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Who do I pay for iffy clutch repair - if anyone?

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Hello all, A bit of background. I went out one night to find my car would not turn over at all. A mobile mechanic we had used for a few jobs before came and diagnosed that the engine had seized. I asked for a quote to put in an engine which he sorted out. I also got him to quote on a timing belt and new clutch (mine had done 150k) which, again, he did. As the cost of the work was way less than getting a car of similar quality (A 2004 Passat 130 TDi) I decided to go ahead with the work.


There were a couple of teething problems with the car which the mobile mechanic seemed very dismissive of - the brakes were not very good at all and there was a strange resonance when getting to about 1700RPM which he just dismissed as me not being used to the new engine. About 10 days after getting the car back the clutch started to judder and eventually failed a few minutes later.


I called the original mechanic who came out to have a look and then, rather than doing the work himself, gave it to another garage to look at. This is where it all starts to get a bit iffy. Mobile mechanic claims that the clutch slave cylinder had failed, leaking fluid into the clutch causing the failure. As this was a new problem the clutch would not be covered under warranty. However, he somehow managed to wangle a new clutch (apparently from the supplier) which this second garage fitted.


He then asked me to pay the garage £240 cash in hand to have the work done. No mention of a new slave cylinder, nothing. I was very unhappy about paying for this sort of work without any paper trail so I declined and asked the original mechanic for an invoice for the work. He made all sorts of ridiculous excuses as to why this was not possible. I then get an invoice from the garage that did the work. I have since had further trouble with the clutch and the brakes. In the end we looked at it ourselves and found that the brakes and clutch hydraulic system was all airlocked as bleeding the system fixed the problems I was having. The brakes and clutch share the same hydraulic system. I'm refusing to pay the second garage.


I want my original mechanic to bill me so that I can take the whole matter up with him. What is my position here? Did I have a contract with the second garage or was the contract between the mobile mechanic and the second garage. I've never asked any subcontractor that I have used to bill my original client. I'm really unhappy paying for this work which I reckon should have been a warranty repair.


It seems far too co-incidental that the slave cylinder failed - this was an area of the car that the mobile mechanic was messing with when he was doing the engine and clutch replacement. It also seems a bit strange that there was no bill for the replacement slave cylinder - I've never yet met a mechanic who just gives bits away whether they are needed or not!! Anyone able to help me out as to my position here? Thanks

Edited by Conniff
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