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Old 12th September 2015, 15:42   #1
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Default Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

Hello BHPians. I was thinking about sharing my observation regarding the way the inspection and maintenance is carried out by authorized service stations. As we all know, during normal servicing of cars, the usual replacements which are carried out, are engine oil & filter (after every 10,000 kms), transmission oil and coolant (after every 20,000 kms). Apart from this washing is done to the customers satisfaction, after which the car is handed over to the customer. Now if one goes through the inspection and service manual of most of the vehicles, he will find that there are certain jobs which are seldom carried out by the service stations. Here some excerpts from the Maruti Suzuki manuals:

1. Inspection & Tightening of Engine bolts (All cylinder head and manifold fixings) to be done after every 20,000 kms run.

2. Inspection & Tightening of Engine Mounting bolts to be done after every 20,000 kms run.

3. Inspection & Tightening of all nuts and bolts of front & rear suspension to be done after every 10,000 kms run.

4. Inspection & Tightening of all Chassis bolts and nuts to be carried out after every 10,000 kms run.

During servicing at an authorized service station, I had pointed out to the service advisor regarding the execution of the jobs mentioned in the manual but he smiling explained that there is nothing to worry about, as these nuts and bolts are never a cause of concern. I wondered then why has the manufacturer mentioned about the same in the manual? Has anyone had a similar experience? Would like to have useful insights of from BHPians on this issue.

Regards.

Last edited by Aditya : 14th September 2015 at 07:05. Reason: Grammatical errors
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Old 12th September 2015, 17:15   #2
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Default re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

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Originally Posted by ssambyal1980 View Post
Hello BHPians. I was thinking about sharing my observation regarding the way the inspection and maintenance is carried out by authorized service stations. As we all know that during normal servicing of cars, the usual replacements which are carried out are engine oil & filter (after every 10,000kms), transmission oil and coolant (after every 20,000kms). Apart from this washing is done to the customers satisfaction, after which the car is handed over to the customer. Now if one goes through the inspection and service manual of most of the vehicles, he will find that there are certain jobs which are seldom carried out by the service stations. Here some excerpts from the Maruti Suzuki manuals:

1. Inspection & Tightening of Engine bolts (All cylinder head and manifold fixings) to be done after every 20,000kms run.

2. Inspection & Tightening of Engine Mounting bolts to be done after every 20,000kms run.

3. Inspection & Tightening of all nuts and bolts of front & rear suspension to be done after every 10,000kms run.

4. Inspection & Tightening of all Chassis bolts and nuts to be carried out after every 10,000kms run.

During servicing at an authorized service station, I had pointed to the service advisor regarding the execution of above mentioned jobs mentioned in the manual but he smiling explained that there is nothing to worry about, as these nuts and bolts are never a cause of concern. I wondered then why did the manufacturer has mentioned about the same in the manual? Does anyone had a similar experience? Would like to have useful insight of the BHPians on this issue.

Regards.
Service centers are usually not company owned and the people working in service centers get commission on the service bill paid by the customer. So this leads to low quality of work by the service centers.
As far as service manuals are concerned, those are made by highly qualified engineers who have actually designed your car so I think that it is a must to follow the service manual.
My suggestion on the basis of my experience are as follows:
1. Always get your car serviced in front of you (person servicing the car will do it more carefully)
2. Always take your car for service on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, since the rush are usually less on these days.
3. Always do a pre-delivery inspection of your car such that everything is perfect in your car
4. Take a short test drive with service advisor if any changes to major parts are done e.g. Brake servicing, engine tuning
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Old 12th September 2015, 17:18   #3
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Default re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

Never seen service centers attending to all the points mentioned in the manual while the service across any brand/ vehicle type/ 2 or 4 wheelers. Probably these are attended only when the customer complains of any thing related to these components. Service centers are mostly in a hurry to attend to as many cars as possible on a given day and obviously these stuff are low on their agenda.
I am sure that manufacturers know about this but turn a blind eye to the issue because it brings nothing to their kitty.
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Old 12th September 2015, 18:18   #4
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Default re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

It is rarely seen that the service station will stick to the wordings in official manual. They are most likely to carry out jobs which are easy to finish like oil changes and additives in fuel tank.
My Hyundai Santro's manual prescribes the change of timing belt at 60 thousand kms. At my scheduled service, the advisor just simply skipped the job. At completion of service and billing, I enquired whether the belt is changed or not. The advisor simply said if its not causing any problem, why mess with it.
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Old 12th September 2015, 20:12   #5
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Default Re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

Typically, Hyundai service stations that I am used to have average to poor technical knowledge, absolutely nil troubleshooting ability (its always the replace mantra) and they only talk in terms of inflating the bill for reasons that would add no value to the driving aspect of a car. I'm sure stuff like aircon vent foam cleaning, under-bay/engine coating & additives are useful once every couple of years or so but I personally do not do anything unless necessary. Over time I've developed an almost fail-safe system of handling service advisors & I hope some of you can find it useful, fair warning though it may not work everywhere.

I usually grab the clipboard and fill out the job-sheet or make sure what I want is written, and most of the times I ensure that unnecessary jobs as above are clearly indicated as a no. I also have started to get wheel balancing/alignment done at reputed shops where I can see what's going on (including amount of air pressure put in). As for the rest I'm very particular about spares & consumables being replaced right on time, I wasn't so earlier but its important to follow the manual to the last letter to prevent sudden repairs. Things that should be given special attention are drive & timing belts, engine oil, power steering fluid level (in case of hydraulic) & battery. Service or replacement of such parts when their time is due is monumentally important. Gimmicky things like engine "shine" coating, interior cleaning, wax etc are least important & should preferably be done in leisure when you are around (shouldn't be mixed into regular service since they are usually loaded with cars & might rush through mechanical work). Thorough inspection before & after is a must.. I've usually noticed they become a little nervous and on their toes if they know we know a thing or 2 about cars. If you expect any company out there to do service with the car & concern for your spending as their best interests, you sure got another thing coming.
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Old 12th September 2015, 20:26   #6
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Default re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

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Old 12th September 2015, 20:44   #7
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Default re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

I have had similar experience with MASS. They don't believe in preventive maintenance at all. Most of the MASSes I have visited get a large number of cars daily and they usually hurry through the service routine with very little attention paid to minor details mentioned in the owners manual. As others have pointed out, the best way is to stand next to your car when it is serviced.

Last edited by bullrun87 : 12th September 2015 at 21:13.
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Old 12th September 2015, 21:21   #8
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Default re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

I follow a different approach and it works. When my vehicle gets allocated to a dedicated supervisor & mechanic, I open the manual and ask them to go through the periodic service maintenance chart.

They are asked to do all these and I stay there looking over the proceedings & then they notify me as to what is done & I tick mark that with a pencil.

Most cars have a service interval of 10,000 kms or an year but I do see lots of enthusiasts dropping their car or opting for pickup service as they can't spare time. Once an year, most can't spare time?

If you are not around the workshop area, chances are the schedule work is not done optimally. And while I am at it, I physically inspect common replaceable parts and that they are deemed fit to be replaced or will they carry on for the next service.

Your car, your choice, your time
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Old 12th September 2015, 21:38   #9
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Default Re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by technicalytuned View Post
Service centers are usually not company owned and the people working in service centers get commission on the service bill paid by the customer. So this leads to low quality of work by the service centers.
As far as service manuals are concerned, those are made by highly qualified engineers who have actually designed your car so I think that it is a must to follow the service manual.
My suggestion on the basis of my experience are as follows:
1. Always get your car serviced in front of you (person servicing the car will do it more carefully)
2. Always take your car for service on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, since the rush are usually less on these days.
3. Always do a pre-delivery inspection of your car such that everything is perfect in your car
4. Take a short test drive with service advisor if any changes to major parts are done e.g. Brake servicing, engine tuning
Fully agree with your point of view and suggestions. Most of the service centers are concerned with carrying out services on as much number of vehicles as possible in a given day, hence they don't given much time to each and every vehicle. I had a bad experience with prominent service station wherein in a hurry the mechanic didn't properly tighten the engine oil filter after replacing the old one. It came to my notice after around a week of service when I noticed oil marks on the floor where I park the car. This is the height of absent mindedness and unprofessionalism. You have also very well remarked that one should go for servicing on week days to avoid rush. Thanks for your useful suggestions.

Regards
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Old 13th September 2015, 08:37   #10
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Default Re: Is the inspection and maintenance carried out strictly as per the vehicle manual ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSC View Post
My Hyundai Santro's manual prescribes the change of timing belt at 60 thousand kms. At my scheduled service, the advisor just simply skipped the job. At completion of service and billing, I enquired whether the belt is changed or not. The advisor simply said if its not causing any problem, why mess with it.
If I were you I would run a mile from this "advisor" as he clearly has no idea what he is talking about. If the timing belt snaps you are very likely to see some major damage to your engine, if not catastrophic damage!

His approach of 'if it is not causing any problems, why mess' is further show of his total ignorance and incompetence.

The maintenance as prescribed in your owner manual is so called 'preventive maintenance'. This is maintenance that is regularly performed on a piece of equipment to lessen the likelihood of it failing. Preventative maintenance is performed while the equipment is still working, so that it does not break down unexpectedly.

Jeroen
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Old 13th September 2015, 09:58   #11
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Default re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

They all cut corners. Only if the company inspectors happen to to be there can you expect a degree of compliance.
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Old 13th September 2015, 14:15   #12
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Default Re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

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Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
Never seen service centers attending to all the points mentioned in the manual while the service across any brand/ vehicle type/ 2 or 4 wheelers...
Absolutely, the service advisors and technicians only carry out the usual service jobs of replacing the consumables, which they find easy and quick to complete. Most of the customer queries are resolved verbally only rather than practically taking up the requested job. The servicing staff thinks that they know more than customers, hence they take customer's doubts and concerns lightly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSC View Post
My Hyundai Santro's manual prescribes the change of timing belt at 60 thousand kms. At my scheduled service, the advisor just simply skipped the job. At completion of service and billing, I enquired whether the belt is changed or not. The advisor simply said if its not causing any problem, why mess with it.
Had a similar experience while getting Maruti 800 serviced. In its manual its clearly mentioned that the timing belt should be inspected after every 20,000kms run but it was never done. Hence it gave way during one fine trip after 85,000kms run. Luckily the mechanic was available nearby but still faced a lot of inconvenience, all due to lackadaisical attitude of service station staff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark.knight View Post
Typically, Hyundai service stations that I am used to have average to poor technical knowledge, absolutely nil troubleshooting ability (its always the replace mantra) and they only talk in terms of inflating the bill for reasons that would add no value to the driving aspect of a car...
This is experienced at the most of the service stations, wherein the service advisors can be seen convincing the customers to go in for useless replacements instead of lending an ear to their genuine grievances. Would like to share that during one fine servicing the service advisor tried to cajole me to get drive shaft boots replaced in spite of them being in absolutely perfect condition. On seeing my reluctance he tried to confuse me by explaining that if the boots are not replaced then the CV Joints (Constant Velocity Joints) of the shaft will start wearing out due to accumulation of dust, and will ultimately have to be replaced, costing 10 times more than what I have to spend now. I remained adamant and after servicing, drove off. The same drive shaft boots which were perfectly okay, lasted for another 50,000 kms.

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Originally Posted by bullrun87 View Post
I have had similar experience with MASS. They don't believe in preventive maintenance at all. Most of the MASSes I have visited get a large number of cars daily and they usually hurry through the service routine with very little attention paid to minor details mentioned in the owners manual. As others have pointed out, the best way is to stand next to your car when it is serviced.
Yes, the main aim of these service stations is to attend to maximum number of vehicles on any given day so as to earn maximum revenue. For instance if during the usual servicing procedure, they are able to attend say n number of cars in a day, they won't be able to attend more than half that number if they start performing all the checks as per the service manual. Sadly nowadays the stress is on quantity than quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
I follow a different approach and it works. When my vehicle gets allocated to a dedicated supervisor & mechanic, I open the manual and ask them to go through the periodic service maintenance chart...
Thats the best way to go. It is always better to take out ample time to go for vehicle servicing. Also the entire service job should be overseen by the owner so as to ensure that everything is done to his satisfaction. Continuous insistence and firmly sticking to one's stand is the key to get the things done nowadays.

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
They all cut corners. Only if the company inspectors happen to to be there can you expect a degree of compliance.
Couldn't agree more with you sir. One more thing which can be done is that after one has availed all the free services from the dealer's authorised service station, for future it's better to get your vehicle serviced from a trusted garage or a mechanic, with whom one can establish good rapport and hence get the things done as per ones liking.
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Old 13th September 2015, 19:18   #13
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Default Re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

I have a different approach. I talk nice to the service advisor. Tell him to do only necessary things and notify me of any additional work. Then I'll slip him ₹100-500/- depending on the estimate and he ensures work is done well.
In a local mechanic shop don't we tip the boy? Do the same thing in service center. It's the same thing in a much larger scale.
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Old 13th September 2015, 21:42   #14
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Default Re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

I am in agreement on most points expressed here. I have few points / observations to make (more of frustration)
  1. We pay 14% of service tax on labor. I would expect the service to be done as per the service manual and depending on which service. I know I am sounding idealistic here, but is it not fair for us to expect that level of service?. I leave it here else this will be an endless debate .
  2. I like to supervise my car being serviced based on the checks that needs to be carried out at each service, however, many workshops / SAs do not allow or encourage the owner to be in the shop-floor and you need to request / argue / appease be do the same. In addition, it is not always possible to take a day off to supervise during the weekdays and weekend is full of rush in the workshop. Having said that, in relation to point 1, who would pay for the effort of the owner supervising (by taking a permission or off from office)
  3. I am not sure IMHO if we have to take the approach of tipping a SA or mechanic to do a good service, while you can appreciate him, thank him enough and build good relation, but not tipping.
  4. As many of you would agree, if you demonstrate that you know your car and what needs to be done for that particular service the chances are SA understands that he cannot get away not doing everything what needs to be done. This is not a feasible option for all the owners as the knowledge can vary from 0 to 100%.
  5. It really boils down to the individual workshop, service manager, service adviser and finally to mechanic

My experience is with Hyundai (Santro) and VW (Vento TDI), hyundai was little better in earlier days but off late it is almost the same, may be due to huge volume.

At the end of the day it our car, so we need to do whatever it takes to ensure it is taken care as it should be.
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Old 13th September 2015, 21:54   #15
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Default Re: Is inspection & maintenance carried out strictly as per the owner's manual?

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Originally Posted by wildsdi5530 View Post
I have a different approach. I talk nice to the service advisor. Tell him to do only necessary things and notify me of any additional work. Then I'll slip him ₹100-500/- depending on the estimate and he ensures work is done well.
In a local mechanic shop don't we tip the boy? Do the same thing in service center. It's the same thing in a much larger scale.
It seems corruption in this country has reached even service centers and the quality of work is predicated on the payment of bribes. I have heard of greasing the palms of cops and RTO officials but this is new to me
A better alternative would be to find a place where they actually take care of your car or better yet supervising the service yourself. One should approach the service advisor with comprehensive information on what regular maintenance is to be performed, this way he will probably provide better service as opposed to when a non-interested customer approaches him.
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