UK Auto Repair Questions?
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)?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Hopefully they agree to fix it :) If not, then contact Vauxhall customer services (not the garage you're dealing with, but the head office).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AA will be better, another vauxhall dealer is just like another apple from the same tree.
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.
Thank you, ***** ***** help :) They must have reset the gear linkage but the clutch is still heavy so, it's still their problem as they caused it.
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.
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.
That's steep. Do you not have large local independant garages that are not Vauxhall franchise?
Try some of them, they have to be reputable, that's all. If it's some back street garage then the main dealer may argue with their opinion.
I recommended that yesterday, it's a waste of time dealing with the dealer garage directly, they'll only act when they get stick from the head office.
Yes you need to have a written secondary opinion so you can hold the paper up and say that you took it to another garage and they said there is something wrong with the clutch mechanism. They'll take you more seriously otherwise it will be your word against their "qualified technician".
It's all a "who makes the most money for the dealer" race in their workshops. I'm not surprised at that brake pad issue, I asked the same question when I had a work trial with Ford. They would rather employ someone works like a machine whether it's done right or wrong. If the dealer is getting richer, then there's someone down the line doing slave labour which is their technicians, they're just mechanics who have been turned into vauxhall part changing robots. No diagnostics, no inspections, no fault-finding, that's why I call them part changers.
I can only give an opinion from what you tell me, if they're saying it's normal then it may be ok. The gears getting stuck could be the gear linkages, the gearstick mechanism or a gearbox problem. Shifting gears is a separate issue from the clutch, the clutch just disconnects the drive from the gearbox and allows you to change the gear.
Trapped air would cause the pedal to fall down or partially down to the floor and you would have a hard time releasing the clutch plate to change gears because the slave cylinder piston wouldn't extend fully due to the trapped air because air can be squeezed but fluid can't so, instead of pushing the slave cylinder piston out, the air would get squashed. This also reduces return force when you lift the pedal so, the clutch pedal will drop to a lower position and stay there.
He could be right in that the clutch pedal was easier to press. The clutch components need to be inspected visually to see if the clutch pressure plate is applying return pressure on the slave cylinder and then master cylinder. Also, the master cylinder piston needs to be visually inspected whilst pushing the clutch pedal down, to see if it is moving smoothly, it's quite difficult to inspect these parts so most garages wait until they leak or look perished.
You don't need to get it replaced because the clutch plate wear material is new. It could be just installed wrong such as the pressure plate bolts tightened too much or the release bearing/clutch fork not fitted correctly. It needs to be inspected properly and possibly remove the pressure plate bolts and re-fit them with the proper torque settings, it's just the labour cost really.
Believe it or not, i've seen clutch pressure plates that have had 3-4 bolts completely missing, it's one of those where some techs think that the "customer will never see it so it doesn't matter" but in my book, every nut, bolt, rivet, screw or clip is there for a reason, otherwise it wouldn't be there in the first place.
I'm based in NW Lancashire. Sorry, i've been away from JA for a couple of days.
So, that confirms there's a problem with the clutch. Was it tested by the same garage or a different one?
I take a break sometimes, just to give my eyes a break from this screen.
Hopefully now they will fix the car, like they should have when you told them the first time.
You've got them by the neck because one Vauxhall dealer is contradicting the other and you have the paper work so, the head office hasn't got a leg to stand on. Now it's up to you to get on their heads and harass them if you have to.
You have proof from a vauxhall garage though? it's their own franchise. Tell them that you took it to another one of their vauxhall garage and they also said there is something wrong.
Say that you will take the legal pathway through the ombudsman service+trading standards if you don't resolve it. This issue can cause an accident if you're busy fighting with the gearstick rather than looking at the road.
There is a law which car traders have to follow regarding the safety of a vehicle when selling it, I'm not exactly sure what it is.
Tell them, if they're not going to take responsibilty and fix the clutch, then you will take the legal pathway. Vauxhall customer service or any main dealer customer service will fob you off if you don't put your foot down. They have 100's of these types of cases against them, that's why they have a complaints team to deal with them.