A day at Ford

I was at Ford Service Station to get some minor adjustment for my car last week and I clicked a few pictures while moving around. It was a tricky adjustment, apparently, and took them the whole day. So, the more I waited, the more areas in the service station I observed and clicked.

All the photos are clicked with my Nokia Lumia 820.

WP_20130814_005The line of cars queued up to enter the main service area. I reached there around 11 am and I got a number 33. This was on 14th Aug 2013 and the staff explained they had more than usual number of cars as the next day being a holiday, leading to a long weekend.

The 10 minute guide to replace lost or stolen Ford Figo key

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My Figo’s new keys and old locks.

I lost my car key last week and didn’t find much help online. After making a few calls and making a few visits, I now got the complete security system replaced. As always, I’m posting this on my blog hoping that it might assist someone, someday.

What can you do NOW (before you lose the key) that will save you some regret later?

While I sincerely hope that you don’t lose your key, and also hope that it doesn’t get stolen, it is good to make a few arrangements before-hand to deal with such a situation later.

1. Talk to your insurance company

The insurance you have for your car has multiple options; and ‘lost/ stolen key’ is one such ‘feature’ you may or may not have in the package. I would recommend that you have a word with your insurance company casually to understand the policy.

My car insurance policy is with Bajaj Allianz (BA) and unfortunately, the policy I currently have does not cover ‘key lost’ situations. I was surprised to know that BA doesn’t consider key as part of the car (Asha – EmpID BG08017 confirmed so).

Mind you, I have a ‘dealer policy’ which I was told is much better than the ‘regular’ policy. You get such a policy from Ford dealer instead of BA directly- online or through their branch offices. The advantages I have with this policy so far are: (i) Doesn’t cover ‘key lost/ stolen’ situations and (ii) I cannot renew it online like any other BA policies; I HAVE to go visit the dealership to get it done.

If your policy is like mine, check if you have any option to upgrade the policy. It normally costs less than INR 1000 (additional) to have ‘lost/ stolen key’ covered. It cost me INR 6200 to replace the security system. So, as the concept of insurance itself is, a small price to pay to play safe in case the unfortunate happens.

2. Save your second key and REMEMBER where it is.

It took a couple of hours for me to locate the spare key when I lost my main Intelligent key last week. Good for me that the car was at home when I misplaced the key. Imagine a situation when you’re on road when this happens!

Only one of the two keys that are given with Figo has the remote options, as is the standard with few other makes and models in the market. So, you would prefer to use this Intelligent key and when this is lost/ stolen, you take out the second key. While the convenience is not the same, it will allow you to get home, take a moment and then think about the course of action.

I have a system. Spare keys of all my vehicles (Figo, Yamaha and Activa) stay in my briefcase at home by default. When I take road trips with friends/ family for more than a couple of days, I normally handover the spare key to someone in the group and take it back when I return. Design your own system and stick to it.

If you know where your spare key is, Ford Road Side Assistance will help you to get that key to you wherever you are stuck. Of course, when it’s at home, there has to be someone to locate the key and hand it over to the Road Side assistance guy.

When you get the spare key, you can come home safely. Or, if you have ample time and resources (money or insurance coverage for ‘lost/ stolen key’ situations) Road Side assistance can help you get the car to the nearest Ford dealer to have the key replaced.

3. Have the necessary info like phone numbers handy

Of course the phone numbers are readily available in the car. There is insurance documentation and Ford ‘user manual and service record’ that will have contact information listed. You may also see some stickers on the rear side glass or boot door glass that holds the contact information.

Just to be sure, when you have a moment, write down/ print the list of phone numbers you will need in such cases and leave it in the car. When you lose the key, the quicker you can locate the contact phone number, the sooner you can expect assistance.

Ford manual also has the key number written in it. The same information is available on a plastic key-ring-tab when you received the keys at the time of car delivery (It probably is still hanging on to the spare key, check!). Ford may need this information to program the new key to your car.

30+ observations in 30 days – Ford Figo

It’s been a month of Figoism now, and so far, so good. Figo means “cool” in Italian; and it indeed is!

I’m glad I made a good choice by selecting a vehicle that’s a good package for the price and class. Again, this is based on just one month usage and I hope it continues to perform well and please me the same way through thousands of kilometers and years ahead of us.

Here are the 30+ aspects I observed- through the selection, purchase and use of Figo for 30 days now.

Ford Figo

Pleasant:

  1. Bluetooth: I bought a Zxi variant and it comes with an integrated entertainment system. To start with, it integrates well (doesn’t look odd/ out of place). It feels good to use and is nicely built (not cheap/ has no confusing controls). I’m glad it has the regular and expected USB, CD and Radio options. But, more than that, I’m loving the bluetooth connectivity. I paired up my iPhone once, as soon as I bought the car and it ‘just works’. It connects automatically when I get in, and allows me to use car audio system for my calls, as well as play music from my iPhone – all using bluetooth. Just loving it! (Flipkart has some bluetooth kits if you’re interested.)
  2. Boot opening options: How many times have I bent down to fiddle with the two levers near the driver’s seat base and opened up fuel cap instead of boot? More than a few times. With my new Figo, I like the fact that it’s electric boot opener, as a button on the dashboard. Also, the key has a button (along with car lock/ unlock buttons) to release the boot lock remotely; very handy when I load the luggage first and then get in to drive.
  3. DTE: It’s Distance to Empty => Figo’s way of telling us how many more kilometers I can travel with the fuel available in the tank. It won’t be accurate to the kilometer but a nice estimate to start with. When on road, especially long drives and road trips, we do our own calculations to plan refuels. It’s good that now I can take my Figo’s opinion too and make better decisions!
  4. Remote in key: Previously, I owned a Santro. The key was just a key, and it had a separate remote control console. Like many others, my remote control device was my key chain. Now, the Figo has the remote control options (car lock/ unlock and boot opener) integrated into the key. This means, I can have a key ring of my choice; like the Jaguar I currently use!
  5. Backseat comfort: Front seats are of course comfortable in most of the cars. So, when in discussion, it’s always the back seat comfort. I like the position, seat and backrest angle, and the height very good. If my parents can travel in the back for an hour or two without complaints, that good enough for me. I tried it too for an hour the other day, sitting in the back seat, and I’m happy!
  6. Self timer for wipers: Apart from intermittent, low, hi and sooper-fast, I have an option to “program” the speed of the wipers. It’s on-the-fly time setting depending on the intensity of rain. I love features like this one- convenience and sophistication together! 🙂
  7. Programmable unlock: I can program the unlock option on the key to unlock ‘only driver’s door’ and not all. I like it. Not a very necessary feature but when am alone in chaos and too much public, or a market, it takes 4 secs to program the key to either unlock all doors, or just one for me. Good one!
  8. Door locks independent of ignition key position: All the cars I drove so far [in general] lock the doors immediately after I change the key position to ON, the position from where we crank the engine and start the ignition. So, after I get in and get ready, I always end up using the lock release lever on the driver’s door to let others get in. Figo doesn’t do that.
    It waits until the vehicle catches 7 kmph speed to lock all the doors. Like.
    The locks are not actually locks (see point 2 below). Dislike.
  9. Auto hazard blinkers: (Yet to test. Am waiting to cross 5000 kms so the restriction on high speeds is off.) According to the features list, when in high speeds, if the brakes are applied to slow down the vehicle drastically (a.k.a “sudden brakes”) the hazard blinkers automatically go off to warn the other vehicles on the road.
  10. Speed volume: Small but interesting option. When the speed of the car increases, there’s a buzz that increases too. It’s a mix of air resistance, engine noise, tyre sound etc. Among all these, if the audio was set for comfortable music listening experience, that won’t be enough. So, the volume of the entertainment system is increased a little to still maintain audible levels of music. 🙂
  11. Lane change indicators: Along with the regular turn indicators, there’s this feature I like in Figo. You tap the same lever gently and the indicators flash for three times. Perfect for cruises on highways!
  12. AC: That was the first thing we noticed within a few minutes of taking the car off the dealer. It cools the cabin pretty quickly and blows air kinda powerful too. We felt that it’s a little ‘too much’ for a small car but we can always tone down when not needed by adjusting the temperature or closing the vents. But again, given the heat we experienced in Hyderabad this summer, the AC performance like this feels a necessity. Let’s wait and see how it compares in the next summer. 🙂
  13. No vibrations: This is with reference to the steering wheel and the gear shift knob. I’m not sure if this is going to change as it covers miles but so far, I’m very glad about this.
  14. Boot space: One of the best in class! And it has a boot lamp too! 🙂