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Old 4th May 2014, 00:47   #1
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Default Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

Yes , we know FNG's are good at what they do- well most of them. Yet, there are some FNG's who are better than good. No, that's an understatement. They are experts. Why? A taxi-driver who is also a customer put it across best...
Quote:
They are experts because... even main dealers send across their most troublesome cases to them.
Talk about A.S.S. eating humble-pie, throwing up his arms in the air and saying call in the experts! Yes, yes - I know and you know that they don't have the skills. But have you seen them admit that openly?
I have. While waiting at the expert's workshop for my car to get attended to, a man dressed in Tata Motors fatigues (ostensibly from some Tata Motors dealership in the city) jumps out of a Tata Safari, and says - Saab ne bheja hai. To which the expert, gives a look so as to say "Oh No! Not again" - and patiently waits to hear what hole they have dug themselves into.

It is 4 PM on a very busy Saturday afternoon at Unique Automobiles, a comprehensive workshop run by Mr. Shannoo and Mr. Irfan. 14 busy body mechanics/boys run in and out of the shop , darting and weaving between patiently waiting customers. Some of these customers have been waiting patiently since morning for someone to attend their car. There is no frustration writ large on their faces due to the delay, instead there's hope and a quiet confidence , that the wait is worth it - because this is the only pain in the entire experience. They know, that once they are here, their cars will eventually be attended to, and once they are out, the chances of a repeat visit due to the same problem is negligibly small.
The customers themselves represent a diaspora of Delhi's motorists. Most of them have horror stories to tell (of A.S.S. - what else? ). They belong from all walks of life. A few taxi-drivers, some BMW and Audi drivers (some driver-owners, some drivers) , various other car drivers, sundry owners who don't employ drivers, and yours faithfully. There's a certain camaraderie between them too. They listen sympathetically to their neighbors problems while relating their own. There's final agreement all around, that if anyone can solve their problems, it's got to be Shanoo and Irfan.

Meet Shannoo
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-shanoo.jpg
and Master mechanic Irfan
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-master-mechanic-irfan.jpg

This is their business card....
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-combined-card.jpg

and since the directions on it might be a little challenging for some .. here's something from googlemaps showing their precise location (28.572484, 77.212143). You can also click this link
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-map-location.jpg

Last edited by joybhowmik : 4th May 2014 at 19:23.
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Old 4th May 2014, 18:52   #2
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Default Description of Services

Services Offered
Air Conditioning service
Any Mechanical work
Any Electrical work (includes Engine electronics, security electronics, diagnostics)

Work Hours
7 days a week
10:30 AM to 2:30 AM

Pros
1. Both Shannoo and Irfan take a personal interest in the work getting done, from initial diagnosis, to supervising the work, to testing after the work is done.
2. Options are offered - repair vs replace.
3. Have access to a lift nearby (not their own though) and can arrange to give your car a thorough wash.
4. Take pride in the work done on their watch. Rarely if ever have I gone back to them for the same problem.
5. Offer a pick-up and drop service.
6. Knowledge/Experience of cars and how they work is encyclopaedic.
7. Excellent network of supply contacts - both domestic and international.
8. Well stocked AC spares.

Belts and AC lines.
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-belts-ac-lines-hanging.jpg
Walls lined with compressor/clutch assemblies
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-refurbished-new-compressors-shelves.jpg

Cons
1. Will try and subtly upsell you. Be aware.
2. Lack of adequate 'service bays' by the shop.
3. Lack of adequate tools within the pool of mechanics. Like any other SMB service shop that has suddenly grown, they are overly cautious about handing out enough spanners to their staff - because they are afraid of these being misplaced. This means, that 20%~ 30% time of the mechanic is spent in hunting down the tools for the job and waiting for it to be freed up. And no, they don't have fancy management skills/degrees but they know one thing - the customer's time is less precious than their tools.
4. Wait time for vehicle service is very high due to tremendous load - they are almost like a small dealership in size. At peak hours they attend to 9-12 vehicles, with an equal number waiting for a service bay to be freed up.

Keys of every description - representing cars waiting to be attended
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-keys-cars-every-description-size.jpg

Last edited by joybhowmik : 4th May 2014 at 19:25.
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Old 4th May 2014, 19:12   #3
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Default My own AC service experience

I always get my car AC serviced by Shannoo.
My take on the service done:
He will make an adequate diagnosis of what is wrong with the AC. He will offer you suggestions as to a temporary fix, and a permanent fix.
If it is a compressor/clutch issue he has adequate stocks of various models of Sanden brand compressors for you to buy directly and will try and convince you to switch from OEM to Sanden. This is probably because OEM is sometimes hard to get at a momen't notice.

A Sanden brand Compressor. Clutch and pulley are probably local.
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-sanden-compressor-assembly-pulley-clutch.jpg

Attaching some pictures of the work done:
Dirty Condenser before cleaning
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-dirty-condenser-before-cleaning.jpg

Spraying diluted acid ( Coil shine), on condenser
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-spraying-coil-shine-condenser-exterior.jpg

Scrubbing condenser with a nylon brush.

Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-scrubbing-condensor-nylon-brush.jpg

Pressure washing the condensor to rinse off the coil shine

Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-pressure-wash-rinse-off-reagent.jpg

Dismantling the evaporator (cooling coil) housing
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-dismantling-evaporator-housing.jpg Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-dismantling-evaporator-housing-2.jpg

Flushing the evaporator

Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-closeupflushing-evaporator.jpg

Dirty evaporator waiting to be washed (using Coil Shine acid solution)Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-dirty-evaporator-waiting-washed.jpg

The coil shine product itself for exterior cleaning of the condenser and evaporator. This is an acid, and is diluted before use.
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-coil-shine-productfor-exterior-cleaning-evaporator-condenser.jpg

Recharging in progress.
Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)-freon-gas-cannister.jpg

Net result: Cooling efficiency was definitely up.
Before service pressures were: 250 psi (High) , 60 psi (low).
After service pressures were : 200 psi (High) , 40 psi (low).

Last edited by joybhowmik : 4th May 2014 at 19:24.
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Old 5th May 2014, 09:38   #4
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Default re: Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

Thread moved from the Assembly line to the Team-BHP directory section. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 7th May 2014, 12:25   #5
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Default Re: My own AC service experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
I always get my car AC serviced by Shannoo.

I have been there, infact I only go to this place for car AC service, their work is gooood

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Last edited by moralfibre : 11th May 2014 at 21:32.
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Old 9th May 2014, 21:30   #6
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Default Re: Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

How much did you pay for getting the AC serviced and Gas charged ?
Does this involve opening up the dashboard to access the evaporator ?
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Old 10th May 2014, 08:44   #7
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Default Re: Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

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Originally Posted by adi_sun View Post
How much did you pay for getting the AC serviced and Gas charged ?
Does this involve opening up the dashboard to access the evaporator ?
Rs 2000/-. Yes, the blower and evaporator units are hidden behind the dashboard. But access is relatively easy in the Santro. These come out through the glove box hole. One just takes off the glove box lid, and accesses the bolts of the blower+Evaporator unit. Then it slides out.
Also he disconnected the condenser and took that out.
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Old 10th May 2014, 20:49   #8
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Default Re: Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
They are experts. Why? A taxi-driver who is also a customer put it across best...

Quote:
They are experts because... even main dealers send across their most troublesome cases to them.
Talk about A.S.S. eating humble-pie, throwing up his arms in the air and saying call in the experts!
One important reason is the tracking system that the OEM's have for problems attended to by A.S.S's. Repeat problems are not taken kindly by OEM's. Another reason for the AS.S to avoid problematic cars is the revenue that the AS.S needs for every car that comes in. This point may be arguable as being applicable to the FNG, the people at the FNG do not have the pressure that the people at the AS.S have.
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Old 11th May 2014, 14:07   #9
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Default Re: Friendly Neighbourhood Garage - Shanoo & Irfan, Unique Automobiles (Delhi)

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
One important reason is the ... Repeat problems are not taken kindly by OEM's. Another reason for the AS.S to avoid problematic cars is the revenue that the AS.S needs for every car that comes in.
@ Condor
Agreed, problematic cars take more time for diagnosis, and hence the dealers or the FNG don't make much money out of it. But by doing so, the FNG gains customer loyalty, which it probably values more than the A.S.S. (no real ownership/accountability incentive to drive customer loyalty within the people most connected with the customer).

And imho, the customer loyalty factor brings in future revenues through repeat business and great word-of-mouth referenceability.

I also think , there is a third reason. Lack of deep skills at many A.S.S.
By virtue of the higher attrition that is seen at such dealer workshops, as a corollary, very few people are retained who become specialists at what they do. An example is Galaxy Toyota - flagship dealer for Toyota in New Delhi. At their Okhla workshop, I was chatting to one of their "senior" mechanics - he was an employee for last 7-8 years. According to him, there are only 2-3 old-timers that the company has managed to retain, the rest are between 0-4 years old in the company. Conversely, there is a higher proportion of senior mechanics at such competent FNGs. I don't think, it is the money only which keeps them there. I think it is also a sense of being able to command respect with the customer.
It is that feeling which gives them pride in their work, and gives them another reason to work at the same place tomorrow.
I think mechanics do not feel as special at an A.S.S. because of the completely different customer touchpoint framework. The biggest difference to FNG is they are not allowed any formal contact with the customer. So even if they do a good job, many times it goes unnoticed - and the customer just fills in a generic feedback thanking the whole chain (service advisor, job controller, mechanic). That is a bit unfair to the mechanic. This point is supported by the observation, that in the rare cases, when the customer does take an interest and insists to talk with the mechanic - he goes out of his way to satisfy!
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Old 17th February 2015, 00:02   #10
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Default Re: Description of Services

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Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Services Offered
Air Conditioning service
How much do they charge for a complete a/c service, including cleaning the fresh air intake?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 24th February 2015, 17:17   #11
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Default Re: Description of Services

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Originally Posted by fighterace View Post
How much do they charge for a complete a/c service, including cleaning the fresh air intake?

Thanks in advance.
Depends on the car and the way the A/C ducts are arranged.
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Old 25th February 2015, 15:20   #12
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Default Re: Description of Services

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Originally Posted by joybhowmik View Post
Depends on the car and the way the A/C ducts are arranged.
I got the compressor of my Zen replaced, along with washing of the condensor. 2 pipes + belt were replaced. Charged 3500+200 for denting. Job was done well, awaiting the summers now. But I felt charges were slightly higher.

BTW, your name fetched instant welcome. And Mr. Irfan is really knowledgeable.
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Old 27th July 2015, 19:46   #13
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Default Re: Description of Services

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Originally Posted by fighterace View Post
I got the compressor of my Zen replaced, along with washing of the condensor. 2 pipes + belt were replaced. Charged 3500+200 for denting. Job was done well, awaiting the summers now. But I felt charges were slightly higher.

BTW, your name fetched instant welcome. And Mr. Irfan is really knowledgeable.
Your compressor seems to have come quite cheap.

Today I went there, Shannoo met me, he checked the car and told that the compressor needs to be replaced which will cost 14.5K (all inclusive labour etc) . Time will be one full day of work. Sanden brand compressor.

My car is Santro Xing 04 model. AC stops working in bumper to bumper traffic and only air blows. As soon as the car picks up speed, AC starts cooling again.

Now summers are almost over in NCR, will revisit the issue next year, if I keep the car till then.
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Old 27th July 2015, 22:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Today I went there, Shannoo met me, he checked the car and told that the compressor needs to be replaced which will cost 14.5K (all inclusive labour etc) . Time will be one full day of work. Sanden brand compressor.

My car is Santro Xing 04 model. AC stops working in bumper to bumper traffic and only air blows. As soon as the car picks up speed, AC starts cooling again.
I would suggest checking the belt tension, idler pulley, and compressor clutch before putting money down on a new compressor.
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Old 29th July 2015, 00:48   #15
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Default Re: Description of Services

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Originally Posted by tanwaramit View Post
Your compressor seems to have come quite cheap.
As it is a used one.

Quote:
Today I went there, Shannoo met me, he checked the car and told that the compressor needs to be replaced which will cost 14.5K (all inclusive labour etc) . Time will be one full day of work. Sanden brand compressor.
No point in putting a new comp as the car will be "dead" after three years.

Quote:
My car is Santro Xing 04 model. AC stops working in bumper to bumper traffic and only air blows. As soon as the car picks up speed, AC starts cooling again.

Now summers are almost over in NCR, will revisit the issue next year, if I keep the car till then.
Does the compressor clutch disengage or the refrigerant flow is insufficient?
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