New Technology in the Motor trade

  BT 08:43 29 Jul 2014
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Answered

My car was in yesterday for its annual service and MOT.

The Dealer came and collected it at 8.30. About an hour later I got a phone call saying that one of the front suspension springs was broken and would need replacing. They then sent me a video on Email from the workshop showing the broken spring. They obviously have a way of doing it so that it definitely is your car in that they start with a shot of the rear number plate and its one continuous shot and voice over showing the fault and ending with a shot of the front plate. The fitter making the video also gives his name.

  carver 09:15 29 Jul 2014

BT What car have you got and how old is it, just wondering that's all about where the spring had broken

  Batch 10:14 29 Jul 2014

I think this is definitely a bad idea. If my wife gets hold of the concept she'll start sending me videos of tasks she'll be wanting me to do around the house!

  spuds 10:22 29 Jul 2014

I recall many years ago, when I took my vehicle for a service and pre-MOT, and was informed by telephone that the rear suspension was faulty, and required urgent attention. Gave the go ahead for the work to be done.

Twelve months later I did the same service and pre-MOT, and was informed that the rear suspension was faulty with apparently the same faults. Lucky the previous guarantee was for 2 years, and I pointed this out to the service manager, and I had the bills to prove it.

Apparently 'on checking' the mechanic and reception had made an error, it was another vehicle. Strange really, because shortly after that the local newspaper was reporting a court case on the same garage, manager and some of the staff, on how they had been charging customers for work not done or required?.

I suppose with a video, it might be more 21st century, and give you more confidence. But would it have also added more cost on top of the original bill?.

  BT 11:01 29 Jul 2014

carver

Its a 09 reg Nissan Note 1.4. It seems that top coil of the spring had broken. The bit was still there as shown in the Video.

Jock1e

They were of the opinion that this problem is often caused these days by road humps, although I do try to negotiate them carefully.

The garage was the Desira Nissan dealer here in Norwich, and a major service, MOT and the repairs cost just over £400. Not cheap but then not too bad and the work had to be done to get the MOT. And the car was collected from home and delivered back afterwards, repaired, cleaned and valeted, with 12 months RAC breakdown included in the price.

  amonra 17:16 29 Jul 2014

Quite a common fault on modern coil spring suspension. It's something to do with the way the coil is finished off. Older ones were chamferred but latest ones are cut square, who knows.............

  bumpkin 19:07 29 Jul 2014

*They then sent me a video on Email from the workshop showing the broken spring. *

Not filmed by the mechanic but a freelance company called "Video scameras" Experts in video editing or am I being cynical yet again:-)

  BT 08:17 30 Jul 2014
Answer

bumpkin

Cynical I think. Its done though a company called Citnow (See it now)

Tried to put a link but the system won't accept it

  OTT_B 10:48 31 Jul 2014

"Quite a common fault on modern coil spring suspension. It's something to do with the way the coil is finished off. Older ones were chamferred but latest ones are cut square, who knows............."

Not a common fault at all. There are quite a number of things that can cause a spring to prematurely fail (note: prematurely - most steel springs will fail eventually!). The end form is nothing to do with it though. In the old days hydrogen embrittlement was a major cause, now it tends to be small imperfections (micro cracks) in the spring steel which propagate. Light cars running continuously heavy mass also tend to fail be readily than most (e.g. small light city car that always has multiple passengers and luggage).

Plastic springs are the way forward. Coming to cars near you soon...actually they're already used!

  Quickbeam 11:11 31 Jul 2014

Didn't you notice it yourself?

Whenever I've had a broken spring, 3 since '74, it's been very obvious from the noise as the weight shifts the position on the broken spring seating during cornering, a very loud cracking noise from time to time as it finds a new seating.

Did they only change the one spring? Generally replacing a single spring results in the other failing very soon afterwards.

And the notion of thinking video evidence is required doesn't say much for the public's perception of garage trust. Being offered (and rejecting) the bag of replaced bits is enough for me!

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