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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Hopefully you can help me.

I have a 2008 reg Clio MK3 with a bit of (a lot) a problem. I was driving a short distance to the local shop which is about half a mile from the house, and car started fine, was running no issues whatsoever, and I came to a line of traffic on a slight hill. I put the car into neutral and put the handbrake on, as the traffic started to move I popped it back into first and put my foot on the accelerator but it didn't move. I put it back to neutral and tried again - nothing. I must have done this about 4 or 5 times and in my panic at the traffic building behind me I decided to floor it to see if that changed anything, and sure enough, the car moved - but very gingerly - with quite high revs - and I managed to pull into a car park a few feet away.

The car did not seem right to me at all, and didn't want to risk trying to drive it in case anything happened so called my partner and we decided to tow it back home (annoyingly my breakdown cover ran out just 2 days prior and I had been too busy to get new quotes and purchase new cover!). Today we decided to have a little look at it again, my partner was suspecting clutch based on what I'd described. So we found an article which stated to test whether it is the clutch, start car and try to set off in 3rd or 4th gear....

....so I did. I actually tried 1st gear first. The engine revved quite high and it almost felt like it wanted to move. The same thing happened in 3rd. In 4th, with the handbreak on, we let clutch out and it didn't attempt to go anywhere. It also did not stall?

I feel a bit stuck now because I don't know for sure what is wrong, and I also don't have cover to get it looked at or towed anywhere (towing it home myself was a horrible experience and I never want to do it again!).

I am hoping some of you knowledgeable and helpful folk can help me out! I had some fantastic help with a previous fuse issue a few months back and I really hope I can get even half as much help or advice with this. Thank you so much.
Best wishes.
 

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Super Moderator Technical Supremo Platinum Member
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Sounds like clutch slip to me.
Usually it gives a little warning like signs of revving without acceleration beforehand but not always
 

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If you have a garage you trust already perhaps they will collect it. Ours doesn't charge if they're doing the work. It's 2 miles away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like clutch slip to me.
Usually it gives a little warning like signs of revving without acceleration beforehand but not always
Hello thank you for your reply. I haven't had any warning signs at all. I've had a noise coming from the front which I thought was a slipping belt but nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you have a garage you trust already perhaps they will collect it. Ours doesn't charge if they're doing the work. It's 2 miles away.
Hi, thank you for replying. We don't really have a garage we trust around here as we haven't been here that long. I used the "who can fix my car?" site to get rough quotes for the work, and one mobile mechanic quoted around £275 which is around half the price of every other quote. I asked what that included and the brand of the clutch kit and they said "all in, all parts and labour, and kit is Luk or Valeo". Am I a mug if I go with someone so cheap? I've always been told you get what you pay for so I'm a bit wary!

Alternatively I could reinstate some breakdown cover and wait a while and then get it towed somewhere. Luckily with lockdown I don't need the car at the moment.
 

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Hi, thank you for replying. We don't really have a garage we trust around here as we haven't been here that long. I used the "who can fix my car?" site to get rough quotes for the work, and one mobile mechanic quoted around £275 which is around half the price of every other quote. I asked what that included and the brand of the clutch kit and they said "all in, all parts and labour, and kit is Luk or Valeo". Am I a mug if I go with someone so cheap? I've always been told you get what you pay for so I'm a bit wary!

Alternatively I could reinstate some breakdown cover and wait a while and then get it towed somewhere. Luckily with lockdown I don't need the car at the moment.
It depends on what kind of reviews the mechanic has? If he's got good feedback. 275 isn't bad. The clutch kit will cost averagely - 100 for Luk or Valeo if you know where to shop. So your mechanic makes 175 - which sounds not too bad.

But beware, there is not a lot you can do if the mechanic messes up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It depends on what kind of reviews the mechanic has? If he's got good feedback. 275 isn't bad. The clutch kit will cost averagely - 100 for Luk or Valeo if you know where to shop. So your mechanic makes 175 - which sounds not too bad.

But beware, there is not a lot you can do if the mechanic messes up.
Hello, thanks for replying. They review very well - 4.9/5 with over a thousand bookings. Says they are amongst the best on the WCFMC platform nationwide (according to WCFMC, not them bragging). So there is no comeback at all if something goes wrong? I was hoping I'd be covered by something - if not a warranty or guarantee on the job then financially via my bank etc? I saw that WCFMC have a code of conduct etc so could always go down that route as they have a duty to investigate things so far as I can see...

I was just really wary, as another garage who quoted me wanted to know how competitive they were, when I told them the other price they essentially kept saying "BE CAREFUL" etc.
 

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Hmmmm
Not a great fan of online reviews but they are the modern equivalent of word of mouth which is always something I recommend.

Price...... a garage has overheads and will be charging "book" hours, by that I mean the hours that their standard database says the job will take.
A mobile mechanic hasn't anything like the same overheads so can charge less per hour.
So even if charging the same hours, chances are the job cost will be lower.
By how much? Main dealers charge over 90 quid per hour now. Most franchice operations (the quick fit national chains) around 60 quid, independent garages, around 50.... approximate prices but you can see why a labour intensive job will vary quite a lot.
Then there is parts prices... dealers tend to charge full retail for a part, so if you went into their parts shop and bought a bit, that is what they will charge when fitting it.
Garages (trade) invariably get parts at a discount, some pass on all or some of that discount so often the parts will be cheaper as well.

Last clutch I had done, local garages looked at the book hours (7) and I was getting quotes around 300 notes plus parts. One of the franchise type places wanted over 700 all in.
But I have a couple of clutch specialists nearby, one wanted £240 total and would include a courtesy car but not till the following week, the other £250 and could do it the next day.... dropped it to them at 9am, collected at 1pm.... so much for the 7 hours. But that is all they do, clutches, so have all the kit and knowledge for it.
Planet Clutch in Birmingham if any good to you

The whole point of this is shop about, think on how the prices are likely to be made up and don't be afraid to ask them to break it down, the cheapest may be cos the guy knows what he is doing and has low overheads while paying more is no guarantee that the job will be any better.

OEM parts are Valeo or Lux BTW.
 

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Hello, thanks for replying. They review very well - 4.9/5 with over a thousand bookings. Says they are amongst the best on the WCFMC platform nationwide (according to WCFMC, not them bragging). So there is no comeback at all if something goes wrong? I was hoping I'd be covered by something - if not a warranty or guarantee on the job then financially via my bank etc? I saw that WCFMC have a code of conduct etc so could always go down that route as they have a duty to investigate things so far as I can see...

I was just really wary, as another garage who quoted me wanted to know how competitive they were, when I told them the other price they essentially kept saying "BE CAREFUL" etc.
Oh don't listen to other shops. They want your business, so take it as a pinch of salt.

If the guy seems like he can be trusted, then he most likely can be trusted. Go by your gut feeling.

But as the old saying goes - if seems to good to be true, then it most likely isn't true.

However, the job isn't overly complicated. Just labour intensive. But if the mechanic trust his own words. Then sure, the job can be done in as little as half a day.

Some guys on here can do a clutch job within a few hours.

I did my own last year. It wasn't hard. But I chose to take my time with it. So mine wasn't done in 1 day. But if I was doing the job for someone. I would of been considered as taking the ****.

Coffee breaks galore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your replies. mechanic arrived at 1pm, was done 3.45pm.

He wouldn't have anything to drink, not even water and it's so warm out there today! I even bought nice biccies especially but he just cracked on! :ROFLMAO:

He was a really lovely chap, even if his swearing in Polish (heard from inside where I was working) scared me a bit haha! Said he fit over 600 clutches (is there a plural for clutch?) last year so I will have to trust in that!

Obviously, time will tell but my test drive around the block seemed great so so far I am happy!

Thanks again for your feedback.😃
 

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of your replies. mechanic arrived at 1pm, was done 3.45pm.

He wouldn't have anything to drink, not even water and it's so warm out there today! I even bought nice biccies especially but he just cracked on! :ROFLMAO:

He was a really lovely chap, even if his swearing in Polish (heard from inside where I was working) scared me a bit haha! Said he fit over 600 clutches (is there a plural for clutch?) last year so I will have to trust in that!

Obviously, time will tell but my test drive around the block seemed great so so far I am happy!

Thanks again for your feedback.😃
If he's polish, it's very likely he knows what he's doing. My Mrs is polish. I went over to meet her family years ago. Her brother owned a restaurant and his own fleet of cars. My Mrs father is self taught and can change most parts on a car within a few hours. So is my Mrs other brother, sister and extended family.

I had to have my inlet looked at on my vectra c. Bought the part and my Mrs old man took it off and refitted the part within 2-3 hours. Couldn't believe it.

He had made his own ramp by making a tunnel inside his garage floor.

Anyway, I'm glad it worked out for you. Enjoy your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
He definitely gave the impression he knew what he was doing! I felt really bad for him though, said he's been here for 12 years and built a life, but Brexit has made things difficult for him, not least the importing of parts, so he's going back to Poland.

Your FIL's tunnel/ramp idea is genius!

Separate and slightly worrying issue though, I have just noted comments on the invoice which reads: "Cracked engine block between cylinders 1 & 2".......yikes! :eek::eek::eek: Am I screwed? I have no idea what this means. A bit of Googling tells me it could be caused by lack of coolant, but what now?!
 

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He definitely gave the impression he knew what he was doing! I felt really bad for him though, said he's been here for 12 years and built a life, but Brexit has made things difficult for him, not least the importing of parts, so he's going back to Poland.

Your FIL's tunnel/ramp idea is genius!

Separate and slightly worrying issue though, I have just noted comments on the invoice which reads: "Cracked engine block between cylinders 1 & 2".......yikes! :eek::eek::eek: Am I screwed? I have no idea what this means. A bit of Googling tells me it could be caused by lack of coolant, but what now?!
It is a shame what's happening, but British people didn't vote for just that. People wanted the law back in our hands, which doesn't seem to make any difference since we left Europe. Plus people wanted out of the common market dictatorship. Anyway, I gong of course here.

He is correct though. Parts being imported are going up on price. Brake discs and pads have gone up at least by £30.

My Mrs is already a British citizen. So she was ok after brexit.

It is a good idea. One I'm sure a lot of people have done in the past. It beats using axle stands.

Your kidding! A crack in the engine block is not good. But depends on the kind of crack and how deep it goes. If it was at critical stage, you would definitely know about it. You would lose compression. Did the mechanic tell you about this at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is a shame what's happening, but British people didn't vote for just that. People wanted the law back in our hands, which doesn't seem to make any difference since we left Europe. Plus people wanted out of the common market dictatorship. Anyway, I gong of course here.

He is correct though. Parts being imported are going up on price. Brake discs and pads have gone up at least by £30.

My Mrs is already a British citizen. So she was ok after brexit.

It is a good idea. One I'm sure a lot of people have done in the past. It beats using axle stands.

Your kidding! A crack in the engine block is not good. But depends on the kind of crack and how deep it goes. If it was at critical stage, you would definitely know about it. You would lose compression. Did the mechanic tell you about this at all?
I have only just seen this, so sorry!! The mechanic didn't mention it at all - it was noted on the invoice under 'Notes'. I emailed him to ask him but never got a response. Guess he just did what he was paid to do, job done! I am unsure what to do about it. The car barely gets driven atm but when it is driven it doesn't give me any issues. Could have been there years. Am wondering if I could put some of that K-Seal stuff in?
 

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Don't put any of that K seal or similar stuff in.
And let's confirm coolant before panicking about a note that TBH makes little sense.
Let's continue on your green fluid thread.
Old saying on repairs.... if it ain't bust, don't fix it.
 

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Don't put any of that K seal or similar stuff in.
And let's confirm coolant before panicking about a note that TBH makes little sense.
Let's continue on your green fluid thread.
Old saying on repairs.... if it ain't bust, don't fix it.
I'm with you on this. Coolant can be green or yellow for Renaults. So I'm going with coolant. Brake fluid can turn a slight shade of green, but it takes some years to get to that stage. Trans fluid is bronze or brown. Oil is... Well oil....
 

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Blimey, Duckhams Q. That goes back a bit. If I remember rightly it had a nice smell too, not just ‘oil’ smell.
 
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