Ownership & maintenance of my VW Tiguan at -40-degree Celsius

I also learnt how to deal with an insurance claim. Not 1 but two claims in less than a day involving two separate incidents.

BHPian Tgo recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

The month of January got the coldest spell of this winter. We saw temperatures of -40 °C with wind chill for a period of 3-4 days. This was the first time I actually noticed the outright reluctance to shift between gears after being parked out on the drive for 2 days straight. The foam in the seats gets rock solid. But a testament to good health was the fact that I was still able to crank it without assistance. The cranking took longer than usual but it worked.

However, other things bit the bullet. I started noticing a wet patch below the front passenger door. Noticing the slight blue tint in the snow made me trace it to the washer fluid. The washer fluid has anti-freezing properties because of the weather so there are definitely some chemicals in it. Looked up on forums and didn't find anything specific to this Tiguan but the Jetta and Golf has had similar reported problems. The root cause is the rubber seal/grommet between the washer fluid pump and reservoir. It is known to get brittle and is a cheap and easy fix if you know how to get to the reservoir. For any other car, this is easily accessible in the engine bay, but for the Tiguan and probably other VWs too, it is behind the front fender. The shortcut is to access it from the fender liner, but the right way to do it is to get the fender panel off the car. There was no way I wanted to attempt that in the cold out on the drive. Got it checked and temporarily fixed with some silicone sealant while I ordered the correct part. Was finally fixed after 2 months due to my schedule.

Kudos to the return policy on almost everything in this country. I ordered a bunch of parts, basically all sorts of grommets related to the washer bottle but ended up needing only one. The VW parts store was kind enough to return it and asked me to come with the VIN the next time I needed to order anything. They take the time to find the part that fits before invoicing it to you.

And sooner rather than later, I also learnt how to deal with an insurance claim. Not 1 but two claims in less than a day involving two separate incidents. I got rear-ended at an intersection early in the morning while on my way to work. Being the first car in a 3-car incident, there was definitely no fault of mine. Parked safely in the nearby lot and exchanged information with the other two drivers. Being on the Desi side of town, one of them was getting aggressive and had to be reminded that this could be dealt with calmly too. The last car was the one which rammed into the second which then rammed into mine. In terms of damage, I just had a tear in the bumper, not clips are broken or damage to the sheet metal. Was kind of surprised to have gotten away with such little damage considering the loud noise the collision had made.

Coming back to fetch documents from the car, I noticed that the driver-side door was also smooshed in. That's weird, I thought. Didn't remember anything hit from the side, I could not have been that ignorant. That's when I realised, that I had street parked at my friend's neighbourhood as I was there for a sleepover. Someone would have rammed into it on the street. What a bummer. All the thoughts of getting only one claim covered (as in India) ran through my mind.

Spoke to my friend who suggested reporting both incidents to the police. The process went like this. I narrated everything to the officer at the station. He came out and assessed the damages to see how much it would cost to get it repaired. The threshold is CAD 5000 in Calgary. Opposite to what I believed, he asked me to report the damage on the door termed as the "hit and run" and mention a line at the end of the report stating that the car was involved in another incident (the rear-end collision) on the same day. He filed the report and gave me a number which I relayed to the insurance adjuster. Both the claims were filed promptly taking about 15-20 minutes to gather details of the incidents over the phone. Being not-at-fault claims these would not affect my insurance negatively. The rear-end collision was repaired with charging a deductible as the other car's insurance would cover it. But for the hit and run, since there was no party identified at fault, I had to pay the deductible. Difficult to digest when you have a strong suspicion backed with corroborating proof of the culprit of the hit and run. But walking up to their doorstep with your sleeves rolled up is something you cannot do in a civilised country. I double-checked with the police, and they need video evidence or a witness to do anything about it. Moving on.

The insurance company booked me for an inspection at the auto body shop closest to my home address. This was 2 weeks away and the car was perfectly drivable so I did not face any hassles there. They assessed the car, took some pictures and put them on file and the next day I got the approval to get it repaired. The body shop assigned me a date that was 45 days away. On the day the repairs were to begin, I had to drop off the car, walk to the rental company in the same plaza, and pick up the rental car which I could use till my car was being worked on. Rental cars are provided on the Insurance company's tab up to the limit specified on your policy. Was happy to use a little Mitsubishi RVR for 4 days as coming back to the Tiguan would be something to look forward to. RVR is a cheap car, probably the cheapest AWD for sale in Canada, and not really great in terms of anything except for affordability. The body shop did an amazing job and had the car ready on time. On the day of the pick-up, I had to return the rental car, walk to the body shop and pick up the car after paying the deductible. A repair was well done but was charged at a premium to the insurance company. Roughly CAD 3500 for the replaced door and CAD 1400 for the replaced bumper. Comes with a lifetime warranty on the repairs carried out, as long as I am the owner of the vehicle. That said, I have to get the door checked as it seems less damped and sounds hollow when I shut it, but have planned to dampen it myself if the shop cannot help.

Added some more to the experiences of the kitty, which add up, making you feel at ease with the ups and downs of life as an immigrant in the long run. Business as usual for now. Looking forward to a busy summer.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

Redlining the Indian Scene