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Old 29th June 2007, 14:35   #1
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Default How to tell whether they really serviced the car

Two experiences first which will give a background on the nature of my question
1. I always used to get my car serviced from TASS till it hit around 70K mark. Oil changes (Castrol GTD) and filters etc., Apart from 500rs labor charge I had to pay for oil and filters. Then one day I went to roadside mechanic. I gave him Oil filters(OEM delphi) + Engine oil (Shell mineral oil, same as GTD) and asked him to clean air filter by compressed air.
It was a revelation! The car was much smoother, the "service" took mere 30 minutes and 100rs in labor, and I had never felt such smoothness from engine ever before, even after the TASS guys keeping the vehicle for whole day. At that time I had a suspicion, that what if the authorized dealer was draining the engine oil, putting in 1-2 liters of old engine oil and then putting in 2-3 liters of brand new oil. Since mineral oils can last easily for 10K inside a sedately driven indica(more so for long drain oils which trucks use) it won't really do much of a damage. Since engine oil in a diesel car turns black quickly, you can't really check if the service center has taken you for a ride.
Anyways at that time I thought that I was being a little too paranoid, until a couple of days back
2. A collegue of mine was lamenting how diesel engined cars become rough etc., after 50-60K of use and have to be thrown away. He was telling how he gets his car serviced after every 5000kms from authorized service station and still it sounds so rough, and it overheats too. I asked him to go to sector 16 Automobile Engineers workshop, and buy oil and filters himself and give to that fellow. He goes their gets the oil changed, and also gets the fan motor replaced, all for 100rs labor charge, and comes back happy "My indica has not felt this smooth in years(4 year old indica)"
The car runs so smooth now, the engine noise is lessened.

After this incident doubts have started creeping in. For example when I went to Automobile sterling saying the car is missing at top revs, the service advisor was trying to prepare me for a Fuel Pump overhaul(7K job, big money for service station). It turned out to be a leaky hand primer. Now when their aim is just to make money, why wouldn't they mix old oil with new oil in 20-80 ratio and make that extra buck.

After all the petrol pumps also do adulteration, right?
Moreover they do not allow you to bring your own oil, and do not allow you to be near the vehicle when they service it.

So is there a way to catch engine oil adulteration. I will never be going to TASS ever again after all their attempts to screw up my indica. But when I buy a new car, I am at the mercy of the authorized service stations!
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Old 29th June 2007, 14:52   #2
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i religiously check the engine oil after the change to see if its clean, and till now its been clean after the 2 services in swift D.

in iKON i would do the oil change outside and ask dealer not to do the same. I just buy the oil filter from him, when i go for the mechanical service and it worked quite well for me.
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Old 29th June 2007, 14:56   #3
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I am little pushy with them when there is a case of change of oil. I make it a point that it happens in front of me.
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Old 29th June 2007, 14:59   #4
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I had similar problems with my old matiz. Used to service every 5k. at A.S.S. One day took it to an outside mechanic, he drained the oil. Well... it did not look like oil anymore. More so the coolant looked like muddy water! Yes it would really help if someone could help us figure out if the car was really serviced at an A.S.S.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:02   #5
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Yes Tanveer thats the fact you stated...i've witnessed such issues over many years with so-called various dealers (two wheelers included)...not sure how far the higher-ups in the dealership are involved in such thefts but for sure many shopfloor mechanics with vested interests do this...

somewhere arnd 99-00 while servicing my ceilo, happened to meet such a 'personality'...this guy would take out parts from the dealer's service car and sell it outside...finally he was caught and sacked...the next week he opened his own small road side garage...can u beat that!

i'm sure they must be making good money over tranny and differential oils too...even if the customer asks to verify the gearbox & differential are difficult to access and verify....

as for spares like plugs/pads/filter etc, i always ask them to put the used one in the boot

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Old 29th June 2007, 15:03   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
After all the petrol pumps also do adulteration, right?
Moreover they do not allow you to bring your own oil, and do not allow you to be near the vehicle when they service it.
I totally agree to your suspicion Tanveer. But, i do take my oil along with me (Mobil 1 super syn) and they dont have to change my filter (since its a K&N) . I dont ask them to do the balancing or wheel alignment because i know they cheat there. And I insist to keep checking on what these guys are doing to my car. I think one has to insist on it. I am talking about Vivek auto (FIAT + TATA service center )
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
But when I buy a new car, I am at the mercy of the authorized service stations!
Not really.

1. Tell them you don't want an oil change. Chances are that they'll refuse - warranty issues and all that.
2. Tell them you'll change oil yourself - they can just tick the oil change in the service book. One of our Kolkata BHPians had such a setup with a MUL workshop.
3. Worst case - let them change oil/filter. Just go out and change again at your trusted place. You'll end up spending a bit more - but will be worth it.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:23   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Then one day I went to roadside mechanic. I gave him Oil filters(OEM delphi) + Engine oil (Shell mineral oil, same as GTD) and asked him to clean air filter by compressed air. It was a revelation!

Moreover they do not allow you to bring your own oil, and do not allow you to be near the vehicle when they service it.
At the MUL workshop I go to, the compressed air filter cleaning is done in full view of the customers - it's outside the shed that has the bays.

From 1st paid service onwards, they have agreed to put in any oil from outside as long as it is of an appropriate grade.

Buy Maruti
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:23   #9
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I feel you should insist an oil change in your presence when you go to pick your car up.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:26   #10
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Don't know about Tatas, but Maruti makes it a point that customers are entitled to see what is going on during the servicing. If you read the feedback form that they send you after you get a paid servicing done, one of the questions they ask you is whether you were allowed to see the actual servicing being done and whether they allowed you entry into the service bay etc.
Does Tata send you such a form?
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:31   #11
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Tata guys shoe you out of the workshop.
As for buy Maruti, If Maruti made a midsize diesel, I would buy it, till then all I got is Tata or Hyundai.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:47   #12
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I've hated Ford service to the core.

The problem with A.S.S is "monopoly".Unlike independent garages, a new car owner MUST go to the A.S.S for service to retain warranty.So, these guys at the A.S.S. have horns up their head treat U like a servant.

In Chennai,
A.S.S which treat customers fairly are Electra Hyundai, K.R.S Auto (for Tata and FIAT), Maruti Service Masters.

Workshops to avoid:
Sundaram dealership , any MyTVS workshop, MPL FORD (crooks of the highest order)
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Tata guys shoe you out of the workshop.
I use a Tata-Fiat dealership to service my car. I made friends with as many people possible there and I get A1 service. By far the best I have ever experienced.

If they do not entertain you on the workshop floor then try getting a view of your car from the customer lounge (if available) and insist that they change oil while you watch the process. Isn't it worth the time?

A friend of mine made marks on old parts with permanent markers before he sought replacement of a part like the front disc brake pads and checked if they replaced the part by asking for a return of old parts. This way he could ensure that the parts he got are new. Not a foolproof way but worth it I must say.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:50   #14
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Honda, Toyota, Ford, Skoda service centers here in Pune have big glass windows between the customer lounge and service bay...the customer can see his/her car getting serviced but a majority of them do not allow the customers to move around in the service bay

Last edited by zakaaaaasss : 29th June 2007 at 15:52.
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Old 29th June 2007, 15:55   #15
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even in Hundai showrooms you aren't actually allowed to go in and take a look. I have contects in Shreenath Hyundai, Bombay. So manage to see the oil and filter changed in front of me.
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