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Old 27th December 2019, 21:16   #1
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Default What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

I have been buying new cars every 2 years, would like to share the things I learnt about the cars sold to customers. The vehicles delivered to stockyard undergo a PDI by PDI Managers of dealerships. They are differentiated by the nature of damage and things that can be fixed at the dealerships. A few cars among the lot are rejected and sent back to the manufacturer.

Then each car is analysed and cleaned up to look fresh before selling to a customer. This is when a customer is allowed to do his PDI at the stockyard or dealer place. The vehicle is subjected to a second PDI before bringing the vehicle to the showroom. A buyer thinks that he has done a PDI and everything looks fine, but he does not know what happens in the background.

The odometer of a car in stock yard can be reset to zero up to a certain limited kms, so the odometer reading shown at the time of delivery may not be genuine. The cars in the stock yard can become donors for another car if the repaint work is not up to the mark. The Chassis number written on body panels can be erased, door locks can be replaced and even body panels can be transplanted. This entire process is carried out under the nose of manufacturers with approvals from senior management. Then donor cars are fitted back with reworked or repainted body panels and sold as new cars to unsuspecting buyers.

I thought of penning down my experience as more such cars can be sold before the BS-VI deadline. I advise new car buyers to spend money on electronic paint gauge and do a check on paint thickness during PDI.

Last edited by Samurai : 28th December 2019 at 09:47. Reason: typo
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Old 27th December 2019, 21:27   #2
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

Nice to know indeed. Always wondered how showrooms were able to “fix” any sort of small to medium bodge job on the day of delivery and act as if it were no big deal, poor is the chap who takes home the donor car.
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Old 27th December 2019, 23:12   #3
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

Every stock yard has at least two certified tinkerers. I personally know one such tinker whom I use to get original paint job at a fraction of the cost.

Just a part of the business as not all damages really demand shipping back to factory. As Deehunk already mentioned, they categorize into minor, medium and major.

Minor touchups and dents are mostly corrected at the stock yard and sold to customers.

Medium damage such as buckled roof, collapsed bonnet are repaired and sold at a discount. Taxi operators want those juicy discounts.

I guess, only exceptions such as major mechanical faults ship back to factory.

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 27th December 2019 at 23:20.
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Old 28th December 2019, 05:53   #4
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

I still have some compulsions to not reveal the name of manufacturer, once it is cleared, will share all the information. We live in a country where banks reject a Rs.10 currency even if there is small dot of ink. The same banks provide 100% funding for non-virgin cars.
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Old 28th December 2019, 07:58   #5
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

Reading this in detail, one loses one’s faith in human nature.
And it looks quite like when one buys a car, one is doing so on a “wing and a prayer” just hoping nothing goes wrong.
This brings truth to the old saying - “As trustworthy as an Insurance Agent” or “As truthful as a (used) car salesman...
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Old 28th December 2019, 09:04   #6
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

This whole enlightment happened on Christmas day, my belief in an universal god became more solid.
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Old 28th December 2019, 09:14   #7
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

It happens because a large group of people still doesn’t do any PDI. One finalises the car, does few test drives and voila the car is at home. I am just beginning my journey with BHPians, but when I bought my car 2 years back, the knowledge I gained here helped me to short list the car. And I am pretty sure if I hadn’t learned the details I would have just bought a car for the needs at home.
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Old 28th December 2019, 11:24   #8
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

I picked up an XUV5oo in June. The first specimen which was alloted to me, mysteriously got Sunvisor fitted in between I receving images over WA and seeing it in person. It was a Red flag good enough for me to reject that piece. I waited a week to get another piece.

Sometimes in the excitement of picking a new vehicle, we tend to get excited and may end up overlooking such minute details. The key is to be thorough.
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Old 28th December 2019, 14:17   #9
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

The dealer here in question failed because the rough patches of paint were found just before the delivery. The vehicle had been cleaned, washed and parked outside. The vehicle was not inspected at stock yard before bringing for delivery. If it had been inspected, they would have covered up the juggard work. As Shankar Balan rightly said, it is just a sense of trust or belief. There is no regulation to monitor the influence of a manufacturer on a dealer. Since I have seen all these in person, a car manfacturer just escapes and lower level staff are either held responsible or sacked. The fat elephants live on in their place.

Last edited by deehunk : 28th December 2019 at 14:27.
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Old 28th December 2019, 16:10   #10
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

At some point we need to trust others. It is not possible to verify all relevant points before the delivery. We may have a list and do PDI, but if unscrupulous elements want to mislead – not sure how far it is possible to detect all issues.

Manufacturer or Dealer – all are part of the ecosystem. There is no right or wrong about it. Their main concern is to ensure minimum cost and damage. They do all things to ensure that the inventory is salvaged. I think scrapping of the car is done only in extreme conditions. Delegate scandal is fresh in our memory where renowned manufacture was ready to compromise.

Heard people saying that acquiring a new asset – car, house, etc. – you should be fortunate to have it without any issues and some percentage of luck is involved. It seems this is true with experience mentioned in this thread.

The last thing we can expect as a buyer is that if there are any issues – the dealer/manufacturer is transparent about it and inform the buyer so that an informed decision can be made.
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Old 28th December 2019, 16:36   #11
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

The intent of this thread was to expose the other side of PDI's a prospective buyer may do before the delivery. The buyer may be doing a PDI on a car which has been ripped apart before booking itself at the dealership. This is not to be confused with a PDI the buyer does at the time of booking. The odometer readings are tampered after driving a car between stock yard and bodyshop. The dealer ensures that everything is perfect before a buyer does the PDI.

Last edited by deehunk : 28th December 2019 at 16:38.
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Old 28th December 2019, 20:21   #12
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

This so called "virginity" we are talking about is at the dealer's end. But does anybody know what goes on with your beloved car before it reaches the dealer's stockyard?

I have worked with a renowned OEM based near Pune in the production department for 5 years. I worked in the repair area after the car rolls out at the end of line. So let me shed some light on what goes on inside the production facility

1. Small dings and paint chips are extremely common in many cars rolling off daily and these are taken care of at the finishing line which is just before the car is green tagged to be sent to the company stockyard.

2. After a car rolls off the conveyor, it has to undergo a roller test. This test is used basically to check whether ABS(if present) and the handbrake works upto the standards. This test is kind of harsh on both the brakes and many times it causes some wheel lockup on applying handbrake.

3. After the roller test comes the emission test. Here the engine is revved till the redline to get 3-5 readings while the car is stationary.

4. After emission test comes the track test. Here the car is driven pretty roughly over potholes, small speedbreakers to check if there are any loose items in the car. It is also again checked for ABS and the drivers are instructed to fully apply the brakes at high speeds to see if the ABS works perfectly or not. This causes your beloved car to come to a screeching halt.

5. Also most of the certified drivers inside the plant do not have the luxury of driving such fancy cars once they step out of the plant and thus they drive them rather carelessly as if they are taking it for a joyride.

6. I have seen workers sleep in the cars during 3rd shift, eat chips and biscuits inside the car and throw the wrappers below the seats.

7. At the final line usually they perform all the alignment of body panels. This includes doors,boot and the bonnet. If you see how the operators hammer away at the hinges and the kad kad sound the aforementioned body parts make when they are bent, you will faint.

8. And even though the speed limit inside the plant where I used to work was 10 kmph while on the outside it was 20 kmph, accidents do happen and I have seen badly damaged cars being repaired and then sold off to the unsuspecting customer.

Of course all this is from my personal experience of working with the said OEM and I am not generalizing this for everybody else.

Last edited by ram87pune : 28th December 2019 at 20:23.
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Old 28th December 2019, 22:35   #13
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

I am glad Ram that you opened up the topic which I too had heard from an After Sales Manager of reputed car manufacturer. This is what I too wanted to share since we will be seeing stock clearance sales before BS-VI deadline. Since our interactions happen with the dealer, we try to blame them for everything.

Last edited by Aditya : 29th December 2019 at 19:09. Reason: ASM
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Old 29th December 2019, 05:55   #14
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshBabu View Post
....It is not possible to verify all relevant points before the delivery. We may have a list and do PDI, ... how far it is possible to detect all issues.

Manufacturer or Dealer – all are part of the ecosystem. ....Their main concern is to ensure minimum cost and damage. They do all things to ensure that the inventory is salvaged.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ram87pune View Post
..... they drive them rather carelessly as if they are taking it for a joyride... eat chips and biscuits inside the car and throw the wrappers below the seats.
..... the operators hammer away at the hinges and the kad kad sound the aforementioned body parts make when they are bent, you will faint. ...seen badly damaged cars being repaired and then sold off to the unsuspecting customer.
It is practically not possible for a car buyer to detect any major flaws in a car by doing a PDI(in engine/powertrain, structural flaws, electronics, suspension). All these flaws if any will surface only after the vehicle is put to use post purchase.

All that a buyer needs to do is check out the VIN number to get an idea of its manufacturing date and how long the car has been in the inventory/stockyard. Again, it doesn't matter even if it is a few months old. Depending on the popularity/sales, a car may fly off the shelf or take months to be sold. The concern here is that if the vehicle remains unused for a really long time (say more than 6 months), it may develop issues.

As eager enthusiasts, one may flock to the stockyard to check out the car before purchase. Once a car with a particular VIN number is allotted, rejecting it based on a visual PDI would be childish. You may end up selecting a perfectly good looking car that may turn out to be a lemon or the car you 'inspected' may have looked suspicious but may turn out to be a real workhorse. There is an element of chance here.

Buying vehicles have become like any other commodity purchase. Nothing much to fret about. More and more people are buying, using and replacing with a new one down a few years.
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Old 29th December 2019, 07:06   #15
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Default re: What happens before you do your PDI? The innocence of new car buyers

I agree with your statement, my Rapid was a workhorse for me, there the dealer was caught for repainting some patches to cover up scratches.
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