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Full Version: Clutch Problem On Mk4 Ford Mondeo
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dstev
Hi all, firstly sorry this isn't in the Mondeo section but I want it to get the most exposure possible and hopefully there may be one or two Ford mechanics reading it who can help me out!

Right, I'll just give you a overview of what has happened so far.

I bought a 2007 Ford Mondeo Mk4 2.0 TDCI Ghia from a dealer on Wednesday afternoon. The car has done 99k miles, 1 owner with full service history and regularly serviced on time. When I test drove the car the first thing I noticed was how high the clutch was. The bite point was at the top of the travel of the pedal. I questioned the dealer about this and he said it was fine(I'd never driven an mk4 Mondeo before so wasn't sure). As I was buying it from the centre of the city I was restricted to test driving it at speeds of no more than 40mph. Apart from my concern about the clutch, the car was fantastic. The engine pulled strongly, the brakes were sharp and it steered straight with no bumps or knocks anywhere. I questioned the dealer again about the clutch and he said he believed it was fine, so I took his word for it. We negotiated a price and the deal was done. It was sold with a 3 month warranty with a company called Auto Protect. He said if I get a problem I need to go to any VAT registered garage and claim through them.

I went to pick it up Thursday evening and all seemed fine until I got out of the city and opened the car up. Whilst accelerating in 4th the engine was sporadically revving above where it should be. I tried it again and it did it again. If I'm not mistaken this must be the clutch slipping. I pulled over virtually straight away and rung the dealer. I said I wanted to bring it back to him rather than deal with it myself which he was OK with. After this I went out with someone else who is not a mechanic but is experienced in buying cars and he drove it and said without a doubt it is the clutch. He managed to pull off in 3rd on a 10% incline without too much trouble (apart from the rotten smell of the clutch!) I dropped it back off with them Fri evening. Who I assume was the other partner in the dealership (not the one that sold me the car)tested the car with me in the passenger seat. As it was again in the city in rush hour traffic it was hard to get above 40mph and after a 5minute drive he couldn't get the clutch to slip. He tried pulling off in 2nd on a hill with a pathetically low amount of revs (pretty much made it stall) and it stalled. Even with this small amount of clutch work the car absolutely stunk of a burning clutch. I asked him if he thought the clutch was high and he said he did. However he also said "just because it is slipping a bit it doesn't mean it has gone yet". He sounds like basically he thinks they are fine until it completely goes.

Anyway I left it with them and they said they were taking it to a garage on Sat morning. 12noon today I get a call from the original guy that sold me the car saying he took it to the garage they use and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. We then proceeded to have a discussion for 5 minutes where he asked what made me think it was the clutch and I said "as the revs are going up smoothly when accelerating all of a sudden they would shoot up without sending power to the wheels as though I have pressed the clutch even though my foot is nowhere near it" and he said "that doesn't mean the clutch is slipping". And I said "what is wrong with it then?" in which time he claimed not to understand my description of what is wrong. I offered to take it to an independent garage (Halfords do free clutch checks) but he said he was going to take it to another. I then get a call at 3pm to say leave it with them and they were taking it to a Ford Main Dealer on Monday, but he also said if they don't find anything there is nothing they can do.

I am now worried I am going to get a call on Monday saying Ford have said the clutch is fine (I will ask for the report from Ford). How will Ford test if there is any problem with the clutch? Also does anyone think there is anything else I can do to help my situation?

Sorry for the long post but I wanted to be detailed in what has happened so far and really feel like I may need some help!
jeebowhite
Ford will probably do the old heel toe test and see when the engine stalls. Personally I would consider returning the car altogether, it's clearly not fit for purpose, more so if others do not find a problem they have to fix...

Personally, it sounds to me that the clutch is struggling, but it could be a thrust bearing. If you are not
jeebowhite
Continue from above...

If you don't trust the car or warranty just take it back, vehicle sold under inaccurate description, faulty with no accurate replication methods and acknowledged fault existence but not willing to resolve as "it might not be that" to me that means it could be something else...
dstev
The only problem with taking it back is that the dealer doesn't think there is a problem with it.
jeebowhite
Doesn't matter as sale of goods act allows you to return a purchase within a reasonable amount of time. I would argue he doesn't believe it's am issue of slipping clutch but there is an issue. They haven't thoroughly attempted to reproduce it with you to diagnose, plus your test run wouldn't have found it.
mintalkin
[i]this is typical gargae hoping the clutch will last untill its out of warrenty and then its up to you, if they dont fix it, reject it there are plenty other cars out there[/i].
dstev
Ok thanks for the advice chaps. Do I need to accompany my rejection of the car with a letter?
jeebowhite
Best to do so, stating clearly the reasons and spell out that you are rejecting it as not fit for purpose. Also request a full value refund of the time of sale.
dstev
Ok I'll do that, unless they ring up tomorrow and say it's being fixed! Would it be reasonable to request a refund for the full year's tax that they put on for me too (I paid for it)?

If they do say it's being fixed I'll be requesting a receipt/invoice from wherever they have it fixed (doubt it'll be Ford, I'm sure it would cost a small fortune to do with them.)
jeebowhite
The tax disc is rightfully yours, you wont get a refund from the dealer, but you can complete a refund request. Unfortunately though you will be one month out of pocket, but its either one month of tax and full car refund, or losing out on all of it!
dstev
Yeah thought that might be the case. Like you say I can put up with losing 20 quid as long as I get a full refund of the car.
dstev
OK update time!

The dealer took the car to Ford today. I got a phone call early afternoon and was told they still could not find a problem. I actually spoke to who was supposedly the Ford mechanic who said they had put the handbrake on solid and tried to pull off and the clutch held firm. Anyway I got put back on to the dealer who said there was nothing more they could do. I said that I still wasn't happy as I knew what I felt the other day and there definitely was a problem. I said I wanted my money back which he seemed to know I was entitled to ask for if there was a fault on the car, but said as there was no fault I would have to pay an handling charge, plus the cost of trying to diagnose the problem. At this point we got in to a bit of a debate where we both claimed to know our rights. After calming down the dealer agreed to take the car on the motorway and give it some hammer in 3rd, 4th and 5th where I was getting the problem. He rung me back a couple of hours later and said there was still not a problem and asked me to come down and do an extended test with him.

So I went down and took it for a spin on a few faster roads reaching 90mph and....

..the clutch never slipped once!

Now called me paranoid or suspicious but I don't see how it can go from slipping a lot to running like a dream. Is there anything a garage could have done to get a bit more life out of the clutch?

So obviously I have taken the car back and told the dealer I will montior the situation. I have a 3 month warranty so I'll just have to hope the problem is sorted (although I don't know how!) or it goes within the warranty period.
jeebowhite
That is irritating! no slip whatsoever?

To be honest, there isnt a great deal they can do without being too invasive, short of tightening the clutch cable, but I dont see how thats a resolution!
dstev
Yes it is frustrating, driven 50 miles now since picking it up and no hint of it. I however today noticed something else! When accelerating at full throttle there is a small vibration felt across the cabin for 200-300 rpm. This normally happens around 1500-2200rpm. It's not major but is noticeable. I'm guessing as the clutch has been slipping it may have something to do with the DMF.
jeebowhite
Could be, not sure if the mondy may have had it replaced with an SMF, vibration I think is one indicator that they have a single wheel as opposed to a dual wheel.
dstev
[quote name='jeebowhite' timestamp='1358344003' post='227349']
Could be, not sure if the mondy may have had it replaced with an SMF, vibration I think is one indicator that they have a single wheel as opposed to a dual wheel.
[/quote]

Do you mean the car as standard may have a SMF? It was a lease car previous to me buying it so I doubt it would have been converted.
jeebowhite
Perhaps so, but even then, although serviced well, I have known many an ex lease car that has been converted! they dont want to have the car out of service unnecessarily costing money, so they will happily opt for the replacement with an SMF.
dstev
It may be the case, but wouldn't it show on the service print out? There is 3 pages of work done to it which has everything on it from tyres to the DPF but no mention of clutches or flywheels.

Anyway, I think it's just a case of seeing how the car goes, I'll probably do about 4000 miles whilst it is in the 3 month warranty so if there are any immediate problems I'm sure they'll show up.
jeebowhite
best to use the car as much as you can so keep an eye on it, and if it was done as part of that service, it probably should show. If its the full service history and all receipts, its probably still DMF but just abuse your car for a while and record any problems you find with it.
FOCA
[indent=1]All mk4 Mondeos come with DMFs (dual mass flywheels) as standard[/indent]

[indent=1]You can get single mass (solid) flywheels conversions but most dealers fit OEM DMFs [/indent]

[indent=1]The clutch has a hydralic actuator/ CSC (concentric slave cylinder) - as far as i am aware, the adjustment is automatic, it does not have a cable - it uses a master cylinder and slave cylinder similar to a braking system (in fact it uses the same fluid resovoir)[/indent]

[indent=1]If it is "taking up" at the top of the pedal travel it is probably at the end of its working life[/indent]

[indent=1]If you had a traditional, cable clutch with manual adjustment, you would loosen it off if it was slipping and tighten it up if it was dragging[/indent]

[indent=1]You asked if there is something they could have done to fix/ bodge the clutch - depends what is wrong with it (and they probably know fine it is not right, IMO - there is always a chance they are innocent though) -[/indent]

[indent=1]If the DMF is on its way out, it may be depositing dust on the clutch, sticking an airline into the clutch housing in the right place to clean it off would be one way of prolonging its life[/indent]

[indent=1]Bleeding the clutch may help prolong the demise of the clutch[/indent]

[indent=1]The pedal mech could be "doctored"/ modified for more clearance or the pedal spring strengthened (so at least the weight of the pedal is not pressing on it)[/indent]

[indent=1]The clutch plates may have been contaminated with something (water, oil or hydralic fluid etc) a mercyless uphill thrashing might burn this off[/indent]

[indent=1](these are just theories/ thinking aloud) (does the clutch feel different since the car came back? )[/indent]

[indent=1]The garage/s job is to make money, not (nessesarily) sell cars, be nice to you or keep their customers happy etc[/indent]

[indent=1]A clutch replacement would mean dropping the subframe and taking the g-box apart, (about 4 to £500 labor) because this costs so much the DMF abd CNC would normally be done at the same time (total £800 £1200 or more)[/indent]

[indent=1]The garage obviously does not want to pay this in these hard times[/indent]

[indent=1]Trading standards, CAB etc may be able to help [/indent]
dstev
Great post.

I personally think the Clutch may have become contaminated as I've driven it 200 miles now and there has been no hint of clutch slip. The car does vibrate still though and it did it pretty badly the other day, although it's not every time you accelerate. I'm just going to have to see how it goes, but I'll be putting some money to one side just in case!
flying clutchman
Considering the car has done 100k miles I'd expect the clutch/flywheel to be at the end of it's life anyway. Sure, some people will get 200k out of them but I've changed loads of these at 50-70k miles. Not the easiest job in the world but not quite as bad as people would have you believe. DMFs have become much cheaper now and you should get the job done for £600 all-in (bit more for 6-speed). Obviously these are not main agent prices!


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