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Re car servicing

(25 Posts)
Mooney1 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:08:57

So i went to get my car serviced the other day at a car dealership and was told that there was about £600 of repairs needed. I thought it was a bit steep so I thought I'd take the car to a local garage where labour costs are cheaper.

Local garage checked car and saying that issues that were pointed out are not issues and car is in fine working order.

So that's saved me quite a lot of money. But AIBU to report the garage who tried to charge me for non existent work and to who???? I'm not sure if they ripped me off because I'm a woman whose clueless about cars or if it's just their standard practise.

Bluecheese22 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:15:41

Dealerships notoriously charge more for jobs but they shouldn't invent them. I find it much better to find a mechanic with their own business and build a relationship that way you can trust you only have work done you need and for a fair price. Also I'd bet any money the fact you're a woman didn't help!

sophie150 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:16:00

Not sure about who you could complain to, but will join you in your mistrust of main dealers. I swapped to a local garage after paying £400 for a regular service where they didn't actually find anything specific wrong with the car and came out feeling so sick that I had been conned. Now pay £140 ish for a service and really trust the garage owner not to con me (he has done the odd thing for free like changing fuses when I had a starter motor issue and topping up my oil). Ultimately it's a better strategy because he has a customer for life!

RosePetels Thu 30-Jul-15 14:20:02

I don't understand the whole ripping off customers, so they would rather have ripped off someone once than have their business continuously and recommend their friends. I recently got ripped off at a carpet shop, I got my money back so they didn't get the sale but just found it pointless.
Op you should report it and leave a review on trust pilot and any other review website you can find.

CoogerAndDark Thu 30-Jul-15 14:21:57

You could write to their Head Office but it's unlikely to do much good. Stick with the independent garage from now on if they do a decent job and don't overcharge.

Mooney1 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:29:21

Yes I will definitely be using local garage. This dealership does it a lot as when I told local garage that I had taken car in for servicing and needed a lot of work done, guy said did you take it to "......" When I said yes he said he had another car same make that were told needed new break pads, then when they (local garage( checked it said there was nothing wrong.

Just makes me so mad that they can get away with ripping off customers, I've asked to speak to service manager, he's conveniently been in a three hour meeting.

sparechange Thu 30-Jul-15 14:42:23

They'll fob you off saying they 'recommended' the work should be done and didn't say it 'needed to be done'. And the recommendation will come from the manufacturer and probably be based on someone doing maximum mileage every year, rather than actually looking at your car.

AugustRose Thu 30-Jul-15 14:43:06

I had my car serviced at Kwikfit recently and they use a system (similar to Halfords) where they list items green, amber and red. Red being something that needs done immediately, amber just a warning to be done before it gets worse (or before the MOT) and green for what it OK.

Did they give you a similar breakdown? Dealers always charge more for parts and labour but should not be lying.

ValancyJane Thu 30-Jul-15 14:45:54

I would complain to both the branch manager and head office, and leave reviews online reflecting this.

I have never touched a dealership after the fan (not sure of the proper term, but the vents in the car that blow hot/cold air on your face) broke when the car was still under warranty. It hadn't worked for about a month when I took it in, however they 'couldn't find anything wrong because it worked, but they'd had the front off to look for a loose connection but couldn't find anything' so I had to pay for it, despite the fact that the fan had been broken and they had clearly done some work on it. Was not impressed and have gone to the little local garage ever since. They sent me a customer satisfaction survey about a month later, and it was a pleasure to fill out!!

Mooney1 Thu 30-Jul-15 14:54:07

Yes it was a breakdown of red, Amber, green, and there were 3 things red, 1 Amber rest green. I think they thought I was going to agree to get work done there and then but I had another appointment so that's why I left it that day.

Now luckily I did, so items marked red have been checked by the local garage who couldn't see anything wrong.

I'm definitely going to write to head office and try and do a review. Just peed off that they are deliberately conning people.

Melonfool Thu 30-Jul-15 14:56:11

Always happens - I was told about 4 years ago that my brake disks needed replacing, still not done them....

My car is 13 years old with 220k on the clock, I have decided to stop bothering with services now. MOT and fix anything that makes a funny noise.

ineedabodytransplant Thu 30-Jul-15 15:01:29

AugustRose, I wouldn't go near Kwikfit if you paid me. They are as bad as a lot of the stealerships. Generally the things they find 'wrong' are things they can provide. As said before you need to find a local, smallish mechanic. I find the best way is to join a forum for your car. Often they will recommend a place to go.

I need to change my car every three years to comply with my car allownace requirements. My cars are usually 6 months old when I buy them. I've never taken one yet to a main dealer.

AugustRose Thu 30-Jul-15 16:23:24

I just wondered if the system was the same.

I know Kwikfit have a bad reputation we only used this particular one because it was close to my mum's where I was staying for a few days and it has a better record than most and DH has dealt with them before. They didn't push anything on me or charge me any more than the servicing but I won't be getting any work done there - I will be using my own local garage now that I am back home.

To be honest I was surprised that they didn't say the brakes needed done as it seems to be a standard for most places.

bigbluebus Thu 30-Jul-15 17:03:17

I have to take my car to a main dealership as it is a lease car. I don't pay for the servicing though so doesn't bother me. However, I am obliged to go to Kwikfit for tyres (again I'm not paying so I'm not bothered) but the times I have been told by the main dealership that I need new tyres (they know they are not allowed to supply them) only to trot off to KwikFit to be told that they tyres are fine. I've never understood the logic in that one.

KneeHighScooterBruises Thu 30-Jul-15 17:06:27

SIL recently paid £400 for a service in a dealership. Her car basically fell apart a week later. It must have been visible, but it wasn't their fault, because 'we don't look for those faults'. Unbelievable.

DorothyGherkins Thu 30-Jul-15 17:09:46

I had the Good Garage Scheme recommended on here last year. My local one is brilliant, honest and trustworthy, and no trying to rip you off. I keep going back to mine now. Thanks again MN !! Have a google see if you have one locally.

Sockmatcher Thu 30-Jul-15 17:15:45

Possibly trading stsbdards!?

derenstar Thu 30-Jul-15 17:20:50

I have just had a completely different experience. For the past five years, I've had a service plan with the main dealer and there was never anything needing doing when I take the car in. Also always passed MOT each time. This year, first time ever (and because I'm getting rid of the car) I took it to a local recommended garage for a service. They charged about half the price of the main dealers but they rang me with a long list of things they had found that needed fixing, including topping up the windscreen washer fluid at £40+VAT, replacing pollen filter at £60+VAT, changing an indicator lamp which for £30+ VAT and toppin up anti freeze at £40+VAT. I said no thanks, could do all that myself. After a brief pause, he then said he could do it all for £80+VAT. I said no again and told him his prices were actually more expensive than the main dealer. I ended up getting the filter off eBay for £12, bulb was £3 for 2 off halfords, anti freeze was £4 and windscreen washer fluid we had loads of in the garage. All really easy stuff to do yourself. From this experience, im sticking with my main dealer going forward (and they valet my car and give me a courtesy car as part of the price too).

pinkje Thu 30-Jul-15 17:22:15

Do you not need to use the dealer though to protect the warranties (might just be relevant to new cars I suppose) and to get the correct parts?

PourquoiTuGachesTaVie Thu 30-Jul-15 17:22:33

If they're a main dealer you can complain direct to the manufacturer, also are they affiliated with any automotive group? It should say on their website, if so then they should have a code of conduct and you could complain to them. Finally, you can always report to trading standards.

Dealerships don't want to fix cars, they'd rather sell you a new one.

Mooney1 Thu 30-Jul-15 18:39:35

Service manager rang me to say he wants to check car himself and test car again to ensure been serviced correctly, will be interesting to see what he comes back with.

CoogerAndDark Fri 31-Jul-15 07:52:09

As long as the independent garage has used the correct parts for your car it's still covered by the warranty.
I have incredibly low mileage and the services are based on a much higher mileage as a pp said. I asked the dealership if that could be taken into account as they have two prices for services (main and interim) and they gave me a load of flannel about why I had to pay for the full one that I know is wrong. Then they tried to get scarey about not using them for services which I counteracted with the actual facts and they knew I was right.

penisland Fri 31-Jul-15 08:51:04

I have incredibly low mileage and the services are based on a much higher mileage

Not strictly true, there are certain things that degrade with time not just mileage so worth keeping that in mind. Things like brake fluid and coolant need changing at specified intervals and will often be part of larger services. Engine oil should be changed just as frequently in a car that does very low mileage as that kind of use does the oil no good at all. Other service items like air filters and spark plugs you can definitely get away with running for longer if you only do a low mileage. The main time dependent service item is of course the cambelt - exceed the change interval at your peril!

Collaborate Fri 31-Jul-15 09:15:20

In fact a low mileage car may show more sign of wear than a higher one. Clutch gets used more, engine runs cold etc etc.

From the Autotrader site:
The biggest problem with older low-mileage cars is that they haven't had much exercise. Cars are full of plastic and rubber parts that tend to get brittle if they're not used regularly, and drivetrain components are definitely happier when they have hot fluids coursing through them on a consistent basis. In other words, as attractive as those low miles may be, they can also foreshadow big-bucks repairs and reconditioning. In some cases, the car might never run quite right despite your mechanic's repeated efforts. For this reason, we suggest cross-shopping that low-mileage older car with a higher-mileage specimen, especially one that's a few years newer. Assuming it has a robust maintenance history and drives well, it could actually be a better long-term bet in terms of running costs. Bottom line? Low miles aren't always your friend, and newer often means better, even if the miles are considerably higher.

CoogerAndDark Fri 31-Jul-15 09:16:38

True, penisland, but my local garage knows all about that and will check on the basis of what needs to be done, not on a set price at set intervals.

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