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Old 8th January 2009, 14:05   #1
naj
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Default Exhorbitant Ford Spares made me go to a local mechanic.

Hi,
I feel this section of the forum is most appropriate to narrate my experience and also discuss about the pricey Ford spares.Also I confess that I am not fully aware about spares prices of other car companies vis-a-vis Ford.

a)I own a Ford Ikon 1.6, 2004 make.The car has only 20k on the odo as I am abroad for a couple of months every year .I regularly service at Ford service center and carry out everything that the service adviser recommends.The car has been fairly reliable though. There were times when some repairs have suddenly cropped up like change of front suspension bushes, rear shock absorbers very early in their life cycle.

b)This time when I came home on vacation and took the car for the routine six monthly service, myself along with the service adviser inspected the underside and found that he exhaust pipe comprising of the cat converter, muffler and the joining pipes up to the tail piece was corroded and having holes at 3 places.

c)Please note that the exhaust pipe in Ikon is made in 2 parts.First section is connected to the engine block and ends just before the cat con.The other section carries the remaining components.Both these pipes are joined by a flange. I asked the adviser as to what can be done now?He said that the the second portion comprising of the catcon ,muffler and the tail piece needs to be replaced .The cost he told me was 22k plus labor.Stumped !!I asked if any thing else can be done like patching or welding a doubler.He said that Ford believes in replacement and if I had to carry out the repairs I will have do it out side.I made up my mind after consulting my friends to do the repairs outside.I got the car serviced at Ford .

How I got Fleeced by the local mechanic

d)After 2 days I took the car to the local mechanic Mr Vijay near my house.He has been there for a long time and I have seen him repair many Ikon cars.I dint know him but I thought that he would be worth trying and is also near my house.Before giving the car I had been to some spare parts shops and enquired about the exhaust pipe in question.They told me that there are quite a few in the city who make the original like pipes at one third the price and they would get me one Iif I wanted.Most of the old Ikons have such fittings and are very reliable.
Armed with this information I spoke with Vijay who saw the pipe and said that he would totally replace the pipe comprising of the muffler and tail piece only after the catcon and would cost me Rs 4200 .Ford had quoted me 12k.I told him to only weld it .But he insisted that welding will not help as new holes will star to crop up at new places and the best thing is to change it.
I agreed and paid him the amount upfront as he insisted that he has to pay to get the pipe.I gave him the car on 29th Dec and he promised me delivery by night.Night came and called him up for the delivery.He said that he was waiting for the welder.I said OK.
30th morning I visited him and saw that he had removed the rear RHS wheel , suspension but the exhaust pipe was still in place.I asked him the problem for not giving the car.He assured me delivery on 31st as pipe was being fabricated.
On 31st he called me at the garage and showed me the exhaust pipe which he had removed from the flange.The cat con was also corroded and had 2 to 3 small holes also the body was corroded.He told me that this would cost me another RS 3800 and he would give me a totally new second piece .So in all I was paying him 8k ,same which the spare parts shop had quoted as against 22k Ford OEM.I agreed but asked him how can a catcon be made as it also consisted platinum is kind off proprietary.But he assured me same to same pipe.I said ok.
He kept dodging me(not taking my calls) up to 3rd of Jan with the car laying untouched .On 3rd I met him and gave him a real hearing.I told him to assemble the the car and told him that I am going to tow the car way.He apologized and assured me delivery that very night.True to his words I saw the car ready by 10 pm but he said that he would give me the car the next day.On 4th I went to him .He said that the new pipe had developed some leak and he would rectify that and also give the battery for charging.and told me to come on 5th.I had no option but to say yes.
I went the next day to find out that the battery had still not come .I immediately realised that this hooligan had fitted the battery in some other car.I asked him so but he refused and said that he had made a big mistake of repairing my car and I had troubled him much.I told him to shut up and asked him for a service battery.He give me one but it being bigger in height my bonnet did not close properly.Anyway I took the car and parked it home.I felt like a victorious general .Atleast my beloved car was back home.
e)Realised being fleeced
Battery was still being charged on 5th.On 6th morning I decided come what may I will get the battery or sell his service battery and buy a new one.Before going to him I casually looked at the underside to check if this fellow has really changed by the pipe.
To my horror I realised that it is the same pipe right from the flange to the tail piece and he has welded it up and nicely painted it.I felt helpless , cheated ,anguished I confronted him and told me to return my money .But he shamelessly said that "I have changed the insides of the muffler and the catcon ,modified and blah blah".I told him to return the battery immediately and told him to give me the address of the battery charger shop so that I would personally collect it.But Mr Vijay told me that he would get it in 15 min.After 2 hours a car came which had my battery . Vijay told the car owner that his battery was in my car.I promptly got my battery fitted but when the battery from my car was given to the other car ,its owner said that it was not his .That means that his original battery was given to some other car.Holy mess!!
I could not sleep that night ,feeling very let down.My dad consoled me saying that I have the car and the mechanic has given a 2 year guarantee ,more over I have saved a couple of thousands.

Bottom line I have no option but to buy pricey Ford spares .Any way I have to get cheated in any condition.So why not get cheated by Ford?

Any advice for me from fellow members??
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Old 8th January 2009, 14:33   #2
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The usual experience one gets from most of these roads-side experts. Sad that, you did not know enough of this guy, even though he was near you.

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Originally Posted by naj View Post
...Any advice for me from fellow members??
No advice required, mate! Your experience would have taught you all you need to know.
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Old 8th January 2009, 14:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post

Bottom line I have no option but to buy pricey Ford spares .Any way I have to get cheated in any condition.So why not get cheated by Ford?

Any advice for me from fellow members??
All I can say is that this is very disturbing incidence. Generally these mechanics dont do job properly and from what I have observed, they sometimes study the customer by talking good, service the car in such a way that you have to visit him more for small jobs.

Ford is known to provide bad service and costly spares. The ideal solution for you IMO is to find buy the part yourself and get the job done by local mechanic in front of you. Will consume a day or may be two, but you are sure you are not being cheated.

And remember that the mentality of people is getting worse day by day. Our Baleno goes in for service and when it comes back, the remote locking wont work from one of the two keychains given. And also in reality when we give our car for service, there also the car's parts are removed to check in another car as diagnosis to check the whether the other cars that specific part is damaged or not. I have seen this at many authorized service stations and this includes Honda, Hyundai and Maruti.

Best is to spend own time when the car is being serviced. May be send chauffeur if emplyoeed.
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Old 8th January 2009, 15:05   #4
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Just to correct you, the exhaust system of the Ikon 1.6 consists of three parts. The first from the engine block to the cat con, the second upto to rear suspension where is arches over the rear suspension and is welded to the last and third part which also has one muffler.
I know this because I also got the exhaust pipe changed about 6 months back. In my case only the middle half was damaged due to rust but the service advisor didn't know initially that the middle and rear are different parts. In any case as far as I remember the cost of the 2nd and the 3rd part was about 7 thousand each. I don't know if the cost has gone up in the meantime.
Moreover the labour was not much since it doesn't involve opening up the suspension or anything, the middle part is just screwed on to the first part and the third part is gas welded to the middle part over the rear suspension. In your case the cost should have been around 15 thousand maximum at the dealership in the first place.
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Old 8th January 2009, 15:12   #5
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@ naj: thats a very bad experience. why dont you try Bosch car service centres in your city?. Heard they are a bit cheaper than the A.S.S .
@ aaggoswami : . The local mechanics (not all ) do the jobs in such a way, that the problem keeps recurring and you end up visiting the garages often.
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Old 8th January 2009, 15:18   #6
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Docsinghal you are right that the end tail section is welded.I was quoted 12k for this piece which includes the muffler .The middle and the last section was quoted to be 22k.Any way that means that you have renewed your catcon also.
HapptWheels sir ,I have learnt the hard way.

Naj

Hi,
aaggoswami as pointed by you these mechanics indeed study the customer to fleece them .Its a art to study and face read a person.But In this case I have come to know what he did.This is painful.
Need to find out some good garage in Pune.regarding Bosh I will check.
Thanks,
Naj

Last edited by Zappo : 8th January 2009 at 17:02. Reason: Please try and post in one go. Use Multiquote and Edit buttons if necessary.
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Old 8th January 2009, 16:45   #7
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Felt really sick reading that.

Let me very quickly summarise my recent experience with Maruti A.S.S.:

Gave the car to them (Millenium) for painting, removal of small dents and replacing the cross member. All in Insurance. Had to opt for their pick up and drop facility as its very far and I just didnt have time. When the car was delivered to me, the exhaust was making an awful noise... like it does when it has holes/is ruptured. I asked the driver what is the problem, and how on earth did he bring the car in such a state to my place. He obviously put his hands up and said his job is only to deliver the vehicle, and he dosent know anything else. I called up the supervior and demanded an explaination. Now to cut a long story short, just consider the explaination given to me -

Esteem exhaust consists a bent pipe from the engine that goes to the catcon which is under the driver seat. then the pipe connects to the end exhaust muffler. The catcon and muffler are corroded and should not be used in that state. The catcon is completely corroded from inside and has lost its functionality totally. It will cost about 8 - 10k to replace everything. (cant recall the exact quote, moreover this was just a tentative quote)

I flatly refused to pay for any replacements, and asked them how did the problem start only after giving the car to them. No concincing explaination was given. I told them to bring it back in the condition it was given to them, by whichever means...

They delivered the car back after a day, saying it has been welded. But I should get everything replaced. If I dont, there is a risk of fire as the catcon insulation plate was removed during welding to use it for the welding job, so some such crap. Since this was done, the heat from catcon may damage the underside, or may lead to fire.

Now the worst thing is, since exhaust systems are not at all visible unless you put the car on a ramp, I had no way to verify what I was told.

After this, I took the car to 3 garages to get second opinions.

Now the funniest thing is neither I nor any advisor in any of the garages could detect any sign of welding or any external work done on the catcon or the end muffler. The middle muffler did have signs of external welding.

Btw, I saw for myself that the Esteem exhaust is made of 1 catcon, 1 small middle muffler and 1 bigger muffler at the end (which is visible from the rear). So the theory told to me was WRONG!

1st garage (not authorised):
Advice - catcon has no sign any damage or anything else, and does not seem to need any replacement. Just replace both the mufflers. I could see that the middle muffler was quite corroded and was welded from the outside. The 2nd muffler again had absolutely no signs of any corrosion or damange and I have no idea why he adviced to change it. He anyway did not have an MGP end muffler and anyway, since still had my doubts, I left that garange.

2nd garage (not authorised)
Advice: Both catcon and end muffler do not need replacement. Just change the middle muffler. Price quoted - Rs. 2,500 with labour.

3rd garage (Sai Service, authorised)
Advice: The service advisor was not even ready to put the car on the ramp. He just go inside, accelerated the car a bit to hear the exhaust and declared that everything is perfectly fine, and we should not change anything as long as there is no problem. I said the middle muffler is quite corroded and has been temporarily welded. He said just dont worry about it as long as it is working, change it only after you start hearing abnormal exhaust noise. He totally rubished that there can be any fire risk due to catcon/exhaust heating and sent me off.

So you can see the very wide range of views obtained for the same problem. Which one should you trust? In the end you gotta use your own head, if you dont want to be ripped off and dumped with gibberish explainations.

Can anyone who knows better give any comments on the above?
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Old 8th January 2009, 16:54   #8
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Hi Naj, really sorry to hear your experience.Somehow I just dont agree with the name of the thread as it is very misleading.
It was your choice to go to the other guy and unfortunately you got ripped. I dont think it is fair to blame Ford for this.

You know a lot of people have been talking a lot about the expensive spares of Ford. I am still not sure though, as I have had the ikon for 3.5 years now and havent felt it so.
Would the other non Ford car owners who might have had these particular parts changed share the kind of prices they pay for their spares?
I know nothing compares to Maruti and you get a zillion different companies making these parts too.

Last edited by sammyboy : 8th January 2009 at 16:56.
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Old 8th January 2009, 16:59   #9
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My 2004 Ikon had also developed 2-3 holes some 6 months back and Ford had quoted 14k + labour to get this fixed.
I took it to a local shop where they removed the damaged section and welded in place similar section from a new exhaust. I stayed with the vehcile from morning to evening and paid some 2-3k as far as i remember. Whatver they did seems to be holding pretty well.
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Old 8th January 2009, 17:18   #10
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Unfortunate to say the least! My Ikon developed the same problem a year back, was quoted a princely sum by Ford. Later, I got it welded by a local trusted mechanic and it lasted close to a year before cracking up at another place! The same chore again with enforcements and it lasted till I sold it!

As a past Ford owner, I believe its best to find a local mechanic after a point in time in the cars life and start building a rapport with the mechanic. Its also necessary that you are always with the car on the first few visits untill some amount of trust is built. Atleast you save some money this way!

Last edited by car'zy : 8th January 2009 at 17:19.
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Old 8th January 2009, 17:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyboy View Post
Hi Naj, really sorry to hear your experience.Somehow I just dont agree with the name of the thread as it is very misleading.
It was your choice to go to the other guy and unfortunately you got ripped. I dont think it is fair to blame Ford for this.
Ford is definitely to blame... albeit indirectly, of course! It was because of Ford dealer's exhorbitant quotes, the was forced to go to an unauthorised place, in the 1st place!

From the quotes in this thread, it seems quite evident that Ford spares seem to be lot costlier than Maruti, at least... And with so many exhaust systems going bust in fairly short periods, the quality is definitely not upto the mark.
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Old 8th January 2009, 17:32   #12
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Its not at all a bad tendency to go to local mechanic once you are out of warranty and you are sure that A$$ people are taking you for a ride.

usually outside,the charges are very much less in terms of spare part and labour too.

i get my zen regularly serviced a local mechanic but i know him personally for last 5-6 years and there is no question of getting fleeced.

But still,you have to be smart in dealing with these people

Try to purchase parts yourself and get them fitted in front of you.

Spending some hours at the local mechanic's shop doesnt hurt as at least it gives me piece of mind.

so,my advice is not to take things granted and try to get things done in front of you and there is always T-BHP to seek advice
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Old 8th January 2009, 17:38   #13
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Too add on the expensive spares bit - The reason I sold mine was because it developed a PCM problem and they quoted around 41K - if I remember right!!! (The PCM had no business giving up in the first place, its supposed to last the car's lifetime!)

Last edited by car'zy : 8th January 2009 at 17:39.
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Old 8th January 2009, 17:56   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raccoon View Post
Ford is definitely to blame... albeit indirectly, of course! It was because of Ford dealer's exhorbitant quotes, the was forced to go to an unauthorised place, in the 1st place!

From the quotes in this thread, it seems quite evident that Ford spares seem to be lot costlier than Maruti, at least... And with so many exhaust systems going bust in fairly short periods, the quality is definitely not upto the mark.
Bro when one buys a car one does look at the spare price list to decide if it is affordable or not. I can buy a Merc if I want but would I be able to take care of the spares whenever required? No. So i stick to something I am okay paying for.

I have 2 Fords in my family and I bought them fully knowing what could be the consequences of buying and the spares cost.

Please think before comparing Ford spares to a Maruti. No company can match the spare prices of Maruti and its not rocket science to understand that.

One disturbing trend I have noticed is that quite a few people become Ford bashers whether they have any experience with the car or not. Plus all of us are well read and team-bhp is there along with google to check for experiences. If its a one off case , i can understand but if you keep hearing about somethings going wrong with a car and still buy it , it will be usually you love it and are willing to take a risk. I am and I do.

Last edited by sammyboy : 8th January 2009 at 18:03.
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Old 8th January 2009, 18:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naj View Post
Bottom line I have no option but to buy pricey Ford spares .Any way I have to get cheated in any condition.So why not get cheated by Ford?

Any advice for me from fellow members??
Just read your experience and I feel like thulping that Mr. Vijay.

I would urge you to file a police complaint on the same. Not ensure action is taken, but a complaint filed. That would document it. Atleast one constable would visit the mechanic. That might send the mechanic running to you for withdrawing the complaint.

You could also choose to write a letter and post it to the Inspector.

You doing this might save another person being victimised!

I also do a lot of repairs with mechanics outside service stations, but very choosy on whom I give the car to. Never pay them in advance because they would spend the money even before they intend to touch your car. Paying more money before the work is completed is the second sign that he has decided to take you for a ride.

I just checked with my mechanic for an approximate figure for changing the 2 pieces on the exhaust and he quoted me 4k with the same catalytic converter moulded into a locally made exhaust. He also told me that he could leave it a FF exhaust and that would result in better power for the car.

On the dos and donts of engaging with a mechanic outside the authorised network, let me see if I could put an exhaustive document along with the T-BHP friends on the same. This would also evolve ways in which you could identify a mechanic in the first place.

Spending time with the mechanic when he is working on your car would definetely do wonders, for a start.
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