Saturday at George's

jaymanek

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Koolvins and Mine at Georges

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Arrive at Georges 8.15 AM

Koolvin went in for minor brake adjustments, and i was there for a few simple jobs - or so i thought!
I decided to wait with the car so i could ask the main man some questions and learn something..

These were the things needed doing: Manual Box and Diff oil change, Brake Fluid change, Carb tune up.... Thats it

Started off well, Georges full attention - Spotted a split in the Carburettor diaphram that i had missed, quickly replaced, checked timing, CO, idle etc which all needed adjusting....
Thats when things started to get busy. George was doing a million jobs at once, kept coming back & forth to do the odd thing...

A young lad (in pic) came to change the oils... after pointing out that its not ATF that goes in a manual box and showing him where the drain plugs were (!) that bit was done.

think it was about 11AM by now..... Thinking great, ill be home in an hour...

Waited around and then George came to make a start on the brake fluid change...After a couple more hours waiting that seemed to be done.
Then George eventually finished the tuning part, said maybe the carb needle was bit worn...but all good for now....

So then at about 2pm, drove the car off the ramp only to find my brake pedal down to the floor :confused: George quickly diagnosed as master cylinder: Great he has a scrap 200 out the back, lets use that... 3pm, swapped, bled brakes, drive off - NOPE same thing ..... By this time i had missed a couple of important things i had to do...George ordered new master cyinder from Euro and lent me his SE for a few hours....

I returned at 6.30, car was done, apparently nothing to do with master cylinder, a bolt was loose causing the front caliper to move when brake depressed?? Was too tired after driving that SE to ask questions!

Then i start driving mine, Nowhere near as responsive or powerfull, anyone hazard a guess as to which setting could be wrong, im guessing CO or could it be the needle??..On the +, idles like new, no more hunting....

I dont think Koolvins problem was sorted either from what i heard....

Anyway, even after all that, i can say George is the most fair & knowledgable guy ive met in a workshop, was very reasonable and did explain everything thoroughly. I would definately recommend them for servicing - quick and thorough, they just need more Geroges in there!

Oh and dont ever wait with the car, arrange other transport!
 

andy_k

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hmmmm now i'm confused

you say George is the most fair and knowledgeable guy you've met....

is this the same George that diagnosed and replaced (twice) a master cylinder that didn't have a fault in the first place? - sorry but they must have seen a caliper bolt was loose/missing whilst bleeding the brakes - that's just sloppy workmanship!!!

side note here - there are only two bolts which hold the calipers on, if they have simply been re-tightened rather than replaced then you should replace them immediately - they are a single use bolt and not designed to be removed and replaced. Personally i see no reason why a loose front caliper would cause the brake pedal to go right down to the floor unless it was not connected to the hydraulic system in any way, the bleed nipple wasn't tightened or the brake wasn't bled properly in the first place

is this the same George that sent you home in a car that was "Nowhere near as responsive or powerfull" as when it went in to be checked out/tuned.

Is this the same George who employs someone who doesn't know what fluid to put in your gearbox or how to get the old stuff out?

as for "quick" I think over 10 hours to complete the list of jobs you gave him is probably about 8 hours too many considering the fact that the work wasn't completed to your satisfaction and you will probably be making a return visit to get the lack of power/response dealt with

If you'd gone to any other garage and received this kind of service would you still be singing their praises?

Good as he may be - what you have got there isn't good service and from what you and several others have written I would be very loathe to take my car to him for servicing.


Andy
 
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Andy W

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The problem as with most garages avoid Saturdays as the normal working man has Saturday off so every one aims to get jobs done on Saturdays so labour is over stretched and things do get missed. It sounds to me that guy is stretched to the limit, you can only do so much with out paying out a lot of money to employ the right calibre of mechanic or hopefully training from within if you happen to have the right personal. I know myself with being self employed that I can not find another guy prepared to do what I do as consciousness as me. A victim of your own success.
Perhaps George will read these threads and think if this is what the general feeling of my company is I had better get my a$%e in gear and get my act together before I start losing custom or most important of all for any business REPUTATION !
 
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jaymanek

jaymanek

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Hi All,

When i say fair and knowledgable, he didnt charge me much at all and he seemed very very experienced.

Brakes-I dont think he meant the actual caliper bolts were loose, something to do with the nut underneath the grease cap not being tight, he said it sould have been lethal - What i couldnt figure out is how that got loose during the course of the day?
And yes he should have diagnosed after the second master cylinder didnt work.. Especially as the pedal only went to the floor, both times, after the car started moving..

Carb - Im hoping the car isnt responsive due to the worn needle, which i will replace myself...Makes me think though, is the timing supposed to be set at 10 degrees?? Overall, the car does tickover better and sound more smooth....but its lost that GO in first gear....

As Andy W says, george has to rely on other people as with any garage, he is a victim of his own success. George doesnt have enough time to do the jobs himself, he has to go around and help all his people diagnose faults etc.

Basically, George Fraser is a good place to get your car serviced, all the people there are trained like robots to do the standard service. Anything more complicated than that, dont use them.

I wouldnt take my 123 there again, even for a service, as i know even the most basic brake change can lead to needing calipers etc on a 23 year old car like mine..

Thinking about it, all the cars in for major repairs were left at the end of the garage gathering dust from what i could see..

As i said above though i would happily send my E220 for its next major service...

Ive been to a lot lot worse places, places that would have had to 'order' the master cylinder and then made me wait a week for them to fit it and then charge me for it, even when they realised it was a loose nut. I was glad that at least george was honest and got me going the same day...

I think i have very mixed feelings about the place now! Next time ill have to try Andy in Birmingham!
 

Alps

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My experience and what ive heard.,

yes, georges crew are overworked, and yhes i agree i think George is the only knowledgable one out the lot there, not too sure on the rest of the staff.

I will continue to use Prestige car services in East London who is also busy like George, but does all the work himself.aand he still works forMB and has all the latest equiptment for the latest MB`s.
 

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