Saxo gearstick only selects 3rd or 4th: Garage's fault?

Earlier this month my '98 Citroen Saxo 1.1x clutch failed so I took it to a local mechanic: 'Autostop' in Bridgend.
The invoice indicates that they carried out the following work:
Replace clutch. Change gear oil.
I have been driving the car since then, although not many miles, since it's Christmas.
Suddently today, whilst driving, the gear stick became very loose in the side-to-side motion. Now it will only allow me to select 3rd and 4th (i.e. the two gears reached by pushing the stick forwards and backwards) and won't allow me to select the gears which require the stick to be moved left or right (1st, 2nd, 5th and reverse).
It no longer springs back to the central position when in neutral - it just sits wherever you leave it left-to-right.
I managed to limp home today but the clutch was stinking because I had to pull away in 3rd at every junction.
I am planning to call the garage and ask them to take the car back in. I'm assuming this was caused by their failing to reassemble the car so will be asking them to repair free of charge.
I would be pleased to hear any information or advice from this group which would help me in discussing this with the garage. Do you think this was their fault or do you think it is an unconnected coincidence?
(p.s. I had noticed that, since the clutch replacement, the car was difficult to get into 1st gear. I would often have to slow to less than 2 miles per hour before it would allow 1st gear to engage. I don't know if this is connected.)
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-Toby
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Toby Newman wrote:

It probably is their fault but the solution may be simple. I had a similar problem on my Xantia after some work on the speedo sensor. What had happened was that a cable securing clip had got bent and was interfering with the gear change mechanism. Difficult to spot unless you were right underneath the car with someone operating the gearchange. The problem gradually got worse due to the clip being bent further and further by the gearchange until I finally had to climb underneath and look for it. 30 seconds work with a pair of pliers and all was well.
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Malc
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Sounds like the clamping fixing that securers the gear lever change linkage to the gearbox gear change linkage has come loose, needs to go back and be checked / adjusted.
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To follow up: The garage told me that a dowel had snapped in a section of the linkage which was not disassembled when the clutch was replaced, and that they were not to blame for the fault. I've had them repair it and they waived the labour charge.
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Toby Newman wrote:

I must stop being so sceptical but doesn't the waiving of the labour charge sound just a tad suspicious?
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Malc
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I think it was their way of avoiding waiving the pick-up charge. They gave me a little which stopped me from wanting to argue for a lot in case I lost everything.
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> GUEST wrote: > Earlier this month my '98 Citroen Saxo 1.1x clutch failed so I took it to a > local mechanic: 'Autostop' in Bridgend. > > The invoice indicates that they carried out the following work: > Replace clutch. > Change gear oil. > > I have been driving the car since then, although not many miles, since it's > Christmas. > > Suddently today, whilst driving, the gear stick became very loose in the > side-to-side motion. Now it will only allow me to select 3rd and 4th (i.e. the > two gears reached by pushing the stick forwards and backwards) and won't allow > me to select the gears which require the stick to be moved left or right (1st, > 2nd, 5th and reverse). > > It no longer springs back to the central position when in neutral - it just > sits wherever you leave it left-to-right. > > I managed to limp home today but the clutch was stinking because I had to pull > away in 3rd at every junction. > > I am planning to call the garage and ask them to take the car back in. I'm > assuming this was caused by their failing to reassemble the car so will be > asking them to repair free of charge. > > I would be pleased to hear any information or advice from this group which would > help me in discussing this with the garage. Do you think this was their fault > or do you think it is an unconnected coincidence? > > (p.s. I had noticed that, since the clutch replacement, the car was difficult > to get into 1st gear. I would often have to slow to less than 2 miles per hour > before it would allow 1st gear to engage. I don't know if this is connected.) > > > -- > -Toby > Add the word afiduluminag to the subject to circumvent my email filters.
I can tell u exactly what it is. Take off you air filter and underneath you will find your gear selector pin has come out. if you're lucky it will be in your engine bay, just re attach. Otherwise you can use a 6mm bolt. Replace air filter- job done. My car does it all the time! Rough riding is the cause!
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