Auto Warranty Question

Discussion in 'Horn Depot' started by Stuck_At_Work, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    Long read... but I really need some advice...

    I have a 2003 Mazda Protege 5 which I purchased new in January 2004. Since I purchased the vehicle, I have had issues with the clutch/manual transmission. In short, the gears grind and often, the stick won't allow me to shift into a gear unless I pump the clutch many many times, and even then it isn't easy. The problem comes and goes. I have taken it to the dealer (where I purchased the car) and on each occasion they had what amounted to a temporary fix. In February '08, they replaced the master and slave cylinder which once again, solved the problem temporarily. Now I have 94,000k miles and the problem is back. I took it to the dealer yesterday and they bled the hydrolic line to the clutch and the problem went away... for now. They claim the real problem is likely the clutch assembly itself and they quoted me $700. I feel completely abused and I want to know what action I can take. I can't afford a costly repair that should have been handled back when the car was still covered under warrenty.
  2. texascoder

    texascoder 1,000+ Posts

    My guess is they'll try to argue that the clutch assembly problem is a new problem and not related to the other work they already did. But maybe they will side with you and repair it under warranty. Doesn't hurt to ask nicely, then if that doesn't work, just rant at them [​IMG] j/k
  3. accuratehorn

    accuratehorn 10,000+ Posts

    All service writers (maybe the service manager would have to make the decision) have the ability to make "goodwill" consideration warranty repairs. If the car is out of warranty, they can do it under warranty.
    Actually, they don't really care because it is business for the service department. But that is only if the parent company will pay for it. So there is a chain of decision makers that must approve such a decision. The company doesn't want to cover a bunch of stuff they deem really out of warranty.
    That is why it doesn't hurt to ask for the service manager and discuss it with them. You feel it really has been an intermittent problem that was never properly repaired, and you haven't worn out the clutch by hotrodding or stoplight racing (have you?). You might get it repaired that way.
    Otherwise, you might go to an independent shop (like mine) and get it done there for a little less than dealer rates. It is an expensive job, though. You have to take the transmission out (if it indeed needs a new clutch).
    Do you have a teenager driving? You are lucky it lasted this long if so.
  4. Stuck_At_Work

    Stuck_At_Work 1,000+ Posts

    Nope. I am the only driver and I never race. In fact, my wife accuses me of driving too slowly. The service department said the clutch disc itself is in great shape...

    Thanks for the advice. I'll ask to speak with the service manager and I'll update y'all.
  5. accuratehorn

    accuratehorn 10,000+ Posts

    One other thing-the first thing the service writer is supposed to do is "replicate the symptom." It may be that you have an intermittent problem that has never showed up when you took the car in.
    There are a few things that can cause this, like a weak spring in the pressure plate, or the release bearing sticking on the transmission output shaft, or the clutch hydraulics leaking pressure and/or fluid. Even the pedal can stick down, due to the carpet getting in the way or a weak return spring or something. If no one has seen it happen, they are just guessing when you go in for repair.
    You should have insisted they fix it while it was under warranty, and left it there for them to drive around until it happened for them so they would believe you.
    Now, you need to tell them this has been going on since new, and has never been adequately addressed, but it may be a tough sell.

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