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Halfords Auto Centre Oil Service


Rhidian
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I am so disappointed with the service I had from your Auto Centre in Leckwith, Cardiff and the management team at Halfords head office. I was advised that to take action against your Company would be a waste of time as it would cost me a fair bit of money in the end. Halfords Auto Centre has it customer over a barrel. So in the interest of the general public, I intend to communicate my situation to as many people as possible, along with the service you Company give me and the lack of customer care you provided. To this end I do intend to be fair, giving all the information and Halfords response to my complaint. I expect the public will come to they own conclusions on the quality of service and customer support you provided. I intend to publish this on as many social media sites, forums and web pages as I possibly can, to warn the public about the service they can expect from Halfords Auto Centres.

 

See attached Photo's taken on the same day as the oil change was done, all photo's has a date time stamped on the RAW file automatically by Canon 550D cameras, notice how black the oil is. This is because they did not drain the oil out correctly leaving most of the old oil in there and just topping up with alittle new oil. When I get this oil change done correctly, I will know if they changed the oil filter or not and will update the public.

 

Also see Halfords response expecting me to pay more money to have the oil flushed, which do not need to be done, just the oil drained correctly. Any person who change they own oil will know that draining the oil from the sump and changing the oil filter, (this is not a flush), will produce clean oil on the dip stick and will take some time to turn black in colour.

 

E-mail sent toHalfords Friday 3rd May 2013.

 

Dear Sir,

 

I just had an oil change in your Halfords Auto centre in Leckworth Cardiff at a cost of £52.99. I am sorry to say I am not happy with the service this garage provided to me for a prestige name like Halfords. On collecting the car from the garage, I checked the oil in the car and found it was still black in colour. I asked the two mechanics which was there why this was, I was told it was the type of oil, Castrol. I have change the oil in cars many times in my life time and never had black oil when you filled the car with clean oil after correctly draining the sump. The oil was also over filled above the top level of the dip stick and the mechanic remove some of the oil with a hand pump which he put down the dip stick holder, but he still had to put the car on the ramp and remove the drain plug to get the oil to the correct level, over filling a car with oil can cause damage. I asked the mechanic which oil they used and I put my finger in the oil to see if it was clear and it was. I said to the mechanic that this was clean oil not black, he answered yes and the oil in my car is black, he said yes, turned his back on me and walked away. At this point I said I be e-mailing the CEO of Halfords which he ignored and continued to walked away. I would be very grateful if you would refund me in full the cost for this service which has not been done correctly, as I will need to get the job redone. I enclose a photo’s of you to see the car and black oil on the dip stick. I look forward to a quick reply and resolution to this issue.

 

Yours Faithfully

 

R. Hopkins

 

 

 

HalfordsResponse, see attached file sent by e-mail to me from the head office.

:sad::sad:

Edited by Rhidian
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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

You've posted this twice, so I'll merge your messages into the first thread you started. Please keep to one thread for this issue. If you can't see what you've posted, try hitting the Refresh button.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

You've posted this twice, so I'll merge your messages into the first thread you started. Please keep to one thread for this issue. If you can't see what you've posted, try hitting the Refresh button.

 

My best, HB

 

Whilst I concur that an oil flush is of little use most of the time, any engine that;

is larger capacity,

ha not had it's oil changed for a while,

has only been used for short distances,

is of higher mileage,

is a diesel (though this is not always the case)

has been driven with a choke or cold start that isn't set correctly,

has had a trauma earlier on (head gasket/valve wear or damage)

 

or a combination of the above, will more often than not have sludge somewhere in the block which will never clean out fully.

 

I will sometimes use eight litres or so in a major oil change, the first four are used for drain and refill1 . Then go for a long run say to the coast for the weekend (about two lots of 50 miles), then drain and refil 2 with the new filter. I can use the refill fromt he first time in the lawnmower or painting the shed.

 

Far cheaper than an engine flush agent which can only be thrown away

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I totally agree, the car only done 42 thousand mile and it has been service correctly up until now. The point I am making to the public is garages whoever they are, should carry out oil changes correctly, not stick a pipe down the dip stick to suck out the old oil and then not remove all the old oil, only to top up with clean oil on top. If you look at the photos you clearly see the new oil seem none existent. Halfords only drove the car from the ramp to the car park outside, this is a matter of a few meters and the oil was jet black. Any person who has done an oil change I think would agree that the Photos show clearly the old oil was not removed, plus the oil was seriously over filled.

 

My first car was an old Escort first registered in 1974 and when I sold it, had just over 1120000 miles on the clock; I serviced this car myself and never had a garage do the servicing. When the oil was changed the dip stick always had clear oil on it until it had down some mileage, especially after being driven for just a few meters, so it stand out like a sore thumb, I been ripped off by Halfords.

Edited by Rhidian
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Agree does not look right, new oil will be bronze/brown and see through.

I suspect that technician did not insert sucker all the way to bottom! doing it this way so does not take up ramp space and is quicker! perhaps too quick.

Old fashioned, remove drain plug is the best way ( new oil filter comes with sump washer )

Surprised they defended it, would have been easier just to do it again.

Over filling is inexcusable, and as you say can cause serious damage.

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Yep, any garage who gives this service, don't deserve loyal customers, Halfords have lost future business just from me alone and it was so handy having what I thought was a trust worthy company so close to work. It allowed me to have any jobs done to the car whilst I was in work, good business sense Halfords!

Edited by Rhidian
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When I asked about the oil colour and the oil being over the correct level, the technician tried to remove the excess oil with a pump, which he stuck down the dip stick holder. The technician could not get the oil out, he then cut a new cooper pipe to the length of the dip stick in front of me and tried again, but still failed to get the oil to the correct level. After around 15 minutes of trying, he put the car on a ramp and drained the excess oil out from the drain plug. I believe this is the cause of the oil not being removed correctly, but the technician should have released this and done the oil correctly through the drain plug. The result being jet black oil you see in the photos, the worst case scenario would be he just did not do the oil change and just topped up. The fact still remains that customer service from Halfords was so poor, you think they would keep the customer happy for future business.

Edited by Rhidian
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Your post above contradicts what you have written in the opening post and letter to Halfords.

 

Besides you still claim that draining out of the dip-stick entry point is not an offical method.

 

Which model of Ford do you have ?

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Hi, I did not contradict myself, it is just I did not state word for word what happened, I left it for people to look at the photos which as the song says paints a thousand words. The bottom line is any oil change, in any car, would not have black oil in the engine after an oil change, if it was drained correctly and the filter was changed. Remember it was like this when I picked the car up from Halfords garage, I could kick myself for not checking the dipstick before I paid, but with hindsight, mistakes would not be made in our lives. The car is a Ford Focus 1600 TDCI, which has been serviced correctly, mainly by the main dealer. I do get the impression you may trying to defend Halfords action with this matter, but anyone who takes the time to look at the photos and document would at least agree the customer service was very poor and Halfords should have just re-done the job correctly instead of alienating its customer. I feel sure that there must be many people who have a beef with Halfords services and places like CAG are the correct way to warn the general public.

Edited by Rhidian
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I am in no way defending Halfords, I am simply surprised that what is in your communication to Halfords is not actually what happened. Omissions are fine if they do not impact on the facts, but not if the water is muddied as a result.

 

You still haven't confirmed why you feel engine oil removal is wrong unless it is through the sump plug.

 

 

An interesting comment halfway down on the oil level changes once the car has done a few miles, this might be what you have experienced.

Edited by Kiki1
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You still haven't confirmed why you feel engine oil removal is wrong unless it is through the sump plug.

No confusion in my mind, OP did not state that it is not ok to pump it out ( if done correctly ), it is just that they did not change the oil or not all of it. suggest you re read it.

the sump drain method is least likely to have this problem.

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The car is a Ford Focus 1600 TDCI

 

now the full story comes out your car is a diesel the carbon turns you oil dark from the compression in you engine.

 

overfilling the car should never happen but with regards to oil changing draining from the sump you will never get all the oil out.

 

how long did they have the car?

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My first car was an old Escort first registered in 1974 and when I sold it, had just over 1120000 miles on the clock; I serviced this car myself and never had a garage do the servicing. When the oil was changed the dip stick always had clear oil on it until it had down some mileage, especially after being driven for just a few meters, so it stand out like a sore thumb, I been ripped off by Halfords.

 

Whoa, that was a seriously high mileage Escort, 1.1 Million miles. If you serviced it every 6,000 miles that means you did 187 services.

 

Wow

 

H

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

HMCTS Approved Technical Expert and Independent Motor Trade Consultant

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Have to admit I thought that as well Hammy but I don't re-call an Escort diesel of that era.

 

Apart from the fact that diesels do go black extremely quickly after an oil change I suppose the only logical answer is that there is a natural crude oil well in the sump or that it's Duckhams back on the market! :-)

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now the full story comes out your car is a diesel the carbon turns you oil dark from the compression in you engine.

 

overfilling the car should never happen but with regards to oil changing draining from the sump you will never get all the oil out.

 

how long did they have the car?

 

 

1. Yes I agree the engine oil will turn dark and then over time jet black, but please remember the complaint is that Halfords did not remove all the old oil correctly and must have left a large amount of old oil in the engine. This is borne out by the technician failing to remove the over filled oil in the sump, using a pump down the dipstick. If they could not remove the oil with the pump in front of me, how could they have removed the old oil correctly using the pump in the first place, hence leaving large amount of old black oil in the engine!

 

2. The oil on the dipstick was as seen in the photos, jet black and was like this when I collected the car from the garage..

 

3. A small amount of old oil would have been left in the sump and engine, if they had removed the old oil correctly using the pump or by draining the old oil out through the drain plug. This would not have had the effect of turning the new oil jet black, as the majority of the oil would have been new light bronze coloured oil.

 

4. The car was left at Halfords at 8:00am and the keys posted through the letter box, as I needed to get to work. They called me and I picked the car up at lunch time, which is when I noticed the jet black oil whilst checking the level of the oil before driving off. If you read the PO carefully you see it was brought to their attention then and they had to drain the excessive oil out by removing the drain plug as they failed to remove it with the pump.

 

5. If you change the oil in a car, petrol or diesel, then just run the engine to check for oil leaks and drive it a few meters out of the garage to park it up. Then do a check of the oil on the dip stick, the oil would be a bronze in colour, maybe just a shade darker than the new oil which you put in, but not jet black, I seen this many times in my life.

 

I served over 10 years in the British Army in Germany, which involved servicing vehicles petrol and diesel, I have seen light bronze oil on the dipsticks after a oil change every time. It takes some mileage covered by the vehicle before the oil goes jet black in colour. So although what some people are saying is technically correct, it not correct in such a short period of time and I think that some posting here are missing or avoiding the time issue involved, along with the colour of the oil when the car was picked up from Halfords.

Edited by Rhidian
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My first car was an old Escort first registered in 1974 and when I sold it, had just over 1120000 miles on the clock; I serviced this car myself and never had a garage do the servicing. When the oil was changed the dip stick always had clear oil on it until it had down some mileage, especially after being driven for just a few meters, so it stand out like a sore thumb, I been ripped off by Halfords.

 

Whoa, that was a seriously high mileage Escort, 1.1 Million miles. If you serviced it every 6,000 miles that means you did 187 services.

 

Apology for the mistake, hit an extra 0 when typing.

 

Wow

 

H

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. If they could not remove the oil with the pump in front of me, how could they have removed the old oil correctly using the pump in the first place,

 

They might have carried out the drain via the sump the first time, and did not want to waste another washer.

 

You could check if a mechanic has been under the car, but I doubt a new washer would show up unless you took the bolt off again

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They might have carried out the drain via the sump the first time, and did not want to waste another washer.

 

You could check if a mechanic has been under the car, but I doubt a new washer would show up unless you took the bolt off again

 

This is just what I was about to post... As far as I am aware, it is very common now to take a small overfill of oil out using a pump via the dipstick hole.

 

I am not sure why the OP is assuming the entire system was drained like this when the original oil service was completed. In fact, I am sure they would not want to use this method to drain the whole system as it's a million times quicker for them simply taking the sump plug out!

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Ive been in the motor trade for 20 years now, and please dont think I'm doubting your original post but every deisel engine I have done an oil change on, once run up it'll be black, drive it 10 miles it'll look like the old oil.petrol engine is different. Just my experiences.

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Have to admit I thought that as well Hammy but I don't re-call an Escort diesel of that era.

 

Apart from the fact that diesels do go black extremely quickly after an oil change I suppose the only logical answer is that there is a natural crude oil well in the sump or that it's Duckhams back on the market! :-)

 

 

I have come to realize that some of the posting here are from technician and so I would like to emphasize the following:-

 

1. This post is not aimed at any technicians, company or small business other than the technician who carried out the work on my car and the company Halfords who failed in their customer service. I can understand you may wish to defend technician in general, but please remember, there always people in any industry who make mistakes or just can’tbe bothered and any complaints are aimed at them, not everyone in the industry. So if other keeps trying to defend Halfords, the only conclusion that anyone would be able to come to is that these people are either miss reading the OP and not understanding, or they have a vested interest in defending Halfords, example Halfords employees. I leave it to the public to make their minds up!

 

2. Customers have the right to make a complaint when mistakes are made and it the company or small business responsibility to put those mistakes write, this ensure that the customer is happy and helps retain future work from that customer, Halfords failed to do so!

 

3. The photos I have attached shows the extent of the jet black oil, plus the technician failed to remove the excess oil with the pump in front of me and had to remove the drain plug to reduce the level. When you consider that the amount of oil he needed to remove was small compared to the capacity of the sump, then if he did use the pump when carrying out the old oil changed, then this could be the reason why so much old oil was left in the sump. Please remember the cars oil was jet black when I collected the car, before I even used the car, whilst the car was still in Halfords possession and they was telling me it was because the engine still had old oil in the engine which was normal. Any intelligent person would come to the conclusion that the technician failed to remove the old oil, which cause the jet black oil in the engine when I collected the car, before the car was driven or had done any mileage!

 

4. This OP is only intended to warn any potential customers of Halfords that they give poor service and think twice before using them. It not aimed at any other small business, company or technician.

Edited by Rhidian
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Ive been in the motor trade for 20 years now, and please dont think I'm doubting your original post but every deisel engine I have done an oil change on, once run up it'll be black, drive it 10 miles it'll look like the old oil.petrol engine is different. Just my experiences.

 

 

 

That is why in the past Flushing Oil was used to clean out engine especially after maybe a head gasket renewal or just to keep inner channels clear afteryears of use? know I did after headgasket replacement etc. and once when cap showed a lot of sludge 9 cause by two fifferent type oils in the old days)/

:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:
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Ive been in the motor trade for 20 years now, and please dont think I'm doubting your original post but every deisel engine I have done an oil change on, once run up it'll be black, drive it 10 miles it'll look like the old oil.petrol engine is different. Just my experiences.

 

But this is my point, the car had not been driven, it never left the garage and they admitted that old oil was left inside the engine, which they said was normal. Although we all know that some oil would be left in the engine, just filling the engine with clean oil would not give you jet black oil. This is because the amount new oil would be a lot more than the amount of old oil which would normally be left in the engine, after an oil change. Which tells anyone that a large amount of old oil was still in the engine when the new oil was filled up, hence causing it to turn jet black with the car not being driven and no mileage being done? The oil was not even showing signs of mixing with new oil!

Edited by Rhidian
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