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Rudra Sen 14th June 2007 21:10

My car and my service centre
A clean car runs better. Costs less in terms of maintenance.

This is what I read somewhere.
Also, this is what my father told me long ago.

I truly believe that a properly maintained car gives better service. Gives almost no trouble. Gives you back (in it’s own way) what you paid to own her.
This is applicable for all cars come out of the showroom without any production or pre delivery inspection glitches. Along comes service support. Frankly for me Sundaram Motors works brilliantly.
Many a time here on forum, I read negative comments about Sundaram Motors. Some of them are true and some of them are not.

Example in this case is my three years old Optra LT and Sundaram Motors.

Members, those who know me may say that I overdo everything for my car. True and not true. I do take extra care because it’s black. I do take extra care, otherwise leather seats will crack and look ugly. I do take extra care, otherwise those alloys will gather thick brake pads dust and look horrible. But all these are cosmetic areas. What I’m coming to is pure internal maintenance and great support from Sundaram Motors .

Those who think Optra is a high maintenance car and not sturdy enough like it’s competitors, please take the trouble to read this note.

First service was done after 500km. Mandatory from GM. Free Service.

At 5600km, my OE head unit started giving trouble. Upon reporting, replacement came within 7 days.

GM (Halol office) called me to inform that they need to change my ECU and fuel pump. This was because they tracked down some problem with few cars and my car falls into that batch. They changed ECU/fuel pump very next day. However, I didn’t see any problem with my early set up anyway. It was only a precautionary step from GM. Odometer reading was 7635km.

Second service was done at 8000km as opposed to 10000km. I was going out of town, so.

At 11000 km I told them to change regular engine oil to Mobil1. They supplied Flushing oil. They didn’t make any noise on changing regular oil to synthetic oil. They charged me 150/- for flushing oil. Some 230/- for oil filter. No labour charge.

At 15000km gave them the car to check if there’s any issue with struts and other suspension related problems. This was because I drove a long 70 km stretch for a shooting at fairly high speed. Road was broken pretty badly. Though I didn’t feel any problem or hear any noise, it was purely to have a confirmation.
They checked thoroughly and found nothing wrong.

Around 17000km on odometer, front left parking light retired. They changed and charged me 50/-.

At 18200km, I bought rear view mirror with indicator light casing. They charged me 2231/- for a set. No labour charge for fitting.

At 18700km, I changed to new Mobil1. They charged me for oil filter and no labour.

Last night while getting back home, the car gave me a few jerks. It’s more of that fuel line/injector blockade kind of feeling. Fortunately I had an empty road in front of me and pushed her to 6500rpm in second. Car felt normal after that. But this morning the same problem came back and in multiple at M G Road. Followed by engine check light on..

Car went out of breath. I turned on the ignition and she purred back to life. But not with her usual beat. Fortunately it was moving and was pretty close to Sundaram Motors.

Sundaram Motor told me that they’ll take some time to check this out and they’ll give me a call. Around 11.30 I got a call from them saying the scanner reading says mass air flow sensor error. Team told me that they don’t think it’s anything major but they’ll let me know within an hour’s time. They did call in within an hour to say that the car is ready. Inlet air hose became loose and they fixed that. They had taken a trial and my office driver could come to pick up the car. Failing which they’d drop her to my office.

Our office driver went and picked up the car. Well, they didn’t charge me a farthing.

typeOnegative 14th June 2007 21:21

Hmm. Your post highlights two things:

1. Take care of your car and it takes care of you
2. GM is not as bad as what people make it out to be

Nice report Rudra.

Rudra Sen 14th June 2007 21:23


Originally Posted by typeOnegative (Post 468804)
Hmm. Your post highlights two things

I'm happy that you got the right messages.

Vid6639 14th June 2007 21:36

Nice write up Rudraji. Now if only I could get the same from my HM service guys.

I try taking care of the car and dont leave anything to chance but my service guys just dont understand the love.

Did you manage to get the alignment done? I remember you were telling me she was pulling a tad to one side.

gkrishn 14th June 2007 21:47

I have seen your experience with them couple of times. I can say that you have developed very good PR with them. Now a days every time i visit them, Ramesh gives me a big smile and comes around to check if every thing is fine. Main reason being, they knew that I know you. Ramesh is a nice person anyway.

For me its 50/50. I have listed my experience in my long term review.

ravibhat 14th June 2007 21:49

Thats nice Report, Nicely maintained car saves money for us I agree that :)

I realized this when I sold some of very nicely kept cars in the past, people baught my without any much bargain and my friends really appreciated the resale value I received.



Sam Kapasi 14th June 2007 21:51

Let us not forget, Rudra's personal relationship with his service station.

I have run an electronics service centre, and I know what it is when you get something that belongs to a fussy customer.

Every technician says "Woh paagal ka TV aaya" with a smile. And then gives it extra attention.

Rudra is a fussy customer that keeps a good relationship with his service centre. And he doesn't make a fuss about spending money, if he has to. Somehow, people that are willing to spend always end up with no bill lol.

Good report there.

Rudra Sen 14th June 2007 21:54


Originally Posted by vid6639 (Post 468818)
Did you manage to get the alignment done? I remember you were telling me she was pulling a tad to one side.

I don't go there for alignment Vid. Only option is now to open the tyres from the rims and change to see the difference. It should work, otherwise my bad luck.

@ gkrishn. Personal relationship is a must. And when did you start addressing me SIR? :confused:

gkrishn 14th June 2007 22:04


Originally Posted by Rudra Sen (Post 468834)
@ gkrishn. Personal relationship is a must.

Totally agree with that. Guess I have to start working with my service Engg.

wolfinstein 14th June 2007 22:17

Thats exactly the kind of treatment I get with my Lancer from Excel Motors..!

esteem_lover 14th June 2007 22:21

It really helps if you know some stuff & understand what the problem is when you give your car for servicing. Thats how you really start a personal relationship with them. If you do, you are a different customer to them, if not you are one of the masses. Even though i may not be as knowledgeable as rudra here, i have always stressed on them making me understand what the problem is & made sure that i am not taken for a ride. Sundaram Motors has regards for you rudra. cheers:)

theMAG 14th June 2007 22:33

This is the stuff automotive ownership is all abt - from the heart.

GeekSrik 14th June 2007 22:36

hey rudra

i wonder why i did not read this post earlier. i m making a decision to go with chevy aveo UVA, and your post has only doubled my liking on sundaram which i anyways had with my earlier palio. good write up. just hope everyone's car is taken care the same ways :)

and if i do end up as a customer of GM, i would have to start having a good rappo with the people at the service centre, perhaps starting with your known contacts there!

keep writing the stuff. you write well.

airfoil 14th June 2007 22:45

Rudra, lovely post as usual. You have a way with words that is rarely experienced, direct, simple and logical at the same time. I agree with everything you said in your post, but have a question:

You are an extremely thorough person when it comes to car ownership. That's easy to see, given the awesome condition your cars are maintained in. Frankly, if I were to think of the best maintained car I know of, you would come first to mind.

Coming to the point, with the approach and reputation that you have, the likes of Sundaram would be compelled to go that extra few miles for a customer such as yourself.
The million dollar question is, can the average Joe expect the same treatment? My vote says they won't even get close.

When we get to that point where pretty much anyone can expect to be treated with kid gloves, then we would have attained service nirvana.


manaa45 14th June 2007 23:18

very well written rudraji

i agree that personal relationwhip definately helps. in fact i had mentioned this in my article on dealer workwhop wherein i had said that if a customer tries to be oversmart then nobody pays attention after he leaves the car but if you try to understand what the workshop ppl are trying to say and be clear abt what you want then you will surely get good service.

secondly i think because GM does not sell as many cars as maruti or hyundai or honda they are able to concentrate more on customers needs.

coz i remember that in 2000 maruti had desaptched batch of omnis which had problems woth fuel pump and all from that particular batch were called back but only after there was a blast which blew up the whole omni in delhi.

i dont know if they still do it,


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