If you've been following my thread, I already completed the 1 Month Swaagat Service
a few weeks ago when the vehicle was delivered back to me after replacement of the windshield glass. I did not expect anything special from this 1 Month or 1000km
checkup service, until I stumbled upon a snapshot of Volkswagen India's site which informed me that most users are receiving a Swaagat Service Welcome Kit
, but sadly I did not receive anything other than my car after the Swaagat Service. The Engine Guard Story
When my dad had a look inside the engine bay, he was quite surprised to see the open ground
beneath since other Volkswagen cars we've driven have always come with an underbody protection, which has served us well over the years. I had been in touch with the parts manager Mr. Ashpak
and Mr. Ganesh
from BU Bhandari Wakad about the availability of an underbody stone guard for the Polo 1.0 TSI. So far, none of their customers had opted or had one fitted on their engines and so there was some doubt as to whether or not it would be compatible with the mounting points on the newer engine. Presently, the only protection that a Polo comes with
is a Small flimsy plastic cover
which sits exactly below the Drive Belt
. Finding the Sump Guard
This is when ETKA
came in handy and I searched all of the PR codes and found a few underbody guards listed on the part list, which were obviously not specific for the vehicle. On inspecting the PR numbers, I could confirm that the Petrol specification of the guard were common to the 1.2 TSI and 3 cylinder 04C 1.0 TSI engine and so I enquired about the individual costing of the Stone-Guard and it turned out to be a staggering Rs. 19000!
This is when Mr. Ganesh informed me that the Stone Guard and Lock Carrier kit assembly
is available for about Rs. 10000 and this definitely seemed better than the first option. Meanwhile, I started looking around and enquired with another contact Saral Trading
who had offered a similar underbody guard to my friends at a very attractive cost of about Rs. 6000, all inclusive. However, my research told me that the Petrol and Diesel sump guards are different in design
. The petrol variant has a scoop for the air intake
and it also comes with a Thermal Insulating sheet
and a cutout
near the Down-pipe. And to further bolster the case, Saral Trading informed me that the only part he was offering was currently out of stock with no intimation of when it would be available next.
I also looked up the part number online and found many used stone guards
in Russia and Poland at an attractive price of Rs. 2000 but shipping it here would have resulted in a price upward of Rs. 8000 and it would still not serve the purpose since it needs a lot of other mounting hardware to be installed on the chassis. So I dropped the idea of importing the stone guard and started considering the Volkswagen option of buying the entire kit at Rs. 10000. I was amidst my exams, but wanted to get this done as soon as possible and so I requested my advisor Mr. Chinmay
and the parts division Mr. Ganesh to hold a part
for me. I also made an appointment
for today, the 30th of November to get this sorted out.
To be doubly sure about whether or not the part was the real thing, I made a quick trip to the dealership on the 28th of November, to actually inspect the part for myself. To my surprise, the dealership had about 5 packed pieces
of a petrol engine stone guard and lock-carrier. We opened a packed piece and I inspected the parts first-hand. The guard itself was made of hard plastic and the entire assembly came with two mounting brackets
and all of the mounting bolts needed for fitting the stone guard
. The parts guy was still skeptical about whether or not the part would fit and also offered me advise as to why he believed I could do without the added protection. I told him that I would take a call after a discussion with my father. We decided to check if the guard would fit during the appointment. PROs of an Engine Guard
CONs of an Engine Guard
- Protection against minor stone hits, minor scraping.
- Slight reduction in road noise.
- Engine bay remains clean during monsoons.
- Difficult to spot an engine oil, coolant leak due to the shielded underbody.
- Slight addition in the weight of the vehicle.
- Increases service time by 15-20 mins (To remove and refit the guard).
- Plastic Guard does not provide bulletproof impact protection unlike a Solid Metal Guard offered on Jettas etc.
My father called the shots and asked me to get the guard fitted subject to feasibility
. Appointment at the Dealership
I reached the dealership at 9:30 AM sharp and was pleased to see a beautiful white GTI in front of me. Luckily, the lucky owner was right in front of me and we had a good time chatting about the beastly GTI! I have to say, I kept staring at the GTI wheel
and was borderline jealous about the supremely comfortable seats
with excellent under thigh support on the GTI. Volkswagen's New Platform for Car Inspection
Volkswagen seems to have implemented a new platform
for documenting the vehicle exteriors and interiors and I received an email earlier this evening with a clear video of the interior and exterior
of my vehicle. I was present during the shooting of the video but I thought it was only being collected for local storage to aid in body damage disputes. Good to see this move from the company!
Then my vehicle was driven into the Express Bay
and a team of two technicians began surveying the mounting points on the chassis and as I expected, literally nothing was changed on the chassis
. The chassis
still had the good old mounting slots for fitting the brackets for the Stone Guard and the technicians started work immediately. This is what the 1.0 TSI engine and the Automatic Gearbox from AISIN look like at present from the bottom.
After the brackets were fitted onto the chassis, the technicians had to pass threaded holes
into slots already present on the subframe
. After this was done, the stone guard was simply tightened in place with the bolts included in the kit.
Here's a closer look at the Petrol Stone Guard just before it was fitted on the vehicle. Notice the silver coloured thermal insulated region
near the exhaust cut-out. Next it was time to wait for the bill, but it was fairly within spec considering the kit itself was about Rs. 10000. The dealership charged a modest labour amount
for this work.
I politely enquired about the Swaagat Care Kit and Mr. Chinmay
and Mr. Sandesh
, my advisor from the previous windshield repair, made the necessary provision within 5 minutes. The entire job was completed within 15 mins
once the technicians started working on the car and the rest of the billing and road tests were wrapped up within 30 minutes. Overall, a very usual pleasant and professional experience
with Mr. Chinmay and BU Bhandari Volkswagen
It was time to test out the cargo capacity of the Polo
and down went the seats and in went the huge cardboard box which now had a spare lock carrier to keep at home!
I have also attached other photos of the Petrol Stone Guard Box and Carrier which has a detailed list and part numbers
of all the mounting brackets and bolts needed to complete this job. Also ended up clicking some pictures of the Polo with the Underbody guard suitably installed.
Next up is the Swaagat Kit
which includes a Shampoo and a Windshield Cleaner along with a Micro-Fibre Towel
and a Sponge
! A much needed kit for me since I wish to learn more about the nuances of car detailing at home!
The Swaagat Kit comes in a Recycled Cardboard Box
and is decently priced. Will let you know how good the chemicals included are after a short while.
A quick parting shot to end this thread!