Why do garages do this ? - volvoman
There are umpteen threads here detailing the plight of many a new car owner who has:

a) taken a car in for fault diagnosis and/or repair,
b) waited days, weeks even months for the parts to be obtained and the work to be done,
c) been charged vast sums of money for parts & labour and then
d) collected their car only to find the problem is either just as bad as before or a new and equally obvious fault has occured !

Why do garages do this ? Are they all mad ? What is the point of sending a car back to someone when it still isn't working ?

The recent 2TDCi'd Off" thread mentions a problem Mondeo which was supposedly fixed but returned to its owner with the same fault! Are these people just stupid or are they cynically ripping people off and using so called fault diagnosis as a means by which to avoid responsibility and still get paid for work/parts which weren't necessary ?
Why do garages do this ? - Armitage Shanks{P}
I don't know why they do but they DO! I mention my experience because it was solved within hours by the Backroom and in particular one regular 'poster' with an interest in SAABs. The car wouldn't start, was taken away on a trailer, not fixed, brought back and still wouldn't start. I posted the problem here, got a very useful reply within a day, and rang the SAAB garage to report what I had been told. They were highly dismissive of anything that had come off the internet but rang back later in the day to admit that the problem was exactly what I had told them, that there was a service bulletin on the subject which they had overlooked and that the car really was sorted, which it was! A top result, thanks to this site and those who give their time and knowledge to help out, and not much thanks to the £70+ an hour professionals!
Why do garages do this ? - volvoman
Great result AS !

It makes me wonder whether all the technology has made these people totally reliant on what comes up on the screen no matter how ridiculous or unlikely it might be. "If the computer says it's the wotchamacallit it must be the wotchamacallit matey!"

Reminds me of the till girl who told me my basket of goods totalled £9.78 when in fact it contained 4 items each costing £4.99 amongst other things. It's on the screen so it must be correct mustn't it ?
Why do garages do this ? - flatfour
VW garages are even better, they send your car back with the existing fault plus another to go with it!
My New Passat went in for a knock from the suspension arm, this was repaired, the knock still there but they managed to bust the glove box, back it went, ahh it wasn't a suspension arm knocking, it was a faulty seam in the bulkhead that needed rewelding. Well after 6 weeks they fixed the seam and returned the car, the glove box still bust,took back, a week later retuned, great apart from a burnt passanger door panel, a hole burnt in the drivers seat and burn holes in the carpet they had covered up with a new set of car mats.Now the car is 6 months old it looked fine until i put the lights on, the bulbs in the door panel lights were red and not green as the others, and the windsceen was covered in little black specks were they han been grinding i assume another car. I kept the car 4 years and it was never fixed properly every time another problem.
Why do garages do this ? - Pete
They do it because, in the greater majority of cases, they get away with it.
Why do garages do this ? - Mondaywoe
One particular problem nowadays is that there aren't any mechanics as such - just 'fitters' and to some extent this has been caused by the ridiculous charges for labour and rise in electronic diagnostics. If it's costing £60 or so an hour to work on (say) a failed alternator, it's much more cost effective to sling in a new one in ten minutes.

The problem is, though, that it has engendered a culture where 'throwaway' is acceptable and 'mechanics' seldom get much understanding of the intricacies of components. All too often, garages just keep trying new parts until something works. They (sometimes!) have the luxury of a well stocked stores dept. This makes for laziness.

I also think that manufacturers have got wise to all this and have hiked up the cost of components to offset the reduced labour in 'quick fixes'. In a nutshell, we land up in a lose-lose situation once again!

Just as well that I've got a nice reliable Citroen.........

Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
Time was when mechanics (now that's the proper word) served an apprenticeship of several years, often starting at 15 or so. They would study for their City and Guilds in ther evening. After a good many months cleaning dirty engine bits with Gunk and finding a 7/16" ring spanner for the foreman (And they'd better be quick or they'd feel the toe of his grease soaked boot on their little back-side, along with making endless cups of tea), they might then progress to the job title of "Improver".

Then they might (Under supervision) be allowed to use the gasket cement and be assigned simple tasks like oil changes. They would also get a pay raise from about £4.10.0d a week to £5.0.0d. and would learn a lot of bad language. Their journey to that exalted state of competent tradesman from callow slack-jawed pimply yoof would begin to sppreciate the mystical mechanical ballet of the four stroke engine and the precision of the many pieces which orchestrated the dance, along and some glimmer of understanding of the miracles of the suck-squeeze-bang-blow cycle and the things which had to occur at high speed and with great precision in very specific ways which made it possible.

They had to buy their own tools, oh, yes, and moaned like hell when SAE sizes went the way of metrification (as the word went)and they had to save up for replacements for what had been perfectly good sizes for decades until some idiot accountant at Dagenham decided they were out of fashion.

They imbibed the idiosyncrasies of makes and engines, how to disassemble and reassemble a diff or a Borg-Warner overdrive (try to find someone now who can do that) and to make instant and accurate diagnostics from intimate knowledge of what made 105E and "B" series engines go round. They could tune the twin SU carbs of an MG Magnette with a screwdriver and a piece of neoprene tube stuck in their ear and have it running sweet as a nut. No engine or transmission held any terrors for them and they could confidently reduce the whole to the sum of its parts, then do it in reverse and have the thing out the door behaving like new.

Tools would be revered and treated with humility and respect, cleaned and tidied before the end of each shift. They would not go forth into the workshop with a set of feeler gauges and a torque wrench. The scent of Swarfega would start to ooze from their skin, their nails and the crease of their hands would be permanently black. and by the time they were 21 and showed some degree of promise they would be adept at lapping valves, using engineer's blue and drifting bearings out of housings. When the customer came in they would have learnt sufficient mechanic-speak to impress him with their attention to detail and their ability to confuse him with terms like TDC, micrometer readings and Nyloc nuts. Sometimes they could even fabricate small parts where none were available. They moved in a select world to which only a few were privy, and recorded their days on grease-stained job sheets in impenetrable language which Mrs Perkins in Accounts would tut-tut over she tried to make sense of their arcane heiroglyphics and produce a bill the customer could understand and be persuadeed to pay.

Parts were not thrown away. Once a week the Solex man would come to collect the old part-exchanged carbs, that nice Janice with the great rack (work stopped when she arrived) would take away the box of Ferodo brake shoes for re-lining. Jerry was a dab hand at bending up newe exhaust pipes and welding them into place without the need to fit new systems, worn engine blocks would go away for rebore, crankshafts for remetalling, and Wellworthy oil control rings would be used to get a few more miles from a motor before the customer would have to cough up for an exchange unit. And the crackpots of today talk about recycling! It had been going for years under their pimply noses had they bother to get out of their ivory towers and take a look at the reakl world.

If they were as lucky as my peers, these young striplings would find themselves under the tutelage of a shop foreman like the irascible Jack Durndall, who abused customers roundly on occasions, who had acquired his trade the same way, by virtue of knowing how to use a lathe, and being able to repair the Hamilton Hydromatic propellers on Wellington bombers during sandstorms in Iraq which helped the Royal Air Force to retain its position as the world's finest. Their coming of age would be celebrated when Jack decided it was time to stop yelling at them and giving them a clip round the ear and give them their final rite of passage. Only Jack was allowed this, not the GM or anyone else. They had to match him pint for pint on mild and bitter in the Cissbury Arms and 12 pints and ther ability to hold them in was considered reasonable result. ONly then did they get their pay rise to the new position.

By the time these grizzled survivors had reached 25, they knew what they were about when they reached for the circlip pliers. They were equally at home with a hammer and dolly on a dented panel then a spray-gun as they were using taps and dies or turning up a new part on a lathe.

They were men among men and they knew it. They did good work, and achieved that special status with the customer on the same terms as his doctor, his lawyer and his banker. When Jack passed on I heard his wife received a large number of tributes and expressions of sympathy from all those customers who had endured the rough edge of his sharp tough all those years but knew that when Jack's lads fixed something it stayed fixed.
Why do garages do this ? - GRowlette
Hi guys. Few typos there: it was Big G on the red jungle juice in the bar last night.
Why do garages do this ? - TrevP
nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Why do garages do this ? - Kuang
Precisely the same thing is happening with computer retail and repairs now.

I suppose it should be funny that someone who clearly doesn't know his RAM from the hole in his posterior should try to sell me a cosmic panacea in PCI form, especially when he doesn't actually know any more about the product that I've just learned from reading the blurb on the box. I'm talking about the sort of smartassed wet-behind-the-ears spotty little herbert who only bought a computer in the first place because he though a CD-ROM was a smutty video...

This is the sort of person who will openly and aggressively contradict something you know to be the case because you've personally experienced it for the last 2 years, simply because Baz in the goods department heard it from his mate in the pub and so it must be true. The sort of person who drools over the amount of megatexels the latest all-singing, all-dancing graphics card can push without actually knowing what a texel *is*.

Of course, the most annoying aspect of these creatures is their blunt refusal to accept that there might actually be something wrong with the product you're returning. They naturally jump to the conclusion that you must be doing something wrong and point to everything from power surges to fluctuations in the space/time continuum and the position of Venus in the night sky. When they do finally concede that you're right, they offer you another choice from the (generally pathetic) selection of leftovers on the shelf, presumably under the impression that you would have chosen something different in the first place if you'd have just thought about it a bit more...

But the final nail in the coffin is when you ask a simple question about something and they either:

a) Read the back of the box in an authorative tone of voice whilst mispronouncing most of it and clearly understanding even less, and then fix you with a meaningful look to suggest that they knew that anyway


b) Just make something up.

I actually spent 5 min explaining to one of the aforementioned herberts in PC world the difference between types of memory so that he could attempt to pull the right type off the shelf behind him. When the price turned out to be around twice that of the unbranded variety, his explanation was that 'this one has a leaflet telling you how to install it..'.

Gah, it makes the blood boil - people don't seem to realise that when they hire someone who knows what they're doing for the job, they're not only getting commitment and ability, but also a huge catalgue of knowledge that'll sort of most problems far faster that a muppet with a copy of Norton. We're talking being able to tell from across the room that a hard drive was made by Seagate just by the sound, about precisely why you can get rid of almost all the startup items from older ATI cards because they generally only crash anyway.. There's far more to it than just knowing a few acronyms and spending too much time locked away in dark rooms with only Lara Croft and your right hand for company ;)

TBH, there are many parallels now between the computer and motor trades - large scale companies shifting units rather than tailoring solutions, and lacking the technical expertise to support their customers after the fact.

Anyway.. what was that about cars?... ;)
Why do garages do this ? - frostbite
Oh what happy days, Growler!

Washing hands in the communal cold water bucket & no fancy gloves to wear.

Balancing the SU's on an A110 Westminster, good for a weekend or fresh tank of petrol, whichever came first.

Stepping off the hoist and forgetting your oppo had raised it three feet just after you got on.

Being almost reduced to tears trying to fit a new tubeless Mini tyre with just a couple of levers and a gob of Swarfega.

Serving petrol in all weathers on a forecourt with no canopy.

Having shoot-outs with the Redex guns.
Watching 'regulars' serving themselves with the nozzle in one hand and the other hand behind their back, with lit fag.

Filling the forecourt Castrol bottles at the start of the shift.

Having someone drive in for fuel just after taking meter readings, locked the pumps and switched all off.

Getting abuse from customers when you point out that the canvas showing through their tyre(s) might not be very safe "you on commission then mate?"

Daily collection of petrol caps placed on roof/boot whilst filling, and not replaced.

People turning up for two pints of petrol in a lemonade bottle.

Happy days?
Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
>>>Washing hands in the communal cold water bucket & no fancy gloves to wear.

Frostbite I wanted to say that but couldn't recall, now you've reminded me.

Rozalex was the barrier cream???

Perhaps only happier days seen through the rose tinted glasses of yesteryear, but those guys knew what they were about. I did. I mean if I fixed something for a customer and he didn't like it it was my ass on the line and so it should have been (I was a hotshot on Zenith carbs by the way, especially the IV). The point I wanted to make was the personal side where your mechanic knew you and you him. Nostalgia? Sure, seen from nowadays, but Bert or Pete or Terry was responsible for the work he did on my car. I knew that, he knew that, if it didn't work I'd be back.

Why don't we have an expert
Why do garages do this ? - frostbite
Rozalex was the barrier cream???

Bit posh in your place! Something we only heard about, never saw.
Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
LOL: not to mention quad Green Shield stamps from German tourists in their big Mercs who didn't want them so you stuffed them in your back pocket and furnished the living room in your flat when you got enough. I lusted after one of those lava lamps and it took me ages to save up enough stamps and take 'em to the Brighton Green Shield shop.

How about the times you topped up the customer's oil and left a bit in the bottom of the container, drained it, and collected enough to charge for a pint which was "yours" then splitting it amongst the lads? Don't tell me you didn't, because no one in the trade will believe you.

Oh yes, putting those 520/13's on those damn Minis. Especially on Fridays after lunch when it was payday and you'd been in the Queens Arms, if you take my meaning.

But this is not the thread's topic. I think we all yearn for technicians who know their business, understand our wants and needs, empathise with us and can fix stuff. One of the benefits of living in poorer countries like the Philippines is that the genre is alive and well. Bong-Bong down the road can fix it and if he can't his brother's nephew's cousin will. But send your wife or girlfriend otherwise you get charged foreigner price.

Life is good.

Why do garages do this ? - eMBe {P}
volvoman - as you seem very concerned about this, what are you going to do about it?

The answer to your question "why do garages do this?" is "Because you let them".

Note: {P} - indicates that I am advertising that my profile can be viewed.
Why do garages do this ? - Aprilia
eMBe - The answer to your question "why do garages do this?" is "Because you let them".

No, its not like this at all. It is more difficult than ever for the individual to complain about bad service. In some parts of the country the large dealer groups have an effective monopoly, you would have to drive miles to reach an alternative dealer. They have a stranglehold on the supply of parts and service information and *you* have more to lose than they do, should you get into a dispute with them.
The only answer is legislation - complete opening up of the parts supply and servicing market; a complete end to 'block exemption'. The current regime of restrictive practicies are not in the consumers' interests.
Why do garages do this ? - volvoman
Hi eMBe, what would I do about it ? I'd never be in that position 'cos I'd never run a new and expensive car which mattered that much. It must run in the family 'cos I've got 2 millionaire brothers neither of whom gives a fig about the supposed pose factor of cars or all the technical stuff people like JC get off on. Car dealers make only slightly more out of me than credit card companies - I've got no debts and pay them no interest. If everyone was the same and brand image was less important than it appears to be many of these companies would have to improve of go bust. Having lost one wife however, I prefer to spend my time worrying about the woman I love and my children and cars come a wel down the rankings. Having said all of that, if I did own a new motor and did suffer like some here I'd create the sort of stink you get when you come across a recently expired camel in the desert - not very pleasant I can assure you ! You're right to imply that society get the dealers it deserves and I share your view that people need to complain louder and far more effectively than they do. Anyway I'm off now to celebrate anniverary #3 with Mrs V.
Why do garages do this ? - Morris Ox
They do it because...

*their work is 'measured' by the business, the measurement covering the processing of problems, not the solving of them;

*technology means they largely follow step-by-step procedures rather than a time-served nose;

*the parts suppliers are working flat out to supply the manufacturer, never mind the dealer who fixes the *****in' things;

*the franchise has financial targets for SMR work;

*despite all the missions statements they wouldn't know customer service if it bit them on the big end;

And finally, the plain truth is that in technically complex cars, the faults aren't always obvious to less than technically complex service departments.

The solution? Just buy Japanese/Korean, I'm afraid
Why do garages do this ? - Daz
I agree these pink fluffy dice ECu\'s and all this modern stuff is frankly carp.

Garages consult a CD manual and rather than try to trace the fualt appear to do things by a process of elimination, costing u a fortune along the way. The worst thing I ever did was decide to buy a \'modern\' technology car.

Vauxhall\'s from 80 to 94 kicked ass but when the facelifted and went ecoted as I have found to my cost they sucked.
Why do garages do this ? - googolplex
Volvoman, I couldn't agree more. I've posted the rest of what I think on the other thread you mention.

Why do garages do this ? - Hugo {P}
Friend of mine had a main dealer service on an Escort Mk 4 several years ago.

Car came back - oil all over inside of bonnet.

Went back - came back - new oil all over inside of bonnet.

Went back - came back - more new oil all over inside of bonnet.

Went back omplete with aggrieved owner ho demanded service accusing them of taking the pink fluffy dice in liquid form.

Result - came back, steam cleaned engine bay, no oil all over inside of bonnet - explanation, missed out a gasket.

My friend received a refund for the whole service.

Why do garages do this ? - flatfour
When I had my first company car I took it to the Main dealer for service, they parked it near the road with a number on the roof, off I went around the town on business, several times during day I passed my car sitting in the same spot, later on in the day it rained, when i went to collect my car they handed over the keys car in same spot, dry underneath wet allround, so I went back in and accused them of not sevicing it, they called the GM who strongly told me that i was making a very serious claim and unless i refuted my claim he would be taking me to court. I contacted the lease company and told them of my experience, they also told me I was wrong. No one could or would prove they had serviced the car.
Afew years later I felt that a VW didn't seem to have been serviced, the GM got one of the mechanics to dip the oil, clean, then showed me the new air filter, this time I was wrong, appologised and went back there as long as I had the car.
Why do garages do this ? - Aprilia
This is known as a 'sunshine repair' - i.e. they park it in the sunshine for the day. Years back I have known this to be done when there were awkward time-consuming repairs to be done under warranty; typically an interior water leak, wind noise, annoying rattles etc. Service manager would be under pressure and tell one of the lads to park it around the back for the day.
Tell customer that something was found to be loose and tightened etc. etc. Customer only bothers to come back 50% of the time...
Why do garages do this ? - LongDriver {P}
Ohhhh...so I'm not the only one who thinks that main dealers are on the fiddle when it comes to servicing company cars then?

One point I would make however: Some company's Fleet Managers specify a different service regime to that recommended by the manufacturer, hence you may get your car back after it's service with very little having been done - they may only have changed the oil and filter and checked other fluid levels and done nothing else at all, because that's what the owner of your car required.

The reason: Why bother giving a vehicle the full service regime when it will be sold off act auction at 2yrs old with 80k+ miles on it? The dealer will stamp the service record book just the same, irrespective of the servicing which has actually been done, compared to manufacturer's requirements.
Why do garages do this ? - mike hannon
If you're right, Longdriver, we should all be really worried - even HJ says the thing to do is buy a young ex-company motor with megamiles on it because at least it will have been properly serviced.
If we can't buy one of those and we can't buy an old but low mileage motor because it won't work properly and we daren't buy anything new because cars are now too complicated and just aren't made as well as they were 20 years ago, then what should we buy?
Going back to the training, experience and expertise thing, believe me the printing trade and newspapers have gone the same way. I had a six year apprenticeship of clouts round the ear, washing the ink off the machines, sweeping up and teamaking - combined with picking up real knowledge - that eventually turned me into someone who was proud to be an expert. Glad to be out of it all now...
Why do garages do this ? - Aprilia
I was involved in dealer training during the period electronics were coming out in a big way (1985 - 95) and my experience was that very few technicians understood how many of these systems worked, let alone how to repair them. Some companies seemed to have only one or two guys in the UK who understood the technology. Some technicians (and I stress 'some') were intellectually incapable of understanding the service information and if a vehicle fell into the hands of one of these guys then you could guarantee expense and trouble for the customer.

Nowadays the situation has been compounded by the vast amount of additional electronics (rain sensors, sat-nav, climate control) and the interlinking of systems via on-car networking (eg CAN). The level of technology has progressed beyond the capabilities of many technicians.
Moreover, many of the young lads who, in years gone by, would have gone into the motor trade can now get a place a university and do a degree - which is infinitely more attractive than working in a garage. In some towns the FE colleges have almost no applicants for motor vehicle technology courses, and indeed many courses have closed for good.

The good, experienced, technicians at the dealerships often leave and set up as independents so that they can get more job satisfaction and a higher income. Much of the high profit margin on servicing at franchised dealers is now skimmed off to subsidise the low profits being made on sales.
Don't think, either, that paying a higher labour rate will necessarily get you a higher skills level - in my experience the prestige brands are no better than the Skodas and Hyundais of this world.

My suggested solution to the problem is to buy a car that is highly reliable (i.e. Japanese or Korean). If/when it does break down you will have trouble and expense - but you are at least limiting your exposure. I don't mean to offend anyone, but I find it hard to understand why anyone would buy a French or Italian car, all the data and experience suggest that you are asking for trouble. I know from what I've seen in workshops in the past that once you have a significant problem with a car (e.g. one requiring dash/engine/transmission to be stripped) it never goes back together properly. Service depts. are a bit like hospitals - you want your car to spend as little time in there as possible, you don't know what its going to 'pick up' while its in there...
Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
French and Italian cars apart from the Peugeot 404/504 were junk in 1966 and they've been junk ever since.

Now then the gentleman in the suit at the back on the left, what was your question again?
Why do garages do this ? - Flat in Fifth
MH said

"even HJ says the thing to do is buy a young ex-company motor with megamiles on it because at least it will have been properly serviced."

Hmmmmmm. (As Bogush used to say)

I can think of fleet vehicles where the bonnet has not been lifted by the driver from delivery until the screen wash runs out. Even then the oil and other levela are not checked. As for tyre pressures, checking for failed light bulbs.... oh that's a different thread, sorry!
Why do garages do this ? - LongDriver {P}
Now where was that bonnet release catch.....

Guilty as charged your honour...
Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
Why have you charged me for a new dipstick? Because the old one doesn't reach the oil any more mate.....
Why do garages do this ? - flatfour
One company I worked for had their own garage, they just changed the oil in 80 000 miles rubber stamped the service book through out then disposed of the cars.

Another company refused to have my car serviced over 70 000 miles, would only have the brakes done when the light come on, on the dash, when the director disposed of it through the private ads off his front lawn, the oil was like tar. I saw that car around for several years after.

When I had a leased company car I was told not to worry about anything, so didn't lift the bonnet for 120 000 miles, had no problems at all. The lease company did specify the service which was different to the manufacturers, and had it serviced at bucket shop garages you normally associate with tyres and exhausts.
Why do garages do this ? - madf
Why do garages do this?

Look at new PCs . The designs change every 18 months but repair if anything goes wrong is simple as you just replace the bits: it's a simple system of swapping bits. and there are only about 20 separate bits in a pC.. most are systems like a CDRW. Even I as an untrained novice can repair a PC. BUT the only maintenance required is disk defragging and backups - weekly which any fool can do.

Car designs change every 4 years: and frankly ther are over 4500 parts in a car and they all must work perfectly They require regular maintenance and are exposed to water salt etc. So any design or build weaknesses stand out quickly.

The answer is in HJ's reviews of cars and car faults. Anyone who buys a French or Italian or Rover car and expects fault free motoring is a gross optimist. Want a well designed Vauxhall? Forget it: history is against you. Ford agents to solve diesel engine problems? Joke.

Most dealers are incompetent because their customers let them be so.. Good thing is most cars nowadays are so well built they will allow some neglect.

Lets face it: anyone who takes delivery of a new car with faults and does not report them at once is going to be ripped off because he/she is encouraging sloppy attitudes.

(My experience of dealers: BMW: good, Audi: helpful but not good. Rover : awful, Peugeot: poor, Ford :Very good. Toyota : excellent. Fiat: undescribably bad. Would I buy another Audi/VW Rover, Peugeot, Fiat? NEVER)

The answer is in the buyers' hands:

Why do garages do this ? - Morris Ox
Some fascinating observations, on here, and I'm sure that somewhere there are some statistics lying around which tell you not just which cars are reliable, but which makes are reliable overall, and which franchises are reliable. Somebody delight us all and tell us where the stats are (any ideas, HJ?)

One final observation: dealerships are encouraged to achieve internal targets rather than external satisfaction. Huge difference.
Why do garages do this ? - teabelly
Trouble is the final year and sometimes two years of warranty depend on you taking the car to a franchised dealer. If they're all bad then you have no choice but to accept their sloppy standard of work. Unless it becomes uneconomically viable for a dealer to behave badly then they will get away with it. Parts on cars are now being restricted to working on just the one vehicle so the problem is going to get worse. I can forsee a time when if you don't buy a car from the right place you won't be able to get parts to fit. Look at the problems with inkjet refills and smart chips. Third party parts could no longer work at all in the near future so car consumers will be trapped totally in the dealer network.

Some dealers are atrocious and some are great but there is no way of knowing which ones are which until you have already bought a car.(unless HJ fancies setting up and independent dealer review system, hint....)

Manufacturers should also take responsibility for their dealers. If a dealer gives customers poor service and customers complain then the franchise should be removed from them. Manufacturers should also be fined heavily if they fail to fix faults and fail to provide exchange vehicles if a customer's one proves to be too troublesome to fix. A good manufacturer would take the car back first and ask questions later rather than listen to customers complaining for months and suffering months of faults. Sadly I don't think any of the manufacturers already behave in this way.

Why do garages do this ? - THe Growler
Industry no longer has any leadership you could point your finger at and say this is the guy who's in charge. Now it's all bean-counters with about as much personality and drive as porridge and marketing graduates full of BS with a bad case of facial acne and barely out of their nappies. When I look at the advertising garbage they dream up and have the audacity to float across my screen unasked, thus invading my privacy, I often think pity they don't put some of that money into their product.

When I feel like this I go out there and crank up that V-Twin of mine made by a 100 year old company whose shares have done me proud these last few years and with a leader who has the balls not only to put his name on the product but to ride it as well. Yee-haw!
Why do garages do this ? - Ian (Cape Town)
When I feel like this I go out there and crank
up that V-Twin of mine made by a 100 year old
company whose shares have done me proud these last few years
and with a leader who has the balls not only to
put his name on the product but to ride it as
well. Yee-haw!

Didn't know you had a Briggs & Stratton lawnmower, G!
Why do garages do this ? - Andrew-T
The problem with these energetic comments about manufacturers is that unless the writer is a manager of a fleet which uses several, the remarks are just the result of personal misfortune or prejudice. When a CA report says that Peugeots are 96% reliable or Hyundias 100%, it doesn't mean every 307 in the land will be 96% reliable. There are good ones and bad - you may be lucky or not. It is just a rough guide to how lucky you may be.
Why do garages do this ? - peterb
The problem with these energetic comments about manufacturers is that unless
the writer is a manager of a fleet which uses several,
the remarks are just the result of personal misfortune or prejudice.
When a CA report says that Peugeots are 96% reliable
or Hyundias 100%, it doesn't mean every 307 in the land
will be 96% reliable. There are good ones and bad
- you may be lucky or not. It is just
a rough guide to how lucky you may be.

Nice post. Makes a change from the usual "My sister's boyfriend's uncle's secretary had a reliable Fiat Bravo, so they must be alright" nonsense.
Why do garages do this ? - M.M
Yep and I know we've been round this dozen times but...

When a survey sheet is returned and input to one of these consumer satisfaction databases does "gearbox faults, six visits to dealer" actually mean that there were a series of failures resulting in expensive replacement?

.....or that the old dear/young tearaway kept kicking the mat under the clutch pedal so that she/he couldn't get the thing in gear.

Actual repairs from workshop records and sourced from a large fleet mamager are about the only reliable indicators.

Why do garages do this ? - Aprilia
Which? magazine used to list the 'problem areas' for each car. It was very enlightening - some makes were very problematic, with frequent failure of major mechanical components, whereas others just tended to suffer minor defects.

Having been at the 'sharp end' some years back I ccan say that (historically) French and Italian cars tended to suffer most with major failures. Not only are Japanese cars more reliable, but when the DO have a fault it tends to be of a more minor nature (eg failure of some ancilliary, rather than a core engine/transmission failure). The downside to all this is that most idependents are unlikely to have had much experience with Japanese car faults and consequently you may be tied to the (expensive) main dealer - and even they may not have that much experience on some of the more reliable models.
Why do garages do this ? - weatherwitch
Would the Which? guide be similar to the extensive one found on this site? I've found the Car-by-Car Breakdown to be really useful, it was what first brought me to the site about 2 years ago. However i never realised this backroom existed - opps. A case of better late than never!

Thanks to kb for the pointer to this thread too, makes very interesting reading.

Value my car