Volvo C30 DRIVe: Getting to know you

Time for a service

At the local Volvo dealer here in Peterborough we're on first-name terms. We've started up a bit of a friendship the service department and me - soon they'll be inviting me around to dinner.

I've booked in the Volvo C30 DrRIVe for work twice in three weeks. This time it was for the first major service and, having done the work, they want me to book it in again.

I just think they like my company.

Since April I have completed more than 13,000 miles and most of that is my daily commute from London to Peterborough. It's a pretty hefty mileage and it's not great for the planet, I admit. Still, it also means regular visits to Marshall's in Peterborough. I don't mind: it's only down the road and it isn't a major saga. They are massively efficient and I don't have to wait an age to get all the paperwork sorted. I book, I drop off they key, they are polite, I go.

As you will know from my last report, the Volvo blew its headgasket. That was at about 11,200 miles. I had asked Marshall's if they could service it at the same time, but they told me that I hadn't done quite enough mileage for the first service. A few weeks later and I had busted the 12,500-mile first service easily so a repeat visit was necessary.

The car went in in the morning and when I collected it - and the reasonable £214 bill - I assumed wouldn't be seeing the friendly service department receptionist for a while.

I was wrong.

The receptionist told me that Marshall's wanted to have another look at the car in a few weeks. Why? They've only just serviced it.

Well, the service team noticed a bit of residue in the coolant. It was still left over from the headgasket blow and although it's not terminal Marshall's still want to make sure that there isn't a problem.

You can take this both ways: you can either huff and puff and say that this is hideously inconvenient and that it's all getting in the way of your very busy life, or you can applaud attention to detail and the desire to make sure everything is alright.

I take the latter view.

Sure, it's been a little inconvenient popping into Marshall's every couple of weeks, but I would much rather they get it right and take the trouble to do everything they can to ensure the car doesn't break down again. It's a proper professional service, it's admirable and maybe, next time, I'll stay there for a nice cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat.


Current mileage: 13,566

Average mpg: 52.9