My service shop took my car on a joyride

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  • Updated 11 months ago
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I left my car for an oil change and a tire rotation - only. They called me an hour later at 9:30am and said it was ready to be picked up. I collected it at 8:00pm, drove home, and then noticed the Automatic app said that the car had been driven almost continuously between 3:00pm and 4:50pm - it was driven a total of 17.5 miles into the city and back, and there were three hard accelerations at intersections. Can I use the Automatic trip logging data against them if they try to weasel out of it?
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Chris

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Posted 11 months ago

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Amy

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I'm sure you can. Just show that trip data in your app to prove it. I once reported a valet driver to his company for doing the same with my car. It was a valet service we were using at work. I never had that valet again. 

I've got Automatic Pro in my car so I get an alert in real time anytime it's being driven. My car was in the body shop for several days about a week ago and I was happy to see that the only time they drove it was to move it from their parking lot into the garage for work. 
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Chris

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This is the first time I've had this car serviced since using Automatic, and I had wondered whether I would see any movement at all while in the shop - they have a parking structure connected to their service space and I actually only looked at Automatic to see whether it picked up the "indoor" movement. I was stunned to see all the outdoor movement as well - it was driven out of state!
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Amy

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Wow! Sounds like you've got a case to take up with their management!

You'd only see movement while it's in the shop if you have the Pro adapter which has a 3G connection. Our other adapters rely on the Bluetooth connection with your phone to transmit a trip and only do so when a trip has ended in which the adapter was successfully connected with your phone. 
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Greg Harper

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I unplugged my adapter when I took my car to the shop.  I was concerned that they would need the data port and be confused by the adapter.  Prior to owning automatic I did leave my dash cam plugged in once when my car went in for an oil change.  I was disappointed with the lack of excitement happening in the shop.  Maybe I should have went to Chris' shop!
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Amy

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Haha! Yeah, sounds like that would've been an entertaining dash cam video to watch. 

It can be a good idea to unplug the adapter if your car is going in for a normal service in which they'd need to access the OBD port. Mine was just getting body work so they had no reason to access the port.

And you definitely want to unplug it before taking it in for a smog check.