Saturday, 10 July 2010

Not all car mechanics take advantage: :-)

Car mechanics are often given a bad name, aren't they?  We're told to be careful that we're not "ripped off" by them when our cars need servicing - to query any spare parts required, or repairs needed.

I've always been quite careful about where I've had my cars serviced, and I'm not aware of any serious overcharging.  I look after my cars - or, more accurately, pay someone else to care for them - and I keep them for years, until they pass away to that car graveyard where they'll spend a peaceful eternity.

My "new"car I bought nearly 5 years ago, when I was still working three days a week.  After I retired, when she was about a year old, it seemed logical to hold on to her - I still travelled, just less regularly, and reasoned that since she's lost a huge chunk of value as soon as she left the forecourt, I'd keep her.

So, we have occasional outings, some short, others to Yorkshire or Gloucestshire.  She has just tipped the 8,000 miles mark, so you can see how little she's used!

Imagine my discomforture then, whilst we were away house-sitting, to find that she was misbehaving!  I know!!  We were en route to Cirencester for the day, but she kept kangaroo-hopping, then refusing to pull away at roundabouts, slowing down when she felt like it, really bizarre behaviour.

So, we turned around and headed back to Stroud to find a garage who could take a look at her.  There is no Nissan dealership nearby, so we took her into Olympic Cars Ltd., in Stroud to ask their advice. 

The young man drove her over to the service bay, but told us she seemed fine to him.  When we insisted that she wasn't running properly, they kindly agreed to run a diagnostic check on her, which would cost about £40.  This I was happy to pay to discover what was wrong.

We were taken to a seating area at the side of the showroom, and told to help ourselves to free tea/coffee/water/hot chocolate, and shown the fridge where milk was kept by two different people.  There was a large TV to watch, with the remote control to hand, so we settled down to wait for the verdict.

After about half an hour our young man came over to tell us that the tests had shown a possible slight malfunction, but there was nothing for them to do.  I offered to pay and was told that there was no charge, as they were unable to fix anything.

So, there you are, not all car mechanics or dealerships are "out to get you".  We were visitors, over a barrel, so to speak in a strange town, and they could no doubt have invented some minor thing to "repair" or replace, since we were the ones saying that there was a problem, but they didn't.

Good on them, we really appreciated it.

Next day, an orange light appeared on the dashboard.  It stayed.  There's a fault in the electrics, but my handbook assured me that I didn't need to stop driving the car, or get it towed to a garages, so we carefully drove her all the way home - never going over 60 mph all the way!!!  It should have improved my fuel efficiency, shouldn't it??

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