2003 TDCi clutch and brakes - workshop pricing guru?

I think I'm a fairly sensitive driver, so when my Focus came back from the dealer with a new clutch and front discs (and a very large bill) I was surprised; it's done less than 80k km/50k miles from new. It
had gone in because it was reluctant to start from cold, and the brakes were noisy. The pads seem to be lasting about 18k km/11k miles. So, two questions:
Is that normal clutch, pad and disc life?
I was billed a total of 6.2 hours for the work, and just under 1000 euros (700 quid) for the parts (clutch, flywheel, cylinder, discs, pads, consumables, etc) plus VAT. Is that sensible, or did they see me coming?
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David Millen
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The question is..... did you authorise the garage to do all this work?
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Paul Giverin

British Jet Engine Website:- www.britjet.co.uk
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wrote:

Actually, that wasn't either of the two questions, but yes I did because I have had very positive experience with this same dealership over the time I've owned the car.
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David Millen
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Actually, you asked "did they see me coming", so my question was in response to that.
The fact that you did ask that question seems to indicate that you are not entirely happy with the dealership.
11k miles isn't a lot for pads. I'm going to replace mine in the next couple of weeks but they will have done 35k. That's mainly motorway miles where the brakes don't get used a lot. As for the clutch... I've never had to replace a clutch. Where I have bought new cars, I've kept them for 80k-100k miles and never had a clutch go. Some people go through clutches quicker than that because of their driving style.
How did your cold starting problem end up with a clutch change?
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Paul Giverin

British Jet Engine Website:- www.britjet.co.uk
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wrote:

Fair enough.

I was... I'm now becoming unhappy with the car and the dealership both. That one bill is two and a half times the total workshop costs for three years/40k miles on my last UK-owned car (which was a Merc E320 petrol auto).

It's the first clutch I've bought in 40 years of driving apart from a couple that got oil on them as a result of seal/gasket failure. Most of the mileage nowadays is on country roads, but even so, the pads seem short-lived compared to what I'm used to.

Beats me. I just get in, turn the key, and go. My wife actually drove it back from the dealer yesterday; when I got in it this morning, it starts fine albeit with a big cloud of blue smoke as usual, the brakes are perfect, but - wait for it - the turbo appears to have gone on holiday. It drives like a slug.
So it's back to the stealership on Monday morning.
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David Millen
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"David Millen" wrote...

(UK retail prices)
Flywheel : 367.46 + vat Clutch Kit : 77.39 + vat Slave cylinder : 75.29 + vat 2x Brake Disc : 65.34 + vat Brake Pads : 32.08 + vat
Total : 486.88 + vat
does the 700 quid include the labour?
if it does then i'd say you've got a good price (just under 35 per hour)
if it doesn't then the 'consumables' must have been top notch...
of course, you shouldn't have had any surprise at all when you got the bill as you would always be given a reasonably accurate estimate before the work was started....
as paul said, brake and clutch wear is dependent on type and style of driving. i have a client who's doing well if he gets more than 25k miles between chutch and flywheel changes... he's on his fifth now. gets through tyres quickly too...
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gandissy



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On Sat, 2 Feb 2008 00:20:10 -0000, "gandissy"
and brakes - workshop pricing guru?:

Just curious. How is the UK vat applied? Is it one percentage value across the UK, or does it vary from area to area?
Is the vat applied to labour & services?
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Value Added Tax (VAT) is 17.5 percent and added to goods, labour and services and applied nationwide at the same rate.
Some things are VAT exempt such as some foods and, I believe, children's clothing. Domestic fuel, gas[1] and electricity, are slightly different and only have a 5 percent VAT rate - however many of the large domestic fuel suppliers have increased their prices by around 15 to 20 percent in the past few weeks.
[1] In the UK we put petrol in our cars and not gas :) Petrol has addition taxes over and above VAT hence the 1+ GBP (approx. $2 US) for a litre.
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Alan
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On Sat, 2 Feb 2008 00:20:10 -0000, "gandissy"

Thanks for the detailed reply.
Spanish retail, on which I got 10% discount (converted to GBP)

352.15 + vat

133.67 + vat

97.05 + vat

94.20 + vat

42.66 + vat Odds and sods : 42.00 + vat

Total: 761.73 + vat (16% here) = 883.61
And people complain about rip-off Britain!

No. 6.2 hours at equivalent of 29.37 GBP per hour, + vat, on top.

Perfectly sensible. My view, I'm afraid, is that I have to have a car that's working correctly, and if I trust the supplier (which I did) then there's not a lot of point in even asking what the bill's going to be unless it seems possible that the car's beyond economic repair.

This is a 100cv TDCi driven by a retired businessman and his wife. As in my reply to Paul Giverin, this is essentially the first clutch I've had to replace - ever.
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David Millen
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I make that 617.56, not 486.88, or am I missing something? That's not that far off 700.
Morse
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Oops!
feckin cheap calculators for ya...
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gandissy



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Here in the States, *Consumer Reports* lists the brakes as the most problem prone area of the Focus, along with electrical problems. Wear problems began when Ford replaced banned asbestos brakes with a softer compound. I use high quality non-Ford replacement pads.
The discs (rotors) shouldn't have to be part of a brake job, but again the OEM Ford parts are too cheap and thin to be machined. New rotors can double the cost of new brakes. My Ford dealer charges $140 for brake pads and $120 for the rotors (144 including labor and tax). [one pound = $1.97]
My wife isn't easy on the Focus and I replaced the pads and rotors at 36,000 miles.
I've replaced clutches (although not in the last 30 years) and I don't recall the flywheel as being part of a new clutch. The flywheel was a major part of your bill.
Don
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Don McC wrote:
[...]

Google for "dual mass flywheel".
It's not uncommon for them to fail *before* the clutch...
Chris
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On Sun, 03 Feb 2008 09:28:53 GMT, Chris Whelan wrote:

The mind boggles! Wouldn't a flywheel 'failure' result in rapid disintegration of the engine?
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Chris Game

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On Fri, 01 Feb 2008 18:19:22 +0100, David Millen

Finally got to the bottom of this. Thanks to all who've posted. The principal culprit was the dual-mass flywheel, which apparently is known to cause problems. This from www.honestjohn.co.uk :
"By 2008, dual mass flywheel failure on 2.0 litre models and diesels had become common. 'Dual mass flywheel' failures create iron filings which in turn accumulate on starter motor magnets, leading to starter motor failure. Ford will sometimes contribute to the very high replacement costs of dual mass flywheels and clutches (1,200) if the car has done less than 45,000 miles."
When I took the car back for the no-turbo issue, the stealership discovered a split pipe of some sort which was allowing air to get in where it shouldn't, stopping the turbo from spinning. They gave up the idea of charging me for an hour's labour to fix it when I banged the service receptionist's head gently on the wall.
It's back to large RWD petrol-engined automatics for me when thew Focus goes.
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David Millen
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