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Car was dangerous to drive after Vauxhall garage service

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Hi guys,


I'm looking for advice how to deal with Vauxhall Dealership. No names to dispute yet.


Fault Description.

1. Car has thick black smoke coming out.

2. Steering wheel jumps and car feels unstable on speeds over 60 mph.


Now interesting part:


Day 1


Fault 1.


Engineer found /computer code/ fault on oil pump - pump is weak and needs replacing


Engineer advised to do premium service /pervious was done 1000 miles ago/


I approved jobs for £480


Day 2


On collection day by the phone I've been told - here is EML on and investigation required. Car to be collected on next day


Day 3


Service said - job completed, car has significantly reduced smoke


I collected car at 17.00 / end of the day/. Car kept smoking same - my wife saw that, but I was told - it is because engine is cold. I left service


Day 4 /next day/


I had a 200 miles job trip. On the motorway I found Fault 2 dangerously affecting drive, so had to travel 50 mph to Kwik Fit where guys found no balances on front wheels and tracking wasn't right. So KwikFit engineers done the job and driving was OK.


In same time, on my way to KwikFit the car was badly blowing black smoke, so Highway Police stopped me /I had a passenger/. After short chat about - I'm going to the service, they let me go. On 60 -th mile from Dealership EML light went on.


Day 5


I returned car to Vauxhall. Now I was told - here is a fault code with

Manifold Swirl Flaps /sized/ and it was like that for ages!!!


All glow plugs needs replacing, because one of them isn't working. And here is no guarantee, that service wouldn't damage engine block. It means I can ended up with engine replacement


Both faults are affecting black smoke And MAYBE after NEW manifold replacement engine will work fine.... agreed price £780 Scheduled for Day 6


Day 6


Service rang to ask about am I going ahead with £780 job... Parts weren’t ordered.


I went to dealer and find out


a. Wheels weren't looked after

b. No messages about EML and why collection was rescheduled from Day 2 to Day 3

c. Oil vacuum pump had leaking seal /it means it was possible to replace seal/

d. Manifold was sized before and it is possible to make swirl flaps moving, but not recommended and dealer wouldn't do this.

5. Manifold replacement wouldn't guarantee, that smoke gone

6. They checked EGR and Air flow mass sensor - OK

7. Here were NO error codes on TECH2 on Day 3 - /looks like somebody cleared flash/


Now questions.


a. I believe, that fault 2 caused damage to Steering column - Dealership says everything is fine... car is old.


b. Premium service wasn't necessary thing to do offered refund £116


c. Glow plugs are not affecting smoke problem and one plug could be replaced for £45


d. Car of the road for 2 weeks now and here is no courtesy car for me... so I’m losing time/ money on travel.





What actions can I do against dealership?


Is it worth to claim full refund through small claims court?


Does somebody know solicitor?



Kind Regards,

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Wheel balancing and tracking aren't part of a service unless it is in the Vauxhall service schedule for the service you had.


If you took it to the dealer with a complaint of black smoke (excess of diesel) and a wheel wobble, why have a service done just 1000 miles after the last one.


What oil pump are you talking about?


Changing the manifold (just part of the exhaust) will not stop black (or any coloured) smoke.


What actually did you say to the receptionist when you first went to the garage?

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a. Oil vacuum pump been changed

b. Tracking and balancing check were on garage job list /I asked to do/

c. Air intake manifold do has swirl flap air supply valves. Usually they gone, when EGR /exhaust return valve/ broken

d. I contacted garage on 16.07.09 and 17.07.09 when job should be completed and didn't get an ansewer where is my vehicle and what is happening with it.


Kind Regards,



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a. Oil vacuum pump been changed

b. Tracking and balancing check were on garage job list /I asked to do/

c. Air intake manifold do has swirl flap air supply valves. Usually they gone, when EGR /exhaust return valve/ broken

d. I contacted garage on 16.07.09 and 17.07.09 when job should be completed and didn't get an ansewer where is my vehicle and what is happening with it.

e. In first time, receptionis told me that all jobs are completed and here are no problems with the car. In time being he changed versions of events. Later I went with graduate mechanic to talk with dealer.


Kind Regards,



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Sorry mozambeze, I'm not sure what the 'oil vacuum pump' is.


What car is it?


Could do with better descriptions as I assumed you were talking about the exhaust manifold not the inlet manifold.

And I don't know what they mean by 'no guarantee service wont damage the block'.


Changing the manifold 'might' help is of no use to anyone, you need a correct diagnonis.

Edited by Conniff
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Car is Astra Vauxhall 2.0 Di 1999 reg. plate engine Nr. X20DTL


This engine has turbine, what pushes air through air intake manifold. In this manifold fresh air is getting mixed with particialy burned fuel from exhaust part. If burning process in engine isn't going well and here is lack of air in engine, then black smoke goes from eshaust.


Because part of exhaust gases pases Eghaust Recirculation Valve /EGR/

diesel burning products are setteling down on EGR valve itself and on air intake manifold valves too. If car hasn't been cleaned properly on periodical service time, black particles could block EGR and Air intake manifold swirl flaps. In result of it black smoke comes out.


I've been told, that fresh air starving in engine is because turbo unit not working right. Engineer guessed, that oil pump, that supplyes turbine bearings is not good enough, his description - pump was weak, but working. After replaceing pump problem still existing.


Then another engineer had look on engine and found, that air flow restriction is in Air intake sized manifold flaps.


Their excuse was, that first time here was no fault on fault detection computer.


Another engineer, from Vauxhall, wrote me


The smoking could well have been the swirl flaps, it's a pretty common issue with those lumps and to be honest any mechanic could have checked the problem in less than 5 minutes. Typical of dealserships with "technicians" who rely on Tech2 to diagnose faults when 2 minutes looking under the bonnet would have shown the fault.


Tech2 - is a computer program, helping detect electronical faults. Problem was, that technician relyed on program only and haven't had a look on part.


In result I had to pay twice for same job.


In fixing process, Dealer found, that engine glow blug needs replacing. And told me that they can try to replace, but sometimes Glow plugs snapping off... and here is no guarantee that this tink wouldn't happend.


So engineer broke glow plug on the car and charged me TWICE a. for replacement costs by himself - £44 per one + b. £138 for broken plug extraction... when agreed price was only £44.


Today, they rang to me to ask if I could TEST THE CAR ON MOTORWAY on high miles????? Does it mean that Dealer isn't sure about did he fixed fault???

Each MOT sttio has particle meter.. So dealer could use it before and after manifold replacement to check is it better now or not. I thought that engineering is about mesuaring, but not guessing.!!

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Ok - thanks for that. Does it smoke when it is just sitting there ticking over or at the traffic lights????


We call it a 'Turbo' not a turbine.

Edited by Conniff
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When engine on idle, ticking over on lights... everything is OK. Any changes in engine revs causing black smoke /not enough air in/.

Dealer told me, what here is no black smoke, as soon they replaced Airintake manifold and cleaned EGR.... Anyway Airintakes could be cleaned to it wasn't necessary put new £500 part in.

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Have you got any written bills from them? Can you scan them and put them up here please. Take off you name and address if it is on there before you put it up here.


I take it English isn't your first language and they may be getting a bit confused. If you can put the bill up then we can see what work they have done, the parts they have replaced and what they have charged you for.


Black smoke doesn't mean there is not enough air, it means there is too much fuel which can be caused by not enough air, but you would notice that in the lack of performance.

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Yep, you are right all around.


I hope to get all bills on Monday. If it possible, I would like to email them personaly. If you don't mind, could you live me your email in PM box, please.

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Day N.


The Car developed Cooling problem now, after glow plug was replaced.

Still smoking with new Air intake manifold fitted.


No paperwork from garage yet.

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If the replacement manifold has made no difference, you are within your rights to ask them to remove it and put the old one back on.

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weeks passed as car in the VX garage.

Engineer found, what 3 glow plugs were replaced before... recently.

What about broken one? smile.gif


Also guys have problem to establish compression.... Because for 3 days manometer to check ratio isn't working.

Car is travelling now in another garage to check ratio /VX dealing, not me/.

Edited by Mozambezi
adding info
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Looks like VX garage found underlying problem - Air Mass Flow sensor /I've been told previously, that sensor was OK/


When fixing this fault, car developed ANOTHER problem - radiator fan control unit blew up...


Car still in the garage... Total bill raises £1500


Also few days ago VX Customer Services contacted me - car is ready. When I arrived in the garage... I've been told car was not ready.


I'm almost 1 month out of the road.


Insurance losses - £90, car tax £20, commuting - £80 extra....


No paperwork, no faulty spares no nothing...

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