You can’t get shitter than a Kwik-Fit fitter

Um, if you think your car’s steering alignment is out, don’t go to Kwik-Fit. Or at least, don’t go to the one in Milngavie. I put the Saab in there a few weeks back to get the wheels balanced, and prepared myself for the moment when the fitter magically discovers that I need all kinds of extra work. “Can I show you this, sir?” he said. Here we go, I thought.

To be fair, though, this time the fitter was right. The wheels weren’t wearing evenly, which means the steering tracking is out. So another fitter took the car, used their magic machine to work out what the problem was, made a complete mess of it and told me my car had been damaged in a crash. Apparently the damage was so bad that they couldn’t sort the tracking completely, and they’d done the best they could.

The car was in for a service yesterday at a Saab specialist, and I asked him to look at the tracking. There’s nothing wrong with the car, he said. We’ve had loads of cars in here recently with duff tracking. Kwik-Fit doesn’t have the right kit to do it, apparently.

He showed me the results of Kwik-Fit’s tracking attempt. One wheel was vertical. The other was sticking out like a yokel’s tooth. Your car hasn’t been crashed, he said. It’s just that the fitter didn’t have a clue what he was doing.





0 responses to “You can’t get shitter than a Kwik-Fit fitter”

  1. > the fitter didn’t have a clue what he was doing.

    That’s a very charitable conclusion to draw.

  2. Gary

    I suspect it’s time for a sarcastic letter to head office.

  3. Surely it’s time for a refund?

    I realise it’s too late, but, there’s a huge discount kilt warehouse on Kilbirnie St in Tradeston. You can also get a very good and cheap curry.

  4. Gary

    I’ve written to their head office, and amazingly I’ve managed to avoid using the F-word :)

    Is it a tartan curry?

  5. Gary

    Quick update – I’ve had the ops manager for Kwik-fit on and got a refund. They were very apologetic.

  6. paul 144

    When ever I receive service that is not acceptable I find it is easier to get a resolve from a major national company than a small one man band- The one man band proberbly has my money in his stomach by the time I get back with a problem where the multi nationals have a pot to deal with complaints. So if you take a civil tone with any company they are more likely to refund you. the trick is to let them know you are likely to come back again if the matter can be resolved. Its good to talk, ranting does not work as well….

  7. J Wilson

    I had a bad experience two years ago at Milngavie KwikFit where we put in a car that was working for a service before a long journey and it came out not working. Also bad experience recently with tyres. On speaking to other people quite a few have had cars come out with problems that they didn’t have when they went in. I think I might use the place at Bearsden next time I have a prob with tyres. I dont like the sound of them not having correct equipment for tracking as I paid for that to be done as well.

  8. Gary

    Yeah, I do think if you have one bad experience with a place it’s a bad idea to go back. Particularly in this bit of the world where there are plenty of independents within a stone’s throw.

  9. Unhappy camper

    Pitiful service from Kwik Fit in Hamilton. Will never go back there.

  10. Jim Dansie

    I had a similar experience – in St. Albans – “oh we will check your tracking Sir, and only charge you if it needs adjustment” – well after the “adjustment” (no probs with the old tyre wear-pattern)the steering wheel was about 15 degrees off-centre – when I mentioned this, the staff did not understand what I was talking about. Just like your other contributor, a garage stated that the adjustment was “all over the place”

    I agree – do not let Kwik-Fit touch your tracking!

  11. GeeDoubleu

    Yeah just had a similar experience.

    Service & MOT, front disc’s and pads need replacing.

    All went swimmingly was impressed so far, fixed a couple of niggles FOC and the car really felt serviced much smoother.

    Even allowed myself to get sold the aircon service and you know what, it really was colder quicker and that nasty damp smell you get after aircons been on a while had gone too.

    But… the time I got home the front breaks were squeeling like pig being taught a lesson the hard way. Obviously skipped the copper grease on the back of the pads or mis-fitted them, braking is excellent, just very noisy.

    So now I have to take it back and leave it with them for the day. 2 hours of my life lost plus a days holidy and £3.60 on the train.

    That said I had a Nissan main dealer change a faulty starter motor and when I collected it they had left all the nuts and bolt undone of various bits and the fell into the engine jamming the accelarator open.

    Not put off from taking it back again, just seems par for the course.

  12. Gary

    I don’t know, it’d worry me because that’s a lack of basic attention to detail. Of all the things you don’t want bodged, brakes are pretty high up the list…

  13. Anonymous

    I sent my driver to have a puncture repaired in a BMW sports tyre. Kwik Fit telephoned and said “It needs a new tyre” having been mugged by Kwik Fit before my driver went to retreive the wheel, on his way out of the workshop the fitter called him a prick. What fantastic customer relations just because he had lost a sale.

    I am writing to their head office about this man’s behaviour.

    This is the Southend-on-Sea branch of Kwik Fit.

    Hotel owner

  14. D Grigg

    My car was noisy so I took it along to the Dunstable branch & asked if it may be my exhaust & the lad said I needed a new catalytic converter & whole exhaust so I said will it sound better then & he said yes, but you may need to get the spark plugs checked. So he did the work & the car sounded just the same as when I got there & on the way home there was this awful banging noise. As it was late I took the car back the next day & he told me it was my shock absorbers & I told him the banging was coming from underneath & he told me again it was my shock absorbers & sent me away. I came straight back when the noise was still bad just driving on a even road with no bumps. He put the car up on the ramp & the manager had told him to bend the exhaust as it was catching on the rear axle, so he bent it & it was ok, until I had a passenger in the car. Today for the 3rd time I took the car back & they did something to stop it banging, I think they used electrical cable ties. It still sounded the same as when I took it in the first time so I got the spark plugs changed & it sounds better than in the first place which makes me wonder if I really needed any work done in the beginning. As a woman driver I have never had problems there before, but I will never be going back there again unless the exhaust is within the 3 year guarantee & needs work (I wouldn’t be surprised). I will be telling all my friends & family of my experience with Kwikfit which is not good being sent away with that noise to my car & really the exhaust was not fitted properly. After having that work & a tyre fitted & paying £326.00 & having to go back 3 times for the pleasure is a nightmare in itself.

    This is what I sent to Kwikfit as a complaint

  15. I’d be surprised if they did anything to your car.

  16. angela fox

    please do not take your car to kwikfit, they get paid a commision on the parts they sell and will always tell you you need more work than is required, i took my car last week for blowing exhaust, they said it was the manifold and quoted £267 to replace, took it away and went to national tyres, they showed me it was blowing from the middle box and it cost £51, and problem solved and car just passed mot, rang kwikfit head office and complained they have promised to look into it , but not heard anything and dont think i will, they are scammers DO NOT GO TO KWIKFIT, there are lots of garages out there that care about peoples safety and will not rip you off …….

  17. John Holden

    I checked my vehicle; a BMW 740i into my local ‘Kwik-Fit’ station based at Abbeyforegate in Shrewsbury on Friday the 7th of November 2008 for an annual M.O.T. test, which was subsequently tested and failed by Mr. Julian Inns.

    I was advised at the time that the reason for failure was due to a rear suspension arm having too much play, I asked there and then for a price of replacement and fitting to fall in line with ‘Kwik-Fits’ re-testing timeline policy. I was advised first of all that the part, including fitting would be approx. £50.00 but when a call in my presence was made to their supplier, questions were asked over which suspension arm would be required, a shouted message across the services bays was return with you need a straight one, this was then re-quoted at £110.00 including fitting, apparently the £50.00 quoted by a service technician wouldn’t of even covered the part cost’s.

    I had also at this time enquired regarding the costs and time to track and align the vehicles wheels as it had been pulling to the left whilst under-braking, I was advised to get this job done after the fitting of the suspension arm as that would have a direct influence over the vehicle’s settings.

    Needing the vehicle to be road worthy as soon as possible I agreed to the new quotation of the suspension arm and arranged for the vehicle to be booked in for the following Monday, the 10th of November 2008, as long as the part had arrived. Late Monday afternoon having received no telephone call in regards to the part order I called the ‘Kwik-Fit’ centre in regards to the status of the part, I was told that the part had arrived that morning, I then asked whether they could fit and pass the M.O.T. that afternoon, which they did, I received my new M.O.T. certificate.

    The following day, Tuesday the 11th of November, I as suggested, returned with the vehicle to have its tracking / alignment checked and if required adjusted, adjustment as I suspected was needed and was carried out whilst I waited, I was then advised, once finished that although they had completed and charged me for the work that it would be advisable to myself to book the vehicle into the Telford branch of ‘Kwik-Fit’ at further cost of approx. £50.00, as they have a more accurate form of tracking and alignment, at no time during this visit or in conversation did any technician mention that the suspension arm had excess play or passed no comments on the road worthiness of the vehicle.

    Yesterday Monday the 17th of November 2008, I took my vehicle to a BMW specialist to have an electrical problem checked over with a diagnostic system, upon inspected the vehicle visually before doing so he brought to my attention the excess play with the rear passenger side wheel, when I mentioned that I had just had that work completed by ‘Kwik-Fit’ to pass through its M.O.T. he further inspected the work carried out and commented on how the vehicle in this condition should never of passed an M.O.T. and that in his opinion the arm that was replaced was misdiagnosed and that it was the other angled suspension arm that was causing the excess play.

    Having only been 7 days since the M.O.T. was passed I returned with my vehicle to the ‘Kwik-Fit’ station in Abbeyforegate and asked them to look at the vehicle and comment on the findings and situation, this they did and said that if the vehicle had been presented that day for an M.O.T. they would not have passed it, being a huge concern, especially as the vehicle had only covered 93 miles since the M.O.T. I questioned if the suspension arm they had fitted had indeed been the right choice, I was told that the arm they replaced was in need of replacing but I only have their word on this as no part was ever shown to me and I imagine has since been discarded.

    The fact remains that the problem with the excess movement, enough apparently to warrant an M.O.T. failure and from which I was initially advised would be rectified, was never achieved. I have subsequently found out that the part replaced has an average replacement non-trade price of £32.61 which I imagine would of been in line with the original figure quoted of £50.00, I have been told by ‘Kwik-Fit’ in Abbeyforegate that they are willing to address the situation as long as I am willing to pay a further £110.00 towards the cost of needed part, this I am not willing to do, as in my opinion this was the work that should of and was agreed at the set price to have been completed in accordance with making the vehicle road worthy to comply with the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency and on behalf of which they issued a certificate.

    With the M.O.T., Part Replacement and Tracking I have spent over £180.00 from which I am left with the uncertainty that my vehicle actually meets a road worthy condition, in-complete tracking and a part I’m no clearer on knowing whether I actually needed replacing.

    Unless this situation is concluded with immediate effect I will be left with no alternative but to seek 2 individual statements from M.O.T. stations on the condition of the car, 1 BMW dealer inspection on the car and finally I will then present this statement as already recommended by ‘VOSA’ along with the findings from authorised garages to the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency under a VT17 form for investigation. In the meantime, due to the uncertainty arisen from all these problems I will also hire a standard car for the duration of this investigation and should the findings by ‘VOSA’ be in my favour I will seek to recover all costs through legal means as well as all losses of earnings for the time incurred in resolving this matter.

    I have spoken to Anthony Spencer the Regional Manager but he say’s Kwik Fit were right in all aspects and that I should speak to VOSA in regards the complaint.




    If you need to haggle them anyfurther i advise calling the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency as John Holden. NB Kwik fit have deliberately do not disclose their Head Office number only to me, because i am the Man with the Plan. LOL.




    If you need to haggle them any further, i advise calling the ‘Vehicle and Operators Services Agency’ as John Holden did above…previous posting.

    NB Kwik fit deliberately do not disclose their Head Office number, unless you are me, because i am the Man with the Plan.

    Sorry for the previous posting, too much Red Bull…

  20. Mike Saunders

    The rear brakes were scraping on my Primera. left it with Kwik fit. Phone call to say discs needed replacing: £247 fitted. Cost of parts on internet: £65 maximum (much less to KF). Labour charge for job that took one hour (I timed it) £180 approximately. Complaint to ‘Customer Service’ received advice that this was the industry norm; make a comparison. My dentist and my cat’s vet don’t charge £180 an hour.

    PS the discs look fine to me. I asked for them back.

  21. Bloody hell. We get our Merc serviced by a big official Mercedes place, and they charge £100 an hour, which I thought was pretty steep.

  22. The DJ

    Kwik Fit are the biggest Rip Off Merchants you could ever find… Reason?

    My partners Honda Civic Type R developed a Squealing and Screeching noise from the Passengers Side Rear Brake, This is usually a sign of worn out pads and sure enough it was evident on the Disc that the pad had indeed worn out. So she took it to Kwik Fit and they must have seen her coming (e.g. Young Female driving her husbands car wont know a thing about it) she asked for the discs and pads to be replaced and got told “The Caliper has erroded…. (what the hell?) and it will cost you £380 to replace”…. Even if the caliper did need replacing I could buy one for about £80 and my dad who has been a mechanic for over 30 years could have fitted it for me!

    So on closer inspection my dad could see nothing wrong with the caliper but could see the Pad had worn right down to its backing plate…..


  23. I’ve just had a lucky escape. My exhaust was blowing so I took it to Kwik Fit. I was told that both the middle and end sections would need replacing and this would cost over £220. I was a bit suspicious so I said I couldn’t afford it therefore would leave it thanks. I was then asked how much could I afford (what!!!) to which I just shrugged – he went on to say they could just replace the middle section at a cost of £111 to which I again replied I’ll leave it for now thanks and book it in another time. He then went on to say before I took my car away he would try and stop the blowing before the exhaust fell off. What d’ya know he came back with the good news that no sections needed replacing as the problem was that the clamp needed tightening. Call me synical!!!!!

  24. a non e mouse

    kwik fit employees are made to work to a daily and monthly budget most of the time this is reflected from the year before, these budgets are mostly unacheivable unless its a really busy to make the afore mentioned budgets employees are advised not to ,by the company ,but are forced to make the budget up anyway they can.unfortunately this does involve overselling in a lot of cases.kwik fit is a retail company so the emphasis is on sales , sales , sales. the staff do go through training but it is very short. a lot of the staff are incapable of performing the job they get paid for.

  25. Gary

    Thanks for all your comments, everyone. I’m going to close this thread now.