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Old 29-01-2012   #1
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Question Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

Just had the car serviced (24 month) as per manufacturer's schedule but it still appears that some dealers still are none the wiser as to what parts should be replaced, seemingly unable to understand the difference between time based and mileage based scenarios.

I considered that my service would be straight forward enough but as I had had problems with the service department at this dealership previously I made sure that I confirmed what parts would be replaced when I called to book it in.

I explained that although the car had only covered 10,300 miles it was approaching two years old and so asked them for a breakdown of what would be done. The guy called up the service menu on the VDU and said, "Oil, Oil Filter, Air Filter, Pollen Filter and Spark Plugs".

I explained to him that spark plugs were replaced on a mileage basis and that they weren't due to be changed until 18,000 miles and at my annual mileage that would be next year, at 36 months. However, he wasn't able to grasp the concept and as I had already decided to get them changed I gave up trying to explain it to him. As he hadn't mentioned a brake fluid change I asked him if this service included this but he wasn't able to tell me as it didn't show on the screen. I told him that the brake fluid should be changed (according to Fiat?Abarth) at 36000, 72000 and 108000 miles or 24 months and as I was booking the car for the 24 month service to make a note that this should be carried out. I also suggested that he get the IT department to update the screen details to reflect this and also re the spark plugs.

When I took the car in I also gave the receptionist a note specifying what I wanted doing, which included the brake fluid, plus a couple of warranty items I wanted replaced/checked and the set off for a trip to Dorchester in a 61 Reg TA Lounge, secure in the knowledge that all boxes had been ticked. After a not so pleasant drive in the TA which reminded me why I sold mine after just a few weeks I returned to pick up the A500 and pay the bill minus my 10% rewards discount using the "myFIAT" card and also using the 100 voucher given to me so generously by Fiat CS as a gesture of goodwill for when the TA lost all of it's oil on day one.

Everything seemed hunky dory until the lady receptionist mentioned that there was one advisory; they recommended that I should book the car in to have a brake fluid change as the car was approaching two years old.

I won't cause the swear filter to overload telling you what I said, lol.
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Old 30-01-2012   #2
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Re: Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

Quote Originally Posted by grimwau View Post
Just had the car serviced (24 month) as per manufacturer's schedule but it still appears that some dealers still are none the wiser as to what parts should be replaced, seemingly unable to understand the difference between time based and mileage based scenarios.

I considered that my service would be straight forward enough but as I had had problems with the service department at this dealership previously I made sure that I confirmed what parts would be replaced when I called to book it in.

I explained that although the car had only covered 10,300 miles it was approaching two years old and so asked them for a breakdown of what would be done. The guy called up the service menu on the VDU and said, "Oil, Oil Filter, Air Filter, Pollen Filter and Spark Plugs".

I explained to him that spark plugs were replaced on a mileage basis and that they weren't due to be changed until 18,000 miles and at my annual mileage that would be next year, at 36 months. However, he wasn't able to grasp the concept and as I had already decided to get them changed I gave up trying to explain it to him. As he hadn't mentioned a brake fluid change I asked him if this service included this but he wasn't able to tell me as it didn't show on the screen. I told him that the brake fluid should be changed (according to Fiat?Abarth) at 36000, 72000 and 108000 miles or 24 months and as I was booking the car for the 24 month service to make a note that this should be carried out. I also suggested that he get the IT department to update the screen details to reflect this and also re the spark plugs.

When I took the car in I also gave the receptionist a note specifying what I wanted doing, which included the brake fluid, plus a couple of warranty items I wanted replaced/checked and the set off for a trip to Dorchester in a 61 Reg TA Lounge, secure in the knowledge that all boxes had been ticked. After a not so pleasant drive in the TA which reminded me why I sold mine after just a few weeks I returned to pick up the A500 and pay the bill minus my 10% rewards discount using the "myFIAT" card and also using the 100 voucher given to me so generously by Fiat CS as a gesture of goodwill for when the TA lost all of it's oil on day one.

Everything seemed hunky dory until the lady receptionist mentioned that there was one advisory; they recommended that I should book the car in to have a brake fluid change as the car was approaching two years old.

I won't cause the swear filter to overload telling you what I said, lol.
It does not surprise me to see that you've had 'problems' with getting the brake fluid changed. I even had trouble getting the garage to change it on the current motor and it was nearly 3 years old. They said that it sometimes causes trouble when they change it. They refused to change the spark plugs stating that they did not need to be changed and the car had done 20K miles.
Looking at another thread where the TLC pack on a MINI really only covers Oil and filters I get the impression that all manufacturers are 'at' the same thing and only doing what they deem are essentials.
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Old 31-01-2012   #3
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Re: Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

Something tells me I'll be replacing my brake fluid myself!
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Old 18-02-2012   #4
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Re: Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

I have a five year old MINI One (22.5k) which was bought with TLC. Last May I had the second 'paid for under TLC' service done. It included fully synthetic oil, filter, plugs, filters and brake fluid. This took less than three hours.
Nothing should cause a dealer problems when they change your brake fluid.
I am considering exchanging the MINI for a new 500 but this is putting me off. I went through a bad faze with my '82 Panda (dealer forgetting to do the pdi and letting me drive off) with my young family. Then other dealer BOOBS (wrong oil filter, simple engineering tasks) they gotta pull their socks up a bit before I part with my cash.
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Old 23-02-2012   #5
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Re: Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

That is your right. Most people here, however, put up with all that Fiat malarkey because they love the cars. So you need to 'feel the luuurve, man... Otherwise, you'll only find faults and get frustrated, in which case - stick with what you've got! (or go for a sensible 'German'...)
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Old 23-02-2012   #6
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Re: Servicing schedules- Check what is covered.

The 500 is supposed to have sorted out the whole service quality "issue" as the pdi and service checklists are massively more extensive than any previous Fiat model. The quality shows in the construction too - the 500 is a quantum leap forwards compared to the AGP and the Panda, don't even mention older models which seemed to be held together with sticky tape.

The technicians trained up for the A500 were put through much more rigorous controls than the generic Fiat technicians on the basis that there was so much more to lose if it went wrong.

The one thing Fiat haven't sorted out yet is their pricing for parts - VAG have it sussed, parts are generally so cheap it is just scary to the point that genuine parts are typically cheaper than pattern parts. There is also the matter of availability, the stock levels for some obscure parts is borderline non-existent. They have the ability to produce more but you could be left waiting years for them to come off back-order. Any car still in production should have spare parts aplenty available... they have to continue supporting them for 10 years though
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