Tag Archives: Maintenance

Independent Garages vs. Authorized Service Centers

What happens if one day your money-saving warranty runs out and you need to get your car serviced? And say you decide that the safest is to get it done in a dealership garage, since they are authorized. But what if your neighbor or cousin says he knows this really good mechanic who will do a much better job? He also says that you will save a lot of money by him. How do you decide?

For a start, let us see how each of them operates on a daily basis:

Dealership service units:

  • Dealership units work on hundreds of vehicles each month and have many reliable service bays and factory-trained technicians who are aware of the expertise.
  • The most assuring characteristic of dealerships is that they specialize in repairing and maintaining your particular car brand only.
  • Under dealership, if your car is under a warranty, the manufacturer covers the cost of most of the repairs. After the warranty expires also, you can buy an extended warranty.

Independent mechanics

  • These are comparatively smaller garages, however with multi brands in their consideration.
  • In this type of service, the customers meet directly with their preferred independent mechanic who is working on their car and give them their inputs.
  • Generally many independent garages are started and staffed by former dealership technicians and managers. Thus, it cannot be said that these mechanic services are any less than the authorized dealerships.
  • Some of the independent auto shops also honor third-party warranties.

These are the basic features of the independent and dealership service units. Observing these, one can say both have their own advantages and disadvantages. However, we must undertake a detailed analysis to compare both and see which one suits us more.

INDEPENDENT SERVICES

Overall Verdict: More personalized, often cheaper

Independent mechanics are ranked higher than dealership servicing for their customer satisfaction they offer, their price, their quality, their courteousness and on-time repairs, which has been highlighted according to a 2014 Consumer Reports survey.

Multi-Brand
GoBumpr multi-brand partner garage
  • As has been learned above, independent mechanics can be as technically proficient as the factory-trained dealership mechanics due to several undeniable reasons such as their owners being former dealership employees.
  • Independent garages can get you the original manufacturer parts for repairs and servicing if you are a fussy customer for originality, but they can also offer less expensive alternative parts or even rebuilt parts that would perform the same function.
  • As communication is a vital part of carrying out a successful service activity, it can be easier to build a personal relationship with the independent garages, since you speak directly with the mechanics there.
  • Independent mechanics mostly answer to you as they have no loyalty to the manufacturers. This is difficult for dealerships as they must show loyalty to the manufacturers.
  • All garages often start from scratch to build strong relationships with the paying customers without the years of free service to foster all goodwill they can.
  • Facilities in the garages are usually smaller and have fewer overheads than the dealerships. This means significantly lower prices for its customers.
  • Due to large numbers, it takes more work to find the right kind of auto shop, because there can be dozens of corner garages in the same town.

AUTHORIZED DEALERSHIPS

Overall Verdict: More specialized, may be a little expensive

Authorized
Authorized Service Partner

The biggest advantage with dealership service departments is that they can offer to you manufacturer-backed extended warranties and check for the latest repairs and recall bulletins every time you bring in your vehicle. But one thing is certain, if you stay with the dealership way, be prepared for slightly higher prices than usual. Always keep your owner’s manual handy so that you don’t have any unnecessary work done on your car. You may also consider signing up for the dealership’s mailing lists that are useful to know the updates. Coupons and deals it sends you may add up to big savings.

  • Dealership units pay higher salaries for their manufacturer-trained and highly experienced service technicians. This also means you’ll be paying higher prices for their services.
  • The technicians in dealerships are specifically and regularly trained for your auto brand only.
  • Dealership service departments are also required to use factory-made equipment and authorized parts from the manufacturer. This definitely ensures a high quality control on their part. But if a part is out of stock, the shipping times can be longer and the prices higher.
  • Dealership units have a regular flow of cars coming in for free repairs under their warranty plans, so they don’t have to work as hard to attract or keep their customers.

Thus stands the comparison between both dealership and independent units. We really hope we helped in getting you to decide which one is best suited for you. Happy Motoring! Let’s GoBumpr!

On Board Diagnostics (OBD) for Cars

On Board Diagnostics refers to any vehicle’s inherent ability to register and report issues and glitches that may occur, or have occurred within the system. One of OBD’s strengths is that it can detect problems long before the driver is even able to notice any symptoms, such as low-performance, lesser economy and heavy emissions. 

The OBD system functions by placing different kinds of sensors in vital areas of your vehicle, which report back to the diagnostic system whether those particular areas are working perfectly or not. When one or more sensors find a part of the vehicle that isn’t working within its designed specifications, the sensor triggers that warning light on the vehicle’s dashboard, indicating that the area needs to be addressed immediately.

There are something called as Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) that are stored in the system. The codes are not the same across all vehicles. A mechanic can connect to the OBD port and diagnose the problem by reading the corresponding DTC. Let us see the various types of Diagnostic Systems.

VARIOUS TYPES OF OBD

OBD I:

The primary diagnostic system OBD I has certain Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) in vehicles that can usually be found without an expensive scan tool. All manufacturers can use the DTC’s to diagnose location, definitions, procedures, connectors etc. DTCs from the OBD-I cars are often read through blinking patterns of a ‘Check Engine Light’ (CEL) or ‘Service Engine Soon’ (SES) light. The ‘Check Engine’ light will output a two-digit number that corresponds to a particular error condition. 

OBD II:

OBD II is a comprehensive update of the OBD I.  The OBD-II standards specify the type of diagnostic connectors and its pin-outs as well as all the electrical signaling protocols available and the messaging format. OBD II is predominantly used by garages and pro-mechanics. However, solutions are available now for consumer use as well. 

Due to it being a more holistic system, OBD-II is heavily used by all professional mechanics for diagnosing. However, there are consumer oriented products that can also take advantage of its diagnostic abilities.

OBD Port
OBD Port

Having seen these types, we must realize that unless we really derive some benefits from this system, we cannot really understand its efficiency. Let us see some key benefits of OBD.

BENEFITS OF OBD

  1. OBD helps the technicians properly diagnose and repair complex problems.
  2. It encourages the design of durable and robust engine optimization systems.
  3. Exhaust Emissions can regulated by identifying the emission controls in need of repair and also provides for effective/inexpensive emission inspections.
  4. It generally works for life of the vehicle.
  5. Early detection of malfunctions to prevent secondary malfunctions (e.g., detect misfire before catalyst damaged).
  6. Fault codes are given out by the system that can be negated Apart from this it can provide vital data about area of malfunction or the specific component where attention is required.

The OBD process consists of four simple steps that is carried out by the system in aid to diagnose the issues.

THE PROCESS OF OBD:

  1. Your system continuously monitors and assesses operating conditions.  
  2. It observes the signals entering the computer directly from the component/system, or related to the performance of the component/system.
  3. It then verifies the performance / functionality / rationality of the malfunction criteria.
  4. It finally notifies the driver of the particular fault by the illumination of warning indicator or stores the unique fault code and throws up an error on the instrument panel.

IMPACT OF OBD ON MULTI-BRAND GARAGE SERVICES

It is easy to make the assumption that a Toyota service center can diagnose a Toyota car to perfection, that being its product. However, the same is not easy to do for a multi brand garage as they spend more time to even diagnose the issue. An authorized service center of a brand would have no trouble in diagnosis simply because they built the cars they have to service. The same is not the case for multi brand garages which have to fulfill multiple demands. This is where the On Board Diagnostic System proves to be a huge boon. As shown in the benefits of OBD, it can prove a life-saver for garages servicing multi brand cars. Their technicians just have to combine their expertise with an apt reading of the OBD codes to diagnose the problems. This in turn leads to faster checkout of serviced vehicles, easier diagnosis and better quality of service rendered.

OBD Diagnosis.jpg
OBD Diagnosis

Here at GoBumpr, On Board Diagnostics plays a big role in satisfying customers’ needs. We place our confidence with our own preferred multi-brand garages which carry out various responsibilities from our side. The garages affiliated with us make use of the benefits of OBD to diagnose and detect problems easily, assisting in proper application of apt solutions. So rest assured, you can safely contact us to service any car of yours that has any issue, small or big. Catch us on the Play Store under the name GoBumpr! or simply visit our website for more info.  

We hope we have given you a basic outline about On Board Diagnostics, its usage and benefits & hope that it helps you.  Wishing you a happy weekend and joyful rides!

Used Car Purchase – Check Points

USED CAR PURCHASE – CHECK POINTS

Cars have become part and parcel of day to day sustenance but buying one is not a takeaway for everyone. Not all are gifted to get a brand new eye-candy to boast off, and some may have to settle with second-hand products. But why should one feel bad about getting a used car if it looks good, runs well and satisfies the needs? Here are a few pointers to check on before deciding on purchasing a used car.

Preliminary considerations:

The type of car, the purse amount and the type of usage must be taken into account before deciding to go for a car.

  • The type of car would essentially mean the number of people most likely to travel in it
  • The type of usage would mean long or short drives and the type of terrain the car would be subjected to while being driven.

Once the model is fixed up in mind, second-hand purchases become quite easy because there would be a single-minded set of questions to be asked to various people regarding that model only. Always ask two or three authorised dealers before fixing on an estimate.

Open the bonnet:

 

used car purchase - open the bonnet
Used Car Purchase – Check Points : Open the car the bonnet and check for issues.

Cars appearing like this from behind might have problems in the front like this.

used car purchase - the vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car
Used Car Purchase – The vehicle might have problems on the front side of the car

So it is always better to have a compartmentalised view of the car before deciding to go for it.

Engine:
used-car-purchase-car-engine-condition-checkup
Used Car Purchase – Always check the condition of the engine

The heart of the vehicle should be checked thoroughly, mostly with the help of a mechanic or a person with adequate hands-on experience with automobiles. The flywheels would get rusty after prolonged usage. Checking the engine also means investigating every small component associated with it right from the bearings to the valves.

The belt drives associated with the engines are also mandatory checkpoints. These belts are usually toothed and hence any deformation in the tooth would mean the car has been used too much. The degree of elasticity of the belt would also transform to the quality and quantity of usage. When the belt is slightly pulled and released, the vibratory oscillations should not be more than 1 to 1.5 centimetres.

Usage and distance:

This is one important perspective while buying a second-hand car. If a car is assumed to run for about 30 kilometres a day, it would mean 30 * 365 = 10,950, which can be translated to approximately 11,000 kilometres a year. So if a car (if it is not a taxi) has run more than 75,000 kilometres (which roughly equals 7 years of usage), there are high chances that that particular model has become obsolete. So think twice before buying these kinds of models, because used cars would require a lot of maintenance (at least initially) and hence the spares should be readily available.

Appearance and body:

 

used car purchase - appearence and body condition of the car india
Used Car Purchase – Make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

The car must be examined visually and also by touch. There are certain minor bumps and dents which might not be visible to the naked eye but on sliding the hands over the exterior of the car, one might be able to sense the minor glitches.

The paint and coating also matters; if the car looks old after a sneak peek into the bonnet but it has been painted, there might be recent accidents and paints would mean effective cover-ups. So make sure the paints are used only for the aesthetic needs and not to deceive the buyer.

Tyres:
used car purchase - check points - tyre condition
Used Car Purchase – Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement.

Tyres, which literally set the wheels in motion, are potential sources of implied information. The distances shown in the odometer of the vehicle can be duped but the tyres would show up variations. Tyres are usually meant to operate for around 25,000 kilometers before replacement. Even if the odometer is being reset (in the case of a digital one) or tampered (in the case of a mechanical type), the tyres can act as good measures of guesstimating the approximate run.

For detailed information, the owner’s service log may be examined to check the history of services. This would give a clear-cut picture of how many services the car has undergone, which would eventually decide if one can buy it or not.

Driving condition:

This is where the steering and ABC (acceleration, brake and clutch) of the vehicles come into play significantly. The gears should be shifted by keeping the clutch partially pressed (this condition is called as half-clutch position); this would indicate the smoothness of the transmission system. While shifting, if the gear lever becomes rigid, or if it is harder for shifting, then it means the transmission needs to be looked into.

Also, the vehicle shouldn’t give a rugged feel while driving. Unnecessary wobbles and a roaring noise (typically like that of a note sustained in a bass guitar) at speed ranges of 50 to 70 kilometres per hour would imply the car might cause several problems like engine failure in the near future.

The differentials of the car can be put to test by performing slight turns. If the opposite pairs of tyres (right in the case of a left turn, and left for a right turn) tend to be a bit draggy during the turn, the car might very well be towards its finals stages.

Power steerings are not susceptible to failure very easily; they usually give warning signs before they fail permanently. The initial warning signals would be a freakish screech heard every time the steering is turned to beyond 50 to 60 degrees. This is a minor stage which can be overcome by replacing the steering fluid.

Another way to know the steering effectiveness is to serve it using a single hand. If there is a difficulty in taking a 60-degree turn within 10 meters at 20 km/hr, it is a warning sign that the steering might give in.

Legal documents:

Once the deal is settled, make sure to get all the required papers like RC book, insurance documents and other ownership transfer details from the owner so as to avoid any legal disputes and issues.

Cost and quality are two factors separated by a thin line, especially in the case of used car purchase. Be informed, look close and don’t fall for word magic. Think for a second to buy a second-hand car. Vrooom !

Car Pedal Maintenance and Safety Tips

If Bollywood movies are any indication, we know that car pedals usually fail, especially when you are on a long, dramatic road stretch. Why the cars don’t stop gradually due to deceleration beats our minds, but here’s a good read to avoid such melodrama in your real lives.

Car pedal maintenance and safety tips in India
Car Pedal Maintenance And Safety Tips – If you’re a new driver and get confused with what’s what, remember the popular acronym ABC, namely accelerator, brake and clutch.

A car, usually, has three pedals (don’t roll your eyes at the obvious statement, a lot of cars have been manufactured with only two), the accelerator, the brake, and the clutch.

If you’re a new driver and get confused with what’s what, remember the popular acronym ABC, namely accelerator, brake and clutch.

However easy the handling of three innocuous pedals might seem, if done roughly, the connections do deteriorate in any vehicle. Hence, always refer to your car’s bible, the reader’s manual, before trying to handle it.

Let’s examine problems with each pedal, and their solutions separately.

Clutch

Clutch has the notorious distinction of being the most problem giving pedal among the three. The clutch is the pedal you use for changing gears while driving, and having that out of order can lead to some sticky situations.

Now, when a clutch goes bad, you wouldn’t be able to switch gears, or at least switch them up easily. Driving in such a vehicle is possible, and also extremely hazardous.
Here are a few problems your clutch might be facing.

Brake

There shouldn’t be a need to explain why this arrear screams attention. Braking is simply too important of a driving tactic to have it not work perfectly.

One way with which mechanics start diagnosing brake issues is by pressing your brake pedal. If it goes in deeper than it’s supposed to go, you’ve most definitely got a problem.

The reasons to this are similar to a clutch; you’re either low on brake fluid, or either the master or the slave cylinder component of your braking unit has given away.

Accelerator

Referred to as the gas pedal sometimes, the accelerator owns up to its fair share of problems. Resolving a problem with the acceleration pedal is very cumbersome, as there are a lot of parts in a car that might blame the accelerator for having faults.
You’d probably want to suspect, change or fix the following components/parts if you’re facing accelerating issues.

  • Maybe a loose connection between some connections in the vehicle. You guessed it right, a job for your mechanic.
  • Suspect your spark plugs; if they’ve burnt out, chances are you won’t be able to start your car.
  • If there’s an efficiency issue with your engine, you won’t be able to derive output in the distance by pressing your gas pedal.
  • You might simply be low on fuel, or your car may be burning your fuel without giving proper output.

A lot of these issues are pretty hard to fix by yourself, and we wouldn’t recommend it; especially in the accelerator where connections are nimble. However, budding backyard mechanics/engineers may try. We wish you only the best in practicing car pedal safety.