Steam, the letting off thereof

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Nick W

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Bad day at Black Rock.

My car, which broke down last week, leaving me with a £100 tow-home bill (they don't make too much of the fact that most insurance policies' recovery cover only gets you the first 10 miles) went into the garage today - the earliest space the local garage had (my local main dealer doesn't do pick ups, can you believe it), has been diagnosed with a broken fuel pump (diesel). The cost?










Are you ready for this?













Really?












£998 + fitting + VAT!







Or an unknown, lesser quantity for getting it re-furbed, which will take another week. Apparently it is chipped to the car so a second hand unit won't cut the mustard.

On top of that my old plumber turned up this morning with a bill for work he did a couple of years or so ago. Some story about his bookkeeper moving and losing the paperwork. Of course, when my hot water tank sprung a leak a couple of months back he wasn't returning any calls, so I ended up taking out an expensive maintenance contract with British Gas just to get the thing fixed asap. :evil:

In the opinion of the forum should I just tell him where to shove his bill, or should I just wait until I have calmed down?
 

mr

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I'd wait until calm
and then tell him where to insert the bill. If I invoiced my clients a couple of years after then event I think they might just laugh at me.

As for the car, thats an expensive sounding car. Can you get a second opinion from a reputable expert?

Cheers Mike
 

Smudger

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A while back I bought a laptop and the company, although they took my credit card details, never completed the transaction. They took the money out over a year later, and according to the bank it was perfectly legal as I had the goods, so I suspect that the plumber can ask for his money if he did the work.

How quickly you pay him is up to you...
 

sean.brock

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find the local car breaker yard and get a second hand pump, buy a haynes and fit it yourself, or get a mechanic to just fit it. remember if its a deisel pump you need to syphon the fuel trhough before firign it up
 

Nick W

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sean.brock":37sxz0gp said:
... get a second hand pump...

NickW":37sxz0gp said:
...it is chipped to the car so a second hand unit won't cut the mustard...
Chipped as in micro- :twisted: Sorry, still not calmed down it would appear.

Smudger":37sxz0gp said:
....How quickly you pay him is up to you...
I like your style.

mr":37sxz0gp said:
... thats an expensive sounding car...
Ford Focus, had it from new, and until this year it's been good as gold. Until this year...
 

Scrit

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sean.brock":1zfeirv4 said:
find the local car breaker yard and get a second hand pump, buy a haynes and fit it yourself, or get a mechanic to just fit it. Remember if its a diesel pump you need to syphon the fuel through before firing it up
Ahhh, but, this may not work. I had problems with my van last year (it has the Ford 2.5DI diesel and a full immobiliser system). There was a problem with the starter and a replacement starter was going to cost me nearly £400 + fitting - because it was chipped. The vehicle would also have had to be towed in to a main dealer and the system reprogrammed to recognise the new starter (another £150 and £100 respectively). A secondhand or recon starter was a no go because the system still wouldn't recognise the starter without the reprogramming........... The eventual cure was to get an auto electrician to come out and look at the vehicle. He jury rigged the starter to get the vehicle going and then took an hour to bypass the starter chip. Total cost £75 for the call out and £50 for the fix, although I did lose part of my vehicle security...... The diesel pump has a solenoid valve with the same chip and ID system so I'm now waiting for that to go bump (although in that case I already know the fix). I believe that petrol engines have much more sophisticated anti-theft systems with many more "ha-has" to negotiate. :roll:

I've heard of people scrapping 5 year old cars when problems like this occur because trhe cost of the fix is almost what the car is worth.....

Scrit
 

Nick W

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senior":232evw4l said:
Hi Nick, a question, did you realise you had not paid the plumber.

It had slipped my mind, and this is the first time I have been billed for the work. Why?
 

mailee

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I know exactly what you mean about the price of parts for modern cars. I work with them so am used to the daylight robbery costs, for example did you know that the headlamps on the new Galaxy are almost £500 a piece! Who the hell makes up these prices?? There is no wonder people are scrapping cars a few years old is there? OK rant over now, I'll go and take another tablet. :twisted:
 
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Nick

Tell hom where to stick his bill - it is his mistake and he will have ot stand the loss
 

Bodrighy

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Now I feel vindicated in buying disposable cars. I always buy a car that has a long MOT and that is less than a grand. I run it until the repair costs are more than the car is worth and then get another one. Scrappies now pay for carsagain so as far as I am concerned buying a computerised, all electric modern on is simply not worth it. You may get better mileage but in the end the maintenance costs are astronomical.
I also don't have any worries about bangs and scrapes or, where I live, bouncing off pheasants, badgers and deer. Plus no-one ever nicks an old car that looks tatty.

Pete
 

ike

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In a similar vein, should anyone have or have had an Astra diesel (1.7l or 2.0l break down and be diagnosed as a faulty injection pump - READ ON!

These engines (and a number of other manufacturers engines) are fitted with the Bosch VP44 electronic injection pump which has a separate ECU module. The fault diagnoses as a 'spill valve failure'. In fact it is nothing to do with the actual pump, rather a known fault in the ECU namely a dry solder joint. Very naughty dealers don't like to give customers a full explanation and simply tell you that they have to replace the pump (£1800). Others just swap out the ECU for a cost of .... wait for it... almost £800!

I researched the problem on the Internet out of curiosity after knowing several poor pippers who had had this problem. One guy just gave his car away as uneconomic to repair. Then one day it happened to my car. Whipped of the module, horsed it open, two minute repair with a soldering iron. Bingo! - car back on road.

So, if anyone gets this occurring I'd be happy to assist them with what I have learned.

cheers,

Ike
 

JFC

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Hi Nick, a question, did you realise you had not paid the plumber.


It had slipped my mind, and this is the first time I have been billed for the work. Why?

Because you didn't pay him when he was there ?
You asked him to send you a bill rather than just write a cheque there and then ?
I assume its a large amount for him to chase it after a while ? Maybe he needs his car fixed too . :lol:
 

beejay

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I also don't have any worries about bangs and scrapes or, where I live, bouncing off pheasants, badgers and deer.
:shock: maybe you'd be a better safer driver if you did and the wildlife would certainly be better off.
beejay
 

Terry Smart

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I'm not going to say anything about cars other than they are too complicated now for their own good - or more specificaly ours! Why a fuel pump needs a chip is beyond me...

As for the plumber situation, I believe there is a law about this sort of situation, that if an invoice isn't presented within a certain amount of time then you don't have to pay it. I've no idea what this time period is though.

Looking at it from the other side, were you happy with the work he did at the time? Isn't he entitled to be paid for it? It might also be worth having a friendly plumber on your side for future reference (although your other comments make this sound unlikely).
Mistakes happen and charges get overlooked, it doesn't change the fact that the job was done in the first place and should be paid for... although I admit I'd be reluctant after this passage of time.
 

White House Workshop

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Terry Smart":iaentnfg said:
I'm not going to say anything about cars other than they are too complicated now for their own good - or more specificaly ours! Why a fuel pump needs a chip is beyond me...
I'm tempted to say something here about European Union anti-theft regulations, but I won't... :evil:
 

engineer one

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the law relating to debts is still 5 years, whereby you have to be reminded during that time, and then they can continue to chase you.

nick, i would be taking the view that although the plumber did not respond, he might well still be more valuable than the british gas one, and it worries me that you pay so much for the contract, yet much does not get covered, and after 3 years or so they seem to want to sell you a new system again.
so try to negotiate a discount with him. what is really strange is that you found a plumber how worked on account :roll: :twisted:

as for cars. until my mondeo died, i was always getting moaned at by the young lads about getting a better car, but i said well everytime i go down the motorway it is the audi's mercs and beemers that seem to be on the side broken :?

but it is true that within about 3 years all cars will be so complicated that after 5 years they will be too expensive to repair, and of course we will have already paid for the disposal costs( new eu rules :cry: )

frankly though i would look on the web for a local garage which does specialist electrical work, and they do what others do for mobile phones
ie re-chip, or bypass. got to be cheaper. almost every garage now uses diagnostic machines, and most mobile leckies know how to get round the problem.

good luck

paul :wink:
 

Nick W

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The reason he didn't bill me there and then is that he was not sure that he had fixed the problem, which was in the boiler's control gubbins (technical term). I suspect that his bill is now at 2007 rates rather then 2005 but can't prove it of course. I think that part of the problem is that he ceased trading for a bit, while he was trying to make a killing by putting a whole estate of houses on the site currently occupied by his one house, but has had to go back to work now he has failed to get planning permission.

I wonder what proportion of the general public know about this chipping thing when they buy a car (new or second hand), I suspect not very many, certainly it was a new one on me. I also wonder how much of a hoo haa (another technical term) there will be once it becomes more widely known about. It can't be very green to have to scrap and replace relatively new cars, or maybe 'they' are trying to put cars out of financial reach by making it impossible to keep a car running long enough for it to becoem a cheap banger (conspiracy theory).

P.S. I should also say a word in defence of my local garage which I have always found to be fair about what they do and charge, so please, no more dissing them.
 
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