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Old 13th June 2019, 14:41   #1111
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Hi Gannu, Truly inspirational stuff! I own a 1.5 TDI, done about 70,000kms and planning to change the suspension. Is there any list of parts that you can share? I know a dealer in Kashmere gate who is authorized TSW supplier.

Thanks much.
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Old 7th July 2019, 03:04   #1112
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Default re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Hello Gannu Sir,

The ownership review you have penned down is best to the bits! Wish you many more kms and blissful memories with her! My uncle owns a Polo 1.5 TDI 2015 and he isn’t satisfied with his stock headlamps. Will just changing to an all led setup do the trick? My major query is by any way the new Skoda Rapid’s headlights be swapped with the Polo’s?

Thanking in advance,
EK
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Old 3rd August 2019, 23:33   #1113
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Guys, sorry for a late update. Was caught up with never-ending work as usual! Here’re all the updates since my last post – important and the not-so-important ones too; this is going to be a really long one so please bear with me!

The 150,000 km service:

Completed the 10th service at home during the second weekend of May. I had a set of filters with me except the cabin air filter. Sourced a Hella filter from Boodmo (link) although they had the VW OEM filter in addition to several other makes including a super expensive PM2.5 one!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190510_083457.jpg

For the engine oil, I went with Shell Helix Ultra since it was the cheapest synthetic oil available in the 5W40 grade.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190511_081859.jpg

I sourced it from Amazon for Rs. 2460. I have no clue how Amazon dealers retail the oil for this cheap and this isn’t a rebottled fake oil either. If you source it from a local Shell fuel outlet, the same bottle would set you back by Rs. 4xxx; a little cheaper if you get it from one of the authorised distributors. I knew the Helix Ultra did not meet the recommended VW 505.01 standards but honestly guys, I couldn’t care less as I felt timely oil changes mattered more (I’m not advocating pouring some random vegetable oil in your engine!). Have a look at the internals of the engine of this Camry in the US with 454,000 miles on the odo, which seems to have underwent consistent oil changes (and Mobil 1 has nicely leveraged it too):



Back to the topic, since this was a 4L bottle, I wanted an additional 1L bottle (required quantity to be poured = 4.3L) and BHPian ike helped me with one. Thanks man! But more than that, I am not going to forget our first meeting at the epic Kappa Chakka Kandhari restaurant!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190630_103813.jpg

Chennaites, if you love delectable non-vegetarian food, do not miss this restaurant! Ever since our first meeting, I’ve been to this restaurant at least once every month – they have an epic Sunday morning breakfast which is a 7-course meal just like the way it is done in Syrian Christian households. If I had a bone to pick with them, that would be the music they play – it’s the same BGM track over and over!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190505_142527.jpg

Back to the topic, technically this would be the fourth engine oil brand that I’ve used after Castrol (during the warranty period), Motul, Liqui Moly and Shell. I’d highly rate Liqui Moly among these as there was a perceivable reduction in the engine noise and the clatter after the oil change. I’d definitely like to try Mobil 1 in the next change.

She was laden with dirt when we arrived at Palakkad after a night’s drive.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190511_081554.jpg

Gave her a nice foam wash after the service including the engine bay and she was gleaming until the short burst of rains that lasted barely 10 minutes, during our return journey to Chennai. Such a short lived joy!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190511_082916.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190511_094650.jpg

Details of parts follow:

Engine oil – Shell Helix Ultra, Amazon, Rs. 2460
Cabin air filter – Hella 358.130-701, Boodmo, Rs. 360

RHS tail light replacement:

A reckless biker who was tailgating me ended up breaking the RHS tail light when he could not brake in time at a signal. He wasn’t maintaining sufficient distance behind my car and ended up ramming his bike’s handlebar against the light, breaking it. We pulled over ahead of the signal but I was in no mood to argue, plus he was riding with his wife, so better sense prevailed and I decided to move on.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190420_075056.jpg

Every single time I was approaching the driver-side door to step inside, I couldn’t stand the sight of the cracked light and began searching for replacements. And this was just for the outer unit; the inner part which houses the bulb sockets were safe and could be reused. Checked ebay.de and nope, no vendors were selling one with cheap international shipping. Checked ebay.uk and the ebay from few other countries – same story. The last stop was Alibhai. I was pretty sure I could find one here and bingo! There were a few vendors retailing the 6R type tail light. Sorted the search list with the no. of orders, checked the reviews and ordered one for 43.75 USD. One thing was for sure – I’ll have to pay some customs duties; 40% of the order value tops.

2 weeks later, the consignment landed at my workplace but I was at our shipyard on that day. Requested a colleague to collect the shipment from our dispatch section on my behalf and I reconfirmed a couple of times, if the dispatch section dude asked for any money to be paid. Guess what?! Nil! Zero duties! Man, I was so relieved! Thank you so much India Post!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190511_104219.jpg

The quality of the unit was as good as the European one I had before and the inner part fit perfectly with all the tabs interlocking. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any differences between the Czech made LHS unit and the Chinese RHS unit.

Price: 43.75 USD (Rs. 3235)
Source: Aliexpress

Euro air guide channel:

Some of the Polo/Vento owners have already done this swap – i.e. changing the stock air guide channel with the European unit which draws fresh air from the outside; the Indian trim OTOH sucks the air from within the engine bay.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img20190512wa0002.jpg

Ordered the unit from Boodmo and swapped it during the 150,000 km service. Takes all of 10 minutes to do the swap – undo 2 Torx screws on the either side of the trim, pull out the plastic hose, remove the trim and replace it with the new unit, connect the hose and fasten the screws. Pretty sure the IAT would have dropped by a few degrees C but I couldn’t feel any perceivable differences in the day-to-day usage. Cooler air for the engine at least!

Got to appreciate Boodmo’s on-time delivery for this part! The unit was shipped through FedEx and reached me as per the promised timeline.

Part number: 1T0 805 971
Price: Rs. 1139
Source: Boodmo

Soundproofing [Phase I]:

I wanted to insulate the cabin inside from the rackety diesel engine’s noise and the road noise for quite some time now. Since I was also getting the stock speakers replaced, I decided to get the damping done as well. Researched a bit and found that butyl based sheets are commonly used for damping and Dampmat, an Indian product was very common among the installers here. There were alternate brands to consider too. But looks like damping isn’t cheap! I scoured through various threads on our forum and saw quotes ranging from 15k to 50k INR! *gulp*

I did not have the time to take this activity up as a DIY since it was going to be time consuming (being the first time) + no standby car at home (with all the door cards and trims removed). I decided to get it done from a good reputed shop instead. BHPian ike suggested a shop which was recommended by his friend and a BHPian Raghav_kSri Radio Warehouse (Google Maps) and the installer in charge – Karthik. I spoke to Karthik and the dude seemed pretty knowledgeable. He was however, suggesting that we go with either StP (a Russian brand) or DrArtex (a Singapore based brand). I went through the home pages of both the brands and they seemed good in their own respect. Price difference was minimal between the two but StP had more users and feedback. Russia vs Singapore – which one would you choose if came to technology? Ultimately, they were butyl sheets which was what I wanted. We decided to pay Karthik a visit and to check out the place.

The shop is definitely big and stocks different accessories along with some popular audio brands. He showed us the sample damping sheets as well. Inquired about the pricing for 4 doors + spare wheel well + bonnet, decided to go with StP and we left the place after agreeing to meet the next day (which was a Sunday BTW). Come Sunday, we reach the place in our respective rides (the GT and S Cross) and Karthik arrives a few minutes later. To our dismay, he does not have the required quantity of StP sheets to do the complete work! I am not sure if Karthik completely overlooked this part when he gave the commitment the previous day or if they wanted to promote the other brand. Either way, having driven 25 km all the way from home on a peak summer day with temperatures soaring at 40+ ‘C, I did not want to return home with nothing so I decided to go ahead with DrArtex’s sheets.

Karthik along with a bunch of guys started the work – stripping the door cards starting from the co-driver side door, disconnecting the cables and connectors, cleaning the innards with the IPA solution, applying the sheets and using the roller to evenly press the sheet against the sheet metal. The stock speakers were also removed from each door after drilling the rivets out. More on that in the next section.

Here are some WIP snaps. With the door trims removed:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_103923.jpg

The butyl sheets being applied on the inner and outer panels:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_110537.jpg

The hood application:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_130724.jpg

The spare wheel well area:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_132628.jpg

After almost 4 hours and attending to another car in between, work was wrapped up. I paid Rs. 25,000 for the material and labour for the damping, swapping the 4 speakers and swapping the 2 ORVMs. I could immediately feel the doors no longer had that clunky sound when they were knocked and closed with a noticeably louder thud! I started the engine and the noise intrusion into the cabin had definitely come down by a good deal! BHPian ike too nodded in agreement (he’s a potential customer as he intends to do the damping on his S-Cross too). Shook hands with Karthik and we left the place. I could sense there was a definitive improvement in the NVH.

Couple of before and after screenshots from the Sound Meter app just to get a rough idea about the reduction in noise levels inside the cabin. The yellow colored dot indicates the average noise level over an approx. 10 minute recording:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-screenshot_20190602090522.png

In a car equipped with a petrol engine, the silence inside would be deafening! In the end, I would rate Karthik and his team’s work 4/5 (one point reduced for not sticking to the commitment of using StP sheets). I could have bragged that I have Russian damping tech. on my ride LOL! But hey, at least the engine hood does! Thank you so much Raj, for giving me company on that day!

So Phase I of the damping project done and dusted. If there ever is anything like Phase II (i.e. if I save up enough for that), that would be the ceiling, floor and the wheel wells. I reckon this work should be done immediately after the car purchase.

Focal IC165 VW speakers:

These 6.5” coaxial speakers from Focal are a straight swap on most VW cars. The good part is we don’t need those extra spacer rings when installing these units and the stock connectors plug into the speakers without any modifications (usually the other speakers come with bare terminals). They come with the spacer built-in the construction just like the stock speaker. This unit used to retail online on Flipkart and Amazon before but not anymore (Flipkart, Amazon). They’ve been out of stock for quite some time now. I checked ebay.de and found a dealer based out of France, retailing these for 118 Euros for a pair including shipping to Chennai. That’s roughly Rs. 9700 for a pair or Rs. 19389 for 2 pairs. Flipkart used to sell them for a similar price. The dealer had barely 15 reviews to his credit (all 100% positive though). I sent a message to the dealer and he replied promptly. I bit the bullet.

10 days later (and that’s fast by postal standards!), the shipment arrived at my office. And again, I was not present and requested a friend to collect it. Looks like Lady Luck was by my side once again as I didn’t have to pay customs duties! And this was for a box weighing at nearly 6 kg!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190522_210022.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190522_211310.jpg

The speakers were of the plug-n-play type – drill out the rivets of the stock speakers, unplug the connector, remove the speaker, rivet the new speakers in place and plug the connectors. The audio installer did not have a hand rivet gun (glad that we asked him about it during our visit the previous day!) and I carried mine along with the rivets from my tool stash.

Check out the puny magnets of the stock speakers and the paper based cone of the woofer:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_103617.jpg

With the new speaker installed on the FL door:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190602_120052.jpg

And with the new speakers, there was a marked difference compared to the stock ones in terms of the sound quality. I suppose any aftermarket speaker is a better upgrade over these stock speakers! The lows were tight and punchy, the soundstage had improved, the highs were a little too shrieky and a notch higher to my liking, even with a flat EQ setting. I could hear all those little details in the songs that weren’t audible before. Bonus - I was able to crank up the volume a bit more without the speakers cracking or distorting.

I could imagine what a good powerful amp, subwoofer and a better set of speakers could do! I saw some spare wheel based stealth subwoofers which sits inside the cavity of the spare wheel, in place of the styrofoam tool kit. That’s a nice way to integrate a sub without eating the space on the boot. For now, I am done with the sound upgrade on my ride!

Part number: Focal IC165 VW
Price: 236 Euros (Rs. 19389)
Source: eBay

OEM rubber mats:

The driver-side custom cut noodle mat had become bald on the area where I used to rest my feet. This has happened before but on these noodle mats, it wears out much faster and I realised a thick rubber/Alu. sheet would have helped. Someone on the forum had also shared a link of one such rubber mat from Aliexpress which could be screwed to the main mat.

But for now, I’ve got a set of these OEM rubber mats just for a change while I’ve cleaned and packed the noodle mats. I sourced the set from Boodmo and I ended up receiving just the driver-side mat! I was a bit shocked; I mean you can’t pay Rs. 2000 just for 1 rubber mat no? That’s super high even for 3D Kagu standards I thought and just to be sure, I checked up with my VW Navsari Stores in-charge – Ravi Mistry. He sent me snaps of the complete kit (there are 4 mats in all) and confirmed the pricing is for 1 complete set.

I sent a mail to their support desk with the snaps, they promptly contacted the dealer who had shipped the lone mat and requested them to ship the whole set to me while apologising for this confusion. A few days later I received the complete set in a much larger and heavier box but I had that extra driver-side mat with me.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190610_184612.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190610_200255.jpg

Contacted their support desk once again to have them pick the mat but they suggested that I keep the mat as a gesture from their side (+ the free return shipping is an added expense for them). I intend to get an alu. checkered plate for the driver side mat for resting the feet.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190612_075308.jpg

Appreciate their gesture and it looks like Boodmo’s customer support is indeed improving over time but they still have a long way to go especially the inventory management part (more on it in a later part). My very first order with Boodmo was cancelled and the amount was refunded since they didn’t have the part in stock. The last 3 orders in the last 3 months OTOH, have relatively went smoothly.

Part number: 6RG 061 500A
Price: Rs. 2263
Source: Boodmo

Window tints:

It’s been a long time since I wanted to get window shades for the car. The heat this summer has been intolerably HOT! I realise this especially when I go to our shipyard and park the car in the open lot. The car turns into a giant greenhouse after a few hours! And I don’t leave the windows opened (some folks leave an inch opened from the top) as dust is a bigger issue.

So VW has a set of OEM shades that retail for approx. 2700 INR for the rear door windows, rear quarter glasses and the rear windshield (part number - 6RG 064 365). Being an OEM product, the shades would be perfectly cut to suit the windows but this set did not have the shades for the driver and co-driver door windows. What a bummer! I decided to go with tints. This goes against the current law which prohibits tints of any kind on the glass but I had no choice.

I decided to go with Garware Suncontrol International Lite, Turf Green SRC model which is marketed to have a 60% VLT, 99% UV rays rejection and 25 – 35% heat rejection properties. Got the work done from a local car accessory shop in Palakkad (The Car Beauty, Chandranagar, Google Maps). Cost me 1800 INR for the complete tinting job except the front windshield. Excellent workmanship – the guy took his sweet time to complete the work. This will give me some respite from the sweltering heat and the innards are visible from the outside; it isn’t pitch dark as some of the tints on the cars I’ve seen here in Chennai.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190618_103819.jpg

A trip to Wayanad!

Completed a trip to Wayanad with my wife and in-laws few months back. We were seven of us in two cars – in-law’s Punto MJD and my car. I’ve always wanted to drive through the legendary Thamarassery Churam or Thamarassery La for the folks who’ve been to Ladakh. Yep, it’s a mountain pass. After the floods and the landslides, they’ve improved the roads considerably and we had a very pleasant drive throughout.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_5623.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_5793.jpg

Legend has it that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki
The British used to transport spices from Wayanad to Beypore Port, Kozhikode via the Kuttiady route. Between 1700 to 1750, they searched for a new route which could reduce the distance. For which, they sought the help of Karinthandan Moopan (chief), a tribal leader from the Paniya tribe in Wayanad. The route via the Thamarassery ghat was found with the help of Karinthandan. Karinthandan was later shot to death.
Thereafter, the dead man’s soul started troubling the travellers who’d pass through this place. Finally an exorcist was summoned and he had chained the soul of Karinthandan to a huge banyan tree. This tree is known as Changala maram in Malayalam (changala – chain, maram – tree).

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_5636.jpg

And the legend of Karinthandan is being made into a movie wherein Vinayakan plays the titular role:

Name:  KARINTHANDAN POSTER.jpg
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Size:  81.2 KB

Truth be told, we visited Wayanad at the wrong time – it was the peak of summers during March and the whole place was dried up! The ideal time to visit is after the monsoons kick in. I’d love to revisit the place during the rains. This was a 2-day trip from my in-laws’ place at Malappuram and we covered a few places in and around Kalpetta and Sulthan Bathery – Banasura Sagar dam, Kuruvadweep, Puliyarmala Jain Temple and the temple at Thirunelli.

From the Banasura Sagar dam:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_5689.jpg

We stayed at Treebo Trend Brahma (GMaps) which turned out to be really good. Located bang in the centre of the town, clean linen, super-clean restrooms, a covered parking facility right outside the reception area and an attached vegetarian restaurant with a complimentary breakfast. I’d wholeheartedly recommend this place if you intend to stay at Wayanad with your friends or family.

ORVMs with indicators and electrically folding motors:

The newer Polos/Ventos/Rapids now come with electrically foldable external mirrors with indicators, an incremental update that came up during the later part of 2015 IIRC. A new unit which is currently assembled locally costs about 6500 INR. I ended up sourcing a pair from a friend Nikhil Patil, based out of Pune for 7000 INR. I guess these units came up from a vehicle which was declared a total loss.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190701_071910.jpg

So when the door cards were removed for applying the sound deadening butyl mats at the audio installer’s place, I carried the mirrors along. Swapping the mirrors with the stock units were a 5-minute job. Unplug the 10-pin female connector, undo the lone Torx screw that holds the mirror assembly to the door, remove the mirror and install the new mirror in the reverse order. But there are no terminals for the indicators and power folding yet! So I’ll be taking that up shortly. Just got done researching with the wiring diagrams. I also have a Chinese auto-folding unit with me which Nikhil had shipped along with the harness and a new mirror switch.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190803_221801.jpg

This unit apparently takes the signal from the indicator as the input for opening/closing the mirror. I’ll get to know more of it once I have the wiring terminals in place and connected. Will update this thread accordingly.

Warning triangle:

My car came with a warning triangle in a pouch and was kept above the spare wheel.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190713_121852.jpg

There’s a pocket in the boot trim for storing the warning triangle but a different unit. This unit comes in a red box (a green one in Skoda cars; not sure if they bundle one in Skoda cars here though) and used to be bundled with the Vento before; not anymore. Here’s one from our official review:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-vento-wt.jpg

The black pouch used to be irritating every single time I saw it when the boot liner was raised. I decided to get it replaced with the OEM box type unit which could fit the pocket. Sourced one from eBay.de from a Latvian dealer and it ended up being cheaper than a non-OEM unit from Amazon locally!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190619_214656.jpg

Fits like a glove in the designated pocket with absolutely no movements. I wonder why these guys skimped on things like these?!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190620_065127.jpg

Part number: 7L0 860 251
Price: 9.29 Euro (Rs. 763)
Source: eBay

Front bumper lip:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Sourced a roll of rubber lip for the front bumper some time back:
Also got the self-tapping screws and washers for fixing it to the bumper. Now if I can just find one thing – TIME!
Done and dusted! Borrowed a cordless screwdriver from a colleague and completed this activity over a weekend from the apartment’s parking lot. Installation was simple – jack up the car and rest the front part on jack stands, clean the underside of the front bumper thoroughly, start from one corner and stick the lip, cut a ▲piece at the two corners to let the lip bend and secure the lip to the bumper using the self-tapping screws.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190701_071749.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190701_071825.jpg

A very cheap DIY but ups the sportiness quotient by a few notches. Especially if your car is in the red/white shade – the contrasting black lip stands out.

6C pedal set:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
The current set of pedals with the steel inserts have shown signs of wear and tear. The protruded rubber bits on the throttle has nearly flattened and the metal insert on the clutch pedal had come off.
I really didn’t want to spend 35 Euros on the original OEM pedals so ended up ordering a set of replica 6C pedals from Alibhai for 1/6th of that price:
Based on the reviews shared on the product link, it isn’t a perfect fit but owners have managed to solve it using various fixes. I’ll give it a try and report back.
Wrapped up this one too during one of the weekends.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190713_095309.jpg

With the stock set removed:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190713_094020.jpg

The replacement took all of 10 minutes. Wiggle the old ones out, clean the pedals with an all-in-one cleaner and insert the new ones. The throttle pedal took some time as the rubber flaps would not wrap around the plastic bit. With some patience, it went on. There’s a wee bit of play on the clutch pedal but not as much as I had expected. I’d wholeheartedly recommend these if the stock pedal inserts have worn out.

12V socket cap:

It’s been a year since I kicked the butt (YAY!) and there’s no need of the lighter in the 12V socket anymore. Thought I would replace it with something else and that’s when I came across these knurled chrome caps from the Audis. Got one from Ali a few days back. Looks kickass! Adios Mr. Lighter – pray and hope I’ll never have to use you in this lifetime!

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190729_210314.jpg

Part number: 4L0 919 311
Price: 5.77 USD
Source: Aliexpress

The telescopic magnetic pick-up tool:

You never realise the significance of having that odd tool in your stash until it comes to your rescue on some random day. I was fiddling inside the engine bay when one of the screwdriver bits fell inside the bay behind the engine. I could see the bit but there was no way to reach that area easily. I recalled I had sourced a telescopic magnetic pick-up tool from AliExpress few years back. It was in one of my tool boxes, never used all this while and it helped! If you frequently work in hard-to-reach areas, consider buying one of these.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190625_223509.jpg

Ignition lock light:

Some cars come with an illuminated ring on the ignition lock (the Scorpio, XUV5OO) and it looks pretty cool. I thought of adding one and if you go the DIY route, you’ll need a 4-6 mm thick acrylic/plexiglass sheet, cut it in the shape of a ring as per the outer diameter of the ignition lock (the signboard vendors can do this; careful with those hole-saws – they will melt the sheet!) and then stick a 12V LED strip on the outer periphery. Too much of work, time consuming, the results may not look professional and may take a few tries to get it right. I ended up getting one from a Russian dude who makes these for VW/Skoda cars. He goes by the user ID FreeON4iggg on the Drive2 forums. He can fabricate it using red, white or green LED strips too. I paid him through PayPal, he sent me the WIP snaps and dispatched the light through Russian Post. It reached my desk in 12 days. Have a look:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190729_210432.jpg

Looks very professionally fabricated, possibly from a 3D printer. The 600 mm long cable is neatly wrapped in the cloth tape with a 12V glass tube fuse (!) and a 2-pin connector for quick release.

Installation requires the steering wheel to be removed along with the top and bottom steering column trims. It is wired to the cabin light which turns on when the car is unlocked and turns off when the key is inserted into the slot and turned to ACC/ignition AND when the car is locked. Installed it during a weekend:

Check out the video:



Price: 28 USD (including 9 USD for shipping)
Source: Drive2

Clutch replacement:

The stock clutch had gotten hard over time and it is time to get the assembly replaced before I end up getting a TKA (total knee arthroplasty) done on my left knee! Traveling long distances over 4/6 laned roads were never a problem; the daily city runabouts are the painful ones. BHPian ike who owns the S Cross confirms that the clutch on my GT has indeed gotten hard.

The good news is, the replacement parts are now a lot cheaper! I confirmed the part numbers with Ravi, the stores-in-charge of VW Navsari (man, I so miss that place!) based on my car’s VIN. The clutch replacement kit consists of the following parts (with their corresponding part numbers):

Clutch plate – 03L 141 032G
Pressure plate – 03L 141 025R
Release bearing – 02A 141 165M

Sourcing the parts is a long story! TL;DR – Boodmo failed and I got the parts from VW Navsari itself.

I wanted to source the parts from Boodmo during a sale day (they had a 5% off sale for all VW parts during a weekend). After adding the required parts to the cart, it totalled to Rs. 8789. Cheap, no? Or so I thought. I instantly made the payment and waited for the parts to be shipped. 2 weeks passed and I see no sign of the shipment details! I waited and waited, and one fine day, I get a call from their customer support, and the gentleman on the line says the clutch plate with the desired part number isn’t available; the alternate one however is, but is approx. Rs 3500 more expensive over the one I had ordered and that they would ship it if I were to make that payment. After some deliberation, I decided to cancel the complete order. There was no point in spending so much after a long wait. I’d rather search and get the parts locally or request my FNG technician to source the parts himself. I cancelled the order and sent them a few mails requesting them to cancel the whole order and issue the refund ASAP.

In the meantime, I decided to check up with my good ol’ stores-in-charge of VW Navsari. He said there was some issue with the online system which is used to place orders with their parent store in Chakan. If it is sorted, he’d help me out. A couple of hours later, he texts me asking my address. I replied but I was a bit confused as to why he wanted that. He sends me a few snaps of the consignment! I was SHOCKED! He has already dispatched the parts through a courier! Damn sweet gesture from him – I remotely expected him to reply saying the issue is sorted, lo and behold, he has shipped the complete parts. If only all the service centres and stores-in-charges were like Ravi eh? Ravi, you rock man! The parts reached me in 4 days flat! The OEM was from LuK.

The pressure plate:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190731_210151.jpg

The clutch plate:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190731_210358.jpg

The release bearing:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190731_210504.jpg

I was also in touch with a BHPian, who used to give me updates on Boodmo (sale days, delays in dispatch, etc.) – thank you so much bud! You know who you’re! In the meantime, I spoke to my trusted FNG owner Jai Prakash (who had done the timing belt replacement service before) and he had asked me to come over once the parts are ready. He’s moved to a new garage about 100 m from the old makeshift place and it’s a 25 km drive one way. I had to take a day off to get this work done.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190802_093023.jpg

The stock parts:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190803_220528.jpg

After close to 6 years and 1.5L km, the fiberglass friction material on the clutch plate had worn out so much, it felt like a baby’s bum!

The clutch assy. was replaced after a strenuous 4 hours of work by Jai and 2 of his technicians. Needless to say, pressing the clutch pedal had become a whole lot effortless, just like the day she rolled out of the showroom 6 years back! We took a short test drive around the area to see if the gears slotted fine; as suspected there were a few issues slotting into the first and second gear which Jai promptly fixed. I was charged Rs. 3500 for the job (very reasonable IMO). As I shook hands with him and drove out of his garage, I almost felt like driving all the way to Palakkad!

Upholstered rear head rests:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Been wanting this for ages link, tried getting the stock head restraints modified from a couple of local upholstery guys but they denied. Finally, the local VW dealership helped me. Shall get them reupholstered later.
Got the rear head restraints upholstered from the local upholsterer from whom I had gotten the complete seats re-done during 2014. All this while, the contrasting black shade would stick out like a sore thumb! But man, I miss the comfort of the stock cloth upholstery – they used to be supremely comfortable.

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190729_210207.jpg

New keyfob cover:

After close to 6 years, the old silicone cover for the keyfob was replaced with a new one. The cover did its part quite well. I've lost count of the number of times I've dropped the key!

With the old cover and the key (without it):
VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190528_064421.jpg

The replacement cover:
VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190528_064541.jpg

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190528_064720.jpg

Price: 2.06 USD
Source: Aliexpress

Front brakes:

The front brake pads were replaced during the 75k service. I am still on the stock rotors. Here's the condition today:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-img_20190530_171616.jpg

I might just upgrade the front brakes to the 288 mm discs next time.

TBD – Car Detailing:

The car’s detailing is long overdue. The last session was done 2 years back. There are a lot of swirls and minor scratches on the panels. I’ll be dropping her at DriveClean which was where the last detailing was done; I loved the results and the longevity of the mirror-like shine. Guru’s attention to detail is amazing! I’ll post some snaps here once it’s done. But before that I’ll have some bits on the panels touched up using the paint touch-up kit.

Evo India takes the GT TDI to Sandakphu:

DBHPian Leoshashi recently shared a clip through WhatsApp - the 1.5 GT TDI being driven to Sandakphu, the land of the vintage Landrovers. The reactions from the localites upon seeing this FWD hatch en route, were amazing. Check it out guys:



Of course, they had a Tiguan 4x4 as the support vehicle and being part of the media, the narrow trails would have been cleared. But there’s no denying that this is some feat! Hat tip to Sirish and Evo! Crazy adrenaline junkies!

If you’ve been with me till this, thanks for reading! I shall post the updates as it happens. Apologies if I’ve responded to some of the PMs late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamkathy23 View Post
Is there any list of parts that you can share? I know a dealer in Kashmere gate who is authorized TSW supplier.
Sorry for a late response! No clue as I haven’t had to replace the suspension components except the struts. Look up the parts from the parts catalog (Oriparts) of the corresponding model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvliner22 View Post
Will just changing to an all led setup do the trick?
The reflectors aren’t meant for LED bulbs so it will cause a lot of glare to the oncoming traffic. But they will be much brighter than halogen bulbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvliner22 View Post
My major query is by any way the new Skoda Rapid’s headlights be swapped with the Polo’s?
No, they won’t fit the Polo. The shape of the headlamps are different and so are the mounts.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 4th August 2019 at 12:26. Reason: Added some details.
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Old 4th August 2019, 11:02   #1114
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Guys, sorry for a late update. Was caught up with never-ending work as usual! Here’re all the updates since my last post – important and the...
Such a detailed write-up Gannu. I was waiting for your 150k updates.

Congrats on reaching 150k with your Polo. One of the best ownership reviews, and that too with a great vehicle.

Haven't you started feeling the urge to upgrade? Or are you taming your heart with your head using all these minor(and some major) DIYs?

While using sound deadening material, do they usually not cover the floor and the firewall as well?
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Old 4th August 2019, 18:34   #1115
ike
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Back to the topic, technically this would be the fourth engine oil brand that I’ve used after Castrol (during the warranty period), Motul, Liqui Moly and Shell. I’d highly rate Liqui Moly among these as there was a perceivable reduction in the engine noise and the clatter after the oil change. I’d definitely like to try Mobil 1 in the next change.

BHPian ike too nodded in agreement
This might be because you happened to use cerratec as well along with Liqui Moly. Might well have been a placebo. I have also come across people saying a certain brand/viscosity deteriorated sooner than it should but I don't understand how people figure out oil is deteriorated. Some say burnt smell, put a drop on a paper towel and you will see particles, burnt taste etc. Maybe try Amsoil next time?

I had been in your car only for a very short time after damping it but boy was it quiet! The engine was barely audible and people would mistake your car for a petrol quite easily. If you ever get around to doing the roof & the floor, it's going to be as quiet as a graveyard.

Last edited by ike : 4th August 2019 at 18:45.
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Old 5th August 2019, 02:34   #1116
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Please stick with the recommended oil grades and don’t use additives. Mobil 1 esp is the only oil available with a 505/507 certification in the Indian market. Amsoil 5w30 European Car Formula has this as well but unfortunately not yet available in India (both also have the latest merc bmw etc specs). The one in india is 5w40 European that supports the older vw specs.
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Old 7th August 2019, 10:39   #1117
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Guys, sorry for a late update. Was caught up with never-ending work as usual!
Congratulations on this very special milestone!

I look forward to every update of yours with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement because I know I am going to pick up some new DIY ideas, and dread because of their difficulty levels. I have already ordered the warning triangle from eBay, as well as the ignition lock light kit from Drive2.
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Old 7th August 2019, 13:59   #1118
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
[b]Update at 5+ years and 1,40,000 km:
This is called passion for the automobile! The car looks stunning after 5 years and 150k kms. Great job in caring for her and enjoying every one of those 150k miles. Keep it going!
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Old 7th August 2019, 17:54   #1119
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Such an exhaustive and detailed post. I truly admire your dedication in treating your car, plus your givingness in being able to share it with the community.

May your car last you years and bring you incredible joy!
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Old 20th August 2019, 17:52   #1120
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

How come a 6 years old car is looking so sparkling new , my 2 years old car is no where near that. Can you share some tips? How do you maintain the engine bay so neat? Mine looks like rats house all the time

I am too scared to water wash my engine bay, I try to clean with wet cloth, yet no where close to the results I see in your pictures.
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Old 31st August 2019, 10:11   #1121
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Euro air guide channel:

Some of the Polo/Vento owners have already done this swap – i.e. changing the stock air guide channel with the European unit which draws fresh air from the outside; the Indian trim OTOH sucks the air from within the engine bay.

Ordered the unit from Boodmo and swapped it during the 150,000 km service. Takes all of 10 minutes to do the swap – undo 2 Torx screws on the either side of the trim, pull out the plastic hose, remove the trim and replace it with the new unit, connect the hose and fasten the screws. Pretty sure the IAT would have dropped by a few degrees C but I couldn’t feel any perceivable differences in the day-to-day usage. Cooler air for the engine at least!

Got to appreciate Boodmo’s on-time delivery for this part! The unit was shipped through FedEx and reached me as per the promised timeline.

Part number: 1T0 805 971
Price: Rs. 1139
Source: Boodmo
Dear Gannu

Can you help with the exact location of this Air Guide Channel?
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Old 1st September 2019, 09:29   #1122
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Dear Gannu

Can you help with the exact location of this Air Guide Channel?
It is located here:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-vwpologttdi02.png
(Image courtesy - official review)

Going by the parts diagram, it is part #15 in the image below:
VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-60.png

Link - Oriparts

The part should have been indicated in the air intake assembly drawing which is below:

VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!-36.png

Link - Oriparts

The part comes after part #30.
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Old 11th September 2019, 16:03   #1123
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

Gannu,

I just spent the last three days reading your thread from start to finish! All 75 pages of it. And the best part being that I don't even own a Polo!

I just took delivery of my new Ciaz and was going through some ownership threads of the Ciaz for inspiration and happened upon your ownership thread. It just blew me away! Your passion for and commitment to your ride is seriously commendable!

Wishing you many many more happy miles with your ride!

Cheers!
Avis
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Old 11th September 2019, 23:00   #1124
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Default Re: VW Polo GT TDI ownership log EDIT: 150,000 km up + several updates!

This air guide placement baffles me. This means that whenever the AC runs on fresh air mode, it's drawing hot air from the engine bay and then cooling it again? What on earth!
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