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Old 7th December 2010, 21:38   #1
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Default Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

Returning from office yesterday, I try to pull my car out of the parking lot only to hear a 'klang' sound and no play in the clutch. Though I am left with no play, on fully depressing the clutch I was able to change gears. I immediately call up maruti 24/7 onroad service number, only to be told that he has no technical know how and gave me the maruti 'helpline' number. The 'helpline' is another story - they just like to pretend that you are not audible and hangup. Anyways, they give me RNS Motors, Bommanahalli number which turns out to be non-existent. Luckily, justdial came to my rescue and I call up RNS service. The SA tells me that my pressure plate is most likely gone but it is fine to drive on as long as I fully depress the clutch and change gears. And since it is late, I just carry on home.

Coming to today morning, I take my car to the RNS service center. The SA drives my car around and confirms that my pressure plate is probably gone. For some reason he is least interested in opening the assembly and finding out. He gets a mechanic and gets him to adjust the play. On completion, he tells me that I can carry on with my car though the pressure plate is gone . I refuse and tell him to open the assembly and find out what exactly the problem is. I also tell him that I expect this to be covered under warranty upon which he tells me that worn out pressure plate is not going to be covered. We continue discussing that point with me insisting that a prematurely worn out clutch is actually a manufacturing defect. Anyways, I leave for office with him telling that he'll get back to me in the afternoon after finding out what exactly is the problem.

It's 4 PM in the evening and I still haven't heard from this guy. I call him and he tells me that '2 teeth on the pressure plate are bent' or something to that effect. I continue with my demand for the work to be covered under warranty. He continues to refuse and gives me the 'works manager's number. I call up the manager and repeat the same demand. He first refuses, and then tells me that he will find out the specifics of the case and then get back to me. I'm still waiting for that to happen. Out of frustration, I call up Maruti helpline, where they continue to pretend that I am not audible and hang up. I say pretend coz I call up from 3 different numbers across networks and from my office landline also. Finally, I get somebody on the line who actually listens to me, registers the issue, and gives me the reference number. She says that they will get in touch with the service center and find out the specifics of the case. They will have an answer within 48 hours.

Now guys, the main questions in my mind are

1) Is wearing off of the pressure plate within 1year/13000 km a manufacturing defect? I do not drive half-clutch at all, and of the kms only about 11,000 will be in the city.

2) Am I right in insisting that the work be done under warranty. The clutch is not usually covered under warranty. But, I am insisting under the logic that it is a manufacturing defect.

Last edited by burnt. : 7th December 2010 at 21:39.
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Old 7th December 2010, 23:54   #2
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Clutch is not covered under warranty. Maruti now uses Valeo instead of Ceekay in Alto. Hence you can be sure of the quality.

Clutch wear is matter of question how you have driven your vehicle.

I have replaced a friends' March 10 Alto, 18k kms few days ago.
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Old 8th December 2010, 00:08   #3
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Clutch wear is matter of question how you have driven your vehicle.
The thing is I am quite a sedate driver. I am very conscious of not driving on half clutch. The car is 99% driven by me only. And back home, I used to drive around our 11 year old zen having 70,000 on the odo and never had any clutch problems. So this came as quite a shock for me. Besides even talking of early replacements, I have never heard of replacement at 13,000 kms. That's why I suspect that it has to be some kind of manufacturing defect.
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Old 8th December 2010, 14:21   #4
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

If your driving style is what you say it is, 100% a manufacturing defect. No matter who the part manufacturer, some defective products in a large batch are inevitable. You are absolutely justified in demanding a warranty replacement. Since you've already lodged a complaint on Maruti's helpline, it'll only be a matter of time before they get back to you. And hopefully, with good news on the warranty replacement.

Keep us updated.
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Old 8th December 2010, 14:33   #5
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

I got the clutch replaced by Mandovi at 3500kms on my Alto. Initially they refused but finally they changed claiming not under warranty but it's a recall so free of charge.

Same for brake pads, they claimed my car's right front brake pads were worn out at 9K kms. Another battle and changed under warranty.

Keep at it and they will agree. By opening the clutch one can easily make out if it's due to abuse or part defect.
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Old 8th December 2010, 14:49   #6
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

Have heard and seen quite a number of petrol Swifts, Alto and even SX4s with the clutch going bad within the 10-15K usage mark. While MUL will always blame the driving pattern, I'm beginning to suspect that inferior quality parts are used by Maruti. Clutch replacement is also a big money-making business.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:08   #7
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

UPDATE - The SA calls me today evening and tells me that the car is ready. According to him warranty is not applicable on clutch but his manager asked him to change it for free courtesy of RNS Motors. I am being charged only 350 Rs it seems for washing and brake lamp bulb change. Even that should have been free as I had a free wash card. Will post further details after I pick up the car tomorrow.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:39   #8
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt. View Post
UPDATE - The SA calls me today evening and tells me that the car is ready. According to him warranty is not applicable on clutch but his manager asked him to change it for free courtesy of RNS Motors. I am being charged only 350 Rs it seems for washing and brake lamp bulb change. Even that should have been free as I had a free wash card. Will post further details after I pick up the car tomorrow.
Yeah right, courtesy RNS. Make sure you get the bill that says clutch changed with labour and parts as Rs.0. Also make sure they show you the old clutch plate. Along with pressure plate they should have changed the clutch plate as well.
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Old 8th December 2010, 19:55   #9
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

350 for Washing & Bulb replacement for an Alto? They must be kidding.

I agree with Vid, please ask them to show you the old part & also check with other shop for the exact price of the bulb that they are claiming to have changed.

Also are your free services over? do you normally pay for the wash? Anybody knows the price of the pressure plate for Alto?
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Old 8th December 2010, 20:09   #10
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

IMO, the damage is already done on Rs 350!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
please ask them to show you the old part
Those M.A.S.S guys are clever guys; they'll show some other kaput Alto's bulb & tell that it belonged to your Alto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
also check with other shop for the exact price of the bulb that they are claiming to have changed.
Well, I bought a Philips H4 (60/55) for my Rx 2 weeks ago, the price of the bulb was somewhere around Rs 90 I think.
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Old 9th December 2010, 00:26   #11
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

clutch is not covered under warranty, like i said before.

But a Service guy giving stuff for free is strange. as he too works there and has to maintain inventory.

i think some other poor alto guy got ripped of his clutch.

anyway problem solved. a happy ending.

just curious! did you get your battered clutch back.

they got Rs.350 from you to compensate for the labor. BTW current clutch change labor at MASS is Rs.700

Last edited by SirAlec : 9th December 2010 at 00:28.
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Old 9th December 2010, 22:57   #12
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Default Re: Alto clutch gone kaput @ 13000 km / 1 year

Got my car back today. The clutch set was replaced under warranty and not by RNS motors as I was told earlier. After the change, I found the clutch to be lighter and the gear shift is smoother. I was charged only Rs 88 which was for the rear brake lamp bulb change.

I did not get to see the replaced pressure plate. They said they cannot hand it over to me as all parts replaced under warranty have to be sent to Maruti. Sounded fair enough.

And I'd like to thank all you guys for all the guidance. If not for teambhp, I would not have persistently demanded for warranty replacement of the part. And I am a happy RNS motors and Maruti customer for replacing a part which is not actually covered under warranty.
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