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Palio 1.9 D ELX - The Titan marches on...

Discussion in 'Classic and Retro FIAT's' started by gurjinder, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Let's wind the clock back 8 years and go back to August of 2005.

    I was in college and my dad had just retired from Govt. Service. The third Maruti 800 in the family had done it's duty exceedingly well and after 10years and 2+ lakh km's it was starting to show it's age. The quest for a new car started and as is the norm with most people coming from the M800 - the new car had to be a Maruti. Albeit a diesel. The production of Zen Diesel was ceased around that time and that was the only reason we didn't get that car. Came across a used Zen Di being sold for the price of a NEW Zen Di but skipped that. That left only two contenders at that time - Indica diesel and the dark horse Palio Diesel.

    The general sentiment around the Indica diesel was that it is cheap for a reason. It didn't help that a relative was working in TATA at that time and he himself asked us to stay away from Indica. So rather than any over-arching feel towards FIAT, it was sheer necessity that brought the Palio D into the limelight as the only contender left. I didn't know anything about the FIAT brand apart from the fact that it's fuel-efficiency is very low. LOL. Anyways, once we checked the car out, it appealed greatly to everyone. The booking was done there and then and I think the delivery happened a day or two later.

    Some pics when the car was almost brand new. The 13" wheels+tyres were swapped the very next day after delivery for these 14" alloys. It would be many years later that I would come to know that these are 100PCD and Palio is 98PCD. Oh well....

    Initial driving experience:

    Well, truth be told I don't remember much about how I had initially felt driving the Palio D after M800. I wasn't into the technicalities of driving a car during those days. But what I do remember is that it was much faster and overall experience in a different league altogether. I remember the first ever highway trip doing 100kmph and not knowing about it. This was when the car had run barely for 200-300km's. Later I would do 140 with my parents soundly asleep and not knowing about it. Oops! The silly behaviour of a college going kid.

    The first injury happened to the Palio a couple of months after delivery. My friend opened the passenger door on a busy road and a motorcyclist slammed into it. :(

    The service centre guys beat the hell out of the door with a sledgehammer.

    Service Experience :

    Normal servicing went well no issues ever. But they really botched the paint job on the repainted door. When I say botched, they REALLY botched it. The clear coat cracked , leading to a repaint , which was not a good job, to say the least. It would remain so till 2013 when the entire car got repainted.

    Repairs and issues:

    Barring a couple of issues, the car has been solid overall.

    - The common to every Palio D issue i.e. FIP error Fuel Injection Pump error came up around 50K km's. It has been fine ever since.
    - The brake booster and clutch slave cylinder have failed once.
    - The steering rack leaked which needed a complete replacement.

    That's it. Regarding the wear and tear items of OEM parts :

    - The clutch kit went at 80,000km's. The clutch was fine, the bearing exploded inside. So changed everything.
    - The front rotors were changed at 1,10,000km's.
    - Rear brake shoes changed only once. Present ODO = 1,40,xxx km's.
    - Front wheel hub bearings,CV joints, front suspension + control arms changed at 1,20,000 or so km's.

    That is about all.

    Rebirth in 2013 :

    The car has had a tough life. I can assure you that. It has been a regular over places where there are no roads and even carried so much bricks and cement bags in it's back that the rear fenders touched the tyres, more than once. I wish I had saved a photo!

    Inspite of the abuse, it has held up WELL. Infact it has held up excellently. Had it been an Indica, it would never have withstood the kind of use the Palio has seen and continues to see. There is a reason why my mother feels safer travelling in the Palio rather than the Brio.

    I have never delayed servicing at 5K km's but, in the same breath, never bothered about external apperance. So, in 2013, with the car's exterior being in a pathetic condition, the car recieved a total repaint. The color chosen was Toyota's "Grey Mica Metallic" which was sort of similar to the original color but a tad better. The RC states "Moonmist Grey" ; since no one knows what Moonmist Grey is, so no issues on that part.

    I'll click some new pics.

    Future path:

    The Palio is here to stay. Not because its resale is low or any N number of reasons. But because it is one car I really love. The Linea or the Brio may or may not stay, but the Palio will, always. I cannot let the car go. The bond is way too strong.

    I'll pause here and update with another post later.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Great to see you still have that initial pictures of your beloved Palio.
    Looks so common, Fiat, apart from its driving characteristics, carried the issues as well to new cars. :)

    That says it all!!
  3. That's a nice looking colour.
  4. me_at_fiat

    me_at_fiat Regolare

    Mumbai, Pune
    i am about to cry::pP::pP and feeling very sad. I am badly missing my gem of a machine 1.9 D!! I had no option other than letting it go. Let me post my 1.9D's recent pic. Hope the new owner wont mind if I post my 1.9D's Pic here.
    This one vehicle will always remain close to my heart!!:clap

    - - - Merged Post - - -

    Here are few of them... its a 2003 Car and pic were taken in 2012.

    buddy don't want to hijack your thread but I just cant resist my self.
    10 people like this.
  5. y2saurabh

    y2saurabh Timido


    Great write up! i can relate with your experience. It is really a great great car. It makes me feel proud of my decision to keep my palio forever. :)

    Waiting for more and recent pics of the car. Please also do post interior pics and some comparison pics with linea and brio.


    Man you got a great car its sad to know that you sold it :(. Those adventure alloys and scuff plates look super cool. From where you got those scuff plates? Are they available on 99rpm?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2013
  6. me_at_fiat

    me_at_fiat Regolare

    Mumbai, Pune

    Thanks bro. I bought the adventure alloys from Mumbai and about scuff plates its with the car since 2003. :)
  7. Cinju

    Cinju Esperto

    Nice writeup Guru & palio came with 13 " tires? I thought they were 14 ". I have not seen many people selling their 1.9 D machines at least in my place & that itself shows the excellent quality of these machines.
  8. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Thanks Cinju. Yes, the Palio D ELX came with 13" black steel rims with wheel covers and the tires were 165 80 13. The Palio D EL came with silver 13" rims and without full wheel covers. And if my memory serves me well, the top Palio D ELX version with ABS and Airbag (first car in this category in India ever to offer Airbag and ABS) came with the same black rims + full wheel cover of the ELX.

    The S10, Petra top model, Adventure etc did come with 14" alloys as standard.

    2 people like this.
  9. me_at_fiat

    me_at_fiat Regolare

    Mumbai, Pune
    you are correct, EL came without full covers. ELX had full wheel covers and it's quality was simple superb.

    But, ELX didnt had ABS and Airbag. I think it was ELPS version that had ABS and AIRBAG. By the way i have 1.9D original brochure. :-D
    If i am not wrong then it was a first car to boast Driver by wire technology.
    1 person likes this.
  10. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Correct on the drive-by-wire accelerator pedal. First ever.

    The top end Palio D with airbag and ABS had the ELX decal at the back. Just that these two goodies were added and the shape of the steering wheel was different, probably to accomodate the airbag.

    Can you please scan the brochure and upload it to the Classic FIAT section. A new thread for it would be good.


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