Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Finally a pleasant MASS experience (@ Sai Service)

Finally a pleasant MASS experience (@ Sai Service)

Tired of feeling ripped off and dissatisfied after each service of my car, I finally started looking around for other alternatives. Had heard good things about the Sai Service MASS at Verna, so decided to give them a call today morning. The receptionist at the service department said that they were pretty much booked for the day, and wanted me to come tomorrow. However, I persisted and after a little coaxing, she finally agreed to accommodate me and gave me an appointment at 10 am.

I had been facing serious issues with ride quality of late, and upon arrival, a certain Mr.Abdul attended to me. He took the car for a trial, and agreed that the suspension needs to be checked. He also pointed out the tyres to me, which were out of shape. He said it must have happened due to hard impacts on bad roads (although I couldn't recall when this could have happened). Then we went through the routine of preparing the job sheet, and he seemed to be pretty particular about my instructions. He told me what all might need to be changed, and gave me an overall estimate.

He said the estimated time of delivery was 5 pm, and seemed to be aghast when I told him that I was planning on waiting all day and supervising the work done.

The service shop
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Very soon the work was started by two mechanics called Alok and Riyaz. They both seemed to be pretty cheerful and friendly, (unlike those mechanics that grumble each time you ask them a questions regarding your own car) and went about patiently explaining each thing that they were doing.

The car on the service bay
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They took apart the suspension, replaced a few parts like the lower arms, balance rod bushes, and greased the struts. The steering also needed attention. At this juncture Mr. Abdul advised me to go for the entire new steering assembly, which would cost Rs. 3k+, but I was hesitant. He then said that they could overhaul the suspension, replacing only the parts that were required. I agreed, and they went about it. They replaced the ball joint, the rack side boot, etc.

Riyaz working on the suspension
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Both the guys seemed sufficiently competent, and worked in perfect co-ordination with each other. The service bay was also decently equipped, and I was overall very satisfied with the work that was being carried out.

Alok working on the steering assembly
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Apart from these, they also cleaned the air filter and the spark plugs. I also asked them to clean the fuel injectors (it was due), and everything was done by 1 pm.

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They had a lunch break till 2, and the only thing remaining was wheel alignment. The guy who takes care of that was a mechanic named Nagappa, and he seemed to be a very decent and jolly fellow. All the while when he was working, he kept chatting with me and telling me about each thing he was doing. Then he took the car for a round, and adjusted a minor play in the steering. He also showed me the worn treads on the tyres and advised me to replace them.

Getting the wheel alignment done
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The MASS also has a decent lounge with magazines, TV and AC, and a canteen that's just about good enough, or at least enough to last a waiting customer for an afternoon.

The last thing remaining was washing, and there was quite a queue. However, I enjoyed looking at the way these guys went about their work, and the difference I found here is that they do the work sincerely, and unlike other places, are not in a hurry to finish off each car. They took the car onto a ramp, washed the underbody, then took it down, washed the engine compartment, applied washing solution all over, washed the car with pressure spray. Then they took it to another area, vacuum cleaned the interiors, washed the floor mats, and gave it another cleaning overall. On a whole, it was quite a good job.

At the washing area
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Cleaning the interiors
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I asked the SA about fitting an LPG kit to my car, and he strongly advised me not to do it. He said that only the WagonR and the Omni are coming with factory fitted LPG, and it is recommended not to get it installed on other cars since it causes problems of compatibility and shortens engine life. I was a bit surprised to hear this. Experts, any comments/opinions about this?

Here is the total breakup of the bill I received, any opinions on how the pricings are? I do feel the labour charges were on the higher side, however since the quality of the job done was excellent, I can't really complain, especially considering how pathetic my previous MASS experiences have been.

5 point service 441/-
Drum Brakes Cleaning 386/-
Steering Overhaul 523/-
Wheel Alignment 270 /-
Front Strut Greasing 529/-
Replacing front lower arm 286/-
Fuel Injector cleaning 496/-

Fuel Injector cleaning solution 160/-
Wire, steering boot 6/-
Front strut mount 104/-
Front strut stopper 20/-
Stabilizer mount 57/-
Stabilizer Bushing 100/-
Front suspension arm assembly 854/-
Steering bushing 102/-
Steering tie rod component 400/-
Steering end component 360/-
Steering washer 10/-
Grease sachet 26/-
Rack side boot 70/-

Total bill 5205/-

When I took the test drive, it felt really renewed and happy to be back on the road. There had been some rattling and vibration noises inside the cabin on rough terrain, which has noticeably reduced now. I must admit that the service was better than what I had expected.

Preparing the bill took a bit of time, and I had to wait. Mr.Abdul seemed to have forgotten to submit the job card for preparing the bill, and apologized for the same. All was done by 5.10 pm, I thanked him for the pleasant experience, and walked out a happy customer! :)

Final Verdict: Sai Service was all that I was looking for and more. I am not one to be easily satisfied and demand attention on many minor things, but they can definitely count me as a return customer. :thumbs up

PS. Sorry for the poor image quality, my phone only has a 2 MP cam.

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