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Old 16th June 2013, 00:18   #391
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

A couple of weeks back, I had a funny experience on the way to office one morning, something that I must document on this thread .

I was approaching my usual railway gate shortcut along Sarjapur road - Varthur road, when I saw an RTO vehicle stopping non-KA vehicles for inspection. I didn't think much of it (since my car is KA registered) and continued. To my horror, I saw one plain-clothes RTO officer flagging me down and signalling me to pull over to the side.

I stopped, got out and politely asked him how I could help him. He asked me which car this was, and whether I had IMPORT PAPERS and documents to show to him!!! I replied that it was a Fiat Punto very much bought and registered locally. He didn't believe me, went around the car and saw Abarth decals everywhere and got confused *ROFL*. He went around the car and remarked in Kannada "I don't think this car is sold here. What brand is this car?". I repeated my answer and told him I had changed the badges for better cosmetics.

Sometimes, debadging / rebadging and imitating a "foreign car" can cause you unnecessary delays
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_001.jpg


He called another of his comrades to help him out with this weird case. They wanted to know why someone would want to change OEM decals and company identity. It took me 10 minutes for me to convince them that this was a Fiat Punto with the Abarth decals replacing Fiat for cosmetic value. I also had to explain that Abarth was Fiat's performance division and made "top end" expensive Fiat cars. I showed them the insurance papers, RC card and my old Fiat decals which were fortunately still in the car's backseat, to prove that this was indeed a Fiat Punto. After this gyaan session, they had a hearty laugh with a "what kind of idiot is this" look written on their faces, and finally let me go.

The next day the same van was conducting the inspection again at the same spot. Obviously they recognized me this time. I smiled and waved at the friendly (but puzzled) inspector and went on my way.

P.S - ownership review update coming up tomorrow (non-modification related)

Last edited by KarthikK : 16th June 2013 at 00:27.
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Old 16th June 2013, 05:39   #392
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OT: I'll need to drive all the way from Yelahanka-Sarjapur-Whitefield for the next few days. I guess Varthur road might not be such a good idea afterall?

Your car looks totally 'pharein' (foreign). Add to that the 3M gloss, its difficult to judge its a Punto.
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Old 16th June 2013, 06:30   #393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
I stopped, got out and politely asked him how I could help him. He asked me which car this was, and whether I had IMPORT PAPERS and documents to show to him!!!
I was always imagining that this could happen one day. So its finally happened. You should have shown the factory invoice and told him that its imported from Pune

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P.S - ownership review update coming up tomorrow (non-modification related)
Gearing myself up to read a long post

When is the smoking of headlamps planned? After monsoons?
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Old 16th June 2013, 09:01   #394
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

I showed them the insurance papers, RC card and my old Fiat decals which were fortunately still in the car's backseat, to prove that this was indeed a Fiat Punto.
Karthik, though it was a funny incident, I think you should probably start practicing your lines now, since you would be getting lot more attention of this sorts.

For all you know, the next time you take your Abarth for a scheduled service, the Service Personal might politely request you to find the right service center !!
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Old 16th June 2013, 09:45   #395
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
OT: I'll need to drive all the way from Yelahanka-Sarjapur-Whitefield for the next few days. I guess Varthur road might not be such a good idea afterall?

Your car looks totally 'pharein' (foreign). Add to that the 3M gloss, its difficult to judge its a Punto.
I haven't seen them at that spot after that day. Its been 2-3 weeks now. You can try the Sarjapur route anyway to avoid the ORR traffic. Just make sure that you have the car documents with you. If I recollect correctly, non-KA vehicles are allowed to stay for a year or something. You can just say you are visiting on a business tour .


Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
I was always imagining that this could happen one day. So its finally happened. You should have shown the factory invoice and told him that its imported from Pune
LOL! And you my friend are at greater risk of being flagged down somewhere like this for the very same reason. You even have smoked headlamps and evo tails to up the probability of being mistaken for a "foreign gaadi".

Quote:
Gearing myself up to read a long post
Not really a long post, since its not a modification thing this time. I had been to Vecto for a part replacement, plus some routine ownership updates at 10k kms. When you called me yesterday evening, I was actually stuck near the Bosch office on Hosur road. Sad that I couldn't make it in time to collect the steering logo from you yet. We'll meet up next weekend for this.

Quote:
When is the smoking of headlamps planned? After monsoons?
The guy said he needs to do it only on weekdays. Since my commute route is different, I am likely to give it there some day when I am able to apply leave from office. Maybe this month-end, I have to give the T-Jet for third service. I can take leave, drop off the T-Jet at Vecto, then head here and get the headlamp job done on a Friday, and collect it on a Saturday. Excellent find Hemanth! He promised to replicate the Abarth headlamp look exactly like yours.


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Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Karthik, though it was a funny incident, I think you should probably start practicing your lines now, since you would be getting lot more attention of this sorts.

For all you know, the next time you take your Abarth for a scheduled service, the Service Personal might politely request you to find the right service center !!
There was some extra attention yesterday from other customers and service staff when I visited Vecto, so much that I had to stay next to the vehicle and prevent some people from meddling around. The flip side of installing these rebadged decals is - I need to be careful some vandals don't pluck out the decals or try to steal something off the "imported gaadi"

Last edited by KarthikK : 16th June 2013 at 09:46.
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Old 16th June 2013, 11:05   #396
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With the headlamps getting smoked, you'll find it even more difficult to convince them RTO folks that your car isn't imported

An be careful where you park your imported car. You don't wanna see them Abarth logos on a auto
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Old 16th June 2013, 12:25   #397
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Looks good with all those Abarth addition! I think I have found an upgrade to the Ritz haha! Wish ya lots of Happy Miles ahead... Cheers!
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Old 16th June 2013, 13:44   #398
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
A couple of weeks back, I had a funny experience on the way to office one morning, something that I must document on this thread .

I stopped, got out and politely asked him how I could help him. He asked me which car this was, and whether I had IMPORT PAPERS and documents to show to him!!!
Import papers
Karthik, please drive only within the city. If you happen to do inter-state drives in your Punto you may have major problems convincing the RTO officers in other states that your car is a humble Fiat by heart,Abarth by choice!
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Old 16th June 2013, 14:46   #399
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

I stopped, got out and politely asked him how I could help him. He asked me which car this was, and whether I had IMPORT PAPERS and documents to show to him!!!
Sometimes, debadging / rebadging and imitating a "foreign car" can cause you unnecessary delays.
This is something that was bound to happen since your car has no sign of it being FIAT
Anyone is bound to get confused. Anyways it is good that they believed after seeing the documents.

P.S. You could have opened up the bonnet and could have showed them the FIAT engine which would make them believe that it indeed is Indian
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Old 16th June 2013, 15:45   #400
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
A couple of weeks back, I had a funny experience on the way to office one morning, something that I must document on this thread .

I was approaching my usual railway gate shortcut along Sarjapur road - Varthur road, when I saw an RTO vehicle stopping non-KA vehicles for inspection. I didn't think much of it (since my car is KA registered) and continued. To my horror, I saw one plain-clothes RTO officer flagging me down and signalling me to pull over to the side.

I stopped, got out and politely asked him how I could help him. He asked me which car this was, and whether I had IMPORT PAPERS and documents to show to him!!! I replied that it was a Fiat Punto very much bought and registered locally. He didn't believe me, went around the car and saw Abarth decals everywhere and got confused *ROFL*. He went around the car and remarked in Kannada "I don't think this car is sold here. What brand is this car?". I repeated my answer and told him I had changed the badges for better cosmetics.

Sometimes, debadging / rebadging and imitating a "foreign car" can cause you unnecessary delays
Attachment 1097752


I always thought something like this would happen after the 'Bharath' Punto incident.
I can sort of understand the confusion that they must have had.
Car does look absolutely beautiful though, still awaiting the full photo shoot.

OT, but awaiting your review of the updated T-Jet compared to your Jet.
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Old 17th June 2013, 08:17   #401
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

A non-modification report in many days. The Punto has been doing office commute duty diligently, and now even doubled up for doing showoff duty trying to impress the town with its hooligan Abarth-tuned look .

The odometer is just a few kilometres away from 5 digits (pictures of that will be put up later). For the past few days I was experiencing a mild shudder whenever I braked lightly and gradually, such as when coasting to a signal or speedbreaker. It wasn't happening on hard and aggressive braking, and there was no other symptom like noise, etc.

I called up Surendra at Vecto motors who promptly told me to bring the car to their service station anytime for a check-up and rectification. He told me that I would have to wait quite a bit since Vecto motors was mostly overloaded on weekends. I told him I didn't mind that. After all, if I am going without prior booking, I can't expect to be given preference to be fair to other customers. I spent the later half of the day at Vecto motors and towards evening time, he attended to my car.

We went for a test drive where I showed him the shudder occurring. It was traced down to faulty brake pads on one of the front discs, which was causing uneven wear. When a slot was available on the service bays, my Punto was taken in and inspected. Then they replaced the entire front disc brakes and brake pad sets in warranty. This is what I have liked about Fiat recently. If there is an issue you point out, they don't hesitate to replace parts under warranty. No questions asked, just brute force approach when there is a fault pointed out. Customer is happy. "Mogambo Khush hua"!

LOL! An imposter at the service centre with a difference! I couldn't trace the owner though.
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_005.jpg


Brand new Brake pad set getting ready to be transplanted onto the vehicle
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_006.jpg


Brand new front discs, also replaced under warranty.
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_007.jpg


The job was done to perfection, although I had to wait a bit. I don't mind that at all, if the outcome is excellent. The entire transplantation would have set me back by ~6k rupees if this job wasn't covered under warranty. Really glad it was.
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_008.jpg


The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_010.jpg


The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_011.jpg


After the job was done and the car was parked outside waiting for me to finish the invoice/job card acknowledgement work inside, some college kids were trying to pose next to the car and take snaps with their mobiles. I had to shoo them away unfortunately, and I ended up taking that snap without anyone in the frame
The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130615_001.jpg


Apart from that, there have been no other problems during my intense usage over the past few months (10000 km of pure city driving in 6 months). The car has been perfect and ownership has been delightful without any niggles whatsoever. Even the brake shuddering problem has been solved now.The odometer currently reads 9976 km, and today I will be touching the 5 digit mark, pictures of which will make it to the thread later in the day.

Last edited by KarthikK : 17th June 2013 at 08:32.
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Old 17th June 2013, 10:05   #402
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

Hoping to see the magic 5 figure soon. I wonder why all these comical incidents happen with only your punto . If the rto inspector had just seen the rear he would have understood. Sadly, some people don't understand that some owners go to great lengths to personalize their ride to their preferences. This just proves how diligently you have been working on your ride. Lovely. I might get flagged by an rto vehicle, but it might be for a different reason. Brand name and owner invisible due to thick coat of dust on the car. Its like i am sitting inside an igloo. Need to clean the car up soon. Waiting to see more of your 'Bharath' punto goodness.
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Old 17th June 2013, 13:45   #403
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

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Originally Posted by Arch-Angel View Post
Hoping to see the magic 5 figure soon. I wonder why all these comical incidents happen with only your punto .
Daily use is 70 km / 4-5 hours through a lot of dense traffic, and some state highway shortcuts to reach office. Probability of encounters with the uniformed and non-uniformed kind is relatively high. I think this extra attention has increased after the rebadging to Abarth logos and that Evo look with CF. Petrolheads would easily recognize that this is a Punto with an identity crisis, but laymen may not even know what is Abarth (will not have seen the logo earlier), or what 'EsseEsse' means. Anyway, good thing for me out of all this is - people, including notorious cabbies mostly keep distance from the car in traffic thinking its some unknown expensive brand, so I don't have to bother much now about someone scraping my bumpers or mirrors. Better to spend 6k one-time on Abarth OEM logos and live in peace (and admiration on road) than to spend 6k on bumper repainting and mirror replacements. *lol*

Hemanth.anand must start using his Abarth everyday, I'm sure we'll both provide some superb entertainment by relating hilarious non-petrolhead comments here.

Quote:
If the rto inspector had just seen the rear he would have understood.
I think the culprits were the logos which are unknown to him. The vinyl stripes, black roof are all pretty common mods which they will probably be aware of and overlook.

Quote:
I might get flagged by an rto vehicle, but it might be for a different reason. Brand name and owner invisible due to thick coat of dust on the car. Its like i am sitting inside an igloo. Need to clean the car up soon.

Last edited by KarthikK : 17th June 2013 at 13:48.
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Old 18th June 2013, 07:48   #404
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Default re: The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* 114 BHP & 250 Nm by Tune-O-Tronics

The first landmark is here! The Red Rocket celebrates 10000 km of delightful and trouble-free, admiration-filled (on the road) ownership in 6.5 months.

Here's the build-up to the 5-figure landmark:

The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130617_001.jpg

The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130617_003.jpg

The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130617_007.jpg

The Red Rocket - Fiat Grande Punto Sport. *UPDATE* Interiors now in Karlsson Leather-wp_20130617_014.jpg


10000 km ownership update :

- No new niggles observed apart from that brake shuddering problem which has already been solved and mentioned in my previous post here.

- My respect for the vehicle has increased after commuting through bad roads, curves and twisties. The fantastic ride quality keeps you in comfort all the while, no matter how the road is.

- The increased ground clearance of the 2012 Punto Sport (185mm) is a huge boon. I can take on practically any kind of roads without having to worry about scraping the car's underbelly. The ground clearance is a huge boon for me.

- My original traffic-infested route along a ring road was 25 km to office. There's another route with lesser traffic, more twisties and a "handling stretch" full of curves along Varthur lake. Thanks to the high fun-to-drive factor of the Punto 90HP, I actually use this longer route which is 31km to office , a whole 7 km more than my original commute but a lot more enjoyable for the enthusiast in me.

- Here's another important update: PSU diesel costs 54.xx while Shell diesel costs 58.xx Rupees in Bangalore. I had previously tried Shell diesel when it was ~65 Rs and abandoned the idea for regular usage due to the vast difference in price. Now that the difference is just 4 Rupees, I have decided to permanently switch to Shell diesel for the Red Rocket. The T-Jet has only run Shell petrol until now, and the Punto will now join the same category . Using Shell diesel has a noticeable difference in engine refinement and NVH levels, rev-happy nature of the engine and needless to add, I'm getting 1-1.5 kmpl more than what I would with PSU bunk fuel. This shows how adulterated the PSU fuel is, just because they sell it at subsidy. Goodbye to IndianOil, HP, BP, IBP, and whatever other names exist.

- My next update would be this weekend when I head to Madhus for my routine 5000 km checkup of Wheel alignment and Hunter road force balancing for the Punto. I have faced no alignment/balancing issues, but what needs to be done on time will be done.

Last edited by KarthikK : 18th June 2013 at 07:57.
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Old 18th June 2013, 08:26   #405
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
The first landmark is here! The Red Rocket celebrates 10000 km of delightful and trouble-free, admiration-filled (on the road) ownership in 6.5 months.
Congratulations...welcome to the 5digit club

Your shell diesel feedback is opposite to what many others have told about it. Only other tbhpian to share your views is Crazydriver is guess

Happy motoring KarthikK!

P.S: Your ground clearance feedback is prompting me to get the increase done with my upcoming service.

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 18th June 2013 at 08:28.
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