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Old 17th April 2015, 08:27   #16
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Default Re: National Green Tribunal says, 10 year old Diesel Vehicles banned in Delhi

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I see very few threads on TeamBHP members actually fixing their cars themselves. So, it appears that for some reason Indians don't fix their own car? Is that a correct observation and if so why not? A whole forum with car enthusiasts, but few DIYs?
I would put the low labour cost (especially in FNGs) as one of the primary reasons. India is all about "VFM" logic. When you can get it done in a workshop for a few bucks, you can probably use that time for something else and hence most people don't bother to do a DIY.
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Old 17th April 2015, 10:12   #17
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I would put the low labour cost (especially in FNGs) as one of the primary reasons. India is all about "VFM" logic. When you can get it done in a workshop for a few bucks, you can probably use that time for something else and hence most people don't bother to do a DIY.
I have tried to go down the DIY path. First with my Enfield and later with my car. In both cases it was cheaper /convenient to go to the workshop anyway, get into the pit with the apprentice mechanic under the car/bike and get the work done under supervision and with proper tools.

The FNG I went to for my TATA indigo charged all of 300 rupees as labour for basic service. The owner/mechanic made more money selling the spares/consumables. But he didn't mind when I brought my own Oem spares.

Part of the reason for low labour was that most of his 'mechanics' were apprentices who moved on 6months/1 year later. And I could harass them all day long for odd jobs as long as a service bay/tools were free and I provided the spares/consumables.

The operation was very much like a Medical college where interns and PG students are exploited, do the labour and get paid in 'experience' or a 'degree' after a couple of years.
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Old 17th April 2015, 13:18   #18
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Originally Posted by zenren View Post
I would put the low labour cost (especially in FNGs) as one of the primary reasons. India is all about "VFM" logic. When you can get it done in a workshop for a few bucks, you can probably use that time for something else and hence most people don't bother to do a DIY.

Labour cost is undoubtedly a factor in Europe. But even so, there are plenty of people who just enjoy working on their cars. There is a huge DIY market in Europe/USA. Some people just enjoy painting their own house, putting new wall paper up, fitting a new kitchen, plumbing and changing the oil of their car.

The big Swedish furniture firm Ikea is coming to India. Their concept is, pretty good furniture, at a low price. They keep the prices low as ll their furniture is Flat Packed and you need to put it together yourself. Wonder if that will work in India. Maybe we will see an army of entrepreneurs starting companies that screw your Ikea furniture together at your home.

What I have noticed is that whenever I do a little job around the house, say on my bike, or change a gas cylinder, my driver, our staff and all the neighborhood guards are appalled and they keep telling me Sir should not do .


Jeroen
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Old 17th April 2015, 14:44   #19
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Default Re: National Green Tribunal says, 10 year old Diesel Vehicles banned in Delhi

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Labour cost is undoubtedly a factor in Europe. But even so, there are plenty of people who just enjoy working on their cars. There is a huge DIY market in Europe/USA. Some people just enjoy painting their own house, putting new wall paper up, fitting a new kitchen, plumbing and changing the oil of their car.

They enjoy as a matter of habit. They have been watching their forefathers do the same. In India, even our forefathers outsourced all these jobs, which is why the thrill isn't there.

Ikea themselves will be sending over 'fixers' to your residence, else their sales will be hampered ( atleast for the bigger furniture) and they are more interested in Non-furniture commodities that they trade in, for India.
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Old 17th April 2015, 14:46   #20
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Jenron Buddy there are a lot of programs on the television like counts customs overhaulin kings of restoration etc where they show how much Americans love the old classics and they really spend thousands of dollars to restore them. On top of that, the cars still run on the roads freely and are cherished. Perhaps some people also earn to own one. I believe the NGT should be given a dose of some Discovey Channel and History Channel to make them understand the value of a vintage or classic car. I saw a Rolls Royce at the Auto Expo 2002 which was a 1940s model. The paint on that Car was so clear that it gave the new german luxury cars a run for the money. The Chrome was better than a new car. And now if the NGT would approach the owner asking him to scrap the car I am sure the owner will beat the hell out of the person who even would touch it without his consent. I'm sure in today's date it can fetch him a cool crore. Who would love to part with such a jewel of a car due to this stupid ban?
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Old 21st April 2015, 00:15   #21
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Default Re: Fixing the car yourself?

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I see very few threads on TeamBHP members actually fixing their cars themselves. So, it appears that for some reason Indians don't fix their own car? Is that a correct observation and if so why not? A whole forum with car enthusiasts, but few DIYs? Jeroen
That "some reason" could be
1. Lack of mechanical knowhow coupled with non availability of tools. Specialised tools are unavailable plus we do not (yet) have a culture of owning basic tools at home / garage
2. Cheap labor coupled with ignorance and the social unaceptability of getting your hands dirty
3. Accepting mediocre work quality / "chalta hai"
4. Lack of time. Most Indian corporates do not have a 36 hour week.
5. Lack of space in most city houses

I love to work on my MG410, but then I 1) live in the hills 2) do not hold a regular job 3) have a technical knack 4) basic tools lying around 5) Some experience maintaining /repairing /refurbishing my bicycles and motorcycles in Netherlands
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Old 21st April 2015, 09:16   #22
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Default Re: Fixing the car yourself?

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That "some reason" could be
1. Lack of mechanical knowhow coupled with non availability of tools. Specialised tools are unavailable plus we do not (yet) have a culture of owning basic tools at home / garage
2. Cheap labor coupled with ignorance and the social unaceptability of getting your hands dirty
3. Accepting mediocre work quality / "chalta hai"
4. Lack of time. Most Indian corporates do not have a 36 hour week.
5. Lack of space in most city houses
thanks for that perspective. Over the last three years lving in India my own thoughts/observations are along similar lines. I get the distinct impression many Indians will not undertake a job that they feel is 'beneath' them. Where I come from, there simply isnt such a thing as anybody or anything beneath anybody.

Lack of time? Indian corporates not having a 36 hour week? I'm not so sure how many corporate around the world do have a 36 hour week. Did you pick that up in the Netherlands? Never the less, I think if you enjoy something, if you believe it is relevant or important you will always find the time.
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Old 21st April 2015, 09:21   #23
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Default Re: Fixing the car yourself?

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Originally Posted by antihero View Post
That "some reason" could be
1. Lack of mechanical knowhow coupled with non availability of tools. Specialised tools are unavailable plus we do not (yet) have a culture of owning basic tools at home / garage
2. Cheap labor coupled with ignorance and the social unaceptability of getting your hands dirty
3. Accepting mediocre work quality / "chalta hai"
4. Lack of time. Most Indian corporates do not have a 36 hour week.
5. Lack of space in most city houses

I love to work on my MG410, but then I 1) live in the hills 2) do not hold a regular job 3) have a technical knack 4) basic tools lying around 5) Some experience maintaining /repairing /refurbishing my bicycles and motorcycles in Netherlands
I think some of those things are changing. I do DIY because I enjoy it AND because I am particular about quality and (particularly in India) can do much higher quality job than hired help.

I enjoyed doing DIY as a kid growing up in Bangalore. After my 12th I even wanted to work in a a garage -- my parents were supportive but finding one to take me in was hard. Finally, a garage in Infantry road agreed (IIRC it was called Anthony's garage) and I worked there for a couple of months over the break.

Living in the US allowed me to continue to do DIY and expanded my range to cover home (plumbing, electrical, some masonry, painting, home theater etc) automotive and hobbies. Back here in Bangalore I find that there is much more access to the tools and equipment needed than before (though still not yet up to what I would like to see).

Byas
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Old 21st April 2015, 13:04   #24
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Default Re: Fixing the car yourself?

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
thanks for that perspective. Over the last three years lving in India my own thoughts/observations are along similar lines. I get the distinct impression many Indians will not undertake a job that they feel is 'beneath' them. Where I come from, there simply isnt such a thing as anybody or anything beneath anybody.

Lack of time? Indian corporates not having a 36 hour week? I'm not so sure how many corporate around the world do have a 36 hour week.
The legal working week is 40 hrs/week in the Netherlands. It is 36 hours for universities and other government funded institutes. Yes, we were a bit spoilt for time.
I agree with you about the "beneath" concept. This is even more pronounced in suburban and rural India.
One point that I missed is the lack of old or classic car / motorcycle ownership in India. I mentioned that own a carbureted MG410. I figure I can work on it with relative ease because its a relatively simple engine and drivetrain with oodles of access.

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I think some of those things are changing. I do DIY because I enjoy it AND because I am particular about quality and (particularly in India) can do much higher quality job than hired help.

I enjoyed doing DIY as a kid growing up in Bangalore. After my 12th I even wanted to work in a a garage -- my parents were supportive but finding one to take me in was hard. Finally, a garage in Infantry road agreed (IIRC it was called Anthony's garage) and I worked there for a couple of months over the break.

Living in the US allowed me to continue to do DIY and expanded my range to cover home (plumbing, electrical, some masonry, painting, home theater etc) automotive and hobbies. Back here in Bangalore I find that there is much more access to the tools and equipment needed than before (though still not yet up to what I would like to see).
Byas
I must say I respect your parents for their choice and support. It is quite unusual for most parents in India. Living abroad gives you a certain perspective on DIY. I found that in Netherlands same as you do in the US. But then a very minuscule percentage of my acquaintances born and living in India would pick up a spanner. If I was a betting man, I'd bet it might be true for your indian friends living in India.
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Old 21st April 2015, 19:55   #25
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The legal working week is 40 hrs/week in the Netherlands. It is 36 hours for universities and other government funded institutes. .
Its actually quite a bit different. If the moderators allow me to go wildly off topic I will explain. I think some members might find this interesting, incredible, amusing, unbelievable, possibly all of the above. But the whole 40/36 hour week in the Netherlands is a truly unique Dutch phenomena.

Strictly speaking there is no legal working work week as such. You can sign of for any number of hours per week you and your employer agree to. My dad was a partner in a law form and everybody had to and still does 44 hours per week. Everybody is to show up the whole week and on Saturday morning!

The only legal constraint being the actual number of hours you are allowed to work per day, per week etc. That's actually mostly a labour law regulated thing and there are some very specific rules for say truckers, pilots, train drivers etc.

What is true that from the late 60s onward most people who worked, were on 5 day, 8 hour per day week. Bear in mind, in the Netherlands everything, such as your contributions to state and company pension funds, unemployment benefits, other social securities, health insurance premium and other benefits is all based on your gross salary. So having one norm was for various reasons very handy.

In the late 70s, early 80s the Netherlands experienced a period of economic downturn. We saw high unemployment rates. In true Dutch fashion, the Dutch government, the employer representative organisations, the unions, the various politicians came up with a joint solution. The so called ATV was introduced in 1982 if I recall correctly. ATV stands for ArbeidsTijdVerkorting, roughly translated as "shortening of working hours". The concept being that if all those who did have job worked a few hours less every week, those hours would be distributed amongst the unemployed and subsequently more people could be employed!

What happened is that for many in the Netherlands the 40 hours working week was adjusted to 36 hours per week. That also meant your gross salary was reduced by 10%. However, as your gross salary includes a whole bunch of stuff other then salary, often paid by the employer (e.g. health insurance) for most it meant a nett reduction of maybe only 5%. So you got a lot of extra free time at the expense of a moderate decline of nett income.

Many industries and most (not all) governmental bodies, including schools, universities adopted this system. Very often, the smaller type of companies did not adopt it. But just about all big companies, from Shell, to Unilever, all banks and insurances adopted this system.

How it was implemented varied. Some companies allow staff to work 4 days of 9 hours. Some companies kept working 40 hours per week, but you gained a few extra days off per quarter etc.

With me so far? Lets move on to how much your average Dutch guy/girl actually works!

The Netherlands has a legally determined minimum number of holidays for every employee.

In those days it was slightly different, but these days based on working 40 hours a week for a year, the legal minimum amount would be 20 paid holidays per year. If you work 20 hours per week/year it would be 10, ie. pro rate adjusted.

You will find very few Dutch companies adhere to the legal minimum only. Most will be adding 3-6 days for a full time employee.

Let me give a real life example: me! During the eighties I worked for various companies that never participated in this ATV concept. So I had the standard 40 hours per week and a few extra days over the legal minimum. I joined Ericsson the Netherlands in 1991. At the time we were probably around 3500-4000 employees, half of that R&D.

My contract was for 36 hours, I got 6 holidays over the legal minimum and because the 36 hours came from the ATV arrangement, I also got around 8 paid ATV days on top of that

So I had approx 35 fully paid days per year holiday! The ATV days could be carried over a maximum of one quarter. So you had to take two days off per quarter or you would loose them!

Confused? Let me add some more insights into the Dutch system

By law, every employee is entitled to 8% 'vakantietoeslag' or Holiday premium. How does that work then? The holidays including ATV dagen are already fully paid??
True, this is just on top of that! it is literally a premium you get to pay for your expensive holiday!

Everybody in the Netherlands who is an employee, gets paid 12 monthly salaries + 8% holiday premium of the total 12 months on top of that. Most companies pay the holiday premium in one lump sum in April or May. So it can be used to book your summer holiday!

In some companies and industries there is also a phenomena known as "dertiende maand", or thirteenth month. This is not a legal requirement and is up to individual companies to decide. It is a full additional month on top of all of the above. Part of your total compensation package.

So for instance, my eldest son, works for Glencore. I think he has straightforward
-40 hours full time employment.
-25 days paid holiday
- 8% holiday premium (legal requirement)
- thirteenth month (Company specific)
- Bonus (company specific)

So effectively his 'quaranteed' salary is (nearly) fourteen months salary in one calendar year!

What about overtime I hear you ask? Or are the Dutch to busy spending their money and using up their copious amounts of holidays?

Roughly speaking Dutch employees fall into one of two catergories. Those who are entitled overtime pay out and those who have an 'all-in' contract.

If you are entitled to overtime that will be stipulated in your contract and it can vary by sector and industry. A typical arrangements could be that during weekdays the first two hours above the regular 8 are paid out at 130% and the subsequent hours at 150%. Hours worked during weekends and or official holidays would be paid at 200%.

Pay out could be monetary, or what we call "tijd voor tijd", time for time. So instead of getting money you would get extra free hours/day to compensate for the overtime.

If you are on an all in contract, you would expect to work roughly your normal hours, but in case you need to work more you would not be compensated in any form shape or format.

To put things in context. At Ericsson I believe about 75% of the total workforce was on all in contracts. So its not something that is only applicable to upper management. Many types of jobs would fall under this regime.

I hope the above provides some historical context of how this 36/40 hours came about. Have been away from the Netherlands for quite some time, so I'm not really current anymore. What I can say is that during the last ten years the whole ATV concept is being dismantled. What is left is most likely companies and or parties who now regard a normal working week as less then 40 hours. In particular in the non profit sector. The compensation of the loss or disappearance is typically adjusted through varies mechanism. So Ericsson did away with the ATV days a long time ago. But the 8% holiday premium, thirteenth month, legal minimum paid holiday still exists!

To summarise, plenty of time to fix your car, or paint the kitchen, screw an Ikea sofa together.

Completely off topic, sorry for that, but I hope some of you enjoy reading about this never the less

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 21st April 2015 at 20:14.
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Old 22nd April 2015, 09:03   #26
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Some people do. Of course, there is the classic and vintage car brigade who tend to do nothing else then getting their hands dirty. Quite a few prefer fidling with their car over driving it.

Still, the vast majority gets it done. In the USA I got the impression more people worked on their cars then in Europe. Lots of shops around where you can buy just about any part for your car.

There is one very notable difference between the various European/USA car forums and TeamBHP. On the European/USA forum you will find endless threads on fixing your car. Very often there is nothing else on such forums. The forums I belong to about my Jaguar, Mercedes and Jeep Cherokee are all about fixing your car yourself. I see very few threads on TeamBHP members actually fixing their cars themselves. So, it appears that for some reason Indians don't fix their own car? Is that a correct observation and if so why not? A whole forum with car enthusiasts, but few DIYs?

Jeroen
That is correct.

Here is more about "How clean is my car", "How much bling i got", "What kind of speakers i can install", "I am better than you" etc

DIY is a taboo because your neighbors will say "you look like a mechanic".

Some people cant even open the doors of their cars and expect their driver to do it.

Here is my take - If you can wipe your back side yourself there is no reason to not do low level DIY!
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Old 22nd April 2015, 09:59   #27
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I have been working on my cars since 1975 when I first started understanding them. In those days knowledge was gleaned through publications as there was no internet. My first book, which I consider my Bible, was 'Book of the Car' which I still treasure although many changes have taken place over the years especially in the electronics.

Even in those days DIY car repairs in US was very popular and all the related tools were available to them. Here there was nothing. I remember how I scoured the market for feeler guages when garages mechanics used to gap tappets by ear. With limited resources, I fabricated my own Tach/Dwell meter and Strobe Timing Light. Of course, later I managed to get my hands on these jewels from a like minded American guy in India who sold me these instruments made by Sears,Roebuck & Co. USA. I still have these prized possessions.

I invite like minded DIY guys on the forum to share their experiences and wisdom.
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Old 23rd April 2015, 07:50   #28
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Default Re: Fixing the car yourself?

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Completely off topic, sorry for that, but I hope some of you enjoy reading about this never the less
Jeroen
Couldn't care less about it being "off topic". It makes splendid reading with a cup of morning coffee and I just wanted to take the time to say "dank u" for taking the time to pen it down.
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