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Valet cleaner fiddled with my car internals

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Hello Friends,


I probably cannot regret more leaving my car yesterday with the garage for valet cleaning.


When I came to pick car, my battery was dead, time clock was reset and the battery panel was open.


When I enquired, they said there was lose connection with the battery and therefore they had to open the battery cover.

I was never convinced but I had no evidence as such and came back.


Today I found that neck of the stearing wheel was opened as well and it is missing the screws that hold it in place.

Clearly they have messed more than what was necessary and without my permission.

I suspect they have replaced my original parts with spurious ones.


What are my options?

Are the garage required to record what ever has been done with my car?


Please help me as I am really feeling so helpless and distressed about all this.



Edited by gentle
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Now, I'm suspicious by nature. But here's the first thought that popped in to my head...


What car is it?


The reason I ask that is that if it is a desirable car (for car thieves) I'd be taking it to a dealer (or at least trusted garage) to get it looked at, and pronto.


The only reason to open the cowling on the steering column would be to look at (and possibly defeat) the immobiliser. Apart from the switches for the indicators & wipers, there's very little else under there.



As I said, I'm suspicious by nature. But I'd still be getting that checked.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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Thanks DragonFly for your response. Its a skoda Superb. Does it matter to thieves as what they are looting. They will harvest everything that they can and just list it on eBay. as simple as that. And genuine parts of any model will fetch a good price. After all they have done this.


What are the legal routes open to me. The garage has gone beyond my permission and clearly in a shady way. Is the onus on me to prove that he has stolen/swapped something or on them to prove that he did nothing even though he opened the battery panel for which there is no good reason.

Edited by gentle
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Go get it checked by a skoda main dealer. Then plan your next move once youve had the report.

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..



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I have to agree get your vehicle independently inspected at a skoda dealership.


They have admitted only after you questioning about the battery cover that they tampered with your vehicle. (without your consent nor telling you until challenged)


In this circumstance you need to get evidence that they have tampered with your vehicle outside of your consent for them to valet your vehicle.


Do you have anything signed/screenshots etc of this valet service.


Does the Garage carrying out the Valet have any Disclaimers/Signage display or did you sign any disclaimer at all?


Who is the Garage? (if you do not want to name them on here you can pm a member of they site team)


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i suspect that they either shortyed something out or dropped a small something into the steering column and had to disconnect the battery to retrieve it safely. they should have owned up. as for disclaimers, not worth the paper they are written on so if they say they arent responsible on yes they are. you engaged them for a particular task, not to sod about with the electrics..

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  • 1 month later...

aw lawd he's back

My time as a Police Officer and subsequently time working within the Motor Trade gives me certain insights into the problems that consumers may encounter.

I have no legal qualifications.

If you have found my post helpful, please enhance my reputation by clicking on the Heart. Thank you

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where steering is.......................................................................... ?





or Gerbil.



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

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  • 4 weeks later...

There should never be any tampering or removing of internal parts on a BASIC valet. When you contract with someone to essentially DEEP CLEAN your internal cabin, Some trim may be removed in order clear out and flush dust and debris BUT the VALET/DETAILER should be very clear on what he intends to take apart, has experience in taking these parts apart with the CORRECT tools, and shows you his LIABILITY INSURANCE certificate that's in place to deal with anything that he breaks, a genuine detailer/valet will never get you sign a disclaimer form for damages or have any disclaimer sign up to suggest he isn't liable for damage to your car, Its an occupational hazard for a detailer as he/she come into contact with cars and personal items intimately on a daily basis with his tools of the trade, Its like a garage telling you he's not liable for damage to your car when he's working on it and that you leave it with him at your own risk.



A flush of the engine bay yes your battery is disconnected to prevent damage to the cars ECU and electrical items whilst either steam cleaned or Jet washed, They should ensure that the positive is reconnected, its secure, the battery tie down is secure, and caps and flaps are locked, the Radio code is present, that your Clock is reset, and that your told that your car has a "learning period" when the ECU is disconnected and show you its procedure in your handbook or online guide! Again Something that should have been explained to you in the fullest details as to what they intend to do BEFORE they take the keys off you to start.



Exterior, They should explain that to flush arches of debris, the alloys should come off and that to deep clean your alloys they need to come off, They should place your alloys on the ground during storage face up when cleaning the drum side (back side) they should place them face down on a rubber or foam mat and de iron'ise them treat them and put them back on, they should ensure that your alloy wheel key is placed back in the boot compartment if not then placed on your passenger seat, its just plain rude to go in someone glove box.

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