Servicing by Listers of Coventry

I had the first service done at about 20,000 miles, when the car was about a year old in the summer of 2001 at Listers of Coventry. The service was done on time, and I collected the car and drove away.

I think it was a day later, when the car had been stood in my garage, that I noticed a small patch of oil on the garage floor under where the front of the car stood. The car had never leaked any oil before.

When I looked under the car, I could see that one of the fastening for the under tray was not fastened properly, and there was oil on the under tray. It was a summer evening, too late to take it back to Listers that evening, so I drove it up on the ramps that I had bought for servicing old cars, to take a proper look.

I took off the under tray, which had quite a lot of oil on it, and looked for the leak. I soon found that the sump drain plug wasn't tight. In fact, it was about half a turn loose. It is a remarkably well fitting thread, which is why there was only a small leak when the sealing washer was not being clamped down on. I tightened up the drain plug, cleaned up the under tray, replaced it (doing up all the fasteners) and drove the car off the ramps.

Not knowing how much oil I had lost, I immediately checked the oil level. It was above the maximum, so it had been overfilled. So I put the car back on the ramps, removed the under tray and removed the drain plug briefly to get the oil level back down to the "full" mark. Then tighten the drain plug again, replace the under tray and take the car off the ramps.

With the time that I had spent getting the car to the dealers and back, and the time correcting their mistake, and the fact that I had got my hands dirty working on a car, meant that paying Listers to service the car didn't seem to feel very different from doing it myself. It was certainly a lot more expensive to pay them than for me to do it myself.

In the car was a blank postcard on which Listers invited my comments. I filled it in, expressing my dissatisfaction with their service, and posted it. They never replied. All I heard was some third-hand comments from my employee, who's sister was the receptionist at Listers. Apparently the service department wanted to know what I was doing looking at my car's oil level and oil leak. Draw your own conclusions on their attitude to their customers.