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Old 26th April 2015, 22:04   #16
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

Congrats , do you mind posting more pictures of the interiors ?
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Old 27th May 2015, 10:42   #17
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Default Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

Myra has logged in 4000 kms, with 2 trips to Goa, one to Lonavla and one to Shirdi. While she is a breeze to drive, extremely stable and comfortable for driver and passengers alike, and a serious head turner, I have been thoroughly disappointed with the tires (Pirelli Centurato 225/45 R17).

My daughter had a small, unfortunate accident last week and broke her collarbone in Goa. To be with her, my wife and I immediately left for Goa from Pune last Sunday evening, and we were doing pretty fine time until we took the Nipani-Azara-Amboli route (it's the fastest, and my Endy loves it). Unfortunately, just 2 km into that stretch off NH4, the front right tire hit a pothole (nothing too scary, Samara wouldn't even have flinched) and the tire just gave way, with two huge cuts on the sidewall. I do have to mention here - I was already very conscious of the weak tires, and was doing not more than 60 kmph after leaving the gloriously hot-mixed NH4.

This is the 2nd time the tire had let me down.

It was already 830 pm, and there were huge roars of thunder and massive lightning. Being an amavasya night, there was almost no ambient light. I parked the car by the roadside, and managed to change tires quickly. The spare tire can take no more than 100 km at max 80 kmph, and we couldn't afford to hit it to Goa. So we hobbled over to Belgaum and stayed for the night. The next morning, with no Audi dealer nearby and no tire dealer stocking the Pirelli, we seemed stuck. Thankfully, a friend knew a local dealer who gave us a second hand, worn out 225/55 R17, which seemed a much better bet than the spare, and we managed to make it to Goa Monday afternoon.

Audi India, Audi Goa and Audi Pune were wonderful. Audi India graciously agreed to replace the tire at no cost (technically, it was an accident, and they could have asked me to claim it under insurance). Audi Pune sent the tire across to Goa, since Goa didn't have it in stock. On Wed, Audi Goa replaced my tire, and also gave me a complimentary wheel balancing.

The customer delight manager at Audi Goa also visited us, and met my daughter with a beautiful bouquet and a chocolate cake.

All's well that end's well, but my trust in the Pirellis has been so shaken, that I don't think I can really enjoy the car on our highways unless I get my tires replaced by something sturdier. It took me 7.5 hours on the way back, so scared I was at losing my 3rd.

I have heard of similar stories from at least 2 other A3 owners through Twitter. I want to know if anyone has suggestions on replacing the stock Pirellis with something sturdier? Yokohama or Bridgestone, for example, which have served me really well in the past. Is the profile of the 225/45 Cinturatos to blame (the front sidewalls bulge quite a bit at the recommended 35 psi)?

Some other updates and responses below...

@bottle, will do so shortly! Just been too distracted these days.

@PlatzdaTurbo, 12 in city, 15 on highways is the max I have been able to extract with my "normal driving" behavior (hitting some pretty high speeds, lot's of tire burning, full AC in Pune's searing 40 degree summer). Compared to the 6/7 I get in my Endy, this is heaven already! Another interesting thing I noticed... starting with a full tank, I can get to 200 with the LED fuel gauge still showing 3/4 left. However, the last quarter goes pretty quick Defective gauge?

@madnish, @akshayy1234, I actually went ahead and got the bumpers, RVMs and side skirts wrapped. Not going to do the whole car (too expensive), but in Pune's bumper to bumper traffic, I thought it was worth the investment. I checked out a few cars they had done up, and I liked the workmanship. And on the red color, there is almost no visible tint from the film. Will post some pictures soon.
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Old 27th May 2015, 11:44   #18
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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Originally Posted by siddheshb View Post
Myra has logged in 4000 kms, with 2 trips to Goa, one to Lonavla and one to Shirdi
....

@PlatzdaTurbo, 12 in city, 15 on highways is the max I have been able to extract with my "normal driving" behavior (hitting some pretty high speeds, lot's of tire burning, full AC in Pune's searing 40 degree summer). Compared to the 6/7 I get in my Endy, this is heaven already! Another interesting thing I noticed... starting with a full tank, I can get to 200 with the LED fuel gauge still showing 3/4 left. However, the last quarter goes pretty quick Defective gauge?
All diesel cars have the gauge designed in that fashion, it makes sure that you don't drive on an empty tank and damage the internals. At near empty the tank has a lot of sediments which could damage the fuel lines/pumps. The gauge is accurate till the low fuel warning light comes on. If you do a tank full method, fuelling even after cut off, the fuel gauge wont move, I guess its because it senses the fuel level going down only after the level in the tank drops.
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Old 27th May 2015, 11:57   #19
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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@madnish, @akshayy1234, I actually went ahead and got the bumpers, RVMs and side skirts wrapped. Not going to do the whole car (too expensive), but in Pune's bumper to bumper traffic, I thought it was worth the investment. I checked out a few cars they had done up, and I liked the workmanship. And on the red color, there is almost no visible tint from the film. Will post some pictures soon.
That makes sense, it will definitely help with any 2 wheelers touching your car.

As for your tyres, are you really running 35psi? On our roads I would say that is a bit too high. Keep it at 30-32 max. It is not an issue with the Pirellis as such, but more with the tyre size and profile. From an Endeavour in which you don't have to slow down for anything, to an A3 with 45 profile tyres I would imagine it to be difficult.

Yet I would say don't worry much, what you had was a freak incident. Lower the pressure a few points so that the tyre can absorb any bumps or potholes better.

You will hear of similar stories on any car with low profile tyres, even the Merc A class had similar stories.
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Old 27th May 2015, 12:23   #20
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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As for your tyres, are you really running 35psi? On our roads I would say that is a bit too high. Keep it at 30-32 max. It is not an issue with the Pirellis as such, but more with the tyre size and profile. From an Endeavour in which you don't have to slow down for anything, to an A3 with 45 profile tyres I would imagine it to be difficult.

Yet I would say don't worry much, what you had was a freak incident. Lower the pressure a few points so that the tyre can absorb any bumps or potholes better.

You will hear of similar stories on any car with low profile tyres, even the Merc A class had similar stories.
I wish to differ here. Please maintain recommended air pressure and even increase it a bit for highway runs. Lower pressure actually creates more problems on the highway. The tire requires the correct pressure to maintain its integrity. In fact if you keep low pressures and hit a pothole, the tire carcass/steel belts flex beyond their limits (there is inadequate air pressure for support) and then cause bulges/cuts in the sidewall, which I feel may have happened in your case. Without adequate air pressure, the tire tends to flex more than designed which cause overheating and then tire bursts. In fact lower profile tires are especially prone to damage with underinflation.

Underinflation is the most common cause of tire bursts/problems leading to incidents on highways/long runs.
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Old 27th May 2015, 12:35   #21
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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I wish to differ here. Please maintain recommended air pressure and even increase it a bit for highway runs. Lower pressure actually creates more problems on the highway. The tire requires the correct pressure to maintain its integrity. In fact if you keep low pressures and hit a pothole, the tire carcass/steel belts flex beyond their limits (there is inadequate air pressure for support) and then cause bulges/cuts in the sidewall, which I feel may have happened in your case. Without adequate air pressure, the tire tends to flex more than designed which cause overheating and then tire bursts. In fact lower profile tires are especially prone to damage with underinflation.

Underinflation is the most common cause of tire bursts/problems leading to incidents on highways/long runs.
Sandeep I'm in agreement with you regarding maintaining correct air pressure.

The manufacturer generally recommends a specific air pressure for a car partially full, and for a full car with luggage. And for both these parameters while driving below 100mph or driving above 100mph.

On low profile tyres (and I consider low profile to be below 50 profile), maintaining the recommended tyre pressure makes the ride too stiff, and increased the chance of a tyre burst in a pothole because of the tyre flexing less.

The average speed on our highways is not as much as Europe, so being a bit below the recommended pressure is fine. Being a 30psi or 32psi can definitely not be counted as underinflation. Plus you minimize a sidewall cut or a tyre burst in potholes (which are inevitable on our roads), since you are letting the tyre flex a bit more.
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Old 27th May 2015, 13:00   #22
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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Sandeep I'm in agreement with you regarding maintaining correct air pressure.

The manufacturer generally recommends a specific air pressure for a car partially full, and for a full car with luggage. And for both these parameters while driving below 100mph or driving above 100mph.

On low profile tyres (and I consider low profile to be below 50 profile), maintaining the recommended tyre pressure makes the ride too stiff, and increased the chance of a tyre burst in a pothole because of the tyre flexing less.

The average speed on our highways is not as much as Europe, so being a bit below the recommended pressure is fine. Being a 30psi or 32psi can definitely not be counted as underinflation. Plus you minimize a sidewall cut or a tyre burst in potholes (which are inevitable on our roads), since you are letting the tyre flex a bit more.
Akshay, believe me on my previous car I had a couple of bulges on my low profile tires while driving on city roads, just because I was careless and did not check my air pressure for 6 weeks or so. When checked the air pressure was 28 instead of recommended 32. So even a few points made a difference. If I had gone on the highway without setting the pressure at 32/33, for sure instead of just bulges, the tire would have burst/sidewall given way.

So if the recommended is 35, I would not make it 32, let alone 30. I would actually make it 36 or 37 for highway runs. The higher the load / speed, the higher is the recommended pressure, precisely for the reason that the tire carcass needs support. The pothole impact is transferred through the tire to the rim/suspension for absorption but without the air pressure support, the tire becomes weak.

In fact if you see some of the German cars, for higher load/speed the pressure is supposed to be even as high as 40 psi in some cases. So definitely the rim/suspension can handle the higher pressure, but low pressure is a killer for tires.

This is my view, I do not wish to debate more.
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Old 27th May 2015, 13:24   #23
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

@akshay1234, @sandeep108, thank you both for the very useful feedback and pointers. Audi recommends 35 front 32 rear for low weight, and 38/42 for full load. I have always run on lower than recommended pressure for all my cars before this (much smoother ride and traction at the cost of higher tire wear and fuel consumption), but for the Audi, I was maintaining "correct" recommended pressure. Since that's not worked well for me, I am going to try running slightly lower pressures (accounting for significant inflation due to the much higher temperatures in India compared to Germany!). Will keep you updated on how this goes.
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Old 27th May 2015, 13:50   #24
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Default Re: Suggestions for better tires? and some other updates

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Akshay, believe me on my previous car I had a couple of bulges on my low profile tires while driving on city roads, just because I was careless and did not check my air pressure for 6 weeks or so. When checked the air pressure was 28 instead of recommended 32. So even a few points made a difference. If I had gone on the highway without setting the pressure at 32/33, for sure instead of just bulges, the tire would have burst/sidewall given way.

So if the recommended is 35, I would not make it 32, let alone 30. I would actually make it 36 or 37 for highway runs. The higher the load / speed, the higher is the recommended pressure, precisely for the reason that the tire carcass needs support. The pothole impact is transferred through the tire to the rim/suspension for absorption but without the air pressure support, the tire becomes weak.

In fact if you see some of the German cars, for higher load/speed the pressure is supposed to be even as high as 40 psi in some cases. So definitely the rim/suspension can handle the higher pressure, but low pressure is a killer for tires.

This is my view, I do not wish to debate more.
Sandeep I am not doubting what you say.

My points are only in reference to Indian roads.

No doubt the rim and suspension can handle the higher pressure, but what about potholes with the higher pressure?

With low profile tyres, I make it a point to check my air pressure every 2 weeks maximum, and to avoid potholes as much as I can. Low profile tyres are really a pain on our roads.

If you fill 36/37 in your tyres, and go on a highway run. What if you hit a pothole at a slightly higher speed? I am certain the chances of tyre damage are higher than if the pressure was a few points lower.

On my 3 series, with 225/45 R17 if I fill 36 there will not a pebble on the road I will not feel. If I fall into a pothole at anything above 40kmph I am certain I will have tyre damage. But keeping it at 30-32 for inside the city, and 34 for highways it is significantly more comfortable and usable. *touchwood* I have not had any tyre damage besides shredding a sidewall, but that was due to me enjoying the RWD

Please note I am not disagreeing with your theory Sandeep. Infact I am in full agreement, but I find it very hard to follow it on our roads.

Besides that there are lots of factors to take into consideration for tyre damage besides just the pressure, like car weight, tyre profile, suspension stiffness, tyre brand, sidewall thickness and tyre age.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 27th May 2015 at 13:53.
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Old 15th August 2015, 10:36   #25
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

So here's a 5 month, 6000 km update...

Regarding the tire pressure issue, been riding with 35/32 for some time now - that is, on the higher side rather than the lower side, and the tires are holding up. That said, I haven't really gone out of town on long, high speed highway drives - so I am not really confident that a third tire won't go bust. Audi keeps calling me every now and then to check on me and the car, which is sweet - but it doesn't really do anything to my confidence in the tires. One thing I have learnt though is to mentally switch into a very different state when I am driving her, compared to my Endy - and I respect and take every bump, pothole and speed-breaker with utmost care!

While the engine and drive is really beautiful, and the large sunroof is awesome in the rains, the car already comes up with tiny niggles and sounds in the cabin - an AC vent vibrating at resonance speeds, the seat creaking once in a while (needs some adjustment to get sorted out) - not something I would expect and accept in a luxury car. Even my all the manhandling for 5 years, my Endy doesn't have a single cabin squeak!

There still aren't too many red Audis in town, and Myra is still a pretty stunning presence on the road. Hope to enjoy that for many more years to come!
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Old 15th August 2015, 11:11   #26
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

It looks lovely in Red.
I also love the way the S line Cabrio A3 looks! There's one sitting in Terminal 1D in Delhi Airport as a publicity gatherer.
Very pretty red car!
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Old 29th August 2015, 17:30   #27
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

Quick update on the 3M plastic sheathing I had done for the bumpers - turned out to be a great decision! A couple of days back, I pulled to the side of the road and didn't realize there was this big concrete block, completely invisible against the muddy background, which hit the lower left edge of the bumper with a grating noise. But the plastic did a great job of ensuring that the paint remained untouched and pristine, saving what would have meant a very expensive touch up job.

Got the damaged plastic sheathing replaced today - and Myra is as good as ever.

Last edited by siddheshb : 29th August 2015 at 17:33. Reason: Removed pic which was coming up sideways for some reason
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Old 27th January 2016, 23:16   #28
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

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Quick update on the 3M plastic sheathing I had done for the bumpers - turned out to be a great decision! A couple of days back, I pulled to the side of the road and didn't realize there was this big concrete block, completely invisible against the muddy background, which hit the lower left edge of the bumper with a grating noise. But the plastic did a great job of ensuring that the paint remained untouched and pristine, saving what would have meant a very expensive touch up job.

Got the damaged plastic sheathing replaced today - and Myra is as good as ever.
Taking the delivery of my A3 very soon, am considering this protective sheet from 3M as they did it on my C class and it has been pretty useful.

How much did it cost you for the parts you mentioned and did they have to remove the bumpers for applying the protective sheet?

Also, do post an update if you've had any more experiences with respect to service or any other niggles

Thanks!
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Old 28th January 2016, 11:08   #29
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

@madnish30, the plastic sheathing is applied without any dismantling - it's pretty fascinating to watch them work, actually! It's almost like the way the tinted films are applied, except that the plastic is pulled/stretched and applied in such a way that curves and other features are taken care of too.

For the bumpers, it cost around 12,000, I think. The whole car would have cost around 1.2 lakh or thereabouts. Do bear in mind that on a white car, the plastic starts looking a little yellowish over time. For my red, it's no problem at all.

Myra is into her 11th month, around 8000 km. With the tires at 35/32 as recommended, I haven't had any other tire related issues for the last 4000 kms, although I must admit, I have kept the car within city limits (preferring my workhorse Endy for any out of city travel). The paint, the cabin - everything is as pretty as ever. I barely wash the car, preferring a gentle dusting with the microfiber brushes. Once a weekend, usually, she gets a little cleaning with wet microfiber cloth.

My only problem with the car is that it seems so delicate. The paint comes off very quickly if it comes in contact with flying debris like stones or metal cans off the front tires, and the structure of the car, along with lack of tire flaps means that I have got a few scratches and paint hurt on the lower sections of the front doors and around the tire wells. Also, encounter any pothole, rumbler strip or uneven road surface, and you need to really take it very slow indeed - there is quite a bit of noise from the underbody/shocks on bad roads. Maybe it's because I am spoilt by the Endy, but then I have owned other Ford sedans too, and never felt that way!

On good concrete/hotmix roads, you can hear your own breathing.

One thing is sure, though - in red and black, she is quite the stunner on the roads, and you better get used to stares and finger pointing as you cruise around.

And yes, on expressways, watch the speedometer closely - it's pretty easy to hit insane numbers while you enjoy the scenery!

All the best with your baby, and do post some pictures
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Old 7th February 2016, 21:51   #30
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Default Re: My Audi A3 Technology Diesel: Myra in stunning red

Hey,

Did you get the mud flaps with the A3?
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