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fred_jb

Would you take this further?

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nelmo

Why not just service it yourself?

If you actually look at any maintenence schedule, they check/change obvious bits (pads, tyres, oil, filters, chain) and everything else is normally just 'inspect'. The only tricky one there is the chain - that's the only thing I take my bike to a dealer for. The rest I do myself.

You may be worried about resale but balance how much you lose on resale with how much you pay for services. If you only keep the bike a year or 2, then maybe not worth it but any longer and I bet you'll be better of.

My last bike (a V-Strom) I traded in after 7 years and 96k miles - it never saw a dealer after the 2 year warranty ran out and I got £1k trade-in. The dealer said he would have given me maybe £1500 if it had had a FSH but I reckon I saved a couple of thousand in servicing costs in that time.

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larryblag

I was thinking about this the other day. I know a very good independent workshop that I want to use after the two years is up.

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fred_jb

Just an update on this story:

 

Having had no response after calling in and leaving a message for the service manager, I emailed the reception person. By this point I had decided to have a closer look at the rear brakes. I took the old pads out and cleaned them up and they looked almost identical to the new ones, so I put the new ones in and kept the old one out to show the dealer.   I also found that although the caliper sliding pins had been taken out enough to put copaslip on the threads, it seemed to be just for show as the inner part of the pins were still covered with baked on crud and old dried up grease, so had obviously not been cleaned and re-lubricated.

 

Then to cap it all I removed a bracket which holds a connector in front of the rear brake fluid reservoir so that I could see it to check the level, and found that the level was just marginally below the lower limit line, despite this having been ticked off as checked on the service schedule.  Apart from the low level, I'm a bit concerned about this as the minimal wear on the pads mean that the level will not have dropped due to movement of the pistons, and in any case this was after I had put the new pads in, so it's a bit of a mystery.  The only thing I can think of is that maybe there was a little air in the system from the factory and that this has somehow made its way up to the reservoir allowing the fluid level to drop. 

 

I sent photographic evidence of all this in my email, and got an apologetic phone call from the service manager who said he would investigate and get back to me that day.  A week later, after a further email from me he finally got in touch and apologised again, saying it was "not on" for this sort of thing to happen.  He is now going to collect my bike, says it will be thoroughly checked over, and they will then give it a free valeting when their valeting people are in on Friday.

 

I suppose I just have to hope that they don't just park it in a corner of the workshop for the day, and then throw some soapy water over it just before they return it to me!

 

Fred

Edited by fred_jb
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PoppetM

It really is frightening that things get missed when we trust them with our bikes. Ok, so we need to find a place we can trust, I get that. But we have a right to expect a better level of service surely from a main dealer?

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Andy m

Coming at this from the other side, I see the issues Truck service centres have through work. I imagine bike dealers have the same.

They have recruitment and training problems. The best mechanics are probably working at a graduate level, the worse shouldn't be trusted with Lego. The recruitment, training and pay scales are all the same. The best ones gain advancement by promotion off the tools into doing spreadsheets in the office. Schools don't realise a decent (usually independent) mechanic can earn many times more than someone with a 2.2 in Geography and Sports who wears a suit to answer the phone, they tell the kids its a dirty job.

The vehicles are more complicated than ever and the information stream is awful. The manufacturer will email instructions on how to reset a widget to the dealers manager who will be bored and thinking about his next corporate golf day before he gets past the second line. Dirty mechanics aren't allowed the internet at work because the golfer thinks they'll use it to look at FaceBook. The memo is therefore filed or passed on verbally by a manager who doesn't understand it himself.

The charge rates are fixed because the consumer doesn't get the difference between the kid who changes oil and the master tech who'll fault find the Engine CANBUS. They therefore built schedules where the kiddy sets five bikes oil draining, does a few non-jobs like inspecting tyre roundness then comes back to the first bike with the oil bottle. This workflow is fine until he gets confused and only tightens four of the five drain plugs.

Possible solutions are;

Employ a independent master tech and pay his rate for watching oil drain.

Go to Germany (and pay more) where their structures are better and the workshop manager will have been doing the job since he was 17 and everyone will have passed practical exams.

Wait until the manufacturers get their wishes and your bike will "update" like an iPhone and will have a 4 bolt engine swap by a robot every 2 years not an oil change. The engine will refuse to start on day 799 if you ignore the update request.

DIY

I DIY. No idea what it does to the resale value. I take pictures and keep receipts and use genuine parts so the record is better than a dealers. I have qualifications I can use if there is a warranty fight, but accept if may lose. I prefer this risk to the risk of some un-monitored YTS kid not doing up the drain bolt.

I know one of my old bikes mysteriously gained a dealers FSH after I sold it. I bet a careful look on the Triumph database would show five oil changes entered the same day! This is fraud but I bet the new owner can't afford the lawyers fees to prove it.

Andy

Edited by Andy m
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Mac750

Sadly I know a few master tech's that have said the same thing, also a friend in the trade gave me an explanation of "making time". Which is when a job in the manufacturers data base says for example 18 hours, ( 4x4 gearbox removal, strip, inspect , repair and refit ) But the job is rushed and finished in 9 hours. The customer is still charged 18 hours labour. He explained that the workshop managers pressured the mechanics to " make time" so much so that the mechanics rushed all day every day and even running to the spares counter shouting "stores please" so that the parts man was already waiting eagerly to get the parts needed. Easy ways to make time was Pollen filters not changed, oils filters not changed but new oil put in. At one main dealership he worked at for a short time they got a productivity bonus on making time ( working faster ) and parts retention. Using a part that looked in good condition and okay to re fit, but the manufacturer recommended replace at each service. The customer was charged for that part or parts. Eventually my friend who had been a main dealer service trained mechanic from being an apprentice at 16 and went on to become a master technician and diagnostics expert for high end makes became so fed up with the whole thing that after 27 years he packed up his snap on chests of tools collected them in his pick up and set himself up repairing and servicing out board motors for boats (self employed ) He earns less but enjoys life more. Welcome to main dealer service centres would sir like a coffee whilst your car is brought around to the front ?.

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