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AA breakdown cover, 2004 Mondeo clutch.


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The clutch pedal went without warning on my 2004 Mondeo.

 

I called the AA,

they sent a very helpful mechanic who, after trying the clutch, confirmed it had gone and needed to go to a garage.

He towed me to Mr Clutch, gave them my details and collected a courtesy car.

 

When the garage phoned me they said the Duel Mass Flywheel had gone, this had damaged the slave cylinder and soaked the clutch plate with oil.

Mr Clutch then told me they had been in contact with the AA and had been told this was wear and tear

so would not be covering this under my breakdown cover.

 

I was, to say the least, baffled by the decision of the AA, as to how they can make this assumption without seeing the faulty parts.

 

I asked the garage to strip down the flywheel to see if the springs were intact but on inspection the spring was found to have broken,

which is failure not wear and tear.

 

I asked the AA to send out an engineer to inspect the broken item which they did, but still came to the same conclusion.

 

I then went through the complaints procedure, and have just heard back to say they think it is down to wear and tear.

 

To my mind if a clutch goes all of a sudden and is due to the springs in the Duel Mass Flywheel breaking

causing the slave cylinder to break up and soaking the clutch plate with oil, this is breakage, not wear and tear.

 

I do not know where to go from here, I still have the clutch parts.

 

Any suggestions?

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Personally I wouldn't let this go. There are too many AA's out there claiming wear and tear, what else can you expect from someone who is being paid by them.

 

 

You can get a completely independent engineer to look at it and if he decides in your favour, then you can take the AA to court and claim for the price of the replacement and the cost of the engineer. If you go this way, make sure the engineer is fully qualified and that he can stand up in court as an expert witness.

 

 

Because the clutch is a consumable and classed as a wear and tear part, that doesn't mean they cannot fail.

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I also strongly believe that this problem should be highlighted back to the manufacturers via the motoring press and motoring organisations. The siteing of the slave cylinder inside the bell housing is just a caper started in recent years by manufacturers. Any repairs/ replacement required to a slave cylinder are cheap and very simple, when the cylinder is located outside the bell housing----it worked very well indeed for decades.

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This is the reason I have never gone down the route of selling after market warranties. There used to be good money to be made flogging these useless bits of paper to people. But I never wanted associated as I knew as soon as anyone wanted to make a claim in most cases there ws an exclusion.

 

The warranty underwriters will have looked at this case OP. Saw it was a 10 year old car with eg 100k miles on it. To be fair though, Even if it was a spring that has let go. If it is an original clutch and has lasted this time it could be argued that it has worn out.

 

I'm not convinced an engineer that conniff suggests would argue that the spring in question hadn't come loose for any other reason than wear and tear. I think that would be throwing good money after bad.

 

I couldn't agree more scania. This idea of placing the slave inside the box is a racket to ensure more workshop time for the main dealers.

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I didn't say an engineer 'would' come to a different conclusion but 'if'.

 

 

We also don't know it is the original clutch.

 

 

There are a lot of threads on here about these worthless policies and the AA's is no different, they are not intended to give piece of mind but to make money.

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The reality is that anyone with real life motor trade experience knows the importance of reputation. Like everything it is a matter of what is fair to every party. A used car is never going to be as good as a new one. If they were nobody would ever buy new car.

 

Conniff you opined that a motor trader ensure the item they are selling is fault free. But if you read up on consumer regulations you will find the acceptable condition of a used vehicle is a variable thing based upon several different factors.

Edited by ims21
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I have said nothing about a used car, (or even a new one), being fault free. Traders, big and small alike, seem to think once sold, nothing to do with us.

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I have said nothing about a used car, (or even a new one), being fault free. Traders, big and small alike, seem to think once sold, nothing to do with us.

 

 

 

Err..NO, some do, and they are the ones we hear about on here...it's very rare you go looking at a consumer website if you've had excellent service is it?

 

 

I have NO SYMPATHY with the rotten end of the car trade, they deserve all they get, but a very decent majority will stand up an be counted when it matters.

 

 

However if the very first thing a customer comes at you with is 'I know my rights, SOGA, etc' then you just know you will never make them happy, so best let them get on with it.

 

 

I am lucky, never been near a court in my life, but weeded out likely problem customers by not letting them buy the car.

 

 

And we've all had them, the guy that turns up with a set of wheel ramps. a jack and bib overalls and a clipboard...why on earth would I want to sell him a car? Nothing ever to hide, but you just know for sure it won't end happily.

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And we've all had them, the guy that turns up with a set of wheel ramps. a jack and bib overalls and a clipboard...why on earth would I want to sell him a car? Nothing ever to hide, but you just know for sure it won't end happily.

 

 

You wouldn't, he is probably the RAC man come to check the car for a client.

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Nope, some buyers come out with a clipboard and overalls Conniff... and always welcomed a proper AA/ RAC check.

 

 

You've obviously been stuffed in the past by someone in the car trade, and I'm sorry that's happened to you, but to tar everyone with the same brush is unfair.

 

 

It makes no difference to me, I ran my business properly, and I shall never sell another car, but we are not all rogues.

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Anyone can Google a DMF, it's not even a Ford one.

 

What you need is an up to date copy of TSB 18/2014 which replaces TSB 31/2006. This TSB describes all the various types of DMF failure. No-one said there were no springs, there is a bloody great spring around the edge, one of the many problems is the damping blocks and washers can break up and cause excessive radial movement, this can in turn lead to spring failure but its not the spring that has failed it is the washer or blocks, the spring failure is consequential.

 

 

 

H

Edited by ims21
rude

42 years at the pointy end of the motor trade. :eek:

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So a damping block has broken up leading to a consequential failure of the spring which has led to a failure of the clutch mechanism. Seems like a plausible root cause to me and down to general wear and tear on a 10 year old car and that the part which has actually failed, has met its design life if not exceeded it.

 

 

 

The real issue here is the selling of extended warranties, what they cover and the expectation of the general public that a car lasts for ever together with the fact that some of the site team entirely miss the point of SOGA with regards to used vehicles, the law, rights of the consumer and or seller.

 

Don't get me wrong...some of the advice is spot on but generally with the exception of Conniff who I know has extensive industry experience, some of the responses from other members (moderators) are wide of the mark.

 

So far from deriding those in the industry who try to post helpfully it might be an example where those in the know could help without sending the OP down an unrealistic route.

Edited by ims21
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In relation to the OP's original question, as someone who sees these things from the drawing board to production and onwards, there is one thing that always need to be born in mind, the longer a part lasts, the less likely a failure will be as a result of a manufacturing defect or design. This is statistically proven, can always be and will always be.

 

It is quite clear as Hammy points out that this is a wear and tear failure. He deals with these every day, like me so is pretty well qualified to pass comment.

 

What is wrong here is the whole principle of used car warranties and the interpretation of SOGA. If I were an underwriter, I'd be asking for at least a grand a year premium against failures on a 10 year old car.

 

At 10 years old, using average miles principle, the part has failed then it has met it's useful life so indeed is wear and tear. Probably all in the terms and conditions.

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Begs the question of whether the warranty has any value in consideration for cars past their shelflife.

 

Is there anything a 10 year old rattler with average mileage would be covered for or are a.m warranties for mugs alone?

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