Friday, 26 December 2008


Ok that’s Crimbo out of the way, the world can return to “normal”.

I hope you had a good time, and got your hearts desire contained in the wrapping paper.

I had a reasonable time, great dinner with the neighbours, ate too much went home and fell asleep during Wallace and Grommit, but I have it on DVD so I didn’t miss too much.

I don’t tend to do “Religion” I don’t have many problems with “God” as such: it’s religion I have problems with.

But anyway I don’t “do” religion, so on to other things.

I know I said I wouldn’t be back until tomorrow, but this “tale” has pissed me off.

But what I do “do” is idiots, a friend of mine’s car had a puncture while at work, she called out the rescue services, who duly arrived and did the usual intake of breath, because she had the forethought to fit locking wheel nuts.

This gets a bit complicated so bear with me, the “key” for the nut was missing, it was there before because she had the car serviced at a Vauxhall main dealer two months previously, and I presume the “technician” removed the wheels as part of the service.

So, the breakdown guy couldn’t change the wheel, but recovered the car to the said main dealer.

The guy at the Vauxhall garage said that they couldn’t change the wheel because-yes-the key was missing, they also said that all four tyres needed replacing and that there was a bad oil leak from the front of the engine (very precise). All in all the cost would be about £700.

So, Christmas Eve I took the lady to the so called Garage with my little compressor, and inflated the tyre, I then went to have a word with “the man”, I explained to him in simple terms that the locking wheel nut could be removed with a socket and a hammer, which he agreed, but didn’t bother to tell my “female” friend.

I also explained that the key for the locknut was probably in the “technicians” toolbox and had anybody asked him, the answer was a blank stare, I then went on to explain that the oil leak could probably only come from either the “rocker box” cover, which if removed during the service to adjust the valves, could have been refitted badly, or the that the oil filter was badly fitted, or that the head gasket was leaking. As the car runs perfectly I doubt the last has happened.

And was again greeted with a red faced blank stare.

So I drove the car back to my friend’s house and will remove the wheel nut as described earlier, I have given my friend the web address and she has purchased four new tyres “which will be needed, not immediately but better to be safe than sorry”, for £160 fitted, and I will investigate the oil leak myself.

Total cost probably less than £200, some £500 less than the quote from the main dealer.

It seems that “Rip off Britain” is still in full swing, it seems that garages are still treating the feminine sex as an excellent target for outrageous profit because they presume the “ladies” are ignorant of mechanical matters, and so are a lot of men.

So, just a bit of advice to the mechanically disadvantaged, when you take your vehicle to a garage, find someone who knows what they are talking about to go with you and always ask for the parts removed, which the garage says need replacing.

A bit of advice for the garages, stop FIRKIN ripping people off, play fair, if you do then you will get repeat business, and recommendations, a short term profit will not solve your cash flow problems, it will only make them worse in the long run.



CherryPie said...

Thankfully I haven't had that sort of experience from a mechanic for a while. The last time I did they wished they hadn't tried to dismiss me. After all they had messed my car up in the first place and wasn't accepting their response of we couldn't possible have done that!

Angus Dei said...

Good for you!

The really annoying bit is that they are not even mechanics anymore, just "replacers" I truly doubt if any of them could tune a pair
of "strombergs" by ear, unless thay had the latest "diagnostic computer".

Common sense seems to have deserted the Motor Trade, and has been replaced by greed and bad "service" in both senses of the word.