Your recent e-mail from a Volvo V70 owner in Eccles reinforces my belief that Volvo franchised dealers lack "imagination". I have owned from virtually new a 1999 XC70 which has done over 200,000 miles and which I love dearly (but for its relative lack of fuel economy). Before that I owned a 760 GLE Turbo Estate in which I covered over 250,000 miles (another good car - in its time). In my ownership they not surprisingly developed occasional faults which Volvo franchised dealers singularly failed to diagnose despite charging a great deal of money, and which were finally diagnosed either by myself using a bit of intelligence or by non-franchised Volvo specialists - invariably without hesitation or requiring a great deal of description. A yet earlier example of franchised dealer ignorance related to my first Volvo, a 740 GLT Estate which I bought new in 1985, which suffered automatic gearbox failure at some 65,000 miles. My franchised dealer said I would have to pay some £900 to replace it. I sought the advice of the Volvo specialist from whom I had bought the car at a time it was still a franchised dealer, who pointed out that as a known fault it was covered by a special Volvo warranty; thanks to which the replacement was supplied and fitted at no cost to myself, but no thanks to the dealer who would have charged me a great deal. I have learned to trust a good specialist over a franchised dealer; the latter seem to rely on diagnostics rather than intelligence (i.e. the computer knows best even though I know that it's rubbish).
Where do you think the specialists come from? They are nearly all good, genuine mechanics from the Volvo dealers who realised they could make much more money working for themselves. The gaps in the workshops are filled with inexperienced ‘fitters’ who go on a few training course and that is pretty much it.
Answered by Honest John on