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Car Rip Offs

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Post by assassin on Fri May 25, 2018 7:35 pm

I thought it would be nice over the weekend to get posters to list their car rip offs and what and why they hate them, and possibly look a little further into them, so feel free to add your own car related scams and why you hate them.

Engine management Warning Light Scam


This is when you are driving along and suddenly the engine management warning light illuminates, you suddenly lose power and your engine revs are limited, you suddenly have "that clap of doom" moment as you think you have to take your vehicle into the main dealer for them to plug it in and diagnose the fault for a princely sum of money and for them to find other work at inflated prices, which doesn't need doing.

Nothing could be further from the truth as in reality a dealer may charge you for an hours labour when they are only plugging your vehicle into their computer and diagnosing the problem, which takes less than 5 minutes, and for very little you can buy your own diagnostics machine and do it yourself for nothing if you have the tool and you know where the diagnostics socket is.

Since 2010 all European vehicles and those imported into Europe have to have an engine management diagnostics system fitted and this is another ECU (electronic control unit) which constantly monitors all of the vehicular functions related to "environmental and safety" functions and most cover many other functions, and if it detects a fault it stores this in a non volatile RAM (random access memory) which means that when you switch the engine off, it retains the data in a numerical format called a fault code, this is normally displayed as a number on a cheap fault code reader, but on more expensive fault code readers it will give the numerical code and display the fault in text.
How can we diagnose these faults ourself? buy a fault code reader and find out where your diagnostics plug is, learn how to use your fault code reader and plug it in and run through the diagnostics sequence and it will tell you what the fault is.

This is called the OBD 2 system or On Board Diagnostics system which is now harmonised, and you can buy a cheap fault code reader for less than £20 by shopping around, and with these readers you do have to ensure they cover your particular vehicle, and they generally come with a book of codes which you have to read to identify your particular fault code in relation to your vehicle. Some manufacturers use their own systems and BMW and Mitsubishi have their own systems, I have a Mitsubishi and they use the MUTT system so you do have to check that your vehicle is compatible.

What do they cover? anything related to environmental or safety systems, but cheaper readers many not include diagnostics for anti lock braking systems (ABS) while more expensive FCR's will include things such as the air conditioning systems on many vehicles, so you need to identify what they cover and what you need them to cover.

Now the scam begins and the car manufacturers have the patter down to a tee for the customers as they include many things into their engine diagnostic systems, Fiat are notorious for fitting oil level sensors which fail, and something as a faulty as low oil levels can trigger the engine management light, and something as simple as letting the oil bet slightly low will trigger it, solving it is as simple as adding a little oil, where as a main dealer would simply add their oil at highly inflated prices or they would do a full oil and filter change if they wanted to inflate the work.

Similarly, if the catalytic convertor begins to clog up with prolonged short, or stop start runs in town centers or similar, they need to regenerate and this is as simple as having a sustained long run at over 40 MPH for 20 minutes for most vehicles regenerate themselves during these conditions, a dealer may offer you a clean for several hundred £££££'s or replace it if they want to make more money from you, and you can regenerate it yourself for a little fuel and time, and for much less than a dealer would charge.

So, we can conclude that with many types of OBD 2 reader we can diagnose our own faults and cure them ourselves, and save ourselves a fortune on garage fees and prevent them doing work which is not needed.
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Post by daveiron on Fri May 25, 2018 8:07 pm

Sod it, wish I had known about those cheap readers .I have a Mitsubishi L200 & took it to the garage today with a fault.
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Post by Tom Bombadil on Thu May 31, 2018 8:59 pm

I Loved Toyota .

On the missus's recommendations we got an almost new jobbie.

It was a nightmare. Always needing re-indexing you know, turning the management system off and on again. I knew where the switch was.

Anyway. We worked out the cost of purchase, against the cost of new car repairs and servicing against insurance, fuel etc.

We worked out that over the 3 years of ownership we had paid 3k and over on average per year.

I said let's not do this anymore. Got a second hand deisel jobbie for £1.500. I figured that we could do that each year and still be better off.

We have had it for four years. Perfect runner. No engine issues, cheap to service. Cheap to re tyre.

So in all, it has saved us more than £2.600 a year. That's 10k.

I suggest we really evaluate our car circumstances more often.

Good points on that scam though. We learned that by turning it off and on again, we were able at the time to save hundreds.
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Post by assassin on Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:59 am

We run Toyota Tom and they have provrn to be great company cars, if we get a problem Toyota replace it due to the amount we buy.
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Post by assassin on Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:26 am

Convenience systems are the worst as they are huge money spinners now, and many companies engineer them this way.

Take the old Ford Sierra, they were around £18,000 for a top spec model, when they were selling them off they were sold for £10,000 so why were they so expensive in the first place if they could be sold off for so little?

So, you have your new or newish car and it has all the bling, the sat nav, reversing sensors at the rear or even the front and rear, the lane departure warning system, traffic sign recognition, tyre pressure monitoring, and even rear parking cameras to name a few.

You do your shopping and a trolley hits your bumper and doesn't even mark it, suddenly your sensors don't work and instead of not getting a bill for unseen damage, you get a bill of over (well over in some cases) for a pretty standard car which is a popular model and a large volume seller, but why.
The cost of the sensors alone ramps the price up, but do you know that you cannot paint them as the painf prevents the sensors from working, and you have to have them calibrated by a main dealer to the vehicle, not bad for damage you cannot see.
Lane departure warning systems are worse as they have front sensors in the bumper, and others behind the windscreen to get the three dimensional image they need to work, you get the same problems as the rear sensors, but you also have to have them all calibrated together and then aligned to each other so they have at least three reference points for the system to work, and the costs are hiked again.

Sat nav is an excellent money spinner as if you have a brand new car and you take it to the dealer for routing servicing within its 3 year warranty, the dealer automatically does the updates to the sat nav system, but even the updates are out of date as they may have been programmed a year before so your updates are already a year out of date. Come out of the main dealer servicing or have a car which is out of the manufacturers warranty and most companies do not update them, and again this is lucrative for the company as you have to pay for an update, or you have to buy a new memory card.
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Post by Tom Bombadil on Fri Jun 01, 2018 4:22 pm

@assassin wrote:We run Toyota Tom and they have provrn to be great company cars, if we get a problem Toyota replace it due to the amount we buy.

We had a Privia at forst.  It's as tough as old boots, and took us and our kids everywhere.  We only got rid of it cos it was a gas guzzler.

When I have the cash, I will buy an old type diesel if I can.

Loved em.

Edited to add....Look at me, I don't even have a license or even DRIVE! and I am talking about cars.
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Post by assassin on Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:44 pm

But are you driving Tom? maybe you are travelling instead.
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