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vrprabhu 4th August 2010 11:55


Originally Posted by idea1979 (Post 2009602)
Indeed great photos ! Can you please post a Geo Map indicating your travel points?

That's a good idea, idea1979:D (couldn't resist - sorry...)

Jokes apart, I will. However, my knowledge of plotting the route on map is somewhat rudimentary. So can you please tell / teach me a relatively easy method in which I can plot a route from Point A to Point B via C, D, E & F.....please:


Originally Posted by vrprabhu (Post 2009517)
Sudden brainwave.

D - Aha, I get it. You want to go to t-bhp for solution...

M - :Frustrati

(to be cont'd...)

(thanks to the work I do, my bosses and et al who work with me, I have developed a sense of humor and patience...)

M (slowly) - No. Why don't you google the exide website and see if you can locate the helpline number for Exide in Calicut?

D (after some time) - Here is the number.

It turns out that it is the same number which was not picking up.

M - Go back and try to find out battery dealers in Calicut.

D - How? Google 'battery dealers'?

M - No. Use services like 'Just Dial' or yellow pages ... Try to find somebody near East Hill (the place where we were staying...)

Daughter finds a couple of dealers.

One shop owner (S.O.) answers the mobile. Ask wife to explain the problem to him (in Malayalam). Somehow wife convinces him and he agrees to come over even though his shop is closed.

After half-an-hour S.O. turns up. Looking at S.O. - everybody exclaims, "Aarey! He is the one who supplied inverter to us!!". No wonder S.O. agreed to come - the moment he heard the address, he must have understood who was calling.

I am literally ready to bang my head on my bonnet!! - because by this time I have the bonnet opened and trying to see whether there is anything loose, blown fuse etc. Battery is flat, as the 12v bulb doesn't light up.

S.O. checks the battery with multimeter. Voltage is about ~11v. Checks the cells. Specific gravity is low (can see the float hovering at the red mark). Says battery has suffered deep discharge; the battery has to be put on bench charge and see if it can be revived, but it will take at-least a day.

I think - having spent so much on the trip, what's another 4,000 bucks? - better buy a new battery and do the return journey with peace of mind.

S.O. says he deals on with Amaron and battery for Palio (Amaron FLO) will cost about Rs. 6,000!! Before I start haggling, I ask him whether he is sure that he has a DIN50/55 battery, as that is OE.

S.O. calls somebody on his mobile, chats, and says, yes. The battery is available - but it has to be brought from the distributors godown and will be available only tommorrow. What time? 9.00 AM at the earliest...

Get down to bargaining.. Tell him my Exide is about 2 years old and as per their guarantee I will get 40% discount on their brand.

S.O. says yes. But Exide will quote Rs. 7,500 for DIN50 and I will end up paying Rs. 4,500.

Whereas, Amaron FLO @ Rs. 5,500 (a discount of Rs. 500 on the Amaron) offers latest technology and peace of mind... says even if I start the car after 45 days idle period, battery WILL function... Glib talking fellow.

Wife and B-i-L are not interfering (I mean, haggling!). I do all the above in my broken Malayalam...

Finally, I thought what S.O. makes sense. And two exides in 5 years is shocking, to say the least. Ask S.O. to deliver the battery tommorrow (Monday) by 9.00 AM.

Go back to team-bhp to see if I can find the answers to the sudden battery drain.....

(miseries have just started, so have patience.....)

vrprabhu 4th August 2010 16:52

More Misery...
Even after going through a number of threads, was unable to conclude what could be the reason for the sudden battery drain. Concluded that it must have been weak at the start of the trip, and the continuous journey must have taken its toll....

Next day, 9.00 AM - no sign of S.O.

Time ticks... 9.30 AM, could wait no longer. Call S.O., who says he is unable to source DIN50 - even the distributor doesn't have it!

The best alternative is DIN45 which is what Amaron recommends for the Palio.

Is he sure? You bet!, he says, and cooly adds that the price will be reduced by a further Rs. 500 as it is a lower size battery!!

My slow burning fuse is now running short.... no options left, as the day is bound to go waste if I have to start sourcing DIN50 afresh...

Reluctantly, I agree. Who was to know what was in store ahead.

11.00 AM. S.O. turns up with the new battery. Fitted. Car starts first crank (half-a-crank, in fact, as promised by S.O.!) Everything works fine - horn, lights, AC, wiper, ICE et al.

Pay him Rs. 4,900 = final discounted price!

Have lunch, and tell wife and daughter to get ready. In the meantime, I will go and tank up and check air.

Reach the bunk, tank-up and check air. Only one tyre was slightly down.

All set for the return trip.

Start the car.... and the battery indicator stays ON :Shockked:

vrprabhu 5th August 2010 12:32

Woes - cont'd!
No repartees, anyone? :)

Anyway, let me plough ahead!

Seeing the battery indicator aglow, I am almost in a state of panic.

Drive down to the S.O. He checks the battery voltage and charge level - everything fine. Says, there is an electrical issue in the car, which is why the earlier battery was flat.

Gives a phone number and address of an (expert, he says) electrician (E.E.), asking me to get the car checked.

Rush to the E.E. One look, it is obvious that he is at sea with a Palio. (The relay which clicks while switching on is reported as a problem!).

Cross my fingers, and ask E.E. to check the regulator output. It is ~14v. Ask E.E. to switch batteries, just to confirm that it is not some fault of the battery. (Note how I have to ask him to do thing after other). No luck. Indicator stays firmly on. Ask E.E. to check for leakage, by placing a bulb between negative and ground. No leakage. E.E. now says the alternator has to be removed for further test.

I say OK, I will come back tomorrow morning and escape from his clutches....

Call TATA-FIAT. They will do the check - but next day morning. No estimates - only after they see the car. The service station is far away from the city, and don't know what they will do once I reach there.

Sudden brain-wave.

Locate the earlier FIAT dealer. TVS. However, by the time I reach there, they are closing. They take a cursory look, and say problem could be with the rectifier. Ask me to come tomorrow morning, while warning me not to drive the car for long....

Go back home, wearily.

Another brain-wave. New battery causing ECU to report error where there is none, I think.

Remove the battery. Reconnect it after 10~15 minutes. Start the car. Battery light comes on, goes out! Voila!

Happiness is short lived, because it comes on again after a few minutes.

Decide to take the car for a drive - come what may. Drive for about 25 - 30 kms. This time the light stays firmly OFF. Whatever was the problem (loose contact, I guessed) is not recurring. Will take care of it at Pune, I say to wife.

However, her mood is ON. Rains, two day trip and funny electricals? Sorry, she says, NO GO. Report to TVS by 9.30 AM tomorrow or else....

No alternative. Yield. Another day gone. Likely that the next day also will be wasted....

CrankShaft05 5th August 2010 12:52

I cant stop praising you on your photography skills vrprabhu.... The pic of Hanuman ji is too gud and even rest of the pictures...Keep clicking:thumbs up

vrprabhu 5th August 2010 15:46

Almost Done.....
Thanks, CrankShaft05! There are couple more of Hanuman, coming up shortly... Am not sure whether the pictures exhibit skills from my side - but I can now claim to be 'acclaimed' photographer :D (joking, of course)

Bear with me for a couple of more posts.

(BTW, my travails haven't ended. The new battery is again flat yesterday! Hope somebody in ICE thread can throw some light on my problem.....)

Next day (3rd day from the original departure date) morning at 9.30 AM, I am promptly at TVS.

There are various cars undergoing surgery of various kinds....:)

I am attended to quickly. Job card made.

Electrician comes and takes a look, checks the voltage etc. etc. I loiter for sometime there.

Finally, I am told that they will remove the alternator and test it. I ask what time will I know the status. They assure to give me a call....

3.00 PM - No news yet. I call them. From the background noise, it is obvious that they haven't done anything - because I hear contradicting replies!

Hang up, and call the supervisor on his mobile. He assures that the alternator is being removed and will be tested and by 4.00 PM, he will let me know.

4 turns to 4.30. I can no longer wait. Reach the service station (without telling them) by 5.00 PM.

My car is standing at the same place. People in the office fumble on seeing me.

I ask them whether work is done. Supervisor glibly covers up saying that it is.

I ask him what was the problem. He says 'loose contact':Shockked:

What loose contact? Some soldering has come off; fixed, but next time the rectifier has to be replaced.

(Till today I haven't found / located which was the solder which was loose).

No further mood to argue. He makes out a bill for Rs. 200/-.

Take the car for a round around the beach. ~10 kms. Runs fine. No telltale indicators on.

Make up mind not to discuss the above with anybody, and simply tell them that everything is OK.

arindamray 5th August 2010 17:25

Is there a way to know when to change the battery?

This time my car didn't start after a one day gap, ran Saturday evening, didn't start on the Monday morning. Asked to change the battery (Exide - already run for 3 years, the factory fitted one ran for 2 years), and then everything is fine.

I wonder what happens if it decides to go down in middle of a trip?

vrprabhu 6th August 2010 12:18

Return trip starts.....

Originally Posted by arindamray (Post 2012980)
Is there a way to know when to change the battery?
I wonder what happens if it decides to go down in middle of a trip?

The best way is to check the output voltage and the specific gravity of the cells. I have seen some battery testing equipment, but am not sure what is does....

Why do you think I was running from pillar to post? Just to avoid battery failure. In case battery fails, only two alternatives available - (a) jump start with somebody's help; or (b) get the help of a garage by using a spare battery....

Let me get back to my travails....

Reach home. Everyone is anxious. To all their questions, answer (truthfully) the exact words of the service station. They don't probe further.

I grandly announce that the return trip will be via Mysore. Why? To avoid the bad roads and rains and hopefully a shorter distance, I say. Real reason being, wanted to avoid the Honnavar - Ankola - Yellapur - Hubli section, as a breakdown here means disaster....

Pull aside my wife and tell her (honestly) what I feel. 29th June is already over, and I wanted to be back at Pune on 28th. She leaves it to fate.

We plan to leave early morning on 30th....

( Travelogue and pictures resume from the next post :) )

MX6 6th August 2010 12:38

I thought you chose mysore route because in case you have trouble again, you have Sultan battery enroute.

vrprabhu 6th August 2010 14:12

Return Journey....
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Originally Posted by MX6 (Post 2014173)
I thought you chose mysore route because in case you have trouble again, you have Sultan battery enroute. lol:

Terrific! Now why didn't I think of that? :uncontrol

30th morning - it is raining cats and dogs. With a slight trepidation, we leave at about 7.30 AM.

Just after leaving Calicut, we catch a sight of this....

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Looking a me clicking pictures, one more traveler stopped his SUV nearby and even walked up and down this bridge! Neat piece of engineering, I must say. And, look at the road we are traveling and the barriers on the road - won't even prevent a pedestrian from falling over....

vrprabhu 6th August 2010 15:29

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Originally Posted by idea1979 (Post 2009602)
Indeed great photos ! Can you please post a Geo Map indicating your travel points?

Here's my route - that was the best I could do, with my knowledge of Google Maps.

To have a better idea, I have done the circular portion from Hubli and back.

Attachment 400841

B - Yellapur
E - Honnavar
D - Jog Falls
I - Udupi
H - Karkala
J - Mangalore
K - Mahe
L - Calicut
M - Kalpetta
N - Gundlupet
O - Mysore
P - Tumkur
Q - Chitradurga

But for the Mysore - Tumkur route, Google has plotted the route correctly.

vrprabhu 6th August 2010 17:13

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The idea was to reach Mysore by 1.00 PM, have lunch and then proceed towards Chitradurga / Harihar to the night halt.

This meant no halt anywhere in between, and very stops for pictures...

However, the moment we reached the Waynad Ghat the downpour started.

There are nine hairpin bends on this road, and even on a normal day it is tough. Imagine doing it rains!

The road was in poor shape and couldn't make out who was coming ahead and the edge of the road. So much for avoiding rains....

Visibility was poor, as the rain was heavy
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Forced to go close to the edge to give space for oncoming traffic to maneuver..
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vrprabhu 7th August 2010 12:50

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We cross the ghats safely... drive slowly and enjoy the ambience of the tea estates of Wayanad, stop and have breakfast at Sultan Batheri.

After a while we reach this stretch....Thankfully, the rains have ceased. Stopped here to have a feel of the forest - what a change from the coast! Each part of our country gives you an unique experience.

My wife is relieved - no ghats, no rains, no traffic (and no problems with the battery!)
Attachment 401319

This part of the road gave us a taste of light and shadows.. and silence as well. Felt very good there - to stop at a place with a not a soul in sight, no noise except for those emanating from the jungle....
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The tree is a reminder of my having done the NH212!
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(more to come!)

ampere 7th August 2010 13:01

NH212 is one of the best forest roads I have ever seen.
Beautiful scenery, beautiful roads!

StarVegabond 7th August 2010 13:03


your problems with battery remind me of my similar troubles with my palio 1.2ELX, even though i never faced problem during the trips, i have replaced the battery 2 times apart from the one originally came with the car during the 7 year ownership period.

i also remember, both times, it had peaceful death without any pre-symptoms.

BTW, some good pictures there..

vrprabhu 7th August 2010 13:18

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Originally Posted by ampere (Post 2015830)
NH212 is one of the best forest roads I have ever seen. Beautiful scenery, beautiful roads!

I fully agree. More pictures uploaded!

I would love to do this stretch on a winter day morning on a bike :)


Originally Posted by StarVegabond (Post 2015832)
your problems with battery remind me of my similar troubles with my palio 1.2ELX, even though i never faced problem during the trips, i have replaced the battery 2 times apart from the one originally came with the car during the 7 year ownership period.

BTW, some good pictures there..

Hopefully, I should sort out the issues without further trouble. Car is idle at present (at Calicut).

Thanks. It was all god's creation, and mercifully well preserved. Touch wood!

The light and shadow effect - which unfortunately is too much for my P&S Canon to handle! This place had the tunnel effect..

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