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kwikfit problems

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In May my mum had some reconditioned calipers fitted at our local kwikfit for £195, after they were fitted my mum noticed her breaks felt different but assumed it was down to the calipers being new. Last week the car went to a friends garage to get its MOT which it failed due to the Calipers, the garage basicaly said that they have to declaire the car as unsafe as the breaks where one step away from snapping if force was used on the and that the parking break cable was also loose all due to these calipers. My mum of course told them that kwickfit had fitted them and they were still under guarentee, but because of the state of the breaks she was too scared to drive the car to kwikfit and so paid £100 for brand new ones to be fitted. Now the garage have written a statement confirming what caused the problem and so my mum called kwikfit. The manager told her that she should have DRIVEN the unsafe car to them to have their fix the problem and because she didnt they wouldnt give her a partial refund for the money she has had to spend they wouldnt even say sorry! My mum demanded to speak to the area manager to try resolve it and his attitude was the same my dad tried to speak to them and they wouldnt listen when told the car was simply too unsafe to even leave the forecourt because of the shoddy work of kwikfit.

 

Does anyone know our rights here? We are now left out of pocket because kwikfit didnt do their job properly and by the looks of it overcharged majorly for re-conditioned parts. Any advice of what to do next would be appreciated.

 

 

Many thanks

 

Misselle

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First thing here is massive alarm bells going off. Reconditioned calipers???? What are those then? You never fit used brake parts. I suspect they bodged up the original ones, so make sure you keep the parts.

 

Second point is that you need to contact Kwiks head office in Glasgow. Kwik fit branches are operated as a franchise and they do NOT like to hear of things like this.

 

The most important point is why did your mum get offered 'reconditioned' calipers? Was it explained to her what that meant? Calipers are basically a clamp with a piston in the middle that is forced out by hydraulic fluid. There is one moving part, one seal and that is it. What exactly did she get for £195?

 

I personally would trust kwik fit with a watering can. I took my wifes car there a couple of years ago to have the air conditioning regassed as I had the radiator changed, which meant losing the gas. They tried to sell me a new compressor because it didn't come on when you pressed the button. I then spent 10 minutes explaining to the child that was the manager, why it wouldn't (had no gas in, duh!). I then had to show hiom which hose went where and talk him through teh entire job.

 

Complete muppets. Who's the boys to trust? NOT YOU LOT!

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Even if these are reconditioned, they should be every bit as good as new ones, with all critical parts renewed. (pistons, seals and bleed valves- thats about all that can go wrong with clappers)

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Being honest none of us are car savy and that being the reason why we took it to kwikfit because we thought they were a reputable company that we could trust to do the job properly and not rips us off. How wrong we were. The garage were we got the MOT done have kept the parts and have written a report about the condition of the parts and the fact that they were not fitted properly causing the cable in the handbreak to losen and that if force had been used on the breaks in say an emergency stop that the breaks would have failed thats how bad it was. That being the reason also why they said the car wasnt fit to drive and declared it unsafe. Kiwkfit were dreadful on the phone and i couldnt believe that they would even suggest that someone get in a car which has been declared as unsafe because of the breaking problems and drive it to their garage to let their monkeys fix it.

 

When we write to their head office do we ask for an explanation as to the price along with the work carried out? do we ask for them to pay back to us what we had to pay to have new ones fitted? I am actually very shocked by the whole thing more so that I know my mum has been driving around my young brother to school and back for months with breaks that could have gone at any moment

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First thing here is massive alarm bells going off. Reconditioned calipers???? What are those then? You never fit used brake parts. I suspect they bodged up the original ones, so make sure you keep the parts.

 

Second point is that you need to contact Kwiks head office in Glasgow. Kwik fit branches are operated as a franchise and they do NOT like to hear of things like this.

 

The most important point is why did your mum get offered 'reconditioned' calipers? Was it explained to her what that meant? Calipers are basically a clamp with a piston in the middle that is forced out by hydraulic fluid. There is one moving part, one seal and that is it. What exactly did she get for £195?

 

I personally would trust kwik fit with a watering can. I took my wifes car there a couple of years ago to have the air conditioning regassed as I had the radiator changed, which meant losing the gas. They tried to sell me a new compressor because it didn't come on when you pressed the button. I then spent 10 minutes explaining to the child that was the manager, why it wouldn't (had no gas in, duh!). I then had to show hiom which hose went where and talk him through teh entire job.

 

Complete muppets. Who's the boys to trust? NOT YOU LOT!

 

Errrrrrr, Jimmy, recon/exchange calipers are not unusual and have to meet standards anyway so seems like a fitting issue. Further it sounds like rear calipers so are not as straightforward as you make out.

 

Personally I've found kwik fit to be pretty good overall especially with customer service. Parts quality could be better but as all have to have CE marking then not much of an issue.

 

Spot on with getting in touch with Glasgow, their follow up is unusually very good for this type of organisation........or it always used to be.

 

How did you manage to lose the gas on your AC system by changing the rad? Most places will evacuate the system and re-fill unless of course it was vented to atmosphere which is an offence!

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If they are rear calipers on drum brakes then the NEW parts would only be about £25 - £50 each side for a mainstream car. They are not difficult to fit - yes the shoes are a bit of a fiddle to get back in but the caliper itself is just bolted on to the drum and connected to the brake pipe.

 

The £100 she paid the second time was more the mark, 200 quid for a 'vehicle technician' (usually the only mechanic at a kwik fit garage if the manager who 'oversees' the work) to do it at kwik fit is I think a rip off.

 

when the car failed the mot it would have been issued an unsafe failure notice. At that point it is illegal to drive on the public road under any circumstances - so the kwik fit guy - who should know that - is talking out of his bum, she would breach the Road Traffic Act if she drove after the unsafe failure.

 

Write to KF, send copy of their bill and g'tee and the unsafe failure notice and the bill from the garage. Tell them that they can either pay up or explain what happened to VOSA and trading standards and the district judge. And that you also reserve the right to issue a press release to every motoring magazine and national paper after the matter is concluded.

 

ie. Take the gloves off and hit them with both barrels.

 

And next time find a 'real' garage. The one the MOT was done at sound like it's prices are about right and an MOT garage will usually be good because they get regular vosa inspections.

 

Oh and one other thing. As far as I am aware you cannot get recondition kits for rear calipers, infact it's hard to get them for most front calipers now. For a start the recon kit would be as much as a new caliper nearly!

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Errrrrrr, Jimmy, recon/exchange calipers are not unusual and have to meet standards anyway so seems like a fitting issue. Further it sounds like rear calipers so are not as straightforward as you make out.

 

Personally I've found kwik fit to be pretty good overall especially with customer service. Parts quality could be better but as all have to have CE marking then not much of an issue.

 

Spot on with getting in touch with Glasgow, their follow up is unusually very good for this type of organisation........or it always used to be.

 

How did you manage to lose the gas on your AC system by changing the rad? Most places will evacuate the system and re-fill unless of course it was vented to atmosphere which is an offence!

 

 

  • Why fit recon calipers when you can fit new ones?
  • You do not need any formal training to be a fitter at kwik fit
  • Both radiators were punctured in an accident.

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Just to add that I got ripped by Kwikfit many years ago, also a brake issue and would never go back to them again! They charge extortionate rates for their work...how do you think they manage to pay for all that advertising on the television?!!

 

I personally would follow Hungrybear's advice although would get Trading Standards involved immediately. This is not just about your Mum getting her money back but the fact that she and others could have been killed and/or seriously injured. Also, how many more cars are on the road like that??

 

Make sure you keep hold of the calipers that Kwikfit fitted and, if they do want to inspect them, make sure you don't let them out of your sight. However, as has been said above, it may be more down to the fitting rather than the parts.

 

Best of luck!! ;)


If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

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  • Why fit recon calipers when you can fit new ones?
  • You do not need any formal training to be a fitter at kwik fit
  • Both radiators were punctured in an accident.

 

Well you can fit new ones but recons are generally cheaper and have to comply with the same standards as new ones. Thats why they are exchange and cheaper. That's on the assumption that they are available.

 

Perhaps not but they have to go through some sort of training. This is a debatable point.

 

Glad to see that.

 

Hungrybear has hit the spot, what type of rear brakes. Handbrake failure might be nothing to do with calipers.

 

Perhaps a case of the forum coming out shooting without all of the facts again!!?

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I'm going to agree and disagree with you - because I can and you dont care:

 

Well you can fit new ones but recons are generally cheaper and have to comply with the same standards as new ones. Agreed for disk brakes, exchange / recon is the norm since new cost £250-£500, for drum brakes as far as i know you cannot buy recon calipers 'cos new ones are so cheap. the op got both replaced fitted at a real garages for £100, which makes me think rear drum (£25 a side for the calipers and £50 fitting which is reasonable, for front / rear disk I would expect £100 a side plus £50ish fitting)Thats why they are exchange and cheaper. That's on the assumption that they are available.For mainstream cars recon disc calipers are mostly available, as far as I know you cannot get recon drum calipers (apart from the dipped in WD40 and brasso'd type). And thanks to the EU for stopping the sale of disk caliper recon kits whilst we're on the subject.

 

Perhaps not but they have to go through some sort of training. This is a debatable point. If you are on about the staff at kwik fit then they are NOT mechanics, they are technicians - but lets face it changing tyres, exhausts and brake pads - which is what their meat and potatoes is is hardly challenging. I believe they are all NVQ level 2 in something or other, probably tying shoe laces - I wouldn't let them even look at my car whilst holding a spanner (a spanner holding a spanner almost a self writing joke book!)

 

Glad to see that.

 

Hungrybear has hit the spot (probably why I've just had to write to my insurance company :confused:), what type of rear brakes. Handbrake failure might be nothing to do with calipers. Totally agree - I assume (dangerous I know) that the handbrake problem is because the brakes were not adjusted sufficiently for the rachet system to work, perhaps someone (or a spanner) put the handbrake spring back in upside down - easily done if all you've been trained in is NVQ 2 tying shoelaces.

 

Perhaps a case of the forum coming out shooting without all of the facts again!!?I think 'again' is a bit strong (unless you're been specific to garages not cag in general) but every man and his dog 'knows' what is wrong with cars - that's why there are no garages anymore:D

 

And if anyone disagrees with me and thinks KW are wonderful, fine by me carry on. I would suggest finding a one eyed mot mechanic and a damn good breakdown and recovery package though. Insurance choice do one for £29 a year which is, I hope you agree, a bargain (see, read my verbose drivel to the end and you get a good stear:p).

 

hoy, lazy, here's the link: link removed

 

- I've used it on three cars for 4 years and I've claimed three times. They get a HB five star recommendation - equivalent to a sod all, sod all rating I guess!. ('spect they load your premium though if your car's been within 100yds of a KW site in the last decade:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:).

Edited by supasnooper
Removed commercial link

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"our dedicated customer services team would welcome the opportunity to discuss what happened and how we can help".

 

 

I bet they would, it would save a small claim against Kwik Fit

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another company finds cag on a routine web and online publicity search and promptly poos itself then signs up. 192 this morning, KW this afty.

 

call linda and ask for the address for the service of legal papers. Or perhaps you could drive round there without any brakes.

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Kwik Fit- you need to inform the CAG site team of your intentions and show that you are who you say you are, before posting.

 

The site team have been informed of your post.

 

misselle- hang fire until we know who this really is before taking them up on their kind offer.

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I must say that is a valid point you could be any tom dick or harry claiming to be kiwkfit. Its a shame that this couldnt have been resolved by the garage manager and area manager at the time instead of insisting that it wasnt his problem because of the fact we wouldnt drive and unsafe car back to kiwkfit to fix their problem. Why is a response only given now that ive brought the issue into a public forum

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Because they want to avoid the expensive legal claim which you are well within your rights to bring against them.

 

District judges do not encourage the shoddy fitting of potentially lethal components.

 

Had your brakes caused death or injury, Kwik Fit would be the ones in the dock.

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as noo says, bacause you now have an audience who will hold your hand through every form and every step of taking them to court and through every bit of dross their sols can come up with.

 

As the song says 'you're in the [cag] army now:D.

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As some-one who has more official links to the trade than maybe should be highlighted on a public forum you people really should get a grip. Previously we had a bloke from Renault praised for his input into a thread started about the company he worked for. I know CAG is infamous for it''s general dislike and mis-trust of anything corporate but most companies i deal with would like the opportunity of their right to reply..........on a public forum.

 

"If you are on about the staff at kwik fit then they are NOT mechanics, they are technicians"

 

And, to avoid any confusion, when it comes to skills sets, mechanics are just that, mechanics. Technicians are the clever one's. I did an extra two years at college to get the title 'Technician' and I'll be buggered if I'll accept anyone calling me a poxy mechanic. Most Kwik Fitters are mechanics, they might also be technicians as well, after all there are worse places to work!

 

And no, I don't work for Kwik Fit

 

Hammy :)


40 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Typical Kwik Fit, preying on the gullability of the public. But they are not alone!

Just consider the number of Scottish business men, associated with the motor trade, who have become "SIR" in the last few years!! I could tell you stories about them all.

Is it a prerequisit to be a WIDE BOY in order to be knighted???

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It's not big business's fault the public is gullible. If you are talking about Sir T F then he sold it to FMC for a small fortune and then bought it back for next to nothing. That's not wide boyish, that's good business acumen. The detractors are just jealous they didn't think of it first!

 

Hammy :)


40 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Maybe so, but what i'm referring to is how these guys got to be big in the first place---this is where sharp practices come in, not business acumen.

Just look at the customer complaints in regards to the big three "SIRS" associated with the motor trade.

NOT YOU SIR SEAN. LOL

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I think he's referring to Sir A C where there is increasing evidence that the organisation this person heads fails to address customer complaints, is only interested in sales and will not admit that the aftersales service is technically incompetent and is morraly bereft.

 

This is not the case with Sir T F and the company he heads. As I understand it, he takes all customer concerns seriously. Certainly my experience with them has been exemplary especially after the last lot of tyres I had fitted with them where I caught the "monkey, mechanic, technician, engineer, consultant engineer or professor, not adjusting the torque wrench after doing up the wheel bolts. I had a call from the accused branch manager asking to bring the car back in and invited me to watch the process they are instructed to go through which was correct.

 

However, in regards to the OP.

 

We don't know what car for a start. So does it have a disc drum set up or only discs. If it had a disc drum then the failure might be unrelated to the calipers. When it comes to price, it's the same as buying a tin of beans. One place might be cheaper than another, but you take your choice.

 

What cannot be accepted though is the apparent attitude of the manager or area manager and this needs to be addressed.

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Not only referring to Sir Al Capone. TF's people have been known to try and sell replacement parts that are not required. This came to light when an old codger went in to have a faulty exhaust replaced. The "graduate" appeared and said his rear shocker was leaking, but they had to fit them in pairs. Codger said OK, fit new pair. When it came to paying the codger refused to pay for the shockers and told them to check in the glove box, where they would find a receipt saying that the shockers had recently been replaced by KF and were still under warranty. On other sites, posters have mentioned how KF products "Just seem to last" the duration of the warranty and no more. Is this business acumen? ---not in my book.

Employees of the other SIR, have been known to sell the same vehicle to two different people on the same day. Ethics or what??????

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What's wrong with been a graduate, in quotes? I happen to have a degree in mechanical engineering but the 'graduate' you refer to may have graduated in any number of related trades.

 

Those of us who have graduated take it in our stride. Those of you who haven't..............well you can place that next to the jealousy jug can't you.

 

Hammy :)


40 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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Not only referring to Sir Al Capone. TF's people have been known to try and sell replacement parts that are not required. This came to light when an old codger went in to have a faulty exhaust replaced. The "graduate" appeared and said his rear shocker was leaking, but they had to fit them in pairs. Codger said OK, fit new pair. When it came to paying the codger refused to pay for the shockers and told them to check in the glove box, where they would find a receipt saying that the shockers had recently been replaced by KF and were still under warranty. On other sites, posters have mentioned how KF products "Just seem to last" the duration of the warranty and no more. Is this business acumen? ---not in my book.

Employees of the other SIR, have been known to sell the same vehicle to two different people on the same day. Ethics or what??????

 

 

That's unfair Scania. Yes it's good engineering practise to fit in pairs however the "graduate" would not have known or would the reception staff unless made clear at the time. I've come across this many times. Fortunately now it's getting less common with the database management systems being linked.

 

As regards the parts just lasting, you can take two views on this, either dammed good engineering to get the life that exact or poor engineering because it doesn't last as long as the customer would wish. However, the customer thinks it should last for ever. It can be done but the consumer won't pay for it. You make your choice and pay your money. True it should last longer but then as an engineer I live in a wooden caravan and the wife sells lucky heather.:)

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As some-one who has more official links to the trade than maybe should be highlighted on a public forum you people really should get a grip. Previously we had a bloke from Renault praised for his input into a thread started about the company he worked for. I know CAG is infamous for it''s general dislike and mis-trust of anything corporate but most companies i deal with would like the opportunity of their right to reply..........on a public forum.

 

"If you are on about the staff at kwik fit then they are NOT mechanics, they are technicians"

 

And, to avoid any confusion, when it comes to skills sets, mechanics are just that, mechanics. Technicians are the clever one's. I did an extra two years at college to get the title 'Technician' and I'll be buggered if I'll accept anyone calling me a poxy mechanic. Most Kwik Fitters are mechanics, they might also be technicians as well, after all there are worse places to work!

 

And no, I don't work for Kwik Fit

 

Hammy :)

 

Actually, Kwik Fit staff are simply fitters. They cant take components apart, make replacements and rebuild them.

 

They simply remove worn out components and fit replacements.

 

A technician is a little higher up the food chain. He actually knows how it works and how to fix your old one. (ie: recondition it)

 

A mechanic can take you old one off, throw it away, and is qualified to design you an new one from scratch, make the patterns, cast them, machine them (and all the bits and bobs that make it work)

 

And know how and why things work and dont work.

 

Mechanics are the gods of practical engineering. Technicians are the foot soldiers.

 

Fitters? Well, they are good at taking bits off and screwing new bits on.

 

Grease monkeys. Nothing wrong with that, but they are at the bottom of the ladder.

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