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My S3 nearly went on fire after a service

LJC105 Nov 5, 2017

  1. LJC105

    LJC105 Registered User

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    OK maybe the title is rather dramatic, however driving down a high street seeing this is quite worrying (51 seconds in):

    A bit of backstory:

    My S3 was in for a service at West London Audi and to my surprise the thermostat was leaking. It was replaced under warranty and stayed overnight.

    The car was then returned to me at the expense of £400 for a service and oil change. I was kindly given a bottle of champagne by the service advisor for my birthday, which is definitely out the ordinary and made me a little suspicious, however service thus far with their service team has been faultless without bringing the champagne into the equation.

    An hour later I'm driving the car in London traffic (car wasn't driven hard at all during the time I had it) I notice that the air conditioning is blowing out warm air. I call Audi and get on my way to get the car checked out. As I'm on the phone I get a warning light saying that the coolant level was too high. I couldn't pull over as I was in crawling traffic on a dual carriageway. A few moments pass and I'm on a high street and steam comes up from the bonnet.

    I get recovered by AA and I mention that the cars thermostat has been replaced. Upon further inspection of my car he noticed that my radiator hadn't been plugged back in (photo attached). I get the car recovered to West London Audi and insist I'm not driving it until it's been throughly checked out.

    I'm worried about this causing problems further down the line now for my S3 and where I stand with this. It makes me want to sell my S3 and get a new one, however I can't necessarily afford that. The car's purchased outright and was purchased March this year, so I can't exactly reject it. The least I feel I could ask for is my money back on the service, but ultimately it boils down to potential damaged it's already caused to my vehicle.

    It caused a lot of embarrassment fleeing out of my car on a busy high street and ruined my Friday night plans. West London's Service advisor was embarrassed and very apologetic. Part of me wants to kick up a fuss, but I want to keep my relationship with Audi on good terms however as I say, I don't know if I should be keeping the car after this...
     

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  3. GW1

    GW1 Registered User

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    Looks like a technician was taking a shortcut, instead of disconnecting the battery, to stop an accidental fan start up he unplugged the power to the fan; then obviously forgot to reconnect it. I think at the very least I would insist on a full engine check, warped head or gasket failure due to overheating could be a problem and then get them to extend your warranty for an extra two years. If they don’t play ball escalate a complaint to Audi UK.
     
  4. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Ok I feel your being very dramatic talking about rejecting a car and even more so asking for an extra 2 years of warranty, both of which would get laughed at. At the end of the day it’s a simple mistake and the technician has forgotten to plug the radiator back in and the fan hasn’t kicked in. These things happen sometimes, no one is perfect. It would have done no damage to the car at all. But I would be asking for some reimbursement from the service! They may end up refunding you the £400 back. That would be fair. Any more is unrealistic.
     
    richinsoton, RichardT and azibux1 like this.
  5. LJC105

    LJC105 Registered User

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    Sure, but are quality checks not done beforehand? I appreciate there's many cars going in/out the garage and mistakes do happen, but checklists should be in place to avoid things like this from happening.

    If a car has potential issues due to overheating which is a mechanics error, then why should I have to suffer the consequence? I wouldn't say I'm being 'very dramatic'.
     
    GW1 likes this.
  6. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Yes but the fan not being plugged in wouldn’t be obvious in a quality check. I.e a test drive from cold wouldn’t show any problems. (Which is what would have happened). It would have been impossible for a QC to of picked this up. The car wouldn’t have only overheated by much. The fan only brings temps down a few degrees.
     
  7. GW1

    GW1 Registered User

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    You pay a professional rate for a professional job there can be no excuse for sloppy workmanship. I had a new Mercedes once and my local dealership did a service and forgot to refill the engine with oil, result a sized engine. What do you think my attitude was, “that’s alright these things happen old boy” do me a favour. I think you should read the op properly.
     
  8. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    They then would have replaced your engine and you naturally get a years warranty. As it’s a new part. But only on the parts they replaced. The ops car was recifyfied by simply plugging in the radiator so I can’t see how these are related?
     
    azibux1 likes this.
  9. RO65ERS

    RO65ERS Registered User

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    I'm confused, where is the fire?...
     
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  10. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    It was steam
     
    azibux1 likes this.
  11. azibux1

    azibux1 Registered User

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    Seized engine is a tad different ;) just ever so slightly major issue than a small overheating issue
     
    deanshaw24 likes this.
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  13. Daveotto

    Daveotto Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would not have been impressed if that had been my car, I doubt it would have done any lasting damage especially as you had not driven the car to far after picking it up.

    That said, this type of thing should not happen, fair compensation would be refund of the £400 service cost and maybe a free next service or some other freebies as a good will gesture
     
    richinsoton, GW1 and deanshaw24 like this.
  14. GW1

    GW1 Registered User

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    I don’t think you are being over dramatic. You have purchased your car outright and have justifiable concerns. Any engine that overheats is operating outside its normal parameters and can suffer from a blown head gasket. So at the very least and to satisfy your concerns get the engine checked.
     
  15. GW1

    GW1 Registered User

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    The incidents are simply related by a single cause, sloppy workmanship.
     
  16. RO65ERS

    RO65ERS Registered User

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    As if that wasn't obvious.
     
  17. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Yes I don’t disagree with that, what I was saying is anything other than asking them to pay for your service is unrealistic.
     
  18. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    The op thought the steam was smoke at first? I don’t know.
     
  19. LJC105

    LJC105 Registered User

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    When you see that sight come up from your bonnet the automatic thought in your head is "**** my cars on fire"
     
    deanshaw24 and GW1 like this.
  20. AudiNutta

    AudiNutta Moderator Staff Member Moderator Gold Supporter

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    Rejection is uncalled for, rejection is for a car that has an issue which yours doesn’t.

    You caught it early, it’s unlikely there is any damage done at most get Audi to honour any overheating related problems down the line.. get it in writing.
     
    GW1 likes this.
  21. RichardT

    RichardT Registered User

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    I always say that you shouldn't judge a supplier/company on a mistake or problem. Anyone who never made a mistake never made anything.
    The thing to judge them on is how they handle the mistake. I would agree that a refund of the service cost would be reasonable.
    I do also agree that you should ask for a check for damage and a written report. Not sure how they would check the head gasket though - you wouldn't want it taken apart ( and I'm pretty sure they wouldn't agree to do that)
     
    batch and Tom.H like this.
  22. GW1

    GW1 Registered User

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    I agree they should indemnify the owner against any future failure in the cooling system or any issues with water appearing as a sludge in the engine or oil in the water which is a strong indication of a blown head gasket.
     
  23. richinsoton

    richinsoton Registered User

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    It's quite straightforward to check for combustion gases within the coolant & any half decent garage will have the basic equipment required to to do this, although from the clip posted it's highly unlikely to have failed.
     
  24. deanshaw24

    deanshaw24 Well-Known Member VCDS Map User

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    Yes, all you do is use a special tester that takes a sample of the coolant and if there’s combustion gases in it will change colour. Takes 2 mins
     
  25. S32B

    S32B Registered User

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    Your car, your money! F*** not wanting to fall out with the dealership. If things go wrong down the line, will they hold their hands up and say that may because we forgot to plug your rad back in?....No.

    I'd get onto Audi UK and get the incident logged if nothing else, that way if anything does happen further down the line you have more chance of getting it sorted for free.

    You are paying top notch prices for Audi and they say:
    screenshot-www.audi.co.uk-2017-11-06-15-03-53-968.jpg

    Did it? No, so complain!
     
    Bells likes this.

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