Did the 4th service on my Tata Altroz DCA: Overall experience & costs

The power is sufficient for the urban landscape, the gearbox is smooth and the A/C is a chiller still after 2 years of ownership.

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It's time for an update again! Our Altroz completed its fourth service today at the Garve Tata Service Centre at Narhe. Given the fiasco about cleaning in the prior three services, my wife made it amply clear to the service advisor that there should be no mistake in the cleaning part this time. Before that, a word about the service. After the 3rd service fiasco, we decided not to give the car for a service on the weekend. However, today Pune was practically empty due to the long weekend of Republic Day. Taking advantage of the situation, we booked the appointment for today morning at 9.30 AM. Garve Tata has been proactive so far and they called us last Tuesday to get the car serviced. We reached the service centre on time and it turned out to be lucky for us today. There were hardly 4-5 cars for service. The receptionist promptly assigned a service advisor to us and in 10 minutes we went to the car for an inspection. This was not a "true" service - it was just a general checkup and a fluid top-up type service.

To for those who keep complaining that the service interval is 6 months/7500km, this is partly true. If you consider the engine oil change service as the actual service, then the service interval is 1yr/15000km. Our car so far has had 2 checkups and 2 oil changes now. For this particular service, we had only one niggle - there was consistent squeaking noise from the rear left area. The service advisor - Nikhil was his name, was good. He patiently listened to all the inputs and noted them down. He also explained what would be covered in the service and what would not be covered. We also opted for a thorough cleaning of the car inside out. He then took a short test drive of the car to observe the sound and noted it. Some weeks ago, there was also a minor fender bender, when an over-enthusiastic cabbie took out the rear mud flap unnecessarily. We asked Nikhil for a replacement and to our surprise; he said that Tata doesn't stock these consumable items and that we were free to get the replacement from any car accessories shop outside. We decided to do that because it will anyway turn out to be cheaper.

All was good, and we made it back home by 10.45 AM. The only goof-up probably was that he called very late in the evening to pick up the car, when it was only around an hour to closing time. Thankfully due to the less traffic today, we reached 15 mins before closing and got the car delivered to us spick and span. This time both of us were satisfied with the service done (basically only brake fluid, A/C gas, and windshield washer fluid were topped up, all 4 brakes were opened and cleaned, and some padding was added to control the noise from the rear seat clip). The squeaking was traced to a loose clip for anchoring the rear seat back and we were assured that it would not occur again.

The car was thoroughly cleaned from the inside and outside. The cleaning was long overdue and we just kept postponing it till the service. Given the feedback and fiasco about cleaning my wife had mentioned multiple times no shortcuts would be tolerated. I and the talking Ecosport kept a watch from a safe distance till the car was thoroughly inspected by the lady of the house. Only when the coast was clear, we made it to the Altroz! Thankfully, history did not repeat itself and we made it back home without the usual fireworks! The overall bill came to INR 6,109.00 which is okay, neither too cheap nor too costly. The car felt better to drive after the service. Maybe it's a psychological effect, but still, it felt nice. The noise in the rear has disappeared now, so we can say they "seem" to have diagnosed it correctly. If it re-occurs, then bad luck for us!

Coming to the car once again - I am happy to report that it is performing as expected. The power is sufficient for the urban landscape, the gearbox is smooth and the A/C is a chiller still after 2 years of ownership. We are satisfied completely with the car - it is an all-rounder in that sense. It does a lot of things correctly and only some things wrong. However, whatever it does correctly, appeals to the 90% of the people out there. If you are looking for outright power then this is not the car for you. It has just a sufficient amount of power for the urban jungle. It runs easily out of breath on the highway. It has low seating as compared to my talking Ecosport. The under-thigh support in both the front and back seats is underwhelming, to say the least. The fuel efficiency is on the lower side, but this is a given fact because the car is heavy. There are some rough edges here and there, but nothing that you cannot live without. The auto headlamps work like a charm, as do the rain-sensing wipers. The dual-clutch gearbox is smooth and shifts nicely. We are now converts (saying once again here) and our next cars will probably be automatics! The gearbox single-handedly offsets many of the disadvantages or rather the shortcomings of the car.

About Tata and Garve - I think our thread is a breath of fresh air in a sea of niggles being reported. For us, the car has been trouble free and the dealer support has been quite good. I have been reading about the problems, niggles, misdiagnosis and lack of good customer service in many of the threads on Team-Bhp. In contrast to those, we have had an overall good experience. Maybe we hit the jackpot for this. Sure, there have been goof-ups with us as well, but nothing major so far. Everything has been sorted out by the Garve Tata Service Centre, after being reported (and after a possible shouting match later!).

Now for some pics after the service:

All shining - the wet look feel of the grey colour looks fab!

As highlighted earlier, the piano-black finish is a scratch magnet, but looks good from a distance

Here is the broken mud flap. Something that we now have to source from a local accessories shop

A bad snap of the speedo - I realised, that the camera lens needed a clean. But as you can see, the fuel efficiency keeps hovering between 11 and 12 kmpl. This is completely in Pune city with the A/C on always and on a relatively busy route/road.

This car seriously looks good from any angle.

However, I feel, this is the best angle to look at the car!

Here is the invoice copy for today's service at Garve Tata Service Centre.

Last but not least, a snap of the cleaned interiors. Outside the driver's side, you can see Nikhil - I can only imagine how tense those 4 to 5 minutes must have been for him while my wife was inspecting the cleaning! Reason enough, that me and my Ecosport, stayed put outside the gate till the inspection was over!!

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