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Old 28th March 2009, 23:54   #61
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Just another opinion to add to the heap...


Even with the steep slopes to be found in many hotel (and multi-storey) car parks, I think it would take the most incredibly dreadful driving to damage a clutch on one parking. I don't think driving with the handbrake on would make a huge difference either.

I think that the kind of driving it would take would soon bring that valet driver to the unfavourable notice of his employer; it would be very noisy for a start.

The car's owner might do every hill start with great flair; they may appear to drive with great skill... but there are still habits, barely noticeable, especially to a passenger, and easy to forget as a driver. Using the clutch as a footrest, at least during frequent-change city driving is one such; I'm sure there are others.

Glad to say that I have never yet had a failed clutch; when you can't change gear, isn;t that because whatever has worn/broken is not allowing the clutch plates to disengage?

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 28th March 2009 at 23:55.
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Old 29th March 2009, 00:00   #62
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Thank God that car is OK. Its not just the 5 star hotels do this. Anywhere this happens if valet parking is present. They use the cars as if they are playing with a football or even worse.

And generally the fine print says " at owner's risk ". This covers it all. The only way is to raise hell against them at their hotel and to inform media like newspaper and newschannel.
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Old 29th March 2009, 00:18   #63
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I stopped giving my cars to valets years ago. I never suffered any major damage but small things like handles abused, a/c. vents turned etc. irritate me. I also have a lot of papers / personal things in the car which I would hate to lose. I still tip the guys though - so most of them guide me into favoured parking slots!

I agree with the others that it is quite unlikely that the clutch got damaged solely in the short drive to the parking bay and back. Driving on an incline (the Taj Palace incline is not much) with the hand-brake on also would not do it unless the clutch was already on it's last legs - courtesy a manufacturing defect or imperceptible driving habits (using it as a foot-rest). If the SX4 has a weak clutch - we cannot blame a valet for the damage. Can we? Better to rave at the manufacturer for a design defect.

Cheers,
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Old 29th March 2009, 00:29   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
If the gears are sticking, the clutch is not disengaging when the pedal's pressed. A burnt clutch will not move the car but then the gears will not stick.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
when you can't change gear, isn;t that because whatever has worn/broken is not allowing the clutch plates to disengage?
@ Thad: You're right. Once again the same point that anupmathur and I had brought up earlier - the clutch wasn't smoked, something (shaft? spring? pressure plate?) broke inside coolmob's friend's car.
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Old 29th March 2009, 00:53   #65
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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
Sorry, Doc, that sounds like beyond the call of duty!
How does one have a 'great experience' with valets??!
I meant that they're really courteous, or is that just my experience? Anyway it might be because I went there quite often.

I would help you if the old manager were still there. A few years ago the manager was a British gentleman, a Mr. Grokock.
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Old 29th March 2009, 00:56   #66
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I meant that they're really courteous...
...the manager was a British gentleman, a Mr. Grokock.
Are you really serious? A manager called that? While the valets offered you a great experience?
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Old 29th March 2009, 01:24   #67
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A year ago, Economic times had reported that Maruti had asked all its vendors for a 30% cut in costs across the board.

Result (relevant to the clutch component manufacturer) : The clutch manufacturer reduced the thickness of the pressure plate (the main element in the transmission which provides feel & pressure on to the friction plate against the flywheel to provide max transfer of torque & motion) Spings were thinned, earlier all four springs on the clutch used to be of the same wire gauge, now alternating spings are of the same gauge, but lesser than the original design spec thickness to conform to a 30% cost cut.

Finally to the consumer what happens if you use a maruti in the 3rd gear from a stand start is that the clutch will very rapidly wear out due to the pressure plate providing binding force & the spinning wheel far in excess of the correct ratio to the transmission. (clutch will slip till you do not reach 30 or so odd kmph where actually 1000 rpm or idle rpm relates to the 3rd gear's lowest speed)

Our car (WagonR) had a clutch replacement within 22k kms, this is primarily due to the drivers of this vehicle coming from an Indica.

There's a vast difference in feel of the clutches from the old models of any maruti product and new maruti products.

Best is to let go and completely reduce clutch slippage.

Hope this helps.

cheers
M
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Old 29th March 2009, 09:22   #68
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Are you really serious? A manager called that? While the valets offered you a great experience?
LOL, that sounds a trifle naughty to me!
But it would have been one of the main reasons for changing the manager. Such an unfortunate title in the hospitality industry can seriously affect the bottom line! The bottom line.
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Old 29th March 2009, 09:57   #69
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Probably this happened due to a defective part. It takes more to destroy the transmission of a car than a Hotel parking lot would allow.
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Old 29th March 2009, 10:19   #70
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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
And generally the fine print says " at owner's risk ".
Fine print?!

Heck, it's posted on a large, very visible board right at the entrance to the parking!
And we've been philosophically accepting this practice from five star hotels and restaurants for years in this country!
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Old 29th March 2009, 12:56   #71
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Not that I would like to spend ten years in the Indian court system arguing the point, but...

If they insist on their staff parking our cars, I think they cannot hide behind statements that they are not responsible.

If it is a free option, then they might.
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Old 29th March 2009, 13:07   #72
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I don't think they insist. The option is yours. And of course it is free..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Not that I would like to spend ten years in the Indian court system arguing the point, but...

If they insist on their staff parking our cars, I think they cannot hide behind statements that they are not responsible.

If it is a free option, then they might.
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Old 29th March 2009, 16:34   #73
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well, as viper said if you drive with the handbrake, its quite possible, but it just seems unlikely, if it were that weak, a clutch wouldn't last you that long it would probably fry every 10k kms!
Im not saying that its not possible but just a little unlikely and legally i don't think they are liable or have any responsibility also i don't think they would hire a total goof for a valet driver they usually drive decently well, relative to the comercial drivers in our country.
Talk to maruti, they gave me a 50% discount on complete clutch ***'y on my baleno after it conked @ 30k kms! Which i felt was fair enough, as i demanded it be done free of cost but then he said that it is a combination of both negligent driving and weak clutch so lets share the cost, which i thought was fair enough as it was a driver driven car i knew it COULD have been partly his fault too, even though he had been driving my ikon for over 95k kms without any clutch problem so i don't think he really caused it.
Best of luck.
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Old 29th March 2009, 16:58   #74
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Reading all the posts here which more or less were ready to accept the version that the Valet was responsible, has made me realise that I am owning a lucky Swift which has done 11+ K. I have twice accidentally run the car for 2-3 kms with the handbrake on. Till date no issues with the clutch.
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Old 29th March 2009, 17:02   #75
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Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
I don't think they insist. The option is yours. And of course it is free..
Yeah. What I usually do is, I ask the valet guy to sit into the passenger seat and give him 10 bucks and show me where to park.

However, sometimes, the valet gets very confused when I ask to do this - and my girl-friend at that point thinks I am just cheap and starts stomping around lest *others* see and react like this

Once when I had driven down to Zara's in Chennai, the valet there bumped my then Red Palio sports and got a bump on the bonnet. Created a fuss, but to no avail. Again, the girl who accompanied me at that time told me to jump into the car and *lets leave*.

Jeez, we ought to get their most expensive lipstick out and draw circles all over the living room.

Last edited by Red Liner : 29th March 2009 at 17:04.
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