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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks, I've found some helpful advice on here many times so i thought i'd ask your expert opinions if you don't mind? :)

I've got an Audi A4 1996 1.8SE, it failed it's MOT last week, but i was quite happy with the results as it was nothing too serious:

Front outer CV boot split,

Front brake pads need replacing,

Advised it has an oil leak-but it's not an essential job & won't stop it passing a future MOT test.

Didn't take my car to my usual mechanic as he's on holiday. Instead took it to a little garage, the bloke seemed really genuine on the phone & in person, i was advised he couldn't give an exact price but to expect a bill in the region of £100-£150 & he'd do the MOT retest in with that price (it was origionally done at my local ambulance station) & he'd also sort out the oil leak.

He's had the car since yesterday, today he rings me to say it's ready & the bill is £309!!! :mad:

I've nothing in writing re the quoted price, but i just wanted any advice on how much this work should/could of cost elsewhere, i don't have a clue & my mechanic's not back for another week.

I've priced up the CV boot & brake pads on good old ebay & they amount to £20 (inc P&P), so i'm obviously quite shocked at the total amount.:rolleyes:

I believe the oil leak was fixed with a bit of welding.

Any advice you could give would be much appreciated.

Mel.
 

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Can't say if the work done was a fair price but what you should of said is if the work is going to be more than the price quoted then he should ring you to OK the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, i realise this now, i hadn't really thought that he'd increase the price, especially to double, i thought once you've been given a price-thats the price. I had in my head it'd cost £150 tops, & with a bit of luck £100!

I spoke to him twice while he had the car & he didn't mention any price increase?
 

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I would tackle him on it and ask why it went from the £150 max to over £300 and why he did not ring you regarding the mater.
 

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Hi Mel sorry to hear youve been treated like this but i feel its the usual senario which i hear many garages try on with the female car owners !!

When it comes to car repairs they try it on and push up the price as they dont expect any women to research parts prices and labour costs involved with the work... A lot of women(no dis-respect to you) would not query the price and just pay it happy to get there car back !!

Go back to the garage and ask for a breakdown of parts and labour involved as to ascertain why the price has jumped so much...

Hope you get the situation resolved at a cheaper price and let us know how you get on ... :)
 

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Im guessing Mel is short for Melanie, if not,I do sincerely apologise

As T-Sport says.. with no dis-respect to you or any other female or male xar owner. theres garages out there who are willing to rob people of their honest hard earned cash.

Right.,... im not wanting to upset you now..... front brake pads, non OEM, standard pads, trade price are a max of £25.. from about £17.99

CV boot, by its self is about £5 for 2..

Labour costs.... approx 4 hours work MAX -.. to remove the wheels.. replace the pads, install new CV boots... (i say boots.. as he should of done both sides! as he had both wheels off for the pads, and you might as well do both sides to prevent the other spliting)

However.. if he has replace the CV joints.. and boots... these cost approx £60 depending on supplier for a pair.

The fact is, the garage should of contacted you prior to any work which was going to be in excess of 10% of the quote provided..

As you have not quote in wrighting, this makes it a little hard. however its your word against his.

I would suggest you contact the garage and get all the work in writing.. (Find out what was welded?????) NO welding should of been carried out really in the engine and all parts are replacalbe.

Once you have a break down.. i would suggest you haggle on the price.. if hes not reducing the price... pay the money, get your car and get out of there..

Then take it further using the below link.

Have a read of this site..
www.oft.gov.uk

Please let us know how you get on.

Thanks

RickT
 

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Sorry for butting in and bumping this thread, but I feel a few "loose ends" need tying up, with a qualified view from a "spanner monkey" ;) .

RickT said:
Right.,... im not wanting to upset you now..... front brake pads, non OEM, standard pads, trade price are a max of £25.. from about £17.99
OK, but what if the garage found that the discs also needed replacement. Many a time I have scheduled a front pad change, from the inital visual inspection (without any dismantling), and thought the outer face of the discs looked OK. Upon strip down, I often find the inner face of the disc knackered, need replacement, and so that can bump the price (both parts and labour) by quite a bit.

RickT said:
CV boot, by its self is about £5 for 2..
Subjective price for the boots - we don't know who supplied the garage. Secondly, the OP stated the car had failed an MoT because the CV boot had already split. There is an extremely high probability of the joint internals contaminated with road grit and dirt, which again would add to the labour because the joint would need to be fully degreased, examined for wear, if wear was found a new joint fitted, if no wear found the existing joint regreased, and only then, the new boot fitted.

There is a lot of difference in scope of work to do between replaceing a CV joint that is "nearly" split, and one which is already split!

RickT said:
Labour costs.... approx 4 hours work MAX -.. to remove the wheels.. replace the pads, install new CV boots... (i say boots.. as he should of done both sides! as he had both wheels off for the pads, and you might as well do both sides to prevent the other spliting)
That could at least half as much again, for discs and joints!

RickT said:
However.. if he has replace the CV joints.. and boots... these cost approx £60 depending on supplier for a pair.
Exactly!

RickT said:
The fact is, the garage should of contacted you prior to any work which was going to be in excess of 10% of the quote provided..
But the OP never indicated to us exactly his/her instrucutions to the garage. The garage may have stated something like "your CV joints may need a good clean as well", and "you want me to do your front brakes" - and the OP may have given the nod.

RickT said:
As you have not quote in wrighting, this makes it a little hard. however its your word against his.
It's extremely rare to get a written quotation to replace the front barakes, or any other "routine" works. Maybe consider a written quote for major overhall, say of the engine or gearbox!

RickT said:
I would suggest you contact the garage and get all the work in writing..
Good, wise advice, and really they should have offered a full itemised invoice anyway, unless there was a prior agreement for "cash - no invoice ;) "

RickT said:
(Find out what was welded?????) NO welding should of been carried out really in the engine and all parts are replacalbe.
Could have been pin-hole corrosion in a cam-cover, or sump - perfectly reasonable to "fill" by welding.

RickT said:
Once you have a break down.. i would suggest you haggle on the price.. if hes not reducing the price... pay the money, get your car and get out of there..
I think we might be taking too much of a one sided view!

RickT said:
Then take it further using the below link.

Have a read of this site..
www.oft.gov.uk
RickT
Good advice, but there may actually be no "guilty party"!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm now car-less thanks to a dodgy mechanic! :crying:

Let me start by giving you that detailed break-down of work this guy did....

Engine:
3.5 HRS Semi-Synth = £16
Oil filter = £9
Oil leak (locate fault, labour & switch) = £30
Total = £55

No plate light
2 Wiper blades (these were replaced only the week before Xmas!)
Front bumper loose
Total = £20

Brakes:
Replace front brake pads = £29
Rear brake pads = £25
Labour = £60
N/s CV Boot = £19
Labour (drill out bolt) = £60
Total = £234 (Actually the total is £233-but the guy can't add up!)

MOT = £40 (this bill does not include £35 for 1st MOT)

Total bill = £309!!!

Now i really need your help guys.............as soon as i got my car back i had to go on a short motorway journey (20 mins total time driving-about 10 on motorway) & my brake fluid light came on as did my ABS light?
I brought the car straight home-about half way into my journey (so still total driving time 20mins) & the next morning i rang the guy-its normal he says, put a little brake fluid in it-its because of the new pads, this i did.
I then find that my car is shuddering a lot when i brake (just street driving-no more than 30mph-10mph on turns?), i ring the guy again-its just the brake pads bedding in he says!
Next my oil light is coming on-though he's supposed to have done a full oil change, i ring him again, he dropped by my house on his way home & fills my car with oil!

Please bare in mind i've barely driven my car since this guy had it, i've been a little wary & i've had a lift to work.

Last week i drove a short distance, again my oil light came on, i ring the guy-he's on holiday (WITH MY BLOODY MONEY!), but also my car is making a lot of noise-sounds just like a bomber taxi, so rang my dad who told me to put STP oil in it-this i did & car seems fine.

Today i'm on another motorway journey, been on the motorway 5mins when car starts making a lot of noise again, black smoke starts pouring out of exhaust & oil light comes back on, i took next turning off & rang my dad-who's a member of the AA, he came to my rescue & rang the AA.
They come out, tell me my car has been over filed with oil & its totally knackered!
Its either the pistons or the engine-he'd bet his money on it being the engine-approx £1500 for a new engine-car worth £2000 tops-best advice he can give is do a complete oil change, fill it with STP & trade it in asap (while its not making so much noise)!

HELLO?!?!?

IS IT ME? I ONLY TOOK IT TO GARAGE FOR A FEW MINOR JOBS & NOW I'M CAR LESS?

Yes i know it wasn't a brand new car, but i LOVE that car, it mite only be an N reg, but its black with blacked out windows, lexus front & rear lights & i've got a private reg N558 MEL. I take good care of it, it's washed & polished very often, spotless inside etc etc. It looks good, people always comment on how nice a car it is.

So is that it, i just give my baby away to some dodgy dealer? I can't afford to get a car on the never-never, i paid cash for this 1 2yrs ago using my inheritance-I DON'T WANT A NEW CAR!

Surely this guy is somehow to blame for this?

SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO PAY?!?!? I FEEL LIKE I'VE LOST A CHILD :crying:

Please please please help me :crying:

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
& just to add........

THIS IS MURDER-SOMEONE HAS MURDERED MY BABY BOY!

THIS SHOULD BE TREATED AS A MURDER INVESTIGATION!

OK so i might be getting a tad carried away, BUT PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO THINK HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF THIS WAS YOUR CAR.

(Now i'll shut up whinning before you ban me from this site for being a wee bit mental-which right now i am-not to mention HEART BROKEN!)

Once again thanks guys for all your help so far, its much appreciated.

Mel.
 

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very long, and detailed reply - don't fall asleep!

Melly31 said:
Let me start by giving you that detailed break-down of work this guy did....
OK, I'll do my best to give a detailed, honest and unbiased opinion!


Melly31 said:
Engine:
3.5 HRS Semi-Synth = £16
I take it the "HRS" was a typo, for litres ;) . Right, is your engine a turbo? If it is, then it needs fully synthetic oil, to the appropriate VW standard as listed in your owners manual. Semi, and plain mineral oil, will coke up in the turbo bearings, leading to turbo failure!

Melly31 said:
Oil filter = £9
About the right price for a quality aftermarket item.

Melly31 said:
Oil leak (locate fault, labour & switch) = £30
What exactly did they do, and what did they replace? The £30 (inclusive of parts and labour) could be a reasonable figure!

Melly31 said:
Total = £55
No separate labour charge - was it listed anywhere as a "total" labour charge for the whole car?


Melly31 said:
No plate light
Was it blown, or corroded contacts etc?

Melly31 said:
2 Wiper blades (these were replaced only the week before Xmas!)
Had they since been ripped on snow or ice, when frozen to the screen. Were they wrong, or cheap nasty items fitted previously?

Melly31 said:
Front bumper loose
Was it? If so, it would require rectification for the MoT.

Melly31 said:
Total = £20
If all that work was carried out, and the price includes parts and labour, then I consider it to be a very fair price, for that little section of works.


Melly31 said:
Brakes:
Replace front brake pads = £29
Rear brake pads = £25
Labour = £60
Right, the price for the parts seems fair, but the price for the labour may be a little questionable! You really need to find their hourly rate. My personal target times for front brakes would be 45minutes, and for rears 60 minutes. These are only "targets" though - you don't know if there was any corrosion, leading to seizure of securing bolts, pads in the caliper, handbrake linkages etc, - which could lead to longer labour times. You also don't know how thorough he was with carefully cleaning all the caliper and pad guides, and lubricating them with the appropriate silicone and anti-seize greases!

Melly31 said:
N/s CV Boot = £19
Labour (drill out bolt) = £60
If it was a genuine Audi OEM boot, then a fair price for the parts. The labour again might seem a little excessive, but as I indicated in post #8, there would have been contamination of the joint, which would have needed thorough de-greasing, inspection, regreasing, and then the new boot. The seized bolt could have been at a fiddly angle, and may have resulted in lots of profainities, skinned nuckles, and lots of head-scratching! Again, without the hourly rate, it is difficult to give a firm conclusion, though my gut feelling would probably state the labour figure is not too wide of the mark!

Melly31 said:
Total = £234 (Actually the total is £233-but the guy can't add up!)
OK, OK - I often run out of fingers and toes to add up on! The phone may have been ringing, another customer may be at the counter . . .


Melly31 said:
MOT = £40 (this bill does not include £35 for 1st MOT)
Did the MoT get done at the same place that failed it, and was it within 14 days? If not, they are fully entitled to charge you the full price of £44, but you got a £4 discount! Reading your first post again, they stated they would "do the MOT retest in with that price" - two issues; firstly, were the garage confused as to weather they did the iniitial MoT? (you stated in your post the ambulance station did it, but did you make it clear to this new garage?), and secondly, a "free retest" can only be carried out by the same testing station as the initial failure, and within a certain time limit.


Melly31 said:
Total bill = £309!!!
It is a lot more than the initial estimate. But you never got an initial written "quotation" from the garage prior to starting any works, and you stated the garage initally advised you that they could not give you a firm "guesstimate". You also havn't answered my concern in post #8 to RickT about any "instructions" you may have given to the garage. This is potentially the crux of the issue regarding the above prices.


Melly31 said:
Now i really need your help guys.............as soon as i got my car back i had to go on a short motorway journey (20 mins total time driving-about 10 on motorway) & my brake fluid light came on as did my ABS light?
Not good. The ABS light will sometimes come on with any other brake warning light (apart from handbrake on, or worn brake pads).

Melly31 said:
I brought the car straight home-about half way into my journey (so still total driving time 20mins) & the next morning i rang the guy-its normal he says, put a little brake fluid in it-its because of the new pads, this i did.
Fair enough, he basically admitted to not topping up the brake fluid - which is not really acceptable. How low was the fluid?

Melly31 said:
I then find that my car is shuddering a lot when i brake (just street driving-no more than 30mph-10mph on turns?), i ring the guy again-its just the brake pads bedding in he says!
Has it rained much, there may be an overnight build up of rust on the discs! Does the shuddering settle down after 5-10 applications of the brake pedal. Have a read of some specialist sites for bedding in processes; Bedding in new pads and rotors (for racing and high performance systems), StopTech : Balanced Brake Upgrades (for racing and high performance systems), BRAKE PAD BEDDING IN PROCEDURE (an Audi OEM pad supplier, for normal road car pads), Brake Tech - Brake Pad and Rotor Bed-In Procedures (a good "all-round" advice page, detailing brake shudder causes). Nevertheless, the garage should have carried out the initial bed in for you. Bear in mind, it can take 150-300 miles for pads to bed in fully! For further reading, the Google search linky: bedding in new brake pads - Google Search=

Melly31 said:
Next my oil light is coming on-though he's supposed to have done a full oil change, i ring him again, he dropped by my house on his way home & fills my car with oil!
Oh dear - this is where it all goes Pete Tong, in a big way! How much oil did he need to "top up" with? Did you see the make and grade of oil he used, particularly the SAE viscosity rating - it should be 5W30.

Melly31 said:
Please bare in mind i've barely driven my car since this guy had it, i've been a little wary & i've had a lift to work.
Are there any puddles or drips of oil on your driveway/street, underneath your engine? How many days have you not used the car?

Melly31 said:
Last week i drove a short distance, again my oil light came on, i ring the guy-he's on holiday (WITH MY BLOODY MONEY!), but also my car is making a lot of noise-sounds just like a bomber taxi,
Oh dear, again. Do not drive the car, or even start the engine. It sounds like he forgot to put any oil in it at all, after he drained the old stuff out! Does your car have an oil temperature gauge - if so, did you notice any "unusual" readings, ie no movement of the needle at all, when you drove the car back from the garage initially? What about the water temperature guage - was that reading normally? Did the car heater seem particualarly hot? Was there any strange smells from the car?

Melly31 said:
so rang my dad who told me to put STP oil in it-this i did & car seems fine.
Oh NOOOOOOOO. STP is American snake oil $h!te. That was a bad move!

Melly31 said:
Today i'm on another motorway journey, been on the motorway 5mins when car starts making a lot of noise again, black smoke starts pouring out of exhaust & oil light comes back on, i took next turning off & rang my dad-who's a member of the AA, he came to my rescue & rang the AA.
This is going from bad to worse. The oil light simply means low oil pressure, and can be caused by a number of issues.

Melly31 said:
They come out, tell me my car has been over filed with oil & its totally knackered!
Its either the pistons or the engine-he'd bet his money on it being the engine-approx £1500 for a new engine-car worth £2000 tops
OK, the AA must provide written details of any call-out they attend. Did they actually write down the oil was overfilled, by how much over the max was it? Did they also write down their full diagnosis? Damaged pistons are one of the central components of an "engine" - the generic "engine" term is about as much use as a chocolate teapot, for this diagnosis - the AA should really know better than that!

Melly31 said:
-best advice he can give is do a complete oil change, fill it with STP & trade it in asap (while its not making so much noise)!
WTF - was that advice from the AA?????????? If it was, then that is truely scandalous, and needs a formal written complaint, to both the head office, and also to BBC Watchdog, (where they have been frequent visitors over the years). Do NO SUCH THING.

ALL THIS THINKING IS GIVING ME A HEADACHE - I'LL RETURN LATER, AND EDIT SOME MORE :mad:

And I've exceeded maximum post length!
 

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Well wow what a palaver,

Abs light is a common fault after changing brakes. The problem is one of two things and that is the ABS sensor could have been dislodged and just need putting back correctly or it could be brake dust on the sensor which just need a clean. Juddering could be worn disc with new pad or just crap pads.

It sound like you may be lucky if you have the oil changed and filter and have it replaced with the correct oil as I would think he slung in some cheap crap as for light it may be just a bad sensor or he did not put enough in and then put too much in. I will have to put more input in to this tomorrow but I would say yes he took the piss a bit but I see no reason why he would change all the brakes as it is rare both would need changing at the same time.
 

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oh and I would have had an engine flushed before hand.
 

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Melly I'm really sorry to hear about you troubles, I'm afraid I can't give you any more advice than you've had. Does sound like the AA have given you awful advice (though this doesn't surprise me had my own probs with them!)Did you get the mechanics name it helps a little.
I hope you get it sorted, hopefully you'll find out it's not as terminal as you thought !
 
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