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 A service costing over £1K

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Malcolm Eales

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PostSubject: A service costing over £1K   Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:49 pm

I took my 57 plate watercooled to Danbury for a 50,000km service and ended up with a bill for £1030 !!!
The service was 'only' £250 +VAT but read on:-
Although I check tyre pressures regularly and do look at the tyres and tread before most journeys, I thought that there was still plenty of miles left in them, I hadn't looked closely enough at the inside shoulder which was worn to an illegal amount on 1 tyre and the other 3 would have needed replacement at the next service. With winter coming I took the safe option and replaced all 4, £212 + labour + VAT. This uneven wear is apparently caused by the camber of the wheels due to the lowering option as done by Danbury. 31,00 miles isn't too bad on a set of tyres but it is so disappointing to throw away tyres which have so much rubber left on them. Another thing to consider when speccing a new van!
The 2 silencer boxes had rotted through from the inside and had to be replaced, £298 + labour + VAT. This has greatly improved but not eliminated, the popping and banging on the overun but should silencer boxes rot through from the inside in only 2 years? Are they 'fit for purpose'? Apparently the replacements should last longer than the originals, I really hope so as they aren't covered by the 3 year warranty as they are not part of the engine or gearbox!
There was oil leaking from the steering box seal, £21 + labour + VAT
The drive shaft oil seals were replaced yet again but this was a warranty item as were the 'hose reducers' under the engine.
In the 20 years prior to the camper I've been fortunate enough to be able to afford 5 new cars from 3 different manufacturers and despite a fairly high mileage, I've only ever had to pay out for 1 set of tyes and 1 set of brake pads over and above servicing!
This is not a criticism of Danbury (although there are other issues they could attend to!) as the people that you meet there are great but just a 'heads up' as to the possible cost of ownership of such a lovely van.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:18 pm

Interesting read Malcolm.

Running an aircooled Bay I can't comment on the specific issues you've had with the watercooled variant.

The price for the tyres seems reasonable. I'm not a fan of lowering - it looks cool - but that's about where it ends for me. I like stock height and (if it's possible with a Brazilian Bay) - originality. It's a good idea to get the steering geometry checked on your Bay every other year. I had mine done just after I bought it - it was out - but now runs true. With regard to the mileage covered before replacement - you should try running a MINI Cooper S - it positively eats tyres - I've had to replace the front ones after as little as 10,000 miles. Now I slow down for the corners more ;0)

With regard to the exhaust rotting - does your van sit around for long periods? This is where any exhaust system will rot - unused they just get damp and disintegrate far quicker. This is why I'm using my Bay throughout the winter so everything doesn't stay static etc.

You're right the folks at Danbury are a friendly bunch but I won't be running down to Bristol for servicing as a) I can't afford the petrol to do so and b) my Bay now goes to the ex VAG mechanic I've been using for years in Guildford. He and his team are starting to learn the ins and outs of a Brazilian Bay! General stuff I can handle - I just changed all the HT leads and spark plugs, distributor cap/rotor arm. Next I need to do an oil change.

No doubt your Bay is now running sweet!

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Malcolm Eales

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:31 pm

Hi Tim, van is used at least 6 days a week as it is my only transport and I do about 900 km per week and have never needed new silencers on at least 5 other vehicles before their 6th birthday! I've got another year before the warranty runs out so I have to take it to Danbury, after that.... I can and have done most routine servicing but I'm over 60 and getting lazy :-)
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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:57 am

Hi Malcolm - The 4 wheel laser adjustment / check adjustment on the wheels should be done every year at least depending on mileage on any year VW T2. This will make your tyres last a lot longer but bear in mind if you hit a pot hole or simular in ANY car this can knock the adjustment out. Also bear in mind that campervans are usually heavier than normal cars. Tim: True what your saying about Mini Coopers! My friend has one and it eats tyres (not cheap ones!) Exhaust: They can last various amounts of time depending on useage and also how much salt your local council thows on the roads each winter (usually loads !) . We do offer a stainless steel system though that has a 10 year warranty! Hope this all helps. Jason. www.danburymotorcaravans.com
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Malcolm Eales

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:23 am

Hi Jason, I've never had the laser alignment mentioned to me at Danbury. Is it done automatically at the major service (all I get after a service is the bill and no detail of exactly what has been done/checked)? Your comments re potholes is never more true than after this winter, I've just had the sidewall of a tyre ripped open by a pothole!
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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:30 am

Hi Malcolm - True what you say about the potholes and sorry to hear about your flat tyre (I would contact the council and claim for the cost of a new tyre along with a picture of the road!) The state of the UK roads have got very bad in the last month and local to me the road is just falling apart (too much salt poured all over them by the council I think ! ) Yes we do the 4 wheel laser alignment on the major service. Next time your in we can give you a full list of what is done on the service (just ask at reception). All the best - Jason
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:12 pm

There was an article in last week's Auto Express about potholes and advice as to how you can claim off your council for damage. You have to supply photographic evidence of the pothole and damage to your car and provide an estimate for any repairs. Apparently each pothole costs councils £69 to repair - work that one out!!

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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 3:56 pm

Hi Tim - Thats correct. My father in law ( a solicitor ) got Birmingham council to pay for his flat tyre the other day due to a pot hole so its possible to do - just not advertised ! It would be better though if the government actually gave the local councils enought money to keep the roads in good order to begin with! They earn such a large amount of money from road fund license, vat, import duty, the new 'showroom tax' etc etc (I know how much we pay over here at Danbury and its unbelievable!) ..... Seems they only like to spend it on themselves I guess ...
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Malcolm Eales

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:46 pm

Thanks for info, I usually carry a camera but not on this occassion!!! But I know exactly where the pothole is and will go back to take a picture. The rim damage might knock out but if not I'll claim for that too!
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:56 pm

Get a new alloy if you can! Why not, they get enough tax out of us as it is!

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belgiumbay

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:21 pm

It is quite interesting living in Belgie now and Reading about uk tax etc. In belgie no one even mentions tax or gov expenditure. You don't even hear belgiums mention the fact that we pay around 50% income tax so no one ever talks gross pay just net. Granted Belgium does have more social services etc than uk but Belgium expect to pay for them. Roads around flanders are crap on the E19 the main motorway to holland there are pot holes that at times are up to 2 m long and surface is terrible. During snow only motorways are salted and then by hand from the back of a pick up. The Belgium eqiv of an mot is 250 euro and road tax about the same and insurance for a bay is 2000 euro a year - ok if I had an oldtimer insurance it is about 800 but then you are limited to 35k travel a journey per day.

Also very different to the uk there are no legal mechanisms to sue a council. There isn't even a way to make a formal complaint in any govt dept. Yet in 3 years I have yet to hear a Belgium complain - they just don't see the point. Oh and we pay 23%btw (vat) on everything.

It does make you actually appreciate the uk more - including the fact that belgiums pay about 8% each more to the eu than uk citizens

Certainly living here detroys the daily telegrah myths of europe
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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:32 am

Hi Malcolm - If your wheel is damaged I would claim for that as it 'may' have a hairline fracture and you dont want a wheel exploding on you when your going down the motorway! I wouldn't knock a dent out. . . Remove and keep as evidence. I can do you a deal on a new wheel if needed and get you a good discount ( this isnt a sales pitch so dont think it is - Just trying to help a fellow bay owner ) All the best - Jason
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kiteman

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:33 pm

Just been in for my 6 week service from Danbury.
Not only is the first time I've ever had to pay for the first service, was charged £300 for the pleasure.
Bloody hell there expensive.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:59 pm

Well you're paying to keep in with the warranty conditions. If anything needs sorting - it'll be money well spent. 3 years down the line you may have had your money's worth out of them. Unlikely though.

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billyelaine

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:22 pm

@kiteman wrote:
Just been in for my 6 week service from Danbury.
Not only is the first time I've ever had to pay for the first service, was charged £300 for the pleasure.
Bloody hell there expensive.

Welcome to world of Danbury pirat
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:25 pm

Steady now billy - we'll probably bump into the Danbers crew this weekend ....

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billyelaine

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:00 pm

That first service really got my back up Mad
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kiteman

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:01 am

Don't get me started. Didn't even fix the problem with the paint that it went in for. Waisting a further £80 in travelling.
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:04 am

What is the paint problem?

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kiteman

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:24 am

There was a stain on the paint coming from the small petrol tank. Don't think the cap was put on properly. Only noticed it when I got home after picking it up.
They had a go at getting it out but it's still there, needs to be resprayed. Anoying thing is I was told it would resprayed if they couldn't get the stain out when I took it up. Waisted 2 days travelling too and fron Bristol.
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jj123vw

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:01 am

Hi Stephen - Just to explain: Most cars the manufacturer used to have the first service built into the price of the car (it was called free but as we know it was just charged for within the cars price) but that is seperated at Danbury so you only pay for the services you have. This is a fair system to all as some people may decide to service elsewhere. The service cost is £250 plus VAT and that includes all parts, oils and labour. The falling value of the £pound (by approx 35% !!) has not been implemented and we are still holding 2009 prices on servicing and options that were also at the old 15% vat rate so we are doing our best to hold prices down as low as possible :-) Hope this helps to explain and we will continue to try our best to help and support keeping prices down (can anyone make the £ pound go back up against the euro an dollar ???!!!)
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chairboy_paul

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:13 pm

TimV ... would your man in Guildford be interested in a bit of extra business??? Paul
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TimV
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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:30 pm

Absolutely.

Ashley 01483 303942

www.ahauto.co.uk

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Ian Mac

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:47 am

I was under the impression that a company could not, by law, tie their warranty to a service contract.
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kiteman

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PostSubject: Re: A service costing over £1K   Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:10 pm

This thread is a few months old now. Danbury seemed to have addressed a lot of issues over the last few months and offer a far better service. Good on them I say.

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