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Preston Motorpark - My first annual service (and experiences)


Overlander21
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Overlander21

I've owned my Wrangler for nearly a year now so it was time to book it in for it's first service and thought I'd share my experiences here.

 

I rang Preston Motorpark - https://www.preston-motorpark.co.uk  - last month and booked it in for today.  They're about an hour from where I live and I asked if they could service it while I waited.  They said yes and it'll take two hours or so.

 

Dropped it off at the agreed 10am time slot this morning and took the dog for a very long walk around the marina which is across the road.  A trip to the mobile burger van, Starbucks, a few laps of Pets at Home and one more lap of the marina and the two hours were up so I started making my way back.  They rang me on the way back to say it was ready, perfect timing.

 

Apparently the repeater indicator in the drivers door mirror wasn't working. I did't know this as you can't actually see the indicator from the drivers seat (no dash-warnings either?).  They don't have the (£117.52+VAT!!) part in stock, probably obvious really, so they had to order it.  They have no idea when it will be available 🙄

 

There was one recall, for a whole vehicle type approval plate under the bonnet which needs updating / replacing.  I told them about this recall / plate last month when I booked it. Perhaps no surprise today to hear that this wasn't in stock either and would also have to be ordered.  Why didn't they order it last month when I booked in?

 

When I dropped it off I told them not to rotate the tyres.  Thankfully, they didn't.  

 

I also asked them not to wash/valet it.  The lady on the service desk literally laughed out loud and said, "We don't do that here anyway 🤣".    She thought that was hysterical.  Perhaps I wrongly assumed a free valet was all part of the (customer) service 🤷‍♂️

 

I also asked them to install TSB 08-067-22 in order to get the app working.   When I picked it up I was told they couldn't install the TSB update as it takes four hours to download.  FOUR HOURS?!  WTAF...  I've no idea what sort of bullshit that was and I didn't really care enough to ask if they were still using 56k dialup modems.  Four hours ffs 🙄  In all honesty though, now I'm home, I would love to know what the real reason was they didn't install it 🤔

 

During the service they also added a "Tunap Fuel Treatment"  (£34.38+VAT).  I didn't ask for it and I was a bit put out they'd stuck it in my tank.  I've only ever run my Jeep on BP's finest E5/97RON 😬   Anyone know what this stuff is?? 😱 

 

 

When I got the Jeep I bartered for a free three year servicing deal so it didn't cost me anything today, I'm just listing the prices here for anyone that might be interested.

 

I'm a bit put out that I'll have to take another whole day off work, do another 2 hour minute round trip, and hang around for another two hours, to get the mirror indicator replaced, and the type approval sticker.  And I'll probably not bother with the TSB for the app if that's going to be another four hours on top.   This isn't really a fault or complaint of Preston Motorpark, I don't for one minute expect any Jeep dealer in the UK to have these Wrangler parts just sitting on a shelf out back.


In my 35 years of driving this is the first brand new car I've ever owned so I wasn't really sure what to expect from a main dealer service.  I've previously only ever used Preston Motorpark once with a warranty taillight and their customer service then was amazing.  Today it was just a bit 🤷‍♂️

 

All in all, it was bit of a non-event really.  

 

The marina is a nice place to wander round though, especially with a dog, you can easily occupy yourself for two hours while waiting 😊 🐕  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Overlander21 said:

She thought that was hysterical.  Perhaps I wrongly assumed a free valet was all part of the (customer) service

I haven't had a new Jeep since 2007, the last dealer service I have had from Jeep was in 2010. Every Jeep dealer service I have had in the UK, USA and Switzerland between 1998 and 2010 included being washed and vacuumed. The Swiss dealer was also a Ferrari dealer. They had a machine that did the wash and a man that leathered the paintwork down afterwards. I think they must have used some sparkly wax formula as it always looked better than any clean I did by hand with AutoGlym. In the UK the new cars my family has had from Vauxhall, VW and Audi have also had a valet clean when serviced.

 

2 hours ago, Overlander21 said:

When I picked it up I was told they couldn't install the TSB update as it takes four hours to download.  FOUR HOURS?!

Sadly, the days of high quality software development are over. There has been a global race to the bottom over the last two decades and Agile infects everything now from code to physical systems infrastructure. I am surprised anything actually works at all. Four hours to download a TSB is simply bad design. Bad design, or no design, just iteratively keep hacking on it until it works is the Agile way or get sacked. This is what most corporates call professional software development now, 40 years ago this was the way of the non-professional hobbyist.

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Overlander21

I'm glad I wasn't imagining the expectation of a free wash and valet.

 

Do you think the four hour download quote was real?!  How big can a single software update possibly be?  What if it failed half way through the download, they'd need my car for another whole day 😱  That just can't be legit.

 

 

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A reasonable way to do a firmware update that consists of a BLOB (Binary Large Object) in the minimum amount of time would be using an overnight batch process every night to download updates to a local cache suitably encrypted to the dealer's public key. This could be just a file server or a laptop used for the file storage. During the installation process into the vehicle a separate program picks up the encrypted BLOB from storage and runs a decryption process using the dealer's private key and a serialization process with the VIN of the Jeep. This program can conjure up another special fixed amount of data from the serialization and patch it into a copy of the BLOB before the composite firmware is written to the ECU flash memory. Serialization should take no more time than it takes to check a PIN on a card terminal. Patching the blob just milliseconds, uploading the composite firmware into the Jeep would take 2 minutes for 300MB at 20Mbps write speed. Who knows how big the download is or how fast the flash memory in the ECU is, both dictate the duration of the write. This is just theoretical.

 

If the dealer can only download at a maximum of 8Mbps, for a full speed continuous download the file size would be roughly 14GB. That's 51 thousand times the amount of code that NASA claims was used on the Apollo moon mission firmware. In comparison, a 21st century Megasquirt fuel injection ECU has just 1MB of firmware. So my guess of 300MB is 300x the size of Megasquirt firmware that just does fuel injection. My guess is that the download time is due to some bottle neck in the process that's throttling the process to Kbps.

 

You just have to trust the information the dealer gives you. If it takes 4 hours, it takes 4 hours. Contingency is something you need to negotiate with them. Remind them that your time costs money too.

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If the dealer has anything other than a full fibre connection, 4 hours is entirely possible, especially when you consider any available bandwidth will be shared across the business. Even if the workshop has its own connection, there could be many vehicles with their own downloads running competing for the available bandwidth.

 

I have no idea how it works on the JL but other FCA brands have had a convoluted authorisation process in the past that demands updates to be approved in real time by Turin. Not surprisingly that can easily create long delays.

 

Car manufacturers are having to rapidly pivot to being software houses as well as everything else. Some of them, I’m afraid, just aren’t very good at it.

 

My daily driver is a Volvo that contains around 135 separate ECUs. When it goes in for a service, they automatically update the software in every one. They manage to do that within an hour.

 

The recall for the type approval plate: is that to correct an error on it, or are they making a material change to the vehicle approval? I’m thinking tow rating or CO2 figure, which may impact your VED.

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14GB is an entirely reasonable number, as is 8mb download speeds.  So I guess the 4hr number may have been legit after all 😕

 

Alas, I'm not prepared to wait four hours so I'll forsake the app for now.

 

@AlexK I can't remember off the top of my head this evening, I'll post a photo of the recall letter tomorrow.

 

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2 hours ago, AlexK said:

Car manufacturers are having to rapidly pivot to being software houses as well as everything else. Some of them, I’m afraid, just aren’t very good at it.

Probably because they have unofficial ageist employment practices and refuse to acknowledge that they are often reinventing the wheel as a triangle.

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2 hours ago, Overlander21 said:

14GB is an entirely reasonable number, as is 8mb download speeds.  So I guess the 4hr number may have been legit after all 😕

 

Alas, I'm not prepared to wait four hours so I'll forsake the app for now.

 

@AlexK I can't remember off the top of my head this evening, I'll post a photo of the recall letter tomorrow.

 

4hrs was what I was quoted for the firmware update on my then Renegade Trailhawk. I just left the Jeep with the dealership and took a courtesy Princess Peach Fiat 500.

I got a wash on my first Renegade service ( but I had other issues with Thames Motor that time) and on the second service at Beaconsfield they did me a favour by washing Alice as she was covered in Whitecliffs whitish mud 😆

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18 hours ago, AlexK said:

The recall for the type approval plate: is that to correct an error on it, or are they making a material change to the vehicle approval? I’m thinking tow rating or CO2 figure, which may impact your VED.

 

@AlexK this is all I know currently:

 

1003238835_Screenshot2022-10-25at15_58_43.thumb.png.a55f05fcf6350ce7c7d822fc48010a71.png

 

If they ever get it in stock I'll take a before and after photo.

 

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Interesting. Presumably just an error in the production of the plate rather than a change as such. Although FCA have sold vehicles into the UK without the correct type approval before... 🤐

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