Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Sandra Smith

can a flywheel seize if a car is not driven for several months.

The garage is charging us for clutch kit and a new flywheel. The car broke down 4 days after we bought it and it took a court case and 8 months before garage would look at it, and they are now charging us over 8oo for clutch kit and flywheel as they say it has seized due to car being off the road for this length of time.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - RaineMan

As a fan of classic cars, I have encountered this a number of times where a car has been standing for a long period. Bar one case the clutch was freed off by thoroughly warming up, driving off in first (do this only where there is plenty of space), and depressing the clutch and braking simultaneously. More than one attempt may be required. In the case where the clutch had to be removed the flywheel only needed cleaning with emery cloth. I suspect the garage may be trying to recover some monies from you. However you do not mention the cause of the breakdown!

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Sandra Smith

well, its a bit of a long story.

My son bought this car in October 2015. Within 4 days it had lost all power on hills, was belching black smoke and gear box was knocking. He rang the garage and told them he wanted his money back. They refused and told him to call the recovery on his warranty. But the warranty insisted it was a pre existing fault and wouldn't take the car. Again, the garage he bought it from refused to do anything. The car was undriveable as it could barely pull away from the kerb, and so after several months of trying to resolve this, my son went to the small claims court. He had 2 estimates from local garages of emission problems. gear box and clutch problems which were estimates around at least £1500.( He bought the car for £3000.)

When he got to court in May, The judge wouldn't allow the estimates as they weren't agreed by the garage. And ordered that a mutually agreed estimate should take place. Unfortunately; the garage refused to discuss any other garage and insisted they have the car back. My sons solicitor thought that this would be quicker in the long run so in July 2016 we paid £100 to have the car taken back to the garage.

Firstly they told us there was nothing wrong with the car, then they said my son had to pay for a new battery and coil spring {which he did as the coil spring wasn't part of the original complaint). The garage then said its mechanic would be away for 3 weeks and they would let us know when it had been looked at. Despite my son ringing regularly, the garage did not contact us again until January, yes, January 2017. This time they claimed to have written to my son in Sept and October to tell him his car was ready but he received no such letters.

They included a bill for £2600 which included £1600 storage fees. They also said that it had had a new MOT in September but when we checked online the MOT was dated January 21st.

There were labour charges of £600, plus a few other bits but no charge on the bill for clutch or flywheel parts. And it also said if we didn't pay the bill in 5 days he would sell it to recoup his losses. We were horrified.

We refused to pay the storage charges as we had never been told about them and ended up having strong words with the owner who was very belligerent and said he could do what he likesd as we owed him the money.

My son offered to pay the labour charges as all he wanted was to get his car back after 15 months.

Again they refused and then we had a letter from them, stating that as a gesture of 'goodwill' they were removing the storage charges BUT were now adding on the cost of flywheeel and clutch kit, which they are now claiming had seized as the car had been left on damp ground by my son before they had it back....

This second bill came to £1700.

The owner wrote on the bottom of the bill in BIG letters that he would not enter into anymore discussion and unless we paid the bill in 2 days, he was selling the car for what he could get and then would come after my son for the rest of the money.

I'm sorry that it has taken you so long to read this!!

And that is why I asked whether these parts could seize. We think that we will have to go back to court again and just needed to get some information on his claims. It has been a nightmare!

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - RaineMan

The length of time this has dragged on makes it rather complex. The Consumer Rights Act replaced the Sale Of Goods Act on 1st October 2015, the month your son brought the car. This entitled him to reject the car and get a full refund in the first thirty days but this did not happen. The garage owner is talking out of his **** as he cannot sell what he does not own. Beyond that I am not qalified to comment.

So a clutch can sieze due to standing and damp conditions make this more likely. If your son has driven the car and truly believes all the issues are fixed then you could perhaps see if you can meet halfway. If not I think it will become a messy case bearing in mind the attitude of the garage owner who apparently does not know the law. Hopefuly someone more knowledgeable than I will come along and be able to advise you more.

It's a sad fact in this country that many car owners do not get the service they deserve from both dealers and garages. I went through five garages before finding my current one. In that time I took my car away from one after realising they were on a wealth creation scheme, paid to replace parts that did not need replacing and suffered engine failure as the result of one person's work. Good luck!

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Sandra Smith

Thank you for your input.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - SLO76
Did he put his request for a refund in writing? Did he get his lawyer involved before that 30 day window for a refund? Even if the answer to both is no then he was entitled to have the car repaired then returned to him, any faults that developed so soon had in the eyes of the law been developing before the point of sale and therefore the dealer was liable to repair it.

I don't however understand why this has been allowed to fester for such a long time. Why did he not get his lawyer involved again when it became clear the garage wasn't going to repair it and has he checked to see if they actually did fit the new spring and battery they cheekily billed him for? I'll bet they didn't.

I suspect there's more to this. There's no way anyone would leave a car lying like this with a clearly dodgy dealer who has refused to carry out any repairs. Any rational person would have had their lawyer involved earlier and reclaimed the car, taken it to another garage to have repairs carried out and raise a small claims case to recover the cost. Either we're not hearing the full story and there's been more contact over that 6mth period your son isn't telling you about and/or your lawyer was incompetent.

I'd love to hear the dealers side of this story. He might well be as dodgy as suggested but I suspect there's another side to this story one way or another. Did the dealer rectify the car then instruct your son to come and collect and he's refused instead demanded a full refund after he's spent money fixing it for him? If so then I can understand the breakdown in relations and the fees for storage.

I had a case many many years ago on a Citroen BX (shows you how long ago) where a blowing exhaust (on a 8yr old car) caused a customer to go nuts. As a wear and tear item exhausts are not covered under warranty but we offered to replace the back box at cost which he agreed to then when instructed to pick it up he refused and demanded a full refund instead. The car was put into an outside storage yard and after several attempts to get the owner to pick the thing up we started billing him for storage basically to try and motivate him to collect and pay the small bill for the exhaust which he eventually did. No storage fee was ever enforced or expected it was just a means to get an irrational customer to see sense and act.

I'm not saying this is the same or that your son is at fault but this case makes little sense from the details we have so far.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - scot22

RaineMan sorry to hear of your experiences with the garages plus of course sympathy with OP. Intended to be helpful ( no problems if Avant deletes ) but I have used 3 Bosch Service Centre garages in differenent parts of the country. I have 100% confidence in all aspects. As a non mechanical person in previous years I have had a fair share of rip-offs.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Avant

No problem Scot - you're paying them a compliment.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - RaineMan

A bit of a coincidence here as the garage I now use is Bosch Approved. I did all my own maintenance for many years (including engine and gearbox rebuilds) until I was given a company car. When it was taken away after about five years I again did my own work. However the combination of developing a back issue and the increasingly complex electronics made me decide the time had come to use garages. I had good service from one but it closed and was redeveloped into housing. This was then followed by the run of bad garages. What amazed me was how they assumed customers knew nothing! But you can still be caught out by poor or unnecessary work/parts replacement. The garage I use now usually has one classic in the workshop and are true car enthusiasts.

I wonder if we will hear back from the OP on this thread?

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - skidpan

If cars are not used for a decent length of time the clutch and flywheel will stick together because of damp etc. Sometimes a bump start will free them off, sometimes a tow start is needed, sometimes its a new clutch. I bought an engine from a right off that had been stood about a year and the clutch and flywheel were virtually welded together. The single mass flywheel was fine after a good clean but the clutch was scrap, shame, it had plenty of life. new clutch cost £65 for a Valeo kit.

But if yours was off the road due to a dispute with the garage and you subsequently won the case I would argure its not your fault but the garages. If they had repaired the original fault in a timely manner the clutch would not have siezed.

If I were you I would get some legal advice re liability in this case.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Sandra Smith

Thanks for your help. We have been to small claims court as I said before, and the solicitors rather useless advice was to let him have the car back.Then when he had had it for 5 months and we had the bills, suggested that we go and try and get the car off him. But this man is unpleasant and bullying, He talks over you when you try and discuss things and walks away and comes back in a very threatening manner even banging on the car wndow when we were in my car trying to get our solicitor on the phone.

I might also add that when I or my son have tried to speak with him on the phone over these months he just hangs up when we say who we are

we have offered to pay the labour charges (over £600) but not the parts I think our only recourse is to go back to court but our last experience was that this man just talked over everything my son had to say and kept saying bring it back! bring it back!. Well. we have done that on the advice of our solicitor and am now in an even worse situation as he has the car and the money we paid for it. And my son has been without his car for 15 months.

And also would we be throwing more money away in court case? We would need a solicitor in court to deal with this man as I nor my son can get a word in. And the cost, if we lost, would be hundreds of pounds.

I feel like giving up and chalking it up to experience but I also feel that this man is getting away with bad practice. Trading standards have told us that there is another complaint about him but can't seem to help us.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - Pondlife

And also would we be throwing more money away in court case? We would need a solicitor in court to deal with this man as I nor my son can get a word in. And the cost, if we lost, would be hundreds of pounds.

Any case would probably be assigned to the small claims track. You don't need to be represented at a hearing, and litigants in person are fairly common on this track. But you need to present your case effectively and may feel that you need a solicitor for that.

Note that the small claims track limits the costs that the winning party can claim from the losing party. Typically the loser doesn't have to pay the winner's legal fees unless they behaved unreasonably.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class - flywheel - RaineMan

The car cost £3000 18 months ago. You have to look at what it is worth now. It would be dreadful if you ended up paying more than the car is worth and then selling it quickly because you are not happy with it - I am assuming your son has not had the opportunity to droive it since the it was returned to the garage. This is a really awkward one to judge.

 

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