Three wheels on my wagon

My car was due its MOT and service today, so a couple of weeks ago I booked it into the a Ford dealership in north Bristol.

Since then, there’s been a funny rattling sound from somewhere under the car. I guessed it might be the rear suspension or something like that. When I dropped the car off this morning, I asked them to make a note that there was a rattle, and to check it out. The conversation went something like this:

Me: My car has been rattling. (I give details) Can you please make a note for one of your mechanics to check it while it’s being serviced?

Woman: Certainly, but please be aware that there is a £44.99 fee for any diagnostic tests.

Me: What? You mean making sure the wheels stay on isn’t part of a service?!

Woman: I’m afraid not.

Me: In that case, don’t worry. Just do the service as normal, and if the mechanics happen to notice something then I’ll have it fixed. If not, I’ll take it to a different garage tomorrow.

Woman: No problem.

Me: Out of interest, if I pay £44.99 to have the suspension checked and it’s not that, will the mechanics be able to check other things, such as the steering?

Woman: I’m afraid not. You’ll have to pay the fee again if you want a different test doing.

I don’t think I will be using this dealership again. Initially I only started using an official Ford dealer because it was necessary to maintain the car’s warranty. Now that has expired anyway, I might as well go to my local garage which is cheaper, nearer and friendlier. Most importantly, they don’t play Battleships, charging fifty quid each time I make a guess.

One Comment

  1. Stu
    March 31, 2010
    Reply

    Ah yes… I had a Vauxhall main dealer offer to charge me £300 for a new alternator which they admitted would be a first try at fixing the problem, and if it wasn’t that, they’d try something else and charge me more.

    I took it to my local garage who did a quick, free diagnosis, then fitted a battery for £20. It fixed the problem.

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