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whAT WOULD YOUPAY

Discussion in 'Car Repairs / Maintenance' started by spraggo, 7 Sep 2014.

  1. spraggo

    spraggo

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    What would you pay

    I recently asked my local garage to carry out the usual annual MOT and also a full service on my 1997 Vauxhall Astra Merit 1.7TD van with 117596 on the clock.

    On completion, when I drove the van I noticed that after a few miles that the power steering seemed to momentarily fail as though the front wheels were in a rut. After approx 8 miles I noticed that this was getting worse so I decided to look under the bonnet and was amazed by what I saw. There were signs of oil spillage around the air filter and the left hand side of the rocker cover and it was evident that it had spilt down onto the alternator and power steering belts, which in my mind was causing the power steering belt to slip. I decided that I should get the van back to the garage right away, but on returning I heard a load bang and clattering coming from the engine and it came to an abrupt stop. On further inspection I found that the two v belts seem to have vanished.

    I then phoned the garage that did the service and demand that they came to my rescue, which they did and towed me back to their garage. They assured me that they would fix the problem and that the van would be ready next morning. The next morning they phoned to inform me that the problem was that the cam belt had snapped and nudged off the alternator and power steering belts, which I found odd as the cam belt is completely enclosed and that the power steering belt was slipping before the cam belt snapped? They informed me that the cam belt was way past its renewal date but when I told them that I had an invoice from them stating that they had changed and renewed the cam belt and v belts the last time they serviced the van 6 years ago with 10587 miles on the clock , roughly 12000 miles ago they went quiet. When I visited the garage to check the progress I was informed that they would also need to replace 8 cam rockers, I also noticed that the broken cam belt was saturated in oil. However, the van is now back and in full working order.

    I have now received an invoice for, Two drive belts, one cam belt kit and 8 cam rockers totalling £293.15p inc V A T.

    How much of this invoice do you think I should pay.


    spraggo
     
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  3. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    Broken belts - of any type- don't cause oil leaks, but leaving the oil filler cap off or loose does!
    It's not unknown for auxiliary belts to delaminate and whip the timing belt off, but not the other way round but I guess it could happen, and a knackered timing belt could interfere with the rockers.
    You aren't getting the full story, I think!
    Can you confirm the mileage of your maintenance? Something doesn't add up there.
    John :)
     
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  4. spraggo

    spraggo

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    Hi John, Sorry the mileage should read 105587 and 117596.
    Regards

    spraggo
     
  5. Mursal

    Mursal

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    Seems OK as invoices go, at under £300 for a broken timing belt. Good job the rockers snapped as designed, or you could add another 0 (£3000) on the end.
    As for the quality of work, that caused the oil leak, I'll leave that up to you.
     
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  6. Burnerman

    Burnerman

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    If the timing belt was renewed just 12000 miles ago, it would have been as new.
    If the auxiliary belts slip off their pulleys, they often get under the timing belt cover and off comes the timing belt.
    So.....was the oil leak just a wiped up spill, or was it an actual leak?
    Either way, the invoice is fine for the job but I reckon there's been a cover up.
    (I'm not one to contradict - I was recently stuffed big time by the motor trade).
    John :)
     
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  8. Mursal

    Mursal

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    John, I don't think there is any way of knowing the whole truth? We have notice over the years, that people cant tell the whole truth when you ask a question in relation to the work carried out. There is always an element of truth to the story, but never the whole truth.
     
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  9. spraggo

    spraggo

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    Hi John and Mursal, thanks for your replies, the point is, as the garage caused this damage do you think that I should have to foot the bill?.

    Regards

    spraggo
     
  10. AlanE

    AlanE

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    If the scenario you described is what actually happened then I would expect to pay nothing over and above the cost of the servicing work they carried out.

    What did seem strange in your original post was
    Is this the only times the vehicle has been serviced?
     
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  11. spraggo

    spraggo

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    Yes, I take the van to the garage every 12000 miles for a full service.

    Regards

    spraggo
     
  12. mfarrow

    mfarrow

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    Servicing every 6 years instead of the recommended 1 is not going to make the garage sympathetic to giving out discount. Having said that, there probably isn't a great deal of demonstrable correlation between service interval and the life of your cambelt.

    Unless I'm missing something I fail to see how oil on a belt will cause it to slip off it's V's. Belts are very resistant to contaminants like oil and are engineered for changes in longitude load caused by the non-linear rotational speed of the engine, especially under load.

    As it was the low mileage belt fitted by them which they say caused all the damage perhaps offer to cover parts cost only. That way they've only lost a days labour which they pay for anyway. After 6 years without a service you're asking a lot for it all to be free but the mileage is way too low for a failure unless you drive it in 1st with the clutch slipping.
     
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