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Car update - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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Car update [Aug. 30th, 2006|06:40 pm]
Douglas Spencer
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Remember yesterday, when I talked to my local car dealership? They'd finally successfully ordered the part (a transponder aerial) and they were going to call me this morning when the delivery arrived to let me know whether or not they'd got it.

Noon came and went. See if you can guess whether I'd had a phone call. At 12:07 I phoned them up (speaking to James). He told me that the part had, indeed arrived -- but that the car still wouldn't start, and one of their engineers was talking to Citroën Technical Support about what they could try next. I talked firmly about how I'd been promised a call that morning, and told him that I expected another call when they had more news.

At 15:05 James called me again, and told me that Citroën Technical Support had suggested that they try a new set of key-fob transmitters. These had now been ordered and they were expected the following morning.

I explained that I would be coming in to see them tomorrow morning, and that I was confident that if they didn't have my car fixed, he'd have made some suitable alternative arrangement for me. He said he'd have to ask, and I instructed him to call me back when he had some news.

No call, of course, by the time I called them at 17:24, when I talked to Gavin, James's boss. He told me that James was busy trying to find me a loan car, but that they were indeed expecting a spare set of key-fob transmitters which they thought would get my own car fixed. I pointed out to him that we should concede the possibility that the car wouldn't be fixed, and he promised that he wouldn't divert James from the hunt for a spare car.

They get their delivery around half-eight in the morning; I'm turning up there at 10am in order to sit around embarrassing them until I can drive away.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: lostcarpark
2006-08-31 12:16 am (UTC)
I think it all started to go wrong about a decade ago, when cars became more electronic than mechanical. There was a time where a good engineer could tell what was wrong just by listening to the engine ticking over. Nowadays, however, the engine management system ia aupposed to do it. It's supposed to plug in to the garage computer and tell them what's wrong. That's great when it works, but when it doesn't, the engineer is left guessing, with dozens of faults exhibiting the same symptoms.

Progress, eh?
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[User Picture]From: alex_holden
2006-08-31 09:22 am (UTC)
The manufacturers intentionally make things difficult for independent garages and DIY mechanics by keeping the specifications for the management interface a secret. There was some talk a couple of years ago about the Americans enacting a law that would force the manufacturers to open up their interface specifications, but I don't know what came of that.
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[User Picture]From: perlmonger
2006-09-03 10:05 am (UTC)
Our tame mechanic told us, a while back when we were considering buying an Alfa GTV, that he couldn't maintain it for us as he couldn't justify the cost of buying the tools required - standard spanners? You jest...

But we must let the Market decide; can't allow government interference in the Free Market, otherwise Doug might get his car fixed quickly at a sane price and ramtops and I might get a new water filter for our Amana from the US ($35) instead of the UK (£65). Not that I much believe in State interference either, as most of the barriers to trade are themselves enforced by governments (even if the legislation was bought by their corporate sponsors).
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-02 08:29 am (UTC)
I'm thinking that with a JCB I could make a good start on getting the garage replaced.
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