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Old 3rd August 2008, 16:33   #151
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Finally I have no choice but to go to India garage for the service as 10,000kms is up since the last service in december and the car's odo reads 74,000kms.
They told me the car would be ready by evening as oil change is not to be done. I warn them that not a single scratch should be there on the car and leave.
A month back I went to SM/IG to have some minor issues tackled (after I had just got my whole car repainted), a new advisor there took down my points on the job card. Later, when I got a copy of the job card, I saw he had marked scratches all over the sides of the car (infact, the new job card does not show all sides of the car like the older one used to do). I challenged him as to why he has shown scratch marks on my newly painted car. The reply : Sir, there are always many fine scratches all over the car body, your car also has them.
I lost my top and told him to show me one such scratch. Also, why he has not mentioned specifically minor scratches instead of drawing like a 2year old ! The fellow could not find any though he tried here and there, really gave him a tongue lashing. By that time, the AM (previously senior advisor) came in and he said sir, no problem, he struck of the scratching.

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By evening 6pm no call from them. Call up service advisor who tells me that all the work is over, just the rear bumper fixing and body wash is pending. He suggests I take the car the next day at 12pm and everything will be done by then.
I have to say this never happened to me. They always called me in the evening over the 5 years, and were ready to deliver the vehicle - that some jobs maynot be done is another issue.

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Car comes to delivery section and I go around doing my inspection.
- headlight focusing - not done.
- central locking front left door - not done
- rear bumper - fixed but rattles like crazy.
- left door beading - now hanging out completely.
Added bonus: front skirting has now come loose.
That's vintage SM/India Garage. Looks like even change of personnel hasn't changed their job quality ;-) As you mentioned, better check everything and also spend time there to get your fix. Once I had got wheel alignment done as part of regular service, and felt over sometime, maybe the alignment isn't spot on. Next visit, I asked them to do the alignment again and this time I asked for the alignment report. Sure enough, a couple of readings weren't the recommended range. Usual reply - sir, as the car gets old, there is some more variation, your setup is fine etc. I said I don't think that is the case, I want them to do the alignment again. Stood with the technician, and lo, things got perfectly aligned.
The other time, wanted wheel balancing to be also done, and was given half a dozen explanations on why it is not necessary, not applicable, does not help etc. Finally, the guy confessed their wheel balancing machine is kaput :-(

Last edited by lancer_rit : 3rd August 2008 at 16:36.
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Old 4th August 2008, 12:40   #152
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The deal with India Garage is to just be there when the work is being done. Unfortunately if one leaves the car and goes like i did the first time, there were niggling issues.

This time I gave the car in to get a scraped bumper fixed and they seemed to have done a thorough job as I was around for a while to oversee the job. Plus they cleaned the car extremely well.

I'm really waiting for the new service center. IG hasn't been able to fix a dashboard rattle that has reappeared in my car. Lathangi had fixed it earlier but seems to have reappeared after a few months.
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Old 4th August 2008, 13:17   #153
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Car has gone today to India garage for fixing of the front skirting which was damaged and for fixing the door lock.

They have fixed the car in double quick time and have not charged for the door lock as it only needed lubrication against the previous time which they said it was an autocop issue.

I had called up the customer relations manager here in bangalore and he has helped out in looking after the car's repairs today.
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Old 6th October 2008, 15:57   #154
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During the last service I had decided not to change the engine oil and get the oil changed elsewhere along with a full engine flush. The engine was sluggish and was really struggling to even maintain speeds let alone accelerate. With the AC on my Alto was able to outdrag the Lancer I felt.

Southern motors carried out the 70,000kms service and there was no difference whatsoever in feel after the service as mentioned earlier in this thread.

I had spoken to Sideways and he had driven my car when he was in Bangalore. He felt that there was sludge buildup as a result it was a bit sluggish else mechanically the car was just fine. No flush had been done for 74,000kms and just an oil replacement during every service interval. He suggested I get the engine flushed along with a complete fuel line cleaning including injectors. I went ahead and picked up the following stuff which Sideways arranged to send across very very promptly,

- 2 bottles of OWS engine flush OWS 210.
- 1 bottle of OWS 220 engine protector
- 1 bottle of OWS 360 Fuel treatment
- 4 litres of OWS 5W50 synthetic engine oil

The week after the service I drove down to surakshaa to get the work done. First thing was to check the compression in each cylinder to ensure nothing went wrong later after the flush. Compression numbers were really weird like 100psi. Decided to check with Sideways why the numbers were so low. He asked me if the fuel pump was disconnected which I had no clue had to be done. He explained that since the fuel pump was on, fuel was getting injected into the cylinder but since there was no spark it was resulting in petrol wash thereby giving wrong compression figures. The solution was to disconnect the fuel pump then measure the compression. The fuel pump wiring is situated below the lancer's rear seat and is very easy to disconnect.

After the fuel pump disconnected the compression numbers were 150-145-135-130psi. The fuel pump power was connected back and next was the flush. Added the full 2 bottles of flush in the oil and started the car. The car has to be idled for 20minutes and every 5 minutes revved to 3000rpm for 30secs and back to idle. This has to be done preferably with the car on a hoist so after the 20minutes the oil can be drained while it is hot immediately. As soon as the 20minutes were up engine was turned off and oil pan drain plug removed. The oil which came out was black as black with a whole lot of gunk along with it. Yuck was not the word. After every drop of oil was drained out the drain plug was put back and the oil filter removed and replaced with a new OE one.

Car was put back down and it was now time to pour the fresh oil. Initially one litre was poured in. After one litre I added the whole bottle of engine protector. The engine protector was needed to restore back the lost compression in an old engine. Basically after a flush you may end up removing sludge which was actually acting as a seal between the worn out piston rings and cylinder. If this happens you will actually end up losing compression and a very smoky oil guzzling car. This protector is like a thick paste which mixes with the oil and acts as a sealant for older engines at the same time providing better lubrication and preventing further sludge buildup. The remaining oil was then filled ensuring that we do not over fill it. Also added was a bottle of OWS 360 fuel treatment into the fuel tank. This works best when it is a little concentrated. If added to a full tank of fuel it will be too diluted and will not work as expected. I was advised to add it when I had approximately 10litres of fuel which I made sure I had at the time.

It was time now to start her up. The engine purred to life at the first crank and all the mechanics there were gathered around to see the results. She was purring nice and smooth and you could make out just hearing it from the outside that the roughness was gone. Got into the car and rolled up the windows and could barely hear the idle. NVH levels had gone down. It was time to confirm if all this had any effect or was it just a perception. Time to measure the compression again. Powered off the fuel pump and measurements were taken on each cylinder serially. The readings now read 155-155-155-155psi. Compression was uniform in all 4 cylinders and better than before but still not as per spec which is around 175psi. Considering car had done 75,000kms and this was the first time flush was performed it is safe to say there might still be some sludge and the piston rings may not be what they used to be.

Driving impression. I had only one day to drive since I was off to the states the same night. Decided to take the car to my office in E-city so that I could spend maximum time behind the wheel. Immediately I felt that the engine was instantly responding to small throttle inputs and she was feeling less strained than before and was much more rev happy. Engine was butter smooth and even at higher rpm's there was lesser noise and harshness. I could slot her into a higher gear than before and she would pull with much less effort as before. Initially for some reason the idling went up to 1800rpm from the usual 1100rpm with airconditioning. This came back to normal the next day. Overall was very satisfied and this is by far the largest change in driving experience I felt compared to all the regular services which had been done.

The same night I drove down to the airport to catch my flight and I had a huge grin across my face the whole time. Folks were wondering what was wrong with me. Later when my dad drove back home he realised why I was enjoying the drive so much. Upon reaching home he immediately called me and asked me what happened to the car. He was suspicious that I had gone and done some engine mods and it could not be just an oil change to bring about this change. For the last 2 months dad and driver were using the car and my dad reported the mileage everytime he filled up fuel. Earlier mileage figures were between 8-9kmpl in city. After the flush/oil change the lowest figure I got was 10kmpl else it was close to 10.5kmpl.

Came back last week and drove the car back home from airport and initially it was a rude shock to drive a 4 cylinder car since there I only had V6's to drive. After the first few kms got used to the car and she was still a dream to drive. Although it feels that the air filter has gotten choked since the intake sound has gone up whereas the engine is silent. Need to clean the K&N filter soon to fix this.

A big thanks to Farhan (Sideways) who I troubled umpteen number of times as I had no clue about most of the stuff like fuel pump connector location, ideal compression etc.... It was more of a DIY with him on the line guiding every step and I would tell the mechanic to do just that. It was nice fun getting your hands dirty even for such a small thing like an oil flush and change.
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Old 8th November 2008, 09:51   #155
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After that last saga I had to go to India garage again last week. The idle rpm reduced a little and when I turn on the AC the rpm would not climb to take the load. This was resulting in the car almost stalling when I tried to move from start. To prevent stalling the AC compressor would switch off automatically when the rpm went too low.

Called up and booked for a running repair. Went with my driver and was pleasantly surprised to see my cars number on the board with my usual service advisor assigned to the car. Job card prepared ultra quick and problem described.

2 hours later car was ready. My driver was there with the car the whole while just in case. Bill amount was Rs.189/-.

The stepper motor which controls idle rpm and varies it depending on load was clogged due to carbon deposits. It's located just in front of the throttle body. That needed a good cleaning and voila back to normal. They also set the idle rpm to the correct value just in case.

So now we have 800rpm idle with no AC, 950rpm with AC and 1100rpm early morning with no AC. Just like before.

That small motor issue was making a big difference in driving. After the fix the gear shifts are so much more smoother as revs are matched correctly else each shift was jerky as rpm would go too low.

Also I was surprised that the motor got dirty so quickly. It was cleaned at the last service at Lathangi in jan feb time. This could be due to the fact that the K&N stock replacement lets in a little more dust than the OE filter. Need to clean the filter again tomo as car has done 8000km without filter cleaning.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 8th November 2008 at 09:54.
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Old 27th December 2008, 12:54   #156
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Been following this thread, and vid6639's experience with SouthernMotors / IndiaGarage, and can't say that my experience with them has been too different.
I want to get my lancer car serviced by non-HM shops now, except not sure which service station to go to. Any suggestions?

I noticed that a few responses on this thread suggest either a service shop, or a mechanic they know of. Possible to share those details on this thread, or do I have to private-message you folks?

Thank you.
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Old 30th December 2008, 19:09   #157
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kirsn, they have vastly imrpoved. The change has to be seen to be believed. Constant phone updates on vehicle status. Very prompt and efficient.

Meanwhile my car has gone for a brake checkup. Found that if I slam the brakes hard on the highway they fade like crazy. First time they bite but second dab nothing. Master cylinder was checked today and is good. Pads have a good 6000kms to go.

Whole brake system will be cleaned with new fluid and bled.

Also AC compressor belt has hardened up and is slipping while accelerating. Will be changed. Car will be back tomorrow.

This is not a scheduled service just a brake checkup since I plan on a highway drive this weekend.
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Old 31st December 2008, 17:07   #158
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Job done. brakes have been bled and cleaned. Much better feel under braking.

Biggest difference is after the AC compressor belt change. My major gripe was the power loss with the AC which I started experiencing sometime back. Now with the belt change this is completely gone. The car feels very light to drive now. Before it was cumbersome with and without AC. Huge difference this has made.

Total cost came to Rs.1355.

Rs. 390 AC belt
Rs. 120 labour for AC belt
Rs. 180 labour for brake check up and bleeding
Rs. 76 fuses for horn blown
Rs. 90 labour for fitting new horn
Rs. 350 full interior and exterior cleaning.
All this + tax.
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Old 28th February 2009, 19:22   #159
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Car went in for 80K service last week. There were no problems as such and even though service interval recommended is 1year 10K kms, I get it done every 6months irrespective of kms.

So the job carried out at 80K kms was:

- Radiator Coolant drain and replace.
- Clutch fluid drain and replaced.
- Brake fluid drain and replaced.
- Power steering fluid drain and replace.
- Fuel filter replaced.
- Suspension retorqued.
- front bumper/skirt repair due to dog who came in front of car at 80km/hr.
- AC condenser cleaning.

Total cost break up goes like:

All fluids: Rs. 2500
80K service: Rs. 1500
Fuel filter: Rs. 1400
Front bumper/skirt repair: Rs.1000
Front bumper skirt painting: Rs. 1500
Number plates(pair): Rs. 500

Total: Rs. 8,400.

The dog hit was pretty nasty. skirting broke off the clips and the bumper came loose with a hole and a dent. All teh bumper clips came off and even the plastic wheel liner came off and the radiator grill clips broke. Front number plate was in pieces.

After the service there was a small issue again with erratic idling. Got that fixed within an hour. Turns out the idling was set too low for better FE and clutch needed to be slipped more to get moving. Also the usual suspect idling stepper motor was filthy. Cleaned and now everything is just fine.

Today my dad went for his usual morning walk to Cubbon Park and lost the keys and the Autocop remote. Called up India Garage but they say HM-Mitsu stopped supplying keys for the Lancer and I could not get the OE one with the serial number. I don't want to get a local key made. Looking out for someone with a computerised key making machine which can make good quality keys. Alternately have requested a person I know in HM-Mitsu to try and get one for me. The safest option is to change all the locks i.e. front doors, ignition and book lid. That will set me back by Rs. 15K. Car is usually parked in safe places so I'm not sure if that is needed.

For the remote, I called up the Autocop guys and went to their service centre in Sheshadripuram and 15minuts later had 2 new remotes and a new siren for Rs. 1600.
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Old 28th February 2009, 19:30   #160
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Good to hear they are getting better. I wish their Calcutta counterparts did the same, but alas... they still suck. I avoid HM like the plague unless I don't have any options.

Regarding the keys, I got a key made at a shop with a computerized machine. It's all on the record - they ask for your driving license and car registration papers before making the copy. New key works perfectly.
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Old 7th March 2009, 12:33   #161
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The newly painted bumper got scraped in the basement parking while my dad was parking the car. Same spot as the dog hit. Got the left side bumper repainted again. Cost came to Rs. 850.

Also the newly replaced number plate was broken into 2 by the shell petrol pump guy while filling air. The air hose got stuck in the front bumper and snapped the plate in 2. I told the manager about it and he arranged for a new number plate the next day.

Yet to get the key made. Will see today afternoon.
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Old 10th May 2009, 13:10   #162
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Decided to get some work done on the car which was missed out in the 80K service. I was following the timing belt threads going on and that got me worried. Although my car had done 82K kms, the belt was more than 9 years old. Mitsubishi recommends changing the belt and tensioner pulley at 1L kms or 6years whichever is earlier. Not good. Also last time I was not able to change the spark plugs as the imported NGK ones were out of stock.

Main reason for the garage visit was thanks to a family on a 2 wheeler who came and rear ended the car while we were waiting at a signal. Husband wife and kids lost their balance while trying to manoeuvre around the car and they all fell down. Started abusing my driving for stopping for a red light and the usual crowd gathered and beat up my driver for no fault of his. Luckily my dad got out and pretended to call police commisioner and get them all arrested, which resulted in the crowd disappearing. The 2 wheeler guy was never going to pay up so my dad just left as he was getting late for a meeting.

Estimate was Rs. 18,000 all under insurance.
- New left tail lamp (Rs.3,200)
- Tinkering and painting of boot lid
- Tinkering and painting of left rear quarter panel
- remove, refit bumper properly
- paint full bumper
- paint rear left door

Since this was going to result in removal of all small dings scratches, I also decided to get the 3M surface refinement done for Rs. 3,000. This was well worth it and the car looks absolutely fresh out of the showroom with the paint gleaming and an amazing glossy shine on the car.

Car took nearly a week to get done. I supervised the timing belt change and sure enough the old belt was on the harder side and a bit brittle. The tensioner pulley was also on it's way out and not as free wheeling as the new one.

- Timing belt is Rs. 1,800 from Gates India.
- Tensioner pulley is Rs. Rs. 3,500 from NTN bearings Mitsubishi Singapore.
- Spark plugs are NGK BPR5ES-11 from Tokyo Japan, Rs. 900.

Tensioner pulley change freed up the engine quite a bit since the old pulley was not that free. The spark plug was the biggest change and the engine feels super smooth after that.

Total bill including the insurance was 25K. I'll post the break up tomorrow.
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Old 10th May 2009, 13:50   #163
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Now a little technical query. The old spark plugs which were given back to me were not in very good shape which Rudra and Jaggu pointed out to me. I'm posting a few pics for the experts to give their feedback.

Mitsubishi Lancer SFXi 90K kms / 9 years ownership report. Now SOLD!-p1010769-custom.jpg
Mitsubishi Lancer SFXi 90K kms / 9 years ownership report. Now SOLD!-p1010770-custom.jpg
Mitsubishi Lancer SFXi 90K kms / 9 years ownership report. Now SOLD!-p1010771-custom.jpg
Mitsubishi Lancer SFXi 90K kms / 9 years ownership report. Now SOLD!-p1010773-custom.jpg
Mitsubishi Lancer SFXi 90K kms / 9 years ownership report. Now SOLD!-p1010774-custom.jpg
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Old 10th May 2009, 13:57   #164
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Unfortunate, the biker incident was. There are a lot of scumbags prowling the streets looking for somewhere to prey on.

Vid, how much did you guys end up paying from your pocket post the insurance claim? Also, which insurance company covers your car?
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Old 10th May 2009, 14:21   #165
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Vid, how much did you guys end up paying from your pocket post the insurance claim? Also, which insurance company covers your car?
My car is covered with Oriental Insurance. Of the 25K, 12K was insurance job and rest was mechanical and 3M job. Initial estimate I got was 18K for accident repair and 12K for the rest. From the insurance I decided not to change the tail lamp as it had a very minor superficial crack and was a waste of money changing it.

I also found out that HM-mitsu stock 2 different types of tail lamps. One is from Stanley Thailand costing Rs. 3,200 and other is from Depo India which costs Rs. 1,800. The Depo one was visibly of lower quality than the Stanley. My car was already running Stanley's and since the old one was not completely broken I decided to stick on with it and wait for another 2 wheeler to finish off the lamp before changing.

Benny I'll post the full break up and how much insurance approved tomorrow after I get the bill in my hand.

Also, since the boot was repainted they debadged my car and forgot to put back the badges. I like the debadged look without the 3 diamond logo, the mitsubishi name and the Lancer name.
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