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Old 17th July 2009, 21:32   #46
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I still have one of these cars which my office staff still use. It was the older model. I remember this car had switches on all 4 doors. I'll check again tomorrow to be sure.
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Old 25th July 2009, 12:39   #47
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Gansan,

Looking forward to an update from you post the 1'st service.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 25th July 2009, 16:53   #48
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Gansan,

Looking forward to an update from you post the 1'st service.

Cheers,
gpa
Hi gpa!
Just returned from MSM (Maruti Service Masters) after the first service and some outing! I had booked for this service two days in advance. The original plan was to go to ABT Maruti from whom I bought the car, but MSM was highly recommended by many including my brother-in-law who is a regular there. Also,I read a few bad reviews about the service at ABT here in TBHP and only good things about MSM!

The facility is state of the art and very large, I have to say. A sprawling two storey building, with a good facade and huge parking facility on the terrace. It is a joint venture between Maruti Suzuki, Sumitomo corporation and Maruti Countrywide. Mine was the third car to arrive in the morning, I was there at 8.00 AM sharp. Received by service adviser Mr.Dharmendra, who knew what he was talking about, unlike some advisers I have met elsewhere! I made it clear to him at the outset I wanted to watch the engine oil & filter change,subject to which he can prepare the job card, or else! He was taken aback a bit, but recovered instantly and said it can be arranged. I took the sting off by saying I was a DIY guy doing my own oil change for my bikes, this was my first car and I was curious to see how it was done etc,etc. I also opted for BG-110 engine oil additive (thanks gpa) and for a wax polish job.

Then I pressed home the advantage and said I wanted to see the underbody once the car was up on the ramp, to see the 3M rubber coating done at the time of delivery. I also requested their painting guy should inspect it and give me a report if there was anything wrong with the coating, so that I can take it up with the ABT guys. This too was agreed upon. Then he prepared the job card and inspected the vehicle. Immediately he pointed out two small dents, one on the left rear door and the other on the bonnet end!

I was astounded. They are minuscle, I could see them only after he pointed them out to me, but it was a shock. I could imagine how the one on the door occured, a few school kids on bikes passed very close on either side in dense traffic one day and I thought I heard a soft bump, but could not find anything upon reaching home. But not the one on the bonnet, I am sure it was not there at the time of delivery. Mr.Dharmendra said it can happen from a small bit of bluemetal flying from a lorry going in front, or even by a fruit/seed falling from a height if the car is parked under a tree! I consoled myself they were tiny moles on the chin and elbow of my Blue Beauty and put them out of my mind.

Then I sat in the airconditioned customer lounge and started watching through the glass partition. Everyone assembled at a corner of the shop floor for a meeting, there was a briefing /pep talk by the boss. Then he called a couple of fellows who stepped forward with folded hands, hung their heads and blushed, and everyone else clapped! I could not hear the words, nothing was audible beyond the glasss partition. Then all of them dispersed to their work stations. Cars started coming in to the shop floor and climbing the ramps. But no sign of mine. Just as I started geting restless, a mechanic appeared and took me to the rear side of the building. Ah, here was the oil changing bay! It is similar to the car wash bay where the car is parked over a depression in the ground, with stairs descending under the car. There is a large pan across the depression and the car is parked in such a way that the engine sump is directly over it. A pipe leads from the pan to a barrel below.

Last edited by Gansan : 25th July 2009 at 17:01.
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Old 25th July 2009, 17:23   #49
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As I watched, a fellow descended a couple of steps below the car,opened the sump and removed the oil filter. The warm oil began to pour out. I stepped forward and removed the oil lid from the engine to speed it up. When the flow became very thin but had not stopped, he began to replace the screw in the sump. I protested and he said it was enough. But I told him to remove it and go fetch the fresh oil,additive,filter etc while I watched the drain process. The thin stream of oil petered out and became droplets. The drops were coming out slowly but had not stopped fully when the fellow appeared with fresh oil, additive and filter. He pleaded with me to allow him to get on with it as other cars had begun to line up behind mine for oil change, and they had targets to meet. So I reluctantly allowed him to close the sump, replace the filter and fill the oil + additive. This is a grey area for MSM, I am not satisfied with the oil change job.

Then the car was jacked up on a ramp and their paint guy came to inspect the 3m coating. He inspected it thoroughly and gave a thumbs up. So ABT guys were not bluffing! They had done a good job even if it was a freebie and invisible to the customer. I went back to the lounge and began watching through the glass again.

After sometime I saw the car being taken out to the wash area and went there. This was a big let down. I had seen a huge automatic car wash facility while roaming around and assumed my car will be washed in it. But it seems to be non-functional and hey were doing an ordinary pressure wash after a shampoo scrub! I did not go near as a fine mist of water was flying around, and I did not want to spoil the removable front of my HU that was in my pocket.

Last edited by Gansan : 25th July 2009 at 17:25.
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Old 25th July 2009, 17:39   #50
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The fellows washing the cars were kids really, and the process seems to be outsourced. Some of them were not in uniform. I came to MSM mainly because this is precisely how it would be done at ABT. I thought it would be more professional here. But they did a thorough job nonetheless. All mats and the stepney were removed and the interiors were blown with air. The mats and stepny were washed separately. Then the car moved forward, all the glasses were raised and they began washing. There was a fellow in the pit under the car who directed a stream of water on the under body. One fellow who had huge powder puff like things in his hands began to apply what I presumed to be shampoo on the wet car. Then he coolly drew the stepney near the car and climbed on it to apply soap on the roof. This time I went near and angrily told him to get off the spare wheel. I know his weight can't possibly cause any damage to the wheel, but it is a new one nevertheless and I did not like what I saw. After the wash, they threw in the wet mats in to the boot before I could go near them again, and drove off to the drying area. I was worried about the boot carpet getting wet.

Going out to pick up my wife from the railway station now. Will be back to continue the story, else there will be a new story unfolding on the home front!

Last edited by Gansan : 25th July 2009 at 17:43.
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Old 25th July 2009, 18:52   #51
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Gansan,

Congrats on the buy! (I know it has been a long time!)

What you have noticed in the service center is what you will notice at all places. Washing is not a major work and is usually left such non-skilled of young people.
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Old 25th July 2009, 18:52   #52
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Congrats Gansan, its a nice color and specailly the seat covers looks great.

Keep reading the owner's manual for the items for each service so that you are prepared when you go for servicing.

Happy mile munching and drive safe.

cheers
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Old 25th July 2009, 19:34   #53
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This time I went and located Mr.Dharmendra and narrated my woes. He was furious and took me to the drying/interior cleaning area. He made them take out the wet mats and spare wheel, made them to wipe everything clean, blow air on the boot carpet to dry it before everything was replaced properly in front of me. Then they cleaned the interiors with a vaccuum cleaner, cleaned the seats /dashboard/both sides of the windshield by applying some liquid. Bumpers were wiped with another liquid to make them shine.

Then one fellow applied a liquid wax polish all over the car and left it for a few minutes before another one cleaned and buffed the car to a nice shine. All this was carried out in the shade, away from the blazing sun (it was 100 F in the afternoon here today!). Full marks for that. It cost Rs 181.00 but I was disappointed that they did not apply real wax and use the mechanized polishing device, like they were doing on some other cars. Learned that it will cost Rs 950.00 and will be good enough for a few months. May be next time!

Finally the car was gleaming and ready! Went in to settle the bill which came to Rs 1408.00. Break-up is Rs 70.00 for oil filter, Rs 12.00 for wind screen wash liquid, Rs 573.00 for engine oil, Rs 427.00 for BG 110 additive and Rs 181.00 for the polishing. Was given a questionnaire to fill about the service experience. Gave only 5 marks for the washing because of the spare wheel/wet mats incident. Gave 9 marks for the service. Would have given 10/10 had they waited till the last drop of the old oil came out. It had a separate column for me to indicate a convenient date/time when they can contact me about the service experience. Marked it as Monday/1.30 PM. Will give them some suggestions when they call!

The ODO reading was 947 when I took the car in, it was 951 now, so they must have done a test drive when I was watching TV at the lounge. Mr. Dharmendra said everything was adjusted perfectly and no need for me to take a test drive. So started the car and left immediately, but took a small detour of 2 KM that will again bring me back across the MSM, so that I can go in if there were any issues.

But there were absolutely none. The car handled beautifully! Some rattles/squeaks that were there earlier have now completely disappeared. The engine is very quiet and smooth now, don't know whether it is the oil or the additive. It was a pleasure to drive it back home with the A/C on full blast, the city baking in the 100 degree heat outside. The engine seems a lot more effortless even with the A/C on now.

Last edited by Gansan : 25th July 2009 at 19:52.
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Old 25th July 2009, 22:08   #54
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@ Happy Wheels & simply_sunny001

Thank you very much!
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Old 26th July 2009, 09:24   #55
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I consoled myself they were tiny moles on the chin and elbow of my Blue Beauty and put them out of my mind.
Sorry to hear about these dents. My car has two of them as well. One as a result of someone banging into my car when I was standing stationery at a signal and the other as a result of a biker who tried to squeeze in between my car and the footpath on the left and left
a very minor dip just above the fuel filler cap!


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So I reluctantly allowed him to close the sump, replace the filter and fill the oil + additive. This is a grey area for MSM, I am not satisfied with the oil change job.
This practice is commonplace and yes, it can get frustrating for you as an owner, especially when you want them to drain out the entire oil. They do have a row of cars waiting to have their oil change done and so tend to rush through this process. Since you were filling mineral oil and had not done a flush, I suppose you can let it be. But, if you are switching to semi-synth or fully synthetic oil at the 10,000 kms service, make sure the drain plug is left open for atleast 30 mins.

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This time I went and located Mr.Dharmendra and narrated my woes.
Good that you did this. Sloppy washing is again common practice when there are a lot of cars and few staff. I'm surprised they have outsourced this job (gather this from your stament - 'the boys were not in uniform') but nonetheless, it shuld have been done professionally and not the way you mentioned. Practices like standing on the stepny is simply not acceptable.

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Went in to settle the bill which came to Rs 1408.00. It had a separate column for me to indicate a convenient date/time when they can contact me about the service experience. Marked it as Monday/1.30 PM. Will give them some suggestions when they call!
The bill amount is right for the 1'st service, so you needn't worry about that. Customer suggestions are taken very seriously by MASS. At the MASS that I frequent, the service advisor (same guy as the first service) who attended to me at the 2'nd service knew the specifc things I had mentioned about in my customer feedback call post the 1'st service and made mention of them to whilst filling in the job card, much to my astonishment I must add. So feel free to mention anything specific that you want.


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The car handled beautifully! Some rattles/squeaks that were there earlier have now completely disappeared. The engine is very quiet and smooth now, don't know whether it is the oil or the additive. It was a pleasure to drive it back home with the A/C on full blast, The engine seems a lot more effortless even with the A/C on now.
Glad to know that your car is purring like a kitty. The initial smoothness will sort of even out in a week or so of driving, but you can be rest assured that you engine is healthy especially with the oil change and additive. A small tip: Just check the engine oil after a week or so before starting your car in the morning and check to see if the level is fine. This will let you know if there are any leaks/faulty leaking filter.

Cheers,
gpa

Last edited by gpa : 26th July 2009 at 09:25.
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Old 26th July 2009, 09:37   #56
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Going out to pick up my wife from the railway station now. Will be back to continue the story, else there will be a new story unfolding on the home front!
Just read this now. Glad you went ahead and saved yourself.
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Old 26th July 2009, 14:21   #57
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A small tip: Just check the engine oil after a week or so before starting your car in the morning and check to see if the level is fine. This will let you know if there are any leaks/faulty leaking filter.
I checked it first thing today morning. It is exactly at the upper mark. Also moved the car out and checked the area where it was parked for any signs of oil. There were none. Then took the car to the Shell bunk for the weekly Sunday 7.00 AM ritual air-check! As an afterthought filled her up with Shell premium and checked FE, and it was 15 KMPL.

As for the fog lamps and tacho, MSM refused to do either. They have the A-star tacho, but no counter sales. Told me to try at some dealer service centres. But they are offering nitrogen for the wheels @ Rs 40.00 per wheel and say we need to check pressure only once a month. I was not interested.

As for picking my wife up, that is a regular Saturday ritual as well. I don't work on Saturdays but she does. So I will drop her off at the suburban station in the morning and pick up in the evening. Her office is close to mine, so during weekdays I do the drop/pick-up in front of her office itself.
I had set alarm on my mobile before I started typing yesterday, to be on the safe side!

Last edited by Gansan : 26th July 2009 at 14:24.
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:40   #58
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Good to know all is well with your car Gansan. Interesting to know that they have the A-Star tacho, but are not willing to fit it.

I see you have treated your car to Shell's premium fuel. Check the FE at your next fill to see if the premium fuel has made a difference. My FE increased only marginally when I used their premium fuel when my car was at ~7,000 kms, I should try it now and see if it makes a difference.

From my past experience, nitrogen is simply not worth it. How far if the Shell station from your house? The reason I ask is because you should check tyre pressures only when the tyres are cold, so driving for 3-4 kms with braking usually tends to warm up the tyres marginally.

Cheers,
gpa
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Old 26th July 2009, 22:20   #59
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The shell bunk is exactly 2 KM from my place. I was earlier checking for both car and bike at an IBP bunk a couple of buildings away from my house, since the tyres will be absolutely cold. Used to pay the fellow RS 2.00 for the bike and Rs 5.00 for the car every Sunday for this.

But of late they have started insisting I should fill petrol from them if I wanted to check air! I am not willing for it, especially as I think of Shell premium as "baby food" for the new car! So started going to Shell just for this for the past three weeks. Since it is a 24 hour service, I will first take the car at around 6.45 AM, driving sedately so as not to heat up the tyres, and fill 31 PSI in all five wheels. Then leave the car back home and immediately take the bike there. After I finish this chore only I will go for my morning constitutional!

The guy filling air politely declines the money I offer, and with a smile thanks me for filling air with Shell! Best of all, the girl filling petrol goes through a ritual of her own! She will first place a mobile stop sign in front of the car (I half expect her to twist the board and see "brakes on" like they do in F1 ) and ask me if I need petrol or diesel. I was taken aback the first time and asked her if she had ever filled diesel for an Alto. She politely replied with a smile she is supposed to pose the question to all four wheelers, even a truck! Then she will chime "please ensure zero sir" and then only start filling. It warms my heart every time! Even if I am on my bike, she says "please dismount and place it on main stand sir," and will not commence till I comply!

As I move out of the bunk with a smile, acknowledging her profuse thanks, I can't help automatically thinking of the surly fellows in PSU bunks trying to cheat us at the drop of a hat, and my smile freezes!

As for premium Vs normal, I have always filled premium for the bike more for the smoothness it offers, so continue the habit for the Alto too. It has been years since I stopped using normal unleaded, even at PSU bunks. It does make a difference of about 5 KMPL in the bike, so there should be an impact for the car too.

Last edited by Gansan : 26th July 2009 at 22:35.
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Old 24th September 2009, 09:39   #60
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Hi guys,
I have an issue with the clutch action of my Alto. As I release the clutch pedal it seems to engage only at the last few mm of release. This sometimes prevents me from achieving a smooth shift / release, especially from 1st - 2nd and 2nd - 3rd gears while in busy traffic, leading to a jerky release. I am not a new driver, just one driving after a long break, and these occasional jerks annoy me. The service centre guys say the clutch play is set as per mfr recommendation only.

Can we not adjust the clutch to engage a little earlier, according to our liking? What harm can it do?
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