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PoppetM

Irritating main dealers (Cars not Bikes this time)

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PoppetM

Warning:  Poppet Rant alert...

 

I bought Bratty the Brabus late in 2018. She spent her first sad year of (registered) life sitting on the local Mercedes forecourt next to the local abattoir. It was an unwanted order - rose gold accents apparently were so passe by the time the owner was going to take delivery. It was a good first year together zooming here there and everywhere, enjoying driving without having to wipe the the water from the inside of a car before every use and fitted my purposes perfectly.

 

Nothing iffy apart from the automated clock change last spring. It updated with the radio signal, held for a week then jumped back an hour. Ignored it. Also ignored the service indicator, it's done 2,000 miles for heaven sake. In October thinking great, the clock will be the right time now (NC owners will understand this!)nope,  it jumped forward an hour. Random. Online search pointed to software update, it wouldn't take it the update from USB so I left it.

 

Fast forward to December 19. I pulled Bratty off the driveway on to the street so I could get "the big car" out for the inlaws airport run, she was reluctant to start but did. Yelled at Mr M assuming he had yet again been moving my car again (previous form). We get back from the Airport, shopping bags in hand, jumped in Bratty. Nothing. Nada. The most pathetic whine ever. Can't jump her; his Van's positive terminal is hidden waaaayyy back under the windscreen, well done Ford (hope we never need to get THAT battery out). We tried push-start, that caused some weird braking thingy to occur and a lot of error lights. He wanted to get the Big Car back out but I couldn't cope any more and was worried about the ECU errors, so a household named recovery agent came out. They can't get hold of the batteries for it they don't stock them, but got us to the local Merc dealer. Explained she only had 3,500 miles on her in her short life, the battery was obviously done for, can they please change it. While they have it, please do a service idiotically thinking it would be a little oil change for that mileage and the software update. 

 

Get a call to collect that's £600. What the...  turns out with most dealerships (Mini confirmed this the other day) if it says a second service is due then they have to do it regardless of mileage because the computer says so. Never heard so much twaddle.  Saw Battery £180 on the invoice, thought ah well the battery is done and should now be good for the next seven years as I don't do small mileage in her, mental note not to bother servicing her any time soon.

 

Last night got in her, nope dead as a dodo again. FFS.  Called this morning "we will call you right back". Of course they didn't. Called back an hour ago to chase them "oh it probably needs a new battery". Wait. You put a new battery in it five weeks ago? No, we didn't. We put it on charge overnight and it started fine (of course it blinking would, doesn't mean it will hold the damn charge) so we had no reason to change the battery. But I asked you to. We don't do it because you ask us to.  Right. If I had known that is what they would have done I could have done that myself! 

 

So long and short of it is I need to get it recovered to them again, diagnostics is about an hour at £125+VAT and possibly a new battery is £200-£300, Oh and Mrs M it's due it's 3rd service in June 2020...ummm, I will get back to you. 

 

Screw that!  I have found Halfords do stock the battery according to my reg plate, I just need to figure out what hex or torx I need to release the battery from it's bracket and purchase one of those. So that will be my task for the weekend. And find another garage that can reliably service it without needing to take out a mortgage.

 

I have only used a main dealer twice once was Ford, my Focus ECU went nuts beyond the control of my usual mechanic, spat her sparkies out and would unlock and lock one door at a time in sequences. And my brand new Vauxhall needed roof alignment and a new sensor, in 11 years it needed one battery (That was Mr M's fault!). 

 

Will be avoiding car main dealers... licence to rob.... 

 

Here endeth my rant.

 

 

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alhendo1

Am I reading this correctly...rip off service interval issues aside....we're you charged 180 quid for a new battery when they only charged it!...if so I'm assuming a refund is in order....sorry to hear of your situation....is there a nearby local independant Merc franchise you could consider using?

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embee

I usually get batteries from either https://www.eurocarparts.com/ or https://www.gsfcarparts.com/

Branches of both across a large part central/southern of England. Place the order online and make sure you apply whatever discount code is going at the time, it varies regularly. If you go into the stores and purchase you will have to ask for the discount, it isn't automatically applied.

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Andy m

German logic: If the rules say service ever 50 yards that's what you do.

 

UK Pricing logic: Anything less than what the insurance will pay out if you set it on fire you will pay.

 

Logical logic: Trade it for a Yaris your local independent can drop the oil out of.

 

Andy 

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sandalfarm

I  went to euro car parts for some stuff and they said there was 25%off if you order on line , so I went out of the shop sat in the car ordered the stuff walked into the shop and got the discount, very  strange  

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PoppetM
26 minutes ago, alhendo1 said:

Am I reading this correctly...rip off service interval issues aside....we're you charged 180 quid for a new battery when they only charged it!...if so I'm assuming a refund is in order....sorry to hear of your situation....is there a nearby local independant Merc franchise you could consider using?

 

Apparently it was for "diagnostics for the battery and charging". I need to have a look at the invoice when I get home. I recall it wasn't well laid out. I need to find one of those franchises. I don't want to use the one my neighbour uses for his as quite frankly how it gets through an MOT there on seemingly bald tyres is worrying, 

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PoppetM
19 minutes ago, Andy m said:

German logic: If the rules say service ever 50 yards that's what you do.

 

UK Pricing logic: Anything less than what the insurance will pay out if you set it on fire you will pay.

 

Logical logic: Trade it for a Yaris your local independent can drop the oil out of.

 

Andy 

It was cheaper then a Yaris, with all the bells and whistle, and also smaller which was my pre-requiste as I needed to get my bike around it on the driveway. I did eye up an IQ but for the same reason, too pricey in comparison to this. 

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alhendo1
2 minutes ago, PoppetM said:

Apparently it was for "diagnostics for the battery and charging"

Good grief!!

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Rev Ken

Halfords will fit your battery if bought there probably for a small fee. Euro Parts fitted my battery for my 'mobility scooter' (16 year old Porsche Boxster) for free as it is enormous and very heavy (the battery that is)! I think they took pity on this old man......:D

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larryblag
17 minutes ago, alhendo1 said:

Good grief!!

I said something similar but not repeatable on here. 

I'm lucky, I have a local man, Renault trained (but works on most things) and he has the necessary stuff to diagnose the not so obvious. He's cheap and I always tip him. 

Kelly rang Mazda last year for a price on a service for the MX5. "Our service department is rather busy, I'll get them to ring back?" 

Several hours later - silence. 

Kelly rang again. Gave them the reg, vin no. Mileage etc. and they gave her a price £275. She asked what they did for that. The response was very poor, "Erm, oil, filter and they check a few things". 

Good day to you - not going there. 

:BangHead:

Edited by larryblag
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rjp996

took my daughters mini in for a 'service' at BMW last weekend - it showed an 'oil' service due and 180 miles off an 'inspection' service.

They were a bit miffed when I told them I did not want the £190 oil change with pollen filter change, but just the oil and filter as per service item at £100. Since I would not pay the £375 for the Inspection service due in 180 miles also they refused to turn off the oil service light and log it in the BMW service history  - told them I would re set in myself (impossible they said) and paid just the £100 for the oil change and fitted the £20 pollen filter myself. Next time its going to the place my beloved 17year old RR goes...

 

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slowboy
1 hour ago, PoppetM said:

 

Apparently it was for "diagnostics for the battery and charging". I need to have a look at the invoice when I get home. I recall it wasn't well laid out. I need to find one of those franchises. I don't want to use the one my neighbour uses for his as quite frankly how it gets through an MOT there on seemingly bald tyres is worrying, 

 

Ouch. I know our local Mercedes dealer in Exeter charges £240 per hour for servicing. I bet that doesn't get any cheaper as you get nearer the capital.

My Volvo V70 hasn't been near a Volvo dealer for 5 years. Our local garage in Kingsbridge has been excellent and can do the software.

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Dunnster
2 hours ago, PoppetM said:

It was cheaper then a Yaris, with all the bells and whistle, and also smaller which was my pre-requiste as I needed to get my bike around it on the driveway. I did eye up an IQ but for the same reason, too pricey in comparison to this. 

 

Dont take this the wrong way, it may have been cheaper than the Yaris, but your paying for it now :cry:

Be careful with eurocarparts, I used to use them a lot, applying the codes for parts, but when shopping for the father in laws new car battery, it was much cheaper at the local motor factors for the same one, even with the discount.  

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Spindizzy

Ironically a typical cost per hour to fix a multi million pound jet is £80-£90

 

Perhaps I should diversify to doing Smart Cars.

 

Fingers crossed a decent new battery will get you sorted, plus a reasonably priced service based on effort applied, rather than brand polishing.

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embee
1 hour ago, Dunnster said:

Be careful with eurocarparts, …..

That advice applies to any and all suppliers, it's just shopping around. I've had batteries from Halfords when they come out the best price/availability. I rarely get lamps or spark plugs or oil from Eurocarparts or GSF because they are usually cheaper from certain other reputable online suppliers,  but occasionally either the prices work out or a slight premium is fine for convenience.

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PoppetM
1 hour ago, Dunnster said:

 

Dont take this the wrong way, it may have been cheaper than the Yaris, but your paying for it now :cry:

 

Thought it as I was typing it :ahappy:

 

3 hours ago, larryblag said:

I said something similar but not repeatable on here. 

Mr M’s language was blue when I rang him to tell me they hadn’t replaced the battery as we had been told...

 

3 hours ago, Rev Ken said:

Halfords will fit your battery if bought there probably for a small fee. Euro Parts fitted my battery for my 'mobility scooter' (16 year old Porsche Boxster) for free as it is enormous and very heavy (the battery that is)! I think they took pity on this old man......:D

Thank you, I can’t get the car to them, but happy to sort myself once I have the right tool to take the old one out 😀At least Halfords stock them!

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Spindizzy
9 minutes ago, PoppetM said:

Thank you, I can’t get the car to them, but happy to sort myself once I have the right tool to take the old one out 😀At least Halfords stock them!

 

Without wishing to tell anyone how to suck eggs.

 

Take the negative terminal off first. 

 

Put the negative terminal back on last

 

Helps prevent unintended welding .....

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Argyll

My fairly new Audi Q2 had a problem with the stop/start. I read online that the most likely cause was a low battery charge. OK, so I charged it up but it wouldn't hold a full charge (signs of a dodgy battery!). Also read that my model year had a large batch of bad batteries and best to get it replaced.

 

Rather than faff around, I went to the dealer and asked to buy a new battery. They insisted that it was a warranty claim, drove the car into the workshop and had me sit around for 2 hours. Guy then appears and says “it's a bad battery sir – we need your car for 24 hours to run a full diagnostic and send the results to Audi”

 

I said, just sell me a flippin' battery and I'll get on my way. He says “we don't have any sir”

 

So, I went elsewhere and bought one – never had a problem since, and never returned to Audi since.

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macamx

On the bright side, took wife’s Suzuki Ignis to local main dealer for yearly service plus asked them to swap the wheels around, car handed back immaculately cleaned. £140. Guess where my next car is coming from.

 

Geoff.

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Radarman

Sorry to hear that Sam.

What make/model of the battery is that? I'm asking because some manufacturers give even 5 years of warranty so your battery might still be covered. Obviously you will probably need to bypass your "nice" dealer and make warranty claim directly with battery manufacturer.

 

Secondly a word of warning when replacing battery. Most of the modern cars unfortunately need to go through new battery registration process. The registration of the battery replacement is required to inform the power management (software in engine electronics and intelligent battery sensor) that a new battery was installed in the vehicle. If the battery replacement is not registered, the power management will not function properly and can lead to functions being limited by individual electrical consumers being switched off or having their power consumption reduced. There is usually a sticker on the battery with code (see below) that has to be used for registering the battery.

 

Below an example of battery registration on Audi

 

 

Finally I was wondering if your battery problems are not caused because your nice car sat in the dealer for a prolonged time and gawd knows whether battery was properly conditioned during that period of time. Or even worse the battery was dead so they replaced it just before it was sold to you but forgot to register it properly, hence all problems with date etc..

Edited by Radarman
Linky to YT inserted
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Ciaran1602

Haven't taken my cars back to a main dealer in years because of an experience with Citroen in Fareham (Great sales team, very *friendly* service team but utterly rubbish actual mechanics).

 

This was back when I had a Citroen C4 from new. Lovely motor for the equivalent money I paid however for whatever reason the power steering didn't feel right. It would feel extremely heavy and then feel light as a feather - sometimes there was a steering wheel centering sensation sometimes there was nothing at all. And so, I asked them to look at it. There was a degree of reluctance but they took it in.

 

When I got the car back I didn't pay an awful lot of attention to it as I just wanted to get home after a tiring day. But I did happen to look at the centre console - underneath the central heating controls and radio and what not is the protective flap for the Lexia 3 device interface for diagnostics and whatnot. I can only assume they had employed a small dragon to do the maintenance work as the entire panel, and quite a lot of the actual fascia itself above it, was covered in deep scratches from using a trim removal tool. It looked like someone had had a very localised knife fight and the dashboard had lost. Some of it was down to the point the plastic had almost split. I collected photos and sent one hell of an email to the dealer principal/service manager who I have had dealings with before. Dealer principal, a chap named Tony, was very contrite but the service manager honestly didn't give a toss. I was given a DS4 crossback to swan about in for a week while they awaited the part but after that I swore never to take a car to a main dealer service department ever again.

 

Just done 1st service on my Astra at a large independent down the road from my work. Similar price as the main dealer service but an itemised invoice of every item of work they've done and a free lift to and from work. I have far greater trust they've actually DONE the work.

 

Sorry to hear of your woes Sam.

Edited by Ciaran1602

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PoppetM
9 minutes ago, Radarman said:

Sorry to hear that Sam.

What make/model of the battery is that? I'm asking because some manufacturers give even 5 years of warranty so your battery might still be covered. Obviously you will probably need to bypass your "nice" dealer and make warranty claim directly with battery manufacturer.

 

Secondly a word of warning when replacing battery. Most of the modern cars unfortunately need to go through new battery registration process. The registration of the battery replacement is required to inform the power management (software in engine electronics and intelligent battery sensor) that a new battery was installed in the vehicle. If the battery replacement is not registered, the power management will not function properly and can lead to functions being limited by individual electrical consumers being switched off or having their power consumption reduced. There is usually a sticker on the battery with code (see below) that has to be used for registering the battery.

 

Below an example of battery registration on BMW

 

b2-1024x791.jpg

 

Finally I was wondering if your battery problems are not caused because your nice car sat in the dealer for a prolonged time and gawd knows whether battery was properly conditioned during that period of time. Or even worse the battery was dead so they replaced it just before it was sold to you but forgot to register it properly, hence all problems with date etc..

 

Thanks for the heads up. So if there is one of these stickers on the existing battery, I have no choice but to go to a main dealer? And if no sticker, we are safe to just go ahead and put a stop go battery in it? It’s a 2017 car. 

 

You hit hit the nail on the head, battery not conditioned due to longevity sat on their forecourt, but they are never in a million years going to admit to it! They want me to go through the hassle of sitting in all day waiting for recovery, pay for diagnostics and then “we will discuss what can be done about the battery to resolve the issue”.

Given they ignored my first request to replace the battery, I don’t really want to go to all the hassle and pay for their diagnostics and still have to pay £300 for a battery then arrange another day off for return of the car when I can buy a tool kit for £14 and a replacement battery for £159.

 

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Eddie17

With my VW the main dealer they were  wanting to do a long life oil change  then about a month later a mileage service that comes up on car info screen , which included an oil change!  Took it to a local garage that VW trained and he did it all in one (and reset service interval). Sometimes its just crazy / confused/ nonsense. If it wasn't for the ease of seeing my  grandchild  (child seat needed as babysit)I would do without a car  .

hope you get it sorted 

Edited by Eddie17

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larryblag
58 minutes ago, Spindizzy said:

 

Without wishing to tell anyone how to suck eggs.

 

Take the negative terminal off first. 

 

Put the negative terminal back on last

 

Helps prevent unintended welding .....

In think I've a "half spanner" somewhere. One end is 10mm the other is a strange blue colour and shaped like the moon... 

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Radarman
9 minutes ago, PoppetM said:

 

Thanks for the heads up. So if there is one of these stickers on the existing battery, I have no choice but to go to a main dealer? And if no sticker, we are safe to just go ahead and put a stop go battery in it? It’s a 2017 car.

 

There's no need to go to the Merc main dealer for this. It needs to be someone who has Merc software to register it properly so any independent with such kit will do it. Is there any Smart forum where you can ask for advice re this?

 

P.S. Edited my earlier post with YT link to show you how it's done on Audi.

Edited by Radarman
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