Fathima Ansari

I'm a very passionate car-lover and would do almost anything to know about new and old cars equally. My brother and Dad are the sole reason for my passion for cars as they themselves are totally into cars.I spend hours brushing my knowledge on cars and love knowing about vintage cars, cars which are discontinued and a lot more.I thoroughly enjoy writing about new and old cars here in Turbozens.com and I'm really looking forward to deliver my best here.

How to Prepare For A Long Drive?

Planning to go for a long drive/ trip any time soon? Keeping all the fun things apart, Sometimes things could go wrong without any warning when going on a long drive. Well we cannot avoid all problems, but can always reduce the possibility of getting into one. Read on to find out how to avoid all possible problems one could face far away from home.

how to prepare for a long drive
The toll plaza that divides Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka
Toll booth at Salem - Bangalore highway
Toll booth at Salem – Bangalore highway
how to prepare for a long drive
Thopur ghat to Mettur
how to prepare for a long drive
the picturesque route connecting Coimbatore and sholayar
Bangalore - Hyderabad highway all set for the drive.
Bangalore – Hyderabad highway all set for the drive.

 

MAINTENANCE

First off, even if you are not going for a trip, you should be responsible enough to check your car on a regular basis to avoid all future car related mishaps. Now that being said, it’s very obvious to make sure you have done a maintenance or service check to your car before going on a long trip. It is always advisable to do the maintenance check two – three weeks prior to the trip, so that way you can take a trial ride of your car to check if everything is fine. Also, nobody wants to fall in the unfortunate trap of the service- workshop’s error!

THINGS YOU SHOULD CHECK

As the owner of the car, it’s always good to know the mechanics of your car, so that if something goes wrong, you can handle it without depending on others. Here are a few things that you should check.

FLUIDS– Even if you have done a recent maintenance check for your car it’s always advisable to check your car for yourself. Fluids such as engine oil, transmission fluid, Radiator coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer and power steering fluid should be filled to the maximum level. If the fluid levels are not up to the maximum even after a maintenance check, then it is possibly a leakage problem. It’s always better to call a mechanic to check your car if you come across such issues.

TYRES– It is always good if you check your tyres regularly before your trip. For example, you could check the tyres three times before the trip- one at the time of your car maintenance, the second one a week before your trip and one last check, a day before your trip. Make sure that all the tyres are inflated to the right amount of pressure that is mentioned in the owner’s manual. Low pressure tyres can ruin your journey by heat build-up blowouts in high speeds. Always remember to check the tyre pressure when it is cold.

SPARE TYRES– Make sure the spare tyres are fully inflated, because nobody wants to turn a bad time into a worst one. Do not forget to see if you have the entire Tyre changing tool kit provided by the car manufacturer. If you don’t, then you can always get it from online shops or forums. Also, the person who is driving the car should be aware of the tyre changing techniques.

AIR FILTERS– check the air filters of your car. Clean them or replace them because clogged air filters can reduce the fuel economy and power of your car.

AIR CONDITIONERS– If you have never had your Car AC checked, then I don’t think you should wait any further. You should get it checked as soon as possible because you don’t want to ruin your road trip right?

WIPER BLADES– Inspect the wiper blades of your car. The average life of the wipers is one year. Replace it if they aren’t working well or if you are getting a shrieking sound from them while they are on.

BATTERY– Check the battery of your car for any corrosion. If you find corrosion on your battery, remove it with a mixture of water and baking soda. Also make sure the connection clamps of the battery are tight. The average life of the battery is four years.

CLEAN THE INSIDES OF THE CAR

Nobody would want to travel in a car that is not clean from the inside. If your car is clean from the inside, trust me you will have a very clean and memorable trip. So, give the insides of your car a good dusting or vacuuming before your trip. If you are non-allergic to air fresheners, you can go for an air freshener of your choice.

THINGS TO PACK

If your car is all set for the road trip, then what are you waiting for? Get things packed for the road trip. Apart from your personal stuff, you should pack stuffs that will make your road trip easier.

DOCUMENTS- The following documents in original should be carried when going on a long trip and keep them in a safe and reachable place inside your car.

1) Registration certificate
2) Valid insurance certificate
3) Pollution under control certificate
4) Licence of the driver

Also retain all the toll receipts, fuel bills and hotel bills, so that if you fall in any sort of a trouble, it will help you in proving that you are a traveller.

EMERGENCY KIT– Pack an emergency kit with some essential tools, puncture repair kit, portable air compressor, cello-tapes, pen, paper, flash lights because no one would like to take risks during long trips.

FIRST- AID KIT– First-Aid is something that you should never neglect taking on a long trip. If you are under any medication, do not forget to carry your regular medicines. Other than that you can carry medicines for common diseases.
You can also carry a hand sanitizer and tissue papers because they can be very handy during long trips.

MAPS– In the world of technology, everything is available in your phones. Download map applications that you feel will help you during your trips. Do not fully depend on online maps which can sometimes mislead you, instead check out with friends or online travelogue forums for details regarding the roads. Otherwise you can buy an atlas or map of the place you are travelling to.

JOIN ONLINE FORUMS– To have a better knowledge about the roads you are going to travel, it’s always better to join an online travelogue forum. An online travelogue forum will provide you information regarding the routes, roads, food joints etc. One such online travelogue forum which I trust is HVK or the hi vay king run by a travel enthusiast and a person who is better known as human GPS, Mr. H.V Kumar. Visit this forum for more details ( hivayking.in )

MUSIC AND SNACKS– Pack some snacks that are light on your stomach. For example, Fruits, biscuits, nuts, chilled fruit juices etc. Do not forget to carry water bottles.
If you are a music freak, you should definitely consider updating your music list.

THINGS TO PONDER

1) Never overcrowd the luggage compartment
2) Stack the luggage uniformly
3) Follow traffic rules. Different states will have specific rules which are to be followed, so put in some effort to find the rules exclusive to the region you are travelling to.
4) Check the details of the fuel pumps and authorised service stations en route.

Now all you need to do is start your vehicle and have a safe journey!

Image Source: from my camera 🙂

SKODA FABIA 1.4 TDI PD – OWNERSHIP REVIEW

Skoda Fabia was launched in the Indian market in 2007. It is a lot roomier than its predecessor Skoda Felicia. Taking a sneak peek into the history, The Skoda Felicia was introduced in the United Kingdom in 1994 and was discontinued in 2001. After the great success of the Skoda Octavia in India, (Skoda Octavia was Skoda’s first car launched in India) Felicia wasn’t launched in the Indian market because it was a little obsolete then.

Now coming back to the Skoda Fabia, it was launched in India with two power-train variants- The 1.2 litre HTP (high torque performance) petrol engine and 1.4 litre TDI PD (Pumpe-Düse) diesel engine. It came in three variants – Ambiente, sport and elegance. Now let’s see how the 1.4 litre TDI PD diesel car serves the owner.

Skoda fabia ownership review  Fabia front Fabia interior.jpg IMG_8516

EXTERIOR

It is a five door sedan with the typical Skoda features. The larger and clearer integrated front grille gives the car the typical face of Skoda. The overall design of the car is modern yet not very sophisticated giving it the youthful, cheerful and fresh look which favoured the youngsters. When compared to the other competitive cars, the Skoda Fabia has a very impressive built quality.

Skoda has also used good quality paint for the Fabia which doesn’t degrade in time and you can be free of tension if you have a minor abrasion. The front headlamps that extend to the front wings provide the car with larger surface area of lighting which adds to safety and style as well. Now coming to the rear lights, they are built in such a way that they look sporty and make Fabia more visible in traffic during bad weather. The windows are larger than its predecessor making it look way larger and classy. The Fabia is 3992 mm longer and 1498 mm taller making it one of the largest cars among the premium hatches.

INTERIORS

The interiors of the Fabia is very roomy and offers a very impressive leg space and head space. It has a close connection with the Skoda roomster with respect to the design and built of the car. The interior designs are very eye pleasing and are very well made. Skoda has used high quality materials for its interiors which are very soft to touch. But some minute things put me down, for example the stereo system doesn’t have a remote and every time the rear passengers have to move forward in order to change a song, which I found very inconvenient. However I was very happy with the interiors of the car when I got in for the first time.

What I liked even more was the boot space. It surely has a boot space which is the best among all the premium hatches. When the seats are upright, a total of 300 litres of luggage can be taken, whereas when the rear seats are folded down, Fabia provides a boot space of 1,163 litres. The four spoke adjustable telescopic steering is very light to touch and easy to handle. The gear box too is very smooth. Now speaking about the seats of Fabia, they are easily adjustable to the drivers need, making the driving experience a very wonderful one. There are many storage spaces available in the Skoda Fabia (apart from the boot space) like the dash storage, bottle holders in the door, a bottle holder in the centre console and seat pockets on the rear side of the front seats.

ENGINE

The 1.4 litre TDI PD Engine gives an output of 51 Kilowatt at 4000rpm. It gives a decent torque of 155 Nm at 1600-2800 rpm. This vehicle is equipped with 3 cylinder engine of 1422 CC. Because the engine is 3 cylinders, city driving leaves me a little tedious, however highway driving is gratifying. The fuel efficiency of the vehicle is decent enough. It gives 18 km/litre in the highways and 16/litre in the city. The engine is smooth even at a speed of 160 kmph without any feel of vibration. Also, this TDI PD engine is a little noisy when compared to Skoda second generation CR engine which comes in the new Skoda fabia, which was launched in 2011.

SAFETY

The Skoda Fabia 1.4 litres TDI comes with good safety for its passengers like the ABS and front Airbags. Again I’m unhappy with the fact that The Skoda Fabia doesn’t have the side Airbags making its passenger’s safety at stake. But I don’t think it’s something that I should complain for because with this price that is 8 lakhs on road; Skoda Fabia offers enough features that score a 10 on 10 for its quality. The central locking system of the Fabia is something worth commenting. Unlike other vehicles, the central locking system of the Skoda Fabia doesn’t lock automatically when the engine is on. For example if a person turns the ignition switch on and go out of the car for some reason with the key inside, the car wouldn’t be automatically locked. I admit this is a big advantage for a careless user.

MAINTENANCE AND RESALE VALUE

Maintenance charges are on the high side and are done every 1 year or when the vehicle has reached a distance of 15,000 km, now because of this one year gap between services, the owner might forget to take care of the tyres. This can lead to premature wearing and tearing of tyres, so one should be vigilant and should know the condition of their vehicle. Now coming to the resale value, well the resale value of the Skoda Fabia is quite low because the spare parts of the vehicle are very costly.

BOTTOM LINE

With four years of ownership and 40,000 km travelled, my Skoda Fabia doesn’t seem to have aged much. On an overall, Skoda Fabia 1.4 litre TDI PD is a very classy and impressive car which has its own elegance and charm. Owning one does make you feel proud!

Skoda Rapid Spaceback- An Overview

The Skoda Rapid which was launched in 2012 is bigger than the Fabia and smaller than the Octavia hatch. Keeping this in mind, Skoda recently launched its Skoda Rapid Spaceback for people looking forward to a more stylish and cheaper car. The Skoda Rapid Spaceback is a hatch version of the regular Skoda Rapid and with no doubt it looks way edgier than any hatch.

SKODA Rapid Spaceback

One thing that should be kept in mind is that the Skoda rapid spaceback is not an estate version of the regular skoda rapid and rather it is a traditional five door hatch. Spaceback offers a good suspension however; some exterior appearances like the long nose and short rear overhang can make the car look very peculiar. Comparing it with the regular Rapid, the Rapid spaceback is 180mm shorter in length but identical from the front grille to the rear doors. The rear obviously takes a shape of a conventional hatchback.

INTERIOR

Coming to the interiors, the wheelbase of both the Rapids are same and therefore the spacious interiors remain by and large, unchanged. The Dash is made of hard and black plastic but the design is robust and sophisticated and same as the regular skoda rapid. Spaceback comes in with attractive 17-inch alloy wheels (Elegance version) and extra glass in the rear hatch. It is also decked up with improvements such as a revised multi-function steering wheel, a neater stereo installation, and new trims and seat fabrics, electro-mechanical power steering instead of a hydraulic set-up. The only problem with the ride is its over firmness. The boot space of this car is 415 litre but still roomier than any of its rival hatchbacks.

Skoda Rapid Spaceback is surely a thumbs up when it comes to space and style. The rear legroom is very much spacious followed by excellent headroom and many more storage spaces. There is a giant panoramic glass sunroof too. Other features include air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric front windows, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and an alarm. Mid-spec SE trim adds body-colored door handles and mirrors, 15-inch alloy wheels, a glove box, a multi-function steering wheel, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, cruise control, front fog lights, electric rear windows and a front center armrest. The Elegance variant which is the top most variant also get bigger alloys, climate control, a height-adjustable passenger seat and many more! Skoda has also done some practical designing like the ice scraper which is concealed on the fuel tank cap, a multimedia device bracket to hold a phone, a removable waste basket in the door paneling holder and a warning vest holder under the driver’s seat.

SAFETY

Skoda has played very clever when it comes to the safety of its passengers. It comes with a wide range of safety measures such as ESC (Electronic Stability Control) including ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and six airbags. When the curtain airbags are activated, it creates a wall to protect passengers in both the front and rear from potential head injuries.

ENGINE

Skoda Rapid spaceback comes in four variants- S, SE, Elegance and GreenLine specs. It comes with a 55 KW 1.2 Litre MPI engine which reaches 0-100 KM at 13.8 seconds and has a maximum speed of 173 KMPH. Similarly, it also comes with 63 KW/73 KW 1.2 Litre TSI engine. It also comes in diesel 1.6 TDI engine with different power outputs ranging from 66 KW and 77 KW. 66 KW 1.6 TDI and 90 KW 1.4 TSI engines are mated with seven speed DSG automatic transmission. The 90 KW 1.4 litre TSI engine reaches 100 km in 9.4 seconds having a maximum speed of 203km/h. Skoda Spaceback is an environment friendly car emitting Carbon dioxide ranging from 114-134 g/km.

FEATURES

Start stop system- The start stop system automatically switches off the engine when the vehicle is stopped thereby saving fuel and preventing the vehicle from emitting pollutants.

How does it work? When the driver stops the vehicle and shifts the gear to neutral, releasing the clutch pedal, the engine switches off automatically. The engine starts when the driver shift’s gears.

Energy recovery- What it basically does is makes the kinetic energy into usable electricity. This saves the fuel which would be otherwise used up to charge the battery.

Skoda Rapid Spaceback review RapidSB_5 RapidSB_4 RapidSB_3 RapidSB_1.jpg  front RapidSB_2

Photo courtesy-  http://www.whatcar.com/

BOTTOMLINE

The Skoda Rapid Spaceback was launched in 2014 in the United Kingdom. Skoda Rapid Spaceback is not yet launched in the Indian market. It will be a clear hit once it launches in India. The skoda Rapid spaceback is aimed at the younger buyers as it looks sporty and chick. It is very affordable and is also for the family.

THE FORGOTTEN SOUL : CHEVROLET SRV

The first generation Chevrolet SRV was introduced as Daewoo Lacetti by the South Korean manufacturer Daewoo in 2002. It was available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. The hatchback, known as Lacetti5 in South Korea, was introduced in summer 2004. Lacetti was made based on its predecessor Nubira under Daewoo before GM took over. The second generation of this car was introduced in India as Chevrolet Optra. It was available as both Chevrolet Optra magnum and Chevrolet Optra SRV in India. SRV or sports recreation vehicle was based on the Optra platform. It comes in two variants 1.6L base and 1.6L option pack.

srvfrontsrvbackcruze-SRi-hatchHOLDEN CRUZE HATCH

SOURCE : CHEVROLET SRV – PERSONAL PHOTOS

STYLING:

From the front SRV looks like Optra magnum with minimal changes, but from the rear the car looks like a sports coupe. The car has a mind boggling sporty touch due to the nicely designed tail lamps and the stunning spoiler. The front side of the car turned out to be really attractive due to the presence of the cat eye headlamps and between the headlamps are the single strip grille adding more glamour to the already sexy car. Even though the SRV is a hatchback it has the full dimension of a sedan. The front bumper is impact proof for 5mph and comes with fog lights adding that oomph factor to the exteriors of the car. Chevrolet SRV was an absolute head turner with its dual tone Fiery Red and velocity blue colors. Apart from this it also comes in Intense Black and Platinum Metallic.

INTERIORS:

The interior is roomy and spacious with standard features. Well it doesn’t come with high end features such as sat-nav or Bluetooth connectivity. But SRV has everything that a hatchback should have at those times. The car was made targeting the young professionals and is often termed as the “sexy road vehicle”. Though it doesn’t have all the features available in today’s car, Chevy SRV was absolutely a stunner at that time. I can say the cabin is not that attractive with black patterns overtaken by tinges of grey. Compared to the modern hatches, SRV’s cabin looked way too obsolete. Chevrolet haven’t done anything much for the safety of its passengers. SRV is not equipped with passenger Airbags or ABS with EBD making it a little unsafe. However the option pack came with driver’s airbag. Well coming to the boot space, There is a decent amount of boot space in the car with 275-litre which can be increased to 1045 litres by folding the rear seats. The seats are pretty comfortable for making long highway journeys in the car eventful. However city driving can leave you tedious.

ENGINE:

Though it was aimed at the youngster’s, the car turned out to be pretty expensive in terms of fuel economy giving an average mileage of 10- 12kmpl. The Chevy SRV comes with 4- cylinder 1.6 litre VGIS (variable geometry intake system) in line engine that produces 101ps at 5800rpm and a torque of 140Nm at 4500rpm.The torque is well spread across the range with 100kmph reached in 12.9seconds. The gear box comes with a 5 speed manual transmission and was quite a let-down as it did not go smoothly with the ride. The driver may need some time to adapt to the new sticky, rubbery gearbox. The car stays stable in high speeds but steering is slightly heavy and is not up to the mark.

BOTTOM LINE:

SRV is quite pricey and that is why it didn’t hit high on market. Also it is not fuel efficient. In 2010 Chevrolet SRV was discontinued in Indian market. The sole reason for this was its high price and low fuel economy. People would prefer 3 box cars when it is priced above 7 lakhs and with SRV being priced at 7-8 lakhs it was surely a thumbs down. The non-availability of diesel power train is also a reason. The rubbery gearbox is another reason which led its customers down.

CURRENT SCENARIO:

However the Chevrolet SRV is discontinued only in India. It is still prevalent in different parts of the globe with different names. There are lot of moto-enthusiasts around the globe still happily revving with this fantastic machine. (For example In Russia for every 5 minutes, one can spot 2-3 SRV’S) In India too there are a lot of SRV lovers happily using this car. Different parts of the world such as china, Europe, Asia, south America, Canada, Indonesia, Europe, south Korea, Uzbekistan, Australia and U.S, SRV is known and used as Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Estate, Chevrolet Nubira, Daewoo Lacetti, Daewoo Gentra, Holden Viva, Suzuki Reno and Suzuki Forenza respectively.

FUTURE?

In Australia, Holden, a subsidiary company of general motors already replaced SRV with Holden Cruze hatch. Other countries like south Africa also introduced it. In India too SRV lovers like me (I owned a Chevrolet SRV previously) are restlessly waiting for the replacement of this wonderfully stylish car, which is still a dream for the youth.

VISIT CHEVROLET INDIA WEBSITE : http://www.chevrolet.co.in

GM GLOBAL WEBSITE: http://www.gm.com

The All New Skoda Octavia – an expert review

The all new Skoda Octavia is inspired by sharp looks and elegant feel. The new Octavia is totally different from the old Octavia. The only similarity is its name. The front grille, the curves, the badge and even its dimensions are different from the old Octavia. The new Octavia is bigger, plusher and better than the previous one. It is based on Volkswagen MQB or modular querBaukasten platform which is a modular kit system developed by Volkswagen for all FWD (front wheel drive) cars with transversely mounted engines in its family range.

New Skoda Octavia

Styling:

The styling of the Octavia is straight forward and sharper making it look mature without any gaudy curves. The car looks much stronger and aggressive with the front end design and sleek headlamps with day time LED. The headlamps come with Xenon lights for better visions during nightfall. It also comes with C-shaped tail lamps.

Interior:

Coming to the interior it feels like a whole new world with soft touch plastic. The dash has a sharper look with straight lines and the elegant finish around it. The dashboard is clad in a combination of black and ivory. It comes with a 2 zone climate control which makes you feel cosy and pleasant. The centre console has a touchscreen audio system with USB, AUX-in ports and Bluetooth connectivity. It also comes with a sat-nav which is useful in city driving. The glove box houses a CD changer and even has cooling functions with a controller. The instrument panel is simple yet elegant and offers comprehensive readouts. The seats are electrically adjustable in 12 ways and made of ivory leather. They are large, comfortable and provide passengers with a comfortable journey. The driver seat too has quite a lot to offer. The steering is rack and pinion with power assist. Skoda has also worked on its safety adding 6 airbags, ABS and EBD with multi collision brake system which comes with a 5 start euro NCAP rating. The Skoda has increased its wheelbase in order to give more leg room. The tyres of Skoda offer a good grip too.

Now coming to the boot space, the new Octavia sports a notchback design and offers acres of boot space. It offers 590 litres of space when the seats are upright, and what is more interesting is when the seats are down. It offers 1580 litres of space with the seats down.

New Skoda Octavia interiors

Under the hood:
The new Skoda Octavia comes with 4 -cylinder and 2.0 litre TDI engine that produces a maximum power of 143 bhp at 4000rpm and a torque of 320 Nm at 1750rpm.For those who are petrol heads the Skoda is going to release its vrs model shortly which pumps 220bhp from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine. The diesel engine of the Octavia starts up with a little crackle but it is way better than any other diesel cars. The Octavia can speed up in no time as there is an ample amount of power on the tap. It moves on to 100kmp in less than 9 seconds after starting it. The 6 speed gearbox is very easy to use and requires very minimal gear changes. The Octavia is a very driver friendly car which stays planted even at high speeds. The steering set up is well balanced making it poised and composed. However with low speeds the ride can get a little bumpy.
Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen share the same engine and therefore the ride of the new Octavia is almost at par with the Audi which is very obvious, making it the best ride in the luxury segment. It offers almost everything a customer is looking forward to in a big sedan. On the whole it is very comfortable, has a sublime ride and refined motor which is very powerful when compared to other sedans.
The new Skoda Octavia is priced at 16-19 lakh and has a very impressing fuel efficiency of 20.6 kmpl (ARAI). It also has a very interesting top speed of 190 kmph. It comes with a monocoque chassis. The diesel car has a fuel capacity of 50 litres and the kerb weight is 1340 kg. What attracts the customers even more is a 3 years unlimited km warranty on the car.

Bottom Line:

After reading all this it’s quite difficult for one to find faults with the car. But nothing comes perfect. Compared to the old one it isn’t as much fun-to-drive. It lacks the old Octavia’s emotion and it is also quite pricey. But on the whole we can say that Octavia is purely a driver’s car. It performs faster and drives better. It is also very luxurious and comes with most bells and whistles. The boot space is main highlight of this car. We can therefore conclude that the all new Skoda Octavia is the MAN IN SUIT.

Visit Skoda India Website: http://www.skoda-auto.co.in