Tata Indigo TDi LS BS-III

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Car Model: - Indigo TDi LS BS 3 Variant
Manufacturer: - Tata Motors
Manufature Year: - April 2007
Odo: - 86739 kilometers

I have observed the following problems / performance drops: -

1. FE has considerably reduced, 14-15 kms per litre without air-con.
2. Car emits thick black smoke if I accelerate hard, when in 3rd gear, speed at 25 Kms / 1400 RPM. It also emits some smoke for a second after starting the engine.
3. Oil leakage.

I took the car to my mechanic, on a belief that an FIP servicing is due. He inspected the car and straight away said that I need to change the rings and head, as he saw some gas being emitted from around the dip-stick area. He has also diagnosed the smoke problem with a faulty turbo charger and has suggested to get the turbo charger serviced at Nashik.
The manual does not advise on doing anything to the turbo charger. Also, I do not feel lack of power while driving.

I would like to know, preferably from Indigo owners, whether: -

1. My mechanic is taking me for a long ride?
2. If I don't do anything at all now, will it land me in more trouble in future? (Mechanic also said that it if I use it for another 4-6 months, it will be Okay)
3. Whether anyone has ever "opened" or "serviced" turbo charger / IC? If yes, for what problems?

PS: - I don't use the car much these days, and knowing this, my mechanic suggested me to continue without changing rings and head for another 4-6 months.
 
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I don't know much about the other questions but for your 2nd question even our Sierra used to emit some black smoke for a few seconds after starting the engine it becomes perfectly alright after that. We drove the car as such and never faced any problems with that. And most diesels emit black smoke when revved hard , this is also nothing much to worry.
 
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Yes. It is a normal thing for a diesel to emit smoke if revved hard. But my mechanic straight away said that the turbo connections has leakages and it need to be opened up. As far as I know, a turbo does not have any serviceable components inside, and neither does Tata Motors manual speak of its servicing.
So he has attributed this smoke problem directly to the turbo and not to faulty or choked air/fuel filters.
 

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Hi Swapnil, excellent review. IMO Tata Indigo TDi was one of the most loved diesel sedan at the time of its launch mainly due to its price tag and roomy cabin.
Do post some pics of your car.
 
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Hi Swapnil, excellent review. IMO Tata Indigo TDi was one of the most loved diesel sedan at the time of its launch mainly due to its price tag and roomy cabin.
Do post some pics of your car.

Sure. I will certainly post them.
Today, I did a 320 Kms drive, and observed the following after a little change in my driving style: -

1. Never accelerated too hard. This reduced the emissions to a noticeable extent. But while shifting from 4th to 5th at 70 kph / 2000 RPM, some smoke was emitted, which if although was not thick, but yet it gave force to the idea of a faulty turbo charger.
2. Did not up-shift early. Rather my gear shift pattern was:
1st to 2nd : 15
2nd to 3rd : 25
3rd to 4th : 50
4th to 5th : 70
This changed style proved somehow beneficial as the FE was improved. I got an FE of around 17 with air con mostly off.

3. Researching on the Piston ring stuff yet. What will happen if I replace them and what if I don't.

4. Oil Leakage problem is still there and every time I park the car, even for 5-10 minuted, few drops of oil are seen on the ground.

5. TAI guys, please help me on the Piston Rings stuff.
 
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black smoke on diesel car is normal , its just car dust clogged in exhaust pipes coming out.

unburnt diesel should give white smoke , for that you need to overhaul fuel pump and engine , but that is the last most case. do not worry.

do Engine oil decreases for certain distance ,say a 1000 kms?


Actually what do you mean by dip-stick area. near the head and engine joint area . or bottom of the dip stick , or on opening the dip stick

on opening the dip stick , if you find smoke , it need a piston rings change. check for bore , if it has wear and tear you need to overhaul the engine.

faulty valve/ worn out one will give smokes too.
 
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ilango[speed thirst];90623 said:
black smoke on diesel car is normal , its just car dust clogged in exhaust pipes coming out.

unburnt diesel should give white smoke , for that you need to overhaul fuel pump and engine , but that is the last most case. do not worry.

do Engine oil decreases for certain distance ,say a 1000 kms?


Actually what do you mean by dip-stick area. near the head and engine joint area . or bottom of the dip stick , or on opening the dip stick

on opening the dip stick , if you find smoke , it need a piston rings change. check for bore , if it has wear and tear you need to overhaul the engine.

faulty valve/ worn out one will give smokes too.
1. Smoke coming out on opening of dip stick.
2. Oil has not decreased thus far.
3. Mechanic has not suggested for engine overhaul yet.
 
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smoke through the dip stick is definitely due to bad piston rings.
only on opening the head , you could confirm is only the rings that need to be chnged or the bore too
 
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Then shall I immediately change the piston rings or do a bit more running? Mechanic says to use it as it is for another 4-6 months, also I didn't find much problem with smoke or power loss in my yesterday's drive.
And about oil leaks?
 
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PS: - I have topped oil in February this year, and have done about 3,000 kms of running since then. Have not checked oil levels, will do it.
 
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ilango[speed thirst];90713 said:
More running , more damage may occur to bore and result in sure overhaul!
may [confused]
Better option would be to do a complete check up, and if anything more than Piston ring replacement is detected, then better sell it off and go for a petrol hatch.
 
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ilango[speed thirst];90660 said:
smoke through the dip stick is definitely due to bad piston rings.
only on opening the head , you could confirm is only the rings that need to be chnged or the bore too

Sorry for the belated reply. I showed the car to the following:
1. Tata Motors Authorised Service Station : [confused]
2. Volvo-Eicher Service Station (friend runs the service station, having a Turbo Indica DLS) : [cry]
3. A local mechanic : [:)]

The smileys put before can sum up my reaction on whether to change piston rings or not.
 
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do a compression check of the cylinders if one/more cylinders has lesser compression add a bit of oil to that cylinder and recheck if the compression improves then your rings need to be changed. at times a turbo chargers seals start leaking oil you will know this if your oil gets low rapidly.
you said you dont have a loss of power then do try trouble shooting for other issues first change your fuel station and dont use premium diesel just regular. black smoke is noticeable during heavy acceleration in most diesel vehicles

pros of changing rings you can add life to your engine.
cons: your pocket gets burnt
 
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do a compression check of the cylinders if one/more cylinders has lesser compression add a bit of oil to that cylinder and recheck if the compression improves then your rings need to be changed. at times a turbo chargers seals start leaking oil you will know this if your oil gets low rapidly.
you said you dont have a loss of power then do try trouble shooting for other issues first change your fuel station and dont use premium diesel just regular. black smoke is noticeable during heavy acceleration in most diesel vehicles

pros of changing rings you can add life to your engine.
cons: your pocket gets burnt
I always use regular diesel. I got a low FE, because i have filled diesel at places, which i believe to be notorious for fuel mixing. But not after that.

Black smoke problem rectified after air filter element replacement.

So with the piston ring change, I can use it for say another 40000 odd kilometers is what my mechanic says. Tough question on whether to sell it off or do piston work
 
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