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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 15th April 2012, 22:54   #1
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Default Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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 LubeŽ - 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?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 15th April 2012 at 23:09.
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Old 15th April 2012, 23:26   #2
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
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 LubeŽ - 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.
I have used Jiffy Lube in the US once. Routine oil change, quickly done, reasonable charges. But then my dealer started offering the same thing - quick oil change while you wait and a couple of dollars cheaper than Jiffy Lube, so no point in taking it to Jiffy Lube. Bridgestone's Gemini Carcare used to have coupons for free tyre rotation along with the lube job, so I have used that also. I think I used Jiffy Lube when it was run by Pennzoil before Shell bought Pennzoil. And even before that Jiffy Lube was an chain not belonging to any of the oil companies. A friend used to use Q-Lube oil change(Quaker State) before Q-Lube was purchased by Jiffy Lube.

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 - that used to be an independent mechanic earlier - I'll may try it next time. I think it's just the same old garage which put up a pitstop sign & now probably exclusively uses Castrol products.

The main thing is that most things in the US, Jiffy Lube looked professional from the outside - so you don't really mind trying it out - but a lot of pitstops look like cheap independent garages. I have seen on it Worli which is big & looks professional - but that's too far for me.
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Old 16th April 2012, 00:07   #3
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Car service schedules of all the cars are such that the customer doesn't even need to bother about oil changes. Take the car to the service center every 5k, 10k or 15k kms (depending on the car) and everything including oil changes are taken care of.

Castrol Pitstop is a branding / visibility exercise for Castrol - I don't think it was setup to increase revenues.
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Old 16th April 2012, 00:14   #4
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

for new cars, you need to go to the ASC for oil changes anyway
for older cars, odds are you will need some other work done anyway, so you go to a workshop, and get them to change the oils there.

At least my car isn't so trouble free that all it needs are oil changes :P
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Old 16th April 2012, 06:31   #5
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Car service schedules of all the cars are such that the customer doesn't even need to bother about oil changes. Take the car to the service center every 5k, 10k or 15k kms (depending on the car) and everything including oil changes are taken care of.
I guess SS_T's point is that you can take the car to a Lubrication Center like Pitstop every 10K kms and they will take care of everything. So you avoid a trip to the ASC. That's what happenes with Jiffy Lube, Q-Lube and other Quick Lube Change places abroad.

This is what a typical oil change involves
Jiffy Lube Signature ServiceŽ Oil Change - Replace Oil Filter - Check Tire Pressure - Oil Change Services

Other than that, the quick lube places may also provide other routine services

Jiffy Lube Automotive Services - Jiffy Lube Signature ServiceŽ Oil Change - Tire Rotation, Transmission, Radiator, A/C, Electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Castrol Pitstop is a branding / visibility exercise for Castrol - I don't think it was setup to increase revenues.
I don't think so. It is to increase revenue. The average neighborhood garage may use any oil for his oil change. OTOH, if the garage becomes a Pitstop it will use only Castrol stuff - engine oil, gear oil, coolant etc.
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Old 16th April 2012, 07:41   #6
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Shell has started this in a small way (in their bunks), but it does not seem to have caught up.

One of the causes can be traced back to the automotive companies, and their policies related to warranty. The companies insist on they doing the servicing - including oil changes if the warranty must remain valid. Hence a person is not able to go anywhere else for oil changes.

This policy is un-like in other countries where warranty is valid even if one can show/prove that he has purchased the OE spares, and can show proof that the oil change has been done (outside).
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Old 16th April 2012, 08:18   #7
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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Originally Posted by condor View Post

One of the causes can be traced back to the automotive companies, and their policies related to warranty. The companies insist on they doing the servicing - including oil changes if the warranty must remain valid.
I think even if the US, someone had to take the auto companies to the court before this precedent was set.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post

Hence a person is not able to go anywhere else for oil changes.
Most people use these kind of places after the warranty has expired. Warranty period is a small part of the cars life.
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Old 16th April 2012, 08:19   #8
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

I do believe bikes use the castrol pit-stop services a LOT more than cars do. I mostly see bikes at these places.
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Old 16th April 2012, 08:45   #9
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Car service schedules of all the cars are such that the customer doesn't even need to bother about oil changes.
Yes, but the major (if not the only) work to be done at most services is just oil & filter changes. If the ASC costs are higher for the same service than the Lube Centre charges, I'd rather go to the Lube Centre. Plus, co-branded oils are almost always more expensive than equivalent oils from the likes of Shell / Castrol / Valvoline, so I presume a Pitstop or Jiffy Lube type setup will give me genuine oil for lower prices. Or am I wrong here?
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
At least my car isn't so trouble free that all it needs are oil changes :P
. Yes, like the Zapps' car which never needs an oil change because it keeps leaking oil and they keep topping up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Shell has started this in a small way (in their bunks), but it does not seem to have caught up.
Have you been to one of these Shell places? What's your experience?
Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
One of the causes can be traced back to the automotive companies, and their policies related to warranty. The companies insist on they doing the servicing - including oil changes if the warranty must remain valid. Hence a person is not able to go anywhere else for oil changes.
What about those cars which are out of warranty? Or those folks who want a quick oil change but don't know a good FNG to go to?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1self View Post
I do believe bikes use the castrol pit-stop services a LOT more than cars do. I mostly see bikes at these places.
Are you talking about the Castrol Bike Zone Or do Pitstops also handle bikes? And in your opinion, why do bikers prefer going there more than car owners do?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 16th April 2012 at 08:47.
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Old 16th April 2012, 09:02   #10
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Yes, but the major (if not the only) work to be done at most services is just oil & filter changes. If the ASC costs are higher for the same service than the Lube Centre charges, I'd rather go to the Lube Centre. Plus, co-branded oils are almost always more expensive than equivalent oils from the likes of Shell / Castrol / Valvoline, so I presume a Pitstop or Jiffy Lube type setup will give me genuine oil for lower prices. Or am I wrong here?
The ASC oils are also of lower quality especially in case of Maruti.

Maruti Recommends MGO - Maruti Genuine Oil.

Castrol India - Castrol MGO

http://www.iocl.com/downloads/lubes/...e_Oil_0210.doc

These are API SF.
SF is an obsolete oil formulated for use in cars made before 1988


Whereas a cheap Castrol GTX which a pitstop would use by default is Grade SL (Mobil, Shell etc also have equivalent oils). SL is alteast a current oil.

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?

Mobil's website has some info about this.
http://www.mobil.co.in/India-English...rvices/L_S.asp

Last edited by carboy : 16th April 2012 at 09:14.
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Old 16th April 2012, 09:07   #11
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

Sorry, my bad. I got confused between the two.

On a side note, on the Castrol India site, the 20 point checklist they have, all the items can checked at ANY garage worth it's salt. So why go to that specfic place?

For peace of mind I would rather go to an authorized workshop, get the oil changed AND get an OEM oil/ fuel filter. Why OEM? Peace of mind.
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Old 16th April 2012, 09:16   #12
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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
Have you been to one of these Shell places? What's your experience?
Missed to add the point, but they only do bikes, not cars.
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Old 16th April 2012, 09:56   #13
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

I feel we are not seeing more of them due to 2 reasons:

1. Process Management.: None of the small service centers follow or seem to follow a set procedure. It gives great confidence and peace of mind to the customer when they see that the technicians are following a checklist, or SOP. So, even if the small timers might have more competent mechanics, they dont exude that confidence. This is different in the US, where even the Jiffy Lube et al follow a procedure and are methodical.

2. OE spares. This is manipulated by the manufacturers so that OEM spares are not available easily in the free market. Brand recognition of replacement parts being poor and abundance of duplicate parts further increases this problem.

I'm sure there are other problems, but unless these two major hurdles are crossed, I dont see much growth in this sector.

Cheers.
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Old 16th April 2012, 14:26   #14
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A few questions, for those who have used these services:
1. Would you use ASC or a lube centre if the same oil (co-branded) was being sold at the lube centre at a lesser price?
2. Do you replace oil earlier than manufacturer recommendations? (I do.)
3. If the self-monitoring facilities were better than what your ASC provides (multiple CCTV feeds that let you watch your car very closely, for e.g.), would that be reason to trust them to do a good job?
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Old 16th April 2012, 21:11   #15
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Default Re: Lubrication Service Centres: Why not so common in India?

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.

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