Mechanic is taking too long to find the issue with my car

My car (manual) would not go into gear when the engine was on, when I managed to put it into first gear with force the car did not sound good when it started moving.

So I had the car taken to a garage. At first the mechanic said it was the clutch that would need replacing (quoted £1300 excluding labour). later on that day when I rang him he said that it could now be the gearbox also however he’s not sure. He said that the gearbox would need to be taken to a specialist to be looked at.

So now its been 4 days and the mechanic still doesn’t know what the issue is. I’m worried because I’m very young and don’t have a clue about cars so I don’t want the mechanic to take advantage of my lack of knowledge to try and charge me for things that may not need fixing.

so my question is, is he taking too long and is the quote somewhat reasonable?

Thank you in advance.

My car is Audi A5 2.0 manual 61 plate.

It’s hard to tell from here, but my first guess would be a bad master or slave cylinder. Why did you pick this shop? Do you trust it? Year/miles on your Audi?

This issue should not be difficult to figure out for any real mechanic. I highly doubt your transmission is damaged internally as that condition is pretty rare… Possible sure, but they can take a lot of punishment before failure.

If while the engine is running it is difficult to put into gear… Yet you can get it into all gears with the engine off.

The VERY first thing to look at or suspect is the clutch system… Which consists of the clutch master, the clutch and pressure plate and the clutch slave. Basically all the components that make up the clutch.

Commonly the clutch slave fails…which doesn’t allow you to disengage the clutch and get into gear with engine running… Problem is this symptom can also be caused by the other components of the clutch. Up to the mechanic to figure this out…

In VW and Audi there is a VERY very common problem of the DMF failure. The Dreaded Dual Mass Flywheel… Its made of 2 pieces and those pieces begin to come apart if not completely fail all together… They are failing all over the place on VW and Audi … including my own VW GTi.

Any mechanic worth his salt can figure this one out… what confuses most lesser ones is this DMF failure. It will produce the same symptoms as you have AND it will make noises that worry or confuse some “mechanics” I am betting he is not recognizing the DMF failure noises and blaming them on internal trans problems which take a lot to damage internal trans…and I mean serious abuse so that should not be suspected till much much later.

I bet your issue lies somewhere in this realm. In order of suspicion, I would go after the simple less expensive items first (naturally) then move on to the DMF failure (COMMON as hell). With this in mind it could guide any mechanic to the solution. Just know DMF failures are COMMON… Look it up. If it is your Dual Mass Flywheel… You will be replacing everything anyway… New Clutch, Slave, Pressure plate and DMF…

Did I mention the DMF failure was common ?

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tech said it was clutch issue so trans is out of car?
where is trans now? in shop or did he send it to 2nd trans shop?

I didn’t read the trans was out…

mechanic is unsure. he may or may not have removed trans.
if he thought it had a bad clutch i assume trans would be out.
the 4 day timeline thru me. it has been sitting for 4 days?

He guesses it was the clutch before even taking it all apart and then he said that he noticed worrying noises which led him to believe it’s the gearbox. For 3 day then he was telling me that the car is still being looked at and this afternoon the gearbox will be given to a specialist to see what the problem is.

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The problem occurred at 4am when I was on my way home from the airport so I was extremely tired and just chose the closest garage to my house. Regretting it now. The mileage is 100k and the year is 2011.

ooh, i see a possible trans teardown now and possibly a new clutch also?
or maybe he says the clutch parts are ok and no need to change any of them?
but, it would be easy to replace clutch while trans is out. but not cheap
in hindsight, an audi driveline shop would have been best. hindsight is nice 20-20

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Thank you very much. I’m just worried that he will say that it’s the clutch AND the gearbox that needs replacing as that’s what he’s been implying through our conversations. Even though I don’t have any knowledge on cars I find it hard to believe that it would be both.

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Yes it’s been 4 days and the problem is still unknown apparently.

I don’t think this mechanic has good diagnostic skills. Determining whether a clutch is bad is not rocket science. That can be done by the feel of the pedal and clutch slippage can be determined with another easy to do test.

If the gearbox was fine until this problem surfaced then I doubt the gearbox is at fault. Sending the unit out to someone else will likely mean they are going to have to take it apart on a wild guess.

I have a feeling this is not going to turn out well.


It will turn out to be either Dual Mass Flywheel failure… Or one of the components of the clutch.

Having a compentent guy to tell you which it is happens to be the tricky part.

Another unfortunate issue is that a common failure which is the clutch slave cyl… which is around $100-125 part…just so happens to be sandwiched between the engine and the trans on the actual trans input shaft… So… if this were 1988 or something…you’d simply unbolt the old and install the new and be driving in under an hour. But in this instance the engine and trans need to be separated just to replace a simple failure item… it sucks to put it mildly.

Then add on to this the widespread commonality of the DMF failure… and you now have plenty of suspects.

The last thing to suspect is the actual gearbox… so shelf that idea until someone with some skills can help you.

Its one of the clutch components or the DMF at this time… I promise

So the mechanic is not familiar enough with the symptoms to note what Honda_Blackbird mentioned. That means the car should be in another shop that is familiar with these issues. Is it at a dealer?