Enter stage left…a decent Peugeot dealer!

Yes I know, how can I utter the words “Peugeot dealer” and “decent” in the same sentence. It defies everything I know and have experienced over the last 14 years! But truly, I’ve not gone mad or senile and it’s true. You don’t believe me? Here’s the story. 

As some of you know I’ve had my brakes fixed a couple of times since 2014. I won’t list all the links, just do a search on my blog for brakes and all the sorry stories will come up, including having the brakes rebuilt front and back, and having the rear brakes checked and adjusted several times in the UK and Austria. Yet here I am driving along with poor brakes that need to be pumped to get them to work, and no handbrake. I had started collecting all the spare parts for the entire braking system last year in Canterbury. If all these garages could charge me all this money and still not give me working brakes I may as well do it myself. 

I had been given some screenshots and advice by a Peugeot mechanic on a forum and given my history of DIY mechanics since I was 17 I decided I’d do it myself. I had got a couple of extra parts from a dealer in Penrith when I was working there some weeks ago so one day I set out to fix them. I quickly found I could do nothing as when I took the offside drum off, the adjuster actually fell out. Literally fell onto the ground. I could see some of the return springs were old and damaged so I replaced them but the adjuster was clearly damaged too. Where the sear hits the knurled wheel for auto adjustment…there was a 4 mm gap lol This partly explains why I have no rear brakes. 

I checked with a dealer and the adjusters were £84 each so I bought a pair from ebay for £32 the pair lol However faced with difficulties of where to park to get the job done, in the end I booked it into David Hayton’s dealership in Penrith. I’d already bought an EGR valve and pipe from them and had good advice while there, and although they charge £70 an hour the guy seemed to know his stuff.

The brakes were in a disgusting condition and I was pleased I had the parts I’d bought over the last year as we used most of them, which saved extra cost and of course time waiting for them. The guy showed me what he was doing and I even helped out a little where I could and after 2 and a half hours they were done. He even put copper grease and stuff here and there which a lot of garages don’t bother with. And some ceramic grease on the edge of the shoes. I wish I had taken lots of photos but I was too busy helping to get them done. 

So, once finished he put the van on the rolling road and the left front and rear brakes passed, but the right front and rear failed. How odd. However he said they would take time to bed in so not to worry and the same test in a week would probably show a pass. Once I got to drive it though it was amazing how efficient the brakes were and I now have a working handbrake!

Now I recall all the times in the past when I’ve driven out of a garage and the brakes seemed fine only to get worse over the next few weeks, so I am not counting my chickens just yet. But I do have a good feeling about it his time so…fingers crossed!

I’m still here

Yeah…it’s been a long time. In fact it’s been almost a full year since I last posted. What have I been doing?

I’ve been doing not very much to be honest! Seeing the grandkids, supporting my daughter, working hard at 2 jobs and of course messing on with my ancient and decrepit van. 

I’ve hardly been anywhere apart from the lake district a few times and working. I trained for my security licence and have been doing a lot of work as a security guard, steward, safe guarder etc which has made me a reasonable sum of extra pocket money. I put that to good use by getting new tyres, having a load of welding done and finally getting the brakes sorted out. I was going to Furness cars and commercials. That awful night when the engine seized they were the ones who recovered me and I recall the driver telling me they also did repairs so I tried to find them much later. I did eventually and asked them to do bits of work on the van. Mostly it was about the high fuel consumption. They found that on one test there was a result of 12 micro somethings, and it should have been 250. So they suggested replacing the MAF sensor. Although the MAF sensor was only a year old I went along with it and sure enough when they tested the second time the reading was much closer to 250. Sadly, it did bot all about my fuel consumption. 
Later, the alternator collapsed and they offered me a Bosch alternator with a lifetime warranty. I went for it even though the final bill was over £500. They made me feel as though I could rely on them even if their prices were high so I went for MOT and they did a small patch of welding which cost me over £300. That was me sorted though, with a few advisories for more rust. 

The metal here was so rusted it was split.

As I was earning extra money from the security work I decided not to wait until MOT time and then fly around trying to get things done, I decided I would work through the advisories now while I still had 8 months left. I jacked the van up to have a little look to see what needed doing and I was shocked to the point I could barely believe it.

Let me show you their advisories. These photos don’t show the full extent of the rust, because a light press here and there went straight through and bits were flaking off just by touching the area. Alongside these, and one of them is clearly where some garage has tried to jack the van using a box member and punctured it, there was rust in the wheel arches with gaping holes and large areas to come out. There was also rust on the inner sills to the extent they had to be replaced. The area where the chassis is fastened to the suspension lower arm was rusted right the way through and to everyone I showed it was agreed that the van was an instant MOT fail. So why had Furness passed my MOT? And what had they done for over £300 cos I could not find any area that had had extensive welding.

Clearly this has started because someone jacked it up on the box member.

Several garages said the work would run into hundreds, with one particular garage quoting me £2000! lol 
Anyway I sent the pictures to Furness who replied that they were happy with the quality of their work and stood by their decision to pass the MOT. The replies were actually quite angry that I should dare to question them. I pressed them again on MOT rules that someone had given me and they replied saying clearly the van had rotted since the MOT! The levels of corrosion in these photos have been building up a very long time and in fact I am shocked no garage in the past has flagged it as an advisory. I posted some pictures on my Facebook page and

This is one of the main anchor points for the suspension.

eventually I was recommended a garage in Wingate called Lloyds. They had a look underneath and after careful thought offered me a price and said the work could be completed in 2 days. The 2 day thing was mostly cos I had to have the van back each afternoon. They were as good as their word and did all of the necessary work and charged me a really fair price, which wasn’t a great deal more than Furnes had charged me for work I could not even find. Lloyds work was of great quality too so they are now my goto garage when I am nearby. 

This section literally was falling apart, with great chunks of metal hanging off or missing.

I’ve added all of these photos as a reminder that it’s very well worth checking your vehicle yourself even after it comes out of the garage. As anyone who has read this blog in the past will know, I consider the majority of garages as unprofessional and at worst, cheats.  

I felt secure with Furness Cars and Commercials, I’m not sure why, but I can now say their level of work is disgraceful and in the opinion of several other mechanics, some of them MOT testers, they sent me on the road with a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Thanks to Lloyds it’s all done now, and I’ll be keeping a check on the chassis so I can keep on top of any work done.