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Garage had my car for five months and still wasn't fixed

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My recently purchased Renault Laguna diesel estate was such a responsive car and a delight to drive until one afternoon it spluttered to a halt.  The green flag man told me that it looked like a fuel problem and suggested that he transport my car the forty or so miles back home on the back of his lorry.

Later that week I placed my lifeless Laguna in the safe hands of my local electro diesel specialist garage.  I will have it sorted out in a couple of days mate said the mechanic.  Great I thought, a couple of days off work would suite me fine.

So I waited a couple of days and then walked over to the garage and I was advised that the problem was actually the heater plugs.  No problem I thought, I won't need to re-mortgage the house to pay the bill.

I telephoned the next day to see if I could have my car back and it was around about then that I entered the twilight world of rip-off garages.  The mechanic had APPARENTLY found further faults in the following order.  The flywheel sensor needed replacing, the MAS air intake sensor needed replacing, the ECU needed repairing, the fuel pump was damaged beyond repair and it will have to be replaced with a new one.

Five weeks later I got a bit miffed with the garage and so I said that I wanted the car back in seven days either working properly or in the same condition that it was when I gave it to them.  They told me to collect the invoice and my car on the following Tuesday and that they would telephone me when the car was ready.  I did not receive a telephone call and so I went to the garage on the Wednesday, just so that it would absolutely be ready for me to pick up.

When I was shown the invoice for the work carried out I could not believe my eyes.  The bill was £1,300.00 and the invoice stated that they could not fix the ECU properly so they were only charging me £309.00 for that!  The mechanic said that would not be charging me for removing the security immobilizer from the car! After contemplating telling the mechanic where to stick his bill I though I better check the car first.

A renault laguna When I checked the car I noticed that the fuel pump was a second hand one and that when I started the car the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree with flashing lights.  The mechanic said that he could stop the lights flashing by removing the bulbs!  When I told the mechanic that I thought the car was not ready to go back on the road, he said that it was my fault because I did not collect it the day before!

I decided to teach the garage a lesson in life and sued their butts off.  When they received the County Court letter they advised me that if I don't withdraw my claim they would tell the judge that they found illegal fuel in my fuel tank!  I called the H.M Customs and excise to investigate their claim.  Within an hour they (customs) called me back to inform that despite a thorough investigation they could not find any illegal fuel in my car!

The garage has since offered to tear up their invoice so long as I don't talk about what they have put me through and to withdraw my legal action.  Every meeting that I have had with them has been recorded on my MP3 player including the time he suggested that the best cure for my cars problems would be a match a gallon of petrol and blow it up.

To date they have had my car for FIVE MONTHS.

I was thinking of selling tickets for the court case that will be on the 13 March, but I think I will have more fun writing an account of what happened in court when the day comes.

By: Royboywales


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MikeP

MikeP

Whilst I disagree totally with Fred E's views, at least he has the courage of his convictions and he only posts under one name. I think it is despicable that people post under someone else's name to try to make that person look stupid.

I'm most cases the original poster is quite capable of making himself look stupid without any help from the peanut gallery.

ADMIN : PROTECTED USER NAMES PLEASE
29/07/11 MikeP
-10
Fred E

Fred E

A standard service on a car is a simple oil change. The rest is checks which most garages ignore. A major service includes an air filter (easy just need screwdriver), fuel filter easy pair of pliers, plugs on petrol car easy with wrench. Take wheels off to check brakes. Easy to change pads and discs. No computers at all in servicing. To connect computer to PC cheap lead off ebay mine was £17. Free software download. Find diagbostic trouble codes (DTCs) look on internet forums. Cars have known faults - internet forums are so useful. Cars these days are are beautifully engineered but garages can cause so much damage in such a short period of time. If you can keep them away from garages and look after them yourself you'll be much better off. I always say there's only one person bothered about my car - me.
28/07/11 Fred E
-6
MK2 Escort

MK2 Escort

Many faults on modern cars can only be be rectified by replacing components in a "most likely to be faulty" order. This practice does of cause lead to inflated bills.
I would not touch a modern car with a bargepole, cat convertor, sensors, ECU, etc.they are far too complicated, and this "fly by wire" nonsense where the throttle etc is controlled by the ECU is crazy. What's wrong with a cable?
Try running a kit car made from something like a MK2 Escort, compared to modern cars they have the complexity of a knife and fork and you can do your own repairs and servicing if you wish.
I have never in all my life come upon a garage that can be trusted, but there must be some out there.
28/07/11 MK2 Escort
-6
fuzi b

fuzi b

took my range rover sport to a landrover specialist well thats wot they called themselfs as the engine just cut out on me i asked the garage to have a look and tell me whats wrong with it they messed me about saying it called be a fuel problem then a week later said it could now be a cam shaft chain that snaped so they said they fixed that but the car was still not running properly so i couldnt pick it up now 6 weeks later he's telling me i need a new engine i have already paid 900 towards the bill of 1200 he said was the cam chain problem but he is now trying to charge me more money for saying he has tried to look and fix parts in the engine to get it going n is holding my car i just want my car back now out that garage can any1 tell me off how i would take them to a small claims court n get my 900 back and my car as they have not fixed it
27/07/11 fuzi b
-7
T in texas

T in texas

I am having the same problem with my Dodge Neon. The transmission went out and we took it to a local mechanic that had repaired my car before. he took the transmission out along with other items and said he had the transmission replaced. The car is still not running and is still at his shop 6 months later. We have currently filed a small claim against him and won. In the meantime my car was sitting in his yard and someone hit the backside of the car. So therefore when we filed the claim we also included the cost of the repairs and the cost to replace the rear quarter panel of my car. He refuses to release the car even though he was paid in full for the repairs that never did get done. My suggestion is take them to small claims court and they will realize that people like us are tired of being taken to the cleaners.
14/07/10 T in texas
-15
LC, London

LC, London

What a joke, take them to the cleaners, crooks like that don't deserve to be in business!! I am having simliar problems, they have told me to withdraw the court case, or I will loose unfortunately for them I don't scare easily!!
08/02/10 LC, London
-8
Hairy Jim

Hairy Jim

No disrespect OP, but you did buy a Laguna, which are well known for electronic maladies with the fuel/airflow systems. Do some research prior to buying your next car, it will save you a fortune.
Kevin (16/04 With engine rebuild issues) Incorrect timing can damage pistons and big ends. Detonation occurs when ignition is too early in the stroke, putting excess stress on the aluminium of the piston, and cracking it. Big ends are the next weak link in the chain, as the con rods are normally heavy grade forged steel, and the bearings are copper or steel coated with white metal. With modern cars relying on the firing of the spark to also control fuel injection also, the resultant fuel wash in the bores would also wear the soft pistons excessively. Please people, do some research before just having a go at mechanics. Just yesterday at the main dealer where I work, I had to look at a car with a number of running faults, and it was decided that the engine noise required the full cam belt, tensioner, and guide rollers, possibly water pump aswell, and the running fault was diagnosed as the main engine ECU. Total bill to be around 1200 quid, with other issues on top of that to sort out. I advised the customer not to have the work done, and source a replacement vehicle, paying us just the blanket diagnosis charge of £59.95 (Not bad for 1.5 hours stripping a fuel tank/cambelt covers etc) So we are not all dishonest you see!
28/08/08 Hairy Jim
-12
Lesley

Lesley

I took my Renault Clio 1.2 into the Renault Garage in Shirley, Solihull on 31st March 2008 for its first service - at a cost of £194.00. When I picked the car up there was grease all over the bumper, a scuff mark on the bumper and a dent in the passenger door!

The Service Manager immediately said he would get the body shop to phone me and book it in to be repaired - never heard from him again.

Contacted the Customer Serviced Dept and they phoned me and said that they had spoken to the Service Manager at the Renault Garage in Shirley, Solihull and he was going to phone me - still have not heard anything. It is now approx 30 days since I have the first service on my car and no one has contacted me to repair the damaged they caused. The car is 1 year old and has only done 2,000 miles!

I have now written to the Service Director - we will see if that does the trick- if not looks like solicitors will have to step in. I advise anyone not to go to that Renault Garage to have your car serviced - they are just not interested in your car only your money!
10/06/08 Lesley
-8
kevin

kevin

Ive the same problem.
the garage has had my car since 6th March 2008 and still has It to date 16th April 2008, I asked for a reconditioned engine,they claim the Ignition timing is at fault and caused the big ends and pistons to go thus bumping up the price.
I know that ignition timing does not do this and they are trying to buff me off, I suspect it was a problem with the oil pump which will be supplied with the reconditioned engine. I havent paid for the repairs but just wondering if I should under protest, It will be a fight to get the money back.
16/04/08 kevin
-12
terry

terry

This is a disgrace, and typical of many garages around. it's about time mechanics were monitored more closely and answerable to 'a higher body' therfore enabling customers to resolve unlawful behavior, much quicker. We are have just received our car back after 6 months in the garage but are still arguing over the bill! It also cost us £2500 in hiring and insuring cars during the 6 months. All because the mechanic couldn't fit the timing belt properly!
25/03/08 terry
-6
mark

mark

Im allso having trouble my bill so far is -£1,000 . my repaires arent yet complete ,I now hear it has to go to another garage for electrical checks , Im feeling pretty fed up I estimate in the end it will cost me close to £2,000 . I only had the car for one day .
27/02/08 mark
-14
MICK

MICK

This sounds vary familar to what I am going through now... But difference with my case is that its with a multi-nation household car dealer... Do have any suggestion on how to push this issue to take this case to court...
06/12/07 MICK
-16
I agree.. but...

I agree.. but...

Yes its a good idea to name and shame garages, however bear in mind that in doing so the website can get into all sorts of trouble from small "cyber bullying" small garages. Threats of legal action for defamatory and libelous material etc. etc. You get the picture! Would be nice to champion the consumer but sometimes its not worth it. Big companies like BT and Sky don't give a damn, but the small companies go for the jugular - I guess a bad press means they have more to loose.
27/11/07 I agree.. but...
-9
MARCO

MARCO

Perhaps having the garages name will help many others, I think.
04/11/07 MARCO
-3
Fast Forward

Fast Forward

Hi , any news on the judgement? It would be nice to hear how you resolved your problem!
21/05/07 Fast Forward
-14

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