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Old 6th May 2017, 22:28   #391
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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That is great news

Though you had to face the lethargy of VW process (even I faced it a couple of days back for a small issue with the Polo), it is great that you got the car back and it is as good as new.
Thanks man! Save for their lethargy, they've been good to deal with. O was on the lookout for any issues on the drive home, heard an odd squeaking from the central cup holders. Got annoyed, then realised its the polished plastic rubbing against my wallet. Hehe. That was as "bad" as it got.

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Originally Posted by Tanveer_2558 View Post
Phew! That was a long wait, But finally was happy to see her back today, All shining like a new car just taken out of the showroom, I have no doubt she would be running as good as ever, It was a long wait but surely worth it, Quality of work was good! Time to start planning the next drive to now.
Quite a wait man. But worth it. Thanks for helping out all along the way mano, and yes. Let's get that long drive ticked off. Whenever. Wherever.
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Old 6th May 2017, 22:45   #392
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

Good to see her back in shape Karan. Man, I can't even think of the agony you might have gone through all these days! Anyways, all's well that ends well I guess. Drive safe and don't forget to take the full depreciation insurance coverage next time.
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Old 6th May 2017, 23:31   #393
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Good to see her back in shape Karan. Man, I can't even think of the agony you might have gone through all these days! Anyways, all's well that ends well I guess. Drive safe and don't forget to take the full depreciation insurance coverage next time.
Thanks Gannu!

Incidentally, I was chatting with the workshop guy today and just hypothetically asked how much less my bill would have been with zero dep. He had an interesting perspective in that he mentioned the insurance guys would mostly push for a total loss v spending the amount they'd have to if mine was a zero dep claim. Cant fault that logic really.

That said, no question about it. Zero dep it is next time.
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Old 13th June 2017, 11:28   #394
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

I often quip that even the Gods take a rest on Sunday, so who are we mortals to upset the established pecking order and be up and about on this, the laziest day of the week?

Well, I figured since I'm a sinner with a one-way ticket to a toasty room in Hell, I might as well set out to the mini-mega-monsoon meet of Team-BHP'ians. Enough has been said of it on this thread, should you be so inclined to follow it up.

Unfortunately, despite tucking in to a wide variety of foods (and, mistakenly, a cheese garlic naan), I still hadn't had my fill of motoring for the day. I've always felt Lonavala is an unfulfilling drive out of Bombay, pockmarked as it is with an assortment of trucks in the ghats that force you to play real-life Frogger and littered as it is with half of Bombay's populace. A drive to Lonavala, then, is not my idea of a Sunday well spent.

But oh boy, not today (yesterday). A troika of us (AjayS, Tanveer_2558 and yours truly) decided to brave the traffic and trudge up to Aamby Valley, just because we could. And what a drive it is, snaking through fog covered narrow passes that parted only ever so often to reveal the view far down below.

It was with laconic pleasure that I noted mine was the slowest ride of the trio, the little big car that dreamed. Revving away to high heaven when the occasion presented itself, we carved a route up the mountainside, with Tanveer's 530d seemingly powered by anti-matter and chewing up the laws of physics before spitting it out disdainfully. My own steed sipped on Dino juice and respected the laws of nature, but it was still no slouch as we powered on to our inevitable fate. Chai and pakodas overlooking the valley. It's the simple pleasures in life that sometimes get you.

This was Lonavala as I had literally never seen it, and I can only wait for the onset of the monsoon, when the valley will be awash with a palette of colours straight out of God's own colouring book. With one of many monsoon drives mapped out in our minds, we trundled back to home base tired but with many memories. Of new Team-BHP'ians met, of good times had and new roads discovered.

Lonavala isn't all that bad after all. Just don't ask me to get you Maganlal's Chikki on the way back. Enough of my waffling. Here's a few pictures for y'all. Ciao!

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A troika of Germans snaking up the hill

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The mist blanketing the hilltop made for stunning viewing in person

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The sunshine burst through the clouds by the time we got to Amby

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A Turtle and a Mamba stare deep into each others eyes
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Old 8th July 2017, 23:03   #395
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

The monsoons are well and truly upon us, and you know what that means for knobheads like us. Weekends are spent behind the wheel of our rides clocking up the miles.

The lady and I decided to head out for a romantic weekend away, and this was as good a pretext as any to head to Amby Valley. Make no mistake, Amby Valley by itself is quite nice, but it's the journey that makes the destination all the more beautiful. High atop the hills and away from the madding crowds that typifies Lonavala these days, the foggy drive up made for a memorable experience.



At one point, seeing the rolling expanse of fog (which limited visibility to about 5 meters or so wonly), the wifey got a bit taken aback and asked "yeh kya chal raha hai yaar?"

With all the timing of Rahul Dravid on bended knee caressing one through the covers, I purred "janaab, fog chal raha hai"

If looks could kill, I would have been left for dead somewhere in the hills of Lonavala.

Anyways. Enough prattling, time to put up or shut up. Here's some pictures or captures as all the cool kids like to call it these days.

Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home-1.jpg
Believe it or not, the wifey suggested the idea for the pic and made me move until we got it right. I have successfully lured her to the dark side

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I stopped at this spot for a quick photo...

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...and so did the wife. Unfortunately for her, even as she posed for posterity, the car took centerstage in the shot. Wonder how that happened?

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I was going for a "Good god I love my car so much, I'mma gonna hug it" pose. Yes, I know I look like the star from a retarded reboot of Spiderman.

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Peek a boo, I see you!

The car is at about 49,000 kilometres, so I'm looking forward to bringing up the half century in a month or so. Until then, ciao ciao.
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Old 9th July 2017, 17:42   #396
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

Great pictures iliketurtles.

Nothing looks quite good like a well maintained black car.
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Old 9th July 2017, 21:45   #397
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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Great pictures iliketurtles.

Nothing looks quite good like a well maintained black car.
Thanks petroguzzler! I agree completely, a clean example of a dark coloured car looks stunning to the eye. GTO's ride is a prime example of that.

My ride is due for a detailing session (inside and out), so I'll definitely be getting that done as part of the 50k mark celebration.
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Old 17th August 2017, 12:32   #398
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

How time and kilometres fly when you're having fun behind the wheel. It seems like just yesterday that I was taking delivery of the black beauty on a Valentine's day almost 3 and some years ago. And here I am today, annoying the missus and leaving bystanders puzzled as I pull over to click a photo of the odometer hitting 50k in the middle of nowhere.

Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home-file_000-4.jpeg
Do try to notice the kindly uncle's puzzled expression

It's been quite the ride, and a fair time to look back and reflect on times gone by.

What I've grown to love (aka Wheeeeee, VW!)
  • The car's part performance, part parsimonious nature is fantastic to live with. The car is long-legged or lazy whenever you need it to be
  • The safety features and build quality are hugely appreciated, very confidence inspiring
  • Reliability has been pleasantly better than expected, only the water pump failure was a major thing. A pair of door actuators failed too, but that's it.
  • The tijori wala thunk. Silence. Enough said
  • The not-so-German running costs, which I'll quickly tot up in a bit, won't burn a hole in your pocket
  • The moddable nature of the car opens up some very interesting possibilities at this point in its life
  • Elegant, understated design that still brings a smile to my face
  • The size is just right for navigating the city or travelling inter-city

What I've grown to miss (aka V need to talk, VW)
  • The central duo-tone console and display feels dated...
  • ...as does the head unit. Betrays signs of the cars age
  • Memory seats are such a huge miss, especially in a multi-driver house
  • VW's service standards have certainly improved, but it's still slow, especially when procuring parts

On the whole, I believe my decision to go with the Jetta over the Octavia stands fully vindicated given the niggles multiple owners have reported with the TSI's (which I was looking at with come-hither eyes). The reasonable cost of ownership (for this segment), almost no-nonsense reliability and all-round nature of the car makes it the perfect daily or weekend companion for my needs. The only way I'd improve it is freshening the interiors or dropping the tomahawk missile of an engine from the 530D into this baby. Some things are possible, some just aren't.

A quick overview of the amount I've spent on the car at regular services,

15k KMs - Rs. 13,290 (standard servicing)
20k KMs - Rs. 970 (1.5 year checkup)
30k KMs - Rs. 11,982 (standard servicing)
45k KMs - Rs. 27,979 (standard servicing)

Which totals up to Rs. 54,221 over the course of these 3.5 years and 50k kilometers, which is more than acceptable in my books.

The best of cars have this certain je ne sais quoi that can make a fully grown man wax eloquent and feel a deeply emotional connection with something that is little more than a motley collection of metal, glass, rubber, plastics, fluids and moving parts. God knows I've been chided enough for this, and I'm sure you have too.

But the most important thing about the Jetta is it puts a smile or at the very least a half-smirk on my face every time I get behind the wheel. I turn her on, and she returns the favour given an empty stretch of road. Sure, she’s got a cheating heart, but she’s not a bad girl. She just can’t help it, it’s a part of her DNA, it’s just who she is. And she's here to stay with moi, for better or worse. For at least the next 2-3 years, give or take.

So what's next? Maybe a head unit upgrade? Maybe a new steering wheel? Maybe a ceramic coating to bring back a level of beastliness to the black coat she's wearing? Maybe all 3? Who knows what the future portends. Right now, all I know is that life is a highway, and I wanna ride it all night long.

Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home-highway-run-1.jpeg
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Old 4th September 2017, 17:41   #399
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Talking Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

“All that glitters is not gold”
- Anonymous

“But preciousss, is shiny!”
-Not So Anonymous


You know what they say about going black, not looking back and all that jazz. Well, I can reveal to you that that particular parable is rubbish. Just like Mary, there’s something about a clean, shiny black steed that makes you look back with a glance born of a mix of lust and pride.

The Black Mamba has just completed 50,000 KMS a few weeks back (cue the klaxons and feral catcalling), and I have been looking back and wondering…

…Man, I need to get this car detailed. Pronto.

With the passage and ravages of time, the inevitable swirl marks, oxidation, et al had taken its toll since the last time I detailed the car (almost a year ago, I think. Stop judging me), taking some of the sheen off the ownership experience quite literally. To get the car detailed or not, that wasn’t even the question.

The question revolved more around the ‘C’ word; Ceramic. If you’re active on Team-BHP (and if you aren’t, why are you reading this? I am at once flattered and slightly annoyed), you would have noticed that getting a Ceramic coating polarized quite a few opinions.

Since most like their information bite-sized, here’s a summary of the discussions in that thread.
  • Ooh, shiny!
  • Meh. Expensive
  • But…shiny!
  • Detailing for the VFM win!
  • Ain't no passing craze
  • It means no worries for the rest of your days
  • Its our problem-free philosophy

And the argument raged on and on.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, a couple of us BHP’ians decided we had more money than sense and took the plunge into a ceramic coated pool filled with questions. Our worries were manifold, some of which were
  1. What is it going to cost me?
  2. How long would the effect last?
  3. What are the detailer’s credentials?
  4. What precautions must we heed to maintain it?
  5. What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Questions such as these consumed us, and in the end, our mighty shortlist was whittled down to two detailers. The first being a fairly new entrant called Time to Shine, and the other being PMP (short for Pimp My Pride. Catchy, I know.)

Time to shine had everything going for it. Everything except two things, namely price and longevity of the treatment. We sauntered down to Time to Shine’s mighty impressive premises to take in their facilities and see their work firsthand, which was first class.

But the owner simply wasn’t willing to budge from his sticker price (of Rs. 35,000, for those of you that are money minded) while at the same time stating that he could guarantee the sheen of the coating for around 6 months to a year at most, thanks to our fine weather conditions.

As you can imagine, the economics simply did not add up. I am often accused of being penny wise and pound foolish, but even I’m not that foolish.

And so we went with Pimp My Pride for a few simple reasons
  1. The price was very right
  2. The quality of the work was excellent (to my untrained eye)
  3. Sandesh, of PMP, was forthcoming and always up for a chat
  4. Follow up coatings would be organized at minimal charge
  5. He gave us a Team BHP discount, which massaged our fragile egos

Most notably, and this won us over, he refused a token amount and insisted we pay him in full only after we were fully satisfied with the work done. I know, right?

All said and done, the whole process of getting the car prepped, and ceramic + hydrophobic coating applied would take about 3-4 days. Throughout this duration, Sandesh fully lived up to his name and incessantly messaged me photos and details of the car as it passed through multiple stages at his humble workshop. For the duration of those few days, only my bitter half out-messaged him, but it was a close run thing.

I have to admit I couldn’t care much for the hydrophobic coating. It’s nice to have in my books, but not a must-have. For my money, the sheen of the ceramic coating is where the heart of the matter lies. And PMP didn’t disappoint me on that front. However, I must admit that the hydrophobic coating was a thing of joy to behold. Here's a quick video of it, while it must be noted that my wife, ever the wordsmith, loved the 'zoop-zoop' nature of the hydrophobic coating as the car drove through the rain.



I’ll let the results below speak for the rest of his work, while simply saying that Sandy boy (hereafter immortalized in my contact list as PiMP Daddy) has won me over as a customer for the value for money and quality of his services.

Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home-1.jpg
First contact

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Dat ass!

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Facing off against PiMP Daddy's Merc ML

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Snapping pics in the drizzle, fo' shizzle. That's moi in the background

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Fo' Drizzle

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If you squint, you can see me reflected in the boot

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Mirror, mirror on the wall...
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Old 4th September 2017, 17:57   #400
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

Congratulations on the 50K! May you enjoy tens of thousands more kilometers of trouble free ownership.

The car looks FABULOUS!!! Just out of the world! Worth every penny you would have spent on the treatment. Speaking of pennies, how much was the dent to the wallet? I am tempted to get this for my Jetta as well.
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Old 4th September 2017, 18:07   #401
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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Congratulations on the 50K! May you enjoy tens of thousands more kilometers of trouble free ownership.
Mucho grazie, my friend.

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The car looks FABULOUS!!! Just out of the world! Worth every penny you would have spent on the treatment. Speaking of pennies, how much was the dent to the wallet? I am tempted to get this for my Jetta as well.
Thank you again! PMP quoted Rs. 30,000 for the entire detailing job (inside out) + ceramic. But since we had 3 cars to get done, we wrangled a nice Team BHP discount from him

If you are planning to keep the car for the next few years (as I am), I'd recommend this heartily. I'd in fact go a step further and drive down to Bangalore to get it done since the detailing scene there is outta this world.
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Old 26th September 2017, 11:21   #402
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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But the most important thing about the Jetta is it puts a smile or at the very least a half-smirk on my face every time I get behind the wheel. I turn her on, and she returns the favour given an empty stretch of road. Sure, she’s got a cheating heart, but she’s not a bad girl. She just can’t help it, it’s a part of her DNA, it’s just who she is. And she's here to stay with moi, for better or worse.

Attachment 1672571
Mirror, mirror on the wall...
[/center]
So beautifully written, and such a beauty she is! She looks brand new, must have been a painful wait but worth the time and money spent!

P.S: Black Mamba and calling her a girl just makes me wonder
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Old 26th September 2017, 12:26   #403
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

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So beautifully written, and such a beauty she is! She looks brand new, must have been a painful wait but worth the time and money spent!
Absolutely was!

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P.S: Black Mamba and calling her a girl just makes me wonder
Once you've been around women long enough, you know they're the deadliest gender in any species
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Old 26th September 2017, 12:43   #404
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Default Re: Back in Black! A VW Jetta Highline DSG comes home

Usually the well written posts are long this one is short, crisp and full of humor.

Not a believer in expensive detailing but certainly believe in throwing good money after silly stuff.
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Old 26th September 2017, 12:49   #405
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Usually the well written posts are long this one is short, crisp and full of humor.
Grazie! I'm often accused (quite justly) of using 80 words where 8 would suffice. It's a deeply ingrained thing I'm trying to change. Will take time though, old dog, new tricks and all that.

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Not a believer in expensive detailing but certainly believe in throwing good money after silly stuff.
Believe you me, it took some convincing to come around to the idea of this. We got some absurd quotes, but PMP's demeanor and the fact that we saw samples of his work won us over. Big fan of the whole idea of throwing money at silly causes, by the way. Arguably this one included.
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