Four months since its introduction to the CarWale Long Term Garage, we got a call from MG stating that our Hector is due for a service. So, we thought it would be a nice opportunity to take you through the aftersales experience of the MG service centre and all that goes into the periodic servicing of any MG vehicle.
First, let’s take a little rundown on Hector’s time with us. When we were handed over the Hector in July, it had 13,835km on the odometer. Since then there was barely a day this five-seater SUV got a rest. And it changed hands thrice, shifting its daily route from office in Navi Mumbai to Malad first and then to Kalyan in the last couple of months. Throw in runs to our shoot locations almost every day – sometimes even to Lonavala and back – and this Hector saw a fair share of running in its time with us. So here are the problems we faced after close to 8,000km of running.
Problems we faced
The first and foremost issue we had was the brakes. They lost their bite considerably – which is understandable since this is automatic – but more than that, they started squeaking horribly. We couldn’t hear it inside with the windows rolled up but anyone standing within a radius of 500metres could hear the arrival of the Hector just by keeping an ear out for the brakes whimpering.
The second issue was that all four tyres had slow punctures in them. Luckily we had a portable tyre inflator always in the car saving out trips to air filling stations at ungodly hours of the day.Lastly, the wiper fluid container had a hole in it. Hence, all the wiper fluid was always empty with nothing left for us to spray when the windscreen got dirty.
The Service Centre
Since the MG driver collected the car from office and no shoot was scheduled around it, I decided to take a time out and visit the service centre myself to check on the progress. Having visited all sorts of service centres ranging from Maruti Suzuki to Mercedes-Benz, I was surely impressed by what I saw at the MG Service Centre in Majiwada, Thane.
Not only were the offices and waiting lounge of the highest order, but also the service-floor was neat and well maintained. Each car had a dedicated technician and advisor working behind it, there was ample space to move around, and the facility was airy and well-lit to aid in looking at finer details of what’s been done on the vehicles. This facility has a built-in paint booth (alongside the body shop) and a washing centre too, so the cars never need to leave the premises.
It was interesting to see the technicians following proper dress code with necessary safety precautions – helmets, goggles, safety shoes, and gloves along with the newfound facemasks. Lastly, the service advisor appeared well-versed with the work and helped with all the questions I had in my mind – including few around the ZS EV.
What was serviced?
Now let’s come back to the servicing. Before we talk about the third service which it was, let me give you a brief of what was already done in the first two services and what it must have cost me if I was the owner of this Hector. The first service was done at 1,000km and it would cost Rs 0 for any MG vehicle. Meanwhile, the second free service amounted at Rs 1,100 including some oil change – as the service advisor told me.
Now in this third service, which was long overdue at 10,000km, the major work which was covered under the free servicing was – front brakes replacement, few stickers here and there and tow hook replacement, license plate inspection, drain bolt gasket and felt replacement, and a software update. We’ll talk about the software a bit later but let me tell you first that brakes on the Hector are under warranty for one year/30,000km. And if you still need to pay for them, they would set you back by Rs 4,000.
Of the paid consumables were – all-four wheel alignment (Rs 1,062), engine oil (Rs 1,320), oil filter (Rs 241), AC air filter (Rs 225), and some solvent cleaner. Combining the cost of consumables plus taxes and the labour cost (Rs 900 plus taxes), the third service would have lightened my pocket by Rs 2,987. Which I think isn’t a lot for an SUV costing Rs 20.94 lakh, on the road, Mumbai. And for an SUV which is costing us close to Rs 5,000 on each tankful.
Also, we haven’t even dived into the provision of MG Shield which offers customised service packages for the customers. Apart from that, there are various online services, roadside assistance, and other warranty packages for the benefit of an MG customer as well.
What wasn’t resolved?
Kapil, our photographer, complaint that the DCT is a bit slow to catch momentum even when the throttle has taken the revs close to 3,000rpm mark. This, the advisor told me, is an inherent character of this DCT and it takes this much time (around three seconds according to him) in any other model and not a problem only in ours. So that wasn’t looked into.
Now, about the aforementioned software update. This was a part of a recall by MG India regarding a ‘TCM Software Update’ which would resolve any bugs or glitches connecting three crucial part of the powertrain – electronic parking brake, brakes, and accelerator/DCT connection. Only a few cars are affected and MG has proactively taken the efforts to carry on the software update with no cost to the customers.
Secondly, there was no availability of wiper fluid container at the parts department. So that’s still pending. But the advisor promised to get it fixed as soon as the part is made available. Also, the service centre had no provision to fix a puncture. So we’d have to get it checked at a tyre shop now. Thankfully the brakes are squealing a lot less now than before.
Now that the Hector is back with Kapil Angane, it would get right down to its long commutes and even longer days on the roads. We’ll also look into what improvements this servicing has done to the Hector. Maybe with 2020 coming to an end, we could plan some extended outings for the Hector. Stay tuned for more updates.