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Old 18th June 2010, 09:36   #31
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Wow you got a cracker of a deal. I booked it in May and just got the Insurance discount, Extended warranty and a 10k cash discount
@ancientmariner: Not exactly a cracker as this is a Sep '09 BS III vehicle.
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Old 18th June 2010, 17:15   #32
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Default Roadtrip gone awry (Continued)

It’s almost 1700 hrs when we reach Thol. We buy the tickets. Apparently it costs more, but my friend just handed over a 100 Rs not and we three were in alongwith the Car. From the Entry to the lakebed is a winding and crooked path laden with the Baval trees (Acacia Arabica). It’s just beautiful.



I maneuver the car in between those trees and we reach a plain land spread over a few acres. The lake is full at some places while the rest of the land just lies there, and is used to grow vegetation by the nearby villagers. It is also used a grazing ground.

Our idea is to take the car as close to the lake as possible so that we can get some greats shots of the car with the Green cover, the lake and the birds in the background.

At some places, the villagers have dug out small trenches to get the water from the lake to the fields. On our lake to the lakebed, we encounter a trench. It was a bit wide so I take the car a bit farther to cross it where it narrows down. Vinu instructs me not to slow down the car and just maintain a constant speed. Nevertheless, I ignore his advice as I am unsure about the depth of the trench as it filled with water. If it turns out to be deep, the suspension will go for a toss and the underbody too.

I downshift to the first gear and slowly try to cross the trench, the car descents a bit and I am thinking “This is not that deep”. I accelerate a bit to cross, and well, we are still there. Damn!

I steer a bit and then accelerate a bit more, and the left front tyre just keeps rotating and there’s slimy mud all over the car. I look on in surprise.

Vinu alights and checks out the front tyres. They aren’t down, that deep. I once again put the car in 1st gear and accelerate, no luck, the front tyre just kept on sinking more. More than worried, I was a bit excited.

‘Wow, this is the first time this has happened to me. Getting the car out will be fun’

I check out the situation. Both the front tyres are almost 5-6 inches down in a small trench. The rear right tyre is also almost 3-4 inches down in the wet ground. “This is gonna be easy yaar”, I say to myself. We just need the tyres to get some traction.

Vinu starts hunting fro some stones that can be placed beneath the tyres and I decide to chill out a bit and take in the moment. Arun keeps on blabbering about the FIFA matches he might miss.

I look around. There are birds, perched around the lake. The plain ground is vast. Some kids are out with the cattle to graze. It’s a bit cloudy and in short, it’s pleasant. Aaah, this is life!

After about 10 minutes, Vinu is back. He just got a few stones, the land is devoid of stones of any kind; just wet, slimy mud. In the meantime, the kids who are out to graze the cattle come over. They are giggling and enjoying this. This is what they might be thinking.

‘3 city people come in a flashy new vehicle and driving straight into a muddy pit. What a bunch of Morons!’

Anyways, we try to stick the stones below the front left tyre and try to accelerate the car. No luck. The mud is almost all over the vehicle now. Damn. Water fills in the pit and it gets slimier. Zero traction. Vinu’s clothes are all messed up with the mud and slime.

Arun, who had undergone an operation in his right hand couldn’t help. So I asked him to get some pics instead of the car stuck in the mud.

Plan A failed, so we decide to go for Plan B; ask for help from the villagers. We walked over to the houses a few hundred metres away and asked for some wooden planks and maybe a spade. And the guy’s attitude appalled us. He did not care what happened to us. He refused to give the wooden plank saying that it was used in his house (though it was lying around in the yard). Anyways, we had seen a spade on our way in to his farm and so we asked for it. He agreed hesitantly and we walked back with the spade and a few logs.

The number of spectators had now increased from 2 to almost 9. One kid asked for the spade and started digging away near the front tyre without us asking him to do anything. He boasted ‘Aisi kitni gaadiya nikal ke di he maine, akele’. We dug the area around the front tyre and pushed the log beneath it. Once again we tried, NO LUCK. We tried almost every way, but in vain. We even tried pushing the car, but it wouldn’t budge.

In the process of digging the earth below the front tyre, the kid hit the bumper a few times and I asked him to back off. We also tried to place the log just behind the front tyre and lift it a bit to place some stones and logs beneath it, but it just created a glaring dent and nothing else.

Running out of options, I decided to call for help. It was already 18:45. I called in the Manager at Cargo Motors and explained him the situation. He in turn gave me some guy, Dharmesh’s number and assured me that he would help. My phone’s Airtel Network was giving away. Lucky for us my friend had a BSNL connection that works in the most unexpected places.

Dharmesh heard the complete problem and gave me the toll free number. I called in and reported about my Punto being stuck in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a village. Some guy in a weird accent tried to understand. He asked for the registration number of my car, a moment’s silence, “Sir ye gaadi ka information to hamare computer me reflect nahi ho raha”! And I was aghast!

I asked him, how can that be?! He had no idea. Next, he asked the date of purchase and the chassis number. And I was furious. Luckily, I was having the documents of the car and blurted out the chassis number.

Another moment of silence!

“Sir, ek toll free number deta hu uspe call kijiye”

I asked, “Kyu? Ek aur toll free number?”

“Sir, aapki gaadi Punto he na, isliye”

Me, “Punto he to kya?”

The guy, “Punto Fiat ka he, Ye TATA ka helpline he”

And I was seething with anger. I took down the number and called in. This time a lady answers, Neelam.

I tell her about the issue, she confirms the registration number, DOP, my contact number and asks me to hold on while she connects to a Tow-away service in Ahmedabad.

A moment of silence…

After a couple of minutes, the line comes alive.

“Sir, I have a towing service personnel in conference. Please give him the directions.”

The guy was probably pissed off that I had called in at this hour, 1900 hrs. It takes a couple of mins for me to get him the exact location. Then he says

“Thik he. Me aata hu Sarkhej se. Thoda time lagega”
I said, “Time bole to kitna?”

He says, ‘1 ghanta to lagega Boss. Crane bhejunga’

Me: ‘1 ghanta to bahut late hoga yaar. 8 baje aaoge? Yaha pe hum lake pe fase he. Andhera ho raha he’

He says, “Time to lagega. 8-8.30 ke aaspaas aa jaenge”

I was aghast!

“And yeah, one more thing” he adds “We will not be responsible for any damage to your car”

Me: “What damage?”

“We will be using a crane. So the bumper may be damaged. It may also come off. So we won’t be responsible. If you agree, we will come”

What other option do I have here?! I was shaken. I asked him to come. He disconnected and the lady at other end told me that she would give the driver my number and be in touch. Who cares?! Damn!

A new problem arises, the kids keep on pestering us for money. I told them to help me get out the vehicle. They tell me that a Tractor from the nearby village can pull us out but that will cost me 1000 Rs apart from the tip to them.

Blatant extortion I say.

The village they were referring to was a bit far and they did not have any contact numbers. The kids agreed to go and call them for a few hundred bucks, but I was not going to give into such blackmail.

It was already 19:15 and getting dark. Suddenly Arun had an idea. As he in touch with a few other professional photographers who come here to shoot, one of them had put up a Local’s number on his Facebook account for any kind of help in Thol.

He sends a sms and we receive a number within a few minutes with the name Lilabhai.

I connect him and explain him the situation. He asks me where am I stuck? I explain him the directions. He listens patiently and the say, ‘I am already home, but I will come’.

Thank God.

I ask, ‘Thanks. How long will it take to reach here?’

He says, ’10 minutes. I will bring a Tractor along to tow the vehicle out’. I was ecstatic. I thank him profusely and we light our last cigarette. Finally, we will be out. The children didn’t seem to take it quite well. They were disappointed as now they won’t be able to extort from us.

I call back the Fiaat helpline and ask the operator to cancel the towing service request explaining him the issue. They readily do that and ask to call back if it does not work out.

After 15 mins and at 1925 hrs, we hear a roar at a distance. There some light too.

Hurray, it’s the Tractor. There are 4 teenagers on it and they are driving it at a menacingly high speed. They take it menacingly close to the car and stop right in front of it. They inspect the situation.

Lilabhai also joins in. Unlike other cars, Punto has a hole in the front where the towing van can attach their rope. These guys have the rope, but no idea about the clamp that can be screwed in and then tied to the rope. They are confused. They check the car from all the sides. No other hooks.

It’s getting dark and I am getting worried.

Finally, one of them asks me for the toolbox and VIOLA, the clamp is in there. Thank God.

The clamp is screwed in, the rope fastened, I get in the car and they pull. One pull and we are out!

Sigh of relief!

They tow us to some dry land. The kids slowly head back home with the spade murmuring. But this service does not come free. I had to shell out 500 Rs for it. Anyways, the best part was that we were free.

Lilabhai guided us to a spot closer to the lake where we could wash of all the dirt from the car. It was dark and already 2000 hrs. Lilabhai is actually the caretaker of the lake and stays nearby. He helps us wash off the dirt and stays with us till we start back.

We thank him profusely and finally head back towards home tired, battered, soiled, pennyless and a glaring dent on the bottom, just behind the right front tyre and a few scratched on the front bumper.

This trip turned out to be more picturesque than I wished it to be. Damn. We managed to click some pics too for you guys to partake in. Till next time, Adios!

Regards,

tOm!
Attached Thumbnails
Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7003.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7004.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7006.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7010.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7012.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7022.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7025.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7026.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7027.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7028.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7031.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7032.jpg  

Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dsc_7037.jpg  


Last edited by ?ushk@r : 18th June 2010 at 17:22. Reason: Sign off missing
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Old 18th June 2010, 17:41   #33
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Pushkar, you could have easily gotten rid off this situation by using the jack to lift the car and putting some gravel underneath the tyre. Even if this hadn't worked, you could still have replaced the wheel with the stepny which without the mud and water would have easily given the traction you need to come out of that ditch.
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Old 18th June 2010, 18:00   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Pushkar, you could have easily gotten rid off this situation by using the jack to lift the car and putting some gravel underneath the tyre. Even if this hadn't worked, you could still have replaced the wheel with the stepny which without the mud and water would have easily given the traction you need to come out of that ditch.

Ummmm... how would he put a jack in mud and expect it to bear the weight of the car?
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Old 18th June 2010, 18:16   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
Pushkar, you could have easily gotten rid off this situation by using the jack to lift the car and putting some gravel underneath the tyre. Even if this hadn't worked, you could still have replaced the wheel with the stepny which without the mud and water would have easily given the traction you need to come out of that ditch.

Well, as I mentioned the whole region was slimy and muddy. We tried with the jack too, but no luck in the sludge as it would keep slipping away. And well, we were in a lakebed so gravel was out of question as we were not even able to find stones in the area. The nearest road was about 1 km away. With continuous water flowing into the pit via the trench, there was no way we could get some dry mud or stones to fill in as there was nothing around!

Regards,

tOm!

Last edited by ?ushk@r : 18th June 2010 at 18:23.
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Old 18th June 2010, 19:24   #36
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Nice review with nice pictures!

It's great to see a 1.4 petrol amongst the MJDs on the forum! You might experience a few niggles at first but most of them will be sorted out once you clock miles on the Odo. Enjoy your ride! She's a real beaut!
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Old 19th June 2010, 09:59   #37
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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Nice review with nice pictures!

It's great to see a 1.4 petrol amongst the MJDs on the forum! You might experience a few niggles at first but most of them will be sorted out once you clock miles on the Odo. Enjoy your ride! She's a real beaut!
Thanks a lot Suhaas. It's been almost a month and I am enjoying every part of it!

One question that I have for the forum is, I have got a pretty visible and glaring dent on the side skirts (I am not sure what it is called) just behind the Left front tyre as we tried to lift the Car using the log as a lever. Any help appreciated!
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Old 19th June 2010, 11:48   #38
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You guys had a hell of an outing!!!

Hope the dent is repairable.
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Old 19th June 2010, 12:30   #39
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You guys had a hell of an outing!!!

Hope the dent is repairable.
Yeah well, it was hell for sure. Had some really tense moments when it was getting dark!

I have circled the portion where the dent has formed due to using the log as a lever to lift one side of the Car. One mechanic to whom I had taken the Car fro a Wash said, 'Let it be that way. It will take a lot of effort to get that part fixed as it's a solid beam like stucture'. Any ideas?!
Attached Thumbnails
Point taken! BNW Fiat Grande Punto 1.4 Emo PK-dent.jpg  

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Old 15th November 2010, 12:38   #40
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Finally, I can post as 'ME' on my Car's thread!

As most you might know, I posted my experience using my Friend's account. Now finally, I am in and enjoying my Punto as well.

Cheers!
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Old 15th November 2010, 12:44   #41
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Finally, I can post as 'ME' on my Car's thread!

As most you might know, I posted my experience using my Friend's account. Now finally, I am in and enjoying my Punto as well.

Cheers!
Hey,

Welcome to tbhp. Can you please post more on the italian beauty. There are many 1.3 threads on tbhp, but not all 1.4 Punto owners are updating their threads regularly.

Whats the ODO now? What sort of mileage are you getting in city and highways (if at all any highway runs done)?

Also, where do you get your car serviced? Cargo or Aspi? how would you rate them?

Awaiting more updates from your end.

Cheers!!

Last edited by h@r$h@l : 15th November 2010 at 12:46.
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Old 15th November 2010, 13:08   #42
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Hey,

Welcome to tbhp. Can you please post more on the italian beauty. There are many 1.3 threads on tbhp, but not all 1.4 Punto owners are updating their threads regularly.

Whats the ODO now? What sort of mileage are you getting in city and highways (if at all any highway runs done)?

Also, where do you get your car serviced? Cargo or Aspi? how would you rate them?

Awaiting more updates from your end.

Cheers!!
Hey Harshal!

Well, it has been eventful journey. I have been driving only on weekends as you know driving within A'bad city is close to suicide. The bike's a better bet.

The Odo is 2500+ right now. Managed to get a dent on the left side skirt when I crashed into Thol. Got a few small scratches too. I haven't been keeping a tab on the mileage very often but it hovers around 11-12 kmpl. No highways runs till now. SG highway cannot be considered a highway so, well, only city driving.

Had my car serviced at Cargo Motors, S.G. Highway. The service was close to pathetic as they damaged my Power window motors. And a few emails and 2 weeks later, they replaced it under warranty.

Will have to try ASPI next time as they have opened up a showroom on the ring road near Ankur.

Planning for a few cosmetic mods like the scuff plates and maybe a few vinyls if I find the time.

In short, I am just loving it!

Regards,

tOm
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Old 15th November 2010, 13:19   #43
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Tom,

Thanks for your update. From what i know Cargo is pathetic in terms of service as well as sales. I went there a few days ago to get info on Punto along with a friend who is interested buying ARIA. They were just not interested.

Got to know that ASPI is way better so Might be heading to ASPI in a day or 2 as i am planning to get a punto too. Might wait till Jan though and get benefits on year end discounts.
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Old 15th November 2010, 14:13   #44
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Absolutely! I have never been to ASI, but what I read on TBHP from Dr Amit and probably a few others, Cargo should be avoided. Great to hear that you are going for the Punto. Probably, they might launch a Tjet in that too. Saw a Punto yest in that classy Maroonish color. Absolute drool maal!

A short note about my first service!

First service done at 1373 kms.
Experience: Worst
Dealer: Cargo Motors A'bad (S.G Highway)
Date: 12th August

Dropped my car in the morning, 10:30 AM. Left all the tools and other removable items at home. No major faults in the car. I just asked them for a check on the suspension for a slight noise, faulty number plate light and the front RHS door handle as they were a bit stiff. The service Advisor, Vraj, a teenager asked me to call for status updates during the day.

I started calling the Service center on all the phone numbers available since 1:30 PM. No response. Around 4:30 PM, after trying a lot calling the CRM, I finally called the showroom and they connected to me a receptionist at the Service Center. I asked her to enquire about the status and she told me that the CRM will call back. 1 hour later, I call in again and inform the receptionist that I haven't yrt received any update. She talks to someone in the background and tells me that the car is in Washing area and it will take almost 1.5 hrs for it to be ready.

However, I decided to drop in early owing to my previous exp with Cargo Motors. Midway, I receive a call from them that the car is ready. I reach the Service centre. The invoice is ready. I was charged just Rs 55 for the bulb replacement. I informed them that I wanted to inspect the car. A guy accompanied to me to my car. It was clean. The moment I reached near the car, one of the cleaners informed the guy Service advisor, 'Window me kuch problem he'. I was all ears. He checked the windows, the rear RHS Power window isn't functioning. Everyone around had no clue. Furthermore, a doorguard that I had stuck on the rear RHS door was missing. I was furious.

I asked them for an explanation and they were looking at each other for answers. The brought in a Mechanic who removed the door panel and started working on it. He hastily got it all together and disappeared. The Power window started working. However, the glass was ill-fitted. Apparently, it was 6:30 PM, their closing time. I demanded that the Mechanic be called back. Unfortunately he had left.

I asked the SA to to call the CRM. I explained to the CRM the issue and also mentioned the door-guard to be missing. He acknowledged the window issue but brushed the Door guard issue saying that it might have come off during their wash.

He asked me to leave the car and come the next day. I didn't like the way he replied, so I walked into the showroom and complained. The Sales Manager talked to someone in the Higher-ups and they instructed the CRM to resolve all my issues. I went back to the CRM's office and fortunately, the GM was also present there. Another frustrated Vista customer was giving him a piece of his mind.

After 15 mins, he asked me what can be done. I told him that I am taking the car and I want it to be picked up, fixed and dropped back. He agreed and ensured that it will be done on Monday.

3 days later, my car was picked and dropped back the same day in the evening with no work done at all. Apparently, now they have to change the Winder motor of the rear RHS window.

I gave both the CRM and the SA a piece of my mind.

The next day , I shot an email to the GM of Cargo Motors with CC to Ravi Bhatia and Service@Fiat. Got an instant reply from the GM apologizing for the issue and he also informed me that they have placed an order for the defective part which will take a week's time approx and will revert back to me to get it fixed.

And finally after loads of emails and phone calls, both the rear window winder motors were replaced by Cargo Motors under warranty. My car is trouble free again.

Seems like marking a CC to Fiat worked!

Last edited by @tombum : 15th November 2010 at 14:24.
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Old 15th November 2010, 15:01   #45
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Ouch! Not a great experience, but glad that things worked out in the end!

I had a question: Lots of cars in Ahd. have these yellow strips pasted on the H/Ls. What are they for? Advertising?
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