd March 2023, 16:11   #1
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Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Introduction

Life throws challenges at us much later in life; and it is up to us to take these head on. My challenge here was to undertake another cross-country drive on the same sector that I did in my Fifteen year young Grand Vitara; the catch was to do it less than five weeks after the first drive. As I've mentioned earlier, this drive may not be anywhere as challenging or beautiful as many featured on the forum, but for me this was going to be putting my endurance to test yet again. This time, the machine was my foe turned friend - a 2012 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport.

Safety

At the cost of sounding repetitive, here are a few points that I followed:

1. Continued to drive only as long as I felt alert
2. Dawn to dusk driving, with a little stretch on the final day
3. Checked the vitals of the car at periodic intervals
4. Kept a bottle of water, and a towel handy at all times; the towel is primarily to wipe sweat off one's palms
5. Followed speed limits to the T
6. Never allowed the low fuel warning light to come on; refuelled well before that

Acknowledgement

I'd like to thank Almighty for having brought me to my destination safe n sound, and bhpian @sridhar-v for his support enroute. Bhpian @paragsachania had already given me enough info on rest stops and fuel top up places during my earlier drive, so I was armed with all that information.

Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_settingoffmorningsun.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 22:07.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 16:41   #2
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Background

Here is some quick info on my longish highway drives thus far:

1. Driving since 1994 but never did a highway drive until 2002
2. 2017 : Drives between Chennai and Madurai, Chennai and Vellore
3. 2018 - 2022 : Vadodara to Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Surat
4. 2022 : Vadodara to Bengaluru

What did I do different this time?

Learning from my earlier experience on the same sector, and taking a cue from members' advice after my earlier drive, this is what I did differently:

1. Used the main route as much as possible and not trust GMaps blindly
2. Windows up and AC on most of the drive
3. Carried a Power Bank
4. Stopped every 3-4 hours just to stretch and hit the loo
5. Used the phone only to help me navigate
a) the sector between Vesu and the National Highway via Sachin, Maroli and Vesma (will mention why I took this route)
b) Vasai to Kalamboli
c) inside Pune

Preparations and planning

From past experience, I carried the following:

1. Car's papers - Original RC, PUC Certificate, Insurance (had all these on my parivahan app but still)
2. Spare bulbs, some wiring
3. Some engine oil, some Servo Kool Plus Coolant
4. A full tool kit, two spare 5 liter cans

Maintenance

1. Fuel Filter (Mitsubishi Original sourced from UAE) : Since I've never taken a diesel car this far, and wanted the diesel supply path to face no hiccups, I had the fuel filter repalced
2. Engine Oil and Oil Filter : I had a Mitsubishi original filter in stock plus the engine oil had already seen approx 5,500kms, I decided to change these as well
3. Got the car's interiors cleaned - after approx. 3 years

Fuel and Oil Filters
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_fueloilfilters.jpg

Fuel Filter that was removed; there was no fuel supply issue with this filter in place but I just wanted to be sure and hence replaced itGujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_fuelfilter.jpg

New engine oil filter in place - the turbo discharge hose, plus the top half of the air filter assembly needs to be removed to change the oil filter
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_engineoilfilter_new.jpg

The engine oil that was used - DO NOT fill more than 6.2 liters in the Pajero Sport; top up a little more if required. General tendency of technicians is to dump 7 liters like they do for the old Fortuner
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_engineoil.jpg

The interiors squeaky clean after a detailing session at my good old garage in Surat
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_interior1.jpg

Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_interior2.jpg

Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_interior3.jpg

Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_viewdriverdoor.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 22:12.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 17:22   #3
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

What was disturbing me this time?

I had attended an event in an open party plot in Vadodara five days before my departure - don't know what hit me but the usual symptoms of a sore throat, manifesting itself as a cold, set in after two days. I didn't get adequate sleep until 2 days before departure; eyes went red and all that. I was finally good only the day before departure, and so was all set for this long haul.

Setting off on Day1

The car was loaded with a ton of stuff in the boot (with the third row folded down) and I'd already taken on 50 liters of diesel at INR 91.81 a liter. Departure on Day-1 was delayed, and we decided to stop at Surat, my home for many years. The stop helped me meet up with some old friends and also appreciate how the infrastructure there has transformed. I turned off NH48 (just past the Kamrej Sugar Factory) onto Raj Hotel and then onto Velanja, Kosad, Amroli, Katargam to Ichhanath. It was a treat to see Katargam offer such a smooth passage.

The Pajero Sport as seen through the tinted glasses at a commercial property Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_mirrorimage.png

Entry to Kosad
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-entrytokosad.jpg


Day-2

We left Surat at approx. 8am, planning to be in Pune at approx. 5pm, pretty much the same arrival time as in my earlier trip. I took the Hazira to Palsana Road (NH53), and was on course to Sachin. I decided to bypass the rather absurd toll plaza called Bhatia Toll Plaza, and thus ended up exiting this NH53 and taking the state highway via the Sachin Apparel Park to Navsari, turning left at Maroli Char Rasta and merging with NH48 at Vesma. Post that, the drive was excellent until the usual mayhem at Vasai Bridge.

Setting off from Surat against the morning sun
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_settingoffmorningsun.jpg

Sachin Apparel Park to Maroli Char Rasta to Vesma
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-bypassingbhatiatollplaza.jpg

Maroli to Vesma - next to zero traffic
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_marolitovesma.jpg

Cruising casually
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_casualcruise.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 22:15.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 17:45   #4
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Day2 (Contd.)

Saw cops stationed at the Maharashtra entry check post, and immediately after the Khaniwade Toll Plaza. At both points, I rolled the windows down fully, and they just let me pass. This was the sector on which I had some challenging experiences with the same car in Nov-2019. It was good to pass the same "overheating" point with no issues this time. (Related experience at point no.4 here)

On the highway to Mumbai
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_enroutemumbai.jpg

Brunch

We took a break at approx. 11am at Vithal Kamat's Manor. This place is located on the service road adjacent to the Manor overbridge. Enough signboards on the highway to guide one there. Good food and neat washrooms

Excellent options even at 11am - although the "lunch" menu wasn't active at that time, almost all items on the breakfast menu were available. I had Misal Pau which was served hot and fast, was just right on spice, easy on the tummy. Poori and Chhole was also well done, although the masala for chhole was not OE Chhole masala. Coffee was also good enough.

Vithal Kamat's at Manor
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-vithalkamatmanor_1.jpg

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Misal Pau - served hot and really good
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-misalpau_vithalkamatmanor.jpg

Continuing the drive

After brunch, we continued till Point Mayhem viz. Vasai Bridge

The usual scene at the Vasai Bridge - one poor Jeep Compass was being transported on a flatbed
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-vasai.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 22:17.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 18:07   #5
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Day2 (Contd.)

After crossing the Vasai Bridge and turning off onto Ghodbunder Road, it was a reasonably smooth ride until around Thane. There were cops galore enroute and I remember a dark filmed Baleno with a GJ05 registration was summarily stopped. GMaps diverted me off at Manpada onto Saket-Kalwa Road, then again off Thane-Belapur Road via Rabale MIDC eventually bringing me back on course at Koparkhairane. My left toes starting developing cramps because I needed to use the clutch far too many times, driving bumper-bumper at some sections. It was only after I got a clean stretch that I got some relief.

After approx. 1hr 50mins of torturous passage via Thane, Ghansoli and onto Koparkhairane, I was on the Expressway cruising at my typical 80-85kmph (for this section). After navigating the Khandala ghat, again well within speed limits, I took on some diesel at BP Expressway just after the Talegaon Toll Plaza @INR 92.78 a liter; a way way way better experience than what I experienced at BPCL COCO after Khed Shivapur Toll Plaza. No waiting time, great attitude, clean dealings and payment via card. No fuss.

At Pune, we first visited someone in a place called Pashan (arrival 4:30pm) before heading for our rest stop for the day near Erandwane Road (5:55pm). I remember while getting off the highway towards Kothrud, there was this super-steep down incline that I needed to navigate. Pune was surprisingly easy to navigate at that time of the day.

Navigating Navi Mumbai - note the diversions off the Thane-Belapur Road
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-navigatingnavimumbai.jpg

On the Pune Expressway
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-mpew_1.jpg

At Pune, finally! - note how loaded the car is and hence the sag
Name:  PS_Pune.jpg
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Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 22:19.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 18:58   #6
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Day3

After a good evening in Pune, we slept at approx. 10 pm and were up at approx 5 am. After a cup of black coffee, we set off at exact 6am into the chilly morning in Pune.

I re-lived the the exhilaration of navigating the Khambataki ghat. I could not shoot a pic or a video last time; but this time my better half did the honours.





Continuing past the Khambatki Ghat, I experienced some astounding FE of 16.0 kmpl (aided by the downslope) all the way till Dharwad. This time, there were no cops at Kolhapur. All along, I ensured I was operating at no more than 85 kmph. I crossed the Kognoli toll at approx 10 am and post that, we took a break for our first meal of the day at the tried and tested Amar Only Veg; outstanding food and quick service like last time. I had Upittu, Vadai tea and we set off at 11:15am. Surprise here is that I managed to hit Amar in exactly the same time as I did in my earlier drive. Departure Pune and arrival Amar Only Veg was the same time on both the trips

Relaxing at Amar Only Veg Tavandi
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_amarveg.jpg


Continuing my drive

I went on and on , encountering some great roads, until I hit the Dharwad - Hubbali road, which was, as usual, a pain to navigate. Overtakes on this sector have to be real quick as there is always a long line of trucks. After crossing the Gabbur toll plaza (Hubballi) at approx 1:40pm, we had some tender coconut just after the toll and then took a loo break at Kamat Upachar Chabbi. The road from Hubbali to Chitradurga was a bliss to drive on. Although barren, the road was capable of insane speeds, but I continued to do no more than 90-95 kmph.

Refuelling Stop #3

I took on some more fuel at INR 88.57 a liter at the BPCL COCO at Ranebennur. This was just to ensure that I have more than adequate fuel to reach Bengaluru. Service was good and quick.

Third break of the day at Chitradurga

I was at Sarvodaya restaurant at Chitradurga bypass by approx. 5pm; here again, I managed to arrive at the exact same time as I did in my earlier drive. Pedigree Bonda soup, a cup of coffee for me and some veg fried rice for my better half, and we were off in 30 mins. As it got dark, the two wheeler traffic started to build up post Tumakuru and it got a little irritating too. However, I managed to stay afloat and completed the journey into Bengaluru without much ado. I used the Dr.Puneeth Rajkumar Road to enter South Bengaluru and it was all fine until Nayandhalli before the cross roads, traffic signals slowed me down. I was finally at my destination at 8:30pm.

Odo went past 1,50,000km at the end of this trip
Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated-ps_atdestination.jpg

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 23:11.
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Old 22nd March 2023, 20:25   #7
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

One weird experience in each of these trips

When I set off from Pune at 6 am, the weather was rather cold, and this continued almost until 9 am. I noticed something weird, which has never ever happened to either car in any other region ever.

Trip#1 Grand Vitara : The CEL came on as soon as I started the car at Pune. Engine was firing perfect, although at a higher rpm (possibly due to the lower ambient temperature) and there was no loss of power or anything of the sort. The CEL remained on till I stopped for my brunch at Amar Only Veg at approx. 10:45 am

Trip#2 Pajero Sport : The ABS warning lamp turned on after the Khambatki ghat and remained on till we stopped for brunch at Amar Only Veg at approx. 10:45am.

In both the cases, the warning lamps disappeared within a few minutes of departing Amar Only Veg, and never reappeared after that; no clue on why these happened, and how they reset at Amar Only Veg.

The driving experience - 2.0 Petrol AT vs 2.5 Diesel Manual

Having done this sector on two cars - same driver, same traffic conditions, same weather, here are my views:

Advantage Grand Vitara 2.0 AT

* Much easier to navigate the ghats, especially with slow trucks moving in multiple lanes. No jhanjhat (hassle) of changing gears
* Better headlights
* left leg takes it easy

Advantage Pajero Sport

* Better fuel efficiency
* Better NVH
* Better visibility
* Better seats

Trip Summary

A: Distance covered 1,461 km (including the detour into Surat)

B: Fuel spend INR 9,700

C: Toll spend INR 1,775

D: Overall Fuel efficiency 13.7 kmpl (approx.)

(Sectorwise FE Vadodara to Surat 14.5 kmpl, Surat to Vasai 14.0 kmpl; Surat to Pune overall 13.3 kmpl; Pune to Tavandi (due to the downslope from Khambatki ghat till Nipani) 16 kmpl, Tavandi to Bengaluru 13.5kmpl)

Key Takeaways

This road trip was an accomplishment of sorts for me on various counts:

1. Two 1,500km trips in a month of each other, for someone who isn't used to these drives has only raised the bar; no words to describe the sense of accomplishment
2. My machine never let me down
3. Road trips are memorable if executed with good planning, and adequate rest - for the driver and the machine
4. I was in good enough shape to be able to undertake more travel the day after I reached my destination
5. Contrary to popular perception that SUVs are meant to be driven faster, this car behaves best when cruising at 100kmph or thereabouts with the rpm around 2000
6. Road surface no bar - the Pajero Sport doesn't care!

Season's Greetings and Thank You for reading!

Last edited by vigsom : 22nd March 2023 at 23:10.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 05:06   #8
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re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd March 2023, 20:47   #9
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Re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigsom View Post

Overall Fuel efficiency 13.7 kmpl (approx.)
Superb read till the above statement! Mine hasn't even crossed 9! Over 25k kms.
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Old 24th March 2023, 07:21   #10
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Re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Nice read. Two different steads whilst the route remains the same. No doubt the Suzuki Grand Vitara AT in D2 mode would have helped a lot in the ghat sections. Notwithstanding the fact, that its the throttle modulation play in second gear whether its Pajero or Grand Vitara. I presume the diesel engine of Pajero wins with respect to Grand Vitara 2.0 petrol in terms of responsiveness on ghat section.
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Old 24th March 2023, 09:09   #11
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Re: Gujarat to Karnataka in an 11-year young Mitsubishi Pajero Sport | Exhilaration Repeated

Quote:
Originally Posted by ritedhawan View Post
No doubt the Suzuki Grand Vitara AT in D2 mode would have helped a lot in the ghat sections. Notwithstanding the fact, that its the throttle modulation play in second gear whether its Pajero or Grand Vitara. I presume the diesel engine of Pajero wins with respect to Grand Vitara 2.0 petrol in terms of responsiveness on ghat section.
That particular day, when I was in the Sport, traffic on the Khambatki ghat was a little higher than what it was when I was taking the Grand Vitara. However, between the two, I was more comfortable with the Grand Vitara on the ghat. Reason: Didn't have to manipulate the clutch and the gears. I just left the car in D, manipulated the throttle, and it did its duty. Also, one automatically becomes a rogue when in the Grand Vitara.

The Sport has this weird spot at 28-30kmph when one has to downshift to second and I faced this several times on the ghat due to a) slow moving trucks and b) ever impatient other vehicle users. Engine was super responsive but still.

Last edited by vigsom : 24th March 2023 at 09:11.
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