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Old 30th September 2022, 12:37   #1
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Default Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

I purchased a Mahindra Scorpio (S9 140bhp 2WD) in the third quarter of 2019, then lockdowns began in 2020, and then on the vehicle was used for trips within Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Malwa. So far, the odometer reading is 21000 km, which is not a lot for any SUV.*

I chose the Scorpio because of its box-type look. Moreover, after driving for nearly two and a half decades, I have become a bit partial to Mahindra and Maruti-Suzuki vehicles (specifically the classic variants).*

I would like to thank all my sisters and brothers of team BHP who have written about Madhya Pradesh and the other areas of India in general. Though our routes are different, all of you encouraged me to dream and do.

Our plan was to reach Orchha via Hyderabad and Nagpur and stay a couple of days there to explore Jhansi, Niwari, and Shivpuri districts. Then setup camp in Gwalior and explore the northern Bundelkhand region like Chambal, the MP-Rajasthan border and the surrounding areas of Gwalior.*

We started on the 24th of September at 5 am.* Around 200 kms from Bangalore, the car started giving a rattling sound when in 6th gear. I knew there was a problem in the transmission assembly. It was around 0730 hrs and I called up a service person at Anant Cars Bangalore. The phone kept ringing, I disconnected and told my wife to take the Mahindra dealers and service centre booklet from the glove box and search for a service station in Anantpur. In the meantime, the service person from Bangalore returned the call; I explained to him the problem, and he asked me not to drive in higher gears and to take the vehicle to the nearest service centre.*

Before reaching Anantpur, I asked my family to have breakfast as we didn't know what was in store for us. Either way, the centre won't open before 0930 hrs. At around 0940, we reached the service centre on NH44. As it was a Saturday, the centre was busy, but they accommodated my request to look into the issue. Luckily, one of the staffs knew Kannada and I explained to him the issue in Kannada, which he translated to his colleagues in Telegu. They took the vehicle inside the workshop and informed me that there was a problem inside the gearbox that they couldn't diagnose unless it was opened.They recommended that I go back to Bangalore instead of continuing the journey, as there are high chances of the vehicle seizing.*

I told my family the bad news, and started the retreat. One missed opportunity makes it nearly impossible for us to re-execute it again, and for this one we are coming back from the road. There was no chance of leaving the next day because my wife's car is more suitable for city driving and also there's a space issue especially with all the luggage that accompanies a long road trip.*

Anyways, the service centre at Anantpur discouraged me from driving it back and asked me to tow it to Bangalore. I knew the car would not stop; it would bring us back to home, so I continued driving at 4th/5th gear on NH44 with a speed limit of 70-80kmph; it was like riding a bullock cart, slow but steady-I just kept encouraging the car.

I took a deep breath and told my wife to take a deep breath too, wear her reading glasses, and take her phone out. I asked her to check the flight fares, and as it was the festive season, the fares were insanely high. Further we also had to book a taxi for the whole trip. The expenses and the hassles were not worth it. Then, one by one, she cancelled all the hotels. We lost a lot of money due to cancellations, fuel expenses, and toll charges - a lot of money! All our bookings were at MP Tourism, we lost 100% for Orchha and 20% for the rest.*

We reached home by afternoon, unloaded everything from the car. 20 litres water jerrycans (we prefer refilling our respective bottles from there), food for the road, flasks and our suitcases. While we had mastered the art of packing in a very short span of time, that day we also mastered the art of unloading and unpacking everything in a very short span of time, that too on the same day.

By night, no one would believe we were the champions of a successful-failed road trip—successful because we and our car reached home safely. As I entered our home, the walls greeted us with a warm smile.

Experience with the repair after failure

While driving back, I called the service person at Anant Cars and he asked me to come over. I went to the centre around 4pm and he said that I could leave the car and they would take a look on Monday. Another person added that now there's a rush due to the festive season, it's better if I bring the car after Dusshera. I knew where it was going and I also knew what to do. I insisted and got an appointment for Monday at 9am. I went sharp at 9am on Monday, a mechanic took the car inside and did more or less what was done in Anantpur and told me exactly the same thing that they had to open and examine it. He asked me to wait in the office lounge where a service person would be assigned. I waited for one hour, then finally went to the receptionist and said it's time they assigned me a person - all they had to do was receive my car as everything is digitised through the With You Hamesha mobile app. While the person was filling up the service-repair form, he wanted to know whether I would extend my extended warranty by another 2 years till 2025, I told him that I still had another year left and would decide next year. What shocked me is how someone can do sales talk even in a situation when the person on the other side is still recovering from a failure.

I was wondering all the while how a high-performance SUV like the Scorpio can have gear box problems at 21000 kms. The argument could be that it's a piece of hardware that can fail. My counter argument will be that there's something called "reliability" which should be directly related to the price of the commodity.

I returned home and called a childhood friend of mine in Kolkata; his XUV 500 (W11 AWD) had seized at 3200 kilometres in Kolaghat, West Bengal, while on a road trip. We had bought our cars around the same time. His car had to be towed back to Kolkata while his family was brought back by the roadside assistance team of Mahindra. After all this accumulated experience, my confidence in Mahindra is not what it was a week ago. He strongly encouraged me to escalate and also gave me some tips from his past experiences.

I took a bath, had a cup of coffee and a smoke; and finally wrote an e-mail to Mahindra customer service with a copy to the Customer Experience Manager (all the contact details are available on the Mahindra with you hamesha website). Within 2 hours customer care replied with a case ID copying the Mahindra After-Sales Manager Bangalore region and all the relevant seniors from the post-sales and service department of Anant Cars. Within evening got a call from Mahindra After-Sales Manager Bangalore assuring me that the issue would be looked into on priority. The general manager, service of Anant Cars also spoke to me and kept me updated on the status.

I am not sure when we will go again to that part of Madhya Pradesh as there are a lot of factors which decide our trip plans, but if I ever do, I will definitely write the sequel here. In my childhood, I heard stories from my mother about how some of our acquaintances came back half way from the Amarnath or Kedar-Badri yatras because of inclement weather or health issues during the trek. Failures are a part of life, it's all about how we are able to handle it and move on.*

My car is in the garage now and I expect to get it back sometime next week.

I have attached the photographs of the damaged gear wheels.

Couple of points on my driving with this vehicle,
- I have never done off roading with this vehicle, it's driven on state and national highways, cities and towns. Of course, some roads I have driven in Bengaluru are as good as off roads.
- I never drove this vehicle in water logged streets.
- I use my clutch only when changing gears and touch the gear lever only when changing gears.
- I always serviced it on time and from Anant Cars.
- I had checked all oils levels before the journey, and all the respective oil tanks were full.

As there are very experienced motorists in this forum your guidance and tips will help me to avoid such problems in the future. Your advice will be highly appreciated.

Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure-photo202209282152581.jpg

Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure-photo20220928215258.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 4th October 2022 at 08:32. Reason: Spacing
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Old 4th October 2022, 08:37   #2
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

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Old 4th October 2022, 11:00   #3
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Really Sorry to hear about your ordeal. To plan a holiday for weeks, the excitement and anticipation ... and money all down the drain! I feel bad for you as holidays are sacrosanct for me.

The pic of the gears seems to suggest the car was abused - that is quiet a bad gash in the metal. What was the odometer reading when you took it from the showroom? Of course a failure of some kind may have resulted in it but since you never felt anything before I am wondering if this happened before delivery, and it got progressively worse till the point of time you actually noticed an issue?

Last edited by Ragul : 4th October 2022 at 11:01.
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Old 4th October 2022, 11:23   #4
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Thanks for sharing!!!
While there are beautiful travelogs on the forum, the failed ones are important too. Lots to learn. You seemed to handle it well.
When such incidents happen I tell myself that everything happens for a reason.
Hope the scorp gets back soon.
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Old 4th October 2022, 11:59   #5
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

It seems like something broke inside the gearbox and got crushed between the gears, damaging them. The service centre will probably be able to point out the first failure. Did you claim insurance or will the repairs be under warranty?
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Old 4th October 2022, 12:23   #6
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorched_earth View Post
I was wondering all the while how a high-performance SUV like the Scorpio can have gear box problems at 21000 kms. The argument could be that it's a piece of hardware that can fail.
In today's world we have reached a maturity level in engineering that if a component is well designed, quality controlled and serviced it will almost never fail. This argument that it is a piece of hardware hence can fail is all bunkum. Wonder if we will board a plane if a manufacturer says it is a piece of hardware and can fail anytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorched_earth View Post
My counter argument will be that there's something called "reliability" which should be directly related to the price of the commodity.
In real life actually reliability is actually inversely proportional to the price of the commodity. E.g. An alto 800 is actually more reliable than a Rolls Royce. Or the Nokia 1100 would be more reliable than a smart phone. The reason with more features comes more complexity. The testing effort increases exponentially with increasing number of features not linearly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorched_earth View Post
As there are very experienced motorists in this forum your guidance and tips will help me to avoid such problems in the future. Your advice will be highly appreciated.
I think you did everything possible correctly. From the damage looks like a metal filing or piece floating around in the transmission oil that caused damage. May be a piece of machining debris left in the gearbox while assembling or may some metal part broken off somewhere. I know some Japanese gearboxes have magnets inside them to trap such metal pieces. It no accident that Japanese are the kings of reliability. You can check in your service record if the transmission oil was changed as per schedule.
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Old 4th October 2022, 12:58   #7
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Many thanks to all for your insights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Really Sorry to hear about your ordeal. To plan a holiday for weeks, the excitement and anticipation ... and money all down the drain! I feel bad for you as holidays are sacrosanct for me.

The pic of the gears seems to suggest the car was abused - that is quiet a bad gash in the metal. What was the odometer reading when you took it from the showroom? Of course a failure of some kind may have resulted in it but since you never felt anything before I am wondering if this happened before delivery, and it got progressively worse till the point of time you actually noticed an issue?
I drive very carefully, never cross above 40 kmph till the car warms up, and also drive in the correct gear without manipulating the acceleration with clutch.
I am very worried that inspite of so much care the gearbox had issues.

When I took the delivery it showed around 30kms, I guess they did some road testing and visit to RTO for registration.
As you said, maybe some fragment was already present and over time the scratches compounded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajathv8 View Post
Thanks for sharing!!!
While there are beautiful travelogs on the forum, the failed ones are important too. Lots to learn. You seemed to handle it well.
When such incidents happen I tell myself that everything happens for a reason.
Hope the scorp gets back soon.
Absolutely, we thank god that the car and ourselves reached home safely, we could have been stranded in the highway for hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavyagnik View Post
It seems like something broke inside the gearbox and got crushed between the gears, damaging them. The service centre will probably be able to point out the first failure. Did you claim insurance or will the repairs be under warranty?
Unfortunately, they could not pinpoint the problem, they gave be a list of possible causes like off-roading and driving in water logged streets. I have extended warranty till 2023, so I need to pay only for the consumables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
In today's world we have reached a maturity level in engineering that if a component is well designed, quality controlled and serviced it will almost never fail. This argument that it is a piece of hardware hence can fail is all bunkum. Wonder if we will board a plane if a manufacturer says it is a piece of hardware and can fail anytime.



In real life actually reliability is actually inversely proportional to the price of the commodity. E.g. An alto 800 is actually more reliable than a Rolls Royce. Or the Nokia 1100 would be more reliable than a smart phone. The reason with more features comes more complexity. The testing effort increases exponentially with increasing number of features not linearly.



I think you did everything possible correctly. From the damage looks like a metal filing or piece floating around in the transmission oil that caused damage. May be a piece of machining debris left in the gearbox while assembling or may some metal part broken off somewhere. I know some Japanese gearboxes have magnets inside them to trap such metal pieces. It no accident that Japanese are the kings of reliability. You can check in your service record if the transmission oil was changed as per schedule.
I agree with you, to me it looks like a quality issue.
All oils were changed as per schedule, I personally check the list given by M&M before giving for servicing.
Also before the trip had checked all oil levels, they were all full.
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Old 4th October 2022, 15:08   #8
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorched_earth View Post
I was wondering all the while how a high-performance SUV like the Scorpio can have gear box problems at 21000 kms. The argument could be that it's a piece of hardware that can fail. My counter argument will be that there's something called "reliability" which should be directly related to the price of the commodity.
Sad to know about your ordeal. I had rented a zoomcar scorpio(lets obviously assume it might have been abused) back in 2015 for a road trip with friends. This car had done 11k kms only and we used it for four days driving around Madikeri. On the last day when we had to return to Bangalore, I started the car, slotted it into reverse and heard a bang noise with the gear stuck. Got down from the car thinking it was a slave cylinder failure and looked under the car to realise that the gearbox oil was leaking. Turns out one of the reverse gear wheels had literally exploded and cracked the gearbox case open. This was in the middle of a nowhere resort in South Coorg. Was able to drive in forward gears to a nearby mechanic shop who tried to seal the leak with M Seal. After this, reached out to Mahindra CV dealer who didnt have the authority to work on the car in Virajpet. All this while Zoomcar support as well as Mahindra support was helpless.

Had to drop the car there, catch a bus back to Bangalore and fight with Zoomcar for a refund. Since this issue looked similar to me, just realised that there are still these random failures in this car. Of course, there would be many other Scorpio owners who would be munching miles with their cars, but these one off failures is still a major bummer for any owner.

Hope this gets resolved in the best manner possible.
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Old 4th October 2022, 15:45   #9
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorched_earth View Post
Couple of points on my driving with this vehicle,
- I have never done off roading with this vehicle, it's driven on state and national highways, cities and towns. Of course, some roads I have driven in Bengaluru are as good as off roads.
- I never drove this vehicle in water logged streets.
- I use my clutch only when changing gears and touch the gear lever only when changing gears.
- I always serviced it on time and from Anant Cars.
- I had checked all oils levels before the journey, and all the respective oil tanks were full.
Don't overthink it, this is not your fault. Sometimes manufacturing defects happen and our cars will face some fault or the other even when we do everything right. It is particularly painful to us as enthusiasts because we are more prone to babying our car and going out of our way to take extra good care of it. It feels extremely disappointing when such a car fails us through no fault of our own especially as many other people abuse their cars and they still end up being reliable. I hope the service center can fix the problem under warranty and return the car to you soon without any niggles. Most of the time it's only one component that fails and replacing or repairing it will be sufficient unless that particular model and year are especially prone to defects. Just keep remembering that whatever happened is not your fault.
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Old 4th October 2022, 17:03   #10
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All this while Zoomcar support as well as Mahindra support was helpless.

Had to drop the car there, catch a bus back to Bangalore and fight with Zoomcar for a refund.

I had a similar issue with a Zoomcar Scorpio back in 2017. A bunch of friends planned a trip to Coorg and the group got bigger and bigger. Instead of going in my Swift we had to book two Scorpio's one of which was from Zoomcar. The Zoomcar Scorpio was comparatively newer and had run 28k kms. At the final steep turn before reaching madikeri the Zoomcar abruptly stopped and wouldn't bulge. Zoomcar didn't help much we had to leave the car at the nearest ASS and drive back without completing the trip. IIRC, the issue was zeroed out to either clutch or gearbox and the Zoomcar executives even had the audacity to milk us from the ordeal asking us to pay around 10k as repair charges. That was the last time I rented out from Zoomcar.

Last edited by avaneesh. : 4th October 2022 at 17:11. Reason: Formatting issues
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Old 4th October 2022, 17:57   #11
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

I think I belong to the same mindset as yours. I overthink if something of this sort happens. Having family with us and while doing a much looked forward to road trip is so much fun but when something of this sort happens, we feel really dull and bad. You have not encountered any accident, your family is safe and you have also not been stranded on the highway. Thank God for the positives out of the incident. Am sure M&M will resolve the issue, don't lose faith in your car. I own the 3OO and feel thrilled whenever I drive it. I can understand what you feel but at the end of the day it's a machine. If it can fall apart, it can be put together too. Hope you get your beast back soon and get to enjoy many road trips with your family. Happy driving.
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Old 4th October 2022, 18:27   #12
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Just two days ago my father had the same experience with his XUV300 diesel when travelling from Kanyakumari to Coimbatore. Luckily it happened near Coimbatore, but unluckily it was at midnight. He was stranded on the highway until 8 am in the morning when the RSA guys arrived.
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Old 5th October 2022, 10:37   #13
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Default Re: Bundelkhand Road Trip | A successful-failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavyagnik View Post
Did you claim insurance or will the repairs be under warranty?
Insurance will only cover accidental damages. This seems to be a case of warranty.

When there is a chance of both insurance and warranty being applicable, both Ins Cos and OEM's will fight it out to the better end and frustrate the customer.

It's not the amount per se, that worries the companies, but rather the precedence and future liabilities on occurence of such cases.
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