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, 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.
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.