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Old 2nd January 2009, 19:59   #1
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Thumbs up Are Indian Auto Service Stations taking us for a ride?

I came across this eye-opening post which was published in a thai newspaper. I think this article can be read by anyone who owns a car barring nationality.

The other day, a story in a daily paper caught my attention. Featured was a press conference by the Ministry of Commerce dealing with the issue of quality of automobile tyres in Thailand.

Great news for the consumer. The ministry has issued a regulation that calls on makers to guarantee the quality of automobile tyres for at least four years.

Such good news that actually benefit and shield the consumer from being taken advantage of are far and few between.

Yet praise cannot be sung until the regulation comes into force and we are happy with the results.

Thai consumers have strange behaviour. It seems they don't really want to protect their rights. What's worse is that they are willing to heed advice from the seller without analysing the pros and cons.

In the end, the consumer is pressured into buying new products at a frequent rate than what is actually required.

For example, engine oil changes that should be done according to the driver's manual. Say the manual recommends a change every 12,000km, but the driver chooses to trust the proprietor of the repair shop or petrol station, both of whom benefit financially from sales of engine oil.

So they recommend a change at every 5,000km instead. It's an absolute waste of money which could be spared for other more important matters.

Tyres are the same. Their life period seems to shorten according to the recommendations of the tyre shop, mechanics or managers/owners of repair shops or aftersales service centres. All of them benefit financially from the sales of new tyres.

The immediate scenario is that the "life period of tyres should not exceed two years". This is like a plague that has spread all over. Hence, those who love their cars and care about safety, believe it without a doubt.

But this is different from the conventional engine oil change because the manufacturer did not say so in the owner's manual.

The three factors that determine the life of a tyre constitute:

- First is the depth of tyre pattern that directly influences safety while driving on wet surfaces. The tyre pattern channels out water.

I am not sure whether traffic regulations in Thailand stipulate a standard for the required depth of tyre patterns or not.

However in certain parts of Europe, the standard is a rather antiquated one millimetre. I suppose it's attributed to the lower speed capability of automobiles in the past. And tyre width was considerably narrower in the past.

A proper tyre pattern depth is three millimetres. No special equipment is required.

Use a coin, grip it with your thumb and index finger. Stick the coin into the groove pattern as your nails are parallel to the face of the tyre.

Pull out the coin and use a ruler to measure the depth of the tyre pattern. A brand new tyre has a depth of about eight to nine millimetres.

- Secondly, what determines the life and safety factor of a tyre is the level of wear to the tyre's construction or structure.

For example, the tyre was pierced by a sharp object resulting in a large tear or the tyre's structure was compromised by constantly climbing on pavements or hitting the rims.

The result is damage to the tyre structure and its walls. Tyre grinding due to flats is another reason that undermines the safety factor of a tyre.

- The third factor that tells you your tyre is no longer safe is its age from the date of manufacture.

It shouldn't exceed six years. It's actually not too long for a high quality tyre.

Those who disagree by claiming that a four-year-old tyre is already in a state of deterioration, then that's certainly a low quality tyre.

If your tyre does not fall in either of these categories, then don't worry about how many thousands of kilometres have been clocked on them.

For example, your tyres are almost four years old with a mileage of 50,000km but still retain at least five millimetres of tyre patterns - due to proper wheel alignment the tyre wear is slow - you need not rush to change them and waste your money.

Use them until one of the three factors I have described come into play. I am sure there will be arguments on the tyre material and it's tendency to become hard. It's possible and will lower its performance on wet surfaces.

Like I said, if this is the case then it's a low quality tyre which is the core of the issue of tyre quality.

I hope the ministry works on this issue diligently to the benefit of consumers and drivers.

Jessada Tandhasetti is former department head of automotive engineering studies at Rangsit University. He holds a master's degree in automotive engineering from Technical University, Berlin, Germany.

Source- Bangkok Post | Motoring | Changes that are needless
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Old 2nd January 2009, 21:07   #2
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I guess we in India are more informed when it comes to spending hard earned $s. So the chances of getting ripped of like this are not much(though cannot be treated as blanket statement).

Just an after thought why not promote t-bhp to thai people

Regards,
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Old 2nd January 2009, 21:25   #3
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Mmm... what has this got to do with Indian auto service stations?
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Old 3rd January 2009, 03:50   #4
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"For example, engine oil changes that should be done according to the driver's manual. Say the manual recommends a change every 12,000km, but the driver chooses to trust the proprietor of the repair shop or petrol station, both of whom benefit financially from sales of engine oil.

So they recommend a change at every 5,000km instead. It's an absolute waste of money which could be spared for other more important matters."


Many of my friends follow the above. The blindly listen to the Service station and not their manual. They end up changing fluid way before than when it is required. I'm sure many of us can relate to this.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:44   #5
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Originally Posted by notjustshrawan View Post
"For example, engine oil changes that should be done according to the driver's manual. Say the manual recommends a change every 12,000km, but the driver chooses to trust the proprietor of the repair shop or petrol station, both of whom benefit financially from sales of engine oil.

So they recommend a change at every 5,000km instead. It's an absolute waste of money which could be spared for other more important matters."


Many of my friends follow the above. The blindly listen to the Service station and not their manual. They end up changing fluid way before than when it is required. I'm sure many of us can relate to this.

In India the operating conditions are very different than other markets, so we need to follow the the oil change at 5K Kms in case of mineral oil. For synthetic oil, may be 8K kms. or if the driving conditions are not that bad, lets say 10 K kms.
But overall, I agree with you that people are unnecessarily scared of consequences like " if you dont do this, the engine will seize, if you dont do this, the car will get more unreliable " ,etc.
And specially regarding the oil change, we can always check ourselves that does it really need a change or not.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 09:53   #6
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tata-*** use the cheapest oil they can use. my car's at 4k km, and its already crying out for fresh oil. I sometimes doubt if they change the entire oil. I'm planning to get a better grade of oil next time. 10k is far too long. i do it at 5k.
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Old 3rd January 2009, 12:03   #7
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No matter who says whatever.

I am going to get my engine oil changed at the First service - 1000kms - Zen Estillo Sports.

Open to options. kindly suggest
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Old 3rd January 2009, 12:50   #8
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I am going to get my engine oil changed at the First service - 1000kms - Zen Estillo Sports.

Open to options. kindly suggest
Yes, during first service, the oil needs to be changed. During the running in period, the oil may get some metallic waste also. This is required.
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Old 4th January 2009, 01:36   #9
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
In India the operating conditions are very different than other markets, so we need to follow the the oil change at 5K Kms in case of mineral oil. For synthetic oil, may be 8K kms. or if the driving conditions are not that bad, lets say 10 K kms.
But overall, I agree with you that people are unnecessarily scared of consequences like " if you dont do this, the engine will seize, if you dont do this, the car will get more unreliable " ,etc.
And specially regarding the oil change, we can always check ourselves that does it really need a change or not.
AFAIK, the grade of the oil determines its working life. Older grades last less. For them the 5k km change would be valid. But newer grades last longer and should be good for around 10k km or so.

For eg., when I last looked, the engine oils sold as MGO had lower grade like SF. This prolly wont be good beyond 5k km. I use Castrol Magnatec in my Esteem and the last can I saw was rated SM. This should last around 10k km.
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Old 4th January 2009, 19:12   #10
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I had stayed in USA for a few years and when comparing my driving days there and here, I see that eventhough the riding conditions are different here, the idea of servicing your vehicle after a few thousand kms has been imposed on the customers through various channels by the Automotive sector.

I owned a Toyota Camry and other than the oil changes after every 3K miles, I have never done any other servicing for the car. Seeing all this I really do get a feeling that we are being taken for a ride here.The Margins for automakers in India are higher than those in developed markets, the volumes are slowly catching up too.I think the automakers should stop fleecing the Indian customers.
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Old 5th January 2009, 09:50   #11
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Originally Posted by Porus View Post
No matter who says whatever.

I am going to get my engine oil changed at the First service - 1000kms - Zen Estillo Sports.

Open to options. kindly suggest
Sports cars like Zen estillo sports need frequent oil change to keep the mean machine in its optimum condition.
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Old 5th January 2009, 10:04   #12
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a... Sports cars like Zen estillo sports need frequent oil change to keep the mean machine in its optimum condition.
Are you being serious or just pulling his leg?
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Old 5th January 2009, 12:32   #13
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Are you being serious or just pulling his leg?
Dude, I was just kidding. Take in a sportive sense. cheers:
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Old 5th January 2009, 16:21   #14
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Originally Posted by ritz830 View Post
Dude, I was just kidding. Take in a sportive sense. cheers:
No sweat mate! = cheers:


(OT: am posting a lot of equations today! <head-bang> )
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Old 11th August 2009, 17:21   #15
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Nor they can service our cars properly nor repair it, my dads Indica Diesel which was suffering from a bit of starting problem, first was diagnosed as a faulty heater plug, then after a few days the problem persisted they told him its a alternator problem.. then they finally figured it out that the battery needed replacement, despite, I telling them to check the battery.."Illa sir check maadeni" meaning No sir I've checked it. 700 bucks spent on every symptom of the root cause..
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