I hate garages and mechanics because they are thieves and incompetent. This feeling was strongly reinforced yesterday when I took my car to one because the heating had died and it wasn’t a simple problem with the fuses. After diagnostic tests the garage told me the whole ventilation would have to be changed. I pointed out that it was blowing air fine and only lacked the heat! They then continued the diagnostics and told me a temperature sensor had to be replaced before they could really tell what was wrong. I told them that I thought the problem would be in the dashboard – something to do with the variable resistor that controls the heating selection. The cost of diagnositics and sensor change was already up to 170 euros and I heard long spiel on how this could affect many things. Weird considering that my temperature gauge had always worked! Once the work was done and there was of course no difference they proposed to change the dashboard control unit – at 675 euros before including the cost of the work. This is where I lost my temper with them and walked out of the garage telling them that I’d fix it myself and could promise them that it would cost between 20 to 30 euros total - even if at this point I didn’t know anything about the car – and that I’d be back to show them that later on.
After driving home I got on the internet and found a Peugeot 306 club website where they explained how to dismantle the dashboard – so in 30 minutes I had it completely in bits…
The problem was rapidly located – being a broken plastic pin on the inside end of the heater control knob – something not even worth one euro. I returned to the garage to show them and asked them how they could be comfortable billing someone over 1000 euros to sort the problem of a broken part worth 1 euro. Basically we parted company with not much friendship or good feeling between us.
Following the latest run in with the garage I located a local scrapyard and there was one Peugeot in it with the dashboard already removed and a control box identical to mine just sitting there – for the taking at only 30 euros! It worked fine and leaves me with a spare control box. So I was 100% correct that it would be repaired for 30 euros instead of over 1000.
The garage also pulled out a list of sensors that needed to be replaced adding potentially another 500 euros to their bill. When I asked them for a copy of the diagnostics test they refused and said that they couldn’t do that. I gave them the option – a photocopy of the diagnostics or my money back for the test! They relented and gave a photocopy. Basically the main dealers are crooks with a license to rob people – trying to bamboozle them with their “sophisticated” diagnostics. All the work they were going to rip me off for was just simple replacement of simple external sensors. I’ll never take a car to a main dealer again – they are much worse than I could ever imagine – total thieves and rubbish mechanics. They are fleecing people left right and center.