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Clutch trouble

autos Updated: Sep 22, 2010 13:02 IST

Q I bought a Mahindra Logan in February 2008 and have clocked 35,000 km. In these two years, I have had to replace the clutch thrice for about Rs 13,000 each time. Is this normal? I have also had to replace the AC gas. I want to exchange my Logan with some other car. Some dealers are offering me an exchange price of Rs 3.5 lakh. Is this enough? I am considering the Tata Manza and the Indigo e-CS. Which one do you recommend? My budget is about Rs 6 lakh but can be stretched to Rs 8 lakh.
Abhijit

A It is not normal for you to have replaced your Logan’s clutch three times within 35,000 km. The service life of a clutch should be around 40,000-50,000 km if you drive your car carefully.

Again, the air-con gas should not have leaked within two years but that’s not unusual either. In our view, the Logan is a solid, reliable car that can run over 80,000 km without causing much trouble. Hence, there is still life left in your car. You need to check why your clutch needs replacement so often. It could be driving style or stop-starts on steep inclines that causes it to wear out.

If you want to change to a reliable car, we suggest the Swift Dzire. However, the Indigo Manza will suit your requirements best and it’s not expensive to maintain.

Q I currently own a Maruti Swift and enjoy driving it. I now want to upgrade to a saloon that offers the same kind of driver involvement. It should also offer decent fuel economy. What options do I have for a Rs 8-10 lakh budget?
Sunny Bhatia

A There is lots of choice in the Rs 8-10 lakh range. However, if you want sporty looks and good performance, it’s the Honda City that offers plenty of both. The ‘arrow’ styling still looks terrific and the 1.5-litre VTEC motor makes the City the nicest and the quickest car to drive.

Q I want a manual, diesel-engined 4x4 SUV, which is well-suited for Indian roads. It will be self-driven. I have a budget of about Rs 25 lakh. What I should buy?
Rakesh Dass

A The Hyundai Santa Fe, which will be launched before Diwali, will be the nicest diesel 4x4 to drive. It has a very powerful 194 bhp engine, decent handling and a comfortable ride. The driver’s six-way powered seats make it easy to find a good driving position.

Q What is the difference between traction control and stability control? Also, how does ABS help?
Uday Weling

A Traction control prevents the driving wheels from spinning if you accelerate too quickly for the level of grip available, by lowering the power of the engine.

Stability control helps keep you on the straight and narrow — for example, if you enter a corner too quickly, it limits engine power too, and can apply the brakes to the individual wheels to prevent you from spinning or going straight on at a turn.

ABS stands for anti-lock braking system, which is a safety feature that prevents wheel lockup and skidding during emergency braking.