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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I have a rather bad experience with a shop regarding a clutch change.
Last year I had the clutch and the slave cylinder changed. The repair was with 3 years warranty (special chain in Denmark).
Now less than 1 year and not even 20.000 Km, the clutch has failed. I brought it back to the shop as a warranty claim and they changed the slave cylinder, which was leaking.

But they refuse to accept it as a warranty case, claiming that the main cylinder is culprit and that it's the cause of the slave cylinder to fail

They say that the brake fluid was dirty, black and thick as motor oil.

I have talked to several other shops and none say that this can be the reason.
They say that there is no way that unclean brake fluid will cause the slave cylinder to break.
Worst case the main cylinder won't pump the oil to the slave cylinder because the fluid is too thick.

Just to be sure I'm hoping someone with technical knowledge can shed some light on this.

Thank you...
 

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I can believe that your old fluid could be very dirty and carry some abrasive particles down to the slave cylinder. There, the abrasives could prematurely wear out the rubber seal on a new slave cylinder piston. What I can't believe is the bleeding the service shop must have done in-order to completely install the new slave cylinder was inadequate to flush out any old fluid and carry away dirt, old black fluid and all the abrasives that might have been in the old fluid.
I am one who thinks an annual flushing both my brake circuits and my clutch circuits is necessary for good maintenance. It's easy enough that a caveman could do the job.
 

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Your issue is the warranty. If they returned the car to you without completely flushing the fluid in the clutch circuit, they caused the issue you described thru poor workmanship. They did not return your car to you in a condition that could achieve the 3 year warranty. Brake fluid does not become "black and contaminated" in one year unless it was so before the work was performed; if it was, it should have been flushed and changed at that time.

I won't even try to address the nonsense of "thick as motor oil", given that motor oil ranges from 10W to 90W.

Their warranty was a fraud. "It's good for the life of the work" means "as soon as it fails, that was the end of its life."

This is a legal question, not a technical one. What are the laws in your country? That's your path.

Robert
 

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Your issue is the warranty. If they returned the car to you without completely flushing the fluid in the clutch circuit, they caused the issue you described thru poor workmanship. They did not return your car to you in a condition that could achieve the 3 year warranty. Brake fluid does not become "black and contaminated" in one year unless it was so before the work was performed; if it was, it should have been flushed and changed at that time.
Robert's reply summarizes my thoughts as well.

In addition, a competent shop should have recognized that the fluid was dirty or the master cylinder was bad when they did the original work. Even if the cost of replacing those items wasn't included in their original quote, they should have said: "we can't warranty this job unless we also replace the fluid and/or the master cylinder". By telling you now that they should have replaced those parts a year ago, the shop is admitting that they are incompetent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have had the car to another shop and had the brake fluid checked and system flushed.
The mechanic told me that the brake fluid is as good as new. Even the looks of it.
He said that if the other shop claims it's dirty and haven't flushed the system, the fluid at the brakes should be dirty as well, even if they changed the fluid in the container in the engine compartment.
He has written a statement about this. So hopefully I'll win.
 
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