It has taken a while to get there, but the Panda has finally amassed 20,000km’s under its wheels and with that figure came the message ’service coupon expired’ on the dash display along with a little picture of a spanner. I had booked an appointment with Spicar in Alimos when the car was on 19,900, so only a few days wait was needed before the car went in.
Duly delivered at 08:30, we left the Panda and went about our days business. Since we have had the car for well over a year now, it had a minor service at 15,000 so it was running perfectly well, however the brakes had started to squeak and the tyres (still the original Eagle F1’s) have given up some grip thanks to a couple of very hot summers, so I was predicting the worst when it came to these two items. The alarm had also begun to emit an odd sound a few moments after it was set – intermittantly of course – so this, along with the other two points were mentioned when we handed over the keys.
The car was completed at 4pm and upon collection we were told the brakes still had a good 6,000km’s in them, the tyres were fine and they could find no problem with the alarm. Otherwise, the full service had been carried out and we paid just over 250 euro for the work, 100 of which was labour. The experience at Spicar was far better than our first visit and I found them helpful and prompt.
Driving the Panda since them has been a different experience. It has felt livelier, with more linear acceleration and considerably more punch. The brakes have benefitted from their fluid change and feel far better under foot and my confidence in them has returned. Prior to the service, the 100hp had felt less perky than it had, so clearly the service was much needed, despite my diligence when it came to oil changes and attention to driving style.
The alarm has continued its odd behavior and it will have to return again, but as the problem doesn’t occur each time it’s set, the chances are when I go, it will be fine. Still, it doesn’t seem to affect its operation, so it’s not a big concern at this stage. Spicar recommended a further visit in 5-7,000km’s time for an oil change and the next big service to take place at 40,000km’s. A recent change in circumstances has seen the Panda used even less during the week, so it may be sometime before we head back to Spicar!