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  1. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    15,525
    #1
    chanced upon this article... nice read...


    http://www.philstar.com/philstar/BUS...0611034003.htm


    "Casa-maintained"

    BACKSEAT DRIVER By Andy Leuterio
    The Philippine STAR 11/01/2006

    Mother hires a driver to bring her prized Honda Jazz to the dealer for a check-up. After a little more than 12 months, in which sheís accumulated a grand total of 3,000 kilometers, she finally takes my advice seriously to have it checked at Honda Cars Alabang for anything that needs fixing. Like the carpeting at the left-front footwell, for example. It peeled off about a month after she took delivery of the car. Oops.

    After the car is returned to her, she shows me the receipt, which is almost 4k. "Four thousand?" I ask incredulously. So I look over the particulars and see that they did an oil change. Aha, that explains it, I think. Until I notice the price of the oil that they used: P1,964. Whoa! Was that fully synthetic? All it says is "Motor Oil Honda Fully Drum", whatever that means. Only last week I had the oil of my Space Wagon changed at Shell Donica along Sucat and paid a little less than P1,400 for the oil, filter, and labor. I only used the regular oil, because I know that as long as that oil that I use has the proper rating, it will do the job just fine.

    Back to my mom. Well, she did have her car serviced at a dealer, and we all know that dealers charge an arm and a leg. Thatís how they make money, right? Everybody knows they donít make money on the cars that they sell. But the clincher was this, and I think they just lost a repeat customer here: they wouldnít fix the carpet for free. Even though the car had a warranty, some clause or other prevented the dealer from gluing the carpet without charging her. I told her she should have had the carpet fixed as soon as she saw the problem, but now sheís a little wiser in the finer points of car ownership.

    Two months before this little episode, a friend told me he knew of a friend who was selling a year 2000 Honda Civic that I might be interested to buy. "Itís casa-maintained," he told me. So? "So you know itís been well taken care of." Sorry man, but I really have to take that with a grain of salt. Now that Iíll soon be in the market to buy a used car, Iím reading a lot of ads with textbook lines like "Super-kinis!", "Must see to appreciate", and, of course, "casa-maintained".

    What exactly does that mean, anyway? Sellers must think that it ups the value of their car since it implies a history of religious maintenance, but I beg to differ. See, Iíve been witness to several casa-maintained cars that could have been better serviced outside. Thereís the former client who was happy with his Chevrolet Venture for the first six months until something mysteriously broke with the aircon, the triathlete-mom who complained to me about the interminably long duration of her banged-up Sentra at the Nissan dealer, the friend-of-a-friend who was happy at first with her Kia Sedona until, two months after it had gotten trapped in a flood, the dealer still didnít know how to get the engine humming. Iíve got lots of real-world examples, but to keep it simple, letís stick to my own.

    Exhibit A: my 1996 Galant Super Saloon. Around the 90,000 kilometer mark (it was then owned by my dad), the engine began a noticeable droning at high rpm. It was actually quite macho, so we let it go on thinking the engine might have "loosened up" and gone faster. Big mistake. On the South Superhighway one night, the balance shaft threw a belt, which snagged on the timing belt and got my pistons stuck. ****. A check at the maintenance log showed that the timing belt had been replaced at the mandatory 60,000km mark, except the dealer forgot to replace the balance shaft belts as well. The Citimotors on Pasong Tamo told me I needed an overhaul. I asked the Service guy for a ballpark figure, so he said "Eighty thousand". I think thatís what gave my dad his first heart attack.

    So, I gave fellow Backseat Driver Lester Dizon a call and he referred me to Lito Galvez of MSG Motorworks, his suki mechanic and restorer of many fine vintage cars. Off we went to Litoís shop in Mandaluyong, and a dubious dad raised an eyebrow as we came to Litoís rusty gate, in a neighborhood where you half expect to get mugged. "Let me check it out first," he said. Inside he went, and after ten minutes, I wondered what was taking so long and decided to go in as well.

    Lo and behold, it was a motorheadís dream workshop. Rows and rows of BMWs and Alfa Romeos in various states of restoration, and at the center was a Chevrolet Corvette "Stingray", all sinuous curves and gleaming chrome. I couldnít resist running a hand over a fender. "Can you fix the Galant?" we asked. "Oo naman!" he said cheerfully. It would be childís play. It took him a day to find brand new valves and pistons and another day to put it all together, but in the end we had a Galant with an engine running like it had been ported-and-polished, and all for P22k.

    Before he died, dad asked me if I could take care of the Galant (of course I said "Yes"), so now, Lito is the first guy I call when something needs fixing. Heís fast, he charges a fair price, and because he loves cars, I trust him to fix and tune my car like it was his own. Not only do I save several thousand a year in maintenance, I figure Iíve got the sweetest driving Galant in the city right now. For more sundry services like oil changes or belt replacements, I just go to the Shell on Sucat. They have a nice lounge, the prices are fair, and they even keep a record of my carsí visits and remind me when my next service is.

    Back to that "casa-maintained" thing. If youíre looking to buy a used car, donít take it as Gospel that a casa-maintained car is really worth the asking price. At most, it tells you that it was maintained at a dealer where the mechanics know their stuff. What it also implies is that the owner is subconsciously trying to recover some of the costs he or she incurred in maintaining the car at the dealer. But itís no guarantee. As with any other industry, there can be black sheeps among dealers whoíll try to get away with shoddy service, inflated man-hours, or overpriced parts. The best way to buy a used car is to know the telltale signs of a beater: uneven paint, leaks, loosy-goosy steering, mushy brakes, rough engine idle. Check out the owner, too. Subtract points from pimply dudes who look like they only got the car as a graduation gift, and from those who donít look like they could change a spare tire if their life depended on it. You want an owner who knows his or her car-stuff and has been conscientious with his ride. Check the service log that all the necessary maintenance was done throughout the life of the car. Better yet, bring your favorite mechanic along with you so he can point out problem areas. For all you know, that "casa-maintained" ideal may just be a myth.

    As an owner, on the other hand, donít be hostage to what your dealer says you should pay once the "free maintenance" period ends. Things that need replacing such as oil, filters, belts, and headlamp bulbs can all be done outside. Ditto with mechanical adjustments to things like the wheels, the brakes, and the suspension. Unless itís an exotic Italian car, or even a luxury car like a BMW or an Audi with sophisticated electronics or settings that youíre better off leaving to their experts, most Japanese and Korean cars today are remarkably simple and affordable to maintain if you play it smart. Unless your problem involves the electronics or some particular issue that no other party can fix, you can save a lot of time, money, and anxiety outside the casa. Our family used to be regular dealer customers until we realized that most of the things they do can be done at reputable service stations like the bigger gas stations, AC Delco, or Rapide. Iíve also found the customer-service to be warmer at these places, possibly because they know that just one bad word from a dissatisfied customer will ruin them in the community they do business in for a long time. As long as you use the genuine branded parts and your mechanic knows what heís doing, youíll be fine.

  2. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    4,457
    #2
    Hey, I know the author. Was a schoolmate before.

    ...Kaya nga next time, I'll do my regular pms and repairs outside casa. I think some shops already have the diagnostics tools for ecu checking.

  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    15,525
    #3
    ako, personal experience ko, i have only consulted a casa once.... nung nagpalit ako ng expansion valve and evaporator ng lancer ko. cost me around 8.5k. but i learned after a month, that it only costs around 2.5k-3k outside the casa....

    its just a matter of finding the right reputable shop, imho.... and yes, referals like in tsikot.com really helps...

  4. Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    4,866
    #4
    definitely a great article!

  5. Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,175
    #5
    nice find HG.
    so if we are to sell our rides, don't forget to mention our reputable mechanics/shops. hehe.

  6. Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    516
    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by happy_gilmore View Post
    ako, personal experience ko, i have only consulted a casa once.... nung nagpalit ako ng expansion valve and evaporator ng lancer ko. cost me around 8.5k. but i learned after a month, that it only costs around 2.5k-3k outside the casa....

    its just a matter of finding the right reputable shop, imho.... and yes, referals like in tsikot.com really helps...
    casa maintenance is not a sure guarantee your ride are keep in good condition. I wouls say it is in the hands of Service Advisor. In my experience for almost three years now, I only have one service advisor for my ride. I don have it service at casa unless he is the one who will attend to or forward to another in case he is on leave. he keeps my record and does the reminder/call in the regular maintenance of the ride ( I call it personalized). He do advise me if is needed to bring it to casa or I can use outside service shop.
    tsikot.com also helps.

  7. Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7,505
    #7
    malaki na ang gap ng casa maintained ngayon compared noon

    "parang noon at ngayon ah" hehe.. personally i did follow reg

    pms sched sa casa until prior to it's last free pms. i think hindi

    pa nila pwedeng gawan ng "magic" yun dahil kargo pa nila yung

    next 5K kms. my opinion only.

  8. Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8,277
    #8
    Ang dalawang bayaw ko bahala sa maintenance ng sasakyan namin.Libre na yung labor yung parts na lang ang gastos.Yung isang bayaw ko kasi pareho kami ng sasakyan kaya kabisado na nya yung isa naman mas kabisado na nya lahat ng parte ng sasakyan 7 years sa Mitsubishi, nung nagsawa lipat sya sa BMW. Hindi nga pwede sa kanila konting langitngit lang ng pang-ilalim. Parang brand new condition nga lagi tong sasakyan namin ni misis dahil sa kanila.

  9. Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    8,837
    #9
    basta expired warranty na, wag na casa-maintained or sell.

    3 years warranty give you time to make more money to buy another car. imho, spending too much time learning the ins and outs of your car is more expensive than spending your 3-years in how to make money to get a newer car.

  10. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    15,525
    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by oldblue View Post
    basta expired warranty na, wag na casa-maintained or sell.

    3 years warranty give you time to make more money to buy another car. imho, spending too much time learning the ins and outs of your car is more expensive than spending your 3-years in how to make money to get a newer car.
    yup. pag expired na, pwede na....
    pero imho, not all people can afford to have their cars sold after 3 years.

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Casa Maintained (Newspaper Article)