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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 20th April 2012, 23:24   #31
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
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 of the oil manufacturers / marketers have co-branded or approved oils that are acceptable for a wide number of car brands & models. Lube centres should be obviously equipped to replace oil filters with OE filters too.
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
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.
This must be one of the most valid observations. But then, women drivers are increasing rapidly in our urban areas too. Maybe it's time for the Castrol Pitstops and such to shed their gung-ho grease-under-the-nails image and attract women drivers with pastel coloured waiting rooms with a spa attached?
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Originally Posted by khoj View Post
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.
Sorry about missing out on your option, but you can vote at #1 I think! Or, could mods please add that option in the poll please?

BTW, why haven't you used them more frequently than just once or twice, considering that the experience & charges were satisfactory?

Edit: One more surprise (for me) - a 60% response on the poll, that folks haven't heard of lube service centres - AND we're all auto buffs. Obviously, Castrol Pitstops stopped at some pit, and their ads never reached the masses.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 20th April 2012 at 23:27.
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Old 20th April 2012, 23:57   #32
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Hi SST, could not use option #1 as it restricts the experience to one center. Anyhow I like trying out new stuff/places for example the last time I bought a battery (a DIN55, couple of months ago) I bought one made by Rahima Farooz of Bangladesh
Rahimarooz Globatt Ltd.Think Global - Be Global

Similarly I have used the services of these lube centres on a whim and fancy but struck gold at both locations. Used the Kar Scanning Centre in Savitri commercial complex in GKII several times (5~6) in the late 90s and early 2Ks (they used to advocate Castrol, I think they still do). Apart from them I have used the Mobil1 centre in Kalkaji some months ago and came away with an overall satisfactory experience. Planning to use another Mobil1 centre this time in Okhla phase II for one of my vehicles, will update the thread if I do use them.

As for people not knowing regarding the lube centres, come on Doc now don't tell me that you expect 100% of the junta here to be true blue auto buffs or do you?


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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Sorry about missing out on your option, but you can vote at #1 I think! Or, could mods please add that option in the poll please?

BTW, why haven't you used them more frequently than just once or twice, considering that the experience & charges were satisfactory?

Edit: One more surprise (for me) - a 60% response on the poll, that folks haven't heard of lube service centres - AND we're all auto buffs. Obviously, Castrol Pitstops stopped at some pit, and their ads never reached the masses.
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Old 21st April 2012, 09:34   #33
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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
Most of the oil manufacturers / marketers have co-branded or approved oils that are acceptable for a wide number of car brands & models. Lube centres should be obviously equipped to replace oil filters with OE filters too.
Unfortunately it is not that simple. Unlike my experience with Maruti, Toyota and Honda only use oils by Idemitsu/Savita Chemicals in India and their OEM blends are never sold through retail channels. Dealers are supplied in bulk packs - ~230 litre barrels. Also, oil filters are imported (from Japan or Thailand) and not available outside. This is due to OEM restrictions.

However, customers may able to purchase these oils at auto parts stores procured thru grey channels. Then of course there are the after market 'equivalents'. I use an aftermarket oil (synthetic) with the same specs as the OEM synthetic but the filter is always sold by the dealer during the service..not over the counter.

My car needs to be serviced once a year or 10K kms with an oil change at the same interval. Not too much of a bother for me. I would rather have a specialist attend to my vehicle and change not just the oil/filter but maintain other parts of the vehicle as well.

Cheers!
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Old 25th April 2012, 19:02   #34
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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
There are a few Castrol Pitstop Centres scattered around the country, but I have not had occasion to go to them ever. Dadu wrote about them (Castrol Pitstop) a long time ago, but not more than 10 replies came through. Do any of us even use these Castrol Pitstop facilities on a regular basis?

Shell run their own brand of these lubrication centres across USA, under the brand of Jiffy Lube (Jiffy Lube® - Jiffy Lube Oil Change Locations - Jiffy Lube Oil Change Coupons - Automotive Maintenance Services). They had been much maligned and investigated some time ago by news channels there (search for Jiffy Lube on YouTube), but they still appear to be doing good business. Has anyone used Jiffy Lube, and what is your opinion about them?

Another lubricants company that operates on similar lines is Pennzoil EZ Lube (Pennzoil - 10 Minute Oil Change - Victoria, BC), now renamed to Valvoline Instant Oil Change (Valvoline Instant Oil Change | Oil Change Locations | Oil Change Coupons). Anyone experienced them either?
  • Considering that most modern cars are reliable enough to keep running for a long time with only routine oil & filter changes and a thorough wash, why don't we have more of these dedicated lubrication service centres like the above, which do just that?
  • And the few Castrol Pitstops that are there, how well are they doing?
  • Do most of us bother to visit them as a matter of routine or not?
  • Or do we trust our ASCs / FNGs and the neighborhood spares & oils dealer to do the needful?
I would like to utilize the services of similar service centres which should be able to do a decent job at reasonable cost in a short time, but I'm too scared to drive in and try before I hear from you.

And while we are on the topic of lubrication - does anyone know of any place where one can just walk in and get an used oil analysis (UOA) done? Has anyone done an UOA for his own car's oil?
I guess Used Oil Analysis (UOA) is a very new idea for Indian Cars/Customers. To be very frank, I am hearing this for the first time. But I am not sure what exactly this is. As far as the the name goes, this would be a process for identifying how fairly the engine oil is performing and to what level it is restricting the normal wear and tear inside the engine. If this is so, then this would be a great process of determining the perfect engine oil for an engine. If anybody knows the existence of UOA centres in Kolkata, please let all of us know about that.
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Old 25th April 2012, 19:14   #35
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by delix View Post
I guess Used Oil Analysis (UOA) is a very new idea for Indian Cars/Customers.
More about Used Oil Analysis (UOA) here: Used Oil Analysis - Bob is the Oil Guy.

@delix: Since you have voted "I use such a centre regularly, and I 've had a good experience", could you share more details about the experience?
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Old 25th April 2012, 20:26   #36
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

^^^
Used oil analysis: Not so much for checking out the oil itself as for finding out about (metallic and fuel related) contaminants. Which are an indicator of the internal wear of the engine.

Would like to know of a place which would
A) certify the genuineness of the oil, when new
B) Give me TBN/ TAN, and metallic contaminants.
All for a reasonable fee.

Regards
Sutripta

Last edited by Sutripta : 25th April 2012 at 20:27.
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Old 25th April 2012, 20:52   #37
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Used oil analysis: Not so much for checking out the oil itself as for finding out about (metallic and fuel related) contaminants. Which are an indicator of the internal wear of the engine.

Would like to know of a place which would
A) certify the genuineness of the oil, when new
B) Give me TBN/ TAN, and metallic contaminants.
All for a reasonable fee.

Regards
Sutripta
Yes, UOA for me is more to determine my Engine's health and also to correctly determine my OCIs (Oil Change Intervals).
Authorized Mobil dealer in my city had made me an offer to do UOA for Delvac 1 for around 2000 Rs. IIRC. He told me that the sample would be sent to Mobil's US lab and it would take around 2 weeks to get the results.Having said that,there are few portable UOA kits available in India (they cost a bomb though !)
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Old 25th April 2012, 22:04   #38
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

You know what, i have been trying to get to a Castrol Pitstop for the last 2 times i changed the oil on my car. Both times, it was sheer volume of vehicles that let me down. When i talked to the manager there he said i could call and book a slot for my car. Well - if i had to book, why would i want to do it at a Pitstop like Castrol which does just oil change ?????

To me, I would go to a pitstop, when i know the work is less (for example, oil change - nothing else). And if i have to wait for 2 to 3 cars work to be done (which takes say 2 to 3 hours), there is absolutely no point.

There is a Total mall in Sarjapur Road (bangalore) and there is a pitstop there. I would have loved to give the car, and finish my shopping, but the guys there dont seem professional. Its more like a small garage, but with a fancy name tag and high prices.

For a pitstop thing to be successful i think here are the key points:
1. Absolutely fast delivery [translates to having a lot of available people to work]. To me, get my car a 1 hour service with the most important things addressed - oil change + related consumables, check brakes, coolant, etc to see if anything is wrong.
2. Intended to replace regular service [Many of us who have our cars mileage close to a service, but cannot spare the time, could get some of the basic things done]. Again time to service is the key. Obviously you cannot do what a service center takes 1 day to do, but do the most important things right, and most people will be happy.
3. Setup shops where you anyway take time [malls, movie theaters].

In summary, i think these shops need to consider time taken as their USP.
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Old 25th April 2012, 22:26   #39
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delix View Post
I guess Used Oil Analysis (UOA) is a very new idea for Indian Cars/Customers. To be very frank, I am hearing this for the first time. But I am not sure what exactly this is. As far as the the name goes, this would be a process for identifying how fairly the engine oil is performing and to what level it is restricting the normal wear and tear inside the engine. If this is so, then this would be a great process of determining the perfect engine oil for an engine. If anybody knows the existence of UOA centres in Kolkata, please let all of us know about that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
More about Used Oil Analysis (UOA) here: Used Oil Analysis - Bob is the Oil Guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
And while we are on the topic of lubrication - does anyone know of any place where one can just walk in and get an used oil analysis (UOA) done? Has anyone done an UOA for his own car's oil?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Used oil analysis: Not so much for checking out the oil itself as for finding out about (metallic and fuel related) contaminants. Which are an indicator of the internal wear of the engine.

Would like to know of a place which would
A) certify the genuineness of the oil, when new
B) Give me TBN/ TAN, and metallic contaminants.
All for a reasonable fee.

Regards
Sutripta
here's what we found out the last time I asked around about it
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...sis-india.html (Used Oil Analysis in India)
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Old 26th April 2012, 00:00   #40
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Originally Posted by greenhorn

here's what we found out the last time I asked around about it
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...sis-india.html (Used Oil Analysis in India)
Saw that thread, but no one on this forum seems to have ever done it, or actually visited such a facility. Where are those oil analysis labs, does anyone know? Do IITs and similar institutes have them? I believe the National Physical Laboratory has an elaborate setup that is not accessible to the mango man.
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