Vauxhall Zafira - Failed Clutch Gearbox - Zafira B 1.9Tdi M32 box - Paul Lewis

Would appreciate advice re a clutch/gear/transmission on a ’56 Plate Vauxhall Zafira (B) 1.9TDi. M32 gearbox (concentric slave cylinder), was just over 6 years old, just over 53k at the time of the problem.

Slight glitch when changed from 2 nd to 3 rd . The gears seemed to ‘jam’ and the clutch had to be depressed a couple of times. Thought it was due to very cold weather and the car not having been driven for a couple of weeks.

Following day over-taking at about 65mph, tried changing from 6 th to 5 th to get some acceleration. Horrendous grinding, smoke coming from exhaust, gearstick stuck between 6 and 5, clutch wouldn’t do anything. Pulled over to hard shoulder, car recovered to garage.

Garage advised lots of metal in gearbox and suggested getting a second-hand one, but difficulty sourcing one. Found a website for garage claiming to be clutch and gearbox specialists. Said they could fix the car, a few good reviews on their website, so arranged car to be moved

Garage rebuilt gearbox with new main shaft bearings (excl Diff) & 6 th gears.

Collected car, after less than 1 mile slight problem trying to get into 1 st gear from 2 nd . Seemed ok for rest of 15 mile journey. Next time tried to use the car it wouldn’t even go into gear. Clutch pressed to floor and no pressure in it (eventual pressure after about 100 presses).

Spoke to garage who eventually agreed to look at it if we got the car to them. When collected again from them, they advised that they had bled the clutch. Drove home OK

Next time we started the car the same thing happened. Wouldn’t go into gear and clutch was spongy with no pressure. Repeated pressing of clutch – no change. Garage denied it was their problem

Colleague recommended another garage who checked and advised pressure loss at slave cylinder – cylinder replaced. They advised that previous garage should have realised this and replaced slave.

From searching the web we think

  1. 1) The whole problem was caused by the slave cylinder failing. Slave was losing pressure causing the ‘glitch’ from 2 nd to 3 rd before motorway trip.
  2. 2) Slave lost pressure and as a result the clutch failed to operate correctly so that the gears ground together and the gearstick jammed in the unsuccessful change from gear 6 to 5.
  3. 3) The garage repaired the damage done (i.e. replaced broken 6 th gear and shattered bearings) but did not address the cause of the damage and left the defective slave cylinder present.
  4. 4) The failing slave cylinder caused a mild recurrence of the motorway problem on the journey back from the garage and, when left unused, the slave cylinder lost pressure and caused the soft clutch and inability to use the car after the fix.

Would appreciate your thoughts on this

Trying to claim for failed repair, garage has closed down, so trying credit card claim.

Vauxhall Zafira - Failed Clutch Gearbox - Zafira B 1.9Tdi M32 box - YG2007

In as much as the garage who repaired the gearbox potentially failed to deal with the root cause of the initial failure I would have thought you would only have a claim against them for any labour charges you incurred in having the slave cylinder (replaced by them on the third visit).

Your Gearbox was foobar so needed to be repaired replaced

It sounds like your clutch and or your concentric slave cylinder was faultly but not initially replaced leading to a loss of gear selection. If they charged you for a concentric slave cylinder I would have thought you should pay for this as it was faulty in the first instance. The disputed area I guess would be around any costs incurred in removing the gearbox a second time to repair/replace the slave cylinder. They dont sound a particularly helpful garage with you having probably spent a small fortune with them on a gearbox rebuild (which maybe why they have gone out of business) and then giving you the problem of getting the broken down vehicle back to them.

Summary you had to pay once to have the gearbox repaired and a new slave cylinder (and possibly clutch). Its any double labour you may have been charged that should be part of the claim not the parts which you needed anyway. If the extra labour is < £ 100 then the CC route will not help

Hope this helps

Vauxhall Zafira - Failed Clutch Gearbox - Zafira B 1.9Tdi M32 box - Paul Lewis

Thanks for the reply.

As the garage packed up, I'm on the CC route. Rejected by them so now onto the Ombudsman. Trying to prove to them that the garage (so called experts in the area), didn't act with care and skill, as they didn't diagnose the cause, just tried to fix the resulting problem. Extra labour was about £300


Value my car