About Me

I am a guy with petrol running in my blood and a V12 in my chest cavity. i have a dog with an attitude problem and my girl frnd is convinced that i am having an affair with my Scorpio. I will try to offer you best advices on how to maintain your SUV, and how to save this world :) bleh.

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How to get the best resale on your old SUV

It is something that everyone must have noticed. The price of new automobiles is increasing day by day (i.e. if you take Indian car manufacturers like Mahindra and Tata out of the equation). I am telling you this because we have a very common tendency to trade our cars in 3-4 years for another. We do this because we worry that the resale value will further depreciate as the car gets older. I have promised myself that I wouldn’t trade my Scorpio until the wheels fall of. Any visitor looking at my car will never be able to guess that the car is 3 years old. It is still in prime condition.

Here I will tell you tips that will help you maintain your SUV just like I do. I guarantee you if you follow these tips religiously, you will get a better deal when you sell your vehicle. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Some will cost you moolah while the others won’t.

The most important thing for a car is their external appearance as that forms the first impressions; please never neglect the finish of your car. Wash your vehicle regularly and don’t let bird poop or road tar stay on your vehicle. It may seem harmless but eventually it will corrode your paint. If you stay near the coast you would want to dry clean your vehicle often to remove the salt that settles on the surface which causes rusting. Most modern car accessory stores have variety of protectant. Use this to protect the finish of your car. My vote would go to a PTFE based product. PTFE is the same thing which is applied on Teflon frying pans. My advice is that you don’t want wax on your car. Wax is a no good product which can only be used for candles. It is used to melt under heat, I am sure I wouldn’t want that for my SUV especially in India where it is always hot.

When you are not driving, try parking in a garage or under some kind of shade. If none of that is available buy yourself water and heat repellant cover. I have witnessed so many vehicles getting ruined because it was left naked under the sun and the paint got oxidized. Dark colors are more susceptible, especially red.
One of the things that can be classified under common sense is “regular maintenance”. Changing oil, engine tune-ups and things like circuit check and fan belt replacement are things which will help you run the extra mile. Of course you know all of the things I said but the problem is that we don’t act upon it. Really go out there and do it continuously for 3 months to see the difference.
It’s easy to for a second buyer to tell if the vehicles owner actually cared about his car. Sometimes the buyer pays more than the value of the car if he feels that the car has been handled with extreme care. There are many more things you can do to take good care of your vehicle but let’s take things one at a time.

Causes and Prevention of Rollover Accidents

By far the deadliest risk facing SUV, minivan, and truck occupants is a rollover accident. Because of a higher center of gravity, SUVs are more prone to rollover accidents than typical sedans. Compounding the issue is the fact that SUVs often carry heavy loads with make them even more top-heavy and thus are more likely to be involved in rollover accidents.

Cause of Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents are directly related to a vehicle's stability in turns. That stability is influenced by the relationship between the center of gravity and the track width (distance between the left and right wheels). A high center of gravity and narrow track can make a vehicle unstable in fast turns or sharp changes of direction--increasing the odds that it will tip over once it begins to skid sideways. The problem is most pronounced in 4-wheel-drive pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles, which have a higher ground clearance for off-road driving.

Prevention

Many SUVs have roll-stability control systems that work to prevent rollover accidents. But that won’t help. What a SUV driver needs to do is realize the purpose of his vehicle. Most don’t realize that SUVs are not built for speed it is built for off roading and tackling various terrains. If you are looking for just superior speed DONOT buy an SUV go for a sedan. Of course technically even SUVs will give you superior speed because of the engine built but it will not be easy to tame a SUV at high speeds

It is like the difference between a Harley and a Hayabusa. They are built for different purpose. One built for cruise the other for speed. The driver needs to check on his psyche. Are you the one who gets the shot out of adrenalin OR the one who enjoys and takes things at a slow pace and relishes every bit of his life? I am the latter so I chose an SUV

Other thing that one needs to realize is that the current SUVs have power steering. The vehicle swings wildly at a move of the steering. So under panic never pull your steering extremely to any direction. Doing that will undoubtedly seal your fate.

Most fatal 4WD rollovers are single-vehicle accidents that occur on weekend nights. The drivers are most frequently males under 25, and alcohol is usually involved. In three out of four fatal rollovers, the victims were ejected from the vehicle, indicating they weren't wearing a seatbelt.

Its all about loving your SUV


The monsoons still show no signs of respite. Days get longer and the weather more humid. I say a road trip in your SUV sounds like a great way to get away. I’ve got a few tips to share with you to make sure that the road trip does not end in misery.

Send your SUV to the Spa - Before going on a long drive, always get your vehicle serviced. Keeping your SUV happy decides if you are man enough to ride her. It means taking your SUV for a dealer inspection. Tell the mechanic details of your trip, whether you are cutting through edgy mountains in Leh or surfing through the desserts of Rajasthan. Trust me the mechanics know their job, they will tune the vehicle appropriately for the conditions. Finally keeping you and your passengers safe should be the primary concern

Customize your emergency kit – It is a MUST! There is nothing more important than being ready for the worst. At the least, a roadside emergency kit should include a set of reflecting jackets, jumper cables, flashlight, multi-tool kit, a quart of oil and a water bottle. The customization of your kit will depend on what conditions you are going to be in. Some more items to consider including in the kit are: extra fuses, tools (flat head and screwdrivers, pliers, wrench), Tommy & jack, rags, paper towels, and duct tape. Most of these items can be stored in a duffel bag in the back of your SUV. Also please keep a medical kit to repair yourself.

Plan your route – We are not given the lavishes of a GPS system like the Americans do, so it is essential to plan your trip. Gather all information you need about the destination and its route. Take advices from online forums and people who have visited that place earlier. There are many digital route planners to ease your job; you can also seek it on mapmyindia.com. If you are travelling with your family then carry a big print out of the location map. While you are driving let the other choose places they want to halt. Great way to bond with your family on the trip!

Escaping the city – Escaping the city traffic is a major concern for most travelers. No one wants to get stressed out during vacation by being stuck in bad traffic, heat and pollution. And more importantly it is a major time waste. Try and figure how we could use that time more constructively. Find out when and where you would be likely to run into traffic and plan around it. Remember to relax and enjoy yourself!

Honey I shut the Kids!

OK Indian parents! Please don’t get defensive when I say this but kids are annoying and real trouble makers. I know you all agree with me (come on no one is watching you- just nod your head). Do you remember those days when you used to ride with your lover alone? You could smell freedom in the air. It was pure pleasure, no interruption whatsoever.

Ok maybe I am getting a bit harsh. Children are also a great source of entertainment during travel if you know how to handle them properly. They can make the trip quite pleasurable indeed. But for that planning is very important. One way to avoid distractions during travel is to leave for the trip around the child’s sleeping time. Let them settle in and they would immediately go to sleep. This way you will cover initial part of the journey without little or no distractions. But you have to be careful to adjust your sleep timings in a way that you are refreshed when you begin your journey. It is crucial that the driver is very alert especially during night drives.

There are a few more things you can do to keep your kid engaged. Let him pack his own small backpack. Allow him to keep things that he is very used to playing at home (personally Sony PSP is my life saver). You may want to assist him pack his bag and explaining him why he would want to take certain things.

Following are some ideas which can be used while traveling.
  • Age appropriate reading material such as picture books for small children and reading books for older children.
  • Music playing devices such as MP3 or CD player. Remember to bring along an extra set of batteries.If you can, install a DVD player in the vehicle. Play a movie the child loves.
  • Age appropriate activity books such as puzzle books.
  • Child specific backpack with personal items of their choice. Plastic drinking cups with built in straws that can have juice or water frozen in them prior to trip will reduce spilling and the need for ice.
  • Electronic games
  • Snack package containing fruit snacks or wafers. The only thing to keep in mind is to buy snacks that will not leave sticky residue on fingers, face or automobile seats. Snacks can be packed to fit into a child’s personal backpack.
Keeping in mind the amount of time that will be required to travel to ones destination will help in determining just how many items the child should bring along. So these are few things I follow when I have to take my nephew along anywhere. I hope this helps you distract the kids from creating more distractions :)

India China War- I hate China!

General Motors to sail away from bankruptcy agreed to sell its flagship brand the “Hummer” to China's Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co.

By selling hummer GM plans to secure 3000 jobs. After selling four of its US brands GM is planning to limp back to become a profitable company it used to be.


Tengzhong is not making a bad deal either. By buying hummer they plan to capture a large chunk of the china’s SUV market which has already surged by 25% last year. Also it would help them enter emerging markets and stand out as a global player.

"There are a lot of new rich in China who like niche brands such as Hummer," said Ricon Xia, a Daiwa Institute of Research analyst in Shanghai. "A lot of private companies like Tengzhong have emerged because of the economic boom and they will strike more surprising deals like this one."

The other brands that GM plans to sell are Saturn and Saab. They are also likely to cut down the production of Pontiac considerably.

"This is a good acquisition for Sichuan Tengzhong and a good sale for GM," said Wong. "They can do the manufacturing and marketing in the US, but in addition to that they can produce Hummer elsewhere for markets such as China, India and the Middle East."

The Hummer sale should be completed by the end of the third quarter.

Well China will do what China does best. Imitate! Once they get their hands on hummer they will start imitating the technology and make variety of international cars at cheaper rate. I can bet on it. I just wish That Mahindra would have bought the Hummer. Then we could have earned the profits that now China will. :) there is a Chinese walking past me while I write this, I am going to take the chance and kill one, will do my country a favor.

Renault- Sandero Details


Renault, French car manufacturer has become a household name after its joint venture with Mahindra. It has proved its success after it launched the Mahindra Renault Logan - Mid Sized sedan in April 2007.

Well there is great news! The company has plans to launch the Sandero SUV which is first in the queue to be launched in India and it was actually built for the Brazilian markets.
The two basic qualities of the compact Sandero make it a good ‘Urban Sport’ vehicle includes roominess and robustness. The SUV will be matted with a 1.5-Litre dCi diesel engine similar to the one on the Logan and comes with a stylish bumpers and grille, chrome-finished exhaust pipe, cozy and spacious interiors with seating capacity of five adults, and roof rails.

The high-set position of the driver’s seat is an exclusive feature which makes driving extremely comfortable especially for women. It not only helps short drivers by aiding them in seeing the road better but also gives them a feeling of superiority in any urban road condition.

And believe it or not the best part of the Sandero Stepway is that it is expected to be priced at around Rs 5 Lakh. That’s right my friends. I am sure Mahindra will have to play an important role to play in getting the vehicle at the miraculous cost. Unlike other Renault cars, this revolutionary SUV is all set to invade the mid-size SUV segment and repeat the success of the Logan. Hail Renault! :)

Tips on how to test a test drive


Well you went to an auto website and booked a test drive, few days later you have the keys in your hand. Now what? What are you supposed to check while have a test drive?

There are many things a person can check on basis of his personal preferences however I would just be mentioning the standard things to check out while taking a test drive.

Research
Go online and check out for test drive reviews for the vehicle you wish to purchase. note down the negatives and positives mentioned by other users.
Let’s Get Acquainted
There is no point in test driving a vehicle that doesn’t offer the desired features. Before requesting the keys from the salesperson, become acquainted with the vehicle. Inspect the exterior and interior thoroughly. Find out what features the vehicle has and where they are located. If the seats collapse or can be removed, test the feature. Open the trunk or cargo area with each form of access: key, button, remote. Open all of the doors, and sit in all of the seats to determine comfort and convenience.
The View from the Passenger Seat
Allow the salesperson to drive the vehicle first. While in the passenger seat, check the radio, air conditioning, windows, locks and other manual or electronic features. Listen for noises coming from inside and/or outside the vehicle. The vehicle should be well insulated so there shouldn’t be much noise from outside. Be aware of any rattles from the engine. This is a great opportunity to ask questions without the distraction of driving so don’t be shy.
Be Honest, Not Reckless
Adjust the seats, mirrors, steering wheel and pedals before starting the vehicle. Turn the radio off and buckle the seatbelt. Now the drive begins, but lets face it, most drivers do not drive well and a test drive is not the time to start. It’s important to know how the vehicle will respond to every day mistakes like keys left in the ignition, lights left on or unlocking the vehicle from the outside through the open window. While driving, test how well the vehicle handles your daily driving. Don’t take this opportunity to test the limits of the vehicle, just make sure it can sustain less-than-perfect driving habits. Remember to check visibility during parking and backing up, too. If more than one person will be driving the vehicle frequently, have both of them test drive the vehicle. Both drivers should feel comfortable and safe in the vehicle before purchase.
Once is Not Enough
Test driving a vehicle doesn’t not mean that a purchase has to be made that day. Take time to compare the features, comfort and drivability to other vehicles. Don’t be afraid to spend a few extra dollars to have your mechanic look at the vehicle and/or take it for a drive. It’s better to spend a little money now instead of a lot of money a few months down the road. Take the vehicle on a second spin and spend some time thinking before making a final decision.

Mahindra scorpio- Micro Hybrid technology




The new ‘mighty muscular’ Scorpio was launched successfully to excellent customer response..

However, with all the attention riveted by the Scorpio’s new look, an important feature got sidelined. The revolutionary Micro Hybrid technology*.

Hence, I would like to give you some factual information about what this technology actually is, and what it can do to limit pollution and conserve our planet.


The start stop system automatically shuts down and restarts the automobile's engine. The engine begins effortlessly once a driver depresses a clutch prior to moving ahead. This in turn reduces the duration for which the engine is kept idling, thereby improving fuel economy. This start stop system comes into play when the automobile has to spend considerable amounts of time waiting at traffic signals or in traffic jams. This feature started in hybrid electric vehicles but now has also started appearing in vehicles without a hybrid powertrain like Scorpio and Bolero. Fuel economy can improve by 5 to 10 percent in non-hybrid vehicles with the start stop system.

Mahindra deserve credit for taking the lead in implementing Micro Hybrid technology. I am sure many will follow in the footsteps of this first Micro Hybrid car in the country.

In a nutshell, the Micro Hybrid technology:
• Switches off the engine when the Scorpio idles for a preset duration
• Switches the engine back on, the instant your leg touches the clutch pedal
• Burns less fuel, thus reducing pollution and conserving the environment


Volkswagen Polo Formel E, Fiat Regata ES and BMW were some of the earliest vehicles to use this technology. Smart Fortwo is a micro hybrid sold in Europe. Mahindra & Mahindra is the first in India to introduce Micro hybrid Technology with Scorpio and Bolero.

Bosch Tie up with Scorpio

I don’t think anyone needs an introduction on Bosch. It is a global giant and a technology leader. A world fueled with the technological revolution is setting high standards for the role of safety in automotive electronics. It would be hard to find any vehicle in the world which runs without a Bosch component. They are definitely the trend setters in advanced motoring.

In the Indian automobile industry, which is also currently witnessing revolutionary changes with technological advancement, Bosch, the largest auto parts supplier in the country, made its larger presence by commissioning its electronic control unit (ECU) for diesel and gasoline fuel injection systems at Naganathapura in Bangalore.

So far the company was meeting the requirements of all the major OEMs in the country by importing ECUs from its overseas operations, including those in China and Europe. With an appreciable increase in automobile production in India since last few years, Bosch realized the urgent need to establish its indigenized manufacturing unit for ECUs at Naganathapura not only to meet the growing demand of its customers but also to ensure a quicker delivery at lower cost. However, there is no compromise on the quality of Bosch ECUs produced in India. The Indian production facilities indeed conform to the world standard similar to the company plants in Hungary, Mexico and China.


Over the past few years, Bosch has been introducing its innovative products to the Indian market as part of its increased commitment to India. The company has already introduced the Common Rail Injection System for diesel vehicles, which has revolutionized the Indian diesel car and SUV markets. The system will also be made available in the commercial vehicle segment in India in the near future.

Another Bosch innovation is the Start-Stop System, which can save fuel consumption of 8-12 per cent, is already in use in Mahindra’s Scorpio and Bolero models. The next in the offing is the anti-lock braking system, which will be manufactured in India from this year.

Metrosexual SUV ??

Recently I came up with the news that Audi is planning to launch Its Luxury vehicle Q5 in India. Well technically it’s a superior car and any new born would gleefully look at Q5 whizzing by an Indian road. But I am annoyed, because Audi calls it an SUV!

Here is the news snippet I came across “German luxury car maker, Audi, added a new vehicle in its sports utility vehicle (SUV) portfolio, launching new Q5 in diesel and petrol variants. The SUV comes with two engine options 2.0 TFSI and 3.0 TDI in price range of Rs. 38.29 lakh and Rs. 44.19 lakh respectively at all 11 dealerships of Audi in India.
Audi India Managing Director, Benoit Tiers said: “The Audi Q5 combines the dynamism of a sports sedan with Audi’s all-wheel drive to create a superior technology package for both on
and off-road driving.”
The company launched premium Q5 despite low demand across automobile segment. Earlier, it sold Q7, the bigger version of Q5, in the domestic market with sale of 1,050 cars in India.
It has set a target to sell 1500 units of its six models namely A4, A6, A8, TT, R8 and Q7 in the current fiscal.
Mr. Tiers further added, “The luxury car market is growing at a faster pace in India and we are targeting that. We plan to sell 100 Q5 SUV this year, and take it up to 500 by next year. Overall, we have set a target to sell 1,500 cars in 2009.

I wonder why I hate foreign SUVs so much. Is it the bad fuel efficiency, the high price or simply that the SUVs made internationally are less of sport and more of luxury? The design is getting smoother day by day and the marketing promises comfortable city drive. City drive? Whatever happened to the use of “Off roading” as a synonym for SUVs. Well by the time I complain here they may have already sold a few pieces. The only point I am trying to make is that they should put all these ultra modern luxury vehicles into a new genre instead of ‘metrosexualising’ SUVs