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Halfords' incompetence and lack of ethics professionalism


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Hi,

 

Just over 2 years ago I had a breakdown on my car and called the AA. Luckily I was in slow moving traffic. AA diagnosed it to be broken Auxiliary Belt. Their recommended repairer is Halfords Auto Centres. So, the car was taken there and fiasco started.

 

They diagnosed it as auxiliary belt broken. So, far so good. A day later they asked if they could do the service as this is due. I said OK. Another day later, they called back saying radiator, then expansion tank and then something else needed replacing. Again, I said OK. Then a few days later, I phoned for update and the guy said all is fixed and the mechanic has taken it for a test drive. Then I had a call from them saying the car is blowing white smoke and coolant is leaking.

 

'It is probably the head gasket.'

 

At this point I got annoyed and asked if they had done any pressure test on oil and coolant system. To which their guy replied

 

'No, we didn't have to because coolant was gushing out as we were pouring in'

 

'Then why did you do the service and why did you take out for a test drive', to which he had no answer.

 

Anyway, 3 months later we had a call to say the car was ready. We collected the car and the manager said 'We burnt our hands on this one; we can repair fords and vauxhalls but BMW! is a different game.

 

The car came back with service clock not set, heater not working and oil and coolant leaks.

 

To cut the story short, the car has spent most of the time (80~90%) with Halfords. Over the 2 years, each time it has gone back to them it has come with another fault but the original fault still not fixed. This time it went in and a month later came back, on Recovery Vehicle' with 'Tell Tale light' coming on and car entering into limp mode. So, I sent it back and 2 weeks later they delivered, supposedly fixed, on a Recovery Vehicle still with the same fault. Again I sent it back. Nearly another month later they delivered it back to me. This problem was fixed and after being driven for just under 100 miles the same fault is back.

 

I contacted them and they came back saying they will replace the component that they changed as it will be under warranty but if any other component is causing this fault we would have to pay.

 

I maintain that their diagnostics testing was not thorough and I want them to have the car fully diagnosed by BMW because I don't want to have to wait for another year to see if they can fix it.. I emailed their Customer Services over 2 weeks ago but so far have heard nothing.

 

Does anybody know who I can write or what I can do to get some action.

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Hi

Sorry you were missed.

 

You could email the big boss.

 

[email protected]

 

OR

 

go via snail mail.

 

Mr Matthew davies

Halfords Ltd.

 

ICKNIELD STREET DRIVE

WASHFORD WEST

REDDITCH

WORCESTERSHIRE

B98 0DE

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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'We burnt our hands on this one; we can repair fords and vauxhalls but BMW! is a different game

 

 

What a load of bull. There is no car on this planet that is any different to another except in the name. If you can repair one car you can repair any.

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  • 1 month later...

I disagree. I think what you say is true about the basics for most cars, but onboard computers and electronics etc... have totally changed the ability of many to do all maintenance on their own cars.

 

A basic service is within the ability of most who want to learn how to do it.

 

In this case it sounds like they made a total cock up of things, but I suspect problems described may have stemmed from the belt needing replacing in the first place. It depends on the make and model of car as to what else could have been damaged when the belt went.

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It's not about a home service, it's about Halfords doing a service and getting it wrong. If a company is going to promote itself as a service center, they should have all the equipment to fulfil that task or make it plain that certain cars are excepted.

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What a load of bull. There is no car on this planet that is any different to another except in the name. If you can repair one car you can repair any.

 

This is the comment to which my comment was directed, and I believe I was right to disagree. If you can repair one, it is not the case you can repair any.

 

It's not about a home service, it's about Halfords doing a service and getting it wrong. If a company is going to promote itself as a service center, they should have all the equipment to fulfil that task or make it plain that certain cars are excepted.

 

Home service was mentioned in relation to your comment that if you can repair one you can repair any. With basics, there is an element of truth, but when you go beyond basics nowadays, things quickly go beyond the abilities of a keen amateur. Purely my view of course. :-D

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Ok, lets change that to how it actually is 'I' can repair any car, to me they are all the same and I've done everything on the road, so now there can be no doubt.

 

Very modest! :-D Fancy a test then? I honestly do not believe you have done 'everything on the road' nor that you can repair any car. You may be an excellent mechanic, though TBH, an excellent mechanic would know they cannot repair 'ANY' car.

 

Let's get back to helping the OP anyway. In-house niggles won't help anything! :wink:

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Likewise Conniff. I have never come across a car I could not repair and up for the challenge. The difference being you and I would be able to tell why it had gone wrong. And that's the difference these days.

Fixing cars now is more understanding why rather than what, that's how it's done. And if you understand why it's just a formality.

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local place near us specialises in "brakes and discs"

 

friend asked them to diag a miss firing problem, they wanted to fit coils at £240, £8 set of plugs later fitted at home and its fine

 

i have to admit im no mechanic but ill try everything short of engine rebuilds, and do my own welding

Please note:

 

  • I am employed in the IT sector of a high street retail chain but am not posting in any official capacity,so therefore any comments,suggestions or opinions are expressly personal ones and should not be viewed as an endorsement or with agreement of any company.
  • i am not legal trained in any form.
  • I have many experiences in life and do often use these in my posts

if ive been helpful kick my scales, if ive been unhelpful kick the scales of the person more helpful :eek:

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Likewise Conniff. I have never come across a car I could not repair and up for the challenge. The difference being you and I would be able to tell why it had gone wrong. And that's the difference these days.

Fixing cars now is more understanding why rather than what, that's how it's done. And if you understand why it's just a formality.

 

Try fixing an Audi A8 63 plate misfiring.

My neighbour has had it in and out of a dozen Audi specialist and main dealers for a year without joy.

They're now talking about sending the car to Germany.

New cars are not repairable by a very good mechanic because one stupid disconnected wire affects 200 other things.

And that's why I treasure my 1998 passat that i can fix and maintain myself

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Try fixing an Audi A8 63 plate misfiring.

My neighbour has had it in and out of a dozen Audi specialist and main dealers for a year without joy.

They're now talking about sending the car to Germany.

New cars are not repairable by a very good mechanic because one stupid disconnected wire affects 200 other things.

And that's why I treasure my 1998 passat that i can fix and maintain myself

 

 

This is because they have no idea what they are doing. Most, as they call themselves now, technicians can only look at a laptop screen, see a number and look it up in the book doh, it more than fingers I got so I don't know what's wrong.

 

 

There is no difference in todays cars than fifty years ago, they just have a few more bits added. It's the same now as it's always been, work your way through in a methodical manner and eliminate. There is nothing simpler. If a wire is disconnected, then reconnect it, simples, as a certain Meerkat would say.

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T

 

There is no difference in todays cars than fifty years ago, they just have a few more bits added. It's the same now as it's always been, work your way through in a methodical manner and eliminate. There is nothing simpler. If a wire is disconnected, then reconnect it, simples, as a certain Meerkat would say.

 

It's a bit more complicated than that. These extra units aren't just added and connected up with a few wires, they are added and integrated into the system. In the old days when you operated a switch, it made/broke an electrical circuit, now when you operate a switch it sends a signal to a black box full of integrated circuits, transistors, and micro chips which analyses the signal and sends it to the relevant actuator.

 

There's miles more wiring in a modern car, which is one of the first things fitted when the car is made, which means that it can be quite inaccessible, in some cases it can pick up interference from outside sources which can cause a car to behave in strange ways, something that you didn't get with a set of points.

 

In the Audi example above you could spend hours looking at the 100 or so wires that plug into the ECU in an attempt to find a faulty one, and who is going to authorise or pay for that time?, when you only suspect as a possibility a wiring fault, it could be a fault with a surface mounted integrared circuit component within an ECU.

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Good heavens, transistors! whatever next, wheels with pump up tyres?

 

 

Lol...along with Petrol and Diesel.

 

 

Seriously, if you know what you are doing and how to use the systems available it's still not advanced quantum physics is it?

 

 

Simple checks such as spark discharge patterns, cylinder pressure checks, fuel pressure checks along with basic measurements and an understanding of what the results mean is all that is needed and you don't need high tech equipment to do it.

 

 

Quite pathetic really but perhaps a sad reflection on how the traditional apprentice system was systematically destroyed.

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WHen it comes to black boxes, thats where software exists to wipe and reprogram. As stated, you can easily fix any mechanical problem, and refit wiring. The box simply hooks up to a system with the correct software, and you basically reset the car, then retune it.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Reading the timeline on this as in your original post:

 

 

They diagnosed it as auxiliary belt broken. So, far so good. A day later they asked if they could do the service as this is due. I said OK. Another day later, they called back saying radiator, then expansion tank and then something else needed replacing. Again, I said OK. Then a few days later, I phoned for update and the guy said all is fixed and the mechanic has taken it for a test drive. Then I had a call from them saying the car is blowing white smoke and coolant is leaking.

 

  1. Confirmed auxiliary belt broken.
  2. Service was due and advised.
  3. Found a problem with the radiator and/or the expansion bottle.
  4. All fixed
  5. Out for a test drive
  6. White smoke from exhaust and water loss.

A problem with the cooling system can easily mask a head gasket that is about to be breached so when replaced it caused the weak spot to finally give way.

 

 

This isn't really a fault of Halfords.

Edited by Conniff
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  • 2 weeks later...

As a qualified mechanic of over 40 years myself, I have to disagree with you slightly on point 2 Conniff. I would have replaced the drive belt, cured the coolant leak and then test drove the car to ensure that the cooling system was functioning normally. If it was all o/k, I would then have serviced the rest of the car to finish off the job. No point in servicing a car with a blown head gasket. Other than that, I agree with all your previous posts.

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It would seem that they didn't know it had a coolant leak until after all the work was done and on a test drive.

 

 

They diagnosed it as auxiliary belt broken. So, far so good. A day later they asked if they could do the service as this is due. I said OK. Another day later, they called back saying radiator, then expansion tank and then something else needed replacing. Again, I said OK. Then a few days later, I phoned for update and the guy said all is fixed and the mechanic has taken it for a test drive. Then I had a call from them saying the car is blowing white smoke and coolant is leaking.

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