Problems, Problems & more Problems when the very people who are suppose to diagnose the problems say its not a problem but normal for a car to go left due to road camber then you can never ever solve a problem, that's what has been happening last 1 month since day I bought manza aura abs
as you all know.
Last week I have been quite active on the internet to find the root cause of left pulling & I was not ready to believe that a car will pull to left due to 2-5° camber in the road why? bcoz I have been driving on the very same roads all these years & no car behaved like this manza even the new Indica my father bought a week ago (before My manza) does not behave like that then why Manza?
Last week after Tata engineer could not pin point the problem I became even more desperate to find the solution I have been stopping manza owners on the road/restaurant/highway joints wherever I spot a manza & ask them about this problem in their manza & have found that many manza owners are having this problem with no solution but I also found 2 manza users who said that their manza goes perfectly straight. So Best was to test drive their manza & see myself , I drove their manza & yes their manza goes straight like any other car should actually go straight.
So irrespective what Tata motors say the manza can go straight too if anyone within tata motors is willing to consider left pulling as a problem rather than saying this is normal & happens due to road camber.
Since 2002 I have been part of Tata Indica Users Group (TIUG) on yahoogroups & Mr. Achin Juneja an active & quite knowledgeable member have been reading my manza post with keen observation including questioning me on the alignment reports & he was kind enough to talk to me personally & wanted to inspect my manza himself.
Just few days ago he had hired a manza taxi (March 2011 Make) & he asked the driver if the car has left pulling problem the driver showed him by taking the hand off steering on straight road that indeed the car moves perfectly straight on the road so I felt YES then even my manza can go straight now if the problem can be pin pointed.
I decided to meet Mr. Achin Juneja & went to Delhi at his residence, our original plan was to test the manza on 2 very new & flat roads but just as he started driving manza we had some patch of road with path holes & the car was driven over it in 2nd gear, his keen eye observed the left pulling clearly with steering loosely going right / left (This is the 1st time test on such a patch as I only drive on expressway 95%) then further on the way to test drive road he passed the car on a speed breaker & the car again puled to left. Remember the left puling problem was reduced 60-70% even then it did that left pull as it crossed the breaker. I had never tested this earlier.
He said we don't need any further test drive its proven to him that indeed its pulling to left even after 70% correction now he suggested me that we take the car to one of his best workshops in Gurgaon where he knows the team member personally & vouched for their expertise. The idea was to consult him to at least pin point the source of the problem.
From Vasant kunj to gurgaon we have a fairly new road & the car was driven by both of us & the left problem remained as it is. We reached "Gurgaon car scanners" (its a tata workshop) in 30 mins & I must say that nobody would want to get the car serviced there. Its an old (or may be oldest in NCR) tata workshop with not many automatic machines & no show off business at all, no beauties to welcome you, but its a workshop meant for "real repairs" hence they don't need all that show off.
Achin Uncle (as called by the staff) was received very warmly by the staff & Ram Singh head of the team was called & briefed about the left pulling problem & the history along with failed attempts. Ram Singh decided to take a test drive & was quite well convinced of the left pull problem & said that this cant be normal at all.
Mind you the workshop has no automation except a car jacking up platform, he took the car to a manual old style pit & inspected the car after 30 mins he asked us to sit in the waiting room & he will open the tyres to which I refused as to not to fiddle bcoz 70% problem is corrected so don't disturb it further.
He said sir your problem is not 70% corrected but another problem seems to be created, he pointed out to the geometrical difference in front 2 tyres due to cross member shifting. He raised his objection & said a car needs to be 1st corrected for its geometry (2 wrongs cant make 1 right together) Well I shared my concern both with Ram Singh & with Mr. Achin Juneja. Our Original plan was not to fiddle with the car but to seek his opinion & pin point the problem.
Ram Singh said the problem can be found easily but before that he has to get to default settings, after a long discussion we decided to let give a chance. From the glass window we kept discussing & watched Ram Singh & his team taking measurement with thread & seek balance in alignment (They have no modern gadgetry). Thrice during his investigation we both went out to know if he has found any root cause, he smiled & said we will find it for sure else we would have not opened the wheels.
1. They took the 2 front tyre for wheel balancing & swapped left /right went for a test drive car still pulled to left
2. Cross member was adjusted back to factory setting which was measured by thread method for correcting the geometry.
3. 2nd attempt of thread measurement were done to cross check & went for a test drive left pulling became worse as it was in original manza
4. then they found the probable cause to be the left "Strut" which holds the entire suspension. see this image for reference
told us that he will be changing the entire left strut assembly. I was not at all ready for all this major change since knuckle/lower arm/ wheel/disk & suspension all will be taken off (Its a complex assembly).
To explain our doubt he got a new strut (complete assembly as seen in the image) & explained that misalignment in this strut will cause caster to be out causing left pull, (caster is not adjustable in manza or any front wheel car hence caster is dependent on the strut angle). He assured us that if after changing this problem not solved he will get the car back to the same geometry as before & fit back the old strut.
Faulty Strut has a sticker manufactured by Tenneco Rc India Ltd Tenneco Inc. || Original Equipment || Ride Control || Products and Technologies
Mr. Achin had pointed out twice in last 1 month asking me question as to how in before report caster was out & suddenly the after report shows its perfect where as caster adjustment is not possible. I could not answer him that time bcoz I don't really understood all this technical things then. Same was pointed out for SAI values to which I had no clue.
We were feeling hungry by this time as we had not planned the day at the workshop but resisted to move out in anticipation of getting the car fixed soon so sat hungry there whole day having tea & snacks.
Over 2 hrs work & 2 test drive without us Ram Singh confirmed left pull is gone now but the car is now puling to right which they again adjusted & sent the car for wheel alignment to another shop. By evening the car was ready as per Ram Singh & he broke the news to us that the MANZA moves Straight NOW & we can test drive it. The wheel alignment report was not given & I don't know what kind of machine was used to check & make alignment but driving it to believe was the best way to know it.
We went for the drive & yes the car was moving almost 80-100mts straight on the road 1st time ever since I bought this car. Could not believe the nightmare of driving a constant left pulling car was getting over. We came back to the workshop & Mr. Achin Juneja discussed in detail with Ram Singh to understand the problem & inspected the faulty area of the strut. Now if you remember left lower arm was changed, then knuckle was changed , then shockers were changed along with the shocker bushes, but strut was not at all on the list to be a probable cause. (all these parts are mounted on the strut) I guess strut also controls the SAI values which were going way off in 2 alignment reports to which Mr. Achin asked me as to why they are so different & in next report how SAI has been corrected, I could not answer that at all as all these words are too new to me & I don't even fully understand them.
For me it was a "big moment" which actually should have been on the day I bought the car but it came quite late courtesy Tata Motors. I asked the entire team who worked on my car to be in line for a winning moment photograph, Ram Singh humbly said "Sir this is our daily job does it need a photograph" I said Yes it does indeed.
We thanked the entire team & took the car out & went straight for a longer test drive the car moved almost straight & I can confirm that now after shifting back the cross member to original position the problem is 90% corrected & on flat roads the car has driven absolutely straight up to 1km, YES 1 km without me touching the steering on expressway.