Possible miuse of vehicle while at dealer

Jul 18, 2017
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Our vehicle was in for repair at dealer due to Engine Management Light coming on. Although the diagnosis was scheduled for the morning of 16th June, we dropped off the vehicle on the 15th at about 11.45am. Within less than an hour of dropping off the vehicle, the dealer did the diagnosis and contacted me the same afternoon and advising me that there was a faulty glow plug number 5, It was suggested that all 6 should be changed. They also advised that they could not do the repair until Tuesday 21st so I agreed to leave the vehicle with them otherwise it would have been 2 round trips of 60 miles each time. The repair was for all six of the glowplugs to changed at a cost of over £300!

In the vehicle there is a Nextbase 312 dashcam in the vehicle which switches on immediately when the vehicle is started. the dashcam was on the whole time while the vehicle was in the workshop. The dashcam continues to run for a few minutes after the vehicle has been switched off.

Today I collected the vehicle and the first thing I notice that the air in the vehicle had been changed from Climate Control to Air con and was set on the lowest setting. Annoying as wondering why they would need the air con running while the vehicle is in the workshop having glow plugs exchanged? Anyway switched to climate control. The radio was switched off and when I switched it on, it was set to the HDD and not BBC2 as per normal. Also the sound was set a lot higher than I would normally set it. Again no big deal and wondering why they needed the radio playing when they are working on the engine changing the glow plugs.

Driving home with my wife following me in her car, she noticed that my rear foglights were flashing on and on and going from one side to the other side. I certainly did not have this problem previously. The foglights were not even switched on! The other thing i noticed is that the car had a flat spot when going up a slight incline and seemed to hesistate before changing down to the correct gear. The glow plug change was supposed to resolve this issue.

On arrival at home I accessed my dashcam to view the footage. There is no footage for the 16 & 17th June however there was footage for early morning 7.30am on Saturday the 18th. The workshop and reception do not open until 8am. It is showing the car reversing into a parking space on their forecourt. I am now wondering why it is showing the car reversing into the bay as surely there should have been footage showing the car leaving a parking bay if they were just moving it?

On looking viewing the clip more closely I can hear someone acknowledging one of the two people in the vehicle. Unfortunately I cannot make out what they are saying at this stage. The engine switches off and I can hear a door bang and I can see someone walking from the right hand side of the vehicle across the front of the vehicle and at the same time the other door bangs. The person walking in front of the vehicle is looking towards the nearside of the vehicle as if they are looking or talking to someone. The person who possibly exited the vehicle seems to be a salesperson or a manager as not dressed in the attire a technician would be wearing.

My take is that someone may have used the vehicle and switched off the dashcam to avoid detection. I am not sure why the dashcam would have activated while they were reversing into a parking bay. Although the car has a built in SatNav I have no idea how to access the data to check on any trips that were not inputted.

I need to be careful making any accusations as this could have serious implications as I am not sure whether I have positive proof. If I phone the dealer and ask to speak to someone i.e. service manager for all I know they could have been the one using the vehicle. I am a bit unsure how to proceed as I now have the issue of the flashing rear foglights and also a flat spot where the vehicle is not changing down at the correct time.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Buckman, sounds like big problems. Thank goodness I have a SantaFe and a nice local garage that does my yearly service, and know that I am an engineer.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Our vehicle was in for repair at dealer due to Engine Management Light coming on. Although the diagnosis was scheduled for the morning of 16th June, we dropped off the vehicle on the 15th at about 11.45am. Within less than an hour of dropping off the vehicle, the dealer did the diagnosis and contacted me the same afternoon and advising me that there was a faulty glow plug number 5, It was suggested that all 6 should be changed. They also advised that they could not do the repair until Tuesday 21st so I agreed to leave the vehicle with them otherwise it would have been 2 round trips of 60 miles each time. The repair was for all six of the glowplugs to changed at a cost of over £300!

In the vehicle there is a Nextbase 312 dashcam in the vehicle which switches on immediately when the vehicle is started. the dashcam was on the whole time while the vehicle was in the workshop. The dashcam continues to run for a few minutes after the vehicle has been switched off.

Today I collected the vehicle and the first thing I notice that the air in the vehicle had been changed from Climate Control to Air con and was set on the lowest setting. Annoying as wondering why they would need the air con running while the vehicle is in the workshop having glow plugs exchanged? Anyway switched to climate control. The radio was switched off and when I switched it on, it was set to the HDD and not BBC2 as per normal. Also the sound was set a lot higher than I would normally set it. Again no big deal and wondering why they needed the radio playing when they are working on the engine changing the glow plugs.

Driving home with my wife following me in her car, she noticed that my rear foglights were flashing on and on and going from one side to the other side. I certainly did not have this problem previously. The foglights were not even switched on! The other thing i noticed is that the car had a flat spot when going up a slight incline and seemed to hesistate before changing down to the correct gear. The glow plug change was supposed to resolve this issue.

On arrival at home I accessed my dashcam to view the footage. There is no footage for the 16 & 17th June however there was footage for early morning 7.30am on Saturday the 18th. The workshop and reception do not open until 8am. It is showing the car reversing into a parking space on their forecourt. I am now wondering why it is showing the car reversing into the bay as surely there should have been footage showing the car leaving a parking bay if they were just moving it?

On looking viewing the clip more closely I can hear someone acknowledging one of the two people in the vehicle. Unfortunately I cannot make out what they are saying at this stage. The engine switches off and I can hear a door bang and I can see someone walking from the right hand side of the vehicle across the front of the vehicle and at the same time the other door bangs. The person walking in front of the vehicle is looking towards the nearside of the vehicle as if they are looking or talking to someone. The person who possibly exited the vehicle seems to be a salesperson or a manager as not dressed in the attire a technician would be wearing.

My take is that someone may have used the vehicle and switched off the dashcam to avoid detection. I am not sure why the dashcam would have activated while they were reversing into a parking bay. Although the car has a built in SatNav I have no idea how to access the data to check on any trips that were not inputted.

I need to be careful making any accusations as this could have serious implications as I am not sure whether I have positive proof. If I phone the dealer and ask to speak to someone i.e. service manager for all I know they could have been the one using the vehicle. I am a bit unsure how to proceed as I now have the issue of the flashing rear foglights and also a flat spot where the vehicle is not changing down at the correct time.
Contact Trading standards.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Dealers always switch off dashcams when our Minis and our Navara is in for service. Every time. Standard data protection.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Your dash am manual should describe how to access details of recent routes that have been driven as my Garmin and Subaru satnav have that feature. But I will depend if it has been set to record.. There is a default setting but I’m not sure if default is to record or not record.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Your dash am manual should describe how to access details of recent routes that have been driven as my Garmin and Subaru satnav have that feature. But I will depend if it has been set to record.. There is a default setting but I’m not sure if default is to record or not record.
The vehicle has the built in SatNav and I have no idea how to access it. The TomTom that i normally use was removed from the vehicle. I am downloading the footage from the 15th which shows when last the vehicle was used and where it was parked.
Unfortunately downloading files from the Nextbase 312 is very slow as once downloaded I need to then download it to the PC. Although the files are not very big, it can take up to 20 minutes to download using the "Share" option and Bluetooth. The PC with Win 11 does not seem to recognise the files when connected via a USB lead unless of course I am not doing it correctly which is a good possibility.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The vehicle has the built in SatNav and I have no idea how to access it. The TomTom that i normally use was removed from the vehicle. I am downloading the footage from the 15th which shows when last the vehicle was used and where it was parked.
Unfortunately downloading files from the Nextbase 312 is very slow as once downloaded I need to then download it to the PC. Although the files are not very big, it can take up to 20 minutes to download using the "Share" option and Bluetooth. The PC with Win 11 does not seem to recognise the files when connected via a USB lead unless of course I am not doing it correctly which is a good possibility.
Can you not remove the dash cam SD card and insert it directly into a port on the PC? That would be quicker and the PC should recognise the SD card and contents.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Did you keep a note of the mileage and odometer readings? Is your car fitted with a Tracker? Is the fuel gauge where you’d expect it to be?

When my six glow plugs were changed last year my local chap matched the new plugs to the ECU via his laptop.
Whenever our cars are serviced they always come back with the radio switched off.
Maybe your dealer has messed up something or is it pure coincidence?

If the dealer has CCTV that may help but then you will have to accuse. Difficult!
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Can you not remove the dash cam SD card and insert it directly into a port on the PC? That would be quicker and the PC should recognise the SD card and contents.
I had the cable plugged into the base and not the actual dashcam. Can now see all video files on PC which makes life a lot easier.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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We had a similar problem when our Ford S max was recovered to the local main dealer. Green Flag recorded the mileage on the paperwork, car was at the dealer for 5 weeks, came back with almost no fuel and several hundred miles added, and bits of engine covers left in the boot. Had conversation with service manager, and escalated to M D of Ford uk. A few weeks later the main dealer changed hands and is now part of a large group, the outcome was that I was unable to prove conclusively what had happened to my car or where it had been, it didn't help my mood when a friend later claimed to have seen it parked in a local town when it was supposed to be in the workshop. Needless to say we have not even considered buying any vehicles from that garage again, even though it is the nearest and most convenient for our business. I offer this story as some consolation to Buckman as it appears his life is blighted at the moment, perhaps take consolation that you are not the only one that these sort of things happen to.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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When my car had it glow plugs done i wrote the mileage down and petrol gauge and i always switch the radio off but when i pick it up it had a been washed and clean inside very happy with the service i got with my car .
 
Last edited:
Jul 18, 2017
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Did you keep a note of the mileage and odometer readings? Is your car fitted with a Tracker? Is the fuel gauge where you’d expect it to be?

When my six glow plugs were changed last year my local chap matched the new plugs to the ECU via his laptop.
Whenever our cars are serviced they always come back with the radio switched off.
Maybe your dealer has messed up something or is it pure coincidence?

If the dealer has CCTV that may help but then you will have to accuse. Difficult!
I think I got my knickers in a knot about nothing sinister. I checked the footage carefully over and over and compared where the car had been parked on the 15th. It matched up where the car was on the morning of the Saturday. Starting the footage for the 18th one can see the vehicle moving forward for about a second before it is reversed. I could not see this viewing the footage on the phone.

What set the alarm bells ringing was all the changes done with air con, radio and trip mileage and then viewing the footage for 18th and hearing 2 people in the vehicle for moving it from one bay to another plus it being 7.30am on a Saturday morning as whoever accessed it would have firstly needed to arrive at the dealer, enter the building, get the keys, go to the vehicle to move it all before 7.30am?

However we still have the issue of the flat spot and the rear fog lights pretending to be flashing fairy lights.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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My Volvo dealer service manager used my car to go to the bank about 2 miles return. Dash cam got it all. I said nothing as they would have said they were test driving it.

After work, I normally find the radio has been switched off and light turned from auto to off.

What confuses me is the choice of air con OR climate control. Climate control requires air con and automatically switches it on.

Also why glow plugs should have any affect on running or gear change. After starting, their job is done. Modern engines start without a pause nowadays, Mine doesnt even have a glow plug light.

I wait to be corrected.


John
 
May 7, 2012
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I am afraid the extent of any se s probably not easily checked unless you had taken a note of the mileage before you dropped the car off. I suspect downloading the information from the sat nav might be too expensive but have never had to do this.
I have found the dash cam is disconnected at the garage so assume this is standard procedure in the trade. I think I would change garages from what you say. I have used the same dealer for about 14 years and have never had any problem with them, so keep going. I do know of plenty of people who have had problems with others though, particularly with company cars, where I think some garages do regard them as a licence to print money.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I am afraid the extent of any se s probably not easily checked unless you had taken a note of the mileage before you dropped the car off. I suspect downloading the information from the sat nav might be too expensive but have never had to do this.
I have found the dash cam is disconnected at the garage so assume this is standard procedure in the trade. I think I would change garages from what you say. I have used the same dealer for about 14 years and have never had any problem with them, so keep going. I do know of plenty of people who have had problems with others though, particularly with company cars, where I think some garages do regard them as a licence to print money.
First time we have used this dealer as they have only been a franchised Jeep dealer for about two years. They are 35 miles closer than the Jeep dealer we have been using up to now.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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At this time of year and especially with the present weather it is unlikely that your glo-plugs will be working. They usually only fire up when it is cold. If you have push-button start at this time of year the engine should start immediately but in the depths of winter there could be 3-4 seconds before it starts - that is when the glo-plugs are active.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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At this time of year and especially with the present weather it is unlikely that your glo-plugs will be working. They usually only fire up when it is cold. If you have push-button start at this time of year the engine should start immediately but in the depths of winter there could be 3-4 seconds before it starts - that is when the glo-plugs are active.
My thinking still relates to my old 1965 diesel Peugeot 404 when in the height of summer when it was +35C outside, you had to wait until you saw the glow and then start the vehicle. Obviously technology has moved on since. :D
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I wonder if they did a software update which undid whatever normal settings you would have in place?
I doubt if a software update would change radio and air con settings. I was a bit annoying to reset everything, but no big deal. anyway according to their paperwork no software update was done, just a check on the diagnostics.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I doubt if a software update would change radio and air con settings. I was a bit annoying to reset everything, but no big deal. anyway according to their paperwork no software update was done, just a check on the diagnostics.
I know that when I changed a glow plug on a Pajero I was advised to disconnect the battery for safety whilst effecting the change.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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There are many service or repair procedures on cars where it is always advised you should disconnect the battery. It's to protect some of the control systems, or t prevent accidental shorting when handling exposed electrical connections.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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Many years ago we bought a motor home and was told it would be ready in just over a week as they were so busy. We had some friends come to see us and took a quick trip to the dealer to have look , we could not see it so suppose it was in the work shop. Eventually we picked it up and only then did I notice the mileage. Thought it was 1000m more than it showed when we viewed it. Did one of them take for a ride?
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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There are many service or repair procedures on cars where it is always advised you should disconnect the battery. It's to protect some of the control systems, or t prevent accidental shorting when handling exposed electrical connections.
I understand that and if Buckmans dealer did that it could possibly explain why some settings had changed.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I understand that and if Buckmans dealer did that it could possibly explain why some settings had changed.
The Jeep has a built in memory and setting should not be lost. I know this because the battery was changed last year and no settings were lost. Not even the radio code.

With modern cars is there any point in noting the mileage as surely they can download the settings, use the vehicle for whatever purposes and when finished download the original setting? Same like you do with a computer or even a mobile phone. I stress that is is probably highly unlikely that this happened with us.

A point of note is that the time was still set to winter time so when I mentioned 7.30am I think it was actually 6.30am? Rather early to be playing around with vehicles at any dealership.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The Jeep has a built in memory and setting should not be lost. I know this because the battery was changed last year and no settings were lost. Not even the radio code.

With modern cars is there any point in noting the mileage as surely they can download the settings, use the vehicle for whatever purposes and when finished download the original setting? Same like you do with a computer or even a mobile phone. I stress that is is probably highly unlikely that this happened with us.

A point of note is that the time was still set to winter time so when I mentioned 7.30am I think it was actually 6.30am? Rather early to be playing around with vehicles at any dealership.
Surely if the display was showing 0730 and still on winter time then the car moved at 0830 BST?
 
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