Long-term update: Mitsubishi Galant GTS gets non-dealer major service

We still remember the time when we used to service our cars at ghetto garages and petrol stations, because we were not financially well-endowed back then. That was fine, considering we didn’t even own a car newer than 10 years at that time. Things change of course, and now we own four cars, all relatively newer, so we get almost all of them maintained at their respective dealerships. All except one — our 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS.

Now, we don’t mind dropping money on dealer maintenance. The major service on our Jeep Grand Cherokee cost Dhs 2,250. The first dealer service on our Range Rover under our ownership cost Dhs 2,100, with Dhs 6,000 more in additional repairs. But when the time came around for major service on the Mitsubishi Galant, we went straight to a random independent garage called Dynatrade.

That’s because the dealer quoted us a ridiculous Dhs 2,300 for what amounted to a bunch of “checks” mostly, along with replacement of the non-synthetic engine oil and filter, air filter, transmission fluid, brake fluid and spark plugs. We got the same list from Dynatrade as well, but they charged us only Dhs 1,250. Even Dynatrade’s workshop looks way more upscale than the relatively-ghetto Mitsubishi dealer workshop, also on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is one reason why we stopped going there long ago after just one minor service, and chose to do synthetic oil changes at a Mobil service centre instead, until this major service came along.

A fully-stamped service booklet raises the resale value of your car, but there isn’t much point if you lose all that money on luxury-grade service charges for your economy car, especially when you get none of the perks of a luxury-grade customer experience.

On another note, the battery on the Galant died some time before this service, and we got it replaced by one of those home-delivery battery services for around Dhs 450. The Galant gave plenty of warning signs beforehand, taking longer to start up on several occassions, before finally dying right when we got a new Singapore-branded Kinetic battery.

Interestingly, the Galant is running better than ever after the service, feeling a bit smoother on all fronts, with a rocking a/c to boot. We’re eventually going to sell this car in a few months, since my brother doesn’t do the Dubai-Abu Dhabi commute any more, although it seems like a shame to let it go, considering how solid this back-to-basics car is in a world of cost-cut over-technologied new models.

Original Mileage When Bought: 43,500 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 81,100 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 9.5 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 1700

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 6579

Read all 2008 Mitsubishi Galant GTS long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. essentially if the warranty period is over there little point in getting it serviced by the dealer…

    PS the AED 1,250 km service by Dyna trade was at what km?

    • Author

      It was at 80,000 km. Some high-tech cars do need dealer servicing, as I wouldn’t trust them with any random garage to pick the right oils and crew on things properly. Toyotas and Mitsubishis are easy.

      P.S. We never revealed to Dynatrade that we are media, and they still don’t know.

  2. Dynatrade is much more professional than some of the Dealers out here. They have a well equipped workshop & they do the Servicing only as per the Manufacturers recommendations. Not to mention that they are very reasonable.

    I had got my previous Ford Focus serviced at Dynatrade for the 100K Service.. They did the Service as per the Ford Service recommendations even getting the original spares from Ford.

    Even now my new Prado has got its 3 servicings done at Dynatrade.

  3. i have a service contract with Dynatrade for 50k or 3yrs whichever comes first, and i own a Lancer EX (the very least 1.5 version)..

    While Habtoor asked for 5.5k (yes, you read it right, five thousand and five hundred dhs) for 2 yrs and 30k km…i got 50k km or 3 yrs with Dynatrade for only 2259 dhs..and so far they are soooo professional in my opinion, and car runs smoothly until now !

    Habtoor is a hopeless case, avoid them !

  4. I own Galant 2011
    so far the is so good.
    but the service is costly also its parts are expensive…IN OMAN
    what about other Golf countries??

  5. I own a Galant 2008 Base model myself I can confirm all the mentioned shortcoming with Habtoor plus few more.

    With my Galant both window winding regulators stopped working with 2.5-5 years of usage. I was lucky enough as one got covered under warranty and Other I havent fixed so far.

    Apart from that I can assure that the car runs smooth.

  6. Ha! One of the major reasons I decided to sell my eclipse gt after 2 years only … Extremely shoddy and unprofessional service provided by al habtoor …

  7. My dad had a ’98 Pajero which he service at Habtoor Mussafah (Abu Dhabi) till 2 years back. He didn’t have any complains and there was a very cooperative Moroccan who used to give him discounts and sincere advice. Perhaps, Abu Dhabi service center is an exception.

  8. Very accurate feedback by Mash.My second car is the 4 cylinder Galant 2007 model. Its been a year since I began the daily Dubai- Abu Dhabi commuting. No issues so far even after 120000kms.
    I can perfectly empathise with you guys on the pathetic levels of service of Al Habtoor both at Sharjah and Dubai. Both the Pajero and Galant have been very good with no issues and only the regular wear and tear issues.

  9. Mr. Said Hassan said it right. Al Habtoor – Abudhabi guys seem to be quite friendly and their service has not been that bad as mentioned above. Maybe the earlier references came from their Dubai / Sharjah readers.

  10. Mash what is the tyre size you use for your Galant.?
    Came across one Galant GTS with my friend fitted with 245/45.R17.

    Any comments on this as the normal size is 215 only.
    Is it advised. ?

    • Author

      It’s fine if he has absolutely no rubbing issues when going over sharp bumps or taking turning turns. I’d be worried about that if I were thinking of doing that. However, he probably has a little higher road noise and a little higher fuel consumption now.

  11. Mash.
    One more doubt. How about mixing tyre sizes.?
    Like 235 on the front and 245 on the back. Other than the width the aspect ratio and rim size being the sam .?

  12. well can any one tell me a good work shop for my 2008 3.8 galant regular service , also tell me a very good synthetic oil brand and place to do it. please …

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