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Do you ever have those days when....

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,886
Registered: 05-04-2007

Do you ever have those days when....

..when it turns out to be very expensive, and frustrating. This has culminated over the period of two days, but has been bubbling away for months.
The house we rent is great, fairly new, decent central heating, great landlord, yadda yadda yadda. However, my world was shattered when I discovered that in the master bedroom, water had ingressed all the way round the frame of the window, ruining the wallpaper and leaving a nice pool of water on the window cill. - The previous owners of this place were great at doing things themselves, only not so great at making sure it was done properly. Mr tenancy agent turned up yesterday afternoon.. "Oh dear Mr. L, I'll have to contact the landlord to get clearance to get it repaired" (The Landlord lives in crete) "Yeah, fine, I'll try and get it dried up" Nice Mr. Tenancy agent disappears off into the distance. I hear faint "yee-haws" as he disappears up the road in his shiny BMW 7 series.
Now for the second bit; the Air conditioning in my 57 reg car decided to pack up and go away on holiday, never to be seen again, along with this, the boot had an added "extra", namely a water feature. Every time it rained, I had a waterfall in the boot, which basically got into all my equipment, spares and tools. Not great.
Add a little sprinkling of carphone failure, or rather being told I sound like Bernard Manning did it for me, so I decided throw my toys out and got hold of the lease company.
They chuntered on this for a couple of days and decided to give me the go-ahead to get the work done. The nice chap from the dealership turned up yesterday morning (I nearly fell over from his garlic breath  ) and promptly checked over the car with me (Breathed over me again a few times to make sure I got the garlic sensation) and took it away.
Come 3pm yesterday, I get a call from the dealership.
"I'm sorry Mr. L, we're going to have to have your car for another two days, the compressor for your aircon has gone."
"OK, but I'm telling you now, I need it back at my house by 5pm latest Wednesday"
"No, sir, that's going to be impossible, we need to send the car to the body shop"
"Pardon? Body Shop? Isn't that some place that the late Anita Roddick started?"
"No sir, we have to take the boot gate off to re-weld the hinges"
"Ahhh, ok, but that won't take you all day, especially if you're waiting for the compressor to arrive from Luton. Why don't you fix the boot leak first, then sort the compressor tomorrow?"
"Oh yes, sir, I hadn't thought about that!"
"Marvellous! make sure it's back by 5pm Wednesday then"
Sure enough, the car was delivered back to the house at 2pm, where Mrs. L took the keys for me. I'd already had a phone call from the nice man at the carphone fitters, and they will be out whenever I want, to fit a nice new bluetooth kit.. result!
Meanwhile, I was out getting tyres put onto the kiddie chariot because I found out that some numpty at the local tyre fitters decided to fit 2 types of tyre on the car (H and V rated - you can't mix them) they were all getting a bit worn so thought I'd give it it's Christmas present early (to the tune of £265, thanks Mr. Kwik-fit!) and go get the car cleaned up (the bearcubs can be messy sow-n-so's you know!)
As the car was being reversed off the ramps, I noticed that the brake light and reverse lights weren't working - checked over with the technician there and sure enough, the lamps are extinct, no signs of life - I have to rush home and rescusitate the kiddie chariot or Mrs. L won't be driving it tomorrow.
I spot a fuse blown.. ahh! simple. I change the fuse and promptly test everything, replacing a couple of dodgy lamps at the same time. I put car in reverse to check the reverse light. perfect! they work. I hit the brake pedal *poof!* fuse promptly blows. Oh fiddle! this is a bit more serious.
I take it to the local grease monkey - his appearance is deceptive; he looks remarkably un-intelligent, but he's on the ball. he quickly identifies that the wires that run into the hatch through a rubber boot have chafed so badly, they have broken and have exposed cores.. this could have potentially caught fire, with Mrs. L and the bearcubs inside.. it's going to cost me more mazooma, but at least the car will be safe.
So.. the moral of the story is...
Don't buy a house where the previous owners liked to do DIY
New cars are sometimes more aggravation than they are worth.
And finally, looks are deceptive, someone might not look intelligent, but he may just have potentially saved your families lives..

9 REPLIES
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

You don't like to do things by halves do you Roger Smiley
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Do you ever have those days when....

You know what, I don't think it could have gotten much worse to be honest.. but it has to be said, I have kept my sense of humour over this, as you could probably tell!
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

I frequently have one of them days...
When we got the safrane a while back we did a long airport run. The next day the car stank of petrol inside and the smell wouldn't go away. It was so strong that you'd get in a within 5 minutes it felt like paint stripper had hit the throat. Eventuall traced it to the fuel line - it had cracked right at the end and was leaking tiny amounts of fuel - enough that the heater fan was sucking in the vapour! Cut the end off and reattached and no more problems.
Never trusted any landlords... the one we have now is a stumbling idiot sometimes. He means well but you know what they're like... 3 months to fix a water boiler and wasn't outputting hot water and it turned out to be a blocked pipe... as I'd already suggested.
I personally though when it comes to cars, would never touch a new one. The new ones are way too complicated and frankly I've heard a lot of horror stories about dealers. The local Renault dealer has also put me off too. Everything is so expensive. Need a diagnostic computer check? £48... just to be told "Oooh thats gonna be expensive sir". I've also noticed dealers don't always seem very good at finding faults and fixing them. Our local Renault are very good at taking guesses and replacing parts that don't need replacing.... while the bill runs up. The favourite was taking the car in to find out why it wasn't starting properly. Lambda and TDC sensors they said... £300 job (DIY 10 minutes and no improvement). They didn't bother to tell us there was oil in the coolant and the head gasket had actually failed which another chap told me within 20 seconds of opening the bonnet! Moral of the story? Dealers are good at selling cars and doing the paperwork. Diagnosing the faults and weakpoints with their cars is down to a proper mechanic who has seen the same fault with the model.
I'm also horrified by the warranty conditions of a new car. They have to be serviced exclusively by the dealers or their pals and for awfully high prices. It's a scandal... just like the great petrol robbery.
Get an old car... simpler, no warranty to worry about, no dealers involved and just easier in general.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

Roger
You are probably going to need a new keyboard having worn it out after typing that tale!
techguy
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Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: Do you ever have those days when....

Hi Roger
Read your post and immediately this came to mind http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7zGo9z3nUtI
Enjoy and hope your luck improves
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

Quote
I'm also horrified by the warranty conditions of a new car. They have to be serviced exclusively by the dealers or their pals and for awfully high prices. It's a scandal... just like the great petrol robbery.

I didnt think that was true now, EU legislation and all that, I thought you could get it serviced anywhere as long as they were VAT registered and serviced to the manufacturers schedule.

Quote
I've also noticed dealers don't always seem very good at finding faults and fixing them.

Quite agree with that though. Good story about one of my colleagues at work...
He's got a 56 registered VW Passat 2.0 TDI so far its been a massive tale of woe, at about 3 months it developed a 'Turbo overpressure fault' and went into limp home mode. Dealer diagnosed a faulty pressure switch, 3 days, new pressure switch and whole new Turbo later he got it back. Six months later he notices occasionally its pushing blue smoke out of the exhaust, we all have a look at it and agree it must be burning oil! So into the dealer it goes and guess what, the diagnostic says NFF. A week later and still blue smoke so he takes it back to the dealer and they have it for a couple of days, to try and reproduce the fault. Having had it on the diagnostics and taken it out for a test drive they are about to call my colleague to say there isnt any problem when a technician drives out of the workshop in it and leaves the workshop covered in a cloud of blue smoke!! Oops, maybe it does have a problem after all... So they arrange to have it for a week ( at least they give him a hire car tho ), they take the head off and decide that on one cylinder the piston ring gaps have aligned themselves and the bore looks scored. A week later, one new engine ( well at least the bottom half ) and he gets the car back, no blue smoke. A few weeks ago, guess what, it's starting to smoke again. At least this time the dealer doesn't attempt to say NFF. They quickly arrange to have it for another week ( with hire car ). After about 4 days they call to say they cant find what is causing the problem. Anyway next day they call back and ask has my colleague ever filled it up with oil ? He says 'No , strangely it never used any'. 'That's odd'  they say since 'its showing more than full on the dipstick. We'll have a  word with VW'. Anyway turns out that the oil is not just oil now, its got quite a bit of diesel mixed in there!! One of the fuel pumps has been leaking, probably past the bearings and letting diesel into the oil. This has probably been the problem for a while. So another engine strip down, new fuel pump, oil and filter change and he gets the car back.
What we are all wondering now is , how much other damage has been caused by the diesel mixed in with the oil!!
We'll see what its like in six months or so...
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

If that was me I'd of taken the car back for a refund!
Stuff it, if it starts playing up from new it's going to be a problem for a long time. My attitude is if its built properly it won't be a problem. If its a problem it wasn't built properly.
Having a new replacement lower half of an engine is no joke. A new engine should last for years not need replacing within the first year. That is VERY worrying to me. VW used to make good motors years ago. I wouldn't touch one now though. There is a bloke up my road with a nice Mercedes and he says it is the biggest pile of poop he's ever had. Said it spends more time in the garage than it does on his own drive! It seems that German cars have taken a nose dive in recent years for quality and reliability.
Volvo are the way forward or jap cars. I'm sorta Volvo and renault... the car is a Safrane and has a Volvo powerplant and accessories under the hood. The rest of the car is Renault but it sorta has a volvo feel to it. Quite a solid car and so far no problems touch wood. I wouldn't normally accredit renault with making any decent cars but this one actually proves they can do it when they are determined enough.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

Quote from: ianwarrilow
I didnt think that was true now, EU legislation and all that, I thought you could get it serviced anywhere as long as they were VAT registered and serviced to the manufacturers schedule.

Yes, this is true but the dealers do not want you to know this because otherwise you will not pay £500 for a cambelt change.
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Re: Do you ever have those days when....

Quick update.
My car fixed under warranty (which didn't cost me a dime)
New carphone kit ordered and waiting for install (no charge)
Mrs. L's car all fixed and now safe - cost me £68 to get the wiring sorted, so all in all, not too bad!

Oh.. and here's the stuff from the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) with regards to cars repaired under warranty..
http://www.oft.gov.uk/news/press/2004/85-04