No gear, no idea. Gearbox woes

Gearbox. *sigh* The very word is becoming anathema to me now. Today the 7th garage to have a look at the van said it was not the selector rods and gear linkages, but the gearbox itself at fault. I’m kinda starting to believe them now. So I’ve booked in for next week for an 8th garage to have a look, but with the view to actually begin a repair or replacement.

Oddly the problems were getting slightly better in recent days but when I came back from Sunderland to Gateshead I lost first gear, then it got stuck in second, then when I parked in the camper place for some parts I wanted it would not go into reverse properly, then when I came out I got 1st but it got stuck in first and would not come out!

What a journey haha

If the garage on Tuesday takes the gearbox out and finds it is the gearbox at fault I think I’m going to bite the bullet and ask them to replace it, and all the selector rods and cables, and the clutch, then at least I know it’s all done for a good while.

I am continually being told “but you got 135,000 miles on one gearbox that’s amazing!” See, I don’t think it is. But what do I know.

Hoddy’s rip me off

Since having my clutch done at Hoddy’s I’ve had nothing but problems. The van has been in for several repairs but the main thing was the clutch was failing. I took it back to Hoddy’s who said I needed to pay all over again, then they would send the clutch off to be investigated to see if it had failed. 

I explained that that wasn’t how things worked. Consumer law says they must repair or replace the defective item and I should not incur any cost. Things actually got quite heated but they were adamant unless I paid they would do nothing. 

Over the course of a few weeks I visited several times but each time they flatly refused and in the end we had a massive row about it in their office. I was so very angry because I’m a bit fed up of companies who feel they can rip their customers off as and when they choose and nothing gets done about it. As I know from the satellite internet debacle  and the subsequent Alden mess trading standards are worse than useless, so after much anger and frustration I simply had to walk away and leave it. What else could I do? Taking private civil action would have cost me much more than a new clutch would.

I finally found a new garage in Birmingham called Roopyal who fitted a new clutch, but once everything was in bits they said unless I replaced the flywheel they could not warranty the clutch. Why? Because it was their practice to skim the flywheel or better still to replace it. I asked if there was any evidence that there was something wrong with the flywheel and they said no but after 11 years and the problems I’d had with the clutch it ‘probably would’ need replacing. 

Never heard so much bollocks in my life lol but here again stuck in the same position: ask them to do it and pay way more than I should? Say no and drive away without a warranty? The decision was made in the end regarding time because there simply was no time to wait for parts and get the job done before I was due at work. So I had to say no. 

Pulley the other one…

You recall I got my clutch done at Hoddy’s, and after I got the van back it was rattling, I mean proper rattling, like the tin man having sex with an empty bean can. I wondered it it might just run in or something but after 2 weeks it was doing my head in so I went down to Hoddy’s to get it looked at.

I parked up outside wanting to be there early for the morning but was woken about 1 am by a car driving past a couple of times. I never bothered looking out but I listened and I could hear all manner of stuff going on. Then I heard this loud voice (which turned out to be a recorded alarm) shouting “You have been recorded and the police have been called and and we are continuing to monitor you!”

I did look out then, just in time to see a young lad legging it down the street and a small car with no lights on doing off after him. Quite why he ran past the car then they drove after him to pick him up I’ve no  idea. Maybe burglars are really thick as shit?

Anyway, so I tried to settle down again but after about 20 minutes the police show up. 2 cars and a dog van. Well, when Jack heard the dog there was hell on and when he saw all the cops wandering around outside he went mental at the window and wanted to rip them all to pieces lol.
I opened a window and told the cops they’d missed the lads and gave them as much info as I could. Sadly about 15 minutes later another one came and asked me it all over again lol I didn’t get settled til about 3 am.

So, I get up in the morning and it’s 9 am before it dawns on me that the reason Hoddy’s hasn’t opened is that it’s bank holiday Monday…..

NEXT DAY
I do it all again. Ground hog day or what lol But at least this time I get it in and they say the crankshaft pulley has gone. £130 to replace. I said yes then rang other garages who said about the same  price too and when I picked it up he showed me the old one which was indeed in pretty poor state. Sure enough when I drove away the engine sounded much better. More money I hadn’t bargained on but hey ho.

I had asked them to do the MOT too. It failed, and the main thing out of 4 was the lower suspension ball joint. However the guy was bothering more about having the wrong reflector on the rear of the van. He went on and on about it, even saying “I can’t fail you for it cos I checked, and I can’t, but it is wrong.” I found that odd and the fact he went on so much that in the end I said it’s not even an advisory, so let’s leave it. But he was still mithering me about it as I left.

So the next day I drove down to Preston to the only Robins and Day main dealer that I will visit. It flew through the MOT without problem, and they even had time to investigate the brakes for me to establish whether I can have vented disks on. Sadly, they can’t tell without stripping the brakes entirely. I suppose the moral there is if you’re not sure, get a second opinion.