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First trip out in our VW Autosleeper - advice please


LORNA

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Hi, first of all I'd like to thank everyone who gave us advice before we made our purchase of an Autosleeper Clubman VW in Feb. We had our first short holiday in it over Easter and loved it a lot!!!

Hope you won't mind if we ask a question of anyone who can advise or reassure: my husband, being the main driver at the moment, is fnding there is a judder every now and then when the engine is running but the vehicle is stationary. He doesn't know if this is him getting used to the vehicle or if it could be an issue with the exhaust. We have had a sideways look under the van as best we can and nothing seems to be moving with the exhaust. We have had 3 months warranty from Cotswold Motorhomes which will be up in May and don't want to get this wrong if it is a mechanical problem.

Thanks in anticpation of any comments, Lorna

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Hi, firstly it is definitely a VW! Instead of 'judder' then maybe the word 'vibrate' would cover it. The noise comes from underneath the chassis, we think and happens when the vehicle is held on the clutch ready to pull away from traffic lights, roundabouts etc. The noise doesn't happen all the time in these circumstances, just occasionally.

Quite happy to accept it is our inexperienced driving if this is the consensus! Many thanks, Lorna

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Are you saying you indulge in the very naughty practise of riding the clutch, instead of handbrake on and into neutral, when waiting at lights?  If you are, I suggest you mend your naughty ways forthwith.  :-)  Holding 3.5 tonnes on the clutch will soon result in no clutch! 

I think the best thing to do - apart from using the handbrake - will be to wait until it happens again, stop somewhere, leave the engine running, open the bonnet, and watch to see if, for example, the cooling fan is cutting in.  They are quite powerful - so don't get fingers, hair, or loose clothing, anywhere near - but the electrical load of the fans on start up increases the effort required to turn the alternator, which can cause the engine to momentarily falter and then pick up.  Same can be true for cab aircon units, though I'd be a bit surprised if either were working that hard under present conditions.  However, it sounds a familiar tale, albeit usually in warmer weather.

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I think the wind-up from the clutch flexing the engine mounts is causing the exhaust to contact the chassis or some other.

If this is the case you can make some adjustment but Grunt's garage will just put a lump of wood under it and bend the pipe a bit.

I would get it fixed if it proves to be that as wear will cause a hole in something.

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If it is a 2.5 check the exhaust tail pipes. We had a Compass Calypso which occasionally made a clanging noise. The 2 tail pipes are close to each other at the back of the vehicle and sometimes touched. A bit of forceful separation stopped it.
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Thanks for all this advice - I will print it off and check tomorrow. As for riding the clutch, that wouldn't be me (of course not), but all the various checks will be really valuable in trying to eliminate causes and hopefully not fall foul of a mechancial fault that we can catch before the warranty is due up.

All the best and will update when we come to a conclusion! Lorna

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Hello Lorna, sorry for delay!

Our Clubman was a 1999 model. I'm not sure if it was the same model as

yours. The pipe was vibrating against the chasis and the modified bracket

cleared it from the chasis. Hope this helps.

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Yes if it has the stainless steel twin pipes at rear get them fitted with a flexable hanger, They do tend to (judder) vibrate esp' under acceleration,

Check all the mountings on the exhaust manifold to the back as sometimes the second last one comes away with the extra length of twin pipes at the back and causes above.

Regards

Brendan

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