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CarDoc, Technician
Category: Vauxhall
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience:  IMI L3 Motor Vehicle Mechanic
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My clutch its very heavy to press

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My clutch its very heavy to press

Thank you for using JA. I'm Baz, one of the automotive experts, I try to be available in the afternoon on weekdays and in the evenings on the weekend. I apologise if I do not respond to your question promptly, I can assure you that I will respond as soon as I can. Thank you

A stiff pedal can be an indication of worn seals of the master cylinder or slave cylinder. Is the clutch engaging and disengaging normally (apart from the stiff pedal)?

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
No i can press it and it goes back no problem its just heavy to press it when vauxhall change the clutch they did slave cylinder at the same time ,the wierd thing is when i collect the car on the day they collect it the clutch was very very light but that only last about 2/3 days and then it started to become more heavy and now after 1500 miles since the clutch was replaced its as heavy as it was before the clutch replacement

An incorrect clutch installation, release bearing/fork could also cause this heavy pedal issue. Get back onto them quickly otherwise they will blame you for any damaged components (which they may have done themselves due to incorrect installation). The clutch release mechanism which consists of and begins from the clutch pedal > master cylinder >slave cylinder>clutch fork>release bearing and then clutch pressure plate fingers; any of these components can be responsible for a heavy clutch pedal, well you can rule out the slave cylinder because it's been replaced.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Yeah i was there 3 times already with the issue and they keep telling me that there is nothing wrong ,
i had also had another issue with my rear brake pads been very noisy and they checked it twice and said there is nothing wrong and then i went to my local garage to find out that the one of the brake pad was not fitted correctly
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Im going there tomorrow to talk with the face to face and im going to take the incorrectly fitted brake pad along with the letter from my mechanic which state that they didnt fit the brake pads correctly
Customer: replied 4 days ago.
i was there last week with the clutch and they said " the technican check the clutch and there is nothing wrong " i have also noticed that when i shift to 3rd gear i can feel the gear its not going in properly sometimes like a griding
you can feel it in your hand when you shift

This is one reason why I don't like main dealers (even when working for them), if you're not covered by warranty from a main dealer, don't use them. Main dealers only take on big profit jobs, they don't bother with "complaining customers", that's how it is, it's all money/profit motivated, no care about customers or their safety in some cases.


Most likely they have installed the clutch or the release mechanism components incorrectly and they are trying to wiggle out of it, they always do. I would suggest taking a tough stand against them and threaten them with trading standards/VOSA/ombudsman if you have to and also bring up the incorrect brake pad installation too.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Well the car its on finance they have sold me a one year extended warranty and the clutch was actually fu*ked when i bought the car so one month later i took it back and they "replaced it " but i went to my local garage this friday also and the mechanic said to me the clutch feels nothing like a brand new clutch in his opinion feels like 30/40 of clutch life left after 1800 miles its a joke , do you think i got any chance to win that battle with them ?

I don't have the freedom to use that language, otherwise I would. Their aftersales is the money making machine for main dealers in which they only take money and will fight if they have to give any back out again.

You have evidence in the form of receipts, invoices and an independant garage letter stating that they wrongly installed brake pads so, you have every chance to beat them and make them repair this issue for free.

The 3rd gear issue after clutch replacement also indicates that they have done something wrong and it's not surprising because their techs have time limits and work under a lot of pressure most of the time.

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Thanks for your help really appreciate that
I go there tomorrow after work will keep you posted

Keep all invoices from them, they have to keep a record any way so, they will have to produce documents for the jobs they have carried out on your car.





Glad I could help in some way, all the best and hope it works out for you, let me know how you get on or what the dealer says.

Thank you for using JA!

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I had an dash cam installed time i can see they started the works at 12:30 and finish it at 4 so it took them 3.5 hours

3.5 hours is a decent time but what matters is the attention of the tech on the job he's doing, a lot of carelessness does go on even when doing important jobs that can affect vehicle safety.

I had a 1-day trial at a main dealer and they wanted me to fit a set of pads (with the road wheel removed already) within 5-8 minutes which is ridiculous because it's a safety component of a vehicle. For the first time I were actually glad that I didn't get that job, I could never work like that especially when you know someone is going to be driving this car at high speeds. Anyways, let me know how you get on.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
I didnt go there today as i had to go pick up the letter from my garage first but im going there tomorrow morning and im very curious what they will say :)

Hopefully they agree to fix it :) If not, then contact Vauxhall customer services (not the garage you're dealing with, but the head office).

CarDoc and other Vauxhall Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Hi, so i went there today after work, i didnt make any fuss or anything i was nice and polite with them, i give them the later and they been shocked the guy i was dealing with his face went all red and he literally didnt know what to Say, cant explain what i seen but i thought im going to explode with the laugh, they offer me a drive with the technician but beetwen the hours of 8 and 5, and im at work at that time so i refuse it, and then i also told them about the brake pads show them the letter and the guy was like 'how come they didnt fit the brake pads properly' and i said well thats the question to you its your technician doing the job to me, they been in massive shock Words cant describe it he took all the paper work and also the damaged brake pad, without single words they booked my car in for tomorrow and they Will call to me to let me know whats going on, i kidnly ask them to sort the problem out as i cant be coming there every week
Good job, at least they booked you in :) if they try to mess you about again and try to delay, then contact Vauxhall customer service straight away and tell them what one of their franchise garage has done to your car.
Customer: replied 2 days ago.
Im hoping they not gonna try blame me saying for example 'you burn the clutch' or something
Customer: replied 1 day ago.
Just had a feedback from them, they said they test drive the car and didnt find any problems with the clutch

Ask them why the clutch pedal is heavy, if there is nothing wrong. I think you should contact their head office regardless of what the garage says and let them know of the situation.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
I went there to get my car back and i had another conversation with them for about 20 min and i explain them everything that im not happy with the clutch and also that the gears not going in smoothly sometimes the gears go in nice and smooth then few mins later you can hear the gears grinding etc they said to me that both the guy from the service departament and the technician drive the car and they cant find nothing wrong with it ,he keep telling me his opinion and i kept telling him what i think about it and i told him " i trusted you when you said my brake pads where fine and they wasnt and i prove this to you so how can i now trust you when you say my clutch its fine ? I said to him how can you explain the fact that the clutch was light for few days and now its not any more ? he obiously said to me that they do want to help me but cant do anything unsless the technician find anything wriong with the car they also told me that they dont want me to be unhappy etc he offered me a courtesy car to be picked up on the 16th of december and then they been planing to keep the car for few days and keep road testing it etc

04/12/2019 06:52
So i agree for that and he booked me for the 16th of december and then just before i jump to my car he come to my and asked me how long i had the licence for and i said its gonna be 1 year in january and then he said they cant give me car if i got my licence under one year so then he told me to bring the car back tomorrow morning
i dont really know now what to think about the whole situation with the car they make me fall that im wrong and for a while i thought im gonna actually belive in what they say
hey can they cant see nothing wrong you as a car mechanic do you think its normal that the gears sometimes go nice and easy and next time i need to put a pressure on it to go in ? also 3rd gear i can feel the gear its not going in smotly its like griding

Gears getting stiff can be to do with the gear linkages which can be reset so, you could tell them to do this. Also, tell them to lubricate the pedal mechanism to see if that makes any difference but a heavy clutch pedal is normally due to the causes I mentioned in previous messages, my suspicion is the master cylinder which is directly attached to the clutch pedal.

When you push the clutch pedal, you push a piston on the master cylinder which pushes clutch fluid to the slave cylinder and the slave cylinder piston pushes the clutch fork, providing that the clutch fork, release bearing and clutch pressure plate is installed correctly, the master cylinder is the only other component which can fail and cause the piston to become stiff.

Customer: replied 1 day ago.
They want the car back tomorrow will see tomorrow what they will say :) Im getting fed up i wish i never bought the car ...

You do get trapped with some dealers who con customers through parts sales (their biggest source of income). Hopefully it will go your way :) and also mention the gear linkage reset and lubricating the clutch pedal mechanism.

Customer: replied 5 hours ago.
Hi mate ,so i dropped the the car today in the morning again half 4 they called me they tested the car for about an hour and didnt find any faults ,i just got my dashcam out and checked all the videos about 10 o clock someone jump in to the car and turn the dashcam off and then next video the car is parked somewhere else so they had something to hide off from me the question is what is it ,fu*k knows i can see they have been out on a drive for about an hour ,and yeah they told me its all as good as gold with the car

If the gears feel the same (getting stuck) and the clutch pedal is heavy, then I would recommend getting in touch with Vauxhall head office. They're trying to fob you off.

I own a 66reg golf gtd and it's got all sorts of knocking noises, been going on for over a year and they keep fobing me off too and when I got the car back after the last "inspection", it was in sport mode and about 3 lines of the fuel gauge down (they spent a full morning rallying my car) with the same typical response. Point is, that it's not worth it to keep going back and forth with the garage, just take your complaint to the head office and add the legal threat if they get funny.

Customer: replied 5 hours ago.
I think they actually been doing something with the car as they did turn the dashcam off at 10 and then next video the car was parked elsewhere , on my way back to home i didnt notice any griding in the gears but thats only 2 miles however yeasterday within the 2 miles i was able to feel the gears grinding , im gonna take it for another spin later on and see how the car acts , the clutch its still heavy as it was ,i was thinking about going to another dealer or getting an AA inspection to check it and then i got proper prove that something its wrong

You could do that as a second opinion from a company with reputation but I wouldn't delay in contacting the vauxhall head office and putting the complaint in because they will try blaming you if you delay it too much.

Customer: replied 4 hours ago.
What you think would be better going to another vauxhall dealer or AA?

AA will be better, another vauxhall dealer is just like another apple from the same tree.

Customer: replied 3 hours ago.
Im gonna call them tomorrow and book with them hopefully they can do it for me asap, what about rac? If rac could do quicker i could do Inspection w rac

RAC/AA/Greenflag or any other reputable company is fine. I believe that they have most likely installed the clutch wrong or damaged your master cylinder. You have that heavy feeling in the clutch pedal because you're either pushing against friction (damaged master cylinder seals) or a heavy load which can be from an incorrect clutch kit installation.

Customer: replied 3 hours ago.
Thanks a lot for your help i will give you a tip later because i can See you really trying to help me and answer all the questions perfectly! I Just took the car for a spin and i think they must have done something with the car as the gears not grinding anymore so far, but the clutch its still heavy

Thank you, happy to help :) They must have reset the gear linkage but the clutch is still heavy so, it's still their problem as they caused it.

Customer: replied 1 hour ago.
I just give you 5pound bonus hope you recive it , when i be getting the inspection should i tell them that my dealer replace the clutch etc ?

Thank you :) Yes, you could tell them or you could stay quiet to see if they pick-up on the clutch pedal feeling heavy and then tell them after and see what they say.

The astra does have a slightly heavier clutch but it shouldn't be that heavy where you're putting excessive effort into it and it's tiring your foot out.

Customer: replied 1 hour ago.
Yeah but the clutch been very easy to press when they replace it and it never make my feet tired at all now its hard,hopefully i can get that sorted tomorrow or weekend and when they give me the inspection paperwork then i should be in ground having all the evidence of them not fitting brake pads properly etc :)
Customer: replied 1 hour ago.
Does clutches normally become heavy after a while? My brother said that his clutch become even ligher after few houndred of miles :)

It shouldn't be heavy at all, it should be easy because in reality the clutch is released hydraulically using a master cylinder and slave cylinder. All you do is pull/push (depending on the design), the piston on the master cylinder with the clutch pedal and hydraulic fluid is pushed to the slave cylinder, it's not an old school system. If the clutch has been fitted wrong/without care, then the dealer will lose money because they have to do it again, which is what they're most likely fearing.