I think I was ripped off
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Default I think I was ripped off

    I discovered something interesting when I took the sump off the R25 transmission the other day (as part of the work being discussed in the thread about synthetic fluids). But first some background info. In June, I brought the 25 to a transmission specialist to have a service done which was to include a change of fluid, gaskets and filter and a check to see if anything in the tranny looked suss, in addition to a cambelt change. I told the mechanic when I booked it in that I didn't know when the tranny had last been serviced as we'd just recently bought the car, and I wanted to make sure that it was OK. He said that they'd check it out.

    Well, they carried out the service and changed the cam belt, and when I asked how the transmission looked, they said it seemed fine. I paid them and headed on my merry way.

    Now it turns out that, firstly, they hadn't done up the sump properly because when I came to get a roadworthy for the car it failed because of a leak from the sump. My dad took the car back to the specialists and showed them the roadworthy report, after which they agreed to fix it. The took out the sump again and straightened it somehow to get it to seal properly.

    Secondly, the other day when I removed the sump, I discovered that the filter that they supposedly replaced has a 2cm tear in the filter mesh. It also has a moulded stamp on it showing a "91" inside a circle - it looks alot like a year stamp so I'm guessing 1991.

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    I very much doubt that this is a new filter, unless they've got a some "new old stock" filters lying about and the one they've used just happened to be faulty and developed a tear.

    To top it off, all the magnets in the sump are absolutely covered in metal bits, so it looks like they didn't bother cleaning them when they did their "service". Or they did clean them and the tranny has since deposited all that alloy - the car only drove for about 2 months afterwards before we took it off the road so I think that this is unlikely.

    So I've been deciding what to do. I'll need to get a new filter, but I don't know if I should go back to the specialists and confront them with my evidence and ask for a refund or for a new filter or to just leave things be. I do want to let them know that I don't like getting screwed by morons who think that they can save a few bucks by not carrying out basic tasks and not replacing parts that I have payed for. I'm just concerned that they'll say that they did replace the filter and that I'm just trying to pull a shifty on them on something crap like that. What's the best thing to do in this situation? Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Richard
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
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  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    A perfect example of one of the main reasons I keep saying that you young blokes should learn to work on your cars yourselves!

    You've found all this stuff yourself... what's to stop you fitting the filter and cleaning it up yourself?

    Then you can choose between biting the bullet and forgetting the rip-off or going down there and confronting them.

  3. #3
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    I had my auto serviced about a year ago by a reputable business (supposedly), and the bloke said it was rooted and would need rebuilding.

    Its still going strong, exactly the same as it always was - His business no longer exists.

    Dodgy buggers.

    But yeah, try talking to them. Unless your absolutely convinced they are sympathetic, never take it there again? - like jester says.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    A perfect example of one of the main reasons I keep saying that you young blokes should learn to work on your cars yourselves!

    You've found all this stuff yourself... what's to stop you fitting the filter and cleaning it up yourself?

    Then you can choose between biting the bullet and forgetting the rip-off or going down there and confronting them.

    Go the young lads.

    Seriously, stories like these worry me. I am by no means a mechanic, bit if i do stuff something up then i can only blame myself, then shinge about it on aussie frogs.

    Then again mechanics are people too who can and do forget things, but luckily they are liable.

    I would bring it up with them!!!

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  5. #5
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I might head down there this weekend for a chat and let you know how they react. I'll see if I can at least get the filter they owe me, which is all I'm really after.

    Regardless of what happens, I'm not planning on ever taking it there again, they don't seem to have that interest in the car that makes me feel they want to do a good job on it.

    Ray! I DO work on my car myself, it's just that I wanted an "expert" opinion on the condition of the tranny since I don't know that much about them. And yeah, I will be installing the filters and cleaning it up myself, I wasn't planning on pushing the car to these guys to try and get them to do it properly this time... This time, I'll do it myself thank you very much.
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  6. #6
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Glad to hear it...

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Not trying to defend poor workmanship or rip off artists for a moment BUT....

    No one is infalable and we have all made mistakes at work, forgotten to do something or told the boss something has been done when it hasn't in the hope no one would find out...

    A 91 stamp on a filter may indicate date of manufacture but that doesn't mean that the filter was not changed... many hard to come by or uncommon parts are manufactured at time of original production and sit on shelves for years until thay are used....there is after all a huge industry in New Old Stock for this very reason....

    As for the hole in the filter may have been done by some bumbling apprentice who didn't want to tell "the boss" at the risk of having to pay for a hard to find and expensive item himslef (and probably the only one they had)

    You didn't mention how clean the fluid was... was it the right colour red or was it black and burnt? In a deteriorating trannie... you can shed quite a bit of friction material in two months and a good dolopping of filings on a sump magnet may in fact not be unusual.... Clean fluid is the best example of a service.... If the trans had not been serviced for a while it may take two or three flushes to get all the gunk out of the converter....

    To Ray's point of DIY some of us don't have the time or the environment to do it ourselves even if we were capable of it. Think of how much safer and quicker it is to do a trans service on a hoist for example... In my case for a transmission service I do the following:-

    I purchase:-

    5 litres of the Cheapest Dexron I can find (as long as it is same spec as that recomended)
    5 litres of Castrol Transmax
    1 x Trans Filter
    1 x Gasket

    I do a note to the repairer explaing what I want done:-

    Empty Box
    Fill with Dexron.
    Run / Drive and then Flush
    Replace Filter
    Replace Gasket
    Fill with Transmax
    Keep old fluid and filter for inspection.

    I get them to price the above and if they aren't interested I find someone that is.

    I shop around for the best price on the stuff I need (usually when Supercheap has 20% off I sotck up on all fuids and go to my local Marque Specialist for the parts I need) I dont pay the mark up on parts / fluids a repairer normally charges and use their facilites and labour which in real terms is more efficient than doing it all myself.

    All reputable repiarers are happy to keep the old parts for the consumer to inspect when paying the bill time arrives and if they don't then don't use them and any instructions to repairers should be in writing and very clear to avoid missinterpretation.....

    Sometimes as consumers we are our own worst enemies!

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  8. #8
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I admire your restraint.

    I would have been straight in there, sump full of oil and metalic particles in hand and given them a heap of grief. No doubt they would be happy to give me a full refund just to get me out of there workshop (much to the great distress of my wife ).

    Was the sump full of thick sludge 'cos they hadn't cleaned it out

    I wouldn't take any of this sh!t, get back there an get your $$$ back.

    seeeya,
    Shane L.
    Quote Originally Posted by silverexec
    I discovered something interesting when I took the sump off the R25 transmission the other day (as part of the work being discussed in the thread about synthetic fluids). But first some background info. In June, I brought the 25 to a transmission specialist to have a service done which was to include a change of fluid, gaskets and filter and a check to see if anything in the tranny looked suss, in addition to a cambelt change. I told the mechanic when I booked it in that I didn't know when the tranny had last been serviced as we'd just recently bought the car, and I wanted to make sure that it was OK. He said that they'd check it out.

    Well, they carried out the service and changed the cam belt, and when I asked how the transmission looked, they said it seemed fine. I paid them and headed on my merry way.

    Now it turns out that, firstly, they hadn't done up the sump properly because when I came to get a roadworthy for the car it failed because of a leak from the sump. My dad took the car back to the specialists and showed them the roadworthy report, after which they agreed to fix it. The took out the sump again and straightened it somehow to get it to seal properly.

    Secondly, the other day when I removed the sump, I discovered that the filter that they supposedly replaced has a 2cm tear in the filter mesh. It also has a moulded stamp on it showing a "91" inside a circle - it looks alot like a year stamp so I'm guessing 1991.

    I very much doubt that this is a new filter, unless they've got a some "new old stock" filters lying about and the one they've used just happened to be faulty and developed a tear.

    To top it off, all the magnets in the sump are absolutely covered in metal bits, so it looks like they didn't bother cleaning them when they did their "service". Or they did clean them and the tranny has since deposited all that alloy - the car only drove for about 2 months afterwards before we took it off the road so I think that this is unlikely.

    So I've been deciding what to do. I'll need to get a new filter, but I don't know if I should go back to the specialists and confront them with my evidence and ask for a refund or for a new filter or to just leave things be. I do want to let them know that I don't like getting screwed by morons who think that they can save a few bucks by not carrying out basic tasks and not replacing parts that I have payed for. I'm just concerned that they'll say that they did replace the filter and that I'm just trying to pull a shifty on them on something crap like that. What's the best thing to do in this situation? Any help would be much appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Richard
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  9. #9
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Jack Z... I guess I'll bump into you somewhere on Boxing Day then? I'll be the one with the bagfull of brake pads...

    But there's one point you may or may not know about... some repairers always include in the bill the profit they make on the parts and fluids they use... whether they supply them or not!

    I recall Bruce Collier telling me he always did this. People come in, they've bought the parts elsewhere and want him to fit them... bought a brand of oil he didn't stock... whatever. His bill always included what he didn't make on the parts and fluids he didn't supply. He expected to make that much out of the job and he was going to make it... come hell or high water...

  10. #10
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    Not trying to patronise, but I've been there - the 'younger customer' thing. Some mechanics take younger clients for a ride.

    I was recently asked to inspect a work mate's son's Mini - the car had a reconditioned long engine and rebuilt gearbox. It blew smoke and the second gear synchro was shot. I concluded that the valve guide seals (or guides) weren't replaced and that the gearbox job was shonky. My cynical guess was that the box job wasn't even done - even though the receipt showed that new synchro cones were supplied. I put this down to the age of the guy, and the amount of knowledge he showed about cars on fronting up. Bloody sad - the young guy's a poor student. I was going to offer to front up for him, but I've got enough stress already in my job...

    Stuey

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Well Ray I guess it's the Bruce Colliers of the world that stereotype "specialist repairers" as orthodontisits when it comes to charging!!!!

    I'm glad I no longer own a Renault and know why when I did that was one repairer I didn't use.

    What a cynical way to treat customers!!!!

    Repairers should make their money on their labour rate and any mark up on parts should only be the difference between what their trade price is and what the customer would have paid for that part directly over the counter...

    That's the way it worked when I was on the tools many moons ago...!

    My point remains... be specific with what you want... document it... and expect evidence that it has been done.... when dealing with anyone...
    BX TZI Hatch
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  12. #12
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    I admire your restraint.

    I would have been straight in there, sump full of oil and metalic particles in hand and given them a heap of grief. No doubt they would be happy to give me a full refund just to get me out of there workshop (much to the great distress of my wife ).

    Was the sump full of thick sludge 'cos they hadn't cleaned it out

    I wouldn't take any of this sh!t, get back there an get your $$$ back.
    I wish I could be as demanding as that! Problem is now I'm not 100% certain that they were shonky (Jack you've made some interesting points...) so I'd feel really bad if I directly accused them of being shifty.

    The fluid in the sump was reasonably red, but I knew that this had been changed because my dad saw them change it when he brought the car back to fix the sump leak.

    I've just remembered something else that might cast a bit of doubt on their shonkyness - I had a lot of trouble getting the car up on ramps the other day, the tranny kept slipping (in D and in 1st hold) and only after flooring it for a bit did it manage to get up on the ramps. I just assumed this was related to the solenoids but now I'm not so sure. Maybe that's what caused the filings? Damn, I think it's starting to sound like the tranny is really stuffed.
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    It does sound like it is cactus I'm sorry to say. The good news is I can sell you the whole conversion kit for a manual gearbox, and will even fit it for a modest fee .

    But shonky so called specialists do exist, as do real specialists and suppliers that look after their customers (makes sense as a business person - word of mouth from happy customers can only be a good thing!) Its down to attitude and respect for people.
    The only trans service I ever had done was by a mob who were very friendly and happy to talk to me about the autos and how they work etc, and did a service for me (on the AR4 R21 because it has no dipstick and I didnt know how to get the level right). He even told me to make a dipstick myself. Really nice guys who I felt comfortable with.

    BUT - after the service, it was dropping out of drive and clunking in again with a few revs. They said coincidence, and the trans was stuffed. I said to myself that aint no coincidence, and kept adding fluid until it ran properly and a bit extra for good measure - yep, you guessed it, they hadnt put enough juice in. Its still going strong and I service it myself these days....
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    I feel for you... It's a crap feeling when you're let down by a place you believe is great - it's happened to me so many times (not only with car servicing) that I've developed a slight sense of distrust towards anyone who provides some sort of service or advice. As a result, I'll usually try to get as much information on what I'm trying to do before speaking with the person who is going to provide the service, to show them that I have at least some knowledge in that area, and hopefully give me a sense of how much they know as well.

    Anyway, tomorrow morning I'm going to put the tranny back together and take it for a spin with fresh fluid to see if the solenoid clean-out makes any difference. If it's all good, I'll go to the tranny guys and speak to them about getting the filter they owe me, and I'll get some of that synthetic fluid. If the tranny's still stuffed and keeps slipping, I probably won't bother with fixing it. Time to convert to a manual - prepare yourself for a call Haakon...
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    If you still think they dudded you - report them to the VACC.
    Save the old filter & take pictures of dirty magnets & etc. send it to VACC.
    Even if this place isnt a formal member, if the VACC agrees with you they will put peer group pressure on these guys. At the very least it will irritate the crap out of them.
    So many projects - so little time.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Not that I am trying to sell my conversion kit , but if its full of juice and slipping, its losing pressure and generally means worn linings or stuffed oil pump or seriously clogged oil filter and/or galleries. A clean out may fix it, but I doubt it.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    No, you haven't been putting much effort into selling that kit at all...

    I decided to go back to the guys before putting the car back together because I didn't want to put the crap filter back in after I'd cleaned everything out so nicely. So I went in and chatted with a guy there who wasn't the person we had originally dealt with when we brought the car in the first time. I explained to him my situation, that it looked like the filter hadn't been changed during the service and showed him the filter, to which he said that the filter would have been changed during the service, and that it's possible that this one was faulty...

    I wasn't buying this but before I had a chance to respond, he said that he'd be willing to give me a replacement and he'd check to see if he had any in stock. He didn't, so he placed an order for one which will come in this Friday.

    When I think about it, he didn't actually admit that they had made any mistake or that he would GIVE the filter to me as a replacement - It'll be a bit stupid if he actually expects me to pay for something that I've already payed for... I'll find out on Friday, but so far so good.
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  18. #18
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    Richard, you don't have to pay for that filter by law. He insists that they replaced it, and that the one they gave you was faulty, therefore you have a right to get replacement goods that are fit for their intended purpose (unlike those supplied). I'd suggest that you shouldn't have any hassles - he must've meant for nothing IMO. I know it can be tough, but don't accept anything less.

    Stuey

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Well, this is saga so far...

    I went in on Saturday to collect the filter which had arrived. This time a lady was there who I found out was the main person who dealt with and ordered replacement filters (she was actually quite knowledgeable). Anyway she brought out the filter and it turned out to be the wrong type! She said she was little surprised when she found out they'd ordered a filter as she usually has the common R25 ones in stock (apparently there are a number of different filters for R25s).

    So she went out the back to take a look and found that they had the correct one in stock the whole time... Well, almost correct. It looked slightly different for some reason but she said she was pretty sure that I could use it.

    I took the filter home and compared it to the original, and yes, they were different. The pick-up is on the opposite side of the filter on the new one, but I hoped I could still use it. When I finally had the tranny back together I realised the filter WOULDN'T FIT . The combination of the different pick-up position and the fact the filter is taller than the original means that the sump can't be put back on.

    So I head back down there on Monday to get the correct filter. As soon as I walk in the door the lady says "It doesn't fit??" I felt like throwing it at her . This time I'd brought in the original filter and she says upon seeing it in her usual cheerful and friendly manner, "Ah, that's a genuine Renault part number on there, so it looks like we must have ordered it in specially..."

    She said she'd try to source one and get it in on Wednesday from Sydney. I still haven't found it in me to blast them but they're pushing me very close to the line. Despite the fact they still won't admit to making a mistake in the first place and all the time being wasted getting the filter, they haven't once argued with me to get out of supplying the filter which is what's stopped me from releasing the floodgates. Hopefully the end will come tomorrow.

    Richard
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  20. #20
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    Well, Richard, you've gotta ask - how did they get it so easily last time they supposedly supplied it?

    Stu


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    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Hey Richard - did you get any useful info out of the fault diagnosis sections in that MJ3 manual you copied from me?
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Well, Richard, you've gotta ask - how did they get it so easily last time they supposedly supplied it?
    If I asked, they'd probably say they just happened to have one sitting around on the shelf for 13 years...

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    Hey Richard - did you get any useful info out of the fault diagnosis sections in that MJ3 manual you copied from me?
    Yeah, I had a look at it and read about some possible causes, but then I came across a note that talked about the operation of the solenoids and the symptoms that would show up if they happened to be blocked, so I focussed on trying to solve that. The manual has come in extremely handy for working out how to remove the valve body,clean it out properly and then put it back together. Many thanks again for lending it to me.

    I still haven't heard from the tranny place about the filter coming in, I'll give them a call tomorrow to chase them up.
    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    It seems to me that we can pretty clearly conclude that this filter wasn't replaced in the original service. What place is this, Richard? It is clearly one I don't want to visit and we both spend time in the same are. Send me a private message if you don't want to "out" them.

    My wife had a Renault 12 with an auto tranny once upon a time. Her first car. By the time we parted with it the tranny had ended up costing us roughly three times the price of the vehicle. Tried a second hand box when the first one failed. Had a complete rebuild done by Alpine Affair on one occasion. Then it needed a new computer. (most of the problems were actually caused by the electrical problems leading to other damage) - Then the connectors decided to play up. Then it lost reverse altogether. Then we got rid of it.

    Manual replacement sounds good to me.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  24. #24
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Hagen
    It seems to me that we can pretty clearly conclude that this filter wasn't replaced in the original service. What place is this, Richard? It is clearly one I don't want to visit and we both spend time in the same are. Send me a private message if you don't want to "out" them.
    Well, I feel fairly confident that they didn't replace the filter. I went in on Saturday to find out why they hadn't called me by Wednesday. The lady who I'd been dealing with wasn't in but instead the guy I'd spoken to a few weeks ago was there. He didn't know about the problem I had with the first replacement filter they'd supplied, or that they were chasing up another replacement.

    So he called up the lady to find out what was happening with it. Apparently she hasn't been able to find one yet, and I'm supposed to give her a call on Monday to speak to her directly about it. This seems to me to be a very obvious admission that they didn't replace the filter in the first place - no problems getting replacements in the past but all of a sudden, they don't know where to get them from. This is backed up by the fact they only charged me $27 for the supposed replacement filter - if they had really supplied the genuine filter that I have, I should have been charged something around the $80 mark.

    I WOULD like to out these guys. They have been recommended a few times on the forum which is the reason I went to them, but it's disappointing what has eventuated. I'd just like to say though that my experience with these guys may have been a one off and I'm sure other people would have had positive experiences with them. So I'd like this considered to be a WARNING - just make sure to ask to see all the bits that they've replaced if you decide to go there.

    They are:
    MANUEL AUTOMATICS
    353 Settlement Rd, Thomastown
    (03) 9466 4499


    - Richard

    Now: 405 SRI D70 '93
    - 2.0L manual
    Earlier: 505 GTi Executive '85
    - hence "Silver Exec"...
    25 GTX '86
    - manual conversion

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    yep, thats them. Its where the R21 came back from with not enough juice in it. And it was I that recomended them.

    In their defence, they were very helpful and gave me the tip to make my own dipstick for the dipstickless AR4, but.....

    Oh well, nobody is perfect, and maybe we both had the apprentice working on our cars.....
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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