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Discussion in 'Linea 1.3 MJD' started by rohit tunga, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. rohit tunga

    rohit tunga Amatore

    My Linea MJD 365 days completed, 36000 kms driven

    Request to MODERATORS: Please Change the title to “My Linea MJD EDIT: 365 days completed, 36000 kms driven”

    Finally had the opportunity to write a detailed ownership experience of my car. It has been a long time since I’ve updated this thread. So here it goes…

    Exactly a year back we purchased this car and the delivery process wasn’t an incident worth remembering for. But I’m glad to say that a year later, the smiles are back on my face which went missing this time last year. Oh yeah, I’ve successfully completed 1 full year of ownership in which I’ve covered 36000 km.

    So 36000 km in a year???? Some people might be wondering where all have I travelled in this car. Well, it’s been to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and of course lots of places in Karnataka. We really enjoy travelling long distances in this car.

    Rather than explaining about the places we visited in this car, I’m going to tell about the ownership experience. It has been through three regular services and many many many visits to the dealership. From the last time I’ve updated this thread, there has been one major fault in the car which was brake shuddering. The SA thought the brake discs and pads were defective from factory and offered to replace both of them under warranty. This was done at 9300 km mark.

    Fast forward to 11300 km mark. Again the brake shuddering returns to haunt me, just 2000 km after putting new ones. Remarkably the SA still thinks that the brake discs are defective AGAIN and offers to put new ones under warranty to which I agreed.

    Now Fast Forward to 16000 km mark. Would you believe it, the brake shuddering returns back with a bang. This time I was adamant that it’s just not possible to have 3 sets of brake discs and pads to be faulty. Upon my repeated persuasion the SA finally agreed and closely inspected the whole braking system for 2 days and came out with a verdict that it’s the Front Hubs that were defective as they developed a slight bulge causing uneven wear on one of the discs. But he insisted that this time he has found the root cause and offered to put new hubs and brake discs / pads under warranty. I’m glad to say that after 20,000 km, the problem hasn’t resurfaced.

    But I wonder how much loss would Fiat be incurring due to these Incompetent SA’s. Just in my case alone Fiat has lost about Rs 7350 and I’m sure there are going to be hundreds like me facing such issues. But one thing that deserves special mention here is the fact that Fiat honors Warranty without second thoughts and must truly be appreciated.

    Braking issues aside, there hasn’t been any major issues with the car, just small niggles here and there. But just one visit to the dealership isn’t enough. They want us to come there again and again because they’ve either ordered the wrong part or (in most cases) they order the right part, but Fiat dispatches the wrong part etc etc etc…

    Here is a description of two such incidents. First being the issue of sudden loss of power which happens just after flooring the throttle in 2nd, 3rd and 4th gear. Nobody really understood the cause of the problem but could experience the problem that I’ve faced. This time I tried KHT Motors who said the Vacuum Accumulator is faulty and replaced it but it was of no avail (had to wait for a week for the part to arrive. As usual the part was available with Aadya Motors).The issue still unresolved, I went to Prerana Motors (Kudlu Gate). There they kept the car for a week and finally came to the conclusion that the Accelerator Pedal Sensor was faulty as it was sending wrong information to ECU causing the loss in power. Unfortunately, such parts will never be in stock and it took another 10 days for them to source it. After putting new pedal sensor, this problem is has totally sorted out.

    The second issue is that of the AC Relay going kaput. We drove all the way to Shirdi on Feb 28th 2012. Over there when we stopped at our hotel, I noticed the AC Fan still running. I thought it’ll probably stop after a couple of min, but to my surprise it didn’t stop even after 15 min. Without any of my family members noticing, I quickly disconnected the negative terminal of the battery and went to bed. The next morning, before any one got up, I quickly went to the car to reconnect, but again to my shock, as soon as I reconnected, the Fan started running. So that entire trip I used to be the last person leaving the car and the first person entering the car just to disconnect/reconnect the battery.

    When I got back to Bangalore, it was very late in the night (probably 2am) and I forgot to disconnect. Now the next morning when I started, guess what …. The Battery was dead. I was literally kicking myself because of the situation I was in. Somehow with another battery I started again and immediately called Vitthal (Concorde Motors) and explained him the situation and said that I’m coming now whether you like it or not.

    Now when I reached the service center, another weird thing happens. I’m just unable to replicate the problem. The AC fan behaves just normally and Mr. Vitthal was perplexed with me and the car. Finally when he checked the fuse box, he found the AC Relay burnt. I breathed a sigh of relief, but not so soon. The cause was identified, but….(you would’ve guessed it by now) part was unavailable with them. He promised me to arrange the part from somewhere and get the car ready by evening. True to his words, I get a call from him at 3:45 pm saying that he sourced the part from other dealership and the car is ready. Was quite relieved that this issue is also been sorted completely.

    I have created an excel sheet where all the expenses that I incurred in 1 year as well as all the parts replaced under warranty and upgrades are mentioned. Surprising to know that the amount I paid (which includes 3 free services) is Rs 16,917, but the cost of parts changed under warranty is Rs 24,172 and the cost of all those free upgrades is Rs 10,440. This implies that the amount I paid for maintenance (Rs 16,917) is less than half the amount spent on Warranty & Upgrades (Rs 34,613).

    In a year the car has travelled on all kinds of roads be it Golden Quadrilaterals, Expressways, State Highways and no roads as well (Shiradi Ghats just after monsoons). And when we do long trips it’ll always be 5 people and boot full of luggage. It’s really on the highways that the Linea truly shines. No matter where we go, it never feels out of place and is supremely comfortable. My longest drive nonstop has been from Vapi to Bangalore with a 3 hr break in Mumbai. Even after this 1100 km journey, our backs weren’t broken, nobody got arthritis. Everyone was fresh and active.

    Since we travel a lot, I thought that the stock speakers must be upgraded to ensure that the journey becomes more enjoyable as well as other modifications
    • Front : Infinity Ref Series Components
    • Rear : JBL 408c Components
    • 3M CR-70 Front Sun films
    • Map My India VX140s GPS Device
    The speakers make so much of a difference in the quality of sound and with the onset of summer and the Linea’s AC not the best around; I thought the Front Sun films would also be ideal.

    The usual daily routine for the car is a drive from home to ITPL and back which is about 65 kms and a long drive (500~750 km) almost every weekend and a truly long drive (2000km +) once a month.

    Now regarding the after sales service (which is THE most important part of owning a Fiat), as per my experiences with them, here are my observations
    1. Concorde Motors (Mysore Road): Not Recommended..Initially thought to be really good, but they were the ones who failed to diagnose my Brake Shuddering issue (Mr. Gopi was the SA). Also they messed up in ordering the parts. (In my case, on 2 instances they ordered the wrong parts). Also their Service Center is far away from the city and my place. My overall rating to them would be 5/10
    2. Prerana Motors (Kudlu Gate): Very Good... I think Surendra Jain is the only SA there and is always overloaded with Fiat cars. Listens to all of my issues patiently and is quickly able to identify the cause. Parts Availability is an issue if it’s not a commonly used one. Since their location is also far from my place, my overall ratings would be 8/10
    3. Aadya Motors: Interesting… I say interesting because Aadya Motors always has stocks of Fiat car parts (even the ones that are not frequently used). The SA always say that we don’t have that part in stock but Aadya has it. This happened more than three occasions. Got my left rear power window switch replaced with them because Concorde Motors had “accidentally” ordered the right rear power window switch. My overall ratings would be 8/10 also the fact that it’s the nearest to my home.
    4. Concorde Motors (Dairy Circle): Excellent… Their SA’s (Mr. Khan and Mr. Vitthal) know in and out of Fiat cars. I was kicking myself as to why I didn’t choose this workshop earlier. Had been here because of a Faulty AC Relay as the AC fan would run continuously till the Battery drained completely. Fault was identified in 5 min, but as usual the part was not available with them (was available with Aadya Motors) but promised to get the parts by end of the day and they did. My overall ratings would be 9/10. For my next service this will be my preferred choice.

    Here is the list of little things that I found very useful in the car
    • Bluetooth & Follow me headlights: Makes talking and driving & talking so easy, especially in traffic. I can’t imagine life without it now.
    • Boot: 500 litre + boot hinges (Gas Struts) that won’t protrude inside makes sure that the full 500 L of boot space is utilized. Was invaluable when carrying luggage of 5 ppl for 12 day trips. Its these small attention to details that I like the most.
    • Robust build quality: I think nobody on this forum have utilized their car as much as I have. But even today, not a single squeak or rattle or soggy suspension. Speaks volumes of the Fiat’s legendary build quality.
    • Rear Sunblind: Again, perfect for Indian weather.
    • Even with full load of passengers and boot filled to its brim, the Highway manners and the manner in which it rides over bad roads / potholes is just remarkable. None of its rivals can even come close in matching the Linea’s highway manners.
    • Admiration still guaranteed: Once nicely washed and polished, it still turns heads and the novelty factor hasn’t yet worn out.

    The negatives of the car are pretty much what everyone else who owns a Linea have faced. They are:
    • Huge turning circle
    • With 5 ppl and boot full of luggage, the GC …… NOT SO GOOD
    • Pathetic Low Beam
    • Service Center: Though not as bad as perceived by others, but still long way to go.
    • Maintaining Tuscan Wine color isn’t easy and scratches show up very easily. One wash at the service centre and there will be hundreds of swirl marks and light scratches all over the body.

    Enough of writing now let me update on some of the statistics.
    1. Cost of Maintenance(1st,2nd and 3rd Free Service): Rs 16,917
    2. Cost of items replaced under Warranty: Rs 24,172
    3. Cost Free Upgrades: Rs 10,440

    Here is a snippet of the average distance travelled per day between services
    1. 0 – First Service : 77.4 km/day
    2. First Service – Second Service : 63.75 km/day
    3. Second Service – Third Service : 182.13 km/day
    4. Third Service – Today : 103.23 km/day

    OVERALL AVERAGE KM/DAY : 98.60 km/day

    Cost of ownership
    1. Amount paid for maintenance : Rs 16,917
    2. Odometer Reading : 36,000 km
    3. Maintenance Cost per km : 0.47 paisa/km

    So how do I sum up this car? Well it’s definitely not given me the peace of mind which other car manufacturers claim. Hell even our 12 year old Maruti 800 with over 1, 25,000 km didn’t have these many issues. However, when I take it out on the highway or drive around some twisties or drive through pot holes or just close the door of the car hearing the loud thunk, it just blows me away. All these small issues are quickly forgotten and I begin to really enjoy the car and that’s what matters to me at the end of the day. I’m so glad that I chose this car over its rivals at the time of purchase. All the smiles which went missing at the time of purchase are back now, a year later. A true drivers car indeed.

    Here are some of the pictures of the car taken at various places that it has visited.

    This was the odometer reading when the car was new

    This is the odometer reading a year later
    mileage today.jpg

    Ground Clearance with 4 ppl and boot full of luggage
    ground clearance test.jpg

    My top speed
    top speed.jpg

    Random Photos of the car
    mullianagiri 2.jpg
    mulliangiri 1.jpg
    sunrise at jaisalmer.jpg
    7 people like this.
  2. J Ravi

    J Ravi Esperto

    Capital.:clapping This one sentence sums up the qualities of your lovely Linea. Continue your driving spree in the coming years.
    1 person likes this.
  3. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Linea 1.3
    Awesome. You have beaten most of us here by your driving spree:). Keep going.
  4. absahu


    That is totally awesome Rohit I mean its unbelievable.

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