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Old 9th January 2012, 12:54   #31
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

Bagheera went out for another spin on NH2. My friend from the US was here and I thought about getting his feedback about the ride. And boy he was stunned by the ride. NH2 is anyway is one of the best of the GQs and the fact that I was just managing to stay @ 80 KMPH without doing anything except resting the right foot on the gas pedal blew him away. Unless you bring down the windows, there is no way of knowing that you are cruising at such a speed because in the cabin there is no vibration at all. It was raining cats & dogs and the countryside scenes were amazing (sorry no pictures as I was driving and it was raining pretty heavily). Rural Bengal with its greenery is really a sight to see.

One thing I noticed is that at sedate driving speeds (70-80 KMPH) the mileage just galloped and one point it showed the range at 860 KM having emptied already 2/5th tank of fuel. Here is a pic as it was going up

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-01082012443.jpg

And the average FE showed at 25 though somehow it showed 25 KM/h. Does it show that way, the average FE?

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-01082012449.jpg

Sorry about the pic quality. Taken from my cell phone.
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Old 11th January 2012, 15:36   #32
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

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Originally Posted by samarjitdhar View Post
One thing I noticed is that at sedate driving speeds (70-80 KMPH) the mileage just galloped and one point it showed the range at 860 KM having emptied already 2/5th tank of fuel. Here is a pic as it was going up

And the average FE showed at 25 though somehow it showed 25 KM/h. Does it show that way, the average FE?
Initial few thousand kms when one resists the torque temptation , the 860 km will flash .. post that once the ECU gets "spoilt" , you will never achieve that
On the average FE , I think you toggled it to the avg speed .. else its km/lt always. Wish you an enjoyable trip !
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Old 1st February 2012, 22:42   #33
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

A short service update

While on my recent road trips I discovered that the cooling had gone down quite a lot specially during mid-day when the sun is strong and the temperature is around 30 outside. Even though I cranked up the AC from the default auto mode still the cooling was well below par. So it was time to again visit the service center and get the following checked.

1. Inadequate cooling even when the temperature is set to 20 and the blower speed up to 4 notches
2. Slight vibration on pressing/release of clutch
3. Minor squeaks on the door developed after traveling through some Mars like landscape in Jharkhand
4. General checkup including underbody for any damages after the harrowing road trips

The usual friendly SA Mr. Debasish was assigned to me who seemed to have beefed up his knowledge on the car quite a lot. Looks like I have been keeping them on their toes from my previous visits . The SA mentioned the following about the AC problem

1. The O Ring and the Evaporator Unit are two causes of the AC to malfunction, basically causing the refrigerant to leak. There are no fixed manufacturing dates before/after for this problem to occur. According to him, could be because some of these parts were not fully QCed. When the problem happens, the AC just throws out warm air which is the most common symptom for this problem. In such cases the leakage of refrigerant is high and hence either one or both parts are replaced based on diagnoses. In my case it seems the air pollen filter under the dashboard had accumulated a lot of dust and I think I know it was when I drove through that horrid road on NH33. Since the AC was on auto mode, it was pulling in outside air and hence more damage. If it gets totally choked there is no other option but to replace. Mine was replaced at a total damage of around Rs. 720. His suggestion was to take it out periodically and clean it with bursts of air. Will follow that henceforth. Also keeping the AC in recirculation mode obviously reduces the damage to the filter. Lesson learnt. No drastic reduction of refrigerant was noticed and no damage was seen in the O Ring or the Evaporator unit. Next few weeks will tell if the AC problem has been fixed fully.

2. For the clutch vibration issue, I can feel it at slow speeds when it is depressed or released slowly or sometimes when I am riding on the clutch. There is no noise though and the vibration is not pronounced. Didnt seem to be an issue actually and the SA told me its more the engine vibration. When the problem occurs there is a distinct noise, which is not there in my case hence no remedy was suggested. I kind of agree to it. If it aint broken, don't fix it.

3. Minor squeaks in the car are due to loosening of the door parts and loosening of the seats as per the SA. These were tightened up. For the door, the lock assembly was tightened up. The nuts on the seats were tightened up. After the service, most of the squeaks has vanished. No underbody damage was detected also. I must confess I did around 60 kms of really horrid roads but was very very careful driving around 5-10 KMPH. Still scraped the underbody 6-7 times . Anyway all's well that ends well. Bagheera is ready for the next road trip this time hopefully on better roads.

4. Lastly got that bottle of washer liquid concentrate for Rs. 250.

Summary: If your AC is throwing out warm air then you should get it checked. TBHP member dingophile has shared the following attachments earlier

ac not cooling condensor issue.pdf

ac not cooling evaporator issue.pdf

Take a copy of these to your service center and then work with your SA to get it fixed. The way Ventophiles are researching their cars on TBHP, very soon they will have part time jobs in the VW service centers.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 00:07   #34
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

How does one take out the AC filter? Where exactly under the dashboard is it located? Will be trying this at the earliest.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 06:32   #35
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How does one take out the AC filter? Where exactly under the dashboard is it located? Will be trying this at the earliest.
It is under the glove compartment. Since it was dark yesterday and getting late, I didnt try taking it out. Will do it if I can today during daylight and try posting a picture of the same.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 10:11   #36
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

Thanks Samarjit for sharing the details on AC & other issues. I must admit you guys are doing a commendable job is getting the minutest problem with your Vento resolved categorically & not just living with it.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 10:58   #37
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Thanks Samarjit for sharing the details on AC & other issues. I must admit you guys are doing a commendable job is getting the minutest problem with your Vento resolved categorically & not just living with it.
Can't help it. The more you drive this car, the more it grows on you . Finally you get used to the known issues like the engine clatter and shudder and the forgettable ICE and learn to ignore them. And once you are on the highway you want to hug the TDI beast inside it .
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Old 13th February 2012, 16:53   #38
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

Hi Samarjit, though this comes belated, congratulations for the black Vento! Don't know how I missed your thread. Nice tale you narrated using one of my favourite childhood characters!

Ah, and yes, I too had a Kaa (yr 2000) with me before the Blue! One of the zippiest available then. Moving to the Vento was a big jump but I adapted very easily.

Last edited by nileshch : 13th February 2012 at 16:56.
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Old 14th February 2012, 15:57   #39
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Hi Samarjit, though this comes belated, congratulations for the black Vento! Don't know how I missed your thread. Nice tale you narrated using one of my favourite childhood characters!

Ah, and yes, I too had a Kaa (yr 2000) with me before the Blue! One of the zippiest available then. Moving to the Vento was a big jump but I adapted very easily.
Nilesh, thanks so much. Yours was one of those threads which gravitated me towards the Vento so much. Yes you are right, moving from the Vento from the Zen was a bridge. Mine is over 10 years old now, and even with an engine overhaul and close to 115K it just moves like a surefooted cheetah. I think one of the best products from the Maruti Suzuki stable IMO.

On another note, haven't had much chance to update this thread for a long time. Lots of things at work and home kept me away. However I was able to do two small road trips towards the end of last month. Put up a thread for the first one, which was a weekend trip to a beach resort 4.5 hours away from Kolkata http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ay-tajpur.html (A Quiet Getaway @ Tajpur).

Fuel efficiency figures for the whole trip with combined city (10%) and highway (90%) with some local roads thrown in is shown below. I think sedate speeds would have given me close to 20.

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-01232012489.jpg

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-01232012490.jpg

Meanwhile Bagheera got the 3D Kagu Mats ordered over eBay as all local dealers here were out of stock.

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-02142012603.jpg

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-02142012604.jpg

And they are already dirty because of the black color. But I must say that they fit well. Mighty impressed. Once I get time, I will put my experience of my travel to Jamshedpur through some horrendous road and how Bagheera behaved extremely well without any damage to it.

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 14th February 2012 at 16:00.
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Old 14th February 2012, 16:32   #40
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

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Yes you are right, moving to the Vento from the Zen was a bridge. Mine is over 10 years old now, and even with an engine overhaul and close to 115K it just moves like a surefooted cheetah. I think one of the best products from the Maruti Suzuki stable IMO.
Absolutely. It was and still a fun car to drive (the Zen). Mine had touched 163K and still going strong. The day I informed the car cleaner that I am putting it up for sale, I had three buyers vying for it! Sold it off due to parking issues and the fact that wifey was not going to use it too often.
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Old 24th February 2012, 11:13   #41
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

Updates to this thread have been slow given that nothing much has been happening apart from the dreary routine of going to office and back. I did manage to stress test Bagheera towards the end of January going to Jamshedpur over some wicked roads with not much sweat broken (travelogue still pending due to lack of time). Before you know it, its time for another road trip this time a really long one, around 2800 kms in 8 days. Below is the whole route/trip plan

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-thewholeroute.jpg

Overnight break @ Varanasi in the onward and return legs of the trip. Places to be visited are

1. Bandhavgarh
2. Bhedaghat
3. Khajuraho

Formidable, isn't it specially when I would be the only driver. Depending on Internet connectivity using BSNL EVDO will try to provide rolling updates of the route and experience aside from the travelogue later. The trip starts tomorrow early morning.

Already have some engine oil if there is any need to top up as well as the windscreen washer liquid.

Questions to Ventophiles

1. What's the best way to top up the coolant in case there is any need?

I believe I am adequately equipped as far as support for Bagheera goes to help get through this trip.

Recent additions to Bagheera

1. Stock headlight lamps changed to Philips Extreme Vision 60/55 (which claims that it improves the spread by an additional 100% or 35 meters) - Probably most of it is marketing talk, don't want to do much night driving to test this. Postponed upgrade to HID + projector partly due to cost but mostly due to the Pune incident and VW's astounding silence about it .

2. Car care kit added (Mother's clay bar, ONR solution, Meguiar's Ultimate Compound) - Thanks to member el lobo for his detailing guide. Bagheera had collected some scratches under normal use. Meguiar's Ultimate Compound took care of most of them except for one small one on the hood. Another 1/2 rounds of application of the compound should take care of it too. Plan to do proper detailing once I am back for the trip.

3. A portable fire extinguisher - Yes, go ahead and call me Mr. Paranoid guy

Wish me luck.
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Old 25th February 2012, 22:04   #42
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Default re: Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update

13 hours on the road. 11 hours of driving on NH2 and made it to Varanasi and I am the sole driver. Bagheera is one hell of a drive. Installing the Philips Extreme Vision was of immense help. Unless one drives on bad roads, this is good enough I guess. I was dodging through heavy truck traffic @ 90-100 with ease on NH2 just before reaching Varanasi and it was pitch dark. No issues at all. What I loved was how Bagheera just stays planted at turns even at 80-100. Simply awesome. Overtaking as usual ensured dropped jaws all around . Will put up details on the travelogue.
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Old 16th March 2012, 23:13   #43
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Finally my travelogue is up here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ble-india.html (When Bagheera met Shere Khan - Trip To The Heart Of Incredible India). I drove around 2800 kms during a 9 day trip to MP and had some incredible experiences on the way.

This car is just awesome for highway trips. Barring that middle hump there is absolutely nothing one can complain of. I upgraded the bulbs to Philips Xtreme Vision which somewhat took care of the visibility issues during night driving. Otherwise, you will never even feel you are cruising at 100 once you are inside the car. Sure the Fiesta or the Linea are segment leaders in handling, but this is no slouch either. Just stays planted while negotiating corners even at speeds of 70-80. The fuel economy during the whole trip varied between 15 to 18 because of some aggressive driving but hey who cares about it if its an oil burner and more importantly you can experience that turbo burst whenever you want to .

Looking forward to many more such road trips in the future .
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Old 20th April 2012, 21:24   #44
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Who knew that the next update on Bagheera I had to make on this ownership thread had to be a sad one. Yup, Bagheera received its first big damage today for no fault of his. I was incidentally not in the car and my chauffeur was driving it and my wife and her friend in the rear seat. For the record my chauffeur is an excellent driver and has been driving for 5* hotels in his past experience. Prior to that he used to drive for Avis and is trained by them hence is very careful about following traffic rules. In fact he is judged even a better driver than I am.

For example, whenever he encounters an amber at a traffic junction and he is still a few meters away from the actual stop lines, he will slow down to a stop and let it turn to red instead of flooring the accelerator and taking any unnecessary risks. Alas, madmen behind the wheels in Kolkata are quite the opposite and even if they are behind another vehicle they would sometimes continue at the same speeds . I have seen many a rear-ending and fender benders at some of the busiest signals in my city. Utter morons who are behind other vehicles just assume that the vehicle ahead of them will jump a red light and they can tailgate along. Well to cut the long story short this time it was Bagheera's turn today. Thankfully Bagheera was hit only on the rear bumper on the left side breaking the left tail light and denting the rear bumper on the left in the crumple zone?

The damage on the left side.
Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-img00171201204201257.jpg

A closer look of the damage.
Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-img00172201204201257.jpg

Another view.
Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-04202012704.jpg

And here is the culprit. A Toyota Fortuner.
Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-img00170201204201256.jpg

I am told that the Fortuner was really racing throughout the time and I guess braked pretty late or still suffers from the well known braking issues reported here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ics-added.html (Toyota upgrading Fortuner's brakes. Comparison pics added!). I cannot believe that an SUV costing over 22 lakhs has rear drum brakes. Its a vehicle of considerable size and weight which can cause pretty extensive damage with such weak brakes. I wonder why has Toyota not replaced every Fortuner with better braking capabilities. I am not really sure of the current status.

Luckily the impact was only limited to the rear bumper as I said and the rear parking sensor accessory fitted by the showroom was found to be still working and intact. Bagheera was taken to the workshop who gave the following approximate break up.

Rear bumper - Rs 3100
Rear bumper painting - Rs 5500 (really its that high? suggestions are welcome)
LH tail light assembly - Rs 1970
Approx labor charges - Rs 2500 (can someone please validate?)

They will also fix the rear parking sensor on the new bumper. A total damage of approx. Rs 12500. A huge argument has ensued between my wife and the owner of the Fortuner who incidentally had his chauffeur at the wheels. They were claiming that we should not brake and stop when a traffic light turns red. Knowing my own chauffeur I am sure there was no sudden braking even. It was a clear case of negligent and rash driving. But last but not the least at the mention of a police case the owner volunteered to pay Rs 10000 towards damages after which it was decided we won't get it done through insurance claims. I appreciate the gesture at least because I know for all other morons who drive like this, they just ignore the damage they have caused and drive away to cause more mayhem. Also for the record, the cops at the traffic junction stayed away from this and were complete strangers. Well hopefully by Monday Bagheera will get back his new rear look to flaunt again. I could have understood if it was an Amby taxi where you will have to work hard to find one working part on that contraption but a Fortuner?

Last edited by samarjitdhar : 20th April 2012 at 21:38.
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Old 20th April 2012, 22:04   #45
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Rear bumper - Rs 3100
Rear bumper painting - Rs 5500 (really its that high? suggestions are welcome)
LH tail light assembly - Rs 1970
Approx labor charges - Rs 2500 (can someone please validate?)
Yikes! More than the cost or the damage, the fact that this happened when you weren't there, hurts the most. Understand your pain, have already been through it twice by now.

As for the costs, if you aren't going for insurance, then would suggest you to look out for garages that do good work of this sort. Also would recommend being open to your service center (debatable - depending on how flexible the workshop is) to ask if they would supply the bumper & tail light assembly, which IMO they should do without any issues. If yes, then you can get the painting & dent-work done at probably 1/4 the cost (including labor charges).

Reasoning for the above :
I got my right side rear door & the rear section (housing the fuel inlet) painted twice(shown by the blue arrows); first one after the dent during the Delhi-F1 trip last year; second time after a biker gave me a deep dent on the same rear door a few months back .

Tales Of Bagheera - My Black Panther aka VW Vento TDI Highline - First Service Update-dsc09384.jpg

The first time was done at the VW workshop with total costs coming to 16k (only repair & paint job, no parts being replaced). The second time I got it done from a known (MASS) garage, total costs came to 2.2k. Quality of work - as good as the VW workshop. Infact they also repainted the rear section so that there is no difference of color shade between the two paint jobs.
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