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Old 19th March 2024, 19:04   #1
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How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

The Civic turns 15 this year! Past couple of years of ownership have been quite interesting, lots of money went into it. Well, it does not stop there. Lots of money is going into it this year as well!

Here's what is going to be done to make sure that the Civic passes its Fitness Test coming up-
  1. Replace cracked fog light
  2. Bodywork- includes both bumpers, rear door et al
  3. Reinstall old halogen headlight bulbs
  4. Remove tint on the rear glass(Came with the car when we bought it used)
  5. Remove any "flashy" items on the car that may give the inspector an excuse to fail it

Bodywork


On behalf of Bangalore traffic, I will let you in on a little secret- Expect some bodywork to be done on your car every two years! That's how often you will pick up scratches

Upon lots of deliberation and getting quotations from different places, previous experiences and so on, we decided to go to Trend Automobiles (Body Repair & Painting, Glass Repair, Detailing etc. - Trend Automobiles (Bangalore))

We chose Trend after reading multiple positive reviews about them and also heard about them from our neighbour(BHPian Old Dude) who goes there for his Civic as well.

This is how things looked before the work started-

The front bumper had a huge scratch running across the right side, this was due to a scooter swiping me while trying to fit into a non-existent gap! Had posted about this on the 'Rants on Bangalore Traffic" thread as well. Also, a pretty big patch of paint peeled off when the car rear-ended a Creta's bull bar after an auto brake-tested him. Many smaller scratches had started to appear on the sides of the bumper as well, this was due to motorcycles and tight parking spaces. Notice that the fog lamp also has a crack running across its width(present when we bought it), more on that later!

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-2.51.23-pm.png

Next up was the passenger side. We replaced the mirror base back in 2021 from a scrap dealer(scammer) who sold it to us for a whopping 3k! The folding function soon stopped working, and my DIY efforts of replacing the gear assembly did not help at all. The resultant was, another burning motor, control module and gears that kept slipping! I was pretty sure that any more efforts in repairing it would go in vain, so decided to replace it. That needed to be repainted. The tiny chip on the running board needed to be done as well, and this would be done by a brush(just a touch-up).

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-2.51.08-pm.png

Coming to the driver side, this is where most of the damage is. The quarter panel was damaged by a few barb wires that were placed in my basement parking area due to some construction work. Did not notice the wires in the dark and that led to me brushing them by the side. The rear door and running board was damaged by a loon on a bike who tried to cut through during my U-turn(Just Bangalore things). Rear bumper and door was swiped by a Honda Amaze which was too close to me and wanted to overtake on a service road.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-2.51.44-pm.png

Finally, the rear. The bumper has taken multiple hits(I have sort of lost track of them since some of them did not result in any damage) but since it had been flexed so many times, some spider cracks have appeared at the back, and one incident with some scooter rear ending us or something(I don't remember at this point) has made a depression at the rear. Scratches on both sides of the bumper, after numerous other incidents in traffic, luckily not the boot door this time.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-2.50.42-pm.png


Parts Sourced


1. Since our fog lamp lens was broken, we needed to replace the whole unit. Honda quoted a whopping 10k per side, while aftermarket options were available with average reviews for around 3.5 to 4k, but the quality of the OE Stanley part is unmatched, so it was a no-go for me. Decided to go scavenging again, and asked the Civic Facebook group if anyone had their fog lamp. Someone immediately responded, with the video of it and acknowledgement of the courier receipt. They were located in UP, and they had a whole lot full of scrapped cars. Decided to give them a try(even though my history with scrapped dealers have been horrible so far), and it arrived in two days via air mail.

What blew my mind was, the condition of the part that arrived was in better shape than what was currently on my car. I was elated!

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-6.37.15-pm.png

Dropped this off at the painting shop since they would be removing the front bumper anyway, would not want to take extra time and effort to remove that along with the binding wires. Dealing with that stuff is painful!

2. The LH mirror as I had mentioned before, stopped folding a while ago. When the seller of the fog lamp was on call with me showing me the part that he took off for proof, he asked if I wanted anything else. I simply decided to ask him if he could give me one of those LH mirrors with indicators since Honda ones cost around 15k I believe and off late I was searching for options to import the same for a cheaper price. However, he was offering one white unit for a really tempting price, with no damage, no signs of being tampered with at all! Decided to get this as well, since shipping is being paid for one of the items anyway. Did not take a separate picture of this, but will attach what came in the shipment. The build feels solid, and the quality is very good!

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240319-6.47.31-pm.png

This was also dropped off at the garage to be painted in body colour(Bluish Silver Metallic). I am not too sure of the door panel and stuff, routing of the wires, so told them that this was something I'd fit myself. They were more than happy to oblige.


End result after all the bodywork-

I have to say, I'm not at all impressed. I was expecting some really good results from Trend but all I could see was imperfections and other excuses for the same. The edges have no paint on them, and the putty is still visible in those places. The paint finish is good for the most part but I could still find some parts where there is a lot of overlapping and dripping. This was not even that big of a deal for me, but what irked me the most was the polishing. It was all over the place, done in such a haphazard manner and made all the plastic trim pieces look very ugly! The engine bay, which looked pristine before I gave it to them was doused in huge amounts of polish and never wiped off properly. There were so many stains of the chemical they used and the air box was still glowing with the liquid settling into the crevices. I took half a day to fix these things on my own. Decided that next time(5 years from now) I will give the car to a decent professional to do a full body repaint and restore the car to its former glory.

Some pictures -

The front end looks good, but they did a really bad job of installing the halogen bulbs and fog lights so the focus of the beam is essentially towards the sky now. Decided to fix this after the inspection.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-pxl_20240329_105406953.jpeg

Side view(Driver side)- Looks okay to me, some imperfections on the quarter panel that was repaired, the edges lack paint, can see the body filler on the wheel arches.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-screenshot-20240329-6.46.40-pm.png

Side view(Passenger side)- Although nothing was done by them on this side, I had asked them to use a brush to touch up a patch of paint that had peeled off on the running board. It had not been done, I have decided to ignore it for now.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-pxl_20240329_111956501.jpeg

Rear- This was pretty careless. They had not properly masked the exhaust tips, leading to blue paint on my chrome exhaust tips. Sigh. Used some paint remover later on to remove it myself. The bumper also had several imperfections and was a fair job done, nothing great.

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-pxl_20240329_111948393.mp.jpg


After I got the car back, I decided to install the LHS mirror that I bought from the scrap dealer. Happy to say, that everything works as intended and this was a great deal for the price I paid(including painting). This is one-fifth of what Honda charges for the same.

A GIF of the folding function of the mirror-
Name:  gfismol.gif
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Fitness Renewal - Inspection at RTO Bangalore Central(HSR)


At the RTO office, these were the documents that were needed as per the notice board -
  1. Form 25 with Chassis impression on the side(self-attested)
  2. Fee Receipt for the Renewal and Tax(self attested with chassis impression on side)
  3. The original RC card inside a plastic ziplock along with a copy(self-attested)
  4. A copy of valid PUC certificate(self-attested)
  5. A copy of the valid insurance policy(self-attested)

In addition to these, we decided to keep a set of copies of the following ID proof documents as well -
  1. Driving License of owner(self-attested)
  2. Aadhar Card of owner(self-attested)
  3. PAN Card of owner(self-attested)

We decided to go to the RTO office on 30th March, Saturday at 10 AM(opening time). Upon reaching, it seemed like we were the first ones there and hence decided to arrange all the paperwork in a file as required. Wee got the required file, ziplock bag for the old RC and the double stamped envelope in which the new RC card would be sent back to us at a stationery shop across the road from the RTO. The shopkeepeer helped us arrange the documents in order and punched them and placed them in the file. Our address, contact number and the car's registration number were to be written on the file and the envelope.

With all documents checked and ready, we were informed to go to the first floor of the building, to the Non-Transport section room. There was literally nobody inside, and we had to wait for around 20 minutes for someone to come, check our documents and give us the go-ahead. The next step was to wait for the inspector. There were no problems so far, things were going great.

The inspector took his own sweet time to come, we had to wait for an hour or so. Once he came, he looked at our documents and told us to bring the car where he was sitting. Initially, he told us to get the chassis impression on the side of the form as well but we explained to him that the location of the stamp is really inaccessible in our car(below passenger seat, a small slit in the carpet) and it would result in the paper tearing(It was hard enough to get it on the bottom of the sheet, let alone the side). He looked at us for a while and decided to let us go after we tried to get the impression on the same paper.

Now comes the inspection. The inspector told us to bring the car around, and it was parked right next to his seat, maybe around 15 feet away. He did not move an inch, just told me to read the last 5 digits of the chassis number aloud from the stamp. The picture posted below was all that he could see -

How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal-pxl_20240330_062815319.jpeg


That was it! The inspection was over! No turning on headlights, no going around the car, no opening the bonnet, not even turning on the car! I was pretty happy this was how it was done. No fuss at all till now. The inspector gave the file to his clerk who checked all the documents and their validity again and stamped the Form 25 along with some details like chassis number, date of inspection and so on. He then instructed us to go to Room 7 on the ground floor to enter the details into the system and the website.

In Room 7, they made us go to the first floor again(Room 3) since there was no record of our car being here at the RTO for inspection. After we did that, we were sent back down to Room 7 on the ground floor to enter the results of the inspection and passed to the verification stage.

The last and final step was going back upstairs(Going back and forth, it does become quite annoying after a point of time) to submit the file for verification. The staff sitting at the desk had a look over our file a final time and entered something in their computer, followed by a "seri, aithu"(Ok, done in Kannada). This was a huge relief for us, since we thought they would make it much harder.

I was completely surprised how easy it was. We were in and out within 2 hours at the RTO, without paying any additional fees at the RTO office. We paid Rs.6762 in total, including the smart card fee, and the cost for the stamped envelope and file was Rs.57.

Now, there is nothing more to do other than wait for the smart card to arrive, and I'm very happy about how things turned out ultimately.

Here's to many more years and miles with the Civic!

Thanks for reading!

Last edited by CzechItaliaMoto : 30th March 2024 at 17:10.
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Old 30th March 2024, 19:38   #2
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st March 2024, 09:36   #3
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Great thread, it feels great to see you taking all the necessary steps to keep the legend. Will it be possible for you to share the contact of the scrap dealer from whom you sourced the parts, I need a few for my Civic. Thanks in advance!
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Old 31st March 2024, 12:09   #4
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

"Here's to many more years and miles with the Civic! "

Congratulations. How many years they allocated to your Civic. Is it varying from state to state? Mine is due in March 2027.
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Old 31st March 2024, 12:12   #5
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by CzechItaliaMoto View Post
The Civic turns 15 this year! Past couple of years of ownership have been quite interesting, lots of money went into it. Well, it does not stop there. Lots of money is going into it this year as well!
...
Dear Sir,

I have a 2013 Tata Nano which is due for renewal in few years. I know we still have time but since I noticed this topic I thought I might as well ask. So my question is, is it compulsory that I need to fix/repaint all the dent/scratches ? My Nano does not have any dents other than stone chippings on front bonnet and traffic inflicted scratches on the bumper.

Last edited by vb-saan : 31st March 2024 at 14:21. Reason: Please avoid quoting a full long post. Thank you!
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Old 31st March 2024, 12:30   #6
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

As a qualified vehicle mechanic in the UK I find it incredible that a vehicle only has to get a "fitness test" after 15 years. Not even a test as such. We have much stricter controls. Every new vehicle has to undergo a full MOT Ministry of Transport test when it reaches 3 years of age, and then every year after that.
The test is very comprehensive and includes brake testing on a rolling road. Every aspect of the vehicle is covered, with the exception of the engine, clutch and gearbox. Basically every part of the vehicle is checked to ensure that it is fully functional, within wear limits and performs in virtually the same way as a new car.
How can it be safe to allow a 15 year old vehicle to travel at 120kph without an annual safety check. Especially considering that the vehicle can easily have travelled over 200,000 Kms and be completely worn out and extremely dangerous to all road users and pedestrians.
I still believe that maximum speeds in India should be limited to 80 kph as this will reduce the chances of an accident being fatal. Once routine annual vehicle testing and enforcement, plus better driver training have been achieved then raise the limit to 120 kph.
An accident at 120 kph is 5 times more likely to be fatal than travelling at 80 kph.
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Old 31st March 2024, 13:39   #7
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehillybilly View Post
Great thread, it feels great to see you taking all the necessary steps to keep the legend. Will it be possible for you to share the contact of the scrap dealer from whom you sourced the parts, I need a few for my Civic. Thanks in advance!
I sourced the parts from the Facebook group Honda Civic Owners Club India. Once you post, usually a couple of people respond to it almost immediately. I got it from the user named "Sufi Sufiyan", he has a lot full of scrapped cars including multiple Civics that he showed me. You can contact the number given in the Facebook posts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk1983 View Post
Congratulations. How many years they allocated to your Civic. Is it varying from state to state? Mine is due in March 2027.
I think it is standard across all states, we get an extension of 5 years irrespective of vehicle type(Car, 2-wheeler) in Karnataka.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
I have a 2013 Tata Nano which is due for renewal in few years. I know we still have time but since I noticed this topic I thought I might as well ask. So my question is, is it compulsory that I need to fix/repaint all the dent/scratches ? My Nano does not have any dents other than stone chippings on front bonnet and traffic inflicted scratches on the bumper.
I think small dents and scratches that are not visible easily are often ignored. If you notice carefully, our car is not dent-free. There are a bunch of dents on the bonnet as well as the roof, and small scratches still exist. Since the car was inspected in such a manner maybe that's why they let it go. It also depends on which RTO the car is registered in. For my dad's Versa, it was registered in Kasturinagar RTO, they were very thorough in checking and properly inspected the car, including its electrical system and tyres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redex View Post
The test is very comprehensive and includes brake testing on a rolling road. Every aspect of the vehicle is covered, with the exception of the engine, clutch and gearbox. Basically every part of the vehicle is checked to ensure that it is fully functional, within wear limits and performs in virtually the same way as a new car.
How can it be safe to allow a 15 year old vehicle to travel at 120kph without an annual safety check. Especially considering that the vehicle can easily have travelled over 200,000 Kms and be completely worn out and extremely dangerous to all road users and pedestrians.
Most fitness tests in India are superficial. They mainly see the exterior condition of the car and sometimes if you pay them, not even that. There are many cars out on the road with very weak/ worn out critical parts like suspension, brakes, control arms etc are still deemed to be fit by the RTO since the body is in a good shape. Unlike the UK MOT, none of the inspectors go under the car inspecting the components in a comprehensive manner. I would also go as far as saying I don't think the Indian fitness test is effective at all, in most places it is still treated as just a formality.
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Old 31st March 2024, 13:56   #8
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re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

I agree entirely, that was my point. If India wants to drive at "Western World" speeds it should first ensure that both drivers, vehicles and roads are up the required standards. However, with my experience of India, (4 months every year for nearly 20 years), I quickly realised that the value of a life is negligible and it is cheaper to sacrifice a few lives instead of taking appropriate safety measures. Not just vehicles but industry, construction and general labour. It's very similar in most 3rd world countries. Sadly
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Old 31st March 2024, 17:55   #9
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Great thread and a morale booster for my upcoming FC in next few months.
I need both the bumpers to be repainted and was contemplating Trend but will now try other options.
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Old 31st March 2024, 19:09   #10
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

I wish something like this can be replicated in New Delhi RTO. My Honda Accord expires in the next one month.
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Old 8th April 2024, 17:24   #11
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Quote:
Originally Posted by CzechItaliaMoto View Post

I was completely surprised how easy it was. We were in and out within 2 hours at the RTO, without paying any additional fees at the RTO office. We paid Rs.6762 in total, including the smart card fee, and the cost for the stamped envelope and file was Rs.57.

Now, there is nothing more to do other than wait for the smart card to arrive, and I'm very happy about how things turned out ultimately.

Here's to many more years and miles with the Civic!

Thanks for reading!
Congratulations on the Rebirth of your dear Civic

I will be on the same boat in a few months. My Fiesta's due for FC Renewal by end of this year. I was planning to get just the bumpers repainted as both of them have a a few scratches and also has slightly different shade owing to previous shoddy paint jobs.

Apart from that I was also wondering if I should really take out the floor carpet and look out for any signs of rust ..etc?

Also as the car is KL registered I would need to renew it here and I dont think I might be lucky as you to have a lazy inspector as here things are different and they could check every inch of the car.
Only worry is the projector fog lamps I have installed few years back and wonder if I should have them removed
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Old 8th April 2024, 19:36   #12
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

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Originally Posted by unni246 View Post
.

Apart from that I was also wondering if I should really take out the floor carpet and look out for any signs of rust ..etc?

Also as the car is KL registered I would need to renew it here and I dont think I might be lucky as you to have a lazy inspector as here things are different and they could check every inch of the car.
Only worry is the projector fog lamps I have installed few years back and wonder if I should have them removed
I am not sure about the rust under the carpet, but my guess is I don't think it will be a problem. If you feel that the carpet is damp in some places then those would be the places to check first. Otherwise, taking a look under the car should suffice. I am not that well versed when it comes to the build quality of Fords, but in my Civic, apart from some surface rust that I took care of immediately on the boot door there weren't any other problems that I have noticed of till date.

About the projector fogs, if it looks OEM there's a good chance it might not raise a red flag. To be on the safer side, better to revert back to stock, and put them back once the inspection is over. That's what I did with my headlights.

Best of luck!
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Old 8th April 2024, 22:03   #13
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

Hi CzechItlliaMoto,
Congratulations on getting your FC renewed for almost 60% of what I spent by going through an agent ( a compromise I was prepared to make, given my tight work schedule). The agent ( who handles RTO work for the Honda dealership) quoted 12K including his fee & vehicle pickup and drop, so worked out ok for me.

Surprised that Trend autos did a shabby job - I had been there thrice so far ( bumpers all three time - first after hitting a stone on front right bottom corner because of ground clearance issue thanks to Google maps taking me off road, second when an elderly man on his Royal Enfield rear ended me at a stop signal damaging the left rear corner of the bumper and third time a bit more severe rear ending by a bike at a speed breaker where I had to get the rear bumper replaced). Trend did a good job all three times and was about 60% cheaper than what Honda ASS quoted. Feeling bad that I recommended you Trend and you were disappointed at the results.
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Old 8th April 2024, 22:16   #14
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Re: How I prepared our 15-year old Honda Civic for Fitness Renewal

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Feeling bad that I recommended you Trend and you were disappointed at the results.
No worries at all! From a distance, car looks pretty good, would also say some of the things I pointed out, was nitpicking. These were kind of expected especially when we decided to paint individual panels. A 100 percent satisfactory finish would only be obtained if a full body repaint is done, probably at a bigger body shop. Maybe something to think about during next fitness renewal!
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