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Old 17th October 2016, 13:41   #511
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

The 81K mark was done and dusted last month.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20160902_192735.jpg

The car completed 6 years this October 1st! The initial plan when I purchased this vehicle was to change it in 5 years, but Iím still running it. The enthusiast in me is pushing me to change the car, but there are 3 main reasons for me to suppress it and continue with the current vehicle.
  1. The car is running absolutely fine without no big issues warranting a change
  2. My financial situation doesnít allow me to invest in a depreciating asset, that too when it is not an absolute necessity right now.
  3. The low resale value of this brand makes more sense for me to use it more before selling it.

Whenever the car completes a year, I have to spend a decent amount on it for two things. The annual scheduled service and the Insurance.

The insurance:
As usual I started to get premium quotations from various agents via the usual channels of phone, email and SMS. I shortlisted a few and went through some reviews on other threads in this forum. Based on this, I zeroed in on TataAIG which had the lowest premium with maximum facilities. I even thought of getting a Bumper to Bumper insurance but later decided against it. For 6000 odd rupees for a 3.15Lakh IDV, I bought the insurance.

The Service:
In a couple of Facebook and Whatsapp groups, I had heard of people in Bangalore going to Salem (200 Kms away from Bangalore and in the neighboring state of Tamilnadu) for their car service as they were disappointed with the work of Vecto Motors in Bangalore. Everyone who had done so was really in praise of the FASS there - True Sai Salem. I thought Iíll try them out once. I took an appointment with them for September 23rd 2016 (A week before the car would complete 6 years).
But then, the unexpected happened. The Kaveri river water sharing issue between the 2 states of Karnataka and Tamilnadu came up and situations were not very tense. This issue comes up every year but this time it was at a different level altogether and it took longer to cool down as well. Vehicles from either of the states were not allowed to cross over to the other state. So I kept on postponing the appointment every week after assessing the situation at hand. Finally, the situations at the border were back to normal by the first week of October. I decided to go there on 14th October and confirmed it to them.

Fortunately for me, DBHPian nkrishnap was also going to the same service station on the same day. His indepth practical knowledge with cars and also his ability to speak fluent Tamil would be of great help for me. I called him up and told that weíll meet directly at the service centre.

I got up at 5 in the morning on October 14th and left home by 5:30AM. I reached my breakfast point -Shoolagiri McD by 06:25hrs.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_052934.jpg
Let's go

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-img20161014wa0001.jpeg
More important than the actual meal!

By 7 I resumed my journey and reached Salem by 8:45. Enroute My car crossed 82000Kms as well.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_072911.jpg
81999

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_073004.jpg
82000

As I had planned, I was one of the first one to be there. nkrishnap had reached there some 10 minutes before me. As soon as the Service centre opened at 9:00 AM our cars were taken in and job cards were created.

The row items in my carís job card were:
  1. 6yr/90K scheduled service: Previous scheduled service was 5yr/75000 Kms and it was done when the car had completed 5yr but the ODO still at 70000+ Kms. Now the carís ODO was at 82099Kms
  2. Suspension noise: On very high speed breakers, the suspension would make a screeching noise and I had stopped hearing the assuring hiss sound of the Hydraulics in the shock absorbers. The elastic pads were replaced at around 50K Kms. So I knew I may have to replace the shock absorbers as well

  3. Heavy pulling to the left: This was an eternal issue with my car. It was never solved completely but only the degree had reduced in each of the service.
  4. Handbrake not having enough bite: In Neutral, the car would move even if the handbrakes were on
  5. Hard clutch: Clutch kit was replaced at around 50K Kms and now it was really hard to press in. I knew it needed replacement to be back to its smoothest best.

I had informed all these issues more than 2 weeks in advance too to one Mr. Sudhakar who is a senior Service associate. He had told me that apart from the clutch kit, all parts are available and after the check, if the clutch kit really needs replacement, I would have to excuse him.

The scheduled service work started immediately and by 11AM, they finished all the checkpoints. After that they started to examine other problems.

For the Handbrake issue mentioned, they removed the drum and found that the brake pads still have enough life. So they just rubbed it using sandpaper, cleaned it and assembled it back. During this operation they found that the rear wheel bearing and hub had worn out and checked with me if they can replace it. I agreed and they started to remove it. It was stuck badly and removing it proved to be a tougher job than expected. 3 hours of hitting, WD40 spraying and even heating proved less for the hub. Rust was the basic problem. Finally they came up with an idea which worked. They put two long bolts and screwed it in the hub holes. As they went on tightening it, the hub slowly came out. A new one was fixed after lunch

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_123025.jpg
Didn't budge for heat as well...A tough nut!

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_143912.jpg
Finally the new one is fixed

For Lunch, We ordered Pizza from Dominoís and finished it I the AC Customer lounge while watching MSDhoni movie on our phones! The movie proved to be our companion during our wait periods

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_135727.jpg
Pizza!...
FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-img20161014wa0026.jpeg
...and a movie

After this, they checked the suspension and as expected, they found that the shock absorbers had almost no action/life in them. They asked me if they can replace and based on my green signal, they went ahead. It was 4PM by this time.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-img20161014wa0037.jpg
Getting new shock absorbers

Later they inspected the clutch and indeed it needed replacement to make it smoother. Since they didnít have the clutch kit in stock, they didnít work on it. They however checked if the parts are in stock in the nearest Erode FASS. If available they said they would get it. But it wasnít available.

After this they took a long test drive to check things and tweak some things.
Later they started with the Wheel Balancing. They took a long test drive again. By 6:30PM they started with the wheel alignment and lot of tweaking went during this process. By 8PM, they were done with it and took me on a test drive again.

Surprisingly the left pulling issue was sorted! Having lived with this issue for so long now, I am skeptical and donít want to comment now itself, But I hope itís is gone forever. It is still under inspection.

After that, the car was sent for a wash and the billing started. I knew most of the part cost and I was expecting a 20000+ bill. It came out to 19K. Here is a breakup all the things

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-breakup.jpg
What costed how much

After the wash, by 9PM, they checked the headlamp alignment and a slight adjustment was made so that it was correct and to my satisfaction.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-photogrid_1476545676315.jpg
A collage of the boards put up

Finally, after payment, I was ready to go at 9:30PM! After spending an hour for dinner, I reached home at 1:30AM after a satisfied drive of 200kms

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161014_214822.jpg
29 Kilometres of Test drives were taken through out the day

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-20161015_013919.jpg
Arrived safely back home

Service centre review:
The staff is really helpful and knowledgeable, the standard of work carried out is very nice and they make sure people are satisfied. Even after 6PM, their attitudes never changed and meticulously worked on the task and they made sure all problems are solved. I was observing other cars which were there and even for small problems they were working on it with a lot of interest. This approach is commendable.
The prices however were same as here in Bangalore. So all I would say is, that if it is just a scheduled service with no other problems, Vecto in Bangalore is ok. It doesnít make sense to drive 200kms. However with older cars or cars with complicated problems, the cost of 200Kms drive is offset by the satisfaction and also itís an excuse to have a nice drive on this wonderful NH.

Every year for the anniversary, I gift my car something in the form of accessories or some long drives. But this year I couldnít do that. But yesterday, fellow DBHPian CrAzY dRiVeR sent me a link and asked me and checked if I knew about it. When I opened it, I was pleasantly surprised. I had not seen it previously and my car was listed in the cartoq websiteís eighth edition of Indiaís Best 5 modified Cars
Link
I was not aware of this all these days since the time it was posted on the website in August 2015!!! It was a nice thing to get featured there and in a way, coming to know about it was in a way the 6th anniversary gift for my car and me

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-cartoq.jpg
Feels nice to be recognised!
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Old 17th October 2016, 14:46   #512
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post

The enthusiast in me is pushing me to change the car, but...
Hemant, can I suggest you an alternative bro??

How about keep this gem as a collector's item and buy another driver's car??

Though I have not had any of my cars for more than 4yrs, I can completely understand how emotionally we get attached to our steads.

Actually, I have another idea bro:

How about swap the 1.2 NA with a T-jet engine??


Quote:

I had not seen it previously and my car was listed in the cartoq websiteís eighth edition of Indiaís Best 5 modified Cars
I am not really surprised that you car was featured here and actually surprised that you noticed it this late.

All the mods on your Punto are extremely thoughtful, subtle and nothing seems out of place anywhere.

I hate to wish you this, but in any case:

Many More Mile Munching on your Punto and drive safe.
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Old 17th October 2016, 15:15   #513
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
How about keep this gem as a collector's item and buy another driver's car??


How about swap the 1.2 NA with a T-jet engine??
The former makes more sense than the latter since the resale value of FIATs are really less. He could get a good condition Linea TJet for a similar or slightly higher price than a full TJet engine swap. And no headaches either!
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Old 17th October 2016, 17:13   #514
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Hemant,
How about keep this gem as a collector's item and buy another driver's car??
Wish I could do that...But you will know for sure that parking space in Bengaluru is at a premium

Quote:
Actually, I have another idea bro:
How about swap the 1.2 NA with a T-jet engine??
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
The former makes more sense than the latter since the resale value of FIATs are really less. He could get a good condition Linea TJet for a similar or slightly higher price than a full TJet engine swap. And no headaches either!
As written by CrAzY dRiVeR the engine swap is easier said than done. Instead I could buy a brand new Abarth and give it the Grande Punto Treatment. Just saying...


Quote:
actually surprised that you noticed it this late.
I hardly visit any other forums or automotive sites apart from TBHP, But still I'm surprised myself that it took "so long" to come to my notice.
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Old 17th October 2016, 17:18   #515
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Wish I could do that...But you will know for sure that parking space in Bengaluru is at a premium

As written by CrAzY dRiVeR the engine swap is easier said than done. Instead I could buy a brand new Abarth and give it the Grande Punto Treatment. Just saying...
Engine swap is very easy, when you do it on keyboard. But in reality a royal pain to have successfully done and keep it reliable. You are better off with used Tjet or a punto evo abarth
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Old 19th October 2016, 09:47   #516
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
While buying my 1.2, my simple calculation was it would take 40-45k kms to makeup for the 1 lakh rupees extra for the MJD (considering petrol cost difference,mileage and also the variant of my car:I just didn't want the active or dynamic versions)
My average usage is 10-12k kms per year and it would take me 4 years to start getting profits out of a diesel car. arranging the 1 lakh for getting profits 4 years later is something I didn't feel worthy of.
Yes I think I'll easily clock 20k kms this years because of many unplanned activities involving my car. but I'll average to 50-55k kms for 4 years I feel
Quoting an old post of mine. As per that, my estimate was 10K to 12K Kms per year and 50K-55K Kms in 4 years
I have driven 13591 kms per year till today and after 4 years I had driven 57000Kms
So, Although I over shot the calculations, it was not by a huge margin and the calculations were very close to reality.
Here are some of the graphs that I have with me showing these.

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-kms-per-year.jpg
Kilometres per year

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-kms-per-month.jpg
Kilometres per month

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-avg-kms-per-day.jpg
Average kilometres per day

Also I was comparing the basic-service cost of the car over the years. My car till now has visited 5 different FASS locations (run by 3 dealers) There is hardly any increase in the prices regardless of the location

FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion-cost-compare.jpg
Basic service cost
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Old 26th October 2016, 09:49   #517
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
My car till now has visited 5 different FASS locations (run by 3 dealers) There is hardly any increase in the prices regardless of the location
Parts will cost the same everywhere since those are centralised, but where the different service centers try to extract money are with early brake pad replacements, consumables, additionals like ac cleaning, lubrication etc.
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Old 26th October 2016, 13:32   #518
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Default Re: FIAT-Ferrari in affordable trim - My Grande Punto 1.2 Emotion

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Parts will cost the same everywhere since those are centralised, but where the different service centers try to extract money are with early brake pad replacements, consumables, additionals like ac cleaning, lubrication etc.
Tell me about it. If you are the ones who are "unaware types" they will sell anything and everything ranging from AC disinfectant, Engine Decarbonising, Engine Lacquer, door lubrication and what not

I bluntly tell them to just do what I have asked, else I will take the car out if they insist on this crap. Most times they do not try this trick with me. This is where Surendra was brilliant as SA, a complete no nonsense guy. Now with Pratham motors, a few maruti cars too will get the deserved attention.
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