Join Date: Apr 2013
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The car crossed 135,000 km last weekend:
Here’re some updates in no particular order.
- Around two weeks back, while checking the engine bay (rats in the basement is a concern!), I had noticed that the engine oil level had dropped. Topped it up with the leftover Liqui Moly oil that I had with me after the previous service. It was too late though considering the car had run around 14k+ km after the last service! But better than driving around with a reduced oil level. Moving forward, I'll check the oil level at every 3000 km intervals. The 5L Liqui Moly oil can ensures there’s at least 700 ml of reserve oil with me after each service.
- Here’s the list of parts that were used for the timing belt replacement in case someone’s planning to get this done from an FNG:
a. Timing belt:
Part number: 03L 109 119 E
b. Water pump:
Part number: 03L 121 031 B
c. Tension roller:
Part number: 03L 109 244 J
d. Timing belt relay roller:
Part number: 03L 109 244 G
e. Timing belt tensioner:
Part number: 03L 109 243 F
f. Belt tensioner:
Part number: 038 903 315 AN
- We did a trip to Horsley Hills during a weekend in June. It was a 2-day weekend, I couldn’t go to Palakkad for some odd reason and I had a hunch this is going to be an incredibly boring weekend. Decided to drive to some place and a friend suggested Horsley Hills in A.P. Google Maps showed a drive of approx. 540 km via Ranipet, Chitoor and Tirupati. We were set!
We departed from Chennai around 6:30 AM but my friend had contracted some infection the previous day and he tagged along despite me insisting that the plan be dropped but he was asleep in the car most of the time due to the medication. Here’re some snaps from the drive:
Some random snaps from the view point:
We drove through a mix of 2/4/6-laned roads – some were incredibly good and some were terrible due to diversion works. Reached the hill-top for lunch. We had lunch from Haritha Restaurant; seems like this was the lone restaurant around but they only had veg. buffet meals. The place unlike any other hill station is sparsely populated and there’s not much to see except the View Point, a giant old Eucalyptus tree and the Wind Rocks. Good for someone who's looking to unwind on a weekend after a hectic week. The place is named after W.D. Horsley, a British collector during the late 19th century who had lived here.
During the return drive, we chose to drive through Tirupati. Again, it was a mix of 2/4-laned roads but better than the previous one. We reached home around 8 PM. At the end, a day well spent and a new place visited.
- The armrest upholstery had begun to show signs of wear and tear:
And during one of the drives, someone seated at the rear gave it a hard knock with the foot while changing places and the aluminium base broke! The footrest began wobbling thereafter.
Sometime back, a BHPian had posted about sourcing the OEM armrest from the local service center for Rs. 7500! And this for the model with the cup holder with the felt-lined storage – sounded too good to be true! Looks like VW had outsourced this assembly to a local OEM. I asked my good friend Sheethal to check up with his service center and indeed, the armrest was being locally supplied and I was given a quote of Rs. 5649! Requested him to send a unit over along with the parts required for the service and he happily obliged.
They've included an installation manual in the box but what really helped was the DIY thread from BHPian bowser. Dude, if you're reading this, thanks a bunch! The thread was immensely helpful right down to the last bit where the screwing of the plastic trim proved to be a major pain!
Removed the older unit in a jiffy (the 1/4" ratchet tool kit in the boot helps) and installed the new unit as per the steps in the DIY thread.
The quality of the plastics is good and the aluminium base of this unit is much better than the previous unit. Here're the snaps after installation:
Part number: 6RF 061 123 XPA
- Replaced the set of Bosch wipers with another set sourced from Amazon. Cost me Rs. 337 inclusive of shipping. Dirt cheap pricing plus the previous set has lasted for close to an year before the blades started streaking on the windshield. Not a big fan of these frameless wipers after going through 3 sets from Hella Curvo, Bosch Clear Advantage and another set which I had sourced from Korea during my visit. Not worth the premium IMHO. The conventional ones work equally well and are a lot cheaper.
- Two friends (and colleagues) from our department were getting hitched and the respective locations were Guntur, AP (the bride’s side) or Alleppey, KL (the groom’s side). I wasn’t remotely thinking of Alleppey (thanks to another wedding trip we had done 2 years back which I am not going to forget in a L-O-N-G time) so Guntur it was and we were 4 of us. The only downside was it was scheduled for a Wednesday evening so we had to take a couple of days off from work. I was also familiar with the route since I had driven to Kolkata last year through the same stretch. Amazing 4-laned roads from end-to-end.
We departed Chennai around 7 AM and broke for breakfast somewhere en route. I don’t recall the name of the place (sorry about that!) but the vegetarian food served was lip-smackin' good and the place was hygienic with clean restrooms.
(L to R, foreground - Midhun and Vimalraj, background - me and KD)
We also stopped at the Ongole N5 Food Plaza for a tea break; the view offered from the food court was hard to miss!
After a leisurely drive of around 7 hours, we reached our destination for lunch. We were famished by the time we reached and this place being Guntur, we wanted to devour some good non-veg. meals at a decent restaurant. The couple suggested Hotel Sindoori and turns out, Tripadvisor (link) rates it at #1 in Guntur for stay! They have an attached AC restaurant with a good ambience. They had a biryani fest going on (not a big fan of biryani; I prefer naan + curry over it) and we ordered 2 bowls of chicken biryani (dum and mughlai), 2 chicken based starters, 2 chicken curries and naans followed by desserts. A wholesome meal for 4 guys for Rs. 1700. Was well worth the price.
We retired to our hotel, rested until evening and the wedding was scheduled for the night. We reached the venue around 8 PM:
After the muhurtam and the mandatory photo session, we left for the hotel and crashed. Woke up at 8 AM, a quick shower and a breakfast later, we hit the road around 9:30 AM. The return drive was uneventful and after the usual lunch and tea breaks, we reached Chennai around 4:30 PM. This was a great drive thanks to the company, roads and the occasion. Thanks to Manoj and Saila for inviting us for the occasion and to Vimal, KD and Midhun for tagging along for the drive. Spent Rs. 3380 on fuel and Rs. 845 for the tolls for this drive. Fastag helped immensely, needless to say.
- Completed the 9th scheduled service of the car at 135,000 km. I have a set of the complete parts required for the service with me at all times so got another set for standby from my friend Sheethal who dispatched it from Hubli along with the replacement armrest. Total cost of parts - Rs. 2650.
Refer this thread for all the details of the parts and the procedure for the service – Link.
Sourced a 5L can of the Liqui Moly TopTec 4100 5W-40 from Amazon (seller – Cloudtail India) during their Prime Day sale and cost me Rs. 3933 inc. of shipping. For Rs. 787 a litre, that’s a great deal; cheaper than what I sourced it for during the last service.
Additionally, I sourced a 200 ml can of Liqui Moly Engine Flush (part no. 48203) for flushing the innards of the engine before pouring the replacement oil. This might well be snake oil for all you know and the difference may not be discernible in realtime. Yet, I wanted to try it out to see if it works at all to remove any additional muck or reduce the engine noise or improves the engine refinement. Sourced the can from Amazon and cost me Rs. 316 inc. of shipping. Contrary to what is printed on the bottle, this one isn’t imported from Germany - it is made in India by Ansysco Anand. The solution is added to the engine through the engine oil inlet and the engine is idled for 10-15 minutes after which the warm oil-solution mix is drained out.
Here’re some WIP snaps from our apartment’s basement parking lot:
Changing the fuel filter (easiest of all the jobs):
Finding the right torx bit for removing the air filter box:
Adding the engine flush solution:
The makeshift oil catch pan:
Draining the oil into the pan:
The mucky oil:
Tightening the oil filter assy:
Pouring the fresh engine oil (no additives were added this time):
Drained the oil from the pan into 2 empty soft drink bottles. Will hand them over to the neighbourhood garage when I visit Palakkad. Took the car for a short test drive and the reduced engine noise and harshness is evident from the oil change. I am not sure how much the Engine Flush has helped. Many thanks to my friend/colleague Gagan who lent a helping hand with the tools and parts for this DIY service!
- Once we were done with the service, I wanted to get the car washed from a garage. I had a couple of free car wash coupons from 3M Car Care so called them up, fixed an appointment and drove there. I happened to be the first customer for the day. Handed over the coupon to the outlet in-charge, he prepared the job card, requested them to only vacuum the interiors and the staff got to work in no time.
Despite being a free car wash, no corners were cut. They did the job patiently and took all of 2 hours to complete the job.
- It has been pouring in Kerala over the last 2 months. A snap while heading to our ancestral temple:
- Replaced the 1L ABC dry powder fire extinguisher stored in the boot with a 2L unit. Sourced the unit from Amazon (link) for Rs. 1520; we have the same Kanex units at our workplace as well. Refilling the cartridge should be less of a hassle thus.
The firex comes with a cartridge pre-filled:
The pressure gauge of the older unit indicates a cartridge replacement is imminent:
Will keep this unit at home henceforth after replacing the cartridge.
So that’s about it for this update. There are no issues with the car so far. I'll be changing the gearbox oil shortly. Although VW says it is sealed for life and doesn't warrant a replacement, changing the oil every 5 years/1L km helps in smoothening the shifts and removing the mucky oil which containes remnants from the grinding of gears inside the box.
A trip to Mangalore is on the cards this month and another one to Kolli hills sometime later. The Kolli hills ghat road has 70 hairpin bends - the highest in the country apparently + featured in dangerousroads.org (link
) as well.
Last edited by Gannu_1 : 8th August 2018 at 19:05.