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A car question

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lanokia, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    So I took my car for a service... and it got one. But the guy reels off a long list of problems that need addressing. New cambelt, steering rack joints and swinging arm bushes badly seperated.

    Now of those I only understood cambelt... it makes the engine go whir!

    The bill is close to £900. The garage was a Halfords autocentre...

    Anyone got any idea how I can save someone money on this? Is there a way of shopping around? I mean sure, I know, I could just go to another garage but I'm automotively illiterate ... i always feel like achump.
  2. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Ask @jacob

    And if you find a good, trustworthy local garage hang on to them.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Cheers Flere... yeah @jacob does seem like a good choice!
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    My fantastic independent mechanic used to work for a main dealership. He says that the mechanics had no customer contact and were told to write reports stating things like "the disc brakes have some wear and tear'. Customer then usually asks how much to change them and gives the go ahead. As he explained, the disc brakes have some wear and tear when you've driven a mile after picking up a new car.

    He always tell me how much wear is left in a component that might need replacing before the next service.
  5. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    That's my worry @jubilee that they are just drumming up business... but my cambelt hasn't been touched and I'm at 105,000miles so...
  6. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I wouldn't go to Halford's am afraid. Far better to find a local garage...... and even better if one friends can recommend.
    A cam belt going can be a disaster - as in new engine - as it happened to me with a Mondeo. They have to be changed every so many miles......
  7. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thing is Halfords autocentre are the local garage... a ten min walk....

    I could go back to the place I bought it and have them look it over...
  8. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    I'm not surprised, if you take your car to Halfords to be looked at.

    Yes. Don't be afraid of getting your hands dirty and do the jobs yourself. Ain't you got a bit of paper somewhere that says how clever you are? Well the grease monkeys at Halfords and Kwikfit probably haven't, so you'll have a head start on them, won't you?
  9. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Call the AA., or RAC., they have experts on hand to advise, always assuming you are a member. They will for a fee inspect your car.
  10. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Well... cheers for that DoY.
  11. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Long overdue.IMO.
  12. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Green Flag :(
  13. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    They may also offer an inspection service. You do not have to be a member to get an AA inspection btw.
    Cam belt is a must after 100k + and you could book it in somewhere else for an MOT to get the same as an AA inspection (sort of).
  14. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    Check whether they picked up the cambelt because
    a) it is worn and needs immediate replacement

    or b) because they have no record of a previous change - some garages do this.

    If it is 'a' then it needs changing and could wreck your engine if it fails - but you can get a quote over the phone from other garage. And it is possible that if the cambelt needs changing, other associated bits should be replaced as well - so ask that question so that you get an accurate quote.

    If it is 'b' then as long as they assess it ok for now it should do no harm - but not something I would personally take a chance on
    My instinct is that you would have some steering symptoms if this was a major issue - so are they worn badly or just showing wear?

    That sounds definate enough and needs fixing - swinging arms are part of the suspension and bushes do wear out. I have no idea of the difficulty or cost involved in replacing, but once again it is worth checking what your quote is actually for - is it just the bushes?

    Halfords have been ok when I have used them, but they are not the cheapest and independents can be cheaper (and the fixes are bread and butter stuff for a decent mechanic) - but the issue is finding someone good and trustworthy!

    Sorry don't think that helps your new year any though :(
  15. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Cheers @lexus300 ... yeah cambelt seems obvious.
  16. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    And cheers @colpee

    Well cambelt hasn't been changed in ... well the life of the car so ... probably due.

    The steering 'feels' fine to me .... so not sure there.

    That last one, the bushes, yeah it sounds gnarly...

  17. mandala1

    mandala1 Occasional commenter

    Find a local independent small business garage who you can build up a relationship with and who you can trust. They will be worth their weight in gold. Ask neighbours, work colleagues, ask on local social network sites for recommendations - Streetlife, FB etc.
    Dragonlady30 and magic surf bus like this.
  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    What's worked best for us is avoiding main dealers and big companies and using a friendly local family-run garage over a number of years. Even brand new cars don't have to be serviced by main dealers if the alternative garage uses OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components. Obviously if your new vehicle warranty includes an element of free servicing then go with them until they start charging for it.

    The cam belt change is always an expensive job, but having it fail on you is very expensive. Where other big components are needed it's sometimes possible to get reconditioned ones as opposed to brand new, and independent garages are more likely to offer this option.

    By way of example, the paintwork on the front of our car's roof panel began to bubble and peel for no obvious reason, but the car is out of warranty. If I'd gone to the main dealer they would have been stripping the paint back to the metal and respraying it for hundreds of pounds. Our local garage rang up someone who does vinyl van signage, and he custom made an adhesive vinyl cover to go over the affected part of the roof and trimmed it neatly to fit around the glasswork. Final bill, just over £100. Therein lies the difference.
  19. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Just offering the advice that saw me donkeys' years of driving, which for much of it, cost me no more to keep my cars roadworthy than the cost of the parts I needed to replace. That and a tin or two of Swarfega.

    If I were you, I'd type in your car model and the jobs that need doing into google and see what videos it finds to show you how simple the jobs are. I didn't have that luxury when I was your age, nor the money to pay someone to fix my cars. It was get stuck in myself or walk.
  20. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    My wife had a Picanto, which came with a three year warranty. At the first service (and first MOT) after the warranty expired, she was presented with a long list of everything that needed fixing or replacing! I can't remember the exact figure on the estimate but it was an eyebrow-raiser. That the garage from which she bought the car had given up the franchise and the warranty had been transferred to the next nearest dealer might have had something to do with this. We took the car to a local garage, on the recommendation of one of her friends, which only found a couple of the things on the estimate needed doing for the MOT, and did the lot, as well as the service, for about a third of the price quoted on the original dealer's estimate. I mentioned the name of this dealer to the local man, who seemed to have a 'poor opinion' of them.

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