Ford Fiesta - Dispute with garage on repair of clutch failure - dgor

Hi and thanks for reading.

This is in relation to my 2005 Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec. Today whilst driving the clutch suddenly failed, going loose and falling to the floor, then when I pulled on it it came up much higher than the other pedals. I couldn't engage a gear and had to phone a local garage for recovery. As the car was undrivable I didn't really have much option to choose a garage once past this point.

The garage agreed to take a look at the car and repair it. When I got home I googled the issue and found a lot of results (including here on HJ forums) indicating that the most likely problem was failure of the clutch pedal retention clip, causing a disconnect between the medal and the hydraulic clutch system. This problem seems to be common, and cheap and easy to fix (often done by the roadside). I immediately phoned the garage about this and they told me to come over (I live next door). When I got there, the car was already up on the ramp and the clutch had been taken out and replaced. I asked them if they had checked the retention clip as it is such a common problem on Fiestas and they said they hadn't, and will look into it if a clutch replacement didn't work.

My question is, surely the garage was wrong to jump straight to a £500 clutch replacement rather than check the simple and cheap issue first? How do I know they didn't just fix the pedal and then replace the clutch anyway to take advantage? I am due to pick the car up tomorrow, does anyone have any advice on how to proceed?

Many thanks
Dave

Edited by dgor on 02/02/2016 at 17:16

Ford Fiesta - Dispute with garage on repair of clutch failure - galileo

I couldn't engage a gear and had to phone a local garage for recovery. As the car was undrivable I didn't really have much option to choose a garage once past this point.

The garage agreed to take a look at the car and repair it.

My question is, surely the garage was wrong to jump straight to a £500 clutch replacement rather than check the simple and cheap issue first? How do I know they didn't just fix the pedal and then replace the clutch anyway to take advantage? I am due to pick the car up tomorrow, does anyone have any advice on how to proceed?

You were unfortunate in not having breakdown cover, which might have led to a roadside fix.

However, it seems you authorised the garage to repair the car, without specifying that you wanted them to tell you the likely cost before proceeding.

This, in effect, was a blank cheque and you will have difficulty getting a refund (unless you can prove the clutch has not been renewed: you would need to pay another garage to inspect the car, which would be a significant cost).

Ford Fiesta - Dispute with garage on repair of clutch failure - dgor

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I actually do have breakdown cover, believe it or not I was 0.9miles from home when the car broke down and is this is less than a mile it was not covered as I do not have Home Start cover.

I can appreciate that I asked them to repair it. My worry was, however, that they overlooked the real problem in favour of something much more complex, which is not the same as being asked to repair it.

£550 later the car (definitely) has a new clutch, master cylinder and slave cylinder. In the process of installing a new master cylinder the clutch pedal would have had to be re-attached to the new master cylinder anyway (the same repair as I had thought it needed without changing the clutch), so I guess we will never know for sure. The garage do seem fairly decent and provided me with the old parts but not being well-versed in this I don't know quite what to make of them.

Lessons learned and all that.

Cheers

Ford Fiesta - Dispute with garage on repair of clutch failure - scot22

dgor, its good to read of someone who has taken such a reasonable and philosophical view.

Happy and trouble free motoring.

 

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