I've umm'd and ahh'd about posting this. Was going to post a review to Google and FB but I'm so over drama, whilst still wanting to vent a little I thought here might be OK. I’d like to share my experience with Keilor Park SSV (Street Sound Vision). This is a bit of a long read, so please scroll to the end for a shortened dot-point summary if you want to just get the gist of it. I've changed the names of the employees so as not to get too personal.
This is more of an exercise in getting something off my chest and just sharing the value of checking reviews before entrusting anyone with your prized possessions.
In mid-November last year I contacted Street Sound Vision to enquire about fitting an alarm system with GPS tracking etc. to my '94 R32 GTR.
After speaking with the store manager "Bob", I felt comfortable to go in and discuss the alarm and feature add-ons as well as picking a new head unit to replace my old one. I brought in my car so he could have a look and give me a quote. We booked in for the 21st of December and I was advised this would be an easy one-day job.
On the 21st, I dropped off my car in the morning and returned home. Later that afternoon, I received a phone call from Bob explaining that the car was ready, however I will need to go through a process every time I turn off the car if I wanted the Remote Start function to operate. This included some kind of button-press sequence before turning off the car and locking it. I thought this was strange and prodded a little further, explaining that I just want to operate my car normally and don’t want to have to go through a ‘sequence’ every time. He advised that for this, they’d need to re-wire the remote-start function to the neutral switch of the gearbox, which to my understanding was the correct way it should have been done initially. He said they’d need it over-night to finish in the morning. Fine.
The next day I received a call at around 1pm to come and pick up the car.
Upon arrival, I was shown the standard features of the alarm; arm, disarm, remote start/stop etc. which all worked perfectly. The new head unit worked and the Bluetooth microphone tucked up over the rear-view mirror neatly, I was satisfied and so went inside to pay the invoice, thank the guys and leave. When I jumped in my car to leave and put the key into the ignition barrel, the car did not respond. No cranking, nothing. I tried the remote start function and that worked, but the car wouldn’t crank with the key. I got out and called one of the guys (the one that actually did the install) out to have a look and his first words were, “It’s an old barrel and must be broken”, as if it was just a coincidence. Of course, I didn’t appreciate that and he agreed to take it back around to the workshop to take a look. I waited for over an hour in the showroom before asking one of the other guys to go and see what’s going on, he came back saying they’re having a look and will advise shortly.
About half an hour later I was called to the back and they showed me the whole driver side under-dash wiring pulled out, explaining they don’t know what the issue is exactly but they’ve narrowed it down to the ignition barrel harness. Again, blaming the age of the car, brittle wires and possibly even the old turbo-timer. Apparently, we had to source a new harness from somewhere or repair the current one.
I stated that there was never any issue prior to bringing the car to them, and that they need to sort it out. At this stage I was pretty frustrated and they said they’ll need it another night, that they’d look at it again in the morning and advise what can be done.
The next day, I received a call at around 2.30pm advising that they know what the issue is, it’s been rectified and I could come over at 5pm to pick it up after they’ve tested it thoroughly.
I arrived at 5pm, and something didn’t feel right as I approached the counter with 3 or 4 guys standing there. Bob said “Mate, we had a bit of an issue, but it’s all fine, your car is working perfectly now.” I asked what the issue was and he said that they had broken my key, but “not to worry because 'Doogle' had a spare GTR key and we got that re-cut for you.” As I stood there, dumbfounded and trying to stay composed, Bob explained, “I don’t know how it happened, it just broke one time as we inserted it into the barrel." Doogle then chirped in with “yours was a cheap eBay-spec Chinese knockoff anyway”, adding insult to injury. It's not a knock-off by the way.
After explaining that Bob had fully rewired my ignition harness and it was now all perfect, I put aside my disappointment of my broken original key with the embossed logo (different to the raised lettering of the replacement which was either R33 or possibly fake itself), took his word that the car was fine and decided to just take my car and go home. It was Christmas after all and I couldn’t be bothered fighting over the key.
I got in my car, put the key in the barrel and immediately noticed it was very tight. Turning the barrel required a lot of effort and my broken key suddenly had an explanation. Bob did mention the new key was “a little tight” and needed some wearing in, but this was ridiculous. I turned the key all the way to the barrel bump-stop and there was a 1-2 second delay before the engine tried to crank and failed. Normally the engine begins to crank before you even get to the end of the barrel. I backed off and tried again. Same thing, it would crank once and stop. So I held the key in that position and went through this sequence a few times until it finally turned on. See below video.
Then my 4WD light came on indicating a fault/failure (they did splice into the ECU and the 4WD computer is connected to that so they may have damaged that connection). I turned off the car and went back inside and called Bob out who at this stage was speechless and swore black and blue that it had been fully tested. They were dumbfounded as to the 4WD failure and then Doogle once again thought it’d be a good time to try and explain to me that “as it’s an old car, the light might be faulting but as long as the 4wd gauge was moving under acceleration it would be fine,” as if I was some idiot that doesn't understand what I'm driving. It wasn’t working anyway. The next day was Christmas eve, it was currently 6pm and I couldn’t stay so I said I’m taking the car and will be back after Christmas.
On the way home, I realised my climate control was also not working. No lights, nothing. Totally dead. When I got home and parked the car, I tested the Remote Start function and that did not work either. I tried the other remote and that didn’t even operate what-so-ever. To try and explain the disappointment would be impossible. The fact that they'd twice tried to pass the car off as "finished"??? Seriously...
Summary of faults:
1. My key was broken and called a fake.
2. Car would hesitate before attempting to crank multiple times, sometimes unsuccessfully.
3. Ignition barrel extremely tight and difficult to turn.
4. 4WD light on and no 4WD operation.
5. Remote Start function not working.
6. Second remote not working
7. Climate control dead.
On the 04/01/21 – I called and spoke to Bob and calmly aired my frustration. He told me they can’t see me until the 25th of January, which I rejected and said in that case I want a full refund so I can take it somewhere else to get fixed. He then agreed to take it in on Thursday the 7th to asses and advise. I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place as I had already paid them. If I hadn't yet paid, they would never see me again, but I had to try and keep things civil with them so they could fix the car.
On Thursday I took the car and we agreed he’d keep it, look into the issues and try to rectify. Later that day he called me saying it was being worked on and the next day I received a call saying everything except for the 4WD had been rectified. Alarm had been removed and re-fit, turbo timer removed (previously discussed and agreed) as it was interfering with the ignition/remote start voltage.
Car is good now except for my 4WD still not working. When I bought the car, the Attesa was not patched to the Haltech ECU. This was fixed, but is now mysteriously not working again. Bob said he’d checked the wiring and it all looked fine so wasn’t sure why it wasn’t working. As I had by now lost all faith in SSV, I did not pursue this matter and decided I will take it to someone that is familiar with the Attesa system.
Whilst I appreciated Bob finally coming through and sorting out some of the issues, the overall experience with SSV was shambolic and, not only do I not recommend them, I strongly urge anyone considering their service to look elsewhere. The stress and worry I felt especially over Christmas and the New Year seems childish in hindsight, but this car does make me feel like a kid again, so I guess it just comes with the territory. I accept blame on my part for not looking into their reviews online before booking the car and taking it in to them. Since this experience, I've spoken to many people who've had similar or worse experiences with this store, and even their other stores. Very uncharacteristic of me to just trust a ‘big’ name in the industry without doing my own research. Lesson learned, let it be yours too. I'm not taking it any further with them but that's the last time I step foot there, and will be advising everyone I know not to use them if they need any audio/security etc in their pride and joy.
Thanks for reading and again, sorry for the long burn. Short summary under the pic of my car.
• 21/12/20 – Drop car off to purchase and fit alarm system and head unit. Was advised later in the arvo that certain procedures need to be completed before ignition-off to activate Remote Start, but a way around was to re-fit to gearbox neutral switch.
• 22/12/20 – “car is ready”: On pick-up, was shown features of the alarm and headunit, all seemed fine, paid and went to leave. Car would not start with key. Waited 2 hours while diagnosing. Blamed age of car. Left the car with them again.
• 23/12/20 – “car is ready”: On arrival:
My key was broken and called a fake.
Car would hesitate before attempting to crank multiple times, sometimes unsuccessfully.
Ignition barrel extremely tight and difficult to turn.
4WD light on and no 4WD operation.
Remote Start function not working.
Second remote not working
Climate control dead.
• Advised they can’t do anything about it until the new year.
• 04/01/21 – called and spoke to Bob and calmly aired my frustration. He told me they can’t see me until the 25th of January, which I rejected and said in that case I want a full refund so I can take it somewhere else to fix. He then agreed to take it in on Thursday the 7th to asses and advise.
• 07/01/21 – took the car and agreed he’d keep it, look into the issues and try to rectify. Later that day he called me saying it was being worked on.
• The next day I received a call saying everything except for the 4WD had been rectified. Alarm had been removed and re-fit, turbo timer removed as it was interfering with the ignition/remote start voltage.
• Car is good now except for my 4WD now not working. When I bought the car, the Attesa was not patched to the Haltech ECU. This was fixed, but is now mysteriously not working again. Will need an auto-elec.