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