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Old 9th October 2015, 12:54   #16
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Unhappy Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

Hi

This is my first post on team-bhp. This is one of the threads I wanted to share of my experience with Ford, MPL Ford A$$, My FNG, new car purchase decision and my current dilemma.

My car:
Ford Ikon Flair petrol 1.3, Year 2005, 73,000 on the odo, 2nd owner (bought at 18K odo) in 2007

This is my first car. Lacks punch but handles very well. I am always a believer that when taken care of, things will always last (until things happened).

Anyway, this is fantastic car for its price and I have some fantastic memories driving it across TN,KA and KL. Travelogues on this I will post on a separate thread, here is a preview:
Attachment 1424910

Lets get to the story:

Till 2013 (i.e till 8 years) all I ever spent on this car was regular service only at the A.S.S. It is in mid-2013 that the first issue started.

Problem 1 (60K on odo, OCT 2013):Ignition Coil+Fuel Pump
The engine would miss/lose power during acceleration, this was when we just left home on a 400Km journey at the edge of the city on a dussera long weekend. Local mechanic spent around 6 hours figuring out what to do - desperately changed new oil filter, oil pump, spark plugs and cables.
Expense: new oil filter, oil pump, spark plugs and cables + labour = 4500 INR
Checked air intake, it would still misfire and lose power every minute or so. Trip cancelled, we came back home and took the car to A.S.S.

Issue as per Ford A.S.S:
Failed Ignition coil. INR 5000
Failed Fuel pump. INR 18000
plus new spark plugs and cables
Expense: INR 25000

Upgrade New tyres: Michelin XM2. Expense: INR 17,500
Lost original remote, installed autocop. Expense: INR 3000
Installed World tech video display to watch movies: INR 2500


Car runs very well for another 5000 Kms. Mileage: City 10Kmpl, Highway 16.5 Kmpl.
Very Happy.

Problem 2 (65K on odo FEB 2015, car is 9.5 years old now): Overheat
Identified during city run, engine overheats.
Fan runs constantly, temp. needle shows at 75% (normally at a very cool 25%) when standing at signals. When rolling/throttling needle slowly falls back to 25%. Very weird!
Took the car to FNG (instead of A$$ this time). He straight away suggested radiator service needed. He removed the radiator, sent it for service. Kept my car for 4 days :( . Fitted the radiator back and we were all happy.
Expense: INR 4000
Fantastic mileage, good acceleration and it felt as always good. Temp. always at 25% and high speed fan never starts.

Total Expense till date in service and upgrades: INR 59,000

Problem 3 (Just 2 months/1500 Kms later, APR 2015): Overheat

This is when things changed my Ford forever and my perspective of cars changed forever.
Dropping my kid to school and back for a couple of days I noticed the high speed fan running constantly. Though the temp. needle stayed at 25%, I did not take it seriously until later that night. It was typical like they show in movies, white steam coming out all the gaps of the bonnet with a hissss sound and weirdly the temp. needle refused to budge from 25% mark.
Bonnet was crazy hot that I could not even open it without my fingers burning. Checking inside the coolant reservoir with the engine running, I saw hot bubbles passing through it and the coolant boiling out of the reservoir like pressure cooker whistle causing the "white steam".
I let it cool down and slowly rolled the car to FNG. Ford A.S.S was a couple of Kilometers further and hesitated taking it there since the last time heating issue was resolved couple of months back by FNG, he should be responsible for it (which I will realise later that this is the biggest mistake ever!)

FNG saw it and suggested, OK, you just need a new radiator costing INR 5000. He kept it for a week suggesting he was sourcing OEM radiator from Ford A.S.S.

I was pestering him daily because I had to take my child on an Activa with my heart in my mouth. All my life my parents had taken me on bikes and buses because thats what they could afford and my own children deserve better, and I could afford it.

Suddenly FNG calls up and says it is ready and he is fitting it. I ran there immediately, though he suggested he got OEM, I saw a radiator box with TVS mentioned on it. I just took his word.

He fitted it right away and the engine still heats.
Duration: 7 days now.
Expense: INR 5000

He said he will now re-check water pump, sensors, tubing etc.
Duration: 14 days now.

He now suggested that it is a blown head gasket and the engine "may" require reboring/warping check. If it is just a headgasket issue budget would be INR 14000 else it could go higher.

This is the crossroad, I should have chosen to take my vehicle to Ford A.S.S but I chose to trust FNG. Moreover, he was the go to guy for Fords and he was an ex-Ford guy (He seemed to know many people at the Ford A.S.S). I also saw 8 out of 10 cars were Fords on his stable and a couple of discarded Ford Ikons as well.

I was hesitant about letting him open the engine (not just him, anyone for that matter) but I decided to trust him and I TOLD HIM THAT. He assured me it isn't major, just remove the head, check for warping, send to lathe (if necessary), source gasket and fit it. But that is only if things happen perfectly.
I did not pay him anything at this point. He promised me he will assign a mechanic who will focus only on this the next day onwards.
So next day evening I go again and see this.

Head removed and sent to lathe(?)
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150514_12_01_59_pro.jpg

Duration: 25 days in garage now
He suggested since the head has gone to lathe, the process alone costs INR 10,000 so that brings total budget to INR 25,000 (that is excluding INR 5000 I paid for new radiator). I gulped and silently left the place, I did not confront him or annoy him since my dear vehicle was in his hands.

6 more days later and daily visits to FNG and lots of pressure, he suggested he will also try putting a discarded Ford ikons head instead of my vehicle's head and try running it to check if heating stops (Is that even possible without changing the head gasket?) by the time the head returns from the lathe.

Duration: 31 days in garage now

5 more days later I go there and he said the head has returned and he is putting things together. I found my car up a stilt and the mech. was putting orange paste like this:
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150612_09_25_25_pro.jpg

He took 7 more days to get back to me and everyday I go I would see this guys working below the car with that orange paste rather than above the car!

Duration: 40 days in garage now.
I get the call that the car is ready. I was like "awesome!" and instantly head there. Start the engine (which sounded ok) and took a spin, no heating, sounded smooth and no heating.

Expense: INR 30,000 in cash (15K Labour+head gasket, 10K for lathe, 5K for new radiator)

I take my car home after washing and cleaning.
Next day morning I start my car to drop my daughter (with satisfaction that I could take her safely in my car). Cold start my engine sounded weird and rough rpm swayed between 0 and 1200 for a minute, it took 3 minutes to stabilize and I sped off. It felt ok to drive. I drove for maybe 60 kms, next 2 days and thats when Problem 4 came up.

Problem 4 (10 years old now, 65.5K on the odo) - A puddle of oil
Right below where I park my watchman spotted a puddle of oil and warned me. I freaked out and raced to FNG and blew my head off. He asked me to calm down and said he will fix it. He kept the vehicle for 8 days and I went crazy and fuming. He confessed that some gaskets and oil seals need to be sourced from A.S.S and only that will stop the oil leak. He also said this in "UNRELATED" to the heating issue he fixed and the labour for this task was "on the house". I only need to get him the parts he suggests (or he will source it himself).

Meanwhile I did my research and saw that the TVS radiator he fitted cost just INR 2600 (for which he billed me INR 5000 as OEM) and also readily available anywhere. I lost trust on him and said I will source the parts he wants by myself. he gladly agreed and showed the parts to me:

1) Rear end oil seal (observe the orange paste he was playing with):
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150615_10_14_31_pro.jpg

2) Gasket:
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150615_10_13_37_pro.jpg

3) A black paste to put this together.

I was like, "awesome" a piece of plastic, some paste and a gasket and my car will be road-worthy. I rushed to A.S.S and since I service my car regularly there, they were very helpful when I said my car was stuck somewhere i needed these parts. The center head helped me and I went to the parts counter immediately.
My head just spun when he said the prices for the pieces of plastic.
Rear end oil-seal : INR 4700 (oops!)
Paste: INR 2400 (SERIOUSLY?!!!!)
Gasket: INR 6500 (somebody kill me)
I had just 5000. Next day I came with the cash. I also brought extra 3700 for the gear road which was failing causing gear rod to get stuck (I was still very optimistic!!!)
Gear Rod: INR 3700
Total: INR 16,300

Picking up the parts:
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150617_17_07_01_pro.jpg
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150617_17_07_18_pro.jpg
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150617_17_07_33_pro.jpg
Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon-wp_20150617_17_08_01_pro.jpg

Total Expense till now (repairs and upgrades): 59000 + 30000 + 16300 = 1.05Lakh (and my car is still not road-worthy)
Not included: Other expense of Ola, Uber in this duration and the risk of dropping my little one in bike for 15 kms every day. of course, the mental agony
Duration in garage: Almost 2 months now

So I take the parts back to FNG. He gets to work immediately and 2 days later car is ready. I TD the car and I was in tears of happiness, finally my car is road-worthy.

Everything looks good. Super excited I install a new Audio Player Blaupunkt Sydney 220BT @ INR 7000. I already have 6 speakers + Huge woofer + Amp running on an outdated but top-end pioneer. Installed new Philips head lights with cut-off, neck rests, etc.

No oil leak, Mileage is good, Pickup is good, no heating. Cold start behaviour was "better".

Problem 5: Dead Battery cells
The car had been in the garage for 60 days and maybe they left a light on/music system on? The car would crank hard to start, I took the battery for test and a cell had died. Needs a battery change but it just worked so I left it that. However, I can see cabin lights dimming when I use the power window, etc.


Problem 6 (71K on the odo, 10y 3 months old): Somebody kill me.
I drove the car for a good 4000Kms all around TN including hills. Mile-age was still good. Someday when I was driving under a bridge with my window open and at around 2000 RPM I heard an extra "darrrrr" sound from the engine. I stopped and verified, whenever the rpm touches the 2000 mark I hear the extra "darrr" loud sound (heard only if I open the bonnet or in closed spaces) with/without A/C. It wasnt heard above 2000 or below it.
THIS TIME I DID NOT TAKE IT TO THE FNG. I took it to a mechanic I know, personally for checking. He removed the belt and disenaged everything except the engine. Cranked it and yes, we could still hear the sound. It was from the engine. he removed the engine cap and checked the timing chain etc., It all looked good. So the issue was from "inside" the engine and the FNg had not fitted it properly.

Everything was good with the engine except the "darrr" sound and I kept driving it, except until problem 7.

Problem 7 (72K on the odo, 10 y, 5 months old): Back to Square 1
When A/C+startstop traffic temp. hits 50% mark, mileage has dropped to about 6Kmpl in the city. RPM needle goes crazy and car stalls when needle hits 50% mark. In general car is driveable, pickup + A/C is good. Mechanic suggests engine needs to be opened again and reboring necessary. Oil Changed again and labour for checking engine etc. INR 7000

Now, BACK TO SQUARE 1
New parts: Tyres, Ignition coil, Oil pump, Water pump, Radiator, Spark plugs+cables, filters, Music system, gear rod, serviced gear box

Total Expense till date in 1.5 years: INR 1.2 Lakhs and car is still not road worthy and unreliable.
Upcoming expenses: suspension + lower arms (INR 25K approx.), New Battery (INR 5K approx.)


So what are my options now, keeping in mind almost all parts except engine are new!

1) Exchange the car?
(I checked the market, for 6Lakhs I dont even get a car as big as mine! to hell with the boot space of compact sedans!! To get a car of my size, I could only find ones at 8L or more. Ford offered to take it for 65K. Cant I just keep my car?, It just feels very good)
2) Fix it?
()
3) Buy an used Ford Ikon and swap the engine?
(Used ones I can find between 45K and 1L for the same model) I get two used and old cars but with interchange-able parts

I really need your hand on this one! Please help with thoughts.

Last edited by GTO : 9th October 2015 at 15:54. Reason: Listing attachments properly
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Old 9th October 2015, 14:16   #17
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Default Re: Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

@artrocious

I also own 2006 Ikon 1.3 Flair.

Problem# 1 is quite common for Ikon. Nothing to worry here.

Problem# 2 Overheating - your sorrows start from here.
It was a mistake to replace the radiator. The most vulnerable part to fail is the thermostat assembly.

Likely scenario - While replacing the radiator, after system flush, thermostat started working but failed again and Problem# 3 came up.

The thermostat has never been changed in your car and that was the culprit.

This engine is a proven one without any reliability issues.

Now without wasting time and money, it makes sense to buy an engine from a scrapped car and take a chance !

Last edited by Ravindra M : 9th October 2015 at 14:21. Reason: Update
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Old 9th October 2015, 14:22   #18
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Default Re: Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

Wow!
I think first off, you better put up details of your "FNG". What is that orange stuff, is it even any kind of gasket maker, or just some thing he a found a tube of?
Second, if your sure about the rest of the car, and your new guy is trustworthy, AND you can get a donor for 45k, that should be okay. I mean, you basically cannot say you've already spent over 1L on the upkeep of the car. I believe you've lost that money to a thug, the way you portray it.

But you'll have to be very careful buying such a donor car.
Get your car completely checked, and see if a transplant is all that is required. Most of your worries seem to be limited to the engine. If not, then you oughta look at maybe replacing your car.
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Old 9th October 2015, 15:10   #19
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Default Re: Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

If you ask me, its better you send this car to scrap. I know its emotionally linked to you, but its of no use to anyone after so much trouble.

I believe in karma (slightly), so in a situation where you will exchange this to someone else, and if they face more issues, curses will build up like bills at the end of the month.

Get it done with and go ahead with your life. You have suffered enough.
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Old 9th October 2015, 19:07   #20
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Sell the car and buy a used, not abused, one. Petrol sedans should be cheap to come by.
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Old 12th October 2015, 22:30   #21
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Default Re: Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

Hi All, Thanks for your quick replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravindra M View Post
@artrocious

I also own 2006 Ikon 1.3 Flair.

Problem# 1 is quite common for Ikon. Nothing to worry here.

Problem# 2 Overheating - your sorrows start from here.
It was a mistake to replace the radiator. The most vulnerable part to fail is the thermostat assembly.

Likely scenario - While replacing the radiator, after system flush, thermostat started working but failed again and Problem# 3 came up.

The thermostat has never been changed in your car and that was the culprit.

This engine is a proven one without any reliability issues.

Now without wasting time and money, it makes sense to buy an engine from a scrapped car and take a chance !
This is one of the options I am contemplating but looking at it this way confuses me. I have already spent 1.2L on it. Getting a scrap engine, removing this and replacing it will cost almost another 1L, adds up to 2.2L. Best case all is good and my car runs till its due for FC, but worst case!?
Anyway, Can you recommend a very reliable garage who can check the car in Chennai?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Wow!
I think first off, you better put up details of your "FNG". What is that orange stuff, is it even any kind of gasket maker, or just some thing he a found a tube of?
Second, if your sure about the rest of the car, and your new guy is trustworthy, AND you can get a donor for 45k, that should be okay. I mean, you basically cannot say you've already spent over 1L on the upkeep of the car. I believe you've lost that money to a thug, the way you portray it.

But you'll have to be very careful buying such a donor car.
Get your car completely checked, and see if a transplant is all that is required. Most of your worries seem to be limited to the engine. If not, then you oughta look at maybe replacing your car.
FNG is Chandra Motors at Kilkattalai 100ft Road junction, Chennai. This is the garage that is bang opposite BP petrol bunk (which is adj. to HP petrol bunk at the corner). Thing to note is that the mechanics who worked with my car have quit and the "manager" one Mr.Ravi (thin, tall guy in 40s) also quit. Only the owner and probably new mech.s are there.
Further, Can you recommend a good and reliable garage in Chennai who can patiently check the vehicle and help me out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by prithm View Post
If you ask me, its better you send this car to scrap. I know its emotionally linked to you, but its of no use to anyone after so much trouble.

I believe in karma (slightly), so in a situation where you will exchange this to someone else, and if they face more issues, curses will build up like bills at the end of the month.

Get it done with and go ahead with your life. You have suffered enough.
Yup, Considering this option too. What kind of money can I expect doing this and whom should I approach? But also mark this, the vehicle has not a hint of rust or ageing and all parts except the engine are in fantastic condition.
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Old 13th October 2015, 07:52   #22
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Didn't you say Ford was offering you 60k? Sell it, save your money and buy another with the money instead of spending it on R & D.
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Old 13th October 2015, 13:40   #23
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Default Re: Trusting my FNG, cost me my vehicle - Now swap engine? or Sell? (Detailed post)

Quote:
Originally Posted by artrocious View Post
Yup, Considering this option too. What kind of money can I expect doing this and whom should I approach? But also mark this, the vehicle has not a hint of rust or ageing and all parts except the engine are in fantastic condition.
In all right sense, it would be great if you can push this off during the next Exchange Mela. Diwali is around the corner and offers are ready in most of the dealers. Just do some recon mission with the nearest dealer and see if they are ready for a exchange.

Alternately, you can get a rough estimate with your nearest garage and see what mechanics have to say. Don't reveal much about the previous issues, just get a quote and see if it works out.
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Old 13th October 2015, 15:18   #24
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Default Re: Rejuvenating a Ford Ikon

Sell and buy preowned.

Sell the Icon and buy a preowned Classic. Pay a differential of about 2-2.5L

Doing any more R&D on this vehicle is not worth it, the Classic parts should be easier to access as it is just discontinued vs the Icon which went years back. Bigger space, better car. It offers as good if not better driving fun.

You would not have invested too much but would still have upgraded. Yes a new vehicle you like may cost you 7-8L.

Keep 40K per year towards maintenance of preowned vehicles that are about 5+ years old and cost less than 10L when new.
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Old 31st October 2015, 10:48   #25
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Hi team-bhp

Thank you very much for your advice and it has helped me decide. I dont want to do this anymore:
So I did call the shots yesterday and I have decided to give it away. I am giving it to the ford guys itself and disclosed all details about its status and they din't seem to care. He wasn't even listening.

All the evaluator said was, "No Problem Sir! We will even swap the engine if we have to." That rests my worry about the next owner. He offered me 65K hot cash for the machine and an exchange bonus of 20K if I book the ecosport (which is on my radar). So, Done. Done.

I am heading to "The Hindu - Auto Expo" happening at the Chennai Trade center today. I have my eyes on the Ecosport Diesel, Ertiga SHVS and Abarth Punto/Avventura and other machines not exceeding 10L. But bring it automakers, impress me :P

PS: An evil thought occurred to me meanwhile (or is it?), but this is only out of my love for my dear Ford. What if!? Assuming they can identify the issues and fix it and do all necessary fixes to make the vehicle resaleable, what if I can walk into their used car stable and buy back the vehicle from them? (Of course, at the price THEY quote and if it seems reasonable).
Is this ethical?
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Old 31st October 2015, 13:14   #26
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Rest in peace dear friend. Do not fret over having parted with the car.
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Old 31st October 2015, 17:00   #27
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The Hindu auto expo was a damp squib. Only Toyota. Nexa, Honda, Renault and Chevy were there with just 10 booths max. Rest of the hall was empty. Vehicles were also very limited.
It was just name sake and better avoided.
I mainly wanted to check ford and fiat stables but no luck.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 12:02   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artrocious View Post
Hi team-bhp

disclosed all details about its status and they din't seem to care. He wasn't even listening.

All the evaluator said was, "No Problem Sir! We will even swap the engine if we have to." PS: An evil thought occurred to me meanwhile (or is it?), but this is only out of my love for my dear Ford. What if!? Assuming they can identify the issues and fix it and do all necessary fixes to make the vehicle resaleable, what if I can walk into their used car stable and buy back the vehicle from them? (Of course, at the price THEY quote and if it seems reasonable).
Is this ethical?
1. You did good. But it was not effective. Thats why I said, not to say everything. It does not matter what it is. All it matters for them what it will be. Scrap parts are easily available to these guys, including accident involved parts. They salvage everything. I mean, "EVERYTHING". He offered you as per papers. Not by the quality.

2. It's crazy to even rethink of buying back this from a reseller. Just crazy. Your choice of Ecosport is really good and alternatively, I will suggest you go for Maruti Ciaz. It is elegant as BMW but Desi. Lot of leg space and awesome styling. Very executive in look, but great value for money and awesome service network. But, if upgrade is in mind, Creta also vies for your attention.
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Old 3rd November 2015, 12:48   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prithm View Post
1. You did good. But it was not effective. Thats why I said, not to say everything. It does not matter what it is. All it matters for them what it will be. Scrap parts are easily available to these guys, including accident involved parts. They salvage everything. I mean, "EVERYTHING". He offered you as per papers. Not by the quality.

2. It's crazy to even rethink of buying back this from a reseller. Just crazy. Your choice of Ecosport is really good and alternatively, I will suggest you go for Maruti Ciaz. It is elegant as BMW but Desi. Lot of leg space and awesome styling. Very executive in look, but great value for money and awesome service network. But, if upgrade is in mind, Creta also vies for your attention.
1. It is done. done. Going there only brings me tears having let my ride go at just 75K on the odo

2. As for buy back. My primary ride is going to be something new like Ecosport/Duster/Ertiga-SHVS. However for my secondary I looked all around the market and even a puny alto costs me close to 2L used and 4.7L for a new AMT. Now compare that with my immaculate condition huge boot Ford albeit the engine issue! Considering they will fix my engine issues and mark it up by say 30K, this is still a deal since I am getting exchange benefits of 25K on the ecosport, especially since my own vehicle is a "known devil" and the brand new XM2s etc. Also, there is no headache of re-registering.

Is this still crazy? or am I missing something?
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Old 3rd November 2015, 17:38   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artrocious View Post
1. It is done. done. Going there only brings me tears having let my ride go at just 75K on the odo

2. As for buy back. My primary ride is going to be something new like Ecosport/Duster/Ertiga-SHVS. However for my secondary I looked all around the market and even a puny alto costs me close to 2L used and 4.7L for a new AMT. Now compare that with my immaculate condition huge boot Ford albeit the engine issue! Considering they will fix my engine issues and mark it up by say 30K, this is still a deal since I am getting exchange benefits of 25K on the ecosport, especially since my own vehicle is a "known devil" and the brand new XM2s etc. Also, there is no headache of re-registering.

Is this still crazy? or am I missing something?
Since you are Ford aficionado, I will stick with Ecosport. The latest facelift is really good yaar. The grill defines the car and going by all the reviews and friends who drive, they are really satisfied with performance both city and highway. I am sure you will be a proud Ecosport owner soon.

Leave behind remorse. You are done with your old ride. It served you well (sorry, troublesome), but you have to move on. Go ahead and get it done with.

All TeamBHPians in this thread support your decision for a new ride. Diwali is around the corner now, get something that will put smile on entire family's face.
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