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autozealot 4th May 2007 01:50

"Engine mein spark hota hai..." DONT GET FOOLED
Yes, this is a new way that the roadside thugs of Mumbai have adopted
to stop motorists & then force them to shell out money.

A brief explanation :-

A gang of 3 to 4 people stand about 50 mts from each other. The first one points out that there is some problem with the car. When the driver pulls aside to check what the problem is, the other guy walks up & says that some kind of spark is seen in the engine bay, through the front show-grille. He offers to get a mechanic who then delibrately plays mischief with the car's electrical system & forces the driver/owner to cough up a couple of thousands to rectify the problem or else they say the car might catch fire. Some car owners prefer not to take a chance. Taking advantage of this, these thugs get away with whatever amount possible. Sometimes even with some valueables in the car.

So friends be advised about this gimmick & be cautious whilst driving.
They mainly operate in Chembur (I've heard) & on the Western Express Highway between Thane-Ghodbunder Rd. (Fountain Hotel Junction) & Dahisar checknaka.

I myself have experienced this, but was lucky to have heard of it in advance & therefore drove on. Later got to know the full story from somewhere else.

Spread a word around, friends:Cheering:

Happy motoring!

khanak 4th May 2007 02:31

Yup, the same thing happened to me.

I was going to Huma Adlabs in Kanjurgmarg with my mom when someone who was walking on the divider pointed towards the engine and tried to tell us something was wrong. then a little ahead another guy comes and points towards the engine which made me think something was really wrong. so i pull up just opposite huma and a third person comes to me and says "kya hua, aapke engine se toh spark nikal raha hai" i panicked and pulled the engine release lever. The guy quickly opens the engine up and pulls one of the spark wires or plugs or somthing like that(im not sure what he pulled and didnt even know what he did, I thought he was just being helpful). and then when i come to see whats wrong i notice sparks. I wasnt too sure what was going on and was a little worried. The guy told us "aise mat chalao, aapka gaadi toh udd bhi sakta hai" and my mom got really scared. The guy told us that the delco or somthing was busted and he knew a mechanic down the road who was open at that time ( it was around 8-9 at night). I thanked him for all his help and decided to call Hyundai's 24 hour service instead. When I told them what happened they were sure that I was cheated and even told me what to do. He told me to push one of the spark plugs back inside and I tried doing it but had never done this before and it was a little dark so I couldnt fix it. I still didnt think I had been made a fool and inspite of the technician asking me if i let anyone touch the engine I stll kept saying no. 15 mins and 300 rupees later a Hyundai service car comes and in less than a minute the spark plug is back in place and I try to catch the next show at huma.

humyum 4th May 2007 02:43

I have faced a similar situation too and this one being near kalina.a biker stops me and goes like sparks are comin out of your engine bay.
I sensed these guys were upto something but since mom was with me i dint want to take a chance with some fire in the car so i stopped and opened the bonnet and found everythin to be ok.He was like ignition coil gaya hai and naya daalna padega and started removin my old ignition coil.I was like let this be right here and he was like ok i ll get another one from a mechanic ahead
As i m an automobile engineer i know how much the ignition coil costs so i was waitin for what he is gonna tell me and i did not go with the guy on the bike as my mom was alone in the car.
He comes back and i go like how much for the coil and he goes like 975.I Was like 'Chodo gaddi main aag lagne do..that ll be a cheaper option'
He was like 'kya sahab i m not even charging u labour for fixing this back and u still say this'
By then i understood that it was a setup and was like..rakho apne paas i dont want it and he really got pissed and was like paise toh tumhe dena hi padega tumhare kehne pe hum coil laya hai.
Took out my cell and started actin like i was callin the police.Both of them started the bike and ran away.

theMAG 4th May 2007 15:01

Its appalling the depths society has sunk to for a buck.

RX135 4th May 2007 15:25

There was similar experience posted by another T-BHPian few days. Not able to search it, but request Mods to merge 2 threads (if they can find the other one).

autozealot 4th May 2007 19:07

Don't know how many motorists must have been duped this way till now....:Frustrati

If any of you work for the press, or know anybody who does, please try to bring these illegal activities to light through the print/electronic media.

Till then, as t-bhp members, (I repeat) lets spread a word to as many possible.


devarshi84 5th May 2007 13:47

IT happened with my uncle on the Ahmedabad Baroda Highway NH-8

He being a simpleton actually gave away a few hundred for an object costing just a about 50 RS.

The Nearby maruti garagewala confirmed it to be the 6th incident for the month.

elf 5th May 2007 14:11

I had a similar incident happen to me & wifey when we were on our way to Nariman Point in her Maruti Alto for a movie one evening, around 21.30hrs about 6 months ago.

Various people along the way at Mahim started pointing to the front of the car & yelling that there was some serious sparking going on.

One 'helpful' chap even then helped me pull over in the heavy traffic, then told me to pop open my bonnet, which I did after turning off the ignition & ensuring that wifey was sitting in the car with locked doors & rolled up windows.

I then went to the front of the car, & asked her to start the engine, upon which there was sparking from the coil wire near the spark plug end. We switched off the ignition.

The 'helpful' guy then told me that the ignition coil was gone & that my luck was great because he was a mechanic & just happened to have a second hand coil on him which he was taking back to his garage.

I played dumb.

He then told me that this coil would do, but that we would need to replace the engine oil & filter immediately because old engine oil dried up & caused friction which caused the sparking. Of course, he'd rush off & get it, but that it would cost about 3 grand for the oil & 500 bucks for the filter. Labour, of course "aap samajh ke de dena".

In this while, of course, as usual, a small crowd had gathered.

I stood around & scratched my head & acted like I didn't know what to do, so he pushed his luck & said "Boss jaldi karo, hum ko aur bhi kaam hai".

I calmly looked at him then, raised an eyebrow, told him that I owned a garage, plugged the 'loose' coil wire & had the car restarted, upon which the sparking magically stopped.

When I'd turned around he'd gone.

esteem_lover 5th May 2007 14:34

Nice one elf. Knowledge is power. I wish you had caught hold of his shirt & given him one on his nose that he will not forget in a while. If something like this happens to me, i would ask the sucker to get down under the car & check whats happening & i would drive right over him. LOL. Just joking, but certainly my fist will find his mouth, there is no doubt about that.

devarshi84 5th May 2007 23:01

Hey Elf,

Dunno if its a coincidence but even my uncle was driving an alto.

Jr Godzilla 7th May 2007 13:49


Originally Posted by devarshi84 (Post 430149)
Hey Elf,

Dunno if its a coincidence but even my uncle was driving an alto.

lol: now this is stuff from aisa bhi hota hai. whats the coincidence man ur uncles alto got to do with elfs alto.

The Wolf 18th May 2007 03:02

Are you a cop??? Just kidding man... Just believe its true and be careful na!!!

kamat2004 13th July 2007 13:57

The same thing happened near RK studios in chembur.

my brother was driving the car along with my parents. Couple of people were pointing out that sparks were coming out of the car. My brother coolly switched off the car, locked all the doors and got out of the car. When one of them came and told him to open the bonnet...he opened the same. That guy was about to disconnect some wires from the alternator and show that the spark had come from there.... my bro caught his collar and gave a tight slap . The guy was so shaken that he started asking for his forgiveness.
I do not think this guy will be doing the same thing for the rest of his life.

bill1182 13th July 2007 15:16

It happened with me couple of years back at Shivaji Park (Sena Bhavan) signal. I pulled over and another guy came to my help. He pulled coil wire and brushed against the enjine cover and "Sparks" obviously.

I got the hint about this malpractice. I told him that I will better take it to authorised service center and yelled at him for pulling the coil wire.

He just put the wire back and went

risga 13th July 2007 15:34

Now that I've read this thread, its strikes me that by sheer good luck I have avoided becoming a victim of this fraud.

Its happened 2-3 times; I have noticed people pointing at my car's engine bay and mumbling something. And I have ignored them.

I remember reading about a similar racket,whereby these people drop some flammable liquid on your hot bonnet which catches fire. And then some-one tells you that the engine is on fire etc. And then this story of sparks/ coils etc........

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