Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

How I solved my Indica Vista Clutch Issue

On 12th May 2012, when I was returning from Goa to Bangalore, my car - Indica Vista ( purchased on Dec' 2009) broke down in the middle of NH4, somewhere ahead of Davangere. I was barely able to move, because the gear would get stuck and the clutch would not function properly. 

I had to pull over the car on one side of the road and pray to God for safety. Not for myself but for my family - wife and kid. It was pitch dark and a totally unknown place. Some people would look at the car with curious eyes and some would come near as well. It was embarrassing and it was frightening. Slowly and steadily I started moving ahead, not knowing when the car would come to a complete standstill. Moving like this seemed safer.

How I landed in such a situation... you might ask... well let me put that in a few words.. the inability and inefficiency of Tata service center to diagnose the potent problem when the clutch was only coming half way. The service center at Arleam replaced the slave cylinder  and took the bill amount almost forcibly. When I said the clutch was still coming only half way... they said, " So what? Now it is fine!!!"

It was by God's grace, I found a shelter in the form of Genesis Retreat Resort in Davangere. I managed to get a room and heaved a sigh of relief. Next day the emergency help line number 1800 209 7979 did fetch me help.

Two persons came after another one hour of my call and they started examining my car. The clutch plate and gear was very rigid but the car was drivable. They told me that the issue was major and car would have to be towed... next day being sunday... I was told that I could get the vehicle only on monday late evening or tuesday.

I was not in a position to wait for so many days because I had to join office on Monday morning. One of the persons recognized my worry within and offered immediate help in a nearby local garage. I was told that it was a clutch plate problem and it needs to be replaced.

My vehicle was taken to a local garage, some 3 km away. The whole day I sat there watching the garage guys completely dismantle the front portion of my car and then replace the old clutch plate with a new one.

After all this when I went for a test drive, the issue was half resolved. The clutch was still coming half way, though the gear was smoother now, and I expressed my concern over this. Upon this, the mechanic dug out a master cylinder from an nearby Manza and fixed in my car. This time the clutch came back completely and the job looked well done. However a nagging noise from the clutch lingered on which was totally bullshited by the mechanic who kept pressing that it was all in my head... that I should stop thinking too much about the clutch and go back home without any worry.

I actually had no choice. The bill was a whopping Rs. 8000. I returned Genesis Retreat Resort and then resumed the journey towards Bangalore.

On 13th May 2012, late in the evening I reached Bangalore. Normal life resumed after this. I would commute from home to office and back home in my car. However the nagging sound from the car never faded... infact increased and bothered me a lot.

Now clutch seemed very hard. I took the car to Concorde, dairy circle…they said there was no problem or abnormality with the clutch. They strongly declared it to be absolutely normal. But clutch hardness did exist and I could feel it. I had already driven this car for 32000 km and it was not there before. But how could I prove them?

Frustrated, went to prerna(kudlu gate)…here they acknowledged hardness but attributed this to faulty master cylinder. Kept one day in prerna…they changed master cylinder…. Again bill was rs. 3868

Hardness waslittle less now…but the problem still persisted… when I was accelerating in first gear then changing gear to 2nd , there was a prominent noise …same from 3rd to 4th gear….. and so on.

I again showed to prerna. I told... A rope when it goes through some wet rocks … when you pull in and out this rope…some grrrrrr ness happens…. That is happening with the clutch. Not only when I am releasing…but also when I am pressing the clutch… a rough … patchy… sticky…irregular…grinding feeling … I can feel. Add to it the sound it generates. Weird sound… lound sound… and sound plus grinding/sticky feeling… and you call that normal. I don’t accept.

Prerna again acknowledged this problem and now suggested clutch plate to be changed. I replied, "Clutch plate was recently changed and it was brand new." But they refused its authenticity because it wasn't done in TASC. I was frustrated. I also mentioned, " I have the photo of the clutch plate. See it. Verify it ... if it is fake." They didn't heed. They estimated a bill of 7000 to 8000 rs for clutch plate change. I kept the car in prerna and asked them to do whatever they wanted... but at any cost I pleaded with them to solve the clutch problem.

Finally that happened which I feared. I came to know this time that another new clutch plate was used but the problem persisted so they replaced it with that which I got in Davangere. Prerna also suggested me to ignore the small amount of noise!

I came back and this time escalated this problem to everyone related to higher managerial posts in TATA... all of them whose email I could gather from the internet. I also mentioned that i had posted a nice feedback about VISTA QUADRAJET in mouthshut and this kind of reward they were returning me!!!

Francis came to my rescue this time. He had been very nice to me... always lending a patient ear to my problems and interacting with me with a lot of care and humility. He took it on his shoulder to resolve my case. He tried a few times but the stickiness and the grinding noise in the clutch persisted and finally, on 18th June, he called an expert ( whose name I have forgotten).

Francis, the expert and Prerna Motors ... were now working together... giving this problem a lot of importance and finally on 22.June.2012 they called me once more. I took a test drive and to my surprise I was relieved for the first time. I can't say stickiness and grinding noise was totally absent but it was very less. I thanked them many times and Francis acknowledged that there was a problem indeed and which they could be solved only after long hours of examining and analysis. After driving for a few more days, I was never bothered by the clutch ... and it was like the way when it was new.

Francis Varghese Earalil is his name... he helped me a lot to resolve the Indica Vista clutch issue. I am indebted to him. Also my heartfelt gratitude to the expert and Prerna Kudlu Gate for bearing with this whole issue with a lot of patience and tenacity and providing me with a permanent solution.

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