Ownership chronicles of a 2011 Ford Figo 1.2 ZXI

The drive quality of this car was where it excelled due to its low ground clearance and low centre of gravity, the car used to stay tight in corners. I always felt confident while putting it around some harsh curves with speeds above 80kmph.

BHPian parth_enzo recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi, I am Parth 22 years old, in my final year of graduation pursuing a degree in Law. I am an automobile enthusiast since birth and have a keen interest in automobile repairs and maintenance. This is my first post on Team-BHP and I want to dedicate this post to my first car, The Figo. We parted ways in October, 2021, and gave it to someone who is a Ford Enthusiaist and promised to take care of my Figo just like I did. Below is my ownership experience with the car, what I liked about it, what I hated and why we parted ways.


I learned driving at a very early stage in my life (in safe and protected environments) when I was in my 5th grade of schooling. I still remember how I used to stall our Maruti 800 and how furious my dad used to get on me. The love for cars and bikes, it’s in my blood and have inherited it from my dad. We in our family treat vehicles as members of our family and we have a reputation of keeping vehicles in pristine condition years down the line. I was in my first year of college (2018) when the need for a second car arose apart from the 2013 Honda Brio SMT we had which was serving us well. I used to stay in my University Hostel and parents lived 100 kms away from my University. Being a single and over-pampered child, my parents decided to get me car to get back home on weekends and to commute around my University. I would have been cool with a bike as well, but my parents “being my parents” insisted on getting a car for safety purposes. So the search began and we looked out for a small, strong and a reliable car. Since we had an open parking at my University, I didn’t want to get a new car whose fresh paint would have to face scorching heat and dust all around the year, hence we looked out in the pre-worshiped market.

The Delivery

It was one fine day that my dad’s acquaintance gave us a lead that his neighbours are moving out to the US and they want to sell off their Figo. Since I was at my University and the car was back in my hometown, my parents went to have a look at the car. They immediately fell in love with the car and paid full and got the car home. It was 9pm on fine day in the month of May when I got a video call from my parents. They showed me the car and I was so overwhelmed by emotions that I was in tears already. Automobile enthusiasts can relate how exactly it feels to get their first own car.

This car was a 2011 Manufactured ZXI Petrol variant with 26k on the odometer. Though it was a seven year old car, it was barely run. The next weekend, my parents drove off to my university to show me my car. I still remember the first time I saw it. It had a few dents and scratches which to be honest didn’t bother me. But what did bother me was the fuel efficiency. In a few days, the car was dropped off at my University.

First Impressions of the Car

  • The built quality was damnnn. It was built like a tank. The door closing thuds, the quality of sheet metal used, weight of the bonnet. Everything felt solid and built to last.
  • The drive quality of this car was where it excelled due to its low ground clearance and low centre of gravity, the car used to stay tight in corners. I always felt confident while putting it around some harsh curves with speeds above 80kmph. The steering response was amazing being a mechanical power steering, I always felt connected to the road and could navigate it exactly where I wanted it to be
  • The suspension didn’t have the best setup but it could absorb bumps with occasional maxed out thud noises from the suspension.
  • The rear space was adequate which never during my ownership did I get to experience
  • The engine was not that peppy

Pros of the Figo

  • Strong Built Quality
  • Driving Dynamics
  • Perfect Steering
  • A really upmarket quality music system with Bluetooth connectivity considering it was a 2011 manufactured car
  • Long highway munching capability. A long hauler in its truest sense
  • Good bootspace of 284 litres. Felt adequate to me in the initial days, after which it was non-existent due to my CNG retrofit.

Cons of the Figo

  • Not so spirited petrol mil
  • Brakes were a big no no
  • Costly spares. Like really costly. Maintenance cost was on the higher side
  • Not the best when it comes to reliability
  • It takes time to get used to the transmission
  • Gets really hot when in city traffic

Just Look at this beauty:

Getting CNG installed

So soon after I got the car, it literally drilled a hole in my pocket by the amount of fuel it used to guzzle. Me being in college with technically no earnings and all expenses borne by my parents, it was getting really expensive to run the car since it delivered anywhere between 10 – 12 kmpl. I consulted lot of technicians and automotive experts who were strictly against the idea of installing CNG in a Ford especially in the Figo. Pursuant to their advises, I did a bit of my personal market research and decided to go for a sequential CNG from Tomasetto Achille with a 12 kg cylinder in the boot. The installation cost along with RC and Insurance endorsement came around 45k. My experience with CNG needs a dedicated separate post because I had to face a lot of hurdles. Initially it didn’t return a good mileage on CNG(that was the run in period I guess) but as time went, I was getting anywhere between 20-25 kms per kg which was far better than the mileage I was getting on gasoline.

Getting better eyes

The stock halogen headlight assembly had a very poor design making the reflectors unviable for an optimum light throw. I was looking out for options in the market, but my trusted Auto Electrician strictly asked me to refrain from installing LED’s since using them in a reflector housing is pointless, dangerous and risks oncoming traffic as well. So the better option was to install a cut-out relay and slam on a pair of 90/100w halogen bulbs. Figo came with H4 configuration headlights wherein the high beam and low beam are operated from a single bulb. Technically and legally speaking, getting this mod installed is illegal and in total contravention with the Central Motor Vehicles Act. But you do what you gotta do so I went ahead with the mod.

I was clearly satisfied with the throw of those headlamp bulbs which were Osram manufactured if my memory serves me well. The only issue with installing Cut-out relay is that you will have to frequently replace your bulbs as they get fused very easily. Another concern after installing these relays is that due to high wattage bulbs, your headlights will get relatively hot and in the long run, the plastic lens or the headlight cover will either start developing cracks or it will turn yellowish. Stay away from bulbs greater than 90/100w. My headlight stalk due to its weird mechanism for using upper and dipper died very early even though it wasn’t used much, but I replaced it too.


It was somewhere around in February 2019 that I got Yokohama Earth 1 175/65/14 spec tyres for the stock steel rims for the car. My overall experience was really great apart from excessive road noise at triple digit speeds. Stopping power and grip on offer was ample, but the only reason I didn’t get Michelin was because the patch near my university was broken like an old village road hence I got Yokohama which was a mix of soft and hard compound.

“Note: For better life of your new tyres, it is very important that you follow a proper run-in of your tyres. Fresh tyres has chemicals on the outer layers which might not give you the best grip for a few hundred kms so drive gently. It is completely normal for you to feel weird on your steering when getting new wheels. The rubber compound takes time to adjust to tarmac so for the first 1000 kms, don’t over speed, no heavy braking and avoid cornering. Also, don’t forget to check your psi every fortnight.”

During the course of services, I switched between Super Mobil and Motul with the synthetic engine oils and I generally sent the car to FNG’s. I generally obtained all the necessary spares and consumables from a parts store and the mechanic would just charge his labour.
Now, here comes the biggest part: All the problems(some weird) that I faced with the car

Issues with the rear suspensions

Pusurant to the CNG installation, the ground clearance of my car considerably decreased which made it scrape at every other speed bump. Even with 2 people on the back seat, the car would scrape for eternity, hence I got used to approaching the bump at an angle so that it wouldn’t scrape. Before going on a trip, I decided to get rubber bushing spacers installed in my rear coil springs. Well, it was just a few hours and on my way which going through a bump, I heard a strange noise but then it didn’t sound bothersome. It was when we stopped at a McDonald’s outlet when I noticed that the left rear suspension to have failed. I got under the car and to my surprise I discovered that the rubber spacer was torn and my coil spring was bent and out of it shape. By God’s grace, there was a Ford Service Centre in the same complex where we stopped and I immediately took the car there. They lifted the car and found that the rubber spacer failed which bent the coil spring. The technicians at Ford, Bharuch were so approachable and helped me at the very instance. They removed the torn bush and did some jugaad, put some rubber plate there and just got the car ready. To my surprise, they didn’t even charge me a buck even though they spent more than an hour on my car, subsequently we left being tired, stressed and strangled for like an hour. Later when we got back home, I took those bushes and threw it on the mechanic who put it there. He accepted that what he installed was defective and promised a refund which apparently I never got.

Steering Failure

As a good practice, you should always check your parking spots if there are trace of any oil or fluids. On one such day, I found that there were signs of one oil deposits right below where my car was parked outside. I immediately popped the hood and figured out that the high pressure pipe coming out of the steering pump was leaking. As it is my service was due so took it for service. On my way, the steering completely jammed up and felt like I was driving a truck. I could literally feel the entire working mechanism when I turned the steering. The guys at a FNG inspected it and replaced the high pressure steering pipe again with some jugaad as the OEM pipe was unavailable. The replaced the pipe, filled in steering fluid and it and the steering returned to its originality.

Mall Parking Havoc

Me and my friends again were on a trip in different city and we were inside the parking of a mall when I felt a burst in the engine bay. The very next instant, I saw a white gas leaking all around the engine bay. I immediately popped the hood and people from around who came to see what happened helped me. I was scared from head to toe and didn’t knew what to do. Fortunately a technician just saw the entire incident and told me it’s the AC gas leaking. I tried to locate the leak when I found that one of the AC pipe had incurred a cut. Upon deep inspection, I found that the steering pipe earlier replaced was from a different car and it had a clip that kept on rubbing on the AC pipe. Eventually the pipe developed a cut and hence all the AC gas leaked. Got the pipe replaced, filled up the AC gas and put on a sponge cover on that clip

Air Con Evaporator Coil

It was very often that my AC was losing its cooling capacity and I needed to refil the AC gas every six months. Well, we knew there was some leakage in the AC gas line but we couldn’t figure out where. My technician put in air inside the system and we waiting for 30 mins to figure out if it was leaking. Unfortunately, we couldn’t determine the leak since it was very minute. Could be the Condenser Coil, could be the Evaporator coil, could be worn out seals or any of the O-rings. In search of a permanent solution, I took it to a reputed AC technician who in a few minutes figured out it was the AC Evaporator Coil. He stripped the entire dash to reach towards the coil and replaced it. The pictures of the same are below. The replaced the coil and put in condenser oil. The AC was again better than new.

Brakes Issue (ended up in an accident)

Well, I always believe that preventive maintained is better than unexpected breakdowns and when we consider essential components such as brakes, I never miss. I regularly inspected my brake pads, disc and rear drums when they went to service. So this incident took place on the Ghodbunder Ghat when I was enroute to Thane in July 2019.

Before discussing this incident, I would like to explain how brake works in a petrol car. The entire operation of brakes is based upon vacuum pressure created from the engine. The vacuum created helps build pressure and when you hit the brakes, the brake fluid compresses the calliper pistons which turn presses the pad against the dics. Now, back to the incident. I was going downhill and I had developed considerable speed around 60kmph. Note that I wasn’t pressing the throttle throughout. Suddenly, the cab driver ahead of me slammed his brakes. I immediately acted on my reflexes and slammed my brakes too, but too my surprise, by the time I applied the brakes, they had become too hard and owing to the down hill momentum I had, the car refused to stop and I rear ended the 1st gen Swift Desire completely transforming into the 2nd gen.

So I got down, assessed the damage and by that time, there was heavy traffic congestion behind me. The coolant was leaking, the bumper was broken, the condenser and the radiators were bent. The coolant leak was slow and there was coolant was there in the reservoir so I started the car and drove it across the ghat and parked it safe at the next service road. Called up Roadside Assistance and took it to Satyam Ford, Thane. The cab driver didn’t have an explanation as to why he slammed his brakes. Considering he also had collateral damage, I let him go since there was a family inside the cab and they were enroute the airport.

Upon inspection by the service technicians, the following was the damage

  • Broken Bumper
  • Broken Radiator and Radiator Support
  • Leaked Condensor
  • Bend Impact Bar

Below is the invoice attached for perusal

After I took delivery of the car, everything was working perfectly fine. Since it was July going on in Mumbai, the weather was too hot and humid, Mumbaikers can relate how driving without AC is a nightmare. Due to change in weather, I got sick and I turned of my AC. After a while to my surprise, the engine hot sign came up. I immediately pulled over and tried to assess what that issue was. Since I couldn’t find out the issue, I let the car cool and proceeded home. Over the days I noticed that the car would heat up on when its not running on AC. Once I discovered it, I knew what the issue was. I immediately popped the hood and checked the AC trip relay which upon my inspection was shorted. I got that relay replaced from Satyam Ford, Thane.
For people who didn’t understand what the issue was, here we go. When engine reaches a stipulated temperature, the engine cooling fan kick in and prevents the engine from overheating. There are two modes, one is the low speed mode and the other is the high speed. Since the relay that trips the fan was shorted, the fan was not kicking in and hence the engine was overheating. Now, when you turn on your AC, the fan irrespective of the engine temperature kicks in. Since I took delivery of the car, I always used it with AC hence the fan was always on, however when I used it with AC off, that’s when the problem was discovered.

Error in Fuel Gauge

This was the most irritating issue that I was facing from day one of installing the CNG kit in my car. Everytime my car used to run on CNG, the fuel gauge would just dip as if I were driving on Petrol. Initially I was quite worried and I was under the apprehension that Petrol is also getting used along with CNG. But that just didn’t make sense as while on CNG, the injectors would just cut off and when on Petrol, the CNG injectors would get cut off from the actuator. I took to my retrofitter to diagonize this issue quite a few times and we also ruled out that CNG and petrol are getting mixed. It turned out that it was an issue with the fuel gauge. This issue is persistent in most of the cars who show Distance to Empty in their instrument cluster. Pursuant to that, I talked to various mechanics specialised in CNG and they told me that all i-VETCs when they come for CNG installation, there is a fuel gauge relay that they install which prevents the fuel gauge to shoe faulty readings, but I was not able to procure the same kind of relay for my Figo. The fuel gauge one dipped completely wouldn’t come back to its original position unless the car was refueld. It seemed that when the car was refueled, the fuel gauge would get refreshed and would show accurate reading. Again, as an when the car would run, instrument cluster thinking that the car is running on petrol would bring down the fuel gauge. I did an extensive research on this and went through multiple automotive forums to find a comprehensive solution to this issue, but there were many crippled up with this issue living with dipped fuel gauges.


I would like to emphasise on this very issue because Fuel Pump in my Figo failed 3 times. Yes, you read that right. since the instrument cluster didn’t show accurate fuel readings, it became literally impossible for me to figure out how much fuel was left in the car. I couldn’t always do a tank full as I had prior experiences of fuel line leakages due to worn out hoses. I once filled up 40 liters of fuel on my way to Mumbai, and guess what all 40 liters of fuel dripped off on my way due to a worn out hose. So there was this one time I guess when the car was on really low fuel and I was pushing it. The thing with sequential kit is that even when your car is running on CNG, the fuel pump will keep on running. It will send the fuel to the fuel rail and the fuel will return through the fuel return line. This process in my opinion reduces the quality of fuel drastically when it continuously pumped again and again. So one fine day, the car refused to start and upon inspection, it was determined that the fuel pump had gone bad. The entire fuel pump assembly was difficult to find and expensive too. So I went ahead by replacing the fuel pump motor. When you skip replacing the assembly and just replace the motor, don’t expect smooth idling. My idling was pretty messed up and there were frequent misfires while idling. Every year or so, the fuel pump motor failed and I had to replace. There were also instances when the fuel pump motor failed owning to bad fuel. In my opinion, such issues are common to arise in sequential CNG cars hence it is very important to frequently run your car on petrol mode. What happens is when you do a tank full in a CNG car, the petrol barely gets used because most of the time, the car is running on CNG. The advantage of this is that the Fuel Pump will never run dry hence there are very less chances of fuel pump failure. On the other hand, the fuel will get stale over time and it will lose its effectiveness. Do note that messed up fuel can not only blow your fuel pump motor, but it can also mess the injectors and the damage so on and so forth cant even be imagined. Hence, it is quite debatable whether to get a tank full done or not. Probably half a tank would work well provided you frequently consume petrol even in a CNG car.

Transmission Glitch

So this issue would just pop up in monsoons. Whenever my car used to pass through a road with a bit of accumulated water, or if water could anyway touch the transmission chamber, the gear stick would become weirdly hard. It would at times become so hard that shifting gears became worrisome. Pursuant to a hard gear lever, the overall engine performance would drop and the car would pull in a too laggy manner. After a while, I could literally feel the heat from the transmission tunnel. This issue was only faced during monsoons and I showed it to a few mechanics, they didn't seem to have explanation as to what caused this issue. As weird as it sounds, but this issue would really irritate me especially on highways when driving through wet roads was inevitable which would result in a hard shift and power loss.

The Biggest Issue which made me let her go!

Over a period of time, the brakes were not as effective as they needed to be. I had to literally stand on the brake pedal in case of emergency braking and my usage which was mostly pertaining to long highway drives, it made my experience quite worrisome. My parents were strictly against using a car with such issues and immediately sent me to the Authrozied Ford Service Center to get the brake pads and the rotors changes. I had a 10% discount code and the final bill amount of OEM Pads, Rotors and labour came around to 6k. To our surprise, after getting the brake components changes, we did not see any positive changes. Infact, the brakes had worsened. Upon a detailed inspection by the Head Service Techician spending almost an hour on this, he suggested that there might a vacuum leak in the air intake. Since it was an after-market installed CNG kit, he totally raised his hands and refused to help with this issue apart from getting the entire Air Intake system changed which according to him would solve this problem.

Nevertheless, they removed the new parts on my instruction and took it back and got the old parts back in place. Upon a detailed research I carried out on my own, I realized that in CNG cars, there is always a small amount of Vaccum Leak which cannot be prevented. Since literal holes are drilled in the Air Intake system to make way for the fuel fail and the fuel injectors, it is technically impossible to prevent a very minute amount of vacuum leak. Hence what I observed is CNG cars usually have a bit weak brakes. I confirmed the same with a friend of mine who was facing the same issue with this 2014 Honda City vx i-vtec CNG. Even he complained that his brake pedal would get hard at low rpms. Since anyways low vacuum is created at low speed and upon that, the unpreventable small leak, the brake really becomes ineffective.

The End

This was the turning point when I realized to let go of my first car. I had imagined since a long time that letting her go would be one of the most difficult decisions of my life. But as its said, it is what it is. Pursuant to my usages on long highway trips and distant drives, Figo didn’t gave me that confidence because every time I took it out on a trip, it would either end on a flatbed or a local garage. With time I realized, that the car is 10 years and it did start to show its age. Braking had drastically degraded. Now it was time

So the search began. I had thought of a few conditions for selling her off. First, it should be in the same city where I stay. Secondly, the new owner should be a car enthusiast. Third, I should get to see it whenever I want. So apparently, when word spread of us selling off Figo and due to our image in market for keeping our cars in pridtine conditions, my dad’s acquaintance showed up on Dussherra, 2021. He saw the car and fell in love with it. Said he wanted to take delivery that day itself. I was not mentally prepared to let her go off so soon. After a discussion and negotiation of price, he handed over the token amount which literally gave tears in my eyes. The token amount meant, the time has really come for her to go. As it was afternoon when the deal was closed, and since he wanted to take delivery on Dusshera itself considering it was an auspicious day, we decided to hand over the car on that day itself. I had my lunch and cleaned the car. Washed it myself, removed all my stuff from inside ( my friends literally said that I’ve kept my car as my home since I had all essentials from tooth-brushes to undergarments, shoes, slides and even some emergency snacks in my cars.

And then, it took it out for a “one last drive”. I did one last pull on my Figo and it felt as if the she was communicating with me. She wanted me to go pedal to metal. After a short spin, I came back home and got a garland. I applied Tika on the Bonnet, Engine and the steering and I thanked her always being there for me and always protecting my life. I finally bid her adieu in the evening with a heavy heart. Not gonna lie, but I cried for her more than I’ve cried for any girl. She was different. She had her own set of issues, she was moody, she strangled me many times on barren roads, I sometimes hated her, but that’s how it goes. Our Love and Hate Relationship….

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