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View Poll Results: About using Castrol Pitstops and similar lubrication & quick service centres
Yes, I use such a centre regularly, and I 've had a good experience 2 5.71%
Yes, I've used them once or twice, but the experience / charges were unsatisfactory 4 11.43%
No, but I might use them once my warranty is over 3 8.57%
No, because I don't trust such centres to take good care of my car 7 20.00%
What lubrication centres? Never knew of such a service being available before I read this thread 19 54.29%
Voters: 35. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 16th April 2012, 21:38   #16
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

I have personally visited two Castrol Pitstops in Calcutta. Both the times my aim was to give the car a good wash and I was not very much concerned with Castrol lubrication. But my personal experience was not very satisfactory. One Castrol Pitstop (on Canal West Road) was nothing but an automotive workshop, where there was absolutely no facility even to lift and wash the car, although a big Castrol signboard was present. And in the other Castrol Pitstop (on Rajarhat) I found that two auto rickshaws were lined up for washing. I was apologetically asked to wait for my turn to come. The owner was even so kind that he gave me the mobile number of his staff to book in advance. Unfortunately I could not go there any more.
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Old 17th April 2012, 13:37   #17
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carboy View Post
I wanted to get an oil change done at Castrol Pitstop - but didn't because of the reasons given here - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ml#post2210515 (Castrol Pitstop)
The Pitstop was really tiny!!! It was like a roadside mechanic who has barely managed to cobble up a shop.

There is a new pitstop in Mulund now... I think it's just the same old garage which put up a pitstop sign & now probably exclusively uses Castrol products.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gthang View Post
1. Process Management.: None of the small service centers follow or seem to follow a set procedure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul4640 View Post
One Castrol Pitstop ... was nothing but an automotive workshop...although a big Castrol signboard was present.
...in the other Castrol Pitstop ...two auto rickshaws were lined up for washing.
So it appears that Castrol has taken a shortcut in developing their business model, wherein, instead of training people and putting down set parameters for equipment, standards, work processes & other requirements, they hoisted up a signboard, and labelled an already existing garage as a Pitstop. That was not what I imagined these places to be!
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Hi,
A set of circumstances (cost, time, (dis)trust, and legislation) makes independent chains for quick lube changes, windshield repair/ replacement, exhaust replacement viable. Don't see that happening here in the short term. The type of place which will satisfy us will not be viable.
Viable or not viable? Would you please elaborate further on that last line?

The kind of place would satisfy you, Sutripta-da (or me), may not be the same kind of place that would satisfy the general car owner / enthusiast. But obviously the Castrol Pitstops are neither here, nor there - and don't seem to satisfy anyone at all. On the one hand, they don't look professional; OTOH, they are not run in a professional manner either.

I wonder if a slicker setup with better-trained professionals would attract more people than the Pitstops we have here. After all, doing a good oil change job and a thorough wash is not rocket science.
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Old 17th April 2012, 13:50   #18
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

My neighbourhood mechanic charges me less than a hundred bucks to change the oil/filter. I don't have to book prior appointment and if I am carrying the oil and filter, I have to wait for a total of half an hour including the actual job. A five minutes' notice is usually enough. I have a choice of going for a mineral oil, a semi-synthetic oil or a fully synthetic oil (of a brand of my choice) which my local parts supplier sells me at less than the MRP.

With an organized player I would most likely have to book an appointment, make the appointment, pay more by way of labour and have no control over which oil to use.
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Old 17th April 2012, 16:04   #19
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Totally agreed with Honeybee. Enthusiast' needs are well-served by the local petrol pump for such work. I buy my own oil, oil filter and stand by at the time of the oil change. The pump attendant charges between 50 - 100 bucks, no appointment required and I can club a lot of other things into that visit (refill the fuel tank, change the air freshner, check air pressure, get the car cleaned inside / out etc.).

For the more complex stuff, I trust only the authorised service center or my long-time independent mechanic. Why would I even bother with a pure lubrication center, unless you consider a petrol pump to be one

Non-enthusiasts, on the other hand, won't even bother. They'll just send their car over to the authorised service station, without ever checking whether the oil has been changed or not.
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Old 17th April 2012, 19:00   #20
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
My neighbourhood mechanic...
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Enthusiast' needs are well-served by the local petrol pump for such work.
...For the more complex stuff, I trust only the authorised service center or my long-time independent mechanic. Why would I even bother with a pure lubrication center...
Non-enthusiasts...won't even bother....ever checking whether the oil has been changed or not.
Interesting point raised. In that case, how do places like Jiffy Lube / EZ Lube generate business? Always by unscrupulous means (I would certainly expect not!)?? Or does the FNG / petrol pump-cum-workshop not exist in USA? Any inputs from folks with car-ownership experience in USA/other countries where these places exist?

Is Castrol actually gaining any advertising / revenue mileage out of their Pitstops, since it is quite apparent from this thread that they are such flops?
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Old 17th April 2012, 19:48   #21
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

In the US I think it's mostly a DIY or the authorized workshop. There's no (convenient) middle ground. In India if my regular mechanic is not available, I can get hold of ten others within a one km radius who will change the oil equally well. I doubt if I could afford this luxury in the US.

I don't think all such centres (the lubrication centre, or the Bosch setups) use unscrupulous means to earn money, or that they all are flops. But they sure have a lot of struggle ahead of themselves to gain acceptance here.
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Old 17th April 2012, 20:31   #22
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
In the US I think it's mostly a DIY or the authorized workshop. There's no (convenient) middle ground.
Not quite. Routine maintenance which includes Oil, brakes, and exhaust are easily done in established quickie centers.

In the US, the organised service sector works because the independent garages are notorious for labor costs and ripping of customers. I'm sure you can recall several sitcoms around that theme.

In India, just as honeybee said and GTO concurred, independent mechanics are still the cheapest place to get small jobs done. But I dont agree that all enthusiasts who care for their vehicles can afford to do this. If it involves getting original filters, pads, etc and buying oil, etc, etc. What of the enthusiast who does not have the time to procure such things? Or if they have relocated to a new city? They are left to A.S.C for even the minor work.

Wouldn't it be great if he could drive to the neighborhood Quickie Lube anywhere in the country and expect the same professional service? If only.

Cheers
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Old 17th April 2012, 20:37   #23
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

gthang, in almost all the major cities you should be able to find at least one shop which can get the right quality of consummables to you. To cite an example my local parts supplier provided me with original "Ford" branded spark plugs. Then he managed to procure Fiesta (as the Ikon is known in Europe) shock absorbers made in Brazil for my Ikon.

So I don't think it's much of a hurdle to procure quality parts, and I don't think the ASC is the only place where such parts can be procured. After all where there's a mechanic, there has to be a parts supplier in the vicinity. How else would the mechanic survive?
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Old 17th April 2012, 20:49   #24
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

@honeybee, Just as you have experienced a good auto parts dealer, I can cite several examples of dealers who will give parts "Made in Ludhiana" with a sticker stating "Made in _____". You can put country of choice in the blank.

And if you think every small time garage can change your oil equally good, just remember all it takes is for one eager "Chottu" with a wrong size spanner monkeying on your drain plug to ruin your day.

Cheers
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Old 17th April 2012, 21:24   #25
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Viable or not viable? Would you please elaborate further on that last line?
In the Indian context, what value addition would be done by these people, and how much would you pay for it. I would think most of the profits would come from the dealer margin on lubes. Which nixes the concept of yours carrying in your own lube and filter.

Abroad there is a legislative problem of disposing off the used oil.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 17th April 2012, 21:30   #26
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
In the US I think it's mostly a DIY or the authorized workshop. There's no (convenient) middle ground. In India if my regular mechanic is not available, I can get hold of ten others within a one km radius who will change the oil equally well. I doubt if I could afford this luxury in the US.
Have you heard of Jiffy Lube which is referred to in the first post of this thread?

Other than that, I have used a lot of independent shops for oil change, major service and repair in the US like Jiffy Lube, Goodyear Gemini Car, and independent shop which repairs only Japanese Car. Plus, I know people who used Pep Boys.
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Old 17th April 2012, 21:32   #27
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Let these guys use specific lubes that are recommended by the manufacturer for each car and the filter I would not mind availing their services.

Most 3rd party service centres including Carnation are Mickey Mouse outfits judging by the feedback. I wouldn't trust them to even change a bulb!

Cheers!
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Old 17th April 2012, 21:36   #28
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Hi,I still remember the times of 1963 when I was about 9 yrs old,my dad used to get our Amby mark2 washed ,cleaned,oils changed,and over and above about more ten 12 nos grease nipples pumped with black grease.
I was made to turn the steering left and right when the service guy pumped the grease into the rack and pinion system.
I still remember a board which read MAR FAC SERVICE,outside the service area.It was a ESSO petrol pump.Till today Idont understand what MAR FAC stands for.
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Old 17th April 2012, 21:55   #29
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Interesting point raised. In that case, how do places like Jiffy Lube / EZ Lube generate business?
The buzz word for oil changes in the States is "change your oil every 3,000 miles". Honestly, there isn't a need for it, but many people still do. They (rightly) consider it as the most important area of upkeep for their car.

Cars are on the road for 200,000 miles (and over in the States). In India, few people own cars with over 60,000 miles (100,000 kms). With older cars, no one in the States visits authorised dealers (or stealers, as dealerships are popularly called ).

Jiffy Lubes has better locations, and has far superior brand recall to small, independent shops. The deals they offer usually make an oil change cheaper than at an independent. Remember, in the States, labour costs are high. You can't pay 100 rupees / $2 in labour.

Now, bring the non-enthusiast car owner that I spoke about earlier : Do you think they'd go searching about for an independent, or just choose the well-known JiffyLube outlet right around the corner for its standarised processes, services & rates?

Lastly, ~50% of car drivers in the States are women (compared to <5% in India). Automobile maintenance is an area that women have traditionally not been interested in, and would much rather just outsource.
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Old 20th April 2012, 23:03   #30
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Even though I wanted to yet could not poll as the following option which holds true for me is not there.

Yes, I've used them once or twice and the experiences / charges were satisfactory.
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