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Old 12.02.2020, 19:29
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[Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

Hi, I'm an expat living in Zurich, Wiedikon area, and I have a Renault from 2011. I received the letter for the regularly scheduled MFK. I knew the car was OK, but since I need to find a garage I can trust for future repairs, I decided to find one closeby.


First, I searched this forum and I picked one which I saw recommended,


I go there, nice and friendly people, I leave the car one day and pick it up the day after. They cleaned it and there was a non-working lightbulb that they replaced. On the way back home I hear a new, strange noise from a wheel bay, but I didn't bother.


The first try at the MFK didn't go well because the garage didn't spot that one of the springs of the dampeners was actually broken (but this was *not* the noise I was talking about). So I had to go to the garage again, where they recommended me to change both springs at this point.



I go to pick up the car again, they changed the springs and said that they noticed that one of the dampeners (not the one with the broken spring, the other one) got somehow a bit loose (this is where the noise comes from). They say it's not going to give me troubles at the MFK this time, since I already passed that test, but maybe I want to have it fixed in the near future.


(I am a bit pissed, I assume they made it loose accidentally the first time they prepared the car, but never mind)


The second time the car passes the MFK and I am happy.


Until I receive the bill.


Cleaning chassis and engine bay, MFK diagnosis, lamp and springs replacement: almost 1'100 CHF.


I do not want to jump to conclusions, maybe I was just unlucky. I have three questions:


1) Is this a normal price for the Zurich area in 2020?


2) Would you say that a garage that misses a broken spring and loosens a dampener by mistake is still trustworthy? Was I just unlucky?


3) Given that the next step I need is a major operation on the car (fixing dampener, changing engine belt, water pump, oil and filters), do you recommend going there again?


Thanks for your feedback
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Old 12.02.2020, 19:50
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

1) That‘s about normal - particularly if you don’t ask for a quote

2) I think it‘s absurd to imagine that a garage would loosen anything on a car with potential lethal results.

3) That‘s you decision. But wherever you go ask what it will cost - so you get the shock sooner rather than later...
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Old 12.02.2020, 19:52
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

"preparing a car for MFK" is an invitation to replace any part that is not new. You can better was your car in a regular car wash, clean the engine bay a bit with a damp cloth if dirty and take it to the MFK.
In case it fails, bring it to the dealer to do the repairs/adjustments and ask the dealer to do the re-check.
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Old 12.02.2020, 19:59
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

OK thanks


Just to be clear: I never thought that they loosened the dampener on purpose! My idea is more that it happened accidentally when they checked the car the first time, maybe when they lifted the car, and they didn't notice (I do not see any other possibility, since the noise was not there when I brought the car there the first time, and was there when I took it back).


Regarding the MFK: yes, I know I could have avoided troubles by just cleaning the car myself. The point here was really "a test": I wanted to see how much I could trust them by risking something now that the required operation was minor, rather than bringing the car directly for the big stuff.


But OK, for the upcoming big stuff I will ask a quote first.
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Old 12.02.2020, 20:00
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

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Hi, I'm an expat living in Zurich, Wiedikon area, and I have a Renault from 2011. I received the letter for the regularly scheduled MFK. I knew the car was OK, but since I need to find a garage I can trust for future repairs, I decided to find one closeby.


First, I searched this forum and I picked one which I saw recommended,


I go there, nice and friendly people, I leave the car one day and pick it up the day after. They cleaned it and there was a non-working lightbulb that they replaced. On the way back home I hear a new, strange noise from a wheel bay, but I didn't bother.


The first try at the MFK didn't go well because the garage didn't spot that one of the springs of the dampeners was actually broken (but this was *not* the noise I was talking about). So I had to go to the garage again, where they recommended me to change both springs at this point.



I go to pick up the car again, they changed the springs and said that they noticed that one of the dampeners (not the one with the broken spring, the other one) got somehow a bit loose (this is where the noise comes from). They say it's not going to give me troubles at the MFK this time, since I already passed that test, but maybe I want to have it fixed in the near future.


(I am a bit pissed, I assume they made it loose accidentally the first time they prepared the car, but never mind)


The second time the car passes the MFK and I am happy.


Until I receive the bill.


Cleaning chassis and engine bay, MFK diagnosis, lamp and springs replacement: almost 1'100 CHF.


I do not want to jump to conclusions, maybe I was just unlucky. I have three questions:


1) Is this a normal price for the Zurich area in 2020?


2) Would you say that a garage that misses a broken spring and loosens a dampener by mistake is still trustworthy? Was I just unlucky?


3) Given that the next step I need is a major operation on the car (fixing dampener, changing engine belt, water pump, oil and filters), do you recommend going there again?


Thanks for your feedback
What's a dampener in a car? Do you mean damper?

It's not really possible to judge this price as we don't know what shape your car was really in - as you didn't have a garage yet, maybe your car has not seen one in a longer time? And also you don't mention how much of it is parts replaced.
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Old 12.02.2020, 20:05
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

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What's a dampener in a car? Do you mean damper?

It's not really possible to judge this price as we don't know what shape your car was really in - as you didn't have a garage yet, maybe your car has not seen one in a longer time? And also you don't mention how much of it is parts replaced.

Uh... Damper, yes, silly me


I just moved to Zurich, but the car has seen regular maintenance between Italy and Switzerland. At the end the only things that didn't work out for the MFK were the lightbulb and the broken spring.


As I said, the replaced parts are: the spring of both dampers, and the lightbulb. Total from invoice: roughly 410 CHF.
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Old 12.02.2020, 20:32
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

Driving with a broken car suspension component and not crashing is already enough good luck. It's normal that the rest system keeps decaying (the damper of the other side) if one of the component fails (the broken spring). How many km did you drive with the noise? The more km the higher the mechanic bill.

About price, 1100 total -410 of part = 690 for labor. Assuming the mechanic charges 120 CHF per hour, about 6 hours of labor. Not much for being there 2 times.
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Old 12.02.2020, 20:53
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

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Driving with a broken car suspension component and not crashing is already enough good luck. It's normal that the rest system keeps decaying (the damper of the other side) if one of the component fails (the broken spring). How many km did you drive with the noise? The more km the higher the mechanic bill.

About price, 1100 total -410 of part = 690 for labor. Assuming the mechanic charges 120 CHF per hour, about 6 hours of labor. Not much for being there 2 times.

According from the bill I think it's 159 CHF/hour but yes, what you write looks reasonable. I will go there again for the big work
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Old 12.02.2020, 23:18
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Re: [Zurich] Garage Cleaning for MFK... Was I just unlucky?

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What's a dampener in a car? Do you mean damper?

It's not really possible to judge this price as we don't know what shape your car was really in - as you didn't have a garage yet, maybe your car has not seen one in a longer time? And also you don't mention how much of it is parts replaced.

You know what he meant, or maybe you don't because it seems you didn't understand the rest of his post either.


Seems super excessive to me!

There was a "cleaning", incidental bulb replacement, and then the spring replacement.
It's possible the spring broke coincidentally at the garage. If they had it on a ramp it's possible it pulled on an already damaged damper top mount or the uneven suspension pulled on it. If you only had it in for a clean you can't really blame them for not seeing a broken spring.


First rule in CH: Ask how much it costs
Second rule: Ask how much it costs for them to tell you how much it costs.
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