Whilst my experience with the Golf has been a lot less annoying than the Focus, with an engine that doesn’t misfire, works absolutely fine on the regular fuel, and a windscreen that can survive a stone chip without cracking, there is one thing that is starting to get annoying, the variable service intervals.
The theory is great – the car with it’s specially developped oil needs an oil change less frequently, so on board sensors will monitor your usage and driving style, and also the oil quality, and then at some point between 9000 and 20,000 miles will request a service. It is beneficial for people who use the car for primarily long trips, rather than lots of short hops that don’t give the car a chance to warm up, so sounds ideal for someone like me whose main use is for trips to work, 44 miles away. However the practice is a bit different. The car has just announced that it needs a service in 1200 miles, with the mileage on about 25,000. Not too bad until you realise that this is the third time it has done so. The first time the garage just reset the indicator, but right on cue, at the minimum interval level, it came on again – when they did the first service and reset it, and here we are after the minimum mileage again, with it asking for a service. Incidentally, after the mileage, it then gives you a number of days before the next service – in this case 238 – 8 months time!
My assumption is that when I phone the dealer tomorrow, they’ll just ask me to bring it in, and they’ll reset the interval again, the assumption being that it is a problem with a sensor. The question that bothers me is what if it isn’t a sensor, and this is just a symptom of something bigger? (Of course maybe that is because I watched a documentary about the Columbia crash yesterday, where they did exactly the same thing – assumed that an unexpected reported fault was a faulty sensor….)
Update: Chatting to a friend who owns a Seat with the same engine today, he said his service indicator does exactly the same, and his dealer has just told him to ignore it and bring it in on a regular fixed length service interval!