Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Four letters - begins with S and ends with T ("SEAT")

My car is made by a Spanish subsidiary of a German company. Not quite as good as the German cars but attractively priced and I'm not one for designer logos, so the total lack of charisma and basic trim-level weren't issues for me.

Four-years on, and my car is taking in water to the extent that we've started calling the back seat "the shallow end". Worst part is the condensation which means I have to sit with the engine running for 10 minutes to clear the windows.

Last month the fusebox blew and my radio went into safe-mode. According to the manual I should use the code that was written in my manual. It then described the process for inputting the unlock code.

Turns out the main-dealer who sold me the car gave me the manual for the wrong sort of radio. I did some googling and found some instructions for my radio. I entered the code - turns out he had also given me the wrong code.

The manual then goes on to say that I could go along to my friendly local main-dealer and they could obtain a code for me and unlock it.

My cunning plan was to get the leak fixed at the same time as I got the radio unlocked. I usually distrust main-dealers ("stealers") but it seemed no-one else would unlock my radio.

Took the car in, drove off with a tiny, noisy courtesy car that made me feel grateful for my old bus and came back that evening.

To find my car :-

(a) full of water
(b) steamed up like a passion-wagon
(c) battery discharged so it wouldn't start
(d) radio still locked in safe-mode

Turns out that they didn't have a clue how to put the code in (I actually had to teach them how to do it) and had run the battery down in the attempt. They had washed the car afterwards - and the water had gushed through their "repair". They also assumed the code in the manual was correct and hadn't bothered ringing SEAT UK with the serial number and asking for the unlock code.

Not wanting to start the new year with a battle, my new cunning plan is to shame them into giving me the unlock code and then trade the thing in on a German car. Hopefully on a dry day.

So, if you ever buy a SEAT Toledo (pre-2004) - make sure you memorise lots of songs to sing when your radio locks up, and keep a hairdryer handy to dry the carpets.

1 comment:

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