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Thread: Question about garage that is struggling to mend my car

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel74 View Post
    Hi, would just like some advice on my legal position with a garage that has had my car in for repair for nearly two weeks. It's a Renault Scenic 1.6vvt on a 08 plate (30,000 miles on the clock). The car started driving very badly the other weekend (kept losing acceleration), also had been starting badly for a while before.

    I took the car into my local independent garage but they've failed to find the fault after nearly two weeks of trying and ruling out most of the obvious e.g. coils, blocked injectors. To make matters worse, they were convinced it was the dephaser pulley (a common Renault fault) so they replaced that along with the full timing belt kit, but all to no avail.

    They have lent me a car for the bank holiday weekend and are determined to plough on next week but I'm not overly confident of their abilities now. Meanwhile I've been talking to my brother-in-law who is an independent Renault specialist in Aylesbury. He's offered to come over to Streatham to get the car, take back to Aylesbury and repair for me which is a tempting offer and I'm sure he'd get it fixed.

    The problem is where do I stand regards the time the garage have spent on diagnostics and the unnecessary dephaser/timing belt and water pump replacement? I'm willing to be reasonable about work that may have needed doing possibly next year anyway but the dephaser was clearly not faulty so I don't want to be out of pocket on that. The garage haven't given me a price for the work yet - they've just said they want to get it fixed and will 'come to an arrangement' about the work they already did.

    What can I do and what's a reasonable percentage to pay for the work already done?

    Thanks.
    My advice is for you to negotiate the final bill with the garage, and take the car away, before they cost you any more more wasted money.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    This is not so cut and dried as some seem to think. For now forget the relative, it is clouding the issue.
    These cars are a real pain to diagnose accurately if it is in any way connected to the dephaser because there are several parts that can and do go wrong. Dephasers are a very common problem which in my view, Renault should repair free of charge. While the problem has not been fixed by fitting a new dephaser, the car is now 4 years old and would have needed one anyway fairly soon. 30,000 miles is not uncommon for their early failure.
    The garage seem to be doing their best and have given you a loan car so this job is costing them money in any case. However, I do agree that 2 weeks is long enough to fix the car.
    To move the car to the brother-in-law's will mean you are without a car presumably? And while he may fix it in 2 or 3 days there is no guarantee of course.

    The obvious solution to me is to have your brother-in-law talk to the garage on a professional level and assist them to get to the bottom of the problem. If it turns out their diagnostic tools are not up to the job, then its game over and move the car. However, if they can supply the data needed to diagnose the fault to your relative, then this seems to me to be the easiest route for now. Can this be arranged?

    If you plough on with the local garage, insist they supply you with an invoice for the work done so far. You can then talk to your relative and see if he thinks it is fair and reasonable. If it is then at least you know where you stand. If they refuse or the bill is excessive then time to cut your losses and remove the car. You will be expected to pay reasonable costs which seem to amount to the cost of a diagnostic check only or roughly 50. The garage should put this down to experience and learn for the future and bear the rest. As said above, you cannot simply take your car without paying. They seem to be reasonable but of course anything can happen.

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