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Old 23rd August 2013, 08:37   #91
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Hi Pujaari,

The more powerful German cars, have absolutely no space for any water or other external elements to enter their engines. It's one of the factors that makes them displace so much power. The Japanese and American cars can easily handle a fair bit of water inside their engines as there is space for it.

If you own a German, you need to be a very well informed customer. Money alone does not make you a deserving candidate.

1. There are insurance packages available that cover the hydrostatic lock, but you need to specially ask for them and you need to pay a premium for it obviously. MOst customers don't bother.

2. A hydrostatic lock only occurs when the car goes into a heavily waterlogged area where the water is consistently above bumper level, hence being able to enter the engine from beneath air intakes. Customers should be more careful when doing this. Nobody will warn you. It's information you need to be aware of.

3. Most customers try to restart the car several times if it stops in a waterlogged area. This is the worst thing you can do. Every time you try to restart the ignition it sucks more and more water in and the cost of repair goes up exponentially with each attempt. Most dealers will specially warn you against this.

Mind you, this phenomena isn't restricted to German cars, Japanese cars too have the same problem but their threshold for tolerance is much higher. My neighbours civic had this recently and he paid 5 lacs

Cousins bmw got this last month. He didn't pay a penny as it was covered by insurance.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd August 2013 at 18:04. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 23rd August 2013, 10:44   #92
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

I agree with the points that you have made. I dont own any of these super cars but was just found amusing the fact that a car 50 lakh worth stranded in water and wagon r dashing past it ..haha. Just that a person who spends that kind of money assumes that all such eventualities are taken care of and wouldnt pinch him even if he has to pay 20k extra premium. But i guess audi only recently has started telling their customers about this.I had a german tenant 5 yrs back who owned a land rover and had shown me pics of the car literally in river with water levels up to window levels. Always had that image in mind....
Also my personal view is that all these big brands should take cue from hondas and toyotas when having indian centric models available here. I feel everyone howsoever much,he spends seeks value. Its no more like 'beamer ya merc hai average nahi degi'
When i spend 50 lakhs for a powerful machine , why not have some technology that suits indian mindset. I guess bmw now have started marketing about good mileage.
Your points well taken sir, thanks just that could not easily digest 18 lakhs as repair charges.. Guess my cousin would spend that much and then probably sellit off for around 25
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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:31   #93
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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Originally Posted by Devenu View Post
Apologies if I missed some of the points made by fellow members, but one of the first things to be asked is : Is the car,especially the engine, under warranty?
...

On a lighter note, I would like to intern at an Audi dealership which gets an Audi R8 with rear seats, or bench or any space between the back of front seats and the Engine compartment, for upholstery change!
Thanks for the pic and your explanation, that intern's manure story seems to be just that. Some interns and sales folk get the shock of their lives when a person who can't speak English or dress fancy strolls in and pays up front for the most expensive model with all the toys.Sophistication and capital accumulation rarely go together. The experience sobers down some of these folks, others go on like a broken record about villagers not knowing that a German car is allowed to croak on a highway, its part of the ownership experience apparently.

Large parts of rural India do have net access and people are clued in on cars, that is their biggest buy after all. German cars have acquired a reputation for being unreliable so the Audi story is nothing exceptional. I doubt anyone gets this kind of car for practicality, shopping in this segment is about making a statement, Audi has managed market share and as the other two are not known for reliability, this incident won't dent the brand much.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 12:15   #94
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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The more powerful German cars, have absolutely no space for any water or other external elements to enter their engines. It's one of the factors that makes them displace so much power. The Japanese and American cars can easily handle a fair bit of water inside their engines as there is space for it.
I really doubt there's any correlation between "so much power" and space inside the engine bay. If you think about it, the German cars we get here are usually fitted with smaller engines as compared to the models they sell in Europe or the US. But yes, the design of the engine bay and positioning of the air intake will have an effect.

A German (or European) car isn't some modern wonder of engineering. The Japanese and Korean makers in India might focus more on price and comfort than driving pleasure, but that's not on account of a technological gap - they have models that match (in some cases, surpass) European cars on the 'driving pleasure' front; it's just that they don't sell those models in India, or if they do, tune 'em differently.

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f you own a German, you need to be a very well informed customer. Money alone does not make you a deserving candidate.
May I amend that to "If you own a European car, be prepared for more frequent niggles"? I'm the first one to make fun of Audi users, but it's in jest and I certainly don't agree with you needing to be some sort of worldly sophisticate to enjoy a good car. European cars just aren't as reliable as Asian ones. Luxo-barges also come with a lot more electronic kit, which doesn't much like the humidity + high temps encountered in India. Luxury cars have greater complexity, and that makes them more prone to faults.

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Mind you, this phenomena isn't restricted to German cars, Japanese cars too have the same problem but their threshold for tolerance is much higher. My neighbours civic had this recently and he paid 5 lacs
That has to do with the fact that the overwhelming majority of German cars sold in India are diesel, while for the Japanese marques, it's probably and even split with petrol. And AFAIK (I'm not the most mechanically-adept person), in the event of hydrostatic lock, diesel engines are more likely to suffer serious damage -perhaps something to do with the higher compression ratio? Another reason might be the higher prevalence of tall-boy designs in the Asian manufacturer's portfolio. The European cars we get in India, in general, (notwithstanding the SUVs) sit lower on the ground.

But getting back to this issue, it's still not clear what happened - what was the fault, what was the cause, what exactly did Audi offer... Ergo, no comments on that.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 12:20   #95
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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Originally Posted by Simple_car View Post
The only thing which the german manufacturers lack especially in India, is their service. They are not transparent and it all depends on the dealer. Customers are literally at the mercy of the dealer, I have experienced this first hand. Now, I think, I know how to go about maintaining these vehicles in India atleast.
Hey mate, Like you i too had been on A.S.S mercy when i had an Optra (1.6 Base). In Noida and in Vasant Kunj (Delhi) i was heavily over-charged thru them and they are not at all competent in skills.

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Last edited by GTO : 23rd August 2013 at 18:06. Reason: Removing broken quote
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Old 23rd August 2013, 13:28   #96
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Originally Posted by Lord Ickenham View Post

I really doubt there's any correlation between "so much power" and space inside the engine bay. If you think about it, the German cars we get here are usually fitted with smaller engines as compared to the models they sell in Europe or the US. But yes, the design of the engine bay and positioning of the air intake will have an effect.

A German (or European) car isn't some modern wonder of engineering. The Japanese and Korean makers in India might focus more on price and comfort than driving pleasure, but that's not on account of a technological gap - they have models that match (in some cases, surpass) European cars on the 'driving pleasure' front; it's just that they don't sell those models in India, or if they do, tune 'em differently.

That has to do with the fact that the overwhelming majority of German cars sold in India are diesel, while for the Japanese marques, it's probably and even split with petrol. And AFAIK (I'm not the most mechanically-adept person), in the event of hydrostatic lock, diesel engines are more likely to suffer serious damage -perhaps something to do with the higher compression ratio? Another reason might be the higher prevalence of tall-boy designs in the Asian manufacturer's portfolio. The European cars we get in India, in general, (notwithstanding the SUVs) sit lower on the ground.

But getting back to this issue, it's still not clear what happened - what was the fault, what was the cause, what exactly did Audi offer... Ergo, no comments on that.
Hey Buddy,

Let me respectfully correct you.

I think you misread what I said. It has to with the space for the air and water within the engine itself my friend. Not the engine bay. I don't recall saying "bay" anywhere. I would suggest you walk into the nearest BMW dealer and they will explain to you exactly how BMWs/Audis are most prone to this hydrostatic lock phenomena because of the engine design I just mentioned above. Thats how i know of it when i purchased my BMW . I think they will be able to do a more convincing job of it than I can

In most cases including Japanese Indian made cars, a hydrostatic lock means they have to replace the engine itself. So "amount of damage" being more in diesels isn't relevant. The engine will be replaced be it an Audi or a Honda. Hence the exorbitant cost !

The Hydrostatic lock has very little to do with the car being diesel or petrol. Both engines are prone to lock up when they suck in a fair amount of water. The difference only lies in the fact that how much water can an engine handle? In case of German cars be it petrol or diesel, the tolerance is much lower than their less powerful Japanese counterparts.

[/quote]May I amend that to "If you own a European car, be prepared for more frequent niggles"? I'm the first one to make fun of Audi users, but it's in jest and I certainly don't agree with you needing to be some sort of worldly sophisticate to enjoy a good car. European cars just aren't as reliable as Asian ones. Luxo-barges also come with a lot more electronic kit, which doesn't much like the humidity + high temps encountered in India. Luxury cars have greater complexity, and that makes them more prone to faults.[/quote]

I seem to have offended you. Im sorry That wasn't my intention. In no way did I mean to imply the above mentioned "worldly sophistication". But yes you do need to be a car nut or an informed customer in the least. Else you will end up paying 18-20 lacs for being ignorant. If a person hasn't insured his 40 lac Q5 against hydrostatic lock and then has driven it into a severely water logged road ( the Q5 has sufficient ground clearance, I think it's safe to say the road was severely waterlogged for a Q5 to be affected) - He is ignorant to say the least !

While there is no question that Japanese cars are way more reliable be it due to tall boy designs, petrol engines or any other reasons. I've always maintained that German & italian cars, especially the Big 3 need to be taken care of like parents care about naughty kids. A minute of ignorance can cost you a bomb ! And continuous care and attention to detail can make their relationship with you unforgettable !

I'm afraid It's an acquired taste .
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Old 23rd August 2013, 14:19   #97
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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I think you misread what I said. It has to with the space for the air and water within the engine itself my friend. Not the engine bay. I don't recall saying "bay" anywhere. I would suggest you walk into the nearest BMW dealer and they will explain to you exactly how BMWs/Audis are most prone to this hydrostatic lock phenomena because of the engine design I just mentioned above. Thats how i know of it when i purchased my BMW . I think they will be able to do a more convincing job of it than I can
If you're referring to the compression ratio, yes, high-performance cars run higher ratios, but most manufacturers probably reduce it a bit to account for Indian fuel. And it's not like a 3-Series/ C-Class/ A4 diesel was ever a performance vehicle. So I doubt a Beemer or Audi (barring the sportier ones) runs a much higher ratio than an equivalent Japanese car. (Taking into account the kind of fuel). It's not a valid reason, in my opinion. It's an excuse the dealers are giving to cover up the car's failings.

Quote:
In most cases including Japanese Indian made cars, a hydrostatic lock means they have to replace the engine itself. So "amount of damage" being more in diesels isn't relevant. The engine will be replaced be it an Audi or a Honda. Hence the exorbitant cost !
I was referring to the 'higher threshold' you mentioned. I might be wrong here but while any engine will get damaged by water, diesels are more prone to damage, or at least 'catastrophic' damage that can't be repaired. And the Europeans sell more diesels... That's the idea I got by reading up on it online. If German cars are more prone to water damage due to water, it's not because they're more advanced. It's because of either: 1. It's a diesel 2. User error 3. Poor quality control.

Quote:
I seem to have offended you. Im sorry That wasn't my intention. In no way did I mean to imply the above mentioned "worldly sophistication". But yes you do need to be a car nut or an informed customer in the least. Else you will end up paying 18-20 lacs for being ignorant. If a person hasn't insured his 40 lac Q5 against hydrostatic lock and then has driven it into a severely water logged road ( the Q5 has sufficient ground clearance, I think it's safe to say the road was severely waterlogged for a Q5 to be affected) - He is ignorant to say the least !
Nah man, not at all. No need to apologise. I get what you're trying to say - it's true, but it shouldn't be - that's my point! Any modern car is a complex piece of machinery. And as you said, needs a degree of awareness on the customer's part. But that's not limited to a German car. You shouldn't need a higher level of awareness as long as it's a 'normal' road car. But you do, and that's not a feature, but a failing on the manufacturer's part.

Yup, the Q3 or Q5 cars you hear about getting stuck are not because they're more advanced and delicate, and deserve special treatment, but again, as you said, user error. People think these are butch 4x4s perfect for a trip across the Amazon rainforest. They're not. They're road cars - slightly-higher hatchbacks with AWD.

But these cars should be able to get through streets a Swift can take. If they need special treatment, it's a failing.

Quote:
While there is no question that Japanese cars are way more reliable be it due to tall boy designs, petrol engines or any other reasons. I've always maintained that German & italian cars, especially the Big 3 need to be taken care of like parents care about naughty kids. A minute of ignorance can cost you a bomb ! And continuous care and attention to detail can make their relationship with you unforgettable !
This I agree with up to a point. We have two Fiats at home and they've always been far more fun to drive and yet, far more unreliable than our Marutis. But it's not anything adorable any longer. European car makers need to work on their quality control and level of 'India proofing'. But instead, they tend to get arrogant and blame the user for everything. They might have a point, but is that the whole story? Complexity raises the chance of faults. But then, Lexus does complex, so does Infiniti, so why is it the Europeans who have way more trouble?

Eh, we're digressing from the issue though!
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Old 23rd August 2013, 15:11   #98
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

I think this is all part of an elaborate plan by these so called businessmen are conmen who have just got together to try and gangbang the company.Out of all these people ,only one has a problem with his car and that too due to a broken v belt which is not rare as machines are prone to failures.Even so,the company offered to change the engine at their cost which the owner refused as he wanted a replacement .This is similar to the case wherein a person who buys a 1bhk flat from a builder and after three months of the sale finds out that his bathroom has a fault wherein the commode develops a fault and is flushing in the stuff instead of flushing out,so in this case will the owner seek a flat replacement or agree to a complete replacement of the offending equipment and new interiors of the bathroom which the builder offers.Also nowhere does it mention what are the other problems faced by the other owners,or are they just having second thoughts after purchasing their cars.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 15:49   #99
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Originally Posted by Lord Ickenham View Post

European car makers need to work on their quality control and level of 'India proofing'. But instead, they tend to get arrogant and blame the user for everything. They might have a point, but is that the whole story? Complexity raises the chance of faults. But then, Lexus does complex, so does Infiniti, so why is it the Europeans who have way more trouble?

Eh, we're digressing from the issue though!
Well we're not digressing any more. The above quote is exactly the reason that these 15 bizmen are creating such a huge issue out of this.

Europeans are too arrogant to india - proof their cars. Too arrogant to pay up when it's their fault.

People who are saying the customers are getting greedy and blowing things out of proportion blah blah have obviously not dealt with the European car manufacturers. the kind of arrogance on display by the European manufacturers can only be brought down if a few more incidents like this happen.

Mind you. I'm not at all saying everybody with a fault in their vehicle should stage a dharna or wash their hands in the running Ganga.

But yes, if you have a German vehicle worth 30 lacs and if it stops in the middle of the highway for no fault of yours, stage a dharna large enough to get it covered by the media and settle for nothing less than a replacement car. Anything less would be a compromise.

In many circumstances a car stopping in the middle of a high speed run at a highway may mean the difference between life and death

Let me quote an incident that happened with a friend here. He bought a Q7 about 6-7 years back when it had first come out. He was driving it at about 160 when some error warning showed up and within a second the steering got locked up and the car lost power. The result was a massive massive accident where the front left side of the car was completely damaged, the alloy wheel broke off and resulted in the car being over turned. The driver did not get hurt. Just a few bruises.

You will be surprised that in this case, because the accident was so severe, to avoid any public outcry AUDI themselves replaced the car without any conversation. They had to import a new one, as at that point Audi was yet to start assembly of Q7 in india.

Same problem, different outcome.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 16:13   #100
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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Let me quote an incident that happened with a friend here. He bought a Q7 about 6-7 years back when it had first come out. He was driving it at about 160 when some error warning showed up and within a second the steering got locked up and the car lost power. The result was a massive massive accident where the front left side of the car was completely damaged, the alloy wheel broke off and resulted in the car being over turned. The driver did not get hurt. Just a few bruises.

You will be surprised that in this case, because the accident was so severe, to avoid any public outcry AUDI themselves replaced the car without any conversation. They had to import a new one, as at that point Audi was yet to start assembly of Q7 in india.

Same problem, different outcome.
Audi did that may be for 2 reasons i.e to establish confidence in indian prospective customers and 2nd to avoid brand insult.

Still buddy, here the scene is that after the vehicle ran for 2 years with periodic service at A.S.S how can such a thing happen. It has 2 dimensions to it i.e Lack of Communication from the service staff of Audi considering the accumen of the indian herd of technicians and 2nd Audi as a good brand may have pointed this issue to the owner but he may have delayed the repairing of it sighting the expense issues as owning a high end car does not necessarily mean that the owner too is a technically wizard with sophasticated attitude for the car. So no-one can make a one-sided inference.

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Old 23rd August 2013, 16:22   #101
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Audi did that may be for 2 reasons i.e to establish confidence in indian prospective customers and 2nd to avoid brand insult.

Still buddy, here the scene is that after the vehicle ran for 2 years with periodic service at A.S.S how can such a thing happen. It has 2 dimensions to it i.e Lack of Communication from the service staff of Audi considering the accumen of the indian herd of technicians and 2nd Audi as a good brand may have pointed this issue to the owner but he may have delayed the repairing of it sighting the expense issues as owning a high end car does not necessarily mean that the owner too is a technically wizard with sophasticated attitude for the car. So no-one can make a one-sided inference.

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Lol man. That is too Outlandish a presumption. I don't think it's on us to assume what Audi may or may not have told the customer.

Just FYI. This belt issue is very very common amongst Audi cars. It's happened to us too while going to delhi 2 years back. It seems they're using a substandard belt (or some other material) which is causing this and continue to ignore this problem.

The belt cost us 2 extra days in a delhi hotel and 70000 rupees. Mind you this was in the 2nd year of ownership.

I say Audi need to pay through their nose to learn a lesson.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 16:28   #102
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Team, I came across a statement yesterday from a fellow bhpian saying why is Audi not giving details about the history of vehicle service may be there is a lapse from its end.

The reason for the above as I counter may be Audi is no mood to hamper their goodwill and they also are well aware that in this case there are 14 others who are willing to dump their vehicles so to avoid a massive de-grade they are giving potent and acceptable options to the concerned owner. By not getting into the nity-grity of the service history they are not trying to hide a lapse rather they are looking at a bigger picture as a brand and shall rule-out their verdict accordingly.

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Just FYI. This belt issue is very very common amongst Audi cars. It's happened to us too while going to delhi 2 years back. It seems they're using a substandard belt (or some other material) which is causing this and continue to ignore this problem.
OT as it may sound, 2-3 years back a cellphone brand recalled a certain model of it for battery bursts. It humbly changed that specified model battery and did not handover new handsets to the owners. In this case the owner demands a totally new vehicle inspite of the assurances from Audi to change entire engine. Noted to be is the fact that there were reports of hurt in battery burst but people understood the problem and so did the company and mutually agreed on a solution. Here it is adament nature and publicity hunger to be seen.

Eg: If a group of 10 people buy a dozen of kashmiri apples and by chance 1 of them gets a rotten apple in his/her lot then is it ok if he/she convinces the others also to throw off their apples too just because of 1 rotten apple? Rather a deligent way would be to go and humbly speak to the concerned vendor and solve it ammicabaly.

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Old 23rd August 2013, 17:31   #103
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

I for one, like many others have to be with Audi on this. It just looks like this customer is trying to take advantage of this situation and try and get his 2 year old car changed into a brand new Audi. If he really has such a big issue/and has lost faith in the brand, why would he be willing to settle for a new Audi?

I think Audi should retain their stand and not oblige to his wishes, as this would set a bad precedent. Not only for Audi but for all the other car manufacturers too. This would lead to more customers just demanding a replacement for the smallest of repairs. Now that the bad press has already happened, just giving this man a new car is not going to win them any brownie points.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 17:34   #104
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Lol man. That is too Outlandish a presumption. I don't think it's on us to assume what Audi may or may not have told the customer.

Just FYI. This belt issue is very very common amongst Audi cars. It's happened to us too while going to delhi 2 years back. It seems they're using a substandard belt (or some other material) which is causing this and continue to ignore this problem.

The belt cost us 2 extra days in a delhi hotel and 70000 rupees. Mind you this was in the 2nd year of ownership.

I say Audi need to pay through their nose to learn a lesson.
The Timing Chain based Audi's are not free from issues either. There have been reports of Timing Chains becoming slack (and thus affecting the cam timings). The replacement costs are much larger than the toothed rubber belts. I was doing a bit of research into this and skimmed this info from various VAG group forums ( I think 3.0L v6 TDi uses a timing chain).
Belts could be breaking due to our tropical weather, since rubber tends to harden due to environment. Either case, I agree that Audi (and other two German Luxo Barge makers) need to do a bit more research and use region appropriate parts, rather than blindly importing parts that may not function well on our sub-continent.
I wonder how they do on Countries like Thailand, which has similar weather conditions like India.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 21:24   #105
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Default Re: 15 bizmen set to return their Audis after ‘bad service’

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Hi Pujaari,

The more powerful German cars, have absolutely no space for any water or other external elements to enter their engines. It's one of the factors that makes them displace so much power. The Japanese and American cars can easily handle a fair bit of water inside their engines as there is space for it.

If you own a German, you need to be a very well informed customer. Money alone does not make you a deserving candidate.

1. There are insurance packages available that cover the hydrostatic lock, but you need to specially ask for them and you need to pay a premium for it obviously. MOst customers don't bother.

2. A hydrostatic lock only occurs when the car goes into a heavily waterlogged area where the water is consistently above bumper level, hence being able to enter the engine from beneath air intakes. Customers should be more careful when doing this. Nobody will warn you. It's information you need to be aware of.

3. Most customers try to restart the car several times if it stops in a waterlogged area. This is the worst thing you can do. Every time you try to restart the ignition it sucks more and more water in and the cost of repair goes up exponentially with each attempt. Most dealers will specially warn you against this.

Mind you, this phenomena isn't restricted to German cars, Japanese cars too have the same problem but their threshold for tolerance is much higher. My neighbours civic had this recently and he paid 5 lacs

Cousins bmw got this last month. He didn't pay a penny as it was covered by insurance.
Haha what? So you are saying there is place in the engine of Jap and American cars for water while there isn't for Europeans? So does the piston have some extra clearance in Jap and American cars for the water to stay? While the Euros build precise engines with minimal piston clearance?

Cmon buddy, water is water. Once it gets into the engine the engine is done, water cannot be compressed.

Maybe what you mean to say is Jap cars have more safegaurds against water entering the engine, like higher placed intakes.

The part I highlighted in bold is something in wholeheartedly agree with.

And also do be careful with your F30. A friends F30 sucked in water while being driven through 6 inches of water, and the engine stalled. After being towed to the dealership there were 20 other F30s which had suffered the same fate. Apparently the intakes are placed pretty low which is why this issue happened. And I know for sure that my friend was/is not negligent with any car.
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