Major dealer problem.
How do I complain about this?
I heard a whining noise when working away in Edinburgh this week. Got an AA tow on Monday night to the Edinburgh Arnold Clark as AA guy thought timing belt.
Got the diagnosis on Tuesday, it was the auxiliary belt tensioner.
Got a phone call Tuesday pm – they broke the bracket holding the contents of the engine, tried to charge £400 to supply and fit, then instantly dropped to £250 to supply and fit, or £150 of they could mill the thread again.
Left it with them, then got a call on Thursday advising they could not mill the thread, and they had to order the bracket. Surely this should have been ordered anyway knowing I needed to drive back to Manchester on Thursday night?? I asked them if it would be ordered anyway and they said yes. They fibbed.
Eventually got it ready today (lunchtime, part arrived at 8am). Whining noise still there. Based on the mechanic report which I insisted upon it appears that the tensioner put strain on the alternator causing the bearings to whine. (Initially the mechanic suggested that the noice may just be a tensioner settling down, and took a lot of effort to get him to take the time to investigate and write it down). My problem is that to get the alternator changed again will be several hours more labour when it could have been done for little, it any extra labour as everything was stripped. It appears to me they have not done their job properly breaking the support bracket for good measure!
Additionally, the radio code was not re-programmed meaning a 5 hour drive with no radio to drown out the whining noise…..
Here is what the mechanic wrote:
‘IN OUR OPINION THERE IS A SLIGHT WHINE FROM THE VEHICLE, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT IT IT IS THE ALTERNATOR BEARING BEGINNING TO MAKE A NOISE BUT WOULD REQUIRE FURTHER INVESTIGATION. IN OUR OPINION AT THIS TIME THE NOISE HEARD IS NOT DETRIMENTAL TO THE RUNNING OF THE VEHICLE’.
Any advice on how to complain would be welcome. I happen to live fairly close to an Arnold Clark garage – am I better complaining to Alfa, or to Arnold Clark?
I did not bother to complain about the bracket too much as the AA warranty are covering this as I needed recovery, hence really annoyed as the alternator would have all been covered under the warranty had the garage observed the noisy alternator at the time of diagnosis, but will not cover it just now. I am looking at paying £250 part and around £210 labour of my own money due to their incompetence, or suffer the whine and wait until it breaks down again. Marvellous.