Virtual Mechanic

Car and bike questions? We have the answers

I plan to drive down the Manali-Leh-Srinagar Road. Is it possible in an Alto? If it is, could you kindly put me in touch with someone in Delhi who can fit a sump guard to my Alto. I have read Rishad Saam Mehta’s article in one of your earlier issues, where he has stated that you have done the trip on this road in an 800.

Vinatha Sreekant

The road is driveable if you take a lot of care and are prepared. This means fitting a sump and a fuel tank guard and ensuring that your tyres are in good condition. Take two spares along with two 20-litre jerry cans to carry petrol. Do not carry plastic cans as they wll leak fumes. You can get a sump guard fitted at Motor Craft in Noida. Contact Raj Kapur at 09811071147.

I want to exchange my old Bajaj Pulsar for a new Bajaj bike. I prefer a 150 to 200cc bike.

Arpit Chippi

Bajaj will soon launch the 150cc Discover model and the XCD Sprint.

I ride a Honda Unicorn (September 2006 model) that has developed a problem in the past few months. When the engine reaches 4,000- 4,500rpm there is a rattle in the speedometer console. The handle does not vibrate but the buzzing sound puts me off. There is, however, no problem above or below that rpm. The Honda mechanic says this is an inherent problem of the model and has been corrected in the new version. He says it’s a problem with the bushes in the fairing. Is this true? What can I do to control and correct the noise?


No, this is not an inherent problem of the model, or any model of the Unicorn. We can say it for sure as we have test driven the bike. May be you can get the screws holding the front fairing, headlight, ignition lock assembly and front number plate checked at the earliest. They should be properly tensioned.

I want to buy a premium hatchback that is powerful, drives well and has good safety features. My options are Fabia, Getz CRDi and Palio Stile 1.6. I am not averse to diesels as long as the in-cabin noise is well controlled. Help me decide, I already have a Swift VDi tuned to 95bhp.

Nirmal Krishnan

It looks like the Getz CRDI is the best option for you. It has a whopping 110bhp, is super-silent and a hoot to drive. If you remap the Getz, you could squeeze at least another 15-20bhp out of it!

I own a 1989 Maruti 800. Till now I have not experienced any problem. I am now planning to buy a new car. It should offer good mileage and fuel economy and should be easy to maintain. I have shortlisted the Hyundai i10. Please tell me how much it costs and its technical specifications. Do you think it is a good buy even on a long-term basis?

K. Bhowmik

Yes, the i10 would be a good car to upgrade to. It is well-built and will offer you good service in the long run. Technical specifications are: engine size: 1086cc, 66bhp; wheelbase: 2380mm; fuel tank capacity: 35 litres and tyre size: 155/80 R13.

I want to buy a new car for my family of three. My average daily use will be 10-15 km within the city. Fuel economy, low maintenance costs and good after-sales service are my priority. A petrol car is preferable. My budget is Rs. 9 lakh. Also, could you please advise me on the Honda Civic?

Avinash Das

The Civic is an excellent car but not within your budget. You will have to spend a little more than Rs. 12 lakh for it. However, for around Rs. 10 lakh you can purchase the Toyota Corolla. There are some good deals being offered on the car, and it will serve your purpose well. If that is too expensive then opt for the Honda City. It is the best for short city runs.

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