It was all going so well... beware Dual Mass Flywheels

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Head4Heights's review of Seat Alhambra Stylance 2.0 TDI 140

★★★☆☆

“It was all going so well... beware Dual Mass Flywheels”

Written on: 11/10/2014 by Head4Heights (2 reviews written)

This was one of the early imports of the common rail 2.0 TDI's on a 60 plate. It replaced an 07 plate which was a good car except for the gear ratio's and a hole on the early power delivery. The next version of the Alhambra sorted those issues and for about 3.5 years (until just out of warranty, naturally) I was a happy bunny. There was nothing not to like about this comfortable, reliable, well equipped, decently powered and practical car that carried family, dogs and luggage with ease up hill and down dale.

Then I got a wheel wobble that defied being balanced out. On holiday in Brittany, the wheel wobble appeared during braking. Into the local Seat dealer where despite a robust language barrier, I gathered that the front discs were uneven and needed replacing. Oh, and also the NSF wheel bearing. £740 later it's done. 2 weeks later back in UK I came off the motorway and heard a metallic clatter. Seemed to be better when the clutch was down, but it just got worse over a short distance. The AA man quickly diagnosed either a shot flywheel or a shot gearbox bearing. And he was right. At under 35,000 miles the flywheel has come apart and I'm looking at £1,900+ for a new flywheel and clutch. Clutches now are Dual Mass Clutches. In short, the damping springs are built into the flywheel instead of the clutch plate. They don't have a good reputation - not just in VAG vehicles.

Up until the flywheel incident I only had 1 moan about the car which was the lack any means of recovering from a punctured tyre. The Contiseal tyres are very good - you can put dozens of nails into the tread and it'll not deflate. But. For some reason Seat don't sell this bus with anything other than low profile tyres. It's a bus guys, not a sports car. The low profile tyres have to be extra strong because the bus is heavy. This makes the sidewalls thick and it also makes them brittle. Gently clip a kerb (for instance) enough to crack the sidewall... and you're on the phone to your roadside recovery people. You have no other option.

I am loath the dish the dirt on this car - it has so many good points but a flywheel in under 35k miles is taking the michael. I've been driving for nearly 40 years and I've driven some pretty old and knackered cars in my day. I have never had a flywheel come apart. Beware of dual mass flywheels on VAG cars (That's VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda) because you will be 'cruising for a bruising'.








  • 2010

    Year Manufactured

  • Nearly 4 years

    Length of ownership

  • 5

    Doors

  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

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