Can anyone offer help/advice re: enormous car service cost?

24 May, 2011

Hi, all.

I realise many people are off on the Challenge ATM but I’m wondering whether anybody can advise re: this.

I bought a 3-year-old Sk*da 18 months ago from a reputable Sk*da dealership. They sourced it for me from somewhere else in the country and gave it a used car check before telling me all was fine. It then had 42k miles on the clock.

Today I took it in for a service at a different (closer) Sk*da dealership. The car’s now done 55k miles. It’s about 6 months overdue for service, but I don’t drive it lots. I had a phone call from the dealership earlier this afternoon to tell me they’d identified the following issues (in addition to the new cam belt that apparently they all need at 4 years/80,000 miles).

– It needs a new clutch.
– It has a significant — “quite bad” — oil leak “from the turbo area” that will require investigation, and may then be very expensive to fix.
– A problem with “two front lower suspension bushes”–I’ve no idea what they are but I was told it’s quite a big deal
– It needs new disks and brake pads, front and back
– It needs 3 new tyres
– It needs (these are less significant) a new bulb and new front and back wipers, and the rear wiper jet isn’t working

I was told that the cost of this work–including the service, but NOT including investigation and fixing of the oil leak–is £2,000.

I’ve contacted the dealership I bought it from and I’m going to take it in for them to have a look. They told me that it sounded as though perhaps the turbo needed replacing (I may have the terminology wrong there), and that that could cost an additional £500-1,000, depending on the nature of the problem.

I bought this car for £7k 18 months ago, and I’m reeling at the idea that there’s now £2,000-£3,000 to be spent on getting it into appropriate condition. Am I being naive, or is this really as shocking as it sounds to me? I know that things like pads and disks and wipers and tyres do wear out, but I’m wondering how *all* of this stuff can have become necessary in the 18 months since I was told it was fine when I bought it.

Any advice gratefully received.



28 November, 2009

I have a job! The trial thingy went well, though what a lot there is to learn! Was disappointed not to be sworn at by the chef, but there’s still time and I’m sure it’ll come *g* First I need some new comfy shoes, though. Uniform is all black, so I’ll even have to learn to look trendy and smart, which can’t be bad. The kitchen smells were lovely…

I also have a new car! I’ll post more about the process of acquiring it–thank God I only have to do it once in a blue moon–but Mango Terrier achieved a perfect score in the terrier stakes, providing me with tons of useful information and encouraging me to snap at the dealers’ heels (and even to land the occasional small bite).

Eternal thanks to Mango Terrier ♥ ♥ ♥

Anyway, it’s a Skoda Fabia Estate (old model) with a 1.9 TDI engine. Very responsive, and tres comfy since it even has heated seats–whoohooo! It’s 3 years old and has 48k miles on the clock, but I’m reliably informed that that’s okay with this sort of engine.

One careful lady owner has owned it, and so it’s beautiful to look at and unmarked. It has a full and immaculate service history etc. Poor thing, to be coming to somebody as chaotic with cars as me… Piglet’s crate now lives in the boot, rather than on the back seat, and since she can no longer stick a paw through the bars and poke me in the back she’s reading more, which is also a good thing. I hope eventually to train her to navigate, while she waits to be old enough to apply for a driving licence.

Here’s one just like it that I made earlier.

The New Piglet Wagon