Car service

#1

I put my car in for a service recently and have a nasty suspicion nothing was done. Are there any checks I can do to see if it was indeed serviced?

#2

Please Tell Us Make, Model, Year, And Specifically What Was Supposed To Be Done

#3

What services were suppose to be done? Why are you suspicious? Make mode and year of car?

#4

It’s a Nissan Micra 1L year 2002 and was put in for a major 35 000 mile service.
I am suspicious because when I collected the car, they could not find any of the service paperwork, there were no dust covers on the seats and the brake does not feel like it has been tightened (but maybe they don’t always do this). I cannot see the washer fluid level, so cannot see if this has been topped up. Any suggestions?

#5

Who did the service (dealer, chain or independent)? If it was the dealer were you charged for it? If you were charged, why did you not get a receipt?

#6

Did you check the oil dipstick after the car was serviced? Although motor oil will become dark fairly fast, if the dipstick is checked within a few days of an oil change, the oil should appear to be light yellow in color. I am not sure how “recent” the service visit was, but if it was less than a couple of weeks, the color of the motor oil should still be a good indicator of whether or not it was changed.

That service may also have included a change of the engine air filter. If you open up the boxy structure that encloses the air filter, that should give you some indication of whether or not the filter was changed. If you are not sure whether an air filter change is supposed to be part of this service, consult the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule sitting in your glove compartment.

#7

VDC, thank-you. I checked the oil dipstick. The oil is very dark and the service was supposed to be 3 days ago. Not impressed but thank-you for your helpful advice.

#8

ych–If the oil was very dark after only three days, I would strongly suspect that it was never changed. I think that your doubts were warranted, and I would suggest that you confront the manager of this facility with all of your evidence.

Present your case calmly and rationally, and if this is a reputable facility that wants to retain you as a customer, they will re-do the service (or in this case, do those procedures for the first time).

#9

I would get under the car and check the oil drain plug for signs that show things like the plug was removed, and wiped off. Ditto the oil filter, as it would have no crud on it.

#10

This is common with more of the unscrupulous dealers. They play the numbers game. Chances are NOTHING BAD is going to happen so they just take the money in…charge you an exorbitant amount of money and send you on your way. Happened to me…They charged me for a oil change (which I said I didn’t need…just the other 12k FREE SERVICE). Before I left the lot I checked my truck…my bright orange filter which I put on at my last oil change was still on. I went back in and asked the manager what type of filters they used (Nissan Only was his reply)…then I asked…how could they charge me for an oil change when the Fram filter I put on last oil change was still on the truck. They removed the oil change from my bill…and that was the LAST time I was ever at that dealer.

#11

I took my car back to the service centre today. The manager produced the service paperwork, (which he has now found) to say the car was serviced but said he would check the car himself tomorrow and get back to me. I cannot wait.
I despair, as they are the only Nissan dealership/service centre where I am and I wrongly assumed they would be safest. I left my last garage as my car broke down twice, each occasion days after they serviced it. Maybe I should just learn to do it myself, as it seems a service stamp in the book is completely meaningless.

#12

did you report this incident to the consumer protection agency or better business bureau? I think the car shop should have given you a coupon for a free oil change and apologized profusely- first for charging for a service you told them you did not want, second for not doing the service after all. Lesson: next time have it in writing on the service sheet what not to do, or what only to do-

#13

“did you report this incident to the consumer protection agency or better business bureau/”

The OP is apparently not in this country, with the clues being that the vehicle is a 2002 Nissan Micra 1 litre (a car not sold in the US), and that the OP’s screen name would seem to indicate that he/she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

While the UK probably has consumer protection agencies, the Better Business Bureau (frequently nicknamed the Better FOR Business Bureau) is, to the best of my knowledge, a US-based entity. And, except for isolated cases, the BBB doesn’t do much of anything to help those who file complaints with them.

A couple of months ago, Smart Money magazine published an expose of the BBB which essentially confirmed my very negative experience with that “Old Boys’ Club” masquerading as an agency that actually helps consumers.

#14

thanks for being thorough, I don’t know a lot about Nissan models, I admit, -what other venues are there in the US for consumer complaints besides the ones I mentioned and small claims court?
in my state the BBB at least keeps a record of the complaint for 3 years on file, if anyone wants to check out a business -

#15

One thing you can do is mark your filters. Get a permanant marker and put your initials on the oil filter, for example. Then look at the oil filter after the service appointment to see if it has been replaced. Do the same thing to your air filter. You might make your mark small and inconspicous so the mechanic doesn’t spot your mark. You might also put a small notch in the side of the drain plug washer if it sticks out far enough or you could mark it with a red marker to see if it gets replaced.

The best advice I can give you is to go to a mechanic you trust. The fact that you suspect your current mechanic is untrustworthy is a problem in itself. Shop around to find a mechanic you feel good about.

The fact that your Nissan dealer doesn’t have a nearby direct competitor might make them brazen. I like your ides of learning to do it yourself, but you will still need to find a mechanic who can do the jobs you can’t or don’t want to do. You might find a non-dealer service center like a tire store or a muffler shop you can trust if they normally perform maintenance.