Ford Classic long-term review: The Ford Quick Service Experience

It’s been just over a month since we’ve got the Ford Classic for a long-term experience and the vehicle has been clocking up the kilometres, thanks to its frugal diesel engine which makes it a good choice for the hassles of city commuting. And before we knew it, it had crossed 20,000 km on the odometer, which meant it was time for a service.

At 20,440 km, an appointment was made with Delhi Ford to get our sea grey Classic serviced. The car did not have any specific complaints, but only required an oil change, wash and its remote key was not functioning. Besides, one of the MRF ZV2K tyres (rear left) had developed a bulge. At 10.oo am on a Thursday (handy-tip – always choose weekdays to service your car, as weekends get quite chaotic at almost all service stations), we drove in to the service station at Vasant Kunj, South Delhi. Within a minute, a service adviser was with the car and quickly noting down essential details.

10.05 am: The car was driven into a quick check bay at the entrance of the service station and promptly hoisted on to a two-post inspection ramp. The service advisor quickly checked the underbody of the car and lowered it, looked around the body work for scratches and dings and then opened the bonnet to inspect the essential liquids, before starting the car and checking the AC, lights and horn functionality. He then explained the work to be done and told us to opt for Ford’s “Happy Pocket” service, which is a flat charge of Rs. 2,199 all inclusive (which includes engine oil, filter changes, washing, fluid top-ups, brake inspection and other general inspection).

10.20 am: The car was driven into a “Quick Service” bay – this is a part of Ford’s QuickLane initiative that it started over a year and half ago, which has a promised service time of 90 minutes. Two mechanics work together on either side of the vehicle to get work quickly done. There are two sets of tools at hand, allowing for ease of access and all the essential parts are already stocked in the quick service bay – oil, oil filter, air filter etc. The suspension was inspected, brakes cleaned and wheels rotated. The faulty tyre was swapped with the stepney, but since the stepney has a steel wheel rim, it had to be taken to the alignment bay (where tyre replacement is done) to be swapped.

The engine oil was drained and changed, along with the oil filter. The oil change interval is 10,000 km and this car’s oil definitely needed changing as it had become pretty dark and lost some viscosity. Ford uses semi-synthetic 10W-40 engine oil for the Classic.

10.55 am: The car was wheeled into the washing area and given a pressure wash. The interiors were blown and wiped clean. After the engine bay and undercarriage were washed, the car was given a quick wipe down with dashboard and trim polish to rejuvenate the interiors. At 11.25 am it was ready.

11.25 am: The service advisor draws up the bill, explains the work process and gives a vehicle inspection report (which has things like life of tyres remaining, condition of body work etc). This inspection report is attached along with the invoice and handed over to the customer, as it serves as a ready reckoner for future work.

11.30 am: The car was ready for delivery. The remote key was examined and system reset. All systems go. The quick service took all of 85 minutes, great for anyone with little time to spare. The service station also offers doorstep pick up and drop for customers who can’t drive up to the service station.

Ford service stations are currently not centrally linked to each other – and that’s a work in progress. So vehicle history generation is a bit of a problem if you visit multiple service stations. Ford also gave us a quick look at its child parts from the store – this is a strategy that dramatically reduces the cost of spares for the car, as it entails replacement of only a single part in a component instead of changing the entire assembly. For instance, an AC compressor that costs Rs 15,000 need not be replaced. Only the electromagnetic clutch assembly can be replaced for about Rs. 7,000, saving the customer quite a bit of cash.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Ford Classic as it goes through a car spa and a paint touch-up process.

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