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post #9 of (permalink) Old 21st July 2010 Thread Starter
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Re: Vel Satis 3.5 Initiale Newbie UPDATE

Well there you go....first taste of Renault dealerships in the UK. If you read my previous post I said I had a 'good' deal on the service price. Well, I even called three times to confirm that the price included the spark plug service..."yes sir, all included" "You sure? Its the 3.5 nissan unit...." "yes sir, no problem".

So, I turn up at 8.15am, drop keycard, go through some bits and bobs etc and leave.

9.15 I get a call...."Mr Ardley, I am afraid we cannot do the sparkplugs at that price...its a 3.5ltr petrol and the manifold has to come off blah...". "I know that..which is why I called 3 times to confirm and each time you said yes, you knew that". So, £256 for oil & filter, air filter (which I asked them NOT to do as I have a new K&N filter to put in BUT they still did it...), cabin filter and overall check. Hmmm.

I asked them to check the door guide too as it was 'clicking' when you open/close the door. They could not solve that and the price to fix? £197 (part replaced plus two hours labour). Oh, and a three week wait for the part. Hmmm. The touch up paint stick I requested when I booked the car in? Forgotten - £8 and a three day wait...Hmmm

All in all not very happy with Renault UK. They were very polite and courteous BUT that was my first and last trip to them. I will find a good independent or get the car serviced in France where at least the Vel is well known (production there only stopped last year).

Oh, and all service items, carpets and other bits can be had from Feu Vert or norauto (both a kind of French Halfords) at very good prices. Father in law (French) just called me to give the list of bits available off the shelf (although mats are for LHD cars...).

Fitted the K&N today which was a phaff as to remove the air box all kinds of stuff needs to be undone/moved it seems but at least it was possible. Sounds lovely and it will be interesting to see how/if mpg changes.

The stereo is very poor (the speakers actually, not the unit) so will need to upgrade. On only half volume the sound goes all tiny and distorts.

I want to lower the car very slightly to improve cornering (I am not a 'boy racer' but she does wallow when pressing on...) so will seek out some bilstein or spax springs and some brembo brake upgrade for the front discs when they die. A stainless all through exhaust will follow (anyone have any recommendations?) and then just keep driving the beast.

So...VERY impressed by the car so far. Not so impressed with the dealer network in the UK.

Dave (Wile7)
Currently in Wile7's garage:
2002 3.5 Initiale Vel Satis, 1996 Caterham 1700 Supersprint, 95 Merc W124 E200 estate, 2007 Suzuki Swift, 1995 Mercedes Sprinter 412, Aprilia Moto Starck 6.5
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