Service Centre experience while servicing an old car at ASC.

March 12, 2024

Rethinking Routine Maintenance: A Shift in Approach

After a long time, I got some free time from my schedule, allowing me to head to my hometown to carry out some pending jobs and look after some loose ends. One of the important tasks was carrying out some maintenance work for my parents’ vehicles. Not anything major, just regular maintenance, but this time around I decided to do it with a slight change.

Normally, we always give our vehicles to the authorized service center and don’t argue much over the SA and agree to whatever they suggest and recommend. One of those things was using their own recommended engine oil. However, after reading this page, I realized what potential blunder these people might have been making by using 0W20 oil instead of the recommended 5W30 for my dad’s 2010 WagonR. Also, there was the fact that they were just using average-quality Indian Oil Servo (even Suzuki’s own Ecstar is basically a repackaged Servo as it's made by IOC only). I seriously pondered upon this, and given my very good experience with Shell in both my Hyundais, I zeroed in on Shell Helix 5W30.

Seeking Superior Solutions: The Quest for Quality Engine Oil

Upon reading this thread, I realized that Shell even produces a special Maruti Suzuki MGO branded oil too. But the fact was, here in my dad’s hometown, Shell is a name very less heard of, and therefore the local Maruti workshop doesn’t stock these and advises on using Servo only. Therefore, upon surfing the net, I found what I was looking for on Amazon and ordered it right away, which was promptly delivered to my home.

My dad (a retired personnel now) was interested to see the car getting serviced and observe if the supposedly better quality oil made any significant changes and, therefore, tagged along with me. Thus, my plan of visiting the ASC got delayed by 2.5 hours, and instead of 7 AM, we reached there at 9:30 AM. I was worried by the fact that there would be a whole lot of crowd there since this has been my experience with Hyundai. To my surprise, though, the service station was relatively deserted, which might be due to the fact that it was a weekday.

Unexpected Delays: Insights from a Surprisingly Quiet Service Station

After doing a road test, the SA suggested me a lengthy list of jobs, including suspension overhaul, major repair of brakes, and many other minor jobs which dialed the bill to 8000 INR!! Since I didn’t feel anything wrong with the car and many of the components had been changed over the past few years and running of late has been quite reduced too. Then he explained to me the cost of engine oil, which is approximately 2000 INR, upon which I told him that I’ll be providing the oil by myself. Initially, he didn’t agree, but upon speaking with his higher-ups, he agreed. Here I was just thinking that if I could procure a Shell oil at approx 1200 INR at retail prices, how much less a Servo, which is definitely inferior to it, would cost to them that too in wholesale and how much of a margin they eke out from customers. I further tried to reduce the costs by denying the usage of 3M cleaning agent, but he kept on pestering me, and then my dad asked me not to argue and leave it to which I obliged.

To their credit, though, the work was carried out swiftly (not pun intended). It was also helped by the fact that almost 90% of the other cars which came for service were brand new S-Presso, WagonR, and Brezza, which mostly probably had just come for their general checkup.

I & my dad were waiting at the customer lounge from where the service bay was perfectly visible. After washing, when my car came into the service bay, to my surprise, it was just parked in the bay which was just located right next to where we were sitting. After draining the old oil (which was in top shape as per the mechanic), when the turn came to pour fresh oil, I was just too excited and went straight to the service bay to observe it. 

The mechanic said it's the same oil which Maruti earlier used to provide in mass quantity circa 2007 but later switched to Servo. I just can’t help but think how much has Maruti drooped down. Earlier too, they made cheap cars but those were built way better than today’s cars, which just feel very tinny and unfinished.

The Final Verdict: Assessing the Service's Value and Quality

Anyways, the service was completed within 3 hours, and I must say that all the cleaning and polishing jobs they did, they did it meticulously. At one point, up to 6 people were working on my single car!!

The service costed me just a shade above 3000 INR, and if I include engine oil, it's 4200 INR, which IMO is acceptable in today’s times. After the service, since my car was running low on fuel, I pulled up to the fuel station and tanked up the car to the brim with XP95 petrol. Even though the owner’s manual suggests using 91 RON petrol only, I still feel the engine runs smoother on 95 RON, might be a placebo but still I prefer it.

About the author, Aryaan Aneerudh

A car crazy person.

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    • According to him the engine has smoothened out with the fresh oil and pickup has improved helped by the fact I use Power95 in my car. Everything else is good even after 14 years and 135k kms on the odo!

  • A reliable showroom provides a range of services, including expert advice during the purchase, the opportunity for test drives to ensure a perfect fit, and assistance with financing options.

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