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Old 10th February 2015, 20:28   #16
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Here are some common Ac Disinfectant myth busters for everyone:

Myth 1: Its supposed to increase or improve your ac cooling.
Reality: Its not. The only purpose of an ac disinfectant is to avoid and/or delay the build-up of micro organisms like bacteria/mould etc in the cooling coil which in turn results in the foul smell. If at all you feel improved cooling, it woud be because you have cleaned/replaced the cabin filter along during service which really is the cause of better cooling.

Myth 2: It cleans up the "vents".
Reality: There is technically no "vent" being cleaned in the true sense of the word. The only thing needed to be cleaned on the inside of the car in the ac is the Evaporator or cooling coil. Other than the blower that is. But that's another story. The disinfectant is sprayed in the vent from where air enters the cooling coil. It's meant for the coil. Not the vent. So that's that.

Myth 3: It is utterly useless.
Reality: Actually it is dependant on other factors for full impact of it's use. Ideally, if you make sure you always have a clean and good condition cabin filter installed in your car ac, along with clean dust-free interiors, then spraying of a disinfectant once or twice a month would actually insure purer, cleaner and fresher air for you to enjoy.

Note: most of this doesn't apply to older car ac systems which didn't have cabin filters. Those need a completely different approach for servicing. Most of them could be cleaned without removing the dashboard. Like the Esteem, for example. In some cars you would need dashboard removal in order to properly clean up.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10th February 2015, 20:39   #17
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

What bothers me is why all this new AC cleaning? Engine coating? Flushing, de-carbonation, silencer coating, ?

My Uncle gave his Alto 800 for servicing. The car had done barely 5,000 KM yes 5,000 KM!
The service bill for this car was close to Rs 7, 500!
No Parts were replaced!
Why such a high bill? thanks to unnecessary addons.

Our Fathers owned and maintained cars, back then there was no such garbage being forced to the customer.
These older cars still work fine without all this ?
Maybe once in 10-12 years we replaced the carpets, the silencers and maybe the AC blower motor.

So my question is - Is any of this really needed? wont your car run/feel the same without all this?
Yes you can go home happier with a feel good factor and a lighter wallet.

Here are some of the Popular known Scams/Unnecessary jobs that can bloat up a bill during servicing.

AC Cleaning
engine flush
Engine Treatment
Engine Coating
Silencer Coating
engine Lacquer Coating
engine decarbonization
Fuel pump cleaning
Injector cleaning
Interior Germ clean
windshield Polishing
Gear Box treatment
gear box flushing
Radiator flushing
Radiator Addon

Other Service Scams usually include -
Brake Caliper Greasing. (This is usually covered in the paid service)
But you still get charged extra for this.

Last edited by Captain Slow : 10th February 2015 at 20:40.
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Old 10th February 2015, 21:29   #18
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Got the same shock when I had sent my Innova for 40000Kms service. The service advisor did inform me before-hand that apart from the other services, an a/c cleaning was included.
Found a Rs.750/- charge in the bill towards A/c Disinfectant/sanitizing spray. The S.A explained that they had sprayed disinfectant foam in the a/c vents to clean the a/c coil. I realized my mistake as to not asking the exact cost for the service, and paid the bill. I came across the same foam cans in various auto shops in Chennai costing just Rs300-350.
Would like to know if Toyota is aware of these gimmicks played by its service dealers. Once the SA said A/C cleaning, I was under the impression that it would be physical cleaning as in the case they do with the brakes. The A/c smelled fresh for a couple of days, and it was back to normal.
I would be much more happy if Toyota dealers could pay more attention to prevent soiling our car interiors by their staff than try marketing these products.

Last edited by P76 : 10th February 2015 at 21:31. Reason: spelling
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Old 10th February 2015, 21:47   #19
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Thanks for the info Vid6639 !

The 'AC' has become such an inseparable part of travel that we can hardly imagine travel without AC these days, atleast in our cars !
The A.S.S guys are making real good use of this fact and are trying to influence us to shell out more for nominal things. Guess they dont have any other trick up their sleeve to fleece customers and i feel that companies have realized that their various 'coating' schemes aren't working. Or maybe their 'coating' schemes are for the rainy season

With the topic of the AC, they have found a soft target in us customers. With the summers due in a few months, i guess this scam might only get bigger.
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Old 10th February 2015, 21:52   #20
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

This is a method many dealers, irrespective of the brand, adoptto get back the money they offer as exclusive discounts to attain sales numbers.
This methodology is not new and was adopted by service centers since long. My BIL once paid Rs 400 for a engine bay treatment, which was nothing but cleaning of the engine bay with some cleaning liquid.
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Old 10th February 2015, 22:52   #21
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

For the topic, I actually like the thought process suggested by bblost.
In 'hot' countries like ours (at least due middle / south India), just have your car parked under safe open area under the sun - for a day in a month, with windows slightly rolled down. All the 'infecting' elements will get killed naturally by heat

Last edited by SRKHYD : 10th February 2015 at 22:52. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 10th February 2015, 23:37   #22
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Originally Posted by finneyp View Post
What about the A/C disinfectant treatment done by 3M Car care?

Do they do a proper cleaning OR this is also scam?
Hi FinneyP
I got this done at 3M about a year ago on my WagonR. Total waste of time and money. They charged some 650 bucks and 2 days later it was back to normal. Have to say they were not overly pushy but kept extolling the virtues of the product. Absolute rubbish.

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Old 11th February 2015, 00:39   #23
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

My response is for the scams in general. Only recently these kind of scams are being discussed and I dont know why people go for those recommendations w/o even knowing the facts. I would blame the users.
Since my service center knows me very well and about my questioning nature, they never play these kind of tricks, ofcourse they tried at the initial days.

- My request to all users is to know what is required to service our car and do that only.
- Dont blame the service center for pushing their schemes as they makes money out of these.

Recently, for my Duster's 30K service (paid service which usually costs ~10K), I spent only 3K (w/o alignment as it was done 1week back and w/o airfilter as I have K&N). I clearly asked the service manager what are the mandatory service steps to continue my warranty and to enter the service records for 30K, only following were required,
- Engine oil + Oil Filter + Nut + washer
- AirFilter
- Brake cleaning \ checking (eventhough I was not convinced, I wanted to check the condition of the pads)

Yes, I did only that and my 30K service bill was just 3K.

Another scam is the brake pads, the mechanic w/o checking the pad condition discards the brake pads (he was a new guy, so he asked me to change the pads), since I have the habit of being in the service bay (sometimes I used to help the mechanics too), I asked him to check the condition of the pad, I knew it will definitely go for atleast 2K kms, I told him let it worn out fully then it will be changed, he agreed. I have seen discarding several pads like this.

Moreover I had observed, they do nothing apart from checking the functioning of lights/other electricals and fluids and washing under the name of "Service". So I asked them not to do that also as those checking can be done by any school kid and washing they themselves know I wont allow them to do as I do the detailing myself.

Last edited by ::CMS:: : 11th February 2015 at 00:43.
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Old 11th February 2015, 07:51   #24
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Originally Posted by suzuki san View Post
They charged some 650 bucks and 2 days later it was back to normal.
When I had visited 3M for paint sealant treatment, I had enquired about the AC cleaning/disinfection treatment.

I was given a quote of Rs 1200 with 1 full bottle dedicated to my car's A/C vents.

Didn't get it don't though!
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Old 11th February 2015, 08:42   #25
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

I am sure the manufacturers are hands in glove for such behavior. These practices are very much opted by premium car dealers and now it has trickled down in the mass market.

This is nothing but another way of looting customers.

Awareness is the only option through which this can be reduced to certain extent. It is always good to opt for the package services offered by few manufacturers like Ford and Toyota, where once can simply say if AC disinfectant is covered in the package of Rs 2100, please do it and the SA leaves the place immediately.

Cheers !
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Old 11th February 2015, 09:08   #26
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Lets add tyre pressure indicator to the scam list. Recently while getting my 50k service done on my swift the svc advisor tried to sell tyre pressure indicators ( the ones that have a colour indicator). He said it would increase mileage and tyre life. I politely refused.
PS- He later dint bother pestering me with unnecessary stuff after seing the TBhp sticker on my car
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Old 11th February 2015, 09:54   #27
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

When I gave my Swift for service yesterday, I asked for the Cabin air filter to be installed.
The SA told me to get the AC ducts and blower cleaned for a price of 900/-.
I politely refused to have that done and asked for just the air filter.

Service centres are making a killing by offering unnecessary services. One needs to very assertive to get the job done without burning a hole in the pocked these days.
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Old 11th February 2015, 10:20   #28
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Wow, I too felt prey to one such cheap stunt by Maruti service center
When I gave my SX4 for regular servicing just a month back, I was "advised" by the service advisor that my AC should get 'dis-infected'. Well needless to mention, I went with his advise and ultimately shelled out 800 bucks for it.

I am trying to spread the word as much as possible.
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Old 11th February 2015, 10:38   #29
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

Well in view to the above comments I have a few questions if someone could help :
How should we actually get our vents cleaned and make our AC more effective?
Is there some kind of vent / coil replacement that should be done after certain period?
Is the same SC gimmick followed by 3M centers as well for the AC cleaning process (I believe 3M to be charging a premium for this as compared to SC).
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Old 11th February 2015, 11:06   #30
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Default Re: Scam alert : A/C Disinfectant

2 months back my Superb went for its first service (and windshield replacement) to JMD Bhandup, Mumbai. The SA mentioned in addition to regular servicing they will also do "cowl cleaning" which cost a cool 2.2k. They said it was mandatory, I could have fought back saying my car's manual doesnt say so but I didnt and gave them the go ahead.

Here are the fine-grained details of what they did under labour and work for my first free service wrt AC:

A/C disinfection - Rs. 1,148.
Cowl Cleaning - Rs. 2,205.
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