|16th July 2019, 10:22||#121|
Senior - BHPian
Preparations for a cross-country trip, it's aftermath, a service milestone and life with a Scorpio
Cautionary note: This is probably going to be one of the longest posts in the history of this thread, caused due to unimaginable levels of sloth in reporting events surrounding R3. Now that you, Dear Reader have been sufficiently warned - so if you still wish to take the plunge - do read on.
Visit 1 of 5 : R3 at Workshop for Running Repair on 17-May Odo: 45524 km
Readers following this thread would have noted that on 08-May-2019, 3 jobs had been carried forward, due to parts unavailability :
The Jobs to be attended were the Warranty repair of the Fuel level sender (it's actually a variable resistance coil attached to a float), and replacement of the Gear boot cover
...And he was true to his word.
Visit 2 of 5 : R3 gets a shiny new Gear Knob on 31-May
Mr.Rajindra Yadav, did me the kindness of a home delivery & fitment of the shiny new Gear Knob.
He'd forgotten to get me the OTC bill, but I could have a copy on my next workshop visit. I didn't mind at all - the amount was ₹ 500 - paid in cash. And the non-existent bill promptly forgotten, in the knowledge that the 2nd eyesore was history.
Readers will be interested to know that since the new year began, I had been planning a solo Dilli-Kolkata-Dilli drive in the summer.
The main reason the rest of the family wouldn't join was, due to the much higher demands of academic calendars of the kids plus the bare minimum face time needs with their grandparents (residing in WB), thus finding out an extra 4 days (of driving time) for everyone was a huge challenge.
Though I had done this trip several times with family - having never had the occasion to do it solo before, did raise some misgivings.
So, I promised myself to get a full checkup done well before the 15th June start date -just for peace of mind. The idea was to drive in the city for at least a week after the checkup to allow me to uncover any other issues requiring a fix.
Well with this background...
Visit 3 of 5 : Pre-trip General Checkup / Running Repair on 08-June Odo: 46876 km
I had arranged this checkup well in advance - but it was on a Saturday. I've always maintained that weekends are far from ideal to get any work done at the workshop -mostly because with increased customer volume, attention to detail and quality of work gets diluted considerably. But ever since the onset of new responsibilities at work, I haven't really been able to manage time away for R3 except on weekends. Thus it had to be a Saturday.
The plan of action was actually quite straightforward:
But I did not account for something serious might actually be found in the investigations.
Owing to the very cordial relationships that I enjoy at the workshop, R3 was immediately put up on the lift for a quick look look at the Underbody.
And it's good that they did.For they discovered blood - no less.
Something terrible had happened. R3 was loosing coolant in drips and drabs. I wondered how come this had not come to my attention earlier, and the answer was simple - R3 was always parked under a tree, and the drops of coolant dribbling out would be easily absorbed by the parched soil - leaving absolutely no trace of its existence. I would have eventually come to know of it, if I had checked the coolant level - after a considerable amount of elapsed time, or worse, much later - after engine seizure.
The culprit was a small rubber hosepipe that provides a bypass path to the coolant.
One couldn't have imagined that getting this out and getting the new one in would easily take up 3 hours +. For you see the pipe is tucked away above the transfer case and below the engine. The only way to get at it is to drop the chassis cross-member , and the transfer case and then disconnect the offending article. There is zero access from the top. It also involves losing a considerable amount of coolant (in my case 4 L) - pressurized as it is especially on a hot summer day. In summary - a good example of an ultra cheap part failure, indirectly causing mucho ₹₹₹ damage to the wallet.
You can see from the inset as well as the main image, just how perished the hose's ends had become.
Losing 3 hours for this job - had clearly not been budgeted for in my calculations, and as my day's deadlines were looming, I spoke to Mr. Arya , and left this repair job and the other jobs in his capable hands. Duty called!
By the time, I got back to the workshop - the remaining jobs had been completed.
I could only verify the fitness on the ensuing test drive - but have absolutely no idea of the quality of the remainder inspections, wheel alignment+balancing and torquing to spec. I did speak with Dinesh (car alignment expert) - about getting an alignment report - but the problem was that his computer could not print, and neither could it email. And he had other cars to do - so would I please come back later for a screenshot copy. So that was (quite literally!) that.
I drove R3 home after paying a small fortune at the till. No extended warranty coverage on rubber items!
And oh by the way, I added another small fortune on top - for good luck
Ok - I admit - I did get talked into renewing the RSA. Remember, the misgivings preying on my mind? Besides - the incident with the bypass hose pipe portended disaster. As I hadn't been physically present during much of the day's work, I lacked a certain amount of confidence in the workshop's ability (on a Saturday -to boot!) to carry out all jobs to an exacting standard.
All I wanted was to avoid getting in a jam on my first solo cross-country drive. So net, net I don't blame myself at all, for buying what I think is a good insurance policy if something were to go horribly wrong .
In hindsight - nothing significantly untoward happened on said trip - excepting for a minor (but frustrating) TPMS glitch that wasn't there before. But that story is best elaborated in the next section.
On 12th June - R3's odometer had clocked 47000 km
In the run-up to 47000 km, and the start of my trip to Kolkata, there wasn't anything untoward to report. R3 was running fine - one may even venture to say - he was in perfect condition.
Therefore, it was with considerable peace of mind, that I ventured forth early on Saturday 16th June for Kolkata. The car was fully loaded - with luggage, as wife and kids had decided to make use of the golden opportunity afforded by their very own personal courier (in preference to sullen baggage handlers at the airport). The plan was that they would join me in Kolkata on the 18th.
The trip on the 16th was fine up-to a point.
The point in question was just about 5 km north of Jewar toll plaza when this happened.
I pulled over, and dug through the mountains of luggage to retrieve the inflator, and tyre-pressure guage. But I needn't have bothered. This warning was not to be confused with low pressure or high temperature. All pressures were as expected - the Michelins were doing their job.
I figured it was probably another in-warranty failure. And as it wasn't an emergency , RSA wouldn't lift a finger.
So I did the next best thing - I WhatsApped the video to my regular SA, and asked if he could arrange a TPMS sensor swap further en-route.
He called back and said - साहब मेरी गाडी है - मैं किसी और वर्कशॉप में नहीं भेजूंगा (Sir, it's my car - I won't have it sent to any other workshop). What he implied of course, was pride in work - and that since it was not an emergency - it was best handled in-house where they know R3 inside-out. He could not bear the thought of some unknown (Mahindra dealer) workshop having a go at it.
Well, I believed him - and decided to live with this frustrating warning light until my return for the 50k service. It was irritating really. You see it came on without any warning and went away all by itself (after about 50 km of driving) - a behaviour that was starkly reminiscent of the legendary self-healing powers of the Scorpio.
The rest of the trip happened without any issues. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised, that even at ambient temperatures of 44°C-47°C across the plains of North India , the first refuelling stop was at HP COCO pump 680 km from home (fully loaded car + AC at 20°C, and consistently doing 120kmph with several stretches of stop-n-go traffic due to construction.
Having reached Benaras early , I decided to park at the mall near the Dashashwamedh ghat, just to enjoy the cool breeze blowing on the river bank, and sipping my all-time favorite beverage (cutting lemon-spice flavor chai). A good reward for what had been a tiring first leg.
The next day (17th) moved by in a blur. I had an early start from Benaras, breakfast was on the way , and having time on hand - I spent a good hour at Bodh Gaya (just wanted a good iced americano at the only Cafe Coffee Day for miles around). I eventually reached Kolkata around 7:30 PM.
The next day the family's personal taxi (R3) strolled into Kolkata's Subhas Bose airport - to meet the Dilli-Kolkata flight.
While at Kolkata , the TPMS issue was mysteriously absent - I guess it happened only when driving long distances non-stop.
My return trip home was on the 25th June, again split into two legs. The first day's target was Kanpur. The day passed without much incident (an exuberant young Thar driver - tried jumping the queue at the Allahabad byepass toll plaza - and in the process ended up nicking the plastic moulds on the LHS rear door and rear wheel arch. Then he sped away. But what better can one expect from unruly Biharis in ungodly UP?
So - That was that - except that TPMS light - but it had grown on me by now.
At the very least it's advent on the dashboard, kept me awake at the wheel. That and the truly terrible AH2 in Bihar.
The next day's leg from Fatehpur (near Kanpur) to Dilli was a doddle. With less than 600 km to go, I enjoyed the drive to the fullest. The monsoons had just arrived in eastern UP, and were making their way West. So, I caught their tail and rode behind, R3 eagerly gobbling up the miles and hungering for more. Due to the early hour I breezed through Kanpur City and Kanpur Dehaat.
The 50000 km mark on the odo came up somewhere between Kanpur and Kanpur Dehaat
Just past Kanpur Dehaat , I was pulled over by a posse of cops. Thinking, that it must be the LED light bar in front , I was desperately thinking of excuses that would stick. Then one of the guys politely asks if I would be so kind as to give their colleague a lift up to Jewar.
What followed, was the most interesting 4 hours of the entire trip. Conversation turned into an easy friendship with a fellow human being. And best of all - we were waved through ALL the intervening toll plazas (including those on the ALE and YEW! Wow!- that alone must have saved me at least ₹ 1000.
I was back home , approximately at 2:30 in the afternoon.
What a trip!
3358 km in about 11 days and about 14 kmpl on the wallet.
But no respite for R3 yet. We had to go pick up mommy and the kids from Delhi Airport next!!! Vacation was over - and it's Back to the grind!
Visit 4 of 5 : Post-trip 50000 km Service , the TPMS and JIT TLC on 29-June Odo: 50435 km
Based on my experiences of the last visit (on a weekend), this time I'd intentionally taken an appointment on a Monday. Yes, dear reader, hard fought experience made me bite the bullet, and invite the displeasure of colleagues at work! But that could not be helped.
The agenda for the day was
During the inspection of brake discs and calipers I got the mechanic to also perform cleaning of brake pads, cleaning and greasing of calipers, and cleaning of brake discs. Since the rear wheels were off as well, I got him to clean the brake shoes and drums with a wire brush. This was not one of the listed jobs, but since I was standing by the car talking with him, he did this for free.
Brake pad/disc thicknesses were measured with a Vernier & Calipers were greased
Front LHS Inner: 6.50 mm
Front LHS Outer: 6.40 mm
Front RHS Inner: 6.30 mm
Front RHS Outer: 6.40 mm
Front LHS Disc: 24 mm
Front RHS Disc: 24 mm
The suspension check revealed a small play in the RHS lower control arm ball joint. Repairing this involves dropping the arm and the coil spring shocker assembly - and that was going to be another 2-3 hours at least, and since I just had half a day off, I decided to carry forward this job to another day.
Other suspension bushes looked in good nick. I also checked all rubber boots for signs of wear.
The air filter was inspected (this is not in the 50000 km service objective), and just as well. It was shot to hell and back. A result of driving non-stop for 4 days in the heat and dust of North and East India. Instructed the SA to replace it.
The particle filter was replaced as part of the scheduled maintenance.
The brake pedal rubber cover was replaced - normal wear and tear.
I elected to skip the tyre rotation (this had been done 3000 km and 2 weeks before ) and road test ( I would get that done after the suspension was fixed up).
Torquing of all chassis/body interface bolts was done to spec (140 Nm) after treatment with penetrating fluid.
And then on to the TPMS issue. At the outset I demanded that the faulty sensor be replaced, however, apparently M&M have a policy specific to potential warranty replacement cases - ie they will not replace until after trying a fix for the problem first.
And in this case the "fix" involved flashing the ECU from version 7917 to 8037, then performing a manual re-learn of the TPMS system. I railed, and wailed but to no avail. In the end the only concession I got from the SA (Manish) was that if the problem happened again, they would replace the sensor for free. Until then I had to wait for the problem to happen again. In all fairness, for about 2 weeks since this fix was carried out, the warning light hasn't come on. However, I haven't really had the opportunity to test it on a long trip (> 250 km non-stop).
ECU Flash in progress
TPMS learning in progress with ATS Elgi Nitrogen Inflator set at 32 PSI
And with that being done, I elected to take R3 home. There wasn't much change in the handling of the car - because nothing much other than torquing of chassis/body bolts had been done. The engine sounded throatier - and that's a good thing.
The damage to the wallet was ₹ 3178, of which the 50k Service labour alone was ₹ 1604 - on the balance of things not prohibitively expensive, I wasn't complaining.
Visit 5 of 5 : Running Repair - RHS lower control arm ball joint replacement with Alignment 04-July Odo: 50548 km
I had plans to visit on Tuesday, 2nd July, but Arya ji called in at 10 AM to inform me that all lifts were occupied, and thus there would be a certain amount of waiting time involved. As the next day would be the day off for their highly decorated senior mechanic- Narender, I elected to bring R3 in on 4th July.
I arrived a little earlier than usual, and after the usual pre-registration inspection, R3 was straightaway put on a lift. Now came a piece of unwelcome news : the senior mechanic (Narender) I had asked for , had already been assigned another job. Anyway - a quick call to Arya ji, and that matter was sorted. He was assigned to R3 instead.
I've mentioned earlier the proces of replacing the lower control arm ball joint on a Scorpio is a tedious and laborious job. In short, it involves dropping the lower control arm, and then disconnecting the coil spring + shocker assembly. Once all that is done the arm is pulled out, and the bush is removed / new one fitted in a press. Then the process repeats itself in reverse. Of course, there's the Wheel alignment to go through as well.
Narender struggled with it for a while - but soon enough things got under control. Dinesh did the honors for wheel alignment.
The Lower control arm ball joint in its packaging
The old ball joint replaced by the shiny new one
Dinesh did the wheel alignment - left side castor is slightly out
The alignment report
The experience ended with a test drive. I specifically asked the test driver Darshan ji to perform a series of sharp braking maneuvers at high speed, and trying a few sharp corners to check for tyre squeal. No visible or audible alarms sounded - so I was reasonably assured that the left side castor was probably a minor issue - and did not need to be sorted immediately.
It was around lunch time, when I paid ₹2152, and left.
A scratch on the LHS fender needs to be fixed. I'm looking for a good slot during the week to get that done with Bashir.
Also, the seat covers are looking much the worse for wear and tear. I have to look for a better seat cover sticher/installer. The one I have (bought 4 years ago), is in tatters.
|18th September 2019, 18:22||#122|
Senior - BHPian
Running Repair - in the nick of time?
R3 had only been driven 1000 kms since July , more due to the fact that I was much more focussed on putting in the necessary driving distance on its newest sibling the city slicker Glanza before it's first service was due.
Thus it was with some joy that I reclaimed the driver's seat on R3 last Saturday (14-Sep-2019).
Much to my dismay , on switching on the AC, I noticed an intermittent sharp hissing sound coming from the dashboard / engine compartment - could not quite put a finger on the exact source of sound until much later. Further there was a noticeable lag in reaching the desired cabin temperature.
Therefore, without further ado, I made an appointment at the workshop and complained - Sunday (15-Sep-2019).
I was attended to at 10:30 AM. The Works manager Mr. Anil Sharma , and the Warranty guy accompanied me on a test drive. The Warranty guy first feigned ignorance of the sound even existing. Much to my amusement.
Nevertheless, the Works manager understood what I was referring to and drew his attention to it.
Then the Warranty guy says the hiss is nothing but the sound of the compressor kicking in. I asked a noob question. What business does the compressor have kicking in 5 times in as many minutes???
Stoic silence. And then we agreed to recover the refrigerant and measure it's weight, fill Nitrogen under pressure in the AC system, and leave it overnight for monitoring (a drop in pressure).
Bereft of my beloved R3 , I left after the paperwork was complete. And asked for photographs of the meter readings after recovery, as well as of the Nitrogen before and after the monitoring period.
Next morning (Monday) I visited the workshop to see what progress had been made. I was told that indeed a leakage had been discovered as the Nitrogen had leaked out in the intervening night. Besides only 300 gm out of the full complement of 630 gm could be recovered. Assuming a 10% loss in the recovery process - I would expect the compressor was under some stress all these days running on approximately 50% of the refrigerant.
The cause - a leak in the cooling coil - somewhere in the innards of the dashboard! A humongous job - involving dismantling the dashboard, the dashboard frame and replacing the cooling coil assembly (including expansion valve).
I have talked about this before. It is a common problem (at least on Scorpios - and evidently including those manufactured circa 2015 or later)
At approximately 4 PM Monday 16th September, I was informed that the cooling coil had been replaced under warranty.
And that I would not be getting possession of R3 yet - because they were going by the book! They intended to fill the AC system with pressurised Nitrogen again and leave it overnight to monitor for further leakages.
Not a bad thing in itself. The dimunitive Glanza came to the rescue once again - and all was managed.
Tuesday September 17 morning, I was informed that the N2 pressure had held up overnight. Everything was fine. I gave telephonic instructions to fill up with refrigerant, do the road test, give a thorough clean , and replace the micro hybrid emblem as well as the gear stick boot lever.
Around 2 PM I was informed all the jobs were done - except the gear stick boot lever. That was on order.
A newer model part was available (see photo), but could not be installed as it was not compatible with the center console. Would have been nice had it fitted though. Absolutely loved the red piping.
The final bill was for ₹ 525. They had put in NVH Dampers for better noise mitigation - though that had not been a complaint at all. The other item is the micro hybrid emblem. Paid in cash on my doorstep - the charges for drop were Zero - I decided not to argue the NVH Dampers bit.
|25th February 2020, 00:08||#123|
Senior - BHPian
Keeping the shoes in good nick!
Admittedly it's been a while since I last posted on R3.
Last week , R3 touched 55k on the odo, and that got me thinking - weren't the tyres supposed to be rotated every 5k? Feeling too lazy to delve into the service records that I meticulously file away, I took the easy way out and looked up this thread, to confirm. Indeed - the last time the tyres had been rotated were at 47k back in June 2019. So indeed this was overdue - Michelin recommends this be done every 5k!
I promptly called the SA to ask about Dinesh's availability on Saturday 23rd Feb, but he did not have a clue. Unsurprising. This particular guy rarely has a clue.
Next, I called Dinesh the man himself. Lucky that I did - and was informed he would rejoin work only on the 24th (Sunday) after a week long training.
So the date was set, and all I had to do was show up.
, one of the esteemed readers had commented that the Genesis Mahindra service workshop at Okhla was closed. I too had heard rumours from other sources, so just to play it safe, I called ahead of my visit and indeed - the workshop had now moved to A-40 Mohan Coop Industrial Estate (just behind the VW workshop on northbound Mathura road.)
Sunday morning dawned, and after a minor glitch with GMaps and Waze, finally showed up at the workshop, exactly at 9 AM.
Old hands will know that Koncept has had a presence at Mathura Road for quite a long time, however for me, this was the first time - as I preferred using their Okhla outlet due to its proximity.
Nevertheless, the new place had all the known old faces and that settled matters.
Within a few minutes of my arrival , Dinesh arrived on the scene. We quickly set off on a short test drive, and returned in 10 minutes. The verdict: balancing and alignment weren't really needed. But tyre rotation was, and since the wheels had to be dropped anyway, I figured there wasn't any harm in checking the balancing.
So back at the workshop, even before the job card could be written up, R3 was already on the lift waiting for the shoes to be dropped.
Shortly thereafter, I requested the SA to get the paperwork started, and while that was going on, I wandered, soaking in the place and clicking a few photos.
The main gate
The entrance to the front office
The parking area, where vehicles are received
The first floor has two lounges with these gigantic TV sets!
The main workshop floor.
The balancing machine turned out to be a new piece of equipment.
As luck would have it (due probably to calibration differences) it prescribed minor disbalances on 4 of the 5 wheels. Couldn't be helped. Dinesh was most apologetic about the machine's lack of consistency with it's predecessor - but I waved that away and gave him the go-ahead to finish doing the balancing work.
The rotation plan was based off the following chart -
which is somewhat different from the earlier practice
Next up was wheel alignment, Dinesh's proffered thread and plumb line method found no fault with any of the angles - and so no money was to be spent on alignment at all.
That was it! But not quite! An on-site banner loudly proclaimed the availability of a free 75 point check-up. Deciding to take advantage of it, I spoke to the job controller , and he put a man on the job.
The underbody was inspected, brake pads looked at, fluid levels checked and just as I was on the verge of expecting a "good-to-go" sign, I fell crashing to the ground.
Pics of the underbody-
Note tell tale signs of oil spillage at the rear diff - this was from a year ago.
Other underbody pics showed that R3 badly needed an underbody shower but was in otherwise fine fettle
The mechanic pronounced that the engine was short on oil. In fact he said it needed at least 0.5 L to be topped up. As evidence, he produced the dipstick, and sure enough the oil level on it was somewhere between the minimum and maximum notches (closer to minimum).
It would be dishonest to say, that I was not perturbed. I was. But not finding Mr. Atish Kumar the GM Service around, I decided to head back home.
The bill was a tad over a grand.
Just as I was paying the bill, Dinesh turned up once again and said just for peace of mind would I be okay to go for a post work test drive? I mean I have to hand it to this guy! He epitomizes Service, and a living example of how faulty Mahindra product is more than adequately compensated by the passion and attention to detail of its service personnel. Just doing the bare minimum is such a rare sight these days!
There weren't any complaints on the test drive. R3's road manners were unimpeachable. Struck up a conversation with Dinesh about the findings of the mechanic. He laughed it off - and pointed out the car had been running for a considerable time before the dipstick had been pulled out of it. Realization struck, & I decided to do another check-up at home.
Oil levels at 1 hour , and approximately 6 hours after returning home.
As the results show, I could have saved myself the anxiety. Don' t you agree?
Well the issue with the fuel level indicator seems to have come back (again!).
A WhatsApp to Mr Atish Kumar next morning with the necessary photographic evidence, was responded to with a resigned "Yes, sir bring it over. We'll fix it FOC".
So there goes my next weekend!
|1st March 2020, 15:17||#124|
Senior - BHPian
An Interesting milestone & Fuel tank float replacement for the 4th time
On 28th February 2020 , the magical 55555 number came up on the odo. Pulled over on my commute, and photo done, it was time to get on with the day.
This would be the fourth time, for the same problem since I brought R3 home!
Readers will recall :
That should not make the part fail!
It was Mr. Atish's off day , so I needed to exercise the voice of customer to be heard. Long story short, R3 was up on a lift in about 25 minutes after arrival, and the job card written up.
Note the handwritten resistance readings (in ohms) of the old and new senders.
I won't describe the process - it's exactly the same as before.
The tank was out in about 20 minutes - the time it took me to make a roundtrip to the local Haldiram's.
Work done, R3 was ready to go. The Zero bill was written up.
Before leaving I ordered for a couple of parts:
1) A gaitor (my gear lever rubber boot is torn!)
2) A fuel cap - mine has been broken for some time now.
So, I need to get back to the workshop in another week or two when they arrive.
On the way back home, stopped over for a quick refill. The guage worked perfectly.
|29th May 2020, 17:18||#125|
Senior - BHPian
Android HU for Mahindra Scorpio S10?
I am feeling slightly envious of my wife's car - a Glanza with a modern android HU.
There are no wobbly stands for a mobile phone, no fiddling with teensy weensy menu options on the mobile, whilst the sun is in your face - nothing of that sort. All one can see (and touch) is the Android Auto experience.
In fact I am almost tempted to purchase a double din aftermarket HU for R3, but the only thing that is stalling the decision is how to go about replicating the tight coupling of the OEM HU and the ECU. The stalks will work with an adapter. I am not so worried about that part.
Is there any android app that can make sense of the incoming bits on the cable from the ECU?
|29th May 2020, 17:57||#126|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Thanked: 52,941 Times
Re: Android HU for Mahindra Scorpio S10?
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/car-e...onda-city.html (Foxfire 10.1" 4G LTE Android Head-Unit upgrade in my Honda City)
|The following BHPian Thanks CrAzY dRiVeR for this useful post:|
|29th May 2020, 19:57||#127|
Senior - BHPian
Re: Android HU for Mahindra Scorpio S10?
There's a silver lining with Mahindra BlueSense app installed on a hypothetical android HU- only I am not sure if the app is backwardly compatible with ECUs manufactured before 2019.
That said - the other part that disappointed me , is the fact that it's mandatory to use mikes , antennas, cameras/wires supplied with the aftermarket HU. It should not be that way - right? It shows that some of these android HUs would foist ugly protuberances on you, if you did take a chance with them.
|4th August 2020, 22:32||#128|
Senior - BHPian
A shunt, premature 60k service and minor R/R
It has been most remiss of me to not provide an update about R3 since February '20.
But as readers would know the country and indeed the world has been subject to some really trying times since then.
Naturally that has had it's impact on the way R3 has been driven these past few months, and influenced the nature of repairs and service work done.
But first things first. Let's turn the clock back to end March.
A much awaited break had been on the cards, for we had been homeward bound due to the demands of the kids academic schedules. So when Class X boards finally got over on March 18, we decided to pack up and head for the hills.
On the rather bright and early morning of March 20th, as R3 was navigating a torturous road going up to Chaukori, UK, it encountered a rather large road-roller hunkering down from atop the hill. As a matter of courtesy , it gave way , only to loose it's footing and gently rolling into the gutter. A piece of the rear bumper was gutted, and the rear left tail lamp!
Ordinarily I wouldn't have been so concerned, as this small matter could be easily attended to at home base, but there were rumblings of lock down doing the rounds.
On March 22nd during the return trip to Delhi, these repairs were the last thing on my mind. This was the period when the trigger happy administrators were shutting down borders - and so we managed to reach home - by the skin of our teeth. The rest of the story is well known - the country went into total lockdown on March 23rd. But the return journey , will forever be etched in memory and perhaps to be recounted over a few cups of coffee and savories with like minded folks.
I figured the first thing that had to be done, was to procure the busted tail-light. Easier said than done, because all shops were closed. I had to wait until May 17th to get hold of the spare. The repair and repaint job took place on May 18th.
The shunt - before and after Bashir's work
In the meantime, R3 remained parked under it's overalls for well over a month. So naturally the battery died , and lucky me that I had the jumper cables to perform an at-home resuscitation
A premature 60k service was scheduled, because the oil had last been changed approximately 2 years ago. I showed up at the Koncept Mahindra workshop on Mathura Road, New Delhi at 9 AM, June 19.
True to current guidance, I was asked to submit to the usual covid19 checks at the entrance, and copious amounts of sanitizer were drizzled on R3.
The service advisor made his appearance, and a walkabout around the car ensued.
List of jobs
Aside from the 60k service work, other complaints that had to be attended were:
The 60k service entailed:
The first order of business was to get R3 onto the Alignment ramp. As usual Dinesh did a wonderful job , and a couple minor adjustments later, he and I took a quick test drive to confirm the pulling to LHS was gone.
Alignment done and dusted- and not charged.
Then R3 was berthed in the service bay, awaiting a mechanic to be assigned. It seemed the regular guy Narendar had been assigned something else, and so I had to make do with someone else, that too after about an hour of waiting! I was told by the job controller that the workshop was short staffed- due to the pandemic.
Forlorn and waiting for some TLC.
The shoes came off and the brakes were laid bare for inspection.
Rear brake drum off
This guy quickly pronounced the front and rear stoppers were good to go, without any measurements!
I pounced on this nonchalant observation, and made him go about measuring stuff with calipers. Then I discovered the poor fellow hadn't come across calipers ever!!
So anyway he goes and gets a colleague who leaves aside someone else's job to take the measurements. Here they are:
Rear wheel brake drum and shoe
Shoe left: 2.76 mm/5.08mm 3.72mm
Shoe Right: 2.85 mm/4.77mm 5.19mm
Drum Left: thickness : 34.872 mm
Drum Right:thickness : 34.872 mm
Pad Left: outer 5.69 mm inner 5.80 mm
Pad Right: outer 5.42 mm inner 5.76 mm
Disc left: 22.35 mm
Disc right: 22.85mm
Job done, he puts the shoes back on, and proceeds to lift R3 to inspect the underbody and torque the bolts. Second surprise of the visit comes from far left. This guy doesn't know what a torque wrench is. Leave aside the values he must torque to.
Lest he do something bad due to his ignorance, I stopped him from working on the remaining jobs, and called the Service Advisor and his boss the Service Manager.
Both were relatively unknown entities to me, so I went about the explanation of why I chose to stop the work , raising my voice only once to say How in hell, could you put a guy on the job, who doesn't even have Mahindra training? If this is what I should expect, tell me one good reason, why I should not go to my friendly neighborhood mechanic?
Anyway to cut to the chase, Narendar (an old hand, who'd worked on R3 many times before) was reassigned to my car. Much to my relief and not a moment too soon. It was already close to 1 PM, and literally an hour and half had been wasted.
So anyway Narendar took up the jobs, and in order these were:
Consumables waiting to be fitted.
Fuel tank comes off for sender's resistance measurements
Replacement fuel filler cap
The last job on the list was the replacement of the gear lever rubber boot, but unfortunately the part wasn't available. So, the service advisor put it on back order.
The only thing remaining after all these jobs was a quick test drive. Darshan ji obliged, everything worked like a charm, and R3 was dropped off to the washing bays.
By the time washing was complete it was close to 6 PM, I had been at the workshop for close to 9 hours. Very typical of a major service day. And lighter in the pocket by ₹9361 (after discounts).
The final invoice
I've mentioned before that the gear lever boot could not be changed out during the service.
Torn gear lever boot
The part was on back-order. It took quite a few follow ups to finally get news of the arrival on July 19th (a month after the order date).
As I was extremely busy with work, I could only get it fitted on July 25th. They waived the fitment charges , it was a counter sale.
Counter Sale Invoice
As of the time of writing this update, R3 has covered a little over 58k
It looks extremely unlikely that there'll be many more kilometres added to this , till the year is up. And so R3 bides its time, waiting for happier times.
Last edited by joybhowmik : 4th August 2020 at 22:37. Reason: upd: typo error torq value of lug nut
|3rd February 2021, 20:12||#129|
Senior - BHPian
A stich in time...
Dec 21,'20 thru Jan 2,'21 saw us drive to Kolkata and back to the capital in R3. This has become almost de rigueur, and more so in these Covid times. The safety of an enclosed bubble is by far preferable to traveling in a closed tube even if at 550 mph.
However, as my earlier post (A humble beginning: Driving from Delhi to Kolkata)remarked, this time around the roads in certain segments of the route weren't in the best of shape.
On Jan 2nd,'21, during one hard brake and swerve incident on the YEW, I noticed that R3 pitched forward and tilted to the left far too much. Dismissing that as just an irksome dynamic, I ignored it and we proceeded to return home.
And so the job was done, R3 stood in its corner spot, forlorn for a tad over a week- all but forgotten. But no - not quite forgotten...
An (almost) cosmetic job:
That week, every morning, as I used to sip my morning Americano out on the balcony, I would spot the stump of the antenna and wince. The rest of the Antenna had been lost somewhere in Kolkata, whilst jousting with a low sunshade in a rather tight parking spot. I am not much of a radio buff, but the sight of the stump made R3 look less than complete - and that rankled.
Going over to the workshop for one measly antenna fix was not unlike making a mountain out of a molehill. My FNG was perfectly capable, and as luck would have it one of the new parts suppliers on the block had it in stock. So on the 10th of Jan, I decided to do something about it.
I promptly ordered the part at boodmo dot com, and 2 days later, I was the proud owner of a shiny black OEM antenna.
I didn't waste any time, and the next day (Jan 13th) I drove over to the FNG, and within minutes the antenna was installed. Damage to wallet: ₹ 1208 (part)+ ₹ 200 (labour) = ₹ 1408.
Bill for the Antenna
And we lived happily ever after?
Erm no... That's not quite how the story ends.
The dance for parts:
While at the FNG, I asked him to check if the front and rear suspension was in order. Upon inspection, surprise surprise - the FLH strut had developed quite a bleed! The rest of the suspension components seemed okay.
Anticipating that the FRH strut was bleeding too, I left, promising to return after securing the parts.
Now, back in the comfort of my home office, I looked up boodmo dot com and a few clicks later I figured that there were really two options :
I could either order just the strut or order the whole assembly (composed primarily of the strut, part of the fork, coil spring, and various other smaller components).
[Offtopic: For the uninitiated, this site has one great feature - it provides a complete bill of materials for each major system in the car. So even for a layperson, if you know what you are looking for, choosing the part becomes a doddle. Not only that, the site suggests aftermarket parts side by side with the OEM catalog. So you can make an informed decision. Besides, the advantage of quickly narrowing down to the correct part number is a huge time saver.]
Well anyway, a series of hectic parleys with my FNG followed, and in the end, he convinced me to pick up the full strut assembly instead of just the strut. His view was that over time the coil spring loses its "springiness", dust covers get weak, forks get slightly bent out of shape, and so on. So for better peace of mind, he suggested that I spend the 100% extra cash.
So I went ahead and ordered the following parts on 16th Jan: Part Number: 0403AAA02131N, SHOCK ABS ASSY COMP FRT LH 4WD and Part Number: 0403AAA02051N, SHOCK ABS ASSY COMP FRT RH 4WD
for a sum of ₹ 13,440. Individually these were ₹ 6720. The struts alone were ₹ 3055 each (Part Number: 0403AAA02061N, SHOCK ABSORBER ASSY FRT 4WD)
Well, still looked like an open and shut case. Nope. Not so fast.
The fine print on the order stated that the estimated delivery date was 04-Feb. Now, that would not do! I mean who waits for over 2 weeks for a pair of struts? So on Monday 18th Jan, a series of emails were exchanged with the customer service department, imploring them - no sorry wrong word - begging them to have the parts delivered on 22nd Jan (Friday). By 23rd Jan, the net result from all this communication was a further delay in the expected delivery date (now 6th Feb), which the customer service qualified as only a tentative date.
I had been anticipating something like this, so as Jan 22nd neared, I made an inquiry with Arun ji of Metro Spares (Metro Spares & Ghai Motors (Savitri Nagar, New Delhi)). At first, he did not respond, however after the passage of 24 hours, I called him. He said he had seen my message, but would "confirm" with his supplier and "let me know". That call back never came. I can only say he is no different than the thousands of other auto part dealers, and one can't rely on him for anything other than fast-moving parts.
A call back to my FNG confirmed my fears - parts for the 4WD Scorpio could only be secured either at the dealer or at the Kashmere gate market. In fact, the latter was where I tried next - and I followed google links to four of the largest Mahindra auto parts sellers based at or near Kashmere Gate, leaving them texts.
By this point (on Jan 24th) the boodmo dot com customer service had already informed me that their supplier could not assure any confirmed delivery date - so I thought to at least cancel the order and mobilize the money tied up there. The refund itself took less than 48 hours, and by Jan 26th, I had the money back in my account.
On January 25th (Monday) when Kashmere Gate, responses from the Kashmere Gate sellers came back - no one had the parts in stock.
Thus outside of approaching the authorized dealer itself, the parts were simply not to be had.
You may be wondering, much ado about nothing. But there was a reason why I had subjected myself to the task of securing OEM parts from outside. For you see, my extended warranty had expired in Sept'20, and basis the wisdom found in many threads here, I felt there wasn't any harm in trying to get all work and parts from outside the Mahindra dealer network. In reality, it's easier said than done. Besides, if one were to overlook the effect of taxes, the price of labor is the only differential, but is the savings really worth it? (more on that later!)
As I have mentioned, the last glimmer of hope of securing OEM parts outside the Mahindra dealer network flickered and died. 9 days had gone by since I'd ordered the parts on boodmo and 12 days since the diagnosis. It seemed like an eternity. So, I picked up the phone and texted the GM of Koncept Mahindra in Okhla (my regular workshop). He was most kind and directed his spare parts office to help me out. Several exchanges later, I was informed that not only were these parts not available in stock in any of their dealer company locations (Koncept locations), but they would need to back-order them from Mahindra itself, which could mean up to 4 weeks of lead time.
Jan 26th was a holiday, and I mentally resigned myself to not getting R3 back on its feet until March. Things looked bleak.
Nevertheless, I took a chance and called the Koncept spare parts office on the morning of Wednesday, Jan 27th, and was informed that they'd managed to locate the RH complete strut assemblies from another Mahindra dealer in Delhi (a different company). I told them to keep trying for the LH, they said they'll come back to me. I called again in the evening, and they said they'd located the LH strut assembly in Gurgaon. I was ecstatic. The guy told me to deposit the money so that they could issue a PO on these dealers for a parts purchase. I was about to do the same when I thought to have a word with the GM. He heard me out and instantly instructed the parts to be ordered without requiring a deposit from me. My final request was that my trusted mechanic Mr. Narender (for all things mechanical) and Mr. Dinesh (for all things related to wheels/tires) be on hand when the parts were ready to be fitted. I was assured that latest by Saturday, Jan 30 - the installation would be complete. You can imagine my surprise when on the evening of Thursday, Jan 28th, the Spare Parts office called and asked me to bring the car over on the morning of Friday, Jan 29th - as the parts had arrived! - and yes Mr. Narender and Mr. Dinesh would be available and on standby exclusively for the jobs on R3. I couldn't believe my luck - things were finally looking up!!!
Tender Loving Care:
Friday morning dawned - and skipping the all-important gym, I decided to head over to the workshop straight away and reached at 9:30 AM sharp. It was indeed heartening to see both Narender and Dinesh standing by. After exchanging a few pleasantries with the GM the preliminary inspection got underway, and I signed off on the repair estimate on the With You Hamesha app. Yes, Completely Contactless - and Way to Go Green!!
R3 was quickly hoisted on the lift
The wheels came off and revealed a major leakage on the LH strut and a minor leakage on the RH strut.
Narender decided to work on the corner that was worse off right away.
The lower control arm assembly now rested on a jack stand as Narender wrestled with the upper control arm to free the strut assembly
Finally, the LH strut lay next to its replacement
- note the difference 5 years+ of driving over unforgiving terrain has on this part
The procedure was repeated on the RHS.
It's at this point, that I noticed the replacement RH strut assembly had rust marks on both ends of the fork.
I had a quick word with Narender on this issue - one option was to use the old fork of the RH strut, but the GM said it's just surface rust - and the corrosion can easily be removed by sanding it down.
Fork of RH Strut after sanding
In any case, a less than pristine mating surface for the connecting bolt would probably not have a huge impact on the usable life of R3 (10-year NGT ruling).
The new RH strut (w/fork) was fitted - things looked okay so far. And shortly after that, the main job was done.
[Offtopic: for those that are interested the torquing spec for the Upper control arm (UCA) is 120Nm and that for the Lower Control Arm(LCA) is 250 Nm. The torque spec for lug bolts is 105Nm.
It's at this point that I turned my attention to Dinesh, and asked him to get the tire rotation and balancing done. While that was underway - Narender went the extra mile to check all the fluid levels. While I was conversing with Dinesh about TPMS learning, Narender beckoned me over and said the clutch master cylinder had probably failed - and pointed to a slight dip in the level of the DOT4 reservoir. I hadn't noticed any issues such as hard shifting, or sponginess on the pedal - but he just pointed to the fact that the oil level was just above the minimum bar.
It was a good catch. As you can see there's no obvious sign of leakage in the engine bay. But the foot mat had a tell-tale oil patch (which by the way was difficult to spot because it's a black PVC material).
On the reference pic, you can see the master cylinder bolted to the firewall, and the pictures below show a ruptured bellow and a hand smeared with DOT4.
So while Dinesh worked on the rotation, balancing, and TPMS, the master cylinder, and clutch pedal pin were replaced. Not too bad for the pocket, but certainly saved me from an unwelcome and unannounced breakdown!
Wheel alignment was not off - considering that the lower control arms weren't touched, so that was that, and shortly after 2 PM I paid up ₹ 19,380 and left - satisfied, once again.
As I was driving home, I thought about the lessons learned, as I nursed R3 back to health.
1. I'll probably continue to favor the workshop in the foreseeable future over my FNG, for major jobs that have a significant functional impact on the operation of the vehicle.
a) I have nurtured a relationship with the guys at the workshop since Day 1 of the ownership experience. (The guys were on standby for me, although they had work piled up. Even after the main strut replacement job was done, Narender took special care to quickly confirm if the vehicle was otherwise roadworthy. These gestures happen because of the relationship - nothing else.)
b) I respect certain guys for their technical knowledge - I am grateful for picking up tidbits of handy knowledge from them at every visit.
c) The right tools are available for every job - major or minor - it's very unlikely that the FNG will be suitably equipped.
d) Accountability and escalation mechanisms work. The spare parts office did a fantastic job in securing this slow-moving item from his competition - no less!
2. It's a myth that OEM parts can be sourced cheaply elsewhere (if at all).
a) Boodmo dot com charged me ₹ 6720 per strut. The dealership charged me ₹ 6384. Note that the part is hard to find, the dealer had no incentive to give me a discount but gave me one anyway. Neither Kashmere gate nor boodmo offered any discount.
b) Both online and independent auto parts stores could not source OEM parts for the 4WD Scorpio even after trying. The dealership network in comparison is a behemoth and there's always recourse to the plant.
3. Labour in the dealership is expensive and made more so by the taxes, but it's well worth it.
a) My FNG had quoted ₹ 400 all-inclusive for the repair. In comparison, I was charged ₹ 1835 by the dealer.
I know both the FNG and the dealer's mechanics are comparably competent. But little things such as facilities and tools do matter a lot. Show me an FNG with a lift, a proper tool bench, a torque wrench, and knowledge of the service manual specification for torquing the bolts on the upper control arm! These aren't things the FNG will bring to the table. Which calls into question the quality of the repair.
4. Convenience, and peace of mind
a) This relates specifically to the subject of this thread "A stitch in time". The clutch master cylinder issue was discovered while in the workshop. The spare parts counter was right next door. I think in all probability the FNG would have noticed the issue too. But, imagine the subsequent hassle in trying to figure out which auto parts supplier had the master cylinder in stock, and then making arrangements to go pick it up. Of course, there's also a risk of non-OEM or fake parts that can be palmed off under such trying circumstances.
b) Not everyone is like TBHPians; we research the specific part numbers needed for our rides - we prefer OEM and have very specific technical reasons for choosing non-OEM parts - usually, it's a performance consideration - and at the end of the day - it's what's the best for our ride. When a layperson is faced with a situation such as a failed shock absorber. A typical scenario that might play out is as follows:
And so, R3 lives, happy and healthy. Raring to go to the next challenge!