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Friday, June 29, 2007

Auto Service Host Bangalore Service Meet

On 26th June'2007 Auto Service hosted a meet of all Bajaj Authorised Service Providers of Bangalore.

The List included the Heads of Service Channels from Vehicle Dealers & Owners of Authorised Service Centres , YES (Young Entrepreneur Service),RSO (Rural Service Outlet).

This Event was Organised at the behest of General Manager Service who wanted Service Providers to see the Developments with in the Peer group.




29 Representatives of all Dealer's Service Centres, ASC's, YES's & RSO's meet up at Auto Service to see the Equipments being used.

The Entire Group was Split into two separate teams & were Briefed about each equipment by our Service Ad visors.

They interacted with the Ground staff who work on these equipments every day & clarified all their Questions & doubts.

Few Service Centres had bought a few Vehicles from their Service Centres for repeated trouble Clarifications & rectification of the same at our service centre.
Mr.S.H.Desai, Executive Service, Retail Channel was in charge of the event. A Physical demonstration of the new Equipments was followed with a Presentation by Mr.Venkat Shyam, who Shared the Financial implications of this new equipments &these help in building better quality into Service.

This Was followed by a Presentation by Oil Major M/s Castrol India's, Executive Mr.Pramod Rao Explaining Various Support schemes for equipments & Insurance Major M/s Bajaj Allianz's Mr.Ghani Babu putting up proposals for improving Profitability of Workshops, which is a major cause for concern.

Every Participant Expressed their views & interacted freely with every one.
We hope that this event would build Quality Service with in the Authorised Service Channel of Bajaj in Bangalore.

48 comments:

Treasure Trove said...

If Castrol reps were there explaining their support to BAL I would like to know how they plan to provide proper rated oil for bikes like P180/200/220 which need a good 20W50 grade oil and not power 1 which despite being semi synth is just 15W40.

Benky sir I know what you told me about engine oils but frankly the performance difference between CAstrol oils and the other makes is day and night .

About time we got a proper 20W50 oil (at least a semi synth) and not a cheap 20W50 mineral based product ala the Activ 4T Xtra ...and your barrel supplies of 20W50 are as good as paani after 2 hours !!

Kindly convey the grievances to concerned dept. !!

Banyan Tree said...

Most Engine oils in the Multi Grades are Semi synthetics. Genetics of a Mineral based oils can't suit the Multigrade formats.

Physical thinnning of oils have low or Zero impact on its Viscosity.

If at all the Viscosity was being affected, the oil would not have passed the SAE or JASO stds tests.

The STD's Orgns do a much higher test than what you & I can do on the Streets with our machines. Certification from these Orgns can't be mere joke & can't be obtained thro' other methods.

As you very well understand we are a Very cost sensitive market. Though the Co has Fully synth 20W50 availble globally, local markets don't provide them volumes good enough for Manufacture.

If Imported they would cost 4.5 times that of the Current oils & last only 2.5 to 3 times that of the ones available.

As per any business School, The Purpose of any business is Profit.

Therefore it does not make commercial sense to put these kind of products into market.

Your Grevience is being conveyed to the National head & the Tech depts. As & when they revert back, we shall update you abt the same.

Treasure Trove said...

You are missing a point benks!

WRT to the test conducted by the team in Bangalore condtions on Power1 , while the oil never got close to breakdown temp even in 40plus C bumper to bumper traffic , middle of summer etc.

But the question is not about their certification ..they are all JASO MA certified oils but their SAE ratings are not what the manufacturer recommends.

BAL says 20W50 for P180/200/220 . Most BAL service stations use Power 1 because of the tie up with CAstrol. And Power 1 is 15W40 . Now why is the manufacturers authorised service center using an oil which doesn't meet their own specifications ?? Its not about JASO MA certification , its about wrong grade oils being used by the company service stations themeselves.

I have shown you the email I have from Castrol India saying their Power 1 is 15W40 and had raised this very issue sometime back and your reply quoted "that" test. Now I have told you what is wrong with "that" test coz that test only showed that Power 1 or any 20W40 wouldn't breakdown in our operating temps but the fact is that according to the SAE ratings it viscosity is only 40 at 100C while the manufacturer says it must be 50 at 100C . BIG difference. If the VI was not so important and if 40 or 50 didn't make a difference there would be no need to have a 20W40 and 20W50 oil and all BAL bikes could run on 20W40 .. which is not the case meaning there is a definite need to use 20W50 in some bikes and 20W40 in others... just to simplify it for the layman ..

Technically even if the oil is not breaking down , it is not maintaining the reqd viscosity undoubtedly since it doesn't have that SAE rating !

About JASO std being so high that it might not be 100% reqd to implement on our streets ... in that case why did BAL say its 180.200/220 must use a JASO MA certified 20W50 . If this is too hi a std then they could have taken that into account and said any 20W40 would do ... right ? But no ! they say you use 20W50 and there is a reason behind that..which both of us know .

So basically the point is that even authorised "Pro biking" / non PB BAL service centers are using either Power 1 or HP Racer 4 ( in some other places) both of which are rated as 40 grade oil at 100C. This is basically against the companys recommendation of 20W50 !! why ??

About the use of 20W50 barrel oil . I know that you might get 20W50 in barrels from time to time . But frankly both of us know that its hardly any good since the box ,clutch become unusable after about 1000-1500km depending on use. And as the usage increases , it thins more and VI goes down and the engine runs hotter . All well documented probs - esp with CAstrol 20W50 and Power 1 makes.

The concerns are-

1. Why service centers are using oils which are not inline with the Company recommendation ?

2.Secondly , when they have such a global player as their technical supplier why can't it be that they provide an oil which suits the requirements of this companys product ?

And while you might claim that they do so by providing 20W50 barrels and Activ Xtra - please take into consideration the very disappointing quality of these mineral based oils.

A point about profit , business etc. Whatever is the problem at your end of the business must not be transferred to the customer . That is not fair . If the company in question cannot supply the reqd grade of oil to the customer because doing so will hamper their business due to lw volumes etc..then they better not provide any oil at all .

Because , its well documented that its a pain in the ... to claim any kind of warranty from BAL or any other manufacturer for that matter. Change the rear tyre and you are told its warranty void . Otherday a person at khivraj said using any oil other than their service center oil might void warranty !! Their oil is not at all what the company recommends so he is telling me that I will void warranty if I use a recommended grade oil and must use only power 1 which is not having reqd ratings !!! what rubbish ... it took thirty min and a a printout to prove the point to him ..and to his credit he accepted the fault.

So this being the case at BAL , why are we being give some oil that can potentially damage the engine over a long time and for that we can't even claim warranty coz its your "recommended oil" (even if in reality its not)!!

Lot of stuff to moot . I am sorry but none of your business school of thoughts will justify filling in wrong oil for a customer knowingly ...

sameer said...

Well, the 180+s are a small segment of the market that Castrol's NOT addressed yet. This hardly implies that they must not or cannot cater to the remaining *large* market, and "support BAL" there. I did not quite follow the non-recommended" argument - the 20W50 recos kick in only for the higher end ones - above the 150. I do not think service stations use non recommended oils for the bikes - if they do its an error. That said, a specific brand is not the question. I'd die maintaining my car if I went only with Honda's recommended brands - there are better and more cost effective alternatives out there.

Treasure Trove said...

@ Sameer -

Your diverging from the issue . I am not talking about 150cc bikes at all . Please re-read the post.

And how do you "KNOW" that Castrol has not had a look at 180+ segment ? Is there an official press release to that effect ? Or do you happen to be a Castrol company official sir ?

See the point is that CAstrol has a tie up - a long term tie up - with many BAL service centers . The tie-up involves among other things the engine oils as a fundamental component. If you want to see more details about this tie-up pls do a google search and you will find a PR to this effect.

Since you have not followed the "non-recomended oil" part let me make it clear to you again . BAL service centers are using Power 1 in 180cc and above bikes. Power 1 is 15W40 . BAL recommends 20W50 for 180 and above. Why is it that company service center itself uses an oil that is not recommended by BAL ? It doesn't matter what you "think" mate , please check the ground reality . I think you have an eliminator / avenger. It must also have a reco oil of 20W50 right ?

In that case next time you go to Venkats or some other service station please see which oil they are using . At venkats - it is power 1 and at others it is HP Racer 4 , Neither meets the requirements .

As you said , doing this is a mistake - knowingly using an oil that doesn't meet their own specifications. And if there is engine damage due to this ( realistically its possible over a duration of time) then you can't claim warranty for that since the oil that was used by the service center is never questioned but the same when I told a company official about using some other oil in the market that was absolutely the real deal in terms of requirements , he said using that might void warranty !! see the irony ?

As for sticking to manf rec for cars/bikes and availability of other " better and cost effective" solutions ..I hope you don't mean to imply that you prefer using soem other grade of oil just because its cheaper than HONDA SIELs own oil . There are cheaper oils that are efffective and of the RIGHT reco available ...pls do consider this.

Treasure Trove said...

@ Sameer -

one more thing mate ..the service centers also get 20W50 oil in barrels which I am told are also used on a regular basis .

Personally from my experience , this is not at all of a good quality since all our bikes need mutligrade oils and usually mineral based oils can't meet the requirements in this case . You need to use some percentage of synthetics to make it meet the requirements.In semi synths you can use upto 30% of synthetic components.

The 20W50 barrel oil from castrol is mineral based and from my experience and also knowing the experiences of many bikers this doesn't match up well and is not ideal.Actually Activ 4T xtra is much better but neither seem to be as good as the competition .

But basic question remains the same , why do service centers use Power 1 in our 180/200/220 against the company's recommendation .

hey I will tell you what - if all of a sudden they start using only the barrel oil or only 20W50 Activ 4T xtra then there won't be anything to moan about . But regularity of use of the barrel oil is by venkats own admission less than the use of Power 1 .

If they start using Activ 4T xtra there is no prob at all .

Also Benks saar ,

I don't quite understand what you meant by physical thinning not being related to VI . As per JASO test bench results - its available on the net - will repost it here if need be - the thinning of oil at increased temps and loading is the primary reason for VI degradation and this necessitates use of modifiers...

sameer said...

Hey, am not trying to defend Castrol or anything - chill.
I just did not notice anything in the post that indicated Castrol was pushing power1 *instead* of 20W50 - Venkat is this the case ?

Well, these are not extreme engines and we do not push them to crazy extremes - so I'm not sure how much worse the "barrel" oil is. In fact I'm no authority at all on the oils front, and given tjhat you seem to have done a lot of research on this, will not debate any of your arguments.

I'd just be very surprised if BAL svc stations use lower grade oils where 20W50 is recommended - I did not see any indication about the same in either the post or any of th responses either. I surmised that was your primary point.

Ideally, using any suitable 20W50 should be ok warranties wise, and I'll be amazed if the user manual says otherwise. Don't have one with me so cannot check.

Venkat, pls confirm.

Treasure Trove said...

Sameer -

pls don't feel you are attacked :D

I was just trying to emphasise my point . Basically asking why the company service center itself is not using the recommended oil.

Its not a case of Castrol pushing power 1 . Its just that power 1 is used whenever a P180 and above comes for servicing . I am not saying that they wouldnt use the barrel 20W50 , but all my conversations with the mechanics at Venkats and at other service stations including Khivraj reveal that Power 1 is preferred.

About the engine stressing question . Sameer , the manufacturer doesn't recommend an oil without taking into account varied riding styles of its customers. Don't you think they would have done their research when they rec 20W40 and 20W50 separately for their bikes ? If the difference between them was negligible or if operating conditions said you can make do with 20W40 surely there would be no need to do rec 20W50 , correct ?

That is all I was trying to say. BTW its not to say that service centers dont use 20W50 barrel oil . They do get it but they themselves tell you "we use power 1 for 180" and surely that is what they use for a P200 and soon for p220 . I said so coz I know they did that in my p200 @ khivraj and in other cities they are using HP racer4 20W40 for a p220 !!

And no , I don't think its Castrol pushing them to use Power 1 against their own oil . It could be , but I don't think so . More like , I believe everyone knows tht using the barrel 20W50 is not any better than the semisynth Power 1. See , power 1 is good oil for 20W40 rec but its not for 20W50 rec bikes. That is all .

BTW the user manual says exactly that you have to use the recommended grade oil .They dont say you should use only service center oil . The amazing thing was that when I told the SA at khivraj about this he told me that using a rec 20W50 oil other than their own oil will void warranty !! after 30min and a printout of the mail from CAstrol ..he accepted it was wrong and the stand is clear now . Its ok as long as you use your rec 20W50 - any brand.

Banyan Tree said...

Sandeep hello,

Please take a peep at the link provided below.

These are Lubricant Purchase invoices of Auto service for the Current Fianacial year. Business information has been masked, rest we're sure would be clear.

These invoices from the Distributor are till 31st May'07 as June'07 Invoices are under audit.

Invoices from the Previous Finacial year are with our CA for Year End Account Finalisation.

If you like we, would put them too by week end.


Link : http://arpan.divanjee.googlepages.com/Dada_invoices_upto0507.pdf

Hope this helps & puts things in better light.

Treasure Trove said...

404 page not found :D :D

Anyway , not really interested to see what you have "purchased" and I don't mean that in a disrespectful manner but ..

Its a question of what you "use" in the P180/200/220. A lot of this sounds very confrontational but thats the problem with typing text , you don't get the tone of a persons voice ..believe me I am not shouting .. :D

Anyway , as I posted previously , I am not saying you don't have 20W50 oil with you but everything so far indicates Power 1 is preferred on most of the occasions .

The is the prob for me ..

PS: 6 months back when I first started to enquire about the oil at your place , I asked Jai Kumar why he was using Power 1 . He proudly told me all the good points of the all . Point taken - its good - but not good enough for 180 ..SAE ratings not upto requirements.

I asked him why he was using that oil in P180 which needs 20W50 . He said IT IS 20W50 . Asked him to show me if its written so . He was so confident he searched and searched the can over like a hundred times - saying he has seen it . He even brought a few other cans - to no avail and ultimately said whatever its ratings that is the oil for a P180 .

Last week when I was there - wrt a P220 issue - I asked again what he was using in 180/200- same ans - Power 1 :)

That is all there is to it sir . Not intending to run down anybody . And I don't mean to drag this all year long - needless consternation between all concerned parties...

The question is still open and I don't intend to ring the bell everyday. Anytime , there is something convincing I will be ready to change my stand.

Treasure Trove said...

Saar ,

if not a prob could you pls mail that to me or upload it again coz as I said link is not active anymore..

Banyan Tree said...

Sandeep hello,

Please ck this link this might work.

http://www.esnips.com/web/autoSvc-SharedStuff/

Hope this would help putting things in better light & perspective.

Currently hard pressed for time, but surely reply with more facts & figures soon.

We always need to remember that Words have life. They express our emotions, Concerns & logic etc. Using it in the right sequence to communicate the right sense is absolutely essential.

Treasure Trove said...

" ........Currently hard pressed for time, but surely reply with more facts & figures soon.

We always need to remember that Words have life. They express our emotions, Concerns & logic etc. Using it in the right sequence to communicate the right sense is absolutely essential.

...."

Yeah ..all very nice to say that , but molly coddling the truth doesn't help so the facts are laid bare here in my posts.

I went through the invoice and it only shows that you have purchased a lot of the barrel oil . Its logical to think that you would only stock to some extent and such routine sourcing points to regular use of the oil but I am still skeptical. Reason being that this has been the case since a long time and despite that , 180+ were serviced with Power 1 .

I am going to go back to the service centers and get another confirmation from the Service managers and the boys very shortly...

Treasure Trove said...

Venkat ,

I Called up Khivraj - Kasturba Rd and Indiranagar .I spoke to one of the chaps who serviced my bike last time @ Khivraj . They said Power 1 for 180 and above. Indiranagar service station said the same .

This is the important part -

I also Called up your service center again today morning and Spoke to both Jai Kumar and Harish Babu . I got conflicting answers - Babu claiming Power 1 and Jai Kumar said Activ 4T xtra . I asked Jai Kumar why he had told me they were using Power 1 and he said that in those days they were using it since it was 20W50 ( it never was and I told him that again today ) but for reasons "unknown" to him they have stopped using it of late.

Finally also called up Popular Motors service station in Bannerughatta rd and also the one near Forum Mall ..they are using Power 1 .

The aim was to bring awareness among the concerned parties - Customer , Service Center personnel and other readers in general about this issue . This has been achieved I feel .

Knowing you , I am sure you would have addressed the issue as soon as I posted it here and that is very much in line with your practises. I know Harish Babu might not be as hands on as as the other mechanics so I wouldn't dwell on it even if there is some confusion . I think you will acknowledge that this is defenitely an issue to be looked at - if not at Auto service , in other service stations - maybe this information could be used to effect some change at the next service meet ?

oh..just got another call from Harish Babu now ..saying Power 1 is not in use...and that he was not sure the first time ... undoubtedly he must have had a chat with Jai Kumar after my call...

Anyway , you are trying to say that currently at Auto Service you are not using Power 1 . I am pointing at all the instances till date where Power 1 was being used till very very recently - comments from your own staff being quoted previously.

If that has changed , then as I said before , I would appreciate that and glad that at least you have stopped using Power 1.

But this remains an issue at other places and hopefully people who have read this will take care to see what oil is being used at their service stations. That was the aim.

BUT - ...as and when such incidents happen - even if at Auto Service , I will definitely keep you posted and maybe your voice of reason in BAL meetings can see that we are spared of this small but not insignificant problem.... just like your efforts during the p200 fork probs.

Hitanshu said...

Hmm meet being hosted is one thing. Atleast Dewan Bajaj (and the Malhotra Automobiles in Mandi) are thoroughly cluless as to what a 20w50 engine oil should be - they ONLY have GTX.

And useless as their mechs are, they say it is good enough for P180 - it is the thing, yada yada. And Dewan Bajaj services atleast 50-100 p180s on a weekend.

Fact of matter is, GTX causes clutch slippage. And there's only so far you can convince a service station when they're all breathing the same rhetoric - you just replace the oil at the first sight of the hills.

Clutch slippage+hills = bad idea :D

Why doesn't Castrol ensure sale of Activ Xtra?

Treasure Trove said...

Hitu Da ,

Actually the latest invoice for purchases by Auto Service shows that they have stopped purchasing Power 1 and more of the 20W50 barrel oil ad Activ Xtra 1L can.

But Power1 and other oils that don't fit the bill are being used at other places - as you see on reports at xbhp.com I wish that member who had this experience would post a comment here soon.

Castrol have a product in all the classes - its upto the client to choose it but sad thing is that the clients sometimes are using wrong product and also that the 20W50oil is not really that good - just IMO.

Banyan Tree said...

"Knowing you , I am sure you would have addressed the issue as soon as I posted it here and that is very much in line with your practises."



"but molly coddling the truth doesn't help so the facts are laid bare here in my posts."

"I got conflicting answers - Babu claiming Power 1 and Jai Kumar said Activ 4T xtra . I asked Jai Kumar why he had told me they were using Power 1 and he said that in those days they were using it since it was 20W50 ( it never was and I told him that again today ) but for reasons "unknown" to him they have stopped using it of late."

"I think you will acknowledge that this is defenitely an issue to be looked at - if not at Auto service , in other service stations - maybe this information could be used to effect some change at the next service meet ?"

Sandeep, If you don't mind, Please elaborate the same. I am unable understand the context in which these have been used.

Hitanshu said...

"Castrol have a product in all the classes - its upto the client to choose it but sad thing is that the clients sometimes are using wrong product and also that the 20W50oil is not really that good - just IMO."

Sandeep

I tried finding ActivXtra in Delhi, but couldn't. Dewan put in GTX, and I had zero choice. My fav veedol turbostar wasnt available that morning either. So, I just replaced GTX the moment I came to the hills.

Question is whether castrol is being proactive enough to supply to probiking workshops or not! Rather, whether probiking themselves believe they need ActivXtra or not!

Treasure Trove said...

ya ok ..

first para means that I would expect you to address any such irregularities immediately ..coz you were instrumental in that stupid p200 fork prob...something you said about devils advocate ?? basically I would like to think that ever since the first day I told you about this you might have made note of this and made the necessary changes so that Auto service is not doing such things. And your invoices show you are not using Power1 much so the case against Auto service can't be argued for last two months at least...



second one was in response to your very well worded suggestion about using words properly . The meaning was that I was tired of trying to put it in any other way other than the bare facts .

comment on jai kumar and harish babu - harish babu was first person I called yday he told me power 1 is being used. Then I called Jai kumar he told me power 1 is not being used for reasons he doesn't know .Its still available if they want but you are not using it he said . Dunno if he meant available as in stock at your place or available from dealer .

He was still saying it is 20W50 - and I reminded him again its only 15W40. Hence the conflicting answers - of course later on babu called me and clarified that he had not understood the qossion and that they were not using Power 1 . I believe he must have checked with your personnel and realised it ...anyway since he is not hands onmin engine oil dept.. I didn't take it seriosuly - which is why I had called jai kumar again .

finally since my aim of bringing it to the notice of the ppl who should be concerned - customers like me , professionals like you has been achieved I said that I hope you can agree that this is a prob - if not at auto service then at least in other places - since you have already seen posts by hitanshu - and other members have posted on forums but not posting here - dunno why . I had asked for a comment here ..by them.So maybe you can try to raise this issue at some other meet or something to maybe get a standardisation in oils used - ?

Treasure Trove said...

@ hitu da -

No other option in Delhi ? sheesh . If you have any regional contact nos for Veedol pls do pass it on . Need to try this jaan lega kya thing :D :D

Banyan Tree said...

#1. "Knowing you , I am sure you would have addressed the issue as soon as I posted it here and that is very much in line with your practises."

#2. "but molly coddling the truth doesn't help so the facts are laid bare here in my posts."

ANS #1. “first para means that I would expect you to address any such irregularities immediately ..coz you were instrumental in that stupid p200 fork prob...something you said about devils advocate ?? basically I would like to think that ever since the first day I told you about this you might have made note of this and made the necessary changes so that Auto service is not doing such things. And your invoices show you are not using Power1 much so the case against Auto service can't be argued for last two months at least...”

ANS#2. “Second one was in response to your very well worded suggestion about using words properly. The meaning was that I was tired of trying to put it in any other way other than the bare facts.”

Whilst appreciating your Pro-activeness & ability to question the basics, it would be enlightening to you as well as your friends if you could do the following.

Get in touch with people who have dwelled over the years on the Bajaj pulsar group. I am sure they’d be in a position to let you know more about the efforts that were put in. Unfortunately all the info we had in the First few years of the group was all lost when some one hacked the Group & deleted all the info that was stored.

May be G.Raj shekar or Ashok Kamath or Sanjay.R could tell you more on who Educated them about oils, what & why etc.

It could even be, Dr .A.V.Ravi Kumar who during his annual Visit to Bangalore Picked his Annual quota of the required grade oil for his P-180.

Or Any of the members who attended the Chakan’03 meet for whom we carried about 8~10 ltrs of oil in the car which we drove.

Or some Mysoreans on the Forum you Patronize, who personally & thro’ their relatives came in to pick the oils from us.

Why that far… Please Speak to Sameer & Shuba Shisodia & ask them which oil they carried with them on their Himalayan trip in 2003.

Your excitement on your new found knowledge is understandable, but please understand that these are a part of our routines, its more like Been there done that….

Alternatively please conduct a Research with the Past Regional Executives of the Business house in question, they might be able to throw up some light on the Pain given to them in the past –Vs- the Pleasure of sales numbers of transacting with us.

Or Even the Technical Manager, whose mail you quote & prevail upon, ask him the Pain we gave him recently to find a solution to a lesser known issue which neither our Principles nor their Vendors were able to successfully resolve.



#3. “I went through the invoice and it only shows that you have purchased a lot of the barrel oil . Its logical to think that you would only stock to some extent and such routine sourcing points to regular use of the oil but I am still skeptical. Reason being that this has been the case since a long time and despite that , 180+ were serviced with Power 1 .”

In days when we don’t even have to disclose our purchase details to Govt Agencies, I did go that extra mile to show what we purchase & where does it come from. Did not realize that skeptics would always find a way to go on….

#4. “finally since my aim of bringing it to the notice of the ppl who should be concerned - customers like me , professionals like you has been achieved I said that I hope you can agree that this is a prob - if not at auto service then at least in other places - since you have already seen posts by hitanshu - and other members have posted on forums but not posting here - dunno why . I had asked for a comment here ..by them.So maybe you can try to raise this issue at some other meet or something to maybe get a standardisation in oils used - ?”

If it was a voice or a platform that you needed to voice your concerns, there are many others, more effective than ours here. These platforms take all your concerns straight onto the desks of the decision makers.

The point I would like to reiterate here is, we personally, legally or financially have no interests in others business. In simple plain words “we have no business in others business”. I hope this explains it all.

Automotive service industry in India, even by the most conservative of estimates, Exceeds the total Revenue turn over of all the Indian Software majors put together. Please note that 97% of the industry is run by people who are neither Passionate or educated or qualified or trained to do the job they are doing. Personally, if at all I can change some thing in this Industry, I prefer to address even more serious, grave & highly concerning issues than the bottle of Oil.

#5. “comment on jai kumar and harish babu - harish babu was first person I called yday he told me power 1 is being used. Then I called Jai kumar he told me power 1 is not being used for reasons he doesn't know .Its still available if they want but you are not using it he said . Dunno if he meant available as in stock at your place or available from dealer.
He was still saying it is 20W50 - and I reminded him again its only 15W40. Hence the conflicting answers - of course later on babu called me and clarified that he had not understood the qossion and that they were not using Power 1 . I believe he must have checked with your personnel and realised it ...anyway since he is not hands onmin engine oil dept.. I didn't take it seriosuly - which is why I had called jai kumar again .”

We have always been transparent in all our transactions. In recent times our transactions are visible from the street. Investigative journalism over phone was not called for.

If the Men to whom you spoke to had the right resources, they would have been more educated.

If they were more educated, they would have

1. not have to live out of the meager income this industry gives them
2. been in a better position to understand the circumstances that they were being used to.


Please …. They are soft & many times mute people, who put their soul into their jobs &…

#6. You guys have no idea how timely this incident is ..I have been trying to convince Venkat Shyam that such things do happen . Venkat Shyam is the owner of the famous M/s Auto Service in Bangalore - the best in the business here .

Auto Service also used Power 1 till recently .
Venkat Shyam has a blog - www.auto-service.blogspot.com
Currently in the comments section of the new article -
http://auto-service.blogspot.com/200...e-service.html

I am trying to convince Venkat about this prob . I would greatly appreciate if fast&furious can post this incident as a comment there. Pls take into consideration how useful this will be since Venkat is highly respected in BAL circles and he was instrumental in getting all recalls of the p200 forks..which were of the old design.


External sources forces can’t change a person or an Idea or a thought. Only internal awakening can. We very well know what we’re up to & do the same to satisfy our selves.

A few weeks ago a Friend told me that I was doing too much of thankless & non profit jobs. He even suggested that I focus a little bit more on myself. May be he was suggesting a breakdown this sort.

BTW Thanks for #1, It is indeed a “Treasured Certificate for Merit” more so for doing some thing honestly.

sameer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sameer said...

[ somethng went wrong with the comment - reposting ]
@ tt

I can personally vouch for the fact that Auto Service (and Venkat) have appreciated the differences of and used the right grade of oil for my bike (P180) - and in fact educated me about it since I knew zilch on that.

In Aug 03 before we started out on our Ladakh trip, Venkat personally took the decision of adding to our additional supplies, a half litre bottle of 20W50 "since it might not be easily available elsewhere, unlike 20W40, which may also be used in a crunch, but make sure you don't overheat the bike".

I'm sure the use of power1 by AS folks was a studied decision taken in a situation with no better alternatives. The bikes would've needed to be serviced and run anyhow, 20W50 or no 20W50, right ?

Its almost amusing to read your assumptions about the lack of knowledge or understanding on the part of pros in the industry.

At the same time, I admire your perseverance and effort you've spent on researching this topic in great detail! Only, please do not discount the work others may have, before and independently of your effort, and make what ends up sounding like professionally disparaging remarks.

Treasure Trove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Treasure Trove said...

@ Sameer -

" I'm sure the use of power1 by AS folks was a studied decision taken in a situation with no better alternatives. The bikes would've needed to be serviced and run anyhow, 20W50 or no 20W50, right ?"

This is again going back into a past episode about which you know "ZILCH" . But since you have poked into the pond , let me show you the depth of the murk ...

Test conducted by AS on Power 1 - I don't care what you are SURE of unless you were PART of the test . I was NOT part of the test . I am basing all my comments on what VENKAT told me and he WAS part of the test. The circumstances leading to used of Power 1 out of lack of availability of alternatives is what you are alluding to . And you unwittingly dug your own pit by posing that as a question to me since this is exactly what I asked in my very first post - "If Castrol reps were there explaining their support to BAL I would like to know how they plan to provide proper rated oil for bikes like P180/200/220 which need a good 20W50 grade oil and not power 1 which despite being semi synth is just 15W40."

See ? At that point the question was why Castrol were not providing the right oil ? It was not implicating AS with any wrongdoing as you have conveniently alluded to in this question.

" Its almost amusing to read your assumptions about the lack of knowledge or understanding on the part of pros in the industry.
.......
..........Only, please do not discount the work others may have, before and independently of your effort, and make what ends up sounding like professionally disparaging remarks."

Industry : Technology

That has quite a wide range of definitions . It might be you are a CTO of a company or a engineer . A layman is better advised than to put words into anothers mouth. Why do you do that despite being the techie ?

I am not assuming anything . Am I assuming they are using 20W40 ? Am I imagining they are using HP racer 4 ? Have I explicitly told them that they don't know what they are doing . I am asking questions and I would like answers .

Once again you didn't read the post carefully . The posts question why such and such oil is being and doesn't focus on the understanding or lack of it among the industry people.The post asks why you are using this oil and doesnt ask them if they have any understanding of the oil or doesn't try to educate Venkat about oils.

The only thing lacking among the industry - deliberately or otherwise is ability to acknowledge it as in this case.

Treasure Trove said...

"Whilst appreciating your Pro-activeness & ability to question the basics, it would be enlightening to you as well as your friends if you could do the following.

Get in touch with people who have dwelled over the years on the Bajaj pulsar group. I am sure they’d be in a position to let you know more about the efforts that were put in. Unfortunately all the info we had in the First few years of the group was all lost when some one hacked the Group & deleted all the info that was stored.

May be G.Raj shekar or Ashok Kamath or Sanjay.R could tell you more on who Educated them about oils, what & why etc.

It could even be, Dr .A.V.Ravi Kumar who during his annual Visit to Bangalore Picked his Annual quota of the required grade oil for his P-180.

Or Any of the members who attended the Chakan’03 meet for whom we carried about 8~10 ltrs of oil in the car which we drove.

Or some Mysoreans on the Forum you Patronize, who personally & thro’ their relatives came in to pick the oils from us.

Why that far… Please Speak to Sameer & Shuba Shisodia & ask them which oil they carried with them on their Himalayan trip in 2003.

Your excitement on your new found knowledge is understandable, but please understand that these are a part of our routines, its more like Been there done that….

Alternatively please conduct a Research with the Past Regional Executives of the Business house in question, they might be able to throw up some light on the Pain given to them in the past –Vs- the Pleasure of sales numbers of transacting with us.

Or Even the Technical Manager, whose mail you quote & prevail upon, ask him the Pain we gave him recently to find a solution to a lesser known issue which neither our Principles nor their Vendors were able to successfully resolve.
"

Pointless post Venkat . Starters - I didn't get up someday and shout "eureka" I have the knowledge of engine oils . Or I didn't discover something all of a sudden after seeing an apple drop off the tree...there is nothing "new found " in this topic for me except a new found side to you ..

You seem to be indicating that I implied ignorance on your part about engine oils . Ignorance implied is not about your knowledge , rather potentially about your awareness that such a thing happens. That much is clear to anybody who reads the thread till date.If I have argued your logic then it is with respect to that test and I still can't agree with it .

Basically Auto service decides to do a test on 20W40 and finds that its pretty much within operating range for substitute for a 20W50 ...right ..Castrol are really stupid - they have manufactured a product that is JASO MA certified and SAE rated 20w40 but even Auto Service can show its almost same as 20W50 ..time to restructure SAE procedures and Castrol.?? cmon...


point #2 -
"In days when we don’t even have to disclose our purchase details to Govt Agencies, I did go that extra mile to show what we purchase & where does it come from. Did not realize that skeptics would always find a way to go on…."

I beg your pardon ? Who offered to show up the invoice ? I will show you my ration stocking for last two months consisting of only wheat and barley but who is to say I don't stock three months or rice especially if its in demand ? AS was the case with Power 1 and its still in demand ?

Skepticism ? That is when there is a remote chance of an event happening . From the general conditons prevalent in most SC's you can see for yourself that such a scenario is hardly skeptical interpretation - rather more like a very good possibility.

You could have let this go when I acknowledged that for last two months your invoices don't show Castrol power 1 as the flavour of the month ? Why the needless flogging of dead-horse ritual ?

#3
"If it was a voice or a platform that you needed to voice your concerns, there are many others, more effective than ours here. These platforms take all your concerns straight onto the desks of the decision makers.

The point I would like to reiterate here is, we personally, legally or financially have no interests in others business. In simple plain words “we have no business in others business”. I hope this explains it all."

Yes it tells me everything I need to know and what I understand is that when I was making noises about it all this time you were keeping quiet for 18posts to ultimately cap it off saying this is not the "vedike" to voice your concerns. I thought the idea of keeping a blog about auto-service was inclusive of getting feedback from your own customers. What am I doing here ? Trying to tell anyone who listens about this oil issue - why ? Instead of going to all the nice platforms or organisations you refer me to , I brought it here because this is an issue related to both BAL and Castrol and yours being one of the model service stations , your good self being very pro-active in such cases , I thought it would be easier than try and tell Castrol technical staff why Power1 shouldn't be used in a P180....you are their client/business partner whatever you call it in your business circles , so you are a part of the issue ..

I will humbly try to think and through observation try to deduce what other good can come of this blog if such issues are thought not relevant enough to be discussed here . Thanks for that . Its an eye-opener. Honest. I had thought different ...

#4 . “we have no business in others business”. I hope this explains it all.

But this is your business ! You are offering customers servicing of their vehicles. Can you tell me hand on heart that till date - even as recently as say 5 months ago you never used power 1 ?

Irony being that I saw this practise at your SS in 2006 and that triggered the thought . We have come full circle with you now saying that its not your business what others are doing ...thats even more ironic considering the article that we are currently posting under is actually an article about Auto Service hosting a service meet of all SCs in Bangy with the final msg from Mr VS himself that he hoped this would improve service quality - "We hope that this event would build Quality Service with in the Authorised Service Channel of Bajaj in Bangalore."

. So you hold a meet to discuss common issues yet if I post something -a query - related to that it becomes none of your business ?!

".........
Automotive service industry in India, even by the most conservative of estimates, Exceeds the total Revenue turn over of all the Indian Software majors put together. Please note that 97% of the industry is run by people who are neither Passionate or educated or qualified or trained to do the job they are doing. Personally, if at all I can change some thing in this Industry, I prefer to address even more serious, grave & highly concerning issues than the bottle of Oil."

I thought you were one of the remaining 3% Venkat .. gosh ..this has been a day when I realise what a folly it has been to believe in all these things about you . On the face of it a long debate over a can of oil is without a doubt very trivial for even the most geeky but let me point out two things -

The initial question I asked was - "..I would like to know how they plan to provide proper rated oil for bikes like P180/200/220 which need a good 20W50 grade oil.....Kindly convey the grievances to concerned dept. !!"

If you can be so kind as to spare 15min of your extremely valuable time kindly go through the subsequent responses and conversations between myself and the other posters. IT was not heading anywhere until you jumped in with that "invoice" ... abruptly it ends here with a comment to the effect that you rather not worry about a can oil . Did it take 20 posts to get that out Venkat ?

# (lost count !)
"We have always been transparent in all our transactions. In recent times our transactions are visible from the street. Investigative journalism over phone was not called for.

If the Men to whom you spoke to had the right resources, they would have been more educated.

If they were more educated, they would have

1. not have to live out of the meager income this industry gives them
2. been in a better position to understand the circumstances that they were being used to.

Please …. They are soft & many times mute people, who put their soul into their jobs &…
"

I am not writing a piece of article for the times of India or some kind of "investigative journal" .
I am a customer of BAL and I am having every right to know what kind of oil you are using in my bike . I repeat - I have the RIGHT to know what kind of service I am being given . Because you say you are very transparent what is your problem if I call up and confirm what is going on ? I have posted what they told me and also mentioned they were probably not up to date ..what is wrong with that ? Its a fact ? I am not dissing them .. you asked me wat it was about and I told you what they told me ? Its paranoid to think that everytime somebody says something about Auto Service there is a hidden veneer to it and you take it personally ..all the time venkat...all the time.Pls refrain from preaching me about human qualities of those gentlemen or anybody in general. That is not a issue under discussion neither was it called for and more than you will ever know , I am sure they know who respects them and I know who they respect.

Neither Babu nor Jai Kumar were anything more than points of information ...irrespective of other attributes you are keen to point out .

By your lights , I am supposed to think about the background of a personnel before I ask him something and consider it a fact ??

I respect their job , they know it and reciprocate it .
By quoting their problems you seem to imply I am blaming them - if that was ever the impression in any of my posts - that is the ONLY heartfelt regret since that is not true . I was posting verbatim what was said to me.

**
"
External sources forces can’t change a person or an Idea or a thought. Only internal awakening can. We very well know what we’re up to & do the same to satisfy our selves."

Another classic Venkat moment - Sir ..respectfully ..please does that sentence have anything to do at all with what we have been talking about so far ? What is that external infleunce , internal awakening philosophy for ??? i am "zapped" to quote yourself.. :D

That person will soon post a comment about how he experienced the same problem ..and I was imploring him to do that ASAP...all the external influence , hypothesis is ...unbelievably too hifi..for me ..sorry thats just incoherent .

****
"
A few weeks ago a Friend told me that I was doing too much of thankless & non profit jobs. He even suggested that I focus a little bit more on myself. May be he was suggesting a breakdown this sort.

BTW Thanks for #1, It is indeed a “Treasured Certificate for Merit” more so for doing some thing honestly."

Again I will not talk about your personal , profit , non profit stuff. Venkat , sincerely , the problem is you mix personal and professional stuff all of a sudden . I am talking purely about BAL , Castrol , Power 1 and suddenly you are posting stuff about your own strenuous, non profit , unselfish etc etc work that you do and suggesting you probably should be taking another look at it . That is your prerogative and from any of the widest point you look at this argument , it is unrelated...

Finally Venkat , there are many things about Auto Service which are right . And there will be many more things that are definitely going to make it stay as a model SC as it had been long adjudged..but nothing is perfect dear ..so when I say something , nay , someone makes an observation about the SC / BAL / your line of work , even with your deep rooted passion and lineage , there is absolutely no reason for you to take it upon yourself to be the talismanic character to defend everything about it

If you were indeed so nonchalant about my query ..the rot could have stopped at the point before you flashed that "invoice" ... I have only given responses to each of the consequent posts ..

You are the prized asset of the company, mate , and I had never doubted or do doubt the potential of the SC but it is a separate entity from yourself and you could really do with having that distinction so that when I say something about the SC , I don't have to expect many other things that are not directly related to the SC.

Cya around.

sameer said...

@tt

While your original query was surely about Castrol being non-proactive for the 20W50 market, at some point you asserted that AS "practices" the use of power1 instead of 20W50. For this you did recieve clarifications that this was done as a necessity, and the next best alternative was considered only as and when required, and that too after some study (I will take the man's word for it, if he says he tested it I have little reason to not believe him).

You continue - including in your last comment - to imply that AS does this as a regular practice. I have experienced otherwise - only at points when they have had 20W50 supply issues, have they used alternatives. Venkat too tried clarifying this point by putting his (confidential) business purchases out for all to see (in fact I thot that was pretty extreme). You chose to ignore/not believe all this and the fact that power1 has a much smaller proportion of purchases as compared to 20W50 etc.

To respond to which you question the man's motive and integrity!!! I dont know about Venkat, but I would have surely taken offence! You cannot purport to be having a discussion me and start hitting below the belt wrt my business ethics and integrity. Absolutely not on sir. Thats where the discussion gets personal, and the cover of "lets just discuss the oil" is no more valid. There's honestly no discussion left if you're going to doubt everything the other person has to say.

One's totally agreeing with all the research you have done - you're right about many of the things you've posted on your blog.
One's just pointing out that you may have circumstantially been led to believe that there is a practice where the pros may have consciously done it as an exception. For some reason that fact does not agree with you.

That's ok - you may have another belief/point of view, but the approach you've taken for the disagreement - questioning one's integrity and ethics to discount the facts the other brings to light - is not one which leaves room for a healthy debate.

Personally, I'm not trying to dig/not dig a hole - its not my field and not my debate. I was just stating my experience about the issue - which is at odds to yours (and I have been going to AS since 2003). It also felt a little bad to see a person as straightforward and transparent as Venkat be doubted especially when he's gone to such lengths to "prove" things to one doubting Thomas. Given the army of 'believers' he doesn't need to - but he still did. (I cannot fathom why, but then I'm a different individual).

Ciao - my last post on this and wish you all the best with closure on this apparently very-close-to-your-heart issue.

Treasure Trove said...

@ Sameer -

"Ciao - my last post on this and wish you all the best with closure on this apparently very-close-to-your-heart issue.

I am very glad that this is your last post because apart from time and again confusing yourself with what I have posted you didn't add anything else . Case in point is this "last post " of yours.

Conveniently you talk about questioning integrity , blah blah and stop at the point that I was saying AS used Power 1 . Subsequent to the invoice presentation ...see what my responses have been . I think both Venkat and yourself didn't read the comment where I said ..as per the invoice at least during last two month power1 doesn't seem to have been used by AS...

I don't know what it is with you talking about below the belt , personal attack whatever ..your entire aim basically here was to come and defend Venkat ..which is absolutely ok but in that process you only turned up with confused posts - like saying - in my last post I have still said AS uses Power 1 . I don't know what you have been reading mate ? Pls read again - I have implied that issue of invoice being definitive proof is all very well but there is nothing to say that Power 1 was not in stock. I did not say they USE it did I ? Even that comment was followed up by the same thing I said about the last two months at leas being very much indicative of power 1 not being used...

you ignore all that and trick to pick out stuff which you can use to further post ill composed and confused items digressing from the topic at hand...

Most amusing is your last comment on "one doubting thomas" . WTH ! There is no doubt at all ! Its crystal clear what goes on at BAL service centers wrt these engine oils . The only reason why AS became focal and Venkat became very personally invovled was because I told you that AS was also doing this till very recently. And that is a fact. I have been going to AS for quite some time and the only regret I have is that I gave away all the service receipts of my P180 once it was sold . In all the receipts there must have been a line for oil change costing 200plus - which was for Power1 of course. I don't remember it 100% but mostly there was that line about the oil charge and if and when I find a long lost receipt I can show you that this 20W40 thing went on at AS for a while is a fact ..

Treasure Trove said...

I am done discussing this on this blog . If anyone wants to talk about this with me kindly use my mail address.

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