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Old 11th December 2015, 19:45   #1
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Default Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

Dear BhPians,

I am sure all will be aware of the Chennai floods. So I'll get right to the heart of the matter. Fearing water seepage inside the car, I parked it on the main road which appeared to be ~3feet higher than the road where I reside !

And as feared the water was up-to my hip(I am 6.2) and all the ground personnel left their homes with all their belongings still inside
The following Image was taken from the top of our house. Notice the level of water which has covered the red color swift at the right side of the image. The highlight here is that the car was parked on top of the platform which is approximately 1 feet high above the road. So slept happily that night thinking that i have done the right thing parking the car in the main road

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-1.jpg

Only to find out that the next day is a long one
The next day morning I happen to notice water level up-to 1 feet inside the car. Was heart broken. Yes it is a 5 year old car but I have kept it to a level where people have asked me why I did not go for a bigger car this time !
I'll just smile and say will consider it next time

Anyways, I understood the ground reality, let the feeling sink in and waited out the urge to start the car immediately

Water in the streets drained down in 3 days, 4th day we had good sun shine. And These are the things which I remember executing in order

1. Checked several threads in Teambhp, and other sources about flooded cars, owner experiences and expert advice. Was still confused as lot of people said not to start the car without proper inspection of the past water levels inside the car and the parts affected and few others talking about how they decided not to start the car and towed to service center and got ripped off and finally regretting for towing it as others in the same area have just cleaned the interiors and started the car and few others who suggested that if the water level is not high enough to reach to the electrical in the dash, it will not be such a big damage

2. Made up my mind if the remote unlock worked, then proceed to next step or else simply tow it - no other second thoughts !

3. Hoping the electrical spares in the car exterior would have dried even if it had been covered in flood water - Went to the main road at 11:30 am - by this time I counted 2 hours of good sun shine (sun shine was to an extent where your skin feels the instant heat if stood outside for 5 mins)

4. Saw that all glasses were covered with Fog from the inside (Oops - bad sign since i read in one of Teambhp threads that its a sign of good amount of water inside the car)
5. Nail bitingly pressed the unlock button on the key remote

6. (Duik Duik..Dhad) Sign of relief that at-least I can proceed to the next steps now that the battery is not drained. Which tells me that the water levels have not reached upto ~ 2.5 feet inside the bonnet.
7. Popped open the bonnet using the lever. Noticed some spillage on battery which might have occurred during the drive through water earlier. But the battery still operates so thought will get this checked on service. Continued to check levels of all fluids

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-2.jpg
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8. Dried my hands on my shirt and put one finger inside the air intake (atleast that's what I thought about the purpose of the big open mouthed pipe next to the engine) and found that it had some dust but pretty much dry !

Click image for larger version

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The swipe impression of the finger is visible on the image

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The open mouth referred to is at the left bottom of this image

8. Previous night - Had a dream of seeing water on the stick instead of the engine oil. Fearfully, Removed the engine oil stick and checked for the color and level. Both appeared to be fine ! !

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-8.jpg

9. Lay flat on the road to see if there is anything stuck under my car - None
10. Removed the leaves, paper shreds and sticks from the radiator, radiator fan, bumpers and wheel drums till nothing was protruding out for my eyes

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-9.jpg
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11. Checked the floor mats. On plain sight it seems to be little wet but when pressed water surfaces and goes down when pressure is released. Understood that there is lot of water under the mats but that should not be a problem for starting the car
12. Checked the fuse box under the dash for traces of mud and didn't find any. But I did find few bubbles of "clear" water stuck on the surface of the fuse box so correlated that with the "clear water bubbles (fog)" on the wind shield and window glasses. Checked the side walls for the water level mark and got convinced that it has not touched the dash board
13. Opened the boot and all the doors and left it under the sun for couple of hours for the fog to dry,

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-11.jpg

while I used this time to cross the street and chat with the shop keeper convey my thanks to the shop keeper who opened the store and kept it running on inverter for 3 days but still sold the products on its usual price. Things I purchased from him during the flood affected days

Aavin milk Green color - 22 Rs
Few vegetables 250 gm's - 20 Rs

I thanked him for his service - he smiled and said "I just kept the usual margin sir, all credit goes to the people who transported the goods in such difficult conditions but sold it to me at the same, usual price" !

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After few laughs and discussing multiple topics came back to the car

14. Final thoughts about whether to start or tow it down to the service station. Chose the first option
15. Inserted the key, turned once and the battery powers the dash. Checked the dash for abnormalities - found none. Told myself its still not the time to get happy :P
16. Turned it once more time, and Vrooom...
17. Kept it idling for some time and slot the first gear and moved the car slowly and then progressed to my house

18. While climbing the ramp stopped half way, put hand brakes and accelerated in short intervals hoping that the water in the exhaust would run out
19. Put the car in the parking and idled the car for some time and saw the water being spit from the exhaust when i accelerated
20. Went up to my house and came down with the vacum cleaner and removed the water from the mats by pressing the nozzle on the mat. Was able to recover almost 10 to 12 litres of water
21. Checked the mat on the boot and it appeared dry so left it
22. Roll down the windows a bit and locked the car manually with the key

With respect to 21. I Regretted today for not checking the spare wheel slot as it had contained water and that has caused humid air inside the car and there was again fungus on the leather steering cover and gear cover

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-15.jpg
Fungus formation visible beneath the boot mat
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-16.jpg

23. Spoke to MyTVS for oil and filter change and the given quote was minimum of 10k whereas @ Kun Hyundai minimum of 6k. HMPL is ruled out as rain has spoiled all their equipment and is not expected to be operational for another 2 to 3 weeks

And that's where I stand today friends, do let me know your feedback on the things I did/ should have done. Will take it up as a good learning experience !

PS: Not all the pics were taken on the same day of the event

Last edited by Tamarind : 14th December 2015 at 11:08. Reason: Restructured content
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Old 11th December 2015, 21:09   #2
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Default re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

Expect molds and fungus to show up as the mats are also completely drenched. Like any road side audio and seat cover shop, take it to them to probably replace the floor mat/carpet.

I am talking about taking the seats out and inspecting the floor completely. If possible disinfect them, have some light shine on it if its sunny.

Fungus - Enemy is light and heat. So never keep it inside a garage or dark place till things get better.

DIY's you can do

- Remove door trims to inspect water. Dry it with even a had drier. Again apply something like 90% iso alchohol.
- Remove seats, actually not difficult and inspect the floor yourself
- Luckily this is Hyundai with minimal electronics for you to worry about. SO give it a good water wash to get any salt water residue. If you have a pressure washer and access to not so salt water, give it a nice drubbing.
- Filters - probably you can access Air filter. Remove it, dry it and pop it back on.
- Water inside engine - Possible. But thats going to probably hit via the filters. Get those oil filters, any engine related filters replaced.
- Glove box, front cabin - If possible get it opened, wiped with iso alcohol and cleaned. Thats just safety.

Inspect, inspect and inspect and your indicators are smell 99% of the time. So carry some coffee beans to throw you off before you get into the car.

This is what i would do and half may be scientifically stupid but thats me.
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Old 11th December 2015, 21:26   #3
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Default re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

Run the heater if the car has one. Glad to see you car made it safe. Check all CV boots and such. A long drive can dry up the underneath of the car too.
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Old 11th December 2015, 22:16   #4
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Default re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

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Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
And that's where I stand today friends, do let me know your feedback on the things I did/ should have done. Will take it up as a good learning experience !
In addition to drying out all the parts and changing the fluids, have the brakes opened and cleaned and also have the carpet removed so that both the car floor and the carpet itself can dry out (removing the carpet requires removal of seats).
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Old 14th December 2015, 11:15   #5
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Default re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

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Originally Posted by Catalyst_delhi View Post
Run the heater if the car has one. Glad to see you car made it safe. Check all CV boots and such. A long drive can dry up the underneath of the car too.
Yes, post rain, whenever i took the vehicle outside i have been running only on heaters - actually its kind of soothing too in this weather

Can you please let me know what do you mean by CV Boots ?
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Old 15th December 2015, 07:23   #6
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Default re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Technical Stuff section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th December 2015, 13:59   #7
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Default Re: Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
Yes, post rain, whenever i took the vehicle outside i have been running only on heaters - actually its kind of soothing too in this weather

Can you please let me know what do you mean by CV Boots ?
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The CV joint boot is a rubber cover which protects the Constant Velocity (CV) joint or coupling. The CV joint connects the drive shaft to the wheel. It is very important for the boot to be intact, and not cracked in any way.
If a car is driven with a cracked CV joint boot, it can result in the catastrophic failure of the CV joint - which means the wheel is no longer connected to the drive shaft. Will leave you stranded without the ability to send engine power to the wheel and with loss of steering control.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 11:48   #8
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Thumbs up Flood recovery – an opportunity to for us to LEARN and service centers to EARN

Leeches are segmented worms that belong to the phylum Annelida and comprise the subclass Hirudinea. Their bodies are much more solid as the spaces in their coelom are dense with connective tissues. They also have two suckers, one at each end.

Most leech species, are predatory, feeding primarily by swallowing other invertebrates

Leeches, such as the Hirudo medicinalis, have been historically used in medicine to remove blood from patients. The practice of leeching can be traced to ancient India and Greece,

Checkout this thread before proceeding ahead " Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!" to understand the background of the following incident and motivation behind this DIY

My love being towed away to the nearest Hyundai authorized service center (whose name I do not wish to specify) since it refused to start, after running ~80 Km after the flood affected days

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-1.jpg


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Those were heart throbbing moments to see my car being latched on like that. Anyways, it has to be done so proceeded with it and went to the service center where the Hyundai people guided the tow lorry driver to a separate yard specific for flood affected vehicles and my car was parked among the several hundreds (kid me not) i say again several hundreds..


Settled the amount for the tow service and came back to the office. Details about my car and myself were collected and i was asked to wait in their waiting room. Its been more than 5 hours now, often there were some loud conversation audible past the glass door of the waiting room but my mind ignored them and was submerged in thoughts on what i could have /should have /must have done to have not come to this situation.



Then came in two people, with heavy exhalation they sat next to me. I turned towards them and was able to see their upset faces and their tone indicated that they were the one making the loud noise outside

Started to chat with them and they started revealing their side of the story. Followed by another customer with the story on similar lines. Within ~ 6 hours of wait time got feedback from two customers and both were not portraying anything good about the service. Following is the summary of the conversation

Feedback No 1:


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-table1.png



Owners decision: Took the car back using tow truck after paying the Parking and Analysis charges




Feedback No 2:


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-table2.png

Not able to recollect more details



Owners decision: Decided to go for Total Loss with the insurer instead of paying the exorbitant repair costs
With fingers crossed was waiting for my turn.

Waiting time by now: ~ 6 hours and already questions on my mind about the quality of service based on the events unfolding before my eyes

Then came the service adviser who called me by the vehicle number and we visited the vehicle. I told him what exactly happened. The immediate conclusion from him was that engine has seized. I had told him that fearing the same i always kept an eye on the heat gauge and it never shot up. I also told him that i hear a click noise and it does not even crank. He noted those down and said most probably the engine is gone !

I kept silent and let him proceed with his complete list of initial analysis and findings. He checked engine oil and said it has to be replaced and explained the process that it has to be replaced 3 times and that alone will cost me 10k. He went on to say that the complete electricals could have gone as well. In a polite tone i asked him the charge that i will incur in whole to get it ready. The supervisor said i will have to pay a minimum of 70k to maximum of 1.5L and the maximum value can go up if other problems found when they open up all the spares to check them.
I was shell shocked !



At the same time the insurance agent and his assistant stopped by and took pictures and spoke to the adviser. The adviser started by saying engine seizure (All this without even proper inspection of the vehicle). I intercepted his communication and requested the supervisor to call a technician and check for 5 mins before giving report to the insurance agent (who might reject the claim based on the statement of the supervisor). The supervisor refused to call the mechanic.


Then i started explaining the entire story to the insurance agent, and told him the truth that people instructed me to tell you that the vehicle was never started after the floods but to be honest i have driven the vehicle around 80 Km’s and i am pretty sure that the problem is not with the engine.

To my surprise, the insurance agent quickly opened the bonnet, checked the air filter, checked the engine oil and cranked the engine. Came out of the car and called the supervisor and said, it seems to be minor lets finish it off right here if any of your technicians are available. The supervisor refused and replied in a condescending voice that he has to take it to the workshop to check it. The insurance agent left without saying anything


I came back to the waiting area along with the supervisor and kept waiting. Approximately around 18:30 hours the insurance agent came to the waiting area along with his assistant, sat down on the couch and both were finalizing the paper work for the day. My heart felt that something was not right here, not because of the loss i might suffer but because of the chain of events occurred. I stood up and went close to the insurance agent and asked the following

Me: Excuse me sir, can I have 2 mins of your time please
Agent: (Kept sitting on the couch, Turned his body towards me, looked up and said) Yes sir, tell me

Me: Sir, its my hard earned money at stake here, please be honest – are these people over charging ?
Agent: (In a loud voice) Who told you sir ? It is nothing like that here. And followed by intentional rolling of his eyes twice, pointing at the assistant who was sitting a little behind him on the couch. And when i saw that guy he was wearing a Hyundai logo on his shirt pocket which i missed to see earlier


There it was, the confirmation that I wanted. The gut feel I had was confirmed. Without wasting a minute hurried out to the yard and called up the supervisor and asked him to return the keys of my car.

Me: Sir, please return the car keys, the money I have and estimate you quote is no where near for the repair
Service Adviser: Sir, you have insurance claim right ? You can claim it there

Me: This is a 5 year old vehicle and insurance can cover very less, I cannot even afford the remaining amount
Service Adviser: After few seconds of keeping silent, Sir, the job sheet is done, and its already late, you can atleast come and get the car tomorrow

Me: No sir, please give the car keys, I will find a way to move my car to my home
Service Adviser: OK, il prepare the paper work for releasing the vehicle

I went to the yard to ask the watchman to help in pushing the car till the entrance, and luckily there was a flat bed tow truck which came in with a Verna. Spoke to the driver and arranged for pick-up

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-5.jpg


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Went back to the office, got the gate pass and on my way out again saw the insurance agent who was packed to leave but was kept there by some Hyundai executives discussion with him. I waited for the discussion to complete, and then went near him and said


Me: (Offered hand for shake) Sir, and said I am taking back the vehicle to my place
Agent: Shook my hands and said "call me with the bills and gave his number" and left the place



Came back home, arranged a local mechanic who came in and diagnosed that the issue was with the starter motor coil winding. He removed the spare, took it for overhaul and fitted and the car was running as usual. The cost of repair was Rs 4500 within which the car was up and running again !

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-9.jpg


Holy mother of GOD !

Last edited by tsk1979 : 3rd March 2016 at 11:33. Reason: On request
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Old 2nd March 2016, 12:00   #9
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to learn for us and earn for service centers

HOLY COW!!!!! Good work there Tamarind. This incident definitely is a lesson for a lot of us here. I am glad you followed your gut feel than listening to the mindless service advisor / insurance agents. I am sure both are culprits in cahoot with each other
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Old 2nd March 2016, 12:02   #10
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Thumbs up Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to learn for us and earn for service centers

Now that the main piece is up and running, We(myself and my Dad) decided to take care of the minor pieces ourselves

First goes off the back seat

Before:

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-10.jpg

After:


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-11.jpg

Then goes off the navigator seat


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-12.jpg

Note that the screws have an purposefully designed v shaped cut at its edge – I wonder why ? Need experts help here
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-13.jpg

After removing the navigator seat
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-14.jpg

Finally comes off the driver seat
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-15.jpg

Then taking care of the steering wheel for which the fungi provided peace and harmony
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-16.jpg


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-17.jpg

Cleaning in progress. Outer cleaning was taken care by my dad whereas the carpet and interiors were taken care by my self. The plastics got a touch of coconut oil polish and the metal which had fine oxide or rust formations were treated with coconut oil and removed off

Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-18.jpg


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Then comes the treatment to the seats,
The covers were removed, soaked and washed with soap liquid and the seats themselves were oil polished everyday for 4 to 5 days and put to dry out in the sun on different sides and angles


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-27.jpg


Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-28.jpg



And finally they were all fitted together in place

I waited till date to check if everything was all right before posting this on TBHP.


Overall cost incurred
Chennai Floods: 9 days of me & my Santro. An autobiography!-table3.png


Learnings from this incident:
  1. In addition to the post on "My car won’t start | What to do ("My Car Won't Start" | What To Do)" from teambhp, please check your starter motor if you hear a click sound and no crank sound
  2. Always question the service adviser’s recommendation/findings and try to find the reason behind it
  3. Loose the stereotypes that company “authorized” service centers are always there to help you. If possible take it to the company owned service center even if it’s a bit far from your place. In my case this was not possible as the company owned service center was shut down due to the effects of floods (and as of 29-Feb-2016 it will take 2 more months for them before they take external bookings as usual even for a general service)
  4. Find a good mechanic closer to your area and get his second opinion to be on the safer side
Also can some Mod pm "SS-Traveller" so that he can amend the chart and include the starter motor check in his chart on this My car won’t start | What to do ("My Car Won't Start" | What To Do) thread ?

Last edited by Tamarind : 2nd March 2016 at 12:27.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 12:59   #11
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to for us to LEARN and service centers to EARN

Attaboy! Just one word: exemplary! The tendency of pouncing on the uninformed consumer, has indeed leached way too deep into our way of conducting business! Great work indeed and a real eye opener. I must say, with water that high, the basic engineering of the car, must have been really good. 80kms post the flood and water ingress, and just the starter motor: not sure which other cars with similar water ingress would have survived. Or may be it was pure luck on your side. Did you take any special care of the electricals? Harnesses, switches etc? Would love to hear and learn! If not, are you planning to? There could be moisture damage here and there...could creep up later.

Last edited by lapis_lazuli : 2nd March 2016 at 13:00.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 14:10   #12
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to learn for us and earn for service centers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
[*]Find a good mechanic closer to your area and get his second opinion to be on the safer side
Good to see your awareness saved you. As a precautionary measur, Please change engine and GB oil, open front axle dust boot check if water has entered there, clean, lube and refit dust boot.

Regards,
Shubhendra Singh
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Old 2nd March 2016, 14:30   #13
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to learn for us and earn for service centers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
Note that the screws have an purposefully designed v shaped cut at its edge – I wonder why ?

Attachment 1482070
This is a thread cutting screw. Its a type of self-tapping screw.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 15:40   #14
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to for us to LEARN and service centers to EARN

Tamarind mate I salute your self-conscience and confidence while being through all of this mess. Unfortunately similar things are happening in the medical world as well where the supervisor is the doctor, service centre is the hospital and You are the car. Insurance agents remain the same all over.

I am always in favour of DIY rather than depending on the so called Service Centres which fleeces gullible customers. First thing to do in case of such a huge repair bill estimate is to get a second opinion, which you did. There's no harm in taking a second opinion unless one has excess money to burn and are happy with leeches sucking them dry. I will bookmark this thread and share it with my near and dear ones for them to know how NOT TO GET FLEECED by service centres.

I hope your Santro keeps running trouble free. Also if I were you I would escalate this to Hyundai Motor India to save others.
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Old 2nd March 2016, 16:38   #15
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Default Re: Flood recovery – an opportunity to for us to LEARN and service centers to EARN

Shocking to say the least. I second navin_v8s comment regarding taking the matter up with Hyundai Motor. You cannot allow these cheats to get away scot free - who knows how many other customers they have fleeced like this!
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