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  1. #1
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    Servicing in Southampton Area

    My newly acquired A3 1.8Tfsi Sport is slightly overdue for a service (bought it on that understanding) and have rung round the area to get prices. The cars done 78K and according to its history it needs a major service (came off AVS two services ago) plus i'm getting rear pads and a brake fluid change as it's also due.

    I've booked it with Independent VW on the Chandlers Ford Ind. Estate as they priced it pretty keenly but then called Southampton Audi and they price matched it without much hesitation, which i must say i didn't expect.

    Now i know the whole 'indy vs main dealer' question comes up a lot but just wondered if anyone's had any experience with either? For me i swore i'd never go back to to a MD again after a bad experience with a local BMW dealership a few years ago that i won't mention (anyone local can probably guess though) when they tried to up-sell me and were caught out. Complained and it went to the top but still didn't get anything out of it other than a dim view of main dealers.

    Now the thing is that Southampton Audi are offering a really good deal on quite an expensive service but my thoughts are tainted by that bad experience with the Beemer. I'm thinking that main dealers possibly lure you in with a good price and then hit you with loads of potential problems to up the bill.

    So long story short does anyone have any experience (good / bad) of either as i really need to book one or the other?

    Cheers in advance.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 30th January 2014 at 17:49.

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  3. #2
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    Hi,
    I have had good experiences regarding Harwoods Audi Southampton though my experience is only based on the spares side of things though my friend has had a S4 B5 and now has a B6 S4 Convertible and has had them both in their workshop for servicing and recall work and he has always been pleased.
    The fact that they are matching a local Independent on price, I think I would use them for the service and give them the benefit of the doubt, as I can't see any dramas occurring with a service. Though if any extras are required brake fluid change, A/C service etc. think carefully as they maybe hoping to make up the price on outstanding service extras. Get a price then compare the same work elsewhere. I used a company called ABBTECH in Rushington Buisness park Totton as they were very local to me and they offered a free courtesy car, I got a longlife service all filters replaced, brake fluid changed, and A/C serviced for the price of just the service from Audi though I did,nt try to haggle the price.

  4. #3
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    I prefer a good indie to a main dealer. The main dealer has to pay for that showroom and all the staff they have in there. They'll always find some way of shafting you in the end. My Father in law has just had his car in to a Merc main dealer. Still under warranty they want to replace the oil seals. He told them to get knotted as they said he would have to pay. He's had so many problems and the dealer is utterly useless.

    If it's the indie I'm thinking of then it's just around the corner from the dealer you mention and is good.

    Personally I use Autoworks up at Salisbury. Slightly out of my way but I trust them and you can't buy that.

  5. #4
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    That sounds like good advice, many thanks. Like you I've used them for parts a few times and have always been pleased I guess. It's just the service side of things I was unsure about. I did mention the Indy garage to them and they talked about updates and recalls (or 'product enhancement' as they put it) and a goodwill policy for loyal customers who have their cars serviced by them, but can't see them honouring goodwill on a 6 year old 80k mile car (or maybe I'm just being cynical!). Perhaps I just need to leave behind my hang ups about main dealers and give them a go like you say.

  6. #5
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    Thanks Chinnyhill, just missed out on your reply as I posted. Yes they are just round the corner from Soton Audi. Good to hear a different opinion....

    Interesting thing is after checking the indie's website, the senior tech that deals with all the Audi work is ex-Southampton Audi.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 30th January 2014 at 21:04.

  7. #6
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    So is the general feeling Independent VW are a good bunch then?

    Mine is under warranty until October but when the time comes I'd like to see a reliable Indie who will do brakes/discs etc.

    I used Emtech in Salisbury for my BMW when I had it, who were fantastic. So Autoworks could be a good option for me too.

    Also nice to hear that Southampton Audi price matched, I didn't know they would, I'd managed to tame Dick Lovett in Swindon using price match for the BMW but Scotthall wouldn't even consider it. I drove 80 miles to DL to avoid using Scotthall, that's how bad they were...

  8. #7
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    Since Scotthall's name has come up, i'll tell you the story (long story short).....

    I booked my 325Ci MSport into Scotthall for a service about 3 years ago and they said amongst other things it needed new rear shocks, which i thought fair enough as i knew it was a common problem with E46's (along with rear springs). They confirmed (and in writing on the service report) that they were worn, leaking oil and basically kaput. They also advised it may be wise to change the rear springs as they were quite badly corroded and may fail at any time. In the end i asked them to do everything except the springs and shocks as i decided i'd do them when the next MOT was due about 3 months later. They said ok fair enough.

    When MOT time came (and taking Scotthall's word for it) i took it to any indy and gave them the heads-up that the springs / shocks were failing and asked them to change them prior to the test 'if required'. Later that day i had the usual call to say car's all ready for collection and when i got there the tester along with another technician had it up on the lift. He showed me that the springs and shocks were perfectly ok (and in fact almost new) and certainly not a problem as Scotthall told me! Very naughty.

    I told my mate who's the service manager at a Honda dealership and he said it's more than very naughty, it's illegal.

    Anyway i complained to the service manager at Scotthall and took it straight back and onto their lift to stand under it with the service report in my hand. Very embarrassing for them, and i made my feelings quite clear to him in the workshop in front of the head technician who was also present. In the end he did sweet FA apart from verbally apologise (annoyingly with a slight smile on his face) and i thought right, you're not getting off that easily. So i complained to their parent company Jardine Motors and they took it further. I assume the service manager subsequently received a stiff b******ing and they gave me a complimentary full valet along with a formal written apology.

    The thing is it may have been only about £250 but i work hard for my money and it's certainly not the kind of thing you would associate with a premium brand like BMW. In a way i felt kind of sorry for the Technician as i would imagine he was also dressed down but my mate said they often put them under all sorts of pressure to hit 'targets' and it's the management team that should ultimately be accountable. Also as i said to them, how many customers pass through these places that never question anything and just pay up? Even though i know my way round a car and perhaps have above average understanding of the way cars work, i could easily have been one of them.

    Also hats off to the indy who could have just charged me for them, and unless i asked to see the parts would have been none the wiser.

    Anyway, that was my experience with them, and as i said earlier it has really affected my opinion of main dealers. That said, i guess you can't tar them all with the same brush ....

    P.s. i'll report back with my experience of Independent VW after the service next Monday.

    P.p.s. i used Sean at Iriduim Engineering in West End after that. He was / is superb and knows pretty much everything about BM's. He always had M3 / M5's in his workshop when i used to use them and he said he has a loyal customer base. Top bloke.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 31st January 2014 at 12:46.

  9. #8
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    Scotthall are really useless, what always did my head in was their attitude towards warranty work, they seemed to do everything they could to not do it and wanted to charge for it if they could possibly get away with it.

    would be interested to hear about Indie VW when you've checked them out

    I'd heard of Iridium, but was put off when he sort of kicked off at me because I asked about supplying my own brake pads one time... that's when I went to Emtech...

    P.S If your real name is something like your username, I think we might have moved in similar circles about 20 years ago in that area

  10. #9
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    Possibly mate, what's you're name?

  11. #10
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    Took car to Independent VW today for full service and rear brake pads / brake fluid changed.

    Mmmmm... only criticisms were:-

    I asked them to replace the locking wheel nuts with standard wheel nuts (paid for the parts of course) and switch the rears for the fronts as i wanted the tyres to all wear out together yet they charged me £25 labour to do so (they had the wheels off anyway?). The only other thing was they changed the pollen filter and left all the leaves / crap that falls out in the passenger foot well without hoovering it out.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 3rd February 2014 at 18:21.

 

 

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