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Good garages - cos
Hello all. I am new to this website and finding it very interesting. I read with particular interest Honest Johns list of good garages and see Wheelbase garage of Hersham on this list.
I have had a few bad experiences there which i would like to share.

1. I took my old car to have an exhaust downpipe fitted( i supplied parts from local VW dealer ). All seemed fine till i drove it away and there was terrible noise coming from the front so i took the car back. i was told that the front engine mounting had failed causing the exhaust to rub the anti roll bar, so i got the job done there, no change still the noise.
I decided to investigate myself and found the problem was the downpipe sealing ring to cat was too big and was designed for a newer cat,this caused the exhaust downpipe to touch the steering rack.

If i had not looked into this myself i could of had a bill for £800 for all new engine mounts!!

2. Also with my old car i had idle problem which was wrongly diagnosed as the idle stablising valve (cost £300) which turned out to be a worn throttle valve switch that was easily diagnosed with a multimeter.

3. A friend of mine took his car there cos he had a leaking gearbox. He was told the gearbox had a crack in it and would have to be removed and stripped down at a price of £800!
It turned out to be a leaking drive flange oil seal.

Most garages seem only interested in money than good service and do not like it when people challenge them. Any comments on this anyone?

[snippette] I removed a couple of bits, just to avoid potential issues. I don\'t think it altered the sense of your note, though. Mark.
Good garages - Clear Spot
I guess there's nothing to stop a garage entering itself on the list?
Good garages - blank
Things change, good garage mechanics and owners have bad days, bad ones may have the occasional fit of greatness. Even if a garage comes recommended, one should still be cautious.
Surprised Marky Mark's not ditched this one yet though!

Good garages - volvoman
If in doubt about any garage (and HJ's list is just a guide not a guarantee) why not contact Trading Standards first. In my experience they won't actually tell you a garage, company etc. is bad but will be happy to confirm whether or not that garage is known to them and, if so, you can draw your own conclusions and steer clear.
Good garages - Crombster
We had shocking service from a VW dealer last week. After arranging a Service we arrived to be told that the car had a service when we bought it 6 months ago and as such she would stamp the book and see us in 6 months. I mean, can you imagine turning our money down like that! :) A refreshing change!
Good garages - eMBe {P}
As your sign-in name is so different, I recall that you posted some time ago about your VW garage being a big "CON". Is this the same garage? In jest, I ask: Could it be that they remember you caused a stink last time with HJ's help and can spot you coming a mile away? That might explain the sudden change in quality of service they are giving you.

Seriously though, what happened to your original complaint raised with VW head office via HJ? I do not recall any update on the outcome.
Good garages - cos
Sorry mate i'm new to this website and have not posted before. You must be confusing me with someone else!
Good garages - eMBe {P}
Sorry mate i'm new to this website and have not posted
before. You must be confusing me with someone else!

Cos: I presume you are looking at the posts in "threaded view". If so, you will see that I was replying to Crombster (which is such a memorable/unusual avatar name). That should also have been obvious from the content of my note, but I do apologise for not having quoted the message I was replying to.

Crombster: So how about replying to my question?
Good garages - eMBe {P}
Before someone asks, the word "avatar" is derived from Sanskrit and has been adopted in the IT industry to refer to your cyberspace identity.


av·a·tar Pronunciation Key (v-tär)
The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.
An embodiment, as of a quality or concept; an archetype: the very avatar of cunning.
A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity: occultism in its present avatar.


[Sanskrit avatra, descent (of a deity from heaven), avatar : ava, down + tarati, he crosses; see ter-2 in Indo-European Roots.]
Good garages - Mark (RLBS)
yeah, well, Marky Mark can't make his mind up on this one.

I normally remove such notes because of legal issues - typically someone is accused of illegal behaviour, or because we're going to catch hassle for it.

I haven't yet decided about this one. I don't mind criticism of suppliers, I just don't want to be in the firing line.
Good garages - cos
I see your point on legal issues however if a garage is being advertised as good and honest then i have a right to voice my experiences to others.
Good garages - Simon Templar

Absolutely with you cos.Whilst everyone should exercise caution with such Good Garage recommendations,it is only fair & just that such adverse experiences should be promulgated to permit discretion to be used.
Simon T.
Good garages - Toad, of Toad Hall.
Things change, good garage mechanics and owners have bad days, bad
ones may have the occasional fit of greatness. Even if
a garage comes recommended, one should still be cautious

I agree. I've been fibbed to by an HJ recomended garage.

Even the best garages have bad days. Mistrust them all.

These are my own opinions, and not necessarily those of all Toads.
Good garages - Dynamic Dave
I guess there's nothing to stop a garage entering itself on
the list?

Having just looked at the list to see if any garages are listed in my area, there are a couple of "back street" ones that I recognise. One has got a good reputation, but the other, well I won't mention it for libel reasons, but having a mate that used to work there as an apprentice, and me dropping by now and again to see him, I was suprised to see it in HJ's list of recommended garages, having not only heard horror stories of the bodges that went on there, but also witnessing them for myself. Either the garage has since pulled up its socks, or somehow managed to get itself listed, as you suggest. Quite how the owner managed to stay sober & awake long enough to get himself listed is anyone's guess.
Good garages - cos
Its not just 'bad' garages i want speak out against. Anyone heard of German,Swedish and French? They supply so called 'quality' parts at discount prices. I've got a few horror story about them too, not sure if i dare to speak!
Good garages - Mark (RLBS)
No, probably best that you don't. Horror stories are typically just that.

If you have had a personal exerience with them and wish to share it carefully then that will usually be ok.

Your best bet is to e-mail HJ ( ) and explain to him. He will most certainly take any action he thinks is appropriate.

Good garages - cos
My personal experience with a certain parts company (which supply parts for german swedish and french cars ) are over a suspension kit for a golf vr6 where the springs on the front were not under compression when put together. The company suggested this was not a problem but i believe this would cause an MOT failure. Any comments??? The second issue is reconditioned rear brake calipers that don't even last a year!
I have complained to the head office but did not receive a great response. I would not use this company again.
As i said i want to avoid legal issues but if a company does give a bad service then people should be able to warn others.
Good garages - Mark (RLBS)
Some general points, not aimed at onyone in particular;

Firstly it is not neccessary to name a company or person to fall foul of the law. So any comment which makes a company or person identifiable, irrespective of whether or not naming takes place, is iffy.

There is also an issue with anything based on "they said......". Because, if someone wanted to make trouble, they could deny saying it and sue. And you may whether or not it is true, but I do not. And unless you can point me at a court decision or a letter of admission, then I have to assume that it is at least questionable, and quite possibly not true.

However, there is rarely an issue unless you suggest improper (typically illegal) behaviour. e.g. "Joe Blogg Inc. charged me for a new widget and didn't actually fit one".

The fact is that theoretically it also applies to positive comments; but who would sue because you were nice about them, and they would have trouble proving harm anyway.

On an interesting & similar note did you know that your employer is not permitted to increase your salary without your permission any more than they are allowed to decrease it ?

It comes down to the fact that without something proven in court, it is inevitably an opinion which can be refuted. And for all I know, and I am not suggesting anyone here would do it, it could be an unfounded and malicious opinion.

If you really want to pass on a bad reference typically it is better to say "Joe Bloggs strongly not recommended, further details available by e-mail or telephone".

If you are complaining about simply bad service, then there is rarely any risk for us, or yourself.

Even if you are correct, what can happen is that Joe Bloggs Inc. can say "we are going to sue you unless you print a retraction or apology and pay us $1000 compensation. It can cost more than that a day to defend yourself, and whether or not you win, you may not have the money to invest in the first place.

That's why it makes me uncomfortable.

Also, bear in mind that the most perfect company in the world will have at least one unhappy customer, even if they have thousands of happy ones.

Therefore one should take both negative and positive comments with caution, and make sure you check yourself about the service and/or product you will repair.

In conclusion, by all means report cases of bad service. For that matter, by all means identify the company. But, if you say something which worries me I will remove it irrespective of the accuracy of the comment.

Good garages - cos
I agree with everything you stated above however.... several companied supply parts for german swedish and french cars. so it would be very difficult to sue in light of this fact.
Good garages - eMBe {P}
Not long ago, BBC's Watchdog or similar type programme investigated in depth a Company that supplies discount parts for manufacturers from three major European countries. They showed how copy-parts (sometimes labelled OEM "fakes") are made in Turkey without regard for engineering design considerations.

As ever, buyer beware. If something looks too good or cheap to be true, it frequently is.

OEM = Original Equipment Manufacturer
Good garages - Mark (RLBS)
But we are not even suggesting that German, Swedish are in anyway involved.
Good garages - eMBe {P}
Mark, thanks for making that point clear - as my post was doing that obliquely. I did not name any Company deliberately, but anyone wanting to find out more can do a search for "counterfeit car parts" on the
web site.
Good garages - eMBe {P}
Found the reference, but not the article, on
">> Now you can find further information on this series - Lifting the Bonnet - if you visit our website, which is www. And next week's programme you might be interested to know lifts the lid on Turkish companies who are selling counterfeit car parts - that's on Thursday 7th March, BBC 2 at 8.00 p.m., thank you. <<"
Good garages - eMBe {P}
I believe that Hersham is in HJ's locality and that he personally knows the owners of the garage in question. I recall that he has referred people to this garage in reply to questions on his D.Telegraph page, and has given the names of the people to speak to. As, Mark(RLBS) says, if you e-mail HJ, he may take up your issues with them.
Fake parts - Vin {P}
"There is nothing in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper. He who considers price only is that man's lawful prey."

John Ruskin (1819-1900) - I reckon he must have been offered cheapo pattern parts at some point.
Fake parts - Crombster
M.B Appologies, I never returned to this thread and as such didnt see your query.

After all that polava I haven't heard anything and wish I had taken the matter up myself. However my rage has fizzled out and in future we will use the dealership we bought the car from (Verve VW) who have been excellent on every occassion we had contact with them.


Value my car