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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My first post here(so be nice).

Last November I bought a 1.6 FSI SE. It was an ex-demo from a local dealer.

I have not been very happy with it as I've noticed various paint repairs - its the black pearlescent paint which seems to show up any repair jobs when the sun catches it at certain angles. Unfortunately they're very obvious now in the sunny weather, but weren't when I bought it in the winter.

Anyway, that's not my current main concern (although it is a real eye sore) - the main worry is that the clutch appears to be slipping. I've never had a slipping clutch before so I'm not quite sure what I'm saying is correct. Basically if I reverse up a slope, or start off from standing on a slope, unless I apply lots of revs, the car judders. It seems to be ok when changing gear at any speed.

I'm disabled and haven't got the energy to chase people around to try to sort this out. I'm also worried it's going to turn into something horrible expensive. I don't like nor trust my local dealer as, looking back, I think they knew there may have been a problem. Has anyone any advice? Is there any known issues with the clutches or might this be something else.

The car has only done around 7k and was first registered in March 2005. Its still drives ok but I can't afford to get stuck somewhere if it does suddenly go alltogether. I'd appreciate any friendly advice - its a real problem for me - I originally bought this car with very limited funds to get a reliable vehicle that I would have no problems with for a few years (my last one was costing me too much!).

Yours worriedly,

Flash
 

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Hi Flash - welcome [:)]

When you say "lots of revs" - how many? Normally you need more revs to get you going up a hill. If the clutch is slipping, the classic sign is that travelling up a long slope (not pulling away) the car can't keep going in the same gear. The engine revs rise and you have to change down to keep your speed up.

Does the clutch seem really heavy? This "could" be another sign of it on it's way out.

If I were you I would have a friendly word with the dealer. It should be covered under warranty as it is so early in it's life.

Let us know how you get on.
 

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On the bodywork issue it's hard for the occasional buyer to spot accident damage or resprays, if you are buying a car for this sort of value, you should get an AA or RAC inspection. I know it's after the event and all that, but I won't buy a car without one now. Mechanical stuff should be covered under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi.

About the revs: I stopped at speed bump with the front wheels resting at the base of the bump. When I pulled off, I noticed a shuddering - a bit like you were doing a wheel spin (but I wasn't). Reversing up a medium slope from stand still makes a similar juddering, at least until you get moving. Its when I start off on a bit of a bump, or reverse that is only happens.

It feels like I have to apply much smaller amount of clutch and a large amounts of revs to avoid judder, but then its sounds like I'm a really bad learner driver (!).

Your list of symptoms makes me feel like perhaps its not a clutch as I don't notice any need to change gear (though I've not been up any long slopes since I've had it that I can remember). The clutch doesn't seem heavy. The only other symptom I've noticed is that the first gear was really notchy - felt like it wasn't in properly then kind of slotted it a bit further if that makes any sense. Thats eased a lot now so I put it down to the fact the the car had been stood on the forecourt for a few weeks.

Does it sound like it could be anything else?

[As for the paintwork - that really annoys me. I'd never buy anything even slightly pearlescent again (and this is only slightly). If the car is ok mechanically and I had the money I'd get the panels in questions resprayed.]
 

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Surely if your clutch is juddering when pulling away, say, in first gear but is subsequently OK then I would think that you have a clapped out clutch assembly - possibly misaligned or perhaps the flywheel surfaces have become burnished or distorted in some way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure what all that means - in basic terms, is that a new clutch? - if so what sort of price would the job be, or would I expect that sort of thing to be under warranty.

I'm really annoyed at myself for parting with a perfectly good car in part exchange for this one.
 

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If it's an ex-demo it must be under 3 years old so it's a warranty job. They might argue wear & tear but I think you need to stand your ground and say if its wear and tear, the clutch would be worn out and slipping under load, whereas yours is malfunctioning.
 

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I'm not sure what all that means - in basic terms, is that a new clutch? - if so what sort of price would the job be, or would I expect that sort of thing to be under warranty.

I'm really annoyed at myself for parting with a perfectly good car in part exchange for this one.
If it is the clutch then, yes, it would be a complete new clutch assembly. For my last Rover I was quoted ?400+ but that is a different car, of course. Anyway you shouldn't have to pay for it, I would have thought, if it still has the manufacturer's warranty.

The best test is that evertime you want to pull away and particularly on a slight incline (or steeper) is that the there will be a sensation of juddering as though the engine/transmission is rocking on its mountings (could be a faulty/loose engine mounting/s). The only way to overcome this, is my excessive engine revs and feeding the clutch in very gradually which of course leads to even more clutch plate wear and tear.

Get it examined by the garage from whom you purchased it or get an AA or RAC inspection and pay the latter, if you have to.
 

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Get an AA/RAC inspection done NOW so that if there is a clutch problem you can insist on a warranty repair. If the clutch is OK then you have bought peace of mind.

Next time, get the inspection done before buying. It often pays for itself because if they find a fault you can use it to negotiate a lower price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok. I worried about this all last night. Having paid about 12k for the car and had all sorts of worries, its just the icing on the cake for the clutch to be faulty.

My worry is that the warrantly doesn't cover worn clutch plates. Quite how they could be worn in a car that's only a 14 months old and done 8000 miles ( if that IS the problem), I don't know.

I drove the car around today trying to find a steep enough hill to try it out.

The problem seems to be when trying to balance the clutch on a steep slope. I am finding it hard to describe, but, its really hard to get the car to stay still without applying load of revs. The engine sounds rattly, the clutch pedal feels like someone is tapping it every half second with a hammer.

Together with a notchy first gear, I am worried that there is something horrendous wrong with the vehicle.

I wish I could give it back and start again..... :-(

Anyway, I called the garage and left a message with the service manager to call me back. I feel very overcome with this (being disabled through illness and having to rely on this vehicle to get me to my treatment) and have no confidence that this will be sorted out without a lot of cost.

I also have the distinct feeling that the garage knew this was an issue when it was a demo, and basically took me for a complete fool, whcih appears to be not far short of the truth.

Flash
 

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Personally speaking, I bought one of my two Rovers that I've owned back in 1994 and that particular one developed clutch trouble within 4,000 mile of me owing it from new! When they stripped it down, under warranty, they found the frictional material practically non-existent and asked me whether I rode the clutch at all. I replied that of course I didn't but they then found a faulty clutch operation cable which had not been freeing properly - that car, like many then, did not have hydraulic actuation as they do now.
Strangely, many cars, say forty years ago had hydraulic operation of their clutches but then changed to cable operation with its intendent problems but in recent times have gone back to hydraulic actuation again.

I would not be at all surprised, quite frankly, if your car (previously a demonstrator), had not had a hard time with all and sundry driving it (possibly).

Before I ordered my present Golf, the test or demonstrator car that I took out was truly in an awful state, mechanically, but I ordered a new one on the basis that nothing 'new' could be a bad as that!

The title 'demonstrator' and a 'newish' car looking resplendent in its metallic glory can hide all manner of sins, quite frankly, although this is of no comfort to yourself, I'm afraid to say.

No, go back to the dealer or have an independent examination done at your house by the RAC or AA.

We have spoken!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I went back to the dealer and one of the technicians took me on a test drive. The car acted fine and we couldn't create any of the previous clutch judder.

He said the car appears normal. The notchy gears (especially first gear) is quite normal.

So I guess I'll just keep my eye on it. I don't feel its totally right, but until the fault is glaringly obvious I guess no one will do anything about it.

As a separate topic, I now understand the FSi's also have quite a lot of pinking noises from the engine - I get that quite a lot and asked him about it - although its reduced when I use super unleaded.

So I'm left with the appaulingly bad touch up jobs on the pearlecent paint as the only glaringly obvious fault. Not much I can do about that one I guess.

Thanks all for your help. I'll post back if there are any developments, in the hope that it may help someone else.

Flash
 

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Well, I went back to the dealer and one of the technicians took me on a test drive. The car acted fine and we couldn't create any of the previous clutch judder.

He said the car appears normal. The notchy gears (especially first gear) is quite normal.

So I guess I'll just keep my eye on it. I don't feel its totally right, but until the fault is glaringly obvious I guess no one will do anything about it.

As a separate topic, I now understand the FSi's also have quite a lot of pinking noises from the engine - I get that quite a lot and asked him about it - although its reduced when I use super unleaded.

So I'm left with the appaulingly bad touch up jobs on the pearlecent paint as the only glaringly obvious fault. Not much I can do about that one I guess.

Thanks all for your help. I'll post back if there are any developments, in the hope that it may help someone else.

Flash
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
 

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When is the clutch problem most obvious? When the engine is warm / cold? If it only happens when cold, perhaps they should have the car overnight. You need to narrow it down a but and get them to see the car when it is most likely to happen....
 

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When is the clutch problem most obvious? When the engine is warm / cold? If it only happens when cold, perhaps they should have the car overnight. You need to narrow it down a but and get them to see the car when it is most likely to happen....
Funny, that's the next question I was going to ask. If I remember correctly, my clutch judder was worse when the engine/clutch housing etc. was cold and that first pull away in the morning took a bit of coaxing. However when it really got worse it was diabolical all the time especially if you had to pull away a bit smartish when you, then, did got give it too much thought.

I would also like to know who drove the car at the dealers when the clutch judder appeared to be non-existent, now? If it was an 'engineer' then he might have been a bit clever is disguising the problem ie given it plenty of clutch slip when pulling away from standstill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well the car was kind of cold, as I hadn't used it today before driving it straight to the garage, even though that was at midday. I'll try it again first thing in the morning.

Both the technician and myself drove it. The main problem is that there's no hills around here(!). From what I remember it was worse when its warm.

I need to look again at the problem and get my facts straight I think. I'm very tired at the mo' and my brains not working at full speed.

What's amazing is how much we all don't trust the dealers. I wish some new company would appear that had a decent car and really good after sales. Even if the car was much more expensive, I suspect we'd all flock to it.

After the unbelievable problems with my last French car, I though buying German would be a different experience. It seems it makes little difference what you buy.
 

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Well the car was kind of cold, as I hadn't used it today before driving it straight to the garage, even though that was at midday. I'll try it again first thing in the morning.

Both the technician and myself drove it. The main problem is that there's no hills around here(!). From what I remember it was worse when its warm.

I need to look again at the problem and get my facts straight I think. I'm very tired at the mo' and my brains not working at full speed.

What's amazing is how much we all don't trust the dealers. I wish some new company would appear that had a decent car and really good after sales. Even if the car was much more expensive, I suspect we'd all flock to it.

After the unbelievable problems with my last French car, I though buying German would be a different experience. It seems it makes little difference what you buy.
I'm afraid to say that buying a German product does not preclude one from having problems. It is still the luck of the draw if the truth be known. This is my first German car and, so far, I have been very pleased with it, as certain aspects of it operation and perceived or superficial workings would seem to place it above the general crowd.

However one does learn, over time and from reading various forums elsewhere that VW quality is not necessarily any better than the rest, in many respects, it is just that people are prepared to pay top dollar for that VW badge, it would seem. In all honesty, I don't think that I'll be buying another one but will, instead look to the far east for my future purchases as, after all, all those car surveys cannot be wrong, can they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As I am still not happy with the clutch, and I've had that garage test drive it with me twice, I am taking this group's advice and getting an independant engineers oppinion.

I have told the garage I am doing this and even said that I would be willing to exchange the vehicle for a very good deal.

I have read a couple of owner reviews on the web about the 1.6FSi, and some others describe a similar problem of the vibrating at the clutch biting point. Its like the clutch plate is warped (thats me sounding like I know what I'm talking about).

I'll see what this engineer says and go from there. Quite why the garage isn't honest about the problem I don't know. Maybe they want to wait until its not covered under warranty? The car has done 8k and some people have mentioned that the clutch is covered up to 12k - not sure if this is correct or not, but could be a reason why they are

My biggest worry is my illness(which is why I'm disabled). It gets worse with worry and I worry when I'm lied to. Wish someone could sort this mess out for me...[:(]
 
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