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Old 28th September 2010, 13:38   #1
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Default First "x" services free.. A sham?

Almost all car mfrs offer first five services free on labor. On cars with longer service intervals like the Safari, it means your free services last till 60,000kms!

however, based on my experience with Tata it looks to be a sham. Not only Tata, even other mfrs are following the same sham.

So lets see what does the coupon say.
It says free labor on service.

Now lets see what does a free service entitle you
1. Free Wash
2. Free oil change(labor)

Now is a service a wash and an oil change?
Well no, every service has its own set of must do items which are indicated in the service manual.

for example.
1. Gearbox oil change at 30,000kms
2. Vaccum hose change at 60,000kms
3. Coolant change every 60,000kms
4. Axle oil change at 45,000kms

The list goes on, and every car has these items listed in the service book.
Moreover, there are jobs to be done at every service like greasing etc.,

However, when you walk into a service center, and get a service done, only oil change and wash is free.

So why are our mfrs cheating the customers saying "labor" is free, when only oil change and washing labor is free.
The service coupons should clearly indicate.
1. Free oil change labor and free wash coupon, not a free service coupon.

A free service coupon should mean that labor for all scheduled tasks for that particular service should be free.

Looks like the car mfrs need to be a bit more forthcoming and honest when issuing such freebies.

Long time back Hyundai free service meant everything free(oil etc.,). It has been discontinued now.

In this tough economy, every penny counts, both for mfrs and consumers. So atleast they can be a bit more forthcoming and say that they will do only oil change and washing labor free, all other scheduled tasks have paid labor.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:14   #2
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Not really. The 'service' includes checking alot of minor stuff (door alignment, rattling, tightening of nuts/bolts, checking on engine mounting vibration etc etc) and what have you - the manual can guide better.

Ofc, what gets done is anybody's guess!
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:27   #3
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Yes, there is the minor stuff, which is eventually checked anyways, but what about major stuff like gear oil change, Turbo hose change etc.,?
Its listed in service manual with the "X" mark against relevant km service.
So if service is free, shouldn't labor for all jobs marked against that service be free?
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:32   #4
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@tsk1979: I agree with you to some extent. Labour for all jobs in the free service shouls be included. I remember once the Hyundai dealer wanted to charge me for the wheel balancing. When I pointed it out that it was part of the 3rd service that went out. Then at the end he wanted to bill me some Rs.60 odd for the weights. I said fine, but will pay under protest and write a note on the voucher and take it up with Hyundai. That too went out.

Also, watch out for the engine decoke, radiator flush, nitrogen fill, etc. they try and foist on you. I just write no additional jobs without my consent on the service sheet in Capitals.

I may add that in the first two services for my Civic I paid Rs.ZERO (well Rs.20 for a fuse I had blown).
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:35   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
It says free labor on service.

However, when you walk into a service center, and get a service done, only oil change and wash is free.

Looks like the car mfrs need to be a bit more forthcoming and honest when issuing such freebies.
totally agree with you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Not really. The 'service' includes checking alot of minor stuff (door alignment, rattling, tightening of nuts/bolts, checking on engine mounting vibration etc etc) and what have you - the manual can guide better.
how many A.S.S. do you think do such full check up.
my experience till now with maruti, mahindra, tata, honda, tvs they never ever go by check list.
just routine mandatory stuff along with issues told by customers.

Last edited by jeepster : 28th September 2010 at 14:36. Reason: spelling correction
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:37   #6
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Another thing I noticed for "Maruti 3 free service":
The dealer 'ticks' on many items on the service coupon without even touching the car. Many of the things such as 'Inspect belt', 'tighten bolts', 'lubricate locks' are not done - they just 'tick' the service coupon saying that it has been done. My Alto's first 2 free services at Indus Motors, Trivandrum was almost like a 'Car Wash', so I changed to another Service Center for my third free service.

Sales Lady from Indus called me and tried to fool me saying the 3rd service would be free only if I service the car at Indus. Actually Maruti sends the money (for 3 services) to the Dealer when we buy the car. If we get the free service done from another 'Maruti Authorised' work shop, the Dealer has to send the money to the new work shop.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes, there is the minor stuff, which is eventually checked anyways, but what about major stuff like gear oil change, Turbo hose change etc.,?
Its listed in service manual with the "X" mark against relevant km service.
So if service is free, shouldn't labor for all jobs marked against that service be free?
Tanveer, in both my cars (Fiesta & Safari), the "free" service intervals got over long long before any Gear Oil change or Turbo Hose change or any such stuff was due.

Besides, are you saying that they charged you Labour (for whatever change) against a coupon which specifically said the Labour was free? If so, I think you've been "had". Labour for that service has to be free, they can only charge you for Consumables.
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Old 28th September 2010, 14:42   #8
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Well I have seen this at all service centers(Autolinks, Sterling, Concorde bangalore etc.,)
Labor for Clutch oil and brake oil change was charged.
Labor for axle oil change was charged.
Labor for gear oil change was charged.

According to the service centers, free service includes labor for oil change and car wash only!

Lets wait for inputs from users who have paid labor during "free service" for items other than oil change.

@Suman, in 2.2 free service coupons are indicated till 60,000kms
The services are
1000,15000,30000,45000,60000

For 2.2 these are the lists of jobs which require atleast 180rs in labor(30 minutes charge)
1. Coolant oil change - 60,000kms or 2 years
2. Vaccum hoses for vaccum modulator, turbocharger, EGR Valve, Throttle valve- 60,000kms or 4 years
3. Gear box oil - 45000kms and then every 60,000kms
4. Transfer case oil - 45000kms
5. Propeller shaft greasing - 15000kms
6. Axle oil - 15000kms and then every 75000kms
7. Clutch and brake fluid - 30,000kms

Can you check your old bills for the same?

Last edited by tsk1979 : 28th September 2010 at 14:49.
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Old 28th September 2010, 15:56   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
@Suman, in 2.2 free service coupons are indicated till 60,000kms
The services are
1000,15000,30000,45000,60000
Tanveer, in the case of the 3 litre, the service intervals are earlier than 15k kms. And, the free coupons very clearly mention Free Labour, not Free Oil change or Free washing.........

Lets take an example of a current paid service. I get charged a fixed amount (say 750), irrespective of what that service interval requires - in some cases, it could be oil change only, in others, it would include transfer case oil change, gear oil change etc etc. So, if in this case they are not charging separately by component, how can they do that in the case of a free service coupon???
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Old 28th September 2010, 15:57   #10
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For the first 3 (so-called) free services of my i10, I was not charged for any labour. No labour charge for inspection and lubrication. But my mileage was quite low, hence apart from engine oil, no other oil/hose needed to be changed.

1st free service bill = Nil
2nd free service bill = Engine oil + Filter
3rd free service bill = Engine oil + Filter

Lets be fair to car manufacturers. Different customers have different kind of usage. For cost reasons, a car company cannot offer absolutely free of cost servicing to high usage customers.

IMHO, customers having very high usage should not mind paying extra labour charges for other oil changes/coolant change/hose replacement if they are covering something like 30K-60K kms within the (so-called) free service period.

Also, companies should offer extended maintenance contracts (different from extended warranty) at an extra price to the customer.

A friend of mine, who owns a Tata Nano, has purchased such a maintenance contract from Tata. Under this contract, the car would be serviced free of cost (including consumables) for a certain number of years.

Rohan
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Old 28th September 2010, 15:59   #11
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@suman, can you check your bills. esp where Front and Rear Axle oils and transfer case/gear oil was changed?
Is the total labour charged from you 750rs or 750+ labor for the above mentioned jobs?
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Old 28th September 2010, 16:06   #12
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Tanveer my services are done long before the recommended interval.
In my experience they do not charge for anything for which a X mark is made in booklet.

However for things which have an or condition which is getting fulfilled as per time limit but not part of scheduled service they charged.


I think service centers try to milk customers in absence of clarity on this aspect,

Example Wheel Alignment is part of 2nd service or 15K which was done FOC greasing of lower arms is also part of service so done FOC.

Where as Coolant change is 60K KM or 2 Years interval , So they charged me 150 Rs for coolant change which as per them should be free in 60K service.

45 K / 4th service for Safari is the one where many lubes are changed so it would be interesting to know if they charged for changing the fluids.

Last edited by amitk26 : 28th September 2010 at 16:07.
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Old 28th September 2010, 16:19   #13
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There is a "X" against wheel alignment. However I am yet to come across a service where I was not charged for wheel alignment by dealer!
For first 15000kms wheel alignment is under warranty, thats why they do not charge.
At 30,000kms if they haven't charged you for wheel alignment, I would love to see your bill!
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Old 28th September 2010, 16:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
There is a "X" against wheel alignment. However I am yet to come across a service where I was not charged for wheel alignment by dealer!
For first 15000kms wheel alignment is under warranty, thats why they do not charge.
At 30,000kms if they haven't charged you for wheel alignment, I would love to see your bill!
Well I think I posted this before they tried charging but I showed them service booklet and they relented but for coolant change they showed me in the service booklet that it is part of 60K or 2 years and they will charge as it is part of 60K service.

In first 3 services I am also not charged for any greasing till now.

So I feel it is deliberately left loosely worded by TML such that service center can make money.

So I agree 100% with you that either manufacturers should make explicitly clear in the service coupon that all labor for work carried out as part of scheduled service is free or stop calling it free service and call it free wash and oil change coupon.
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Old 28th September 2010, 17:34   #15
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I just got my ANHC serviced at RR Honda Gurgaon. It was a pity to see my car come out in the dirtiest state ever. It was 3 months 5k service whereas the car had 2450 on odo. The SA wanted to fill synthetic I asked for whats already in the engine and he agreed to mineral at Rs 750 with some small cleaning agent at Rs 20 + taxes made it to Rs 814/- but the car as I feel did not had any other inspection done to it. I did not find any new grease on it and because it was not driven much during monsoons I cant pinpoint any major change after engine oil change.

Honda under pressure from competition has increased the service interval from 3 to 6 months. I think the initial free service is not a great help for low mileage customers. With VW giving no free ones but giving a year time interval and 15k is a good move.

@sgiitk: You mentioned that you paid Rs 0 for first two services. How come you did not get the oil changed?
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