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Old 30th March 2015, 20:56   #1
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Default Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

A Maruti Suzuki in an Indian household is associated with peace of mind. Ever since Maruti Suzuki entered the Indian market in 1983, their products have always been synonymous with good service, efficiency, reliability, longevity, cheap to maintain, excellent resale value etc. Just the right factors that helps a product succeed in the market. However, not all seems to be like the way it used to be with MSIL (Maruti Suzuki India limited). They are undoubtedly the most successful car manufacturers in India but the success is slowly turning into a nightmare for the customers. The volumes they sell are too high for their service end points to be able to cope up with. Their sales people use strong arm tactics to force sell things like insurance that you could get much cheaper outside My experience during my car purchase (Sai Service - Pune. Pathetic sales experience.). I have seen customers being sold all sorts of trash that includes filthy chrome grills, to shady body graphics. At one point, you had to wait for months to get delivery of a Swift Diesel. Now, you could just buy it off the counter with a discount as well.

The longest association a customer eventually has with the company is via their service outlet or authorized service station as we know it. My journey started off well and slowly turned into a nightmare. It was as if, their free service was good and eventually ended up far worse than what a roadside tin shade garage will offer. The issues I've had(further described in detail) have never been encountered in my experience with other brand service stations.

The moment you enter a Maruti service station with a prior appointment and begin conversation with a service adviser, you'll realize that he is a trained parrot. No matter which part of the country this service station is, or what background the service adviser is from, he is trained to ask the current mileage of your car and thereafter recite a series of unwarranted, unauthorized, non-tested jobs and pass them on as "Company recommended". These items include and are not limited to:

Petrol cars:

- Intake manifold and throttle body cleaning.
- Engine flush.
- Engine oil additive.
- Engine decarbonising.
- AC cleaning.
- Brake cleaning.
- Injector cleaning.
- Miscellaneous other additives.
- Exhaust cleaning.
- Underbody coating
- Interior cleaning.
- Engine coating, etc.

Diesel cars

- A part of the list above.
- EGR cleaning
- Intercooler cleaning.
- Diesel injector cleaning.

Now, you'd be probably familiar with these terms as a part of these jobs are actually recommended at certain intervals in your car's maintenance schedule. However, let us take the example of injector cleaning as one of the various items that are often recommended by the service advisers. The actual method of cleaning them involves removing the injectors from the engine head, and then placing them in an injector cleaning machine which I am dead sure 90% of service stations do not have. An injector cleaning job is usually outsourced. This is a rigorous process in which a cleaning fluid is passed through the injector that is placed in a cleaning machine. The injector is then subjected to various rpms that an engine would spin at and the spray pattern is observed. All gunk accumulated at the nozzles is cleaned by this process and only then is the injector deemed "clean" to be placed back in the engine. For diesels, it is a tedious process and costs quite a bomb. Therefore, these jobs are ideally done only as per manufacturer recommendations or when the engine electronics identify a fault in them and warn the driver with a check engine light.

What do they actually do at a service station when they recommend an injector cleaning? Just add an injector cleaning solution from brands like STP, Bardahl, 3M, etc to the fuel tank. This costs about Rs. 250/- if you do it at home since it doesn't require any technical thought or equipment to carry out. Maruti authorized service stations charge anywhere around Rs. 1,500 to 2,000/- per vehicle. And I have personally seen that they do not even use renowned brands like STP, Bardahl, 3M, etc for this purpose. The injector actually sprays all gunk into your engine.

This is one of the various jobs recommended at MSIL workshops. Engine flush and engine oil additives are the next best things for recommendation. Now, it is obvious that the service advisor earns a cut or commission when they recommend and signup an unaware customer for these nonsensical jobs. The right way of getting things done has slowly dwindled out.

Just this morning, I was in a conversation with fellow mod n_aditya who was at an MSIL workshop in Bangalore to get his Ritz diesel serviced at 30,000kms. The service advisor said "Company recommends EGR cleaning". When he asked them how they do it, he stated that they run a cleaning chemical through the EGR without removing it from its place, the cost of which is somewhere in the range of Rs. 1000-2000/-. I asked him to skip it because an EGR never takes any liquid in. It is merely an exchange station for exhaust gases to be turned back into the engine for meeting emission norms. I wondered how they were going to run a chemical through it and not damage it or even know whether the chemical has cleaned it up. If you read the workshop manual for EGR removal, you'll realize that this process itself takes roughly around 8-9 hours and is again a tedious one. The cleaning part is relatively easy but accessing the EGR itself would take about 7 hours as per their own workshop manual. And the cost for it is double than what this particular service adviser recommended. This so called chemical cleaning is nothing but 'jugaad' and the results are best known to the people doing them but for sure, the service adviser does make a killing in this by marketing a job for half the price than what it would actually cost to be done in the right way!

So I thought, it would be best to give summarized timeline of my experiences with MSIL authorized workshop in 75,000kms of ownership till date with a detailed post on how badly things fared at the 75,000kms service.


1st service:

- Excellent experience. Didn't involve anything but an oil change (team-bhp recommendation). Link (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

I had personally kept the oil change intervals to 5,000 kms. The manufacturer recommends a change at 10,000kms. Somewhere in the bargain, MSIL switched the recommendation to synthetic / semi synthetic oil for the Swift.

2nd service:

- Again excellent service. Nothing other than an oil change. Link. (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

3rd service:

- Elated with service. Nothing other than an oil change. I did mention in this post about their tendency to push for engine flush and additives in this service.
Link. (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

4th service

- Conned. Service advisor told me that the diesel filter element is no longer available and I have to get the entire body replaced. Later I found out that the diesel filter was actually available. Difference in cost? Rs. 1400/- to Rs. 3,500/- (rough figures). Wasted a full 2 grand due to their apathy. This was also a time when the service advisor continued to push semi-synthetic oil contrary to Maruti's own recommendation. Link. (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

5th service

- Series of downturn begins. I usually spent time at the workshop when the car was being serviced. This time around my schedule was damn tight and I had to leave the car at the mercy of the service advisor. This was when EGR cleaning and Intercooler cleaning was recommended to me. I gave a go ahead for the jobs.

This is what they did:

- Intercooler mount was broken. A blow torch was used to break a nut and the factory spec mount was gone forever. My intercooler doesn't fit back in place as it is supposed to ever. A nut bolt was used to put it back in place but it requires a lot of jugaad to get it in place. Most of the fins are bent out of shape.

- EGR cleaning: I was shown a picture of what wasn't even an EGR on the service advisors phone. The EGR in my car has NEVER been removed for cleaning. I can show this for sure because I subsequently bought a workshop manual for the Swift and realized that the service advisor nicely conned me into believing that the EGR was cleaned.

Link (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)


6th service:

I realized that I was spending more time than required for simple oil changes and got the next oil change at 35k kms at the friendly neighbourhood garage. Switched oil to Mobil Delvac MX.

[/URL=http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-term-ownership-reviews/107899-my-gen3-maruti-suzuki-swift-vdi-sep2011-40-000kms-update-10.html#post3137261]Link[/url]

7th service:

Link. (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

A routine service post a longish roadtrip in South India. This was the third time I informed about oil leak in the sump area. The sump continues to leak oil at 75000 kms as well. Hasn't been fixed.


8th service:

I came on to realize that I could do routine oil changes at home itself. It doesn't take much time. Visited the MGP dealer, bought filters, changed oil in my apartment basement itself.
Link. (My Gen3 Maruti Suzuki Swift VDi Sep2011 40,000kms Update !!!)

All the subsequent services except one were done at Tune up plus and at my apartment basement since I had lost faith in a Maruti authorized service center and their nagging with pushing services that I didn't need.

On that service at Sai Service, one of the wheel studs slipped during wheel removal and the technician did the following to get it out:

- Used a hammer and chisel to shear the nut off. This was done when the wheel was on the hub and stuck. Thereby causing multiple blows on the steel rim.
- Thereafter, he used a hammer and chisel to break the disc brake protection cover. I was mighty pissed but it was too late until I could stop him. His retort was "this is a useless part and not required and it cannot be replaced either".
- Thereafter, he used the same hammer and chisel to push the bolt out from an opening that was not conducive for the bolt to come out. In comes a help who shoved a large lever to bend the bolt to make his hammer and chisel work.
- The new bolt was pushed back with some grease and more hammer work on the hub. Needless to say, the new bolt is terribly tight to take the nut back for obvious reasons.

The actual way to remove this involves technical expertise beyond the comprehension of these nincompoops. A roadside garage will fare much better.

From 65,000kms to 75,000kms I got tremendously busy and couldn't get an oil change done at 70,000kms. I had to encounter a family emergency recently and couldn't dedicate DIY time for service. The car felt coarse to drive with a lot of loose ends to it. I did buy all required spares when 70,000kms approached but didn't use them. Maruti has nicely packaged a service kit with all filters in a box at a discount of 100 bucks. This service was going to be a major one and I had little time so with a heavy heart I booked an appointment with Sai service and much to my horror it was the most terrible experience I have had till date with any workshop.

Dropped the car off at Sai service at 8 am. Advisor as usual started with all the crap additives and stuff. I struck off most items and the smile on the service advisors face dropped as if I stole his money. My requirement was simple:

- Replace all fluids that include: Engine oil, coolant, brake oil, gearbox oil. Everything except gearbox oil was supplied by me.
- Flush the radiator using AWS radiator flush. I supplied the flush as well.
- The front right wheel studs seem to have jammed a little from the previous blows that it was subjected to at Sai Service itself. I requested him to get the bolts replaced.
- Clean brakes.
- EGR and Intercooler cleaning in my presence.

He said he'll get the car washed later and start with the service the moment a technician arrives. I had to drop breakfast at a nearby hospital and took Uber to and fro in 40 minutes. When I returned, there were two kids who looked like trainees working on the car. The main technician was away. I was told, the wheel studs were perfectly ok and the brake cleaning was done. I failed to see any caliper pin grease and the calipers were still coated in brake dust. When I protested, they opened up the caliper and simply added grease to the pins. The pads were not cleaned, the rear brakes were not even touched. This was simply done because I expressed my distrust on the job being done. Thereafter, I asked them to rotate the wheels as well just to check if the rear brakes were opened or not and my suspicion was correct, they didn't show any signs of being touched.

This is how a cleaned brake caliper looks. Notice missing disc brake protection plate missing on RHS.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8201.jpg

Caliper on LHS cleaned!

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8202.jpg

Meanwhile, the main technician came up and stated that the balance rod bushes were shot. I asked him to go ahead and replace them since I had been hearing some noise from the underbody over bad roads. This was probably the only thing that was done proactively and it did eliminate the noise.

The car was then taken high up on the lift for draining engine oil, coolant and gearbox oil. The engine oil was properly drained and the coolant as well as gearbox oil was attempted to be pulled in a tray. Obviously most of it spilled under the car and over the wheels that were on the floor. A messy dirty shop floor ensued. The mechanics continued to work as if it was a perfect and safe place to work.


Coolant swimming pool with gearbox oil for lubricated moves:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8207.jpg

Coolant and gear oil meets alloy wheel:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8203.jpg

What do you do with drained out coolant. Since it is Green, you use it in an eco-friendly way to mop the shop floor!!!!!

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8216.jpg


During balance road bush replacement, the mechanic couldn't find a stool to climb up, so the next best thing on his book was my alloy wheel. When I yelled at him, he lowered the car on the lift to access it. This actually did not stop him from stepping on the wheel each time he passed it though.

An alloy wheel is the best place to stand. Not once, but multiple times even after genuine requests to be careful:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8211.jpg

Gearbox oil was purchased from the spares store and left around in the open for a fill later. Like this:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8210.jpg

An old pipe with a funnel was used to fill the gearbox oil:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8212.jpg

Needless to say, the same measuring cylinder was used to fill engine oil as well. When I asked the mechanic, you are challenged to prove that it is harmful. I gave up!

A view from the front of the work area during their tea break. The box you see on the floor contains all brand new filters:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8208.jpg

The intercooler was pulled out of the car and to my horror most or almost all of the fins were bent. When the trainee mechanic pulled it out, he handled the intercooler like it was a cricket bat in a kids hand. Banged it here there and everywhere. The previous beating it must have taken made me believe why it was in a sorry state. The cleaning involved only washing the intercooler from outside and blowing compressed air through it. I didn't see any cleaning that was done which made it worth the 1000/- bucks they charged me for it.

This is how the shredded and torched intercooler mount from one of the previous services now stands. It cannot be repaired or brought back to factory standard as per Sai Service:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8200.jpg

Concluding with various other pictures of the workshop:

This board was put right above my car:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8209.jpg

View of other service bays. Absolutely third grade:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8204.jpg

View of other service bays. Absolutely third grade:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8205.jpg

View of other service bays. Absolutely third grade:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8206.jpg


The car hoisted on the lift. The support arms are not even aligned.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8213.jpg

Engine sump leakage from early days. Still stays as is.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8214.jpg

It is a known fact that normal tap water shouldn't be used in the coolant mixture. This is clearly stated in the owners as well as workshop manual. Distilled water should be used in coolant tanks as well as in the battery. But, authorized service believe tap water is the best mixture with coolant:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8217.jpg

If you wish to have some fun with your insurance policy, here's some oil to take home on your tyres:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8218.jpg


After the entire saga, I canceled EGR cleaning on the job card. Reason being the technician told me that Sai Service follows a unique way of cleaning it. They pull a pipe and spray carb cleaner without removing the EGR. I told him it was awesome and we shouldn't do it on my car.

We went for a test ride when we bumped into the service advisor who stated that the car wash will take another three hours. I was fine with a dirty car since I needed to be back to the hospital. The job card was closed while my car was parked in their open parking lot. I saw someone sheepishly make a PUC certificate for my car although I didn't need one. After an hour the final job card came to the billing department and this bill was presented to me:

Final bill

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-swift-service.jpg

I had provided nearly all consumables and it was shocking to see such a huge bill raked up. So I looked properly to see that following jobs were simply not asked for or done on the car to be added to the bill:

- EGR clamp??? (They didn't even touch it)
- Radiator mount.
- Screen wash
- SDT charges

I stormed my way asking for the workshop manager. This guy was another genius who was not to be seen until I asked for him. He came back defending his service advisor and said he personally saw all jobs being done. I asked him what SDT charges were to which he told me about a diagnostic tool connected to my car to clear out all error codes. I NEVER saw that happen. I was right there. He once again stated that he personally saw it was connected by the mechanic. Since I raised a hue and cry about unwarranted charges he struck of 500 bucks from the bill and asked his mechanic to once again connect the diagnostic tool. Obviously the mechanic was caught red handed because he didn't have ANY idea where the diagnostic equipment was kept. The works manager asked him to get it from his office in the main building. So much for fleecing customers.

Workshop manager to whom I raised all complaints:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8219.jpg

I was pretty much beat up at the end of all this to even argue but I had sufficient evidence to warn bhpians from these thugs and Maruti Suzuki's inability to control their service end points.

Last edited by moralfibre : 5th April 2015 at 14:32.
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Old 30th March 2015, 21:26   #2
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I've had the pleasure of being inside a VW workshop for extended hours of time when we got an RCD-510 upgrade done in his Vento: Link.. I thought it would be an apt comparison to give a perspective from inside a VW workshop which is usually not associated with good service. My perspective in this regard has been quite different from what others have quoted but my experience has been limited to just a few visits and visual observations. I don't own a VW car but my brother does and I had the chance to even give it for service a couple of months ago while he was busy sailing. Additionally, this particular workshop in comparison was previously a TATA-Fiat dealer with immense repute. I know of several people who bought Fiat Puntos just because it had the service backup from B.U. Bhandari. I believe the culture within a workshop or any decent organization flows from the top. If the management is determined to keep their repute, they have to be ethically strong enough to be able to let the culture flow from top down. Add to that, it isn't possible to run the entire service process end to end flawlessly without sufficient backup from the parent company.

Coming to the service aspect at BU Bhandari's workshop, I was quite stunned to see state of the art tools, paint booths, etc which were quite different from what it was during their stint with TATA Fiat. It seemed as if VW had set some guidelines which had to be adhered to. On first cut you'll notice how spankingly clean the workshop is. An entire process is drawn on how to clean the shop floor every two hours during a working day when technicians break for tea, snacks, etc. This ensures that there is minimal or no disruption. The cleaning staff as well is in uniform and sure as hell don't use drained coolant to wipe the workshop floors. The technicians are all in uniform and protective gear. It was awesome to see their mechanics donning safety gloves while working on cars. Not one technician was seen loitering around disturbing another in their line of work. Each of them had a dedicated tool box and special tools are always available at the spares counter for odd jobs. It could be unique that the workshop doesn't echo sounds of a hammer and chisel going on at cars.

When I was getting the stereo fitted in the Vento and was in conversation with Mr. John who is quite a VW nut himself, I noticed a mechanic was tightening wheel bolts using a torque wrench. It was a sight I have never ever seen in any workshop and that includes this same service station catering to Fiats and TATA as well. It seems that they have to adhere to set processes and cannot deviate from them. Remember the top down approach? This was the first and the only time I have seen this being followed. When a car was about to be painted it was covered in brown paper, plastic etc all over except for the small door area that had to be painted. This again was quite unique to see in the world of gracious use of newspapers to do the same job.

VW's scanning tool was put on a trolley and could be accessed by all mechanics when required. A scanning tool is a much needed device in this day when all cars are filled with electronics to the brim. The scan tool did not lay idle in the workshop managers cabin like it did with my experience with Sai Service and I am pretty sure that VW doesn't charge Rs. 250/- to reset your service reminder on the MID like Maruti does even if there is no reminder.

The process followed in the workshop is again remarkable and I'll quickly try to explain it with the help of some pictures I took.

The reception is well aware of upcoming appointments and a service adviser is assigned to you even before you reach the workshop. The cars are neatly queued up outside the reception area. I was initially quite annoyed with their service appointment system that gives you a date after 45 days or more from the time you call them but I believe it is done for a reason. Dealers don't want to eat more than what they can chew. In all probability, your car is returned the same day that you give it in for service.

Queued up cars outside reception area:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8282.jpg

Two dedicated ramps are just off the reception area for quick diagnosis of the under carriage or other stuff if required. I believe it could be used for quick oil changes as well. Observe closely and you'll see some spare parts nailed on a board. May be that is used to give a better insight to the customer on what is being replaced:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8281.jpg

The cars are then pulled into the washing area which cannot be skipped to enter the workshop. There are no 3 hour intervals to wash your car like I was asked to wait for:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8279.jpg

The workshop itself is split into multiple sections. The service area for routine services is well laid out with well marked bays. There is a dedicated area for body repair jobs and the paint booths are somehow within the service area (ideally should have been in the body shop).

A look at the body shop:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8280.jpg

Their paint booth within the service area.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8277.jpg

Notice the various rolls of Brown paper and plastic to cover cars before they enter the booth.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8289.jpg

Do's and don'ts.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8290.jpg

During Fiat days, I recollect that the driver seat, steering and gear knob was covered in plastic to avoid grease and dirt marks getting into the fabric or leather. This practice didn't seem to be a norm with VW but a fender lining was present in almost all cars:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8287.jpg

A dedicated wheel alignment bay within the workshop area:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8286.jpg

Mechanic wearing safety gloves, a unique breed:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8284.jpg

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8285.jpg

A single window spares counter. It's a shame that VW chooses not to do counter sales for spares.

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8283.jpg

Miscellaneous other pictures from the workshop:

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8276.jpg

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8278.jpg

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8288.jpg

Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices-img_8291.jpg

Disclaimer: Since I did not have good enough pictures for this post, I had requested the dealer to let me click pictures after my Maruti workshop debacle and he was kind enough to let me do it. The pictures have also been taken when most of the mechanics were out for their morning tea break.

Needless to say, reliability issues aside, my next car will not be a Maruti Suzuki.

Last edited by moralfibre : 5th April 2015 at 14:32.
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Old 5th April 2015, 17:17   #3
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Related reads:

Link (Sai Service Ripoff! Rs. 18,000 for service of Swift (22K kms) UPDATE: Excess refunded)

Link (Maruti Service is cheap - A myth!)
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Old 5th April 2015, 17:19   #4
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section).
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Old 5th April 2015, 19:00   #5
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

My FNG charges Rs 475 for a service. Considering all consumables like Oil,Filter provided by me as I always carry them.

He does following things in service:
1) Engine Oil and Filter change.
2) Diesel filter change.
3) Blowing and cleaning Air filter with compressed air.
4) Checks Battery water content.
5) Complete car washing

Additional paid things which one can strike off:
A) Brake cleaning- Removes all four tyres and cleans the drums and brake pads. Rs 250
B) Car windshield washer cleaner pouch added- Rs 25

All the above are inclusive of all VAT and taxes.

Rs 475 (For service) minus Car washing charges (Rs 320 outside) amounts to Rs 155 for Points 1 to 4 which is very decent price.

The same at TATA ASS is approximately Rs 1100 (not considering taxes)!
TASS doesnot consider Car washing as a part of service and charges Rs 300 separately!

I do not see any other work done extra by TATA ASS other than points 1 to 4.
So I prefer to go to FNG.

So the total bill of servicing my car (Vista TDI) is:
5 Litres HP Oil - Rs 1000 (Earlier I used to use Mobil Delvac MX which I stopped)
Engine oil Filter - Rs 150
Diesel Filter - Rs 150
Car service charges - Rs 475

So total car servicing charges @ Rs 1800 per year.

I do get my brakes cleaned after the monsoon and once in a while get cleaned my airfilter and intercooler by blowing compressed air.

Recommended alignment and balancing interval is 20k kms so once in two years or so as my annual mileage is very less.

Regarding oil I switched from Mobil Delvac Mx to HP engine oil. I buy the Oil and filters from a known Oil depot which gives me good discount. I have seen some threads here where engine was opened and it had a lot of gunk inspite of being fed by Mobil Delvac Mx.

The other point is Taxi cabs use HP engine oil and still there cabs run strongly for at least 180k to 200k kms. So with my less running I calculate that my car would have crossed 20 plus years before I reach those mileage numbers.

My car is now 6 years old, runs as good as new and I do not find any difference in getting serviced from TASS or FNG.
Obviously I prefer the FNG and spend the entire day at FNG to get my car serviced in front of me. Its a pain to be there whole day but its worth it.

When there is a critical part to be changed I would still prefer the TASS over my FNG, as I didnot find my FNG to be competent enough to handle critical parts.

I found my TASS to be far cleaner, systematic and affordable than the Maruti ASS although will fall short of VW standards.

Last edited by amit_purohit20 : 5th April 2015 at 19:09. Reason: Additional points added.
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Old 5th April 2015, 22:12   #6
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

I have Swift and VW.

The Maruti ASS Mandovi do try selling me stuff. I only go for interior cleaning and the occasional flush. Standards are good there but the supervisor is dealing with volume and cannot talk in depth. Any diagnosis needs to be confirmed by a junior technician.

My experience with VW Palace Cross is good. I only got sold extended road care assistance. They spend a good amount of time going over the car during check in and talk in depth.

They list every thing that is wrong from broken arm rest onwards and classify what needs attention. I my case the water pump. I was given an advisory on my front suspension bushes but since there is no noise, I will let is pass for now.

To get this kind of service, they are anal on appointment and time slots. You are given a 30 min window. Delivery is only in the afternoon. I merely arrived. Rang the supervisor and he drove out in my car, explained in depth, put the car on the ramp and showed me the bushes. I was allowed to review all the internal documentation.

I never expected this after my initial VW experience but I am happy
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Old 6th April 2015, 07:43   #7
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

MF,

Thanks for this detailed review. You should not generalize so simply.

Just for comparison, I must quote Maruti Service Masters in Chennai.
Its a pity I don't have the photos for these guys but it is very close to what you mentioned for VW. Of course, their service advisor quality varies but there are a few stellar folks- last week just the initial diagnosis/road test pre-service was over 30 mins. The car got its highest ever service bill (17100) courtesy extensive suspension work but I am happy.
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Old 6th April 2015, 08:15   #8
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

The other thing I realized with Maruti is that all their sales and service guys are extremely careful enough to make sure you dont give a bad review. I think it directly goes to Maruti. (Again thats what I think I may be wrong).

But what really surprises me this time is that in spite of such direct feed backs which I thought worked very well for them, does not seem to be doing good.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:00   #9
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

I believe it has to do with the traffic at most times and the other...? Go to any authorized service center and ask them to do a job which is not routine for them [i.e. more than consumable changes] Similarly, very few service centers will carry out every job listed in the service manual.

My fuel cap had got jammed and when I went to get it opened, the mechanic tried to open it by prying the car's key inside. Now, if it were that simple, I could have done it myself.

It is the same scenario replicated at most service centers which I have come across, barring instances which are few and far in between. I have serviced the Yeti as well & I do not think, they practiced those goodies mentioned by you.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:06   #10
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
The other thing I realized with Maruti is that all their sales and service guys are extremely careful enough to make sure you dont give a bad review. I think it directly goes to Maruti. (Again thats what I think I may be wrong).
Yes, the feedback goes right into Maruti's portal and we get an autogenerated thanks-message from the Sr. Manager (Customer Satisfaction Service).
Won't name him here.

To get the 10-on-10 score from us customers, the service guys are total different people on that day.
They visit the customer's home with a laptop and ask them to login to their email and open the feedback link and try to fleece them so much that the score remains intact.
They flash us some kind of discount coupons + a cheap wallet giftset maybe and get away with the 10-score feedback very successfully.

Now the worst part - when one tries to use the discount coupons during next service(if they'd preserved those coupons), the advisor says, "Mmm, Sir these are free washing coupons only and can't be used with the service/labour billing"

I guess, it's the customers who gotta get strict with the service guys and keep them aloof to not entertain such acts.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:14   #11
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
MF,

Thanks for this detailed review. You should not generalize so simply.

Just for comparison, I must quote Maruti Service Masters in Chennai.
Its a pity I don't have the photos for these guys but it is very close to what you mentioned for VW. Of course, their service advisor quality varies but there are a few stellar folks- last week just the initial diagnosis/road test pre-service was over 30 mins. The car got its highest ever service bill (17100) courtesy extensive suspension work but I am happy.
Agreed that I shouldn't generalize so easily but my experience has been with regards to 3 years and 7 months of ownership. If you read my opening post, my initial service experience was indeed quite good.

Do read up on the Maruti service myth thread and you'll see there are many around the country who share similar experience like I did. I chose to highlight them with pictorial evidence of their quality.

This must be unrelated to the topic at hand but there is another dealer named Mycar who tried to sell bhpian etchemkay a used SX4: Thread link. (Maruti Showroom - MyCar, Wakad (Pune) - tries to sell me a defective / DEMO car!).

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The other thing I realized with Maruti is that all their sales and service guys are extremely careful enough to make sure you dont give a bad review. I think it directly goes to Maruti. (Again thats what I think I may be wrong).

But what really surprises me this time is that in spite of such direct feed backs which I thought worked very well for them, does not seem to be doing good.
I'll tell you about their feedback system. I did get a call to seek feedback on the last service experience and it went about like this:

Customer care rep: Sir, you got your Swift serviced with us last week. How was your experience?

Me: Terrible.

Customer care rep: Why?

Me: They treated my car like a roadside mechanic would and did jobs without following standard procedures.

Customer care rep: (Clueless about what to say) Sir, if you are at home, shall I send someone over to have things corrected?

Me: No, you guys cannot mess with my car anymore, thank you.

Usually, the customer care representative asks for a rating between 1 and 10 and stresses that you should give them 8 and above or else the rating escalates to Maruti. This time around sensing trouble, she did not bother. This was similar to how a rating was sought when I got a minor job done at another dealer named Maruti care point.

I believe they could manipulate the ratings as they choose. Even when you are paying off your bills, they have a practice of offering a feedback form. This wasn't presented when I was there last time around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I believe it has to do with the traffic at most times and the other...? Go to any authorized service center and ask them to do a job which is not routine for them [i.e. more than consumable changes] Similarly, very few service centers will carry out every job listed in the service manual.
That also brings an important point about the charges involved under "Service". In my case, they did not even wash the vehicle. Just checked whether all lights were working and if the wiper and windscreen wash mechanism was working correctly or not. What exactly constitutes "Service" that is charged @ 1000/- bucks?

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishnu-man View Post
I guess, it's the customers who gotta get strict with the service guys and keep them aloof to not entertain such acts.
Spoton analysis. That is exactly how their feedback system has worked over the last 3 years for me. When I said I was dissatisfied, I never had the option of logging my feedback!

Last edited by moralfibre : 6th April 2015 at 09:16.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:19   #12
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

You sure some one called up from the dealership/service point or from MUL? From what I know, manufacturers select random 40-50 guys from 400-500 people and call them up asking for their feedback.

I have almost always got a call from Ford. Skoda...? I think, no.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:24   #13
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

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Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Usually, the customer care representative asks for a rating between 1 and 10 and stresses that you should give them 8 and above or else the rating escalates to Maruti. This time around sensing trouble, she did not bother. This was similar to how a rating was sought when I got a minor job done at another dealer named Maruti care point.
Surely I dont have much of an idea on that. But my thought process was: With such huge backend service network logistics, they should be tightly in control. But looks like it is not so.

My experience with Renault has been good in terms of how the processes have been followed and with respect to service and follow-ups. I usually don't go to their service floor. But once was there and was pleasantly surprised to see the system in place. (And yes even I saw them use all the power tools!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vishnu-man View Post
I guess, it's the customers who gotta get strict with the service guys and keep them aloof to not entertain such acts.
The same happened with us too. We got a Ritz by selling the old 800 some years back. The dealer had promised an extra 5K cash back, which he delayed. In the feed back we gave a bad rating, stating that this cash back was not given. The dealer sent a guy the very next day with the cheque and requested us to improve the rating. That was the moment when I thought that feedback does work for Maruti.

Last edited by ampere : 6th April 2015 at 09:29.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:26   #14
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
You sure some one called up from the dealership/service point or from MUL? From what I know, manufacturers select random 40-50 guys from 400-500 people and call them up asking for their feedback.

I have almost always got a call from Ford. Skoda...? I think, no.
I got a call from Sai Service itself and not from MUL.
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Old 6th April 2015, 09:27   #15
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Default re: Terrible Maruti's Sai Service quality vs VW B.U Bhandari's best practices

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I believe the culture within a workshop or any decent organization flows from the top.
This, in a nutshell, is why Sai Service is run the way it is, and why B.U.B is run the way it is. It would take a delusional person to associate the words morals, work ethics, integrity, ownership, responsibility, transparency etc. with the owner of Sai Service, and that's what trickles down to the employees.

So, a couple of obvious questions from me:

1. Why in the world did you go back to them after the bad experience during your 4th & 5th service?
2. Why didn't you try Chowgule or Sehgal or Mahalaxmi? Even if they weren't great, they would surely have been better than these bottom of the barrel jokers?

Cheers,
Vikram
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