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Old 13th July 2007, 15:39   #16
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Happens in Dharavi, Mumbai also.

Another favourite tactic is to pull out the fuel outlet tube from the tank (mainly Maruti 800, don't know about other cars) when you are stuck in heavy traffic jams. So the fuel stops flowing, car comes to a halt and the "good samaritan" mechanic shows up, changes the delco and fits the tube back - car is running fine, except that you have lost your good delco and shelled out a packet.

Is it possible with other cars also?
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Old 13th July 2007, 16:34   #17
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Same thing happened on the road connecting Sion-Panvel highway to Eastern Express highway near Ghatkopar. Three jokers stood about 50 metres apart on the divider and pointed at my car; the first one gave a thump to my bonnet as I was accelerating after a signal. I wasn't fooled and I remembered this thread. I now avoid this route and go via Chembur to Sion; this route has a few signals that may get jammed, but is cleaner during the monsoon and probably safer too.
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Old 9th December 2008, 14:54   #18
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This incident happened to me on Dec 08, 2008 at around 8.30 pm on the flyover road between Lower Parel and Curry Road station. As soon as I turned left from Lower Parel, a man came running and thumped on my bonnet, saying “Aapke engine mein sparking ho raha hai”. Another man on a bike on my left also said the same thing. I got panicky and stopped the car.

At this point, a passerby stopped and offered to help. I assumed him to be the ‘Good Samaritan’ and opened the bonnet hood. He asked me to start the car and come out. Though I could not see any sparks, I did hear crackling sounds from the engine bay.

He then said that I am lucky as there is a garage nearby and he’ll get a mechanic to check it. I did get a bit suspicious at this point and tried to start the car. But the car stuttered and the red battery light came on.

Since I was already facing ‘alternator whine’ problem due to my car stereo so I assumed that the sparking could have been caused by that. Now came a shabbily dressed mechanic, reeking of alcohol, to take a look. He immediately suggested that he will do some ‘jugaad’ and make a direct connection to start the car. This would enable me to drive till the next available service station to get the fault rectified. I asked him the charges and he said ‘not more than Rs 50-100 of labour charge’. I agreed and he started tweaking with some wires.

After a while he tells me that my ignition coil and starter motor is gone, along with the alternator and that he would need to replace it. Out of nowhere, the other bystander fishes out a Lucas branded equipment (it was not an alternator). He says that he will test this and if the car starts then I can choose to pay and take it. Fair enough.

20 more minutes pass by and another guy (claiming to be the ‘Seth’ or the owner of the garage) joins us. He re-emphasizes the point that I am very lucky that his guys noticed my engine sparking, on their way back home, else the car could have caught fire. He pretended to carry out some repairs after which my car started.

Now comes the weird part. Upon asking the price for the job, he said ‘Sir, aap Rs 7,000 de dijiye’. I was shell shocked and asked him why he did not tell the price before carrying out the repairs. The mechanic completely turned in front of his (assumed) boss. He said ‘Maine to aapko pehle hi bola tha ki bahut kharcha hoga’. So I asked him to return my old, defective part.

Now this guy started to act funny and says I have kept it back in the engine bay when I put in the new part. Yeah, right, as if the engine bay of cars have storage compartments for defective items!.

By now, I had fully realized this was a con job. So I was in no mood to pay any money to these thieves. However, the three guys started getting restless and abusive. The mechanic in fact turned a fanatic, uttering things such as ‘I am a Muslim and will never cheat. You Hindus never believe Muslims na?’.

My wife had arrived at the scene by then (her office is nearby) and I wanted to avoid any sort of untoward incident. So I asked him to reverse whatever he has done and take back his new part. After much argument and haggling, I asked him to put back the old part. He did that and asked me for Rs 250 for labour charges.

As luck would have it, I had run out of cash and had just Rs 100 in my wallet, which I offered to him. He started abusing and mumbling insane words. I gave him Rs 130 in all and left the place. I could not call the Police, since the great Vodafone network of Mumbai was perenially jammed when I was facing this incident.

I drove without the AC and stereo yesterday on the way back, from Parel to Andheri. In fact, I tried not to use any electrical equipment (restricted usage of horn also!), hoping to reduce the load on the alternator as much as possible. I did not drive my car to office today, fearing that something might have actually gone wrong. Or probably, out of anger, the rogues might have caused some real problems in the car.

Would like to seek advise of gurus here. What damage could they have done out of anger? I will take my car to my trusted garage tomorrow, but will it be safe to drive around 25 kms in the morning, assuming worst case scenario that something might have actually gone wrong?
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Old 10th December 2008, 01:58   #19
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If such incidents can happened to auto buffs (so I assume, if you on this site) then it aint difficult to imagine what must be happening to other fellows, from the number of folks who have experinced this here, this seems to be a thriving business run by organised syndicate.
I have had a smiliar experince in Nairobi too, just that they make you stop and when you open the door or window to talk to them to figure out, they hold you up on gun point and rob you off the car and anything else worthy on you.
and should you decide to act smart, then they dont think twice to even hurt you physically.
we need to watch out for these crooks and thier gimmicks all the time
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Old 10th December 2008, 10:12   #20
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Just a thought, wouldnt it help if such incidences are reported in newpapers to create awareness? Like have a weekly column on Sunday to update the public about the new scams doing rounds. This is surely bound to spread to other cities.
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:02   #21
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Sure, now that we can send emails to these newspaper guys, it is much easier, everyone from each city can start doing this, but since this is mostly Mumbai based Issue, they should take it up first
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:33   #22
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Nishant, with 589 posts here, how could you fall to such a 'thuggery'? You should have checked what was sparking when the hood was opened. It would have given you an idea. The ignition coil etc., just don't fail like that..

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantgandhi View Post
This incident happened to me on Dec 08, 2008 at around 8.30 pm on the flyover road between Lower Parel and Curry Road station.

Last edited by gd1418 : 10th December 2008 at 12:35.
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:47   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi.Knight View Post
Just a thought, wouldnt it help if such incidences are reported in newpapers to create awareness? Like have a weekly column on Sunday to update the public about the new scams doing rounds. This is surely bound to spread to other cities.
Would love to report it to papers. I have sent my story to DNA, ToI and HT, but haven't heard form any.

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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
Nishant, with 589 posts here, how could you fall to such a 'thuggery'? You should have checked what was sparking when the hood was opened. It would have given you an idea. The ignition coil etc., just don't fail like that..
Basically, a mental block that occurred that time. 4-5 different people (man on bike, passer by, someone at the bus stop etc) pointed out the same thing, so I ended up believing it. I did not assume the racket was so well planned that there would be associates planted at strategic locations to fool the driver. And as I said, I was facing alternator whine since some time so I thought maybe something serious has actually happened.

I did hear crackling sounds of the sparks (could not see the sparks since I was in the driver's seat), but as it later turned out, the guy had swiftly 'created' those sparks - by touching the ignition coil to the engine body (my guess) during the time I opened the bonnet and started the engine to check the sparking. (Hope I was able to explain the situation)
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Old 10th December 2008, 12:48   #24
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someone must spread this as chain-mail unlike most of the chain-mails which are BS spams.and this all happens inside the city?
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Old 10th December 2008, 16:57   #25
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May be I missed this thread, however I can relate this to the incident.

I happen to bang my Palio slowly (5 kmph may be) to a parked fusion while taking a U turn and missing the judgement completely...then I head towards western express highway. I was thinking about the incident and pulled over the vehicle. A standbyer told me there were sparks in the front....for a moment I thought that I need to check....I just checked and sat inside. The guy came to me from the co-occupant window and started telling me that there were spark (chingari aa rahi thi niche se)....I lowered the glass slightly and told him its ok....no problem....pushed away from him....
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Old 13th December 2008, 17:00   #26
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This happened with my dad just 2 days ago on the Sion-Chembur road. Although my dad did stop the car, he got a hint when a mechanic immediately came out of nowhere and offered to check the car. My dad just drove away from there and when he reached a petrol pump in Chembur, he asked the guys there to see if there were indeed any sparks and they all replied in negative.

But my doubt here is many people have reported that there were indeed sparks coming out when they checked it too. How is this possible? Do these thugs do something to the car prior to getting your attention?
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Old 13th December 2008, 17:40   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatoR View Post
...when he reached a petrol pump in Chembur, he asked the guys there to see if there were indeed any sparks...
Probably not the best place to go if your car is making sparks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishantgandhi View Post
...by touching the ignition coil to the engine body (my guess) ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AviatoR View Post
...But my doubt here is many people have reported that there were indeed sparks coming out when they checked it too. How is this possible? Do these thugs do something to the car prior to getting your attention?
As written by khanak and elf on the first page of this thread, it seems that when you let them open the hood, they quickly unplug one of the spark-plug leads. This probably creates a spark between the free end of the lead and the closest metalic part (since the whole car body is grounded / -VE).
Essentially the wire becomes like an external "sparkplug".

cya
R
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Old 13th December 2008, 20:49   #28
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OK, first of all, " Engine mein Spark ho raha hai ". Wow!
This the first thing that tells us something is fishy. How can someone know whehter there is spark under the hood ON the engine.

Understand one fact that if your car is going to have some mechanical problem, you will definitely come to know about it like problem in starter motor or the ignition system not working properly. And if there is fire, all you need to do is get out of the car and try to control fire.
And anyone will use word " bonnet " as they are aware of it. This is just to leave other's wallets drained.
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Old 13th December 2008, 23:08   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Probably not the best place to go if your car is making sparks!


As written by khanak and elf on the first page of this thread, it seems that when you let them open the hood, they quickly unplug one of the spark-plug leads. This probably creates a spark between the free end of the lead and the closest metalic part (since the whole car body is grounded / -VE).
Essentially the wire becomes like an external "sparkplug".
Thats what struck me too when he told me about it!

He was driving alone to Pune and usually tanks up and gets the air check done at this pump. I also feared that they were car thieves and since my dad was alone, had found an easy target. If he had stepped out of the car it would be very easy for them to distract a lone person and drive away!
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Old 14th December 2008, 02:40   #30
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Yeah i've read that in mid day about a year ago. We can't do much except be little more careful. Thanks for posting this.
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