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Old 29th May 2020, 20:28   #46
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

For someone who has always bought pre-worshipped cars, I can resonate with the thread but in a different ways. Some people are hell-bent on selling the car after the warranty and I have found some good cars because of that

I believe in buying a car nearing 4-6 years if it's mechanically solid and sprucing it up to keep the interest for 2-3 years atleast. I save the depreciation hit and get a car from 2 segments above for the same money. Only thumb rule to apply is to check if you can afford the car when new, if you can - then it won't pinch you to put more money for service. ( A 5 lakh Honda City will be much costlier to maintain than a 5 Lakh Maruti Celerio)

Although I would prioritize getting the car in good shape mechanically and sort out all niggles related to suspension before rejuvenating the looks and ICE. There's no point driving a badly maintained car which looks good aesthetically.
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:02   #47
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

My car is 10 years old, I did little to improve it. No mods other than lights and infotainment system. I have a simple saying. "When in doubt, slap LEDs inside and out".
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:28   #48
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

Sports exhausts are largely illegal and should be avoided though I had one on my 800 for years till the law caught up with me. I love the sound of the exhaust but if a must then make sure not to have a visible end can which looks sporty as this is a cop magnet. I think the most common way to spruce up the car is to change the seat covers and music system upgrade. I never actually had the car detailed and would prefer to do it myself even though it was a novice effort.
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:36   #49
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Here you go (Mods, accessories, body kits & upholstery - PerfAmana (HH Customs) @ Kozhikode, Kerala). Having seen the car in person, I can tell you its even better than the pictures. Overlander drove from Navi Mumbai all the way to Kerala just for this.
That is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!
I wish we knew about them while buying our city.
We liked the verna more but the seats were not great at all.
The seats in the city were very comfortable when compared to other options in the segment. Seat comfort and age were the reasons the 07 fiesta was sold even though it was maintained immaculately by my grandfather. We got the seats padded well but the new car itch made it go. A decision we regret even today although we are happy with the Honda city.
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:44   #50
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

This thread got me thinking, and posting ( I havent done the latter in a while whereas I always keep doing the former).

I had planned to get rid of our old 2010 Toyota Camry but now in the mood to rejuvenate it instead. It runs well, got new tires the only point is will the expense to renew the car be worth it?

Would it not be better just to sell it and buy a newer Camry instead?
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Old 29th May 2020, 22:50   #51
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

Can totally relate to this thread.

Own a 2012 Skoda Superb with 1.4 lakh km on the ODO.

1) Updated the stock ICE to 6.5’ MIB. It made a huge difference be it touch sensitivity, interface.

2) Got her pampered by 3M during the 4th year of ownership. She does need one again. Never got her repainted (barring the rear bumper) as i strongly believe nothing comes close to a factory finish.

3) Got the stabilizer links, strut bearings & mounts, Lower arm bushes replaced post 1 lakh km. Made a big difference in the overall experience.

Barring the above, the car doesn’t feel like a high ODO example with no rattles whatsoever.

The Indian summer did take its toll on the leather seats (age faster) & the roof headliner. Have had a couple of typical VAG issues though.

Last edited by csr9 : 29th May 2020 at 22:59.
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Old 29th May 2020, 23:44   #52
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

What a great thread!

Incidentally, I had gone about doing exactly this, i.e. rejuvenating my car in February 2019, when the extended warranty was about to expire. And I had done it in a phased manner, to truly enjoy every upgrade as they were executed, and with the view to understand the difference each upgrade made to the car.

February 2019 was when I had discovered that my car was not in the best shape, and I had to make a decision quickly. Sell it off and buy a new/used car, or rejuvenate my Polo GT TSI. The suspension was knackered thanks to Bangalore's roads and Volkswagen's brilliant idea to switch to a local vendor for their suspension components in 2013-14. I could have claimed warranty as I was within the extended warranty period, but knowing that VW would again replace the sub-standard parts with the same thing, I decided to look elsewhere. This is when I had bumped into Azaan and his pristine family-run workshop, where I eventually got my suspension completely overhauled with EU OEM parts:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-sachs.jpg

I had also upgraded the intake system with a larger airbox and larger filter from K&N (57-S):

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-airbox-2.jpg

The suspension overhaul was so good that the car begged to be driven harder and before I could blink, I found myself at Code6 looking for a power-bump:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-remap-1.jpg

The last time the car "looked" stock:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-img20190303wa0010.jpg

March 2019 was when I had decided to switch to better shoes - BBS SR in 16" paired with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 ST in 205/50 R16:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-img20190318wa0035.jpg

I had even gotten a new steering wheel with paddles to make things a bit more exciting:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-paddles.jpg

April 2019 was the ideal month to give my car the factory-fresh look again, and immediately got in touch with Keystone Detailers (now Greenz) and availed their detailing services:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-polo-7.jpg

I got a round of detailing done, which included grinding the paint down a bit, polishing it and applying a coat of ceramic to seal it up for a few months. I had also executed a chrome-delete, blackening out the badge up front and getting the chrome bits wrapped in glossblack wrap. While I was at it, I got the fog-lamps wrapped in yellow tint, just for fun!

Now most people would have normally stopped here. But I couldn't.

Not "didn't" but couldn't.

I began looking for problems in the car that I could rectify. We went on a few long drives and that was enough to gauge the car and identify the issues such warped brake rotors and worn brake pads, and of course that awkward "on stilts" stance.

I spent most of May travelling, and the whole while, plotting my next upgrade and sure enough, the orders were placed.

June 2019 was when I went about rectifying the poor braking performance and the weird stance by installing a big brake kit I had purchased from Germany and a pair of Eibach springs to correct the stance of the car:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-06-brakes-installed.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-17-before.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-18-after.jpg

July 2019 was uneventful. I had gotten a pair of aluminium paddle-shift extensions that allowed me to the flexibility of shifting gears more conveniently:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-2.jpg

August and September 2019 were spent driving to Sakleshpur, Chikkamagalur, Coimbatore and Coonoor, getting a feel of the car and understanding the changes made to it. This was when I had realised that the Eibachs were a big mistake. While it looked good without the colossal wheel gap, it had messed up the nice ride quality that the new overhauled suspension had given me. More digging and research revealed that I could get a set of springs that would give me the stance I was looking for while not compromising on the supple ride quality that I had sorely missed in the two months of driving in the city and on the open road.

October 2019 was the month I had rectified the Eibach blunder and swapped them for Cobra springs. The new springs not only restored the ride quality to an extent but also gave me the stance I was looking for. Additionally, it helped retain the improved handling characteristics that a lowered car benefits from:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-05-rear-springs-comparison.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-08-new-stance-2.jpg

My craving for a fruity exhaust note was satiated by ProRace customs:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-exhaust-5.jpg

While I did enjoy the new exhaust and the noise I was making all over town, it took me a few months to realise that I had again fluffed it up with the exhaust mod. But I wasn't prepared to rectify the issue just yet.

November 2019 was when I had scheduled the car's 5th (early) service. I had decided to change the gearbox oil as a preemptive step:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-dsg-oil.jpg

December 2019 was winter, which means - Turbo weather! A couple of trips out of the city were scheduled for the car, fresh from its 5th service:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-8.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-9.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-5.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-6.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-24.jpg

February 2020 was when I had decided to upgrade the ICE, and got myself a pair of Focal speakers and tweeters along with OEM tweeter pillar covers to make it a discreet upgrade:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-1.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-15.jpg

March 2020 was the month of small yet incremental upgrades, notably an optimized intake tract and trumpet courtesy members Viraat and TheLizardKing, and new dome lights with individual reading lights and ambient red lights, courtesy Dr. Praveen:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-intake-2.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-dome-5.jpg

I had also decided to install sunfilm in preparation for the summer that lay ahead:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-sunfilm-2.jpg

The last three months of driving the car and reading up on select literature allowed me to collect my thoughts, stew in them and make peace with mistakes I may have made with the exhaust.

I went about drawing up potential solutions towards rectification of these mistakes and identified Blackworks Engineering, who helped restore my stock exhaust:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-1.3.jpg

The month of April 2020 would have seen more updates, but COVID-19 threw a spanner into the works. Of course, none of it really mattered as the crisis was far worse for a majority of the people around the world.

May 2020, after the lockdown was lifted, I wasted no time in going back to Blackworks Engineering to install a new downpipe in lieu of the cat-con, apply a new 'Stage 2' map that was optimized for the hardware change, and of course further optimize the intake duct:

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-4.2.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-5.1.jpg

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-4.9.jpg

I should have stopped here, but I was too far down the rabbit hole to look back, and it wasn't long before Blackworks Engineering were called up again to work their magic by successfully bringing down the stratospheric Intake Air Temperatures (IATs) using just scraps from the workshop and the hack was lovingly christened "Blackworks Engineering Double-Divorced Coolant Circuit". Of course, the car won't run on these scrap parts for too long, as it was merely an experiment that we never dreamed would be executed! OEM parts such as coolant pipes, clamps and a new reservoir have been ordered and I have scheduled a day with Blackworks to execute the hack using these factory parts.

Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money-01-engine-bay.jpg

This new hack threatens to give my car the official "project car" status.

Straddling the project-car borderline wasn't what I was expecting to do so soon in my 5 years of ownership. Which is why I would recommend stopping somewhere around the April-June 2019 mark, because if you do persist, you may go so far down the rabbit hole that the car becomes a money pit and you physically cannot stop doing things to your car.

I have found myself, at times, wondering if I would have been better off saving all of this, for something more interesting like a Polo GTI or even a Mini Cooper S, but I would have then been plagued by astronomical service-costs and left with nothing in the kitty to tinker.

By executing these mods, I have effectively ensured that I don't need to upgrade my car for another 4 years at least. I have improved on several little things to the extent that the only logical upgrade from this would now be a RWD car or maybe even something exotic.

I have to say though, that the process of reading, speaking to people in-the-know and fiddling with my car has been the most fun, engaging and rewarding experience with my car. And if I had to do it all over again, I probably would!

Oh, and before I sign off, my little project is still not complete. I have a couple of interesting things lined up over the next few months, and some of them have been mentioned in the first post of this thread.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 30th May 2020 at 00:52.
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Old 30th May 2020, 01:30   #53
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

Here's a reason to always buy a car sold in the international markets- aftermarket accessories + DIYs.

Many standard features in the international markets would be deleted for the Indian version or sold as dealer accessories. Look at such mods for example: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/diy-d...ll-lights.html (VW Polo DIY: Upgrading cabin light, headlight switch & installing footwell lights)

A car like the Verna (aka Hyundai Accent) might have more aftermarket options than a Maruti Ciaz.
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Old 30th May 2020, 11:08   #54
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

While this is a great thread, it'd be totally awesome if you guys can share names of shops, garages that do this kind of super work.
Example the place to get the ten k worth detailing done, the place to get that awesome coat of paint or some car enthusiast/consultant who can help recommend various changes to the car so that our looks beautiful. Not all of us can imagine it. Like that fantastic blue vento with gold rims. I couldn't have imagined it but when i see it...Woww!

See in this post I'm running out of adjectives.. Great, awesome, super, fantastic... Whatta thread!
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Old 30th May 2020, 12:10   #55
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

This here is my 2004 Wagon R. Rain, Flood, banged up roads - this has taken everything in its stride. Done aorund 85,000 Km now, but has never missed a beat till now and the other cars in the house - a 2013 model Tata Aria and a 2018 Ignis Auto that my wife used, the Wagon R is the city car that is constantly in use - from lugging bananas to Huge garden pots. Routine service and oil changes are all that I have done.

A year back spruced it up with some alloys, faux art leather seats, central locking, dashcam, reverse sensor etc. I plan to keep it for ever.

Searched team bhp, but couldn't find much on performance upgrades on a Wagon R. Planning an ICE upgrade and maybe if available a suspension upgrade too.

If Apocalypse comes I will be grabbing the keys to the Waggy
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Old 30th May 2020, 13:36   #56
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

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I just gave my car today to our trusted mechanic for the below jobs.
Hi sir! I would like to know contact details of the mechanic, it would be very helpful.
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Old 30th May 2020, 21:00   #57
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Default Re: Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lot of money

What a fantastic thread! Couldn't have come at a better time. My 2015 Creta VTVT is just about to hit it's 5th Year, and since the extended warranty would be done soon; I was planning of sprucing up my ride for good.
But as much as I would love to get the majority of the things mentioned here (if not all); these are way more accessible in Metro city's, or more commercially advanced cities I would say. Here in Goa it is hard to fine a good leather works store, let alone a tuner!
Nevertheless, for me the hunt begins.. Once the lock-down is lifted entirely, and the things start to normalize; I would start looking to add a zing of zing to my ride.
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Old 31st May 2020, 18:29   #58
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Default Your car's midlife crisis - How to rejuvenate your existing car and save a lo...

An absolutely amazing thread!

With the lockdown and its financial implications on the household, a new car purchase has definitely been put on the back burner.

We have got a 2014 honda city idtec which can surely can take some much needed TLC

Couple of thoughts on the top of my mind, will be amazing to get pointers/suggestions from you guys as well

1) It is a white honda city, planning to get the ORVMs either painted in gloss black, or wrapped in carbon fibre wrap.

2) Thinking of getting a subtle oem rear wing spoiler and paint in the same shade as the rear view mirrors, probably dechrome/debadge the car with gloss black.

3) I am thinking of a remap, still looking at options between petes vs wolf vs code6, if anybody else in the community is also tilting towards this, please get in touch so that we can get a better deal.

4) After all the bodywork out of the way, Will schedule a proper interior and exterior detailing session.

Let the new car itch fade away.
Cheers!!
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Old 31st May 2020, 19:30   #59
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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
What a great thread!

I have found myself, at times, wondering if I would have been better off saving all of this, for something more interesting like a Polo GTI or even a Mini Cooper S, but I would have then been plagued by astronomical service-costs and left with nothing in the kitty to tinker.

By executing these mods, I have effectively ensured that I don't need to upgrade my car for another 4 years at least.

Oh, and before I sign off, my little project is still not complete. I have a couple of interesting things lined up over the next few months, and some of them have been mentioned in the first post of this thread.
I like your thought process and I take my hat off to your perseverance on the VW.
However, I want to only add a small perspective here.
As some of you know, I sold my beloved 8 year old Yeti In Nov 2019 and bought an used Cooper S of roughly the same vintage at the same time. I still miss my Yeti in many ways. Some of you may say I am a deadhead fanboy, but truly and honestly there hasnt been a proper replacement for that vehicle at all.

Now while the Mini I bought, was a well maintained low mileage car, I still wanted to spend a lot of time and effort to make sure everything was ship shape and Bristol Fashion. And in a way, I did treat it as a sort of project and spent a good deal of money on servicing it, changing out some essential parts owing to age and otherwise embellishing what is already a most excellent car.

And I do not consider that the routine servicing, if carried out by a competent independent garage, is excessively expensive. Going to BMW original service may be expensive but parts prices are more or less decent. Indeed the BMW Mini. Parts available in India - prices are at times cheaper than Dubai.

But parts are not as cheap as they are in the US. Even considering shipping costs and customs dues.

So as long as you research and buy parts at the right place and spend a lot of love and time in the workshop to get things perfect, you will be satisfied.

For example I go (for my Cooper work) to an Independent garage, CarSmith Motors in BLR for the Cooper S. The owner is passionate and knowledgeable and is on the same wavelength as I am. Hence it works for me.

Basically the labour charges are more reasonable and an independent garage allows the owner a lot more “fiddling freedom” than the authorised service people do. And independent garages are clean and transparent as well.

But there is a joy in the madness of owning and regularly driving a semi exotic enthusiasts car, rather than a more common model. This Joy factor (and believe me it has nothing to do with the BMW Slogan) is irreplaceable. Had I owned another equally desirable car as the Mini, I’d have said the same...

Last edited by shankar.balan : 31st May 2020 at 19:32.
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Old 31st May 2020, 19:47   #60
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My Jetta is at 68000km. My usage is 3000km / year now. It has new tyres. Part of me say - time for new brakes, new clutch soon, timing belt and a remap. Body work is decent but it needs a touchup and detailing

Another part of me says find a good well maintained German for a little bit more outlay and have some fun. I don't have to bother with fuel consumption and other trivial issues.

Keep looking at BMW 330i, an Audi A4 3.2 or even a good XF-S or a nice 6 cyl Mercedes. Since I have a couple of good independents, age is not the issue, purely condition

Decisions, decisions.

Last edited by ajmat : 31st May 2020 at 20:30.
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