Friday, April 10, 2009

Car Repair Heaven

It's been a stressful couple of weeks here at Shoes Galore Letchworth. My lovely Alfa Romeo 156 decided that I didn't need rear lights - fogs, reverse, brakes, indicators. The MOT was due, and my husband couldn't find the fault. It wasn't the bulbs, accessible wiring or fuses. A simple search of the web shows that Alfas have, shall I say, a reputation for insurmountable electrical faults.

We made some calls and most places advised scrapping it. Now this is a 7 year old car that in every other respect drives like a dream. Finally we found a garage locally that agreed to do an hour's diagnosis and see what he thought. I was able to drive there (carefully) because we booked an MOT with him.

I'm guessing he only looked for 5 minutes, as he didn't charge us. He reckoned the fault was a major one, that only Alfa would be able to fix it because of the uniqueness of Alfa wiring and that it would cost a bomb. He suggested just part-exing it.

We left the car with him while we considered our options. A shoe lady needs a car! Convinced it wasn't really a catastrophic fault, our concern was not to commit to spend too much before proving it was a waste of time. Quotes for towing the car the mile and a half home were around the £65 mark (I would have pushed it if someone was paying me that!). I spent an afternoon calling everywhere I could find.

Then I struck garage gold! A place that a) would pick up and deliver the car for free, b) publish a menu of prices detailing what tests they would do and for what price, c) offered to do £25 worth of diagnosis & were confident they would isolate the problem and d) said they would do the repair for a fixed price, not an hourly rate! What a novel business model!

Needless to say, I agreed and within 48 hours I had my car back. Diagnosed, fixed and with an MOT, all for just £150 inc VAT. It was a single fuse & 5 broken wires, hidden inside the boot lid. I think that the other place were blinded by Alfa's bad reputation for electrical problems.

So, to all the people in North Hertfordshire, when you need a reliable, openly priced and courteous garage, I heartily recommend CarServ in Hitchin. Tell them the Shoe Lady sent you!

1 comment:

  1. This shows the benefit of a second opinion and not giving up at the first hurdle. And to top it all, you found a capable car repair garage that you'll refer to others.

    Full marks for tenacity and resolve!