All Corsa Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a copy of a Email I sent to the garage who did work on my corsa 1.0 55 plate.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to question the price charged for some work I recently had done on my Vauxhall Corsa . I originally called on the 19/01/2013 to book my car in for an investigation into a leak on my water pump as I had noticed whilst doing my weekly level checks that the water in the header tank was low even though I had topped it up the previous week. I was booked in for the following Saturday and was advised to buy some antifreeze as due to the inclement weather it could cause further problems to my engine. I poured the antifreeze into the header tank and had the engine running so I could try and investigate where the leak was coming from, I noticed that it was bubbling from the plastic hose connector from the water pump. I attempted to rectify the leak and the part came away in my hand, meaning the pipe was no longer connected to the water pump. I rang the garage straight back and asked whether I could bring the car straight in so it could be see to as soon as possible. They told me to bring it straight in.
Having spoken to an ex colleague of mine who works for Vauxhall he mentioned that it was possible to just replace the plastic hose connector with a brass hose connector as it is a well known problem on my model. I e-mailed your team to advise them of this as it would save both time and cost.
On Monday I was contacted by a female colleague who told me that they could replace the connector pipe but that due to labour costs it would end up costing the same amount as having the full water pump replaced. I went along with the water pump replacement because I was advised that it would cost the same regardless. The total cost of the work that was done came to £250.45 and I was even charged for coolant even though I provided my own.
I have since spoken to vauxhall and to supply and fit the brass hose connector, including coolant would only cost £60 + VAT.
I am questioning why I was advised to have expensive work carried out on my vehicle when there was a cheaper option available, and also why the lady who spoke to me in regards to the work claimed it would cost so much more.
At the moment I am feeling let down by your company as I feel as though I have be wrongly advised and have been pressured into work that may not have been necessary. I would like a full refund for the difference between the costs as I feel I have been charged for work that was not necessary. As you will see from both my records and my partners cars record we have spent over £1000 at your garage over the past year and I would like this resolving as quickly as possible.
Can you please only contact me via e-mail as I am none contactable through the day due to working.
I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours faithfully.

This is the garages reply.
Thank you for your patience, I have carried out a thorough investigation into your complaint and the factors involved.

Your car was brought in with a coolant loss, you had already indentified that the plastic pipe into the top of the water pump had broken off and you suspected that may have been the initial cause of the leak. Normally we would pressure test the cooling system to confirm exactly where the leak is, obviously as the pipe had broken off and this was not possible. The technicians considered that although the plastic pipe had clearly broken and was certainly a cause of a leak it was possible that there were other leaks.

On your advice we called Vauxhall and the repair pipe is indeed available. Our workshop manager examined the broken pipe in order to establish a labour time for changing this pipe separately to the water pump.
Your information about the cost of changing the pipe is correct-when the hexagonal part of the plastic pipe remains intact and there is no corrosion around the broken pipe, it can be simply unscrewed.
If that had been the case the repair was a straight forward replacement the charge would have been £49.00. This includes the labour time (less than half an hour) brass pipe and a litre of coolant. In fact it would be something that you could do at home with the right tools.
See figure 3 showing hexagonal ‘nut’ where by the pipe can be simply unscrewed and replaced.


Unfortunately in the case of your car the repair wasn’t a straight forward replacement.
It was at this point my colleague called to explain the situation.

The pipe had snapped flush inside the water pump, this is a common failure as you mentioned, see photo below.


This meant it was nearly impossible to repair the pump whilst it was still in position. The plastic remains of the broken pipe were seized tightly into the pump. A screw extractor cannot be used on plastic as it just crumbles and collapses, leaving debris inside the pump. The only way to remove the plastic thread from an aluminium pump would be to drill it out. The chances of doing that without damaging the fine threads in the pump are minimal. As can be seen from the next picture there isn’t even room to get a drill and chuck into the area.



On considering this predicament we also had to bear in mind that if we had successfully managed to remove the remains of the broken pipe from the pump without leaving debris in the pump, would it have been a good fix? My workshop manager, my MD and I actually discussed this regarding your car. If we had spent that time and money removing the pipe two possibilities could have occurred.

1. On rebuild and pressure test the pump itself leaks, again a fairly common fail for the mileage. We would have had to replace the pump anyway, charge you for our time for the repair, and then the replacement of the pump, and another batch of antifreeze. Not very cost effective.
2. There are no leaks on rebuild but after a short period of you driving the car even up to a few months, the pump fails and starts leaking. Not a very satisfactory outcome either. Your car would have been back in the garage for a similar fault within a short space of time. If you had been on a journey and the car overheated the engine could have been damaged or at best the car would have to be recovered in.

Below a photo of a water pump this time also leaking from the temperature sensor thread (right) as well as the plastic pipe and hose. Multiple leaks from the water pump are fairly common.



After careful deliberation we advised that the water pump should be replaced at this stage to save labour time on trying to remove the remnants of the plastic pipe from the threads in the water pump. We all felt this was the most economical route to getting you back on the road reliably and quickly. The pump carries a full no quibble 12 month guarantee as does our workmanship.
Rae, the service advisor who you spoke with, I believe made best effort at getting this across but as you see from the length and technical depth of my explanation, this wasn’t an easy job to explain on the phone.

I completely understand why you would be shocked and dismayed if you are told the repair could have been carried out for a fraction of the cost. This is not the case though as explained the pipe was not a simple replacement and when added to the factors of future reliability and cost, the comparison between the choice of jobs was far less.
I hope this had gone someway to explaining in detail exactly why we advised the route we did and that we always have your best interests at heart. We work in a position of trust and in our eyes that trust must never be broken. The challenges we face are that in order to explain the intricacies of tricky jobs an in-depth technical knowledge is required.

I understand from your email that you are under time pressure and it is not possible to speak on the phone but I would like to invite you to come and have a face to face chat with me and Mark my Director if we can be of any further assistance. Let’s work together to find a solution that you are happy with.


Many thanks

Kind regards

Please could anyone advise me. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,410 Posts
To be honest I think the garage did it right.

In summary, it is a common problem which Vauxhall ought to have issued a recall for. When that bit snaps off a lot of them have overheated and wrecked the headgasket. So it can cause serious damage. You were lucky to spot yours before that happened.

Presented with one that had snapped as yours had done I'd have at least removed the water pump to do the remedial work, at which point fitting a new pump is actually better value for money.

I know it seems an expensive way to fix it - but the garage did the right thing. The villains here are Vauxhall. They know those plastic pipes are a bad design - they ought to have fixed it on a recall - but we all know that isn't going to happen.

Actually - I think the guy who took the trouble to write all that out in details deserves a lot of credit. He's explained it in detail and very well. That's the sign of someone who cares about what they do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
Hi

Agree with Taurus, I ran a garage service reception for 10 years and its always a question " can I warranty this repair ?"

With labour charges being sooooooooooooo high now I think the garage did the right thing. A repair may have been successful if they had been able to remove the broken section but to find that out you'd have had to pay for their time in doing it - if it wasn't successful, you'd have to pay again for a new pump.

I do think though that had this been explained on the phone to you, YOU could have made the decission, it strikes me from your email that you feel that possibly you have been kept in the dark ( albiet for the right reasons)

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER - I always believed in giving the customer the information, my reccomendation and more importantly - the final CHOICE.

AL
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,222 Posts
I agree with both responses above too. They sound like a genuine, decent garage in all fairness.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tony_12 and Rob

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all your advice, I think I might of jumped the gun sending them the Email I should of got the advice a lot earlier. Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
Hi tony,

Don't feel bad, cause ultimatly you are the customer !

Clever garages understand that jo punter has a limited knowledge of the pitfalls of vehicle repair and explain ( in words sometimes of less than 1 sylibul ) what the repair is, any pitfalls, any risk, etc etc.

they ( the mechanics ) used to take the piss out of me big time when I worked as a service receptionist/manager cause they said I explained toooooooooooo much, but I never got customer complaints.

Nuff said.

But then it took nearly 10 years to train the mechanics that when they got a piece of rusted shite in, they should tell me it was a piece of rusted shite BEFORE they sheared all the bolts - lol

Al
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top