Buy all your VW California Accessories at the Club Shop Visit Shop

Poor dealer service !

Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
We purchased ourVW T6 California from its previous owner 3 years ago, it is now 4 years old. Our Cali has been dealer serviced from new and I have had a few warranty jobs completed. All of which have been fraught with lengthy time scales and poor workmanship, leaving a rather bitter taste. My last experience sealed the decision to move away from my dealer in Plymouth.

I had my last service done 12 months ago, I was given the service report with advisory on tyres and a burnt out rear wiper motor which had snagged on my bike rack arm. I rarely use the rear wiper but thought I would replace it as I like things to be right. I thought that the price to replace by VW was very costly so purchased a new motor assembly from another source. We have had very little use of our van over the past 12 months and only covered about 4000 miles. My dealer contacted me a few weeks ago and stated that my MOT was due along with a service and as my vehicle was now 4 years old.. a cam belt and water pump change ( I have done 23000 miles). The price of this was in the region of £1200, I pointed out the fact that it was only serviced 12 months ago and that due to Covid my MOT had been extended until January.

Firstly I addressed my tyres and replaced the rear tyres with the original brand from new. The fitter had great difficulty in removing the wheels and need to use a rubber sledge hammer,In his opinion the wheels had never been removed from new. I then had the water pump and cam belt changed by a VW mechanic using original parts at a fraction of the cost. To fit the pump and cam belt he needed to remove the front wheels, he commented that they had not been removed for some time as they were corroded on the hubs. I also supplied the new rear wiper motor to the mechanic and asked him to replace it for me. No need apparently as all that was wrong with the wiper was a blown 10amp fuse!!!!

so I have my report from VW dealership stating Burnt out wiper motor, service required when it’s not, wheels that were not removed on full service (how do they check brake pads and discs without removal?). I have lost all confidence in my dealership and feel that I need to check every action they state they have completed. I don’t mind paying top price for top service but this just not seem to be the case.

I love our Cali And treat it with respect... if only the dealer would do the same....
 
Meoncoast

Meoncoast

an Ocean by the Sea
Top Poster
VIP Member
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
4,528
Location
Moorgreen
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
My understanding is that the pads on transporters can be inspected without removing the wheels. The cambelt in UK is advised at 4 years (the water pump is an extra which is cheap to do when the cambelt is done.) The wheels on our van even after a few months have needed a little help to remove them. The blown fuse is a bummer but your mechanic found it. I am happy I have a dealer I trust.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
My understanding is that the pads on transporters can be inspected without removing the wheels. The cambelt in UK is advised at 4 years (the water pump is an extra which is cheap to do when the cambelt is done.) The wheels on our van even after a few months have needed a little help to remove them. The blown fuse is a bummer but your mechanic found it. I am happy I have a dealer I trust.
That’s good, I am glad your dealer suits you ! Understand all your points re servicing and advisory work, it’s just a shame that the issues I have had which I have not disclosed have left me very disappointed. 18 months for a factory paint work issue being one of them... thank you for your reply it gives me a little more confidence...
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
21,454
Location
United Kingdom
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
We purchased ourVW T6 California from its previous owner 3 years ago, it is now 4 years old. Our Cali has been dealer serviced from new and I have had a few warranty jobs completed. All of which have been fraught with lengthy time scales and poor workmanship, leaving a rather bitter taste. My last experience sealed the decision to move away from my dealer in Plymouth.

I had my last service done 12 months ago, I was given the service report with advisory on tyres and a burnt out rear wiper motor which had snagged on my bike rack arm. I rarely use the rear wiper but thought I would replace it as I like things to be right. I thought that the price to replace by VW was very costly so purchased a new motor assembly from another source. We have had very little use of our van over the past 12 months and only covered about 4000 miles. My dealer contacted me a few weeks ago and stated that my MOT was due along with a service and as my vehicle was now 4 years old.. a cam belt and water pump change ( I have done 23000 miles). The price of this was in the region of £1200, I pointed out the fact that it was only serviced 12 months ago and that due to Covid my MOT had been extended until January.

Firstly I addressed my tyres and replaced the rear tyres with the original brand from new. The fitter had great difficulty in removing the wheels and need to use a rubber sledge hammer,In his opinion the wheels had never been removed from new. I then had the water pump and cam belt changed by a VW mechanic using original parts at a fraction of the cost. To fit the pump and cam belt he needed to remove the front wheels, he commented that they had not been removed for some time as they were corroded on the hubs. I also supplied the new rear wiper motor to the mechanic and asked him to replace it for me. No need apparently as all that was wrong with the wiper was a blown 10amp fuse!!!!

so I have my report from VW dealership stating Burnt out wiper motor, service required when it’s not, wheels that were not removed on full service (how do they check brake pads and discs without removal?). I have lost all confidence in my dealership and feel that I need to check every action they state they have completed. I don’t mind paying top price for top service but this just not seem to be the case.

I love our Cali And treat it with respect... if only the dealer would do the same....
Wheels aren’t removed to check brake pads on the Transporter.
You said the Dealer contacted you a few weeks ago? Or was it about 3 months ago as the MOT extension was only valid upto the 31st July.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Thank you re the wheels not removed,that clarifies that issue, yes I may have put weeks instead of months.. oops. Despite this, dealership experience including miss diagnosis of wiper issue does not excuse the poor service I have experienced !
 
K

Kernowboy

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
583
Location
Cornwall
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 204 4 motion
If that’s Snows buddy I would go elsewhere. Not got a good reputation, I’ve heard some horror stories.
 
G

ger

Messages
56
If that’s Snows buddy I would go elsewhere. Not got a good reputation, I’ve heard some horror stories.
Got numerous horror stories about Snows. They're absolutely useless, and prone to providing very dubious or misleading information when challenged.

Avoid at all costs, and don't believe a word they tell you....
 
silversurfer

silversurfer

Messages
28
As soon as my Cali was out of warranty I went to local, trusted, garage. Since you seem to have a good friendly VW mechanic why would you ever go back to a dealer.
 
P

Pips Dad

Messages
108
Location
Lochaber
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
We purchased ourVW T6 California from its previous owner 3 years ago, it is now 4 years old. Our Cali has been dealer serviced from new and I have had a few warranty jobs completed. All of which have been fraught with lengthy time scales and poor workmanship, leaving a rather bitter taste. My last experience sealed the decision to move away from my dealer in Plymouth.

I had my last service done 12 months ago, I was given the service report with advisory on tyres and a burnt out rear wiper motor which had snagged on my bike rack arm. I rarely use the rear wiper but thought I would replace it as I like things to be right. I thought that the price to replace by VW was very costly so purchased a new motor assembly from another source. We have had very little use of our van over the past 12 months and only covered about 4000 miles. My dealer contacted me a few weeks ago and stated that my MOT was due along with a service and as my vehicle was now 4 years old.. a cam belt and water pump change ( I have done 23000 miles). The price of this was in the region of £1200, I pointed out the fact that it was only serviced 12 months ago and that due to Covid my MOT had been extended until January.

Firstly I addressed my tyres and replaced the rear tyres with the original brand from new. The fitter had great difficulty in removing the wheels and need to use a rubber sledge hammer,In his opinion the wheels had never been removed from new. I then had the water pump and cam belt changed by a VW mechanic using original parts at a fraction of the cost. To fit the pump and cam belt he needed to remove the front wheels, he commented that they had not been removed for some time as they were corroded on the hubs. I also supplied the new rear wiper motor to the mechanic and asked him to replace it for me. No need apparently as all that was wrong with the wiper was a blown 10amp fuse!!!!

so I have my report from VW dealership stating Burnt out wiper motor, service required when it’s not, wheels that were not removed on full service (how do they check brake pads and discs without removal?). I have lost all confidence in my dealership and feel that I need to check every action they state they have completed. I don’t mind paying top price for top service but this just not seem to be the case.

I love our Cali And treat it with respect... if only the dealer would do the same....
Not many dealers remove wheels to check the brakes on a so called service as the pads can usually be inspected from below. In my view a ‘service’ means removing the wheels, removing and cleaning brakes and greasing all appropriate elements including the alloy wheel hubs to prevent the seizing problems. They should call a service a ‘safety check’ where the brakes are concerned in my opinion. Personally, I remove the wheels at least once a year, and do this work myself. It ensures it’s done properly and you don’t have seized wheels or brakes.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Not many dealers remove wheels to check the brakes on a so called service as the pads can usually be inspected from below. In my view a ‘service’ means removing the wheels, removing and cleaning brakes and greasing all appropriate elements including the alloy wheel hubs to prevent the seizing problems. They should call a service a ‘safety check’ where the brakes are concerned in my opinion. Personally, I remove the wheels at least once a year, and do this work myself. It ensures it’s done properly and you don’t have seized wheels or brakes.

Thank you Pips Dad, good advice indeed.... they are all greased up and I will make sure they get a full inspection on a regular basis...
 
A

ADevon

VIP Member
Messages
18
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Interesting to read your post. We bought (and still own) a new red California in 2011 from Murrys, the then VW Van dealer in Plymouth. Their after sales service was terrible ... VW Customer Care knew us well! Initially Snows were much better but we also have been disappointed recently and will now go elsewhere. Can I ask where you now take your van - we live about 4 miles away from you!
We have loved owning our van and in the last 9 years have had a great time ... worth all the frustrations of roof issues and poor dealerships.
 
P

PeteS

Messages
109
Location
Bristol
Vehicle
N/A
I had a fully service at a VW dealer and then 2 months later had a puncture. I called out VW Assist (AA came out) and he had trouble removing the wheel. I told me I had only just had a service and he told me they don’t bother removing the wheels. I guess it is to keep the cost down. Just think how expensive the service would be if they did it properly like in the old days of servicing.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I had a fully service at a VW dealer and then 2 months later had a puncture. I called out VW Assist (AA came out) and he had trouble removing the wheel. I told me I had only just had a service and he told me they don’t bother removing the wheels. I guess it is to keep the cost down. Just think how expensive the service would be if they did it properly like in the old days of servicing.

Exactly.... I honestly thought that it was standard to remove the wheels, as you say probably due to cost.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Interesting to read your post. We bought (and still own) a new red California in 2011 from Murrys, the then VW Van dealer in Plymouth. Their after sales service was terrible ... VW Customer Care knew us well! Initially Snows were much better but we also have been disappointed recently and will now go elsewhere. Can I ask where you now take your van - we live about 4 miles away from you!
We have loved owning our van and in the last 9 years have had a great time ... worth all the frustrations of roof issues and poor dealerships.

Hi ADevon, would you like to PM me and I can speak re my mechanic... cheers, Roger
 
G

ger

Messages
56
Hi ADevon, would you like to PM me and I can speak re my mechanic... cheers, Roger
Can you add me to that?! :)
fter Snows' many 'misspeaking' incidents, and Carrs dubious reputation, I'm at a loss as to where to go next service (which is luckily a while away!).
 
A

ADevon

VIP Member
Messages
18
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hi there
Many thanks - can't seem to get your PM details - tried clicking on your Avitar ... have I missed something? I have only paid my dues today which may be the problem.
 
Roger Smith

Roger Smith

00Devon
VIP Member
Messages
34
Location
Brixton, Plymouth, Devon.
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Can you add me to that?! :)
fter Snows' many 'misspeaking' incidents, and Carrs dubious reputation, I'm at a loss as to where to go next service (which is luckily a while away!).

Hi Ger,

tried to You but had snags, can you try to PM me and we can have a chat.... cheers
 
Geesvw

Geesvw

Violet Winifred
Messages
104
Location
Priest Weston
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
We purchased ourVW T6 California from its previous owner 3 years ago, it is now 4 years old. Our Cali has been dealer serviced from new and I have had a few warranty jobs completed. All of which have been fraught with lengthy time scales and poor workmanship, leaving a rather bitter taste. My last experience sealed the decision to move away from my dealer in Plymouth.

I had my last service done 12 months ago, I was given the service report with advisory on tyres and a burnt out rear wiper motor which had snagged on my bike rack arm. I rarely use the rear wiper but thought I would replace it as I like things to be right. I thought that the price to replace by VW was very costly so purchased a new motor assembly from another source. We have had very little use of our van over the past 12 months and only covered about 4000 miles. My dealer contacted me a few weeks ago and stated that my MOT was due along with a service and as my vehicle was now 4 years old.. a cam belt and water pump change ( I have done 23000 miles). The price of this was in the region of £1200, I pointed out the fact that it was only serviced 12 months ago and that due to Covid my MOT had been extended until January.

Firstly I addressed my tyres and replaced the rear tyres with the original brand from new. The fitter had great difficulty in removing the wheels and need to use a rubber sledge hammer,In his opinion the wheels had never been removed from new. I then had the water pump and cam belt changed by a VW mechanic using original parts at a fraction of the cost. To fit the pump and cam belt he needed to remove the front wheels, he commented that they had not been removed for some time as they were corroded on the hubs. I also supplied the new rear wiper motor to the mechanic and asked him to replace it for me. No need apparently as all that was wrong with the wiper was a blown 10amp fuse!!!!

so I have my report from VW dealership stating Burnt out wiper motor, service required when it’s not, wheels that were not removed on full service (how do they check brake pads and discs without removal?). I have lost all confidence in my dealership and feel that I need to check every action they state they have completed. I don’t mind paying top price for top service but this just not seem to be the case.

I love our Cali And treat it with respect... if only the dealer would do the same....
Once your warranty period is over, there’s absolutely no point in using a VW commercial for servicing, find a good local independent garage who’ll probably do a better job without finding stuff that doesn’t need doing. The last VW commercial I used for a service did extra work without my authorisation amounting to a bill of £600 for a standard oil change service!
 
S

Snowball1935

Messages
51
Location
Leicestershire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
My understanding is that the pads on transporters can be inspected without removing the wheels. The cambelt in UK is advised at 4 years (the water pump is an extra which is cheap to do when the cambelt is done.) The wheels on our van even after a few months have needed a little help to remove them. The blown fuse is a bummer but your mechanic found it. I am happy I have a dealer I trust.
Volkswagen UK recommend their cars to have a cam belt change at 5 years from 59-plate onwards.
Last year I refused to allow the change on my 2017 Caravelle at 4 years, because it is classed as a diesel car and it’s working life is no different to my previous Touran. So it is to be done next month at its 5th year.
The technician did observe that my Caravelle is kept outside, and I pointed out that lots of cars are not garaged but VW does not give any advice regarding garaged-or-not.
VW moved the cam belt change from 4 to 5 years without any engineering spec change, so the move was obviously as a result of historical evidence of expected life of the belt.
For their commercial vehicles, VW have retained the 4-year cam belt change, but classing the Caravelle and California as “commercial” is a bit fanciful - these models seldom do the work of a real commercial vehicle.
 

Similar threads

Top