I’m revisiting my take on casa maintenance. I’m adding a few more entries to the con part. Particularly because of what I experienced today.

Now irritated by the noises being made by my Hyundai i10, I scheduled my car for servicing this morning. Only thing is, after I described the things I want checked, the service adviser said that I have to leave my car for at least 2 days and that I have to do it when it’s “not our peak days” (which would be right smack dab in the middle of the work week).

He also said that they can’t schedule a test drive for today since it’s a “peak day” which makes the whole calling in for a schedule utterly daft. After insisting we check it out, we drove the car around the parking lot but he wasn’t able to reproduce the noises. Mostly because they only show up in real-world conditions i.e. crappy Manila roads and not smooth and squeaky surfaces of multi-story car parks. When I suggested to just take it outside on the real roads, he dismissed the idea since “Kailangan pa i-schedule, sir.”

The SA then insisted that I just have the work done to coincide with my 10,000 km service. I just wasn’t in the mood to argue thanks to my medical condition (I avoid getting furious as much as possible) I left only (to be caught speeding on Commonwealth Avenue).

So as form of therapy, I’m hacking away at this post. Anyway, here are my additional annoyances with casa maintenance.

If they don’t hear/see it, it’s not there. We drive our cars. We know what we experience. So why the heck would they claim that something is “minimal” or “natural” or “negligible”? It’s irritating when the casa simply says, “Wala naman yun, sir. Natural lang yun.” It’s not like we’re nag-iinarte or anything. We bought the car with all the expectations your sales force promised, so now that we’re pointing out the bad stuff, you say that they don’t warrant any attention.

Not being able to see the work done on your car. This is usually a casa-to-casa basis but most casas simply don’t allow you to their service area. They simply take your car and have you wait elsewhere or at their snazzy lounge area as if the repairs being done to your car is none of your business. This might be attractive to other drivers who know squat about cars but for a gearhead, this is utterly painful. Seriously, leaving your precious car at the dealership for servicing is like allowing your daughter to go out on a date with a guy who looks like a consummate manyak.

They charge you for everything. Ever gone through your billing statement in detail? Oh yes, what should be at-their-cost items like “rags” are charged to you.

No service vehicle. The thing I hate about warranty claims in the Philippines is that the downtime you incur sending an item for repairs will always be at your cost. It’s not like they will extend the warranty for each day, or week or month you don’t get to use your car while having it repaired or waiting for parts. They have you shuttle back and forth their service center at your own cost (time and money) all because they sold you a defective product.

To the credit of my SA, they insisted that I clock just a few more thousand kilometers. I’m supposed to be bringing the car in for its 10,000 km service and I only have 5,800 km on the clock. This makes you wonder. If they can make sensible calls like this, why can’t they make any other sensible decisions regarding to the other issues that really matter.