Virtual mechanic

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Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I want to buy a car and I have shortlisted the i10, Wagon R and Indica. Which one should I go in for? My requirements are fuel-efficiency, reliability and comfort. The car should also have a good resale value after 2-3 years.

Vishal Kadam

You should go for the Hyundai i10. It is a fresh design that comes with a lot of features for its price. The Indica has more space while the Wagon R comes with a wide dealer network. But the i10 is a better overall package and Hyundai’s service network is also quite extensive.

Help me choose a good 150cc bike.

Rahul Kor

We rate the Hero Honda Hunk as India’s best all-round 150cc motorcycle. But this bike has competent rivals with their unique strengths. The Bajaj Pulsar 150 DTS-I offers the most features, good specifications and a comfortable ride quality. The Honda Unicorn offers unmatched refinement and the smoothest engine performance, while the RTR 160 is a sporty bike with the quickest performance in this segment.

I am planning to buy a car costing between Rs.10 and 12 lakh. I want a trouble-free one with a lot of features and high on comfort. I will be doing long distance trips at least twice a week, so fuel-efficiency and safety are a must. Which car would you recommend?

Jai Arora

We would recommend the Chevrolet Optra Magnum diesel. It has everything going for it — style, fuel-efficiency, good performance and spacious interiors that makes it good for highway jaunts. It might be a bit unexciting to drive but it is excellent value for money.

I am keen on buying an SUV as my second car and I have short-listed the Scorpio, Safari and the Tavera. Which is better in terms of cruising ability, easy maintenance and looks? I also want to modify the car with bigger wheels and extra lights in the front. Will these modifications have an adverse effect on the vehicle?

Randhir Singh

The Tavera is an MUV and does not really have the image of the Safari or the Scorpio. Among Safari or Scorpio, we would say that the Safari is the better choice. It has good seats, good interior space and a comfortable ride which makes it a good cruiser. As for the bigger wheels, you will have to fit ones that do not foul with the bodywork. You can fit an extra set of lights, but make sure that you fit relays so that you do not overload the electrical system.

I have a six-month-old Honda Unicorn. Yesterday I rode the bike on a smooth highway, where I tried reaching the bike’s top speed. A friend using an older Unicorn told me his bike reaches a speed of 120kph but mine reached only 107kph. Has Honda detuned the bike over the years? The bike’s owner’s manual mentions that fuel other than unleaded petrol may damage the bike catalytic converter. I use only Shell super unleaded. Is this fuel good for my bike?

Dhana Sekar

The top speed of 107kph reached by your new Unicorn is absolutely normal. The Unicorn has not been detuned over the years. Your friend was probably reading his top speed including the speedometer error, assisted by a strong tail wind or going down a decline in the road when he attained 120kph on his bike. Yes, you can use Shell super unleaded without fear.




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