I have a 147 1.9 JTDM (8v) Collezione (2007). It recently developed a problem with excessive exhaust smoke so I took it to Lewis Motors on City Road in Cardiff (which is close to where I work and had been recommended by a friend). They diagnosed a fault with the exhaust gas recirculation valve (R & I) and quoted £320 in total to repair. At the time of purchase I also purchased a warranty and asked the garage to obtain approval before doing any work. After 3 days of being unable to contact the warranty company (another story), I collected the car yesterday after work and drove home to Caerphilly (the garage told me it was perfectly safe to drive).
However, on the way home I noticed the gear selection was a bit tricky - this was not a problem before I left the car at the garage on the Wednesday. As I progressed, the gears became increasingly difficult and on several occasions at lights and junctions where I had to stop, I found it nearly impossible to find first when moving on.
Whilst I was obviously having difficulty I felt reasonably confident I could make it home which I did - but only just. On turning the corner into my street, the clutch pedal failed to return to it's normal position and stayed flush to the floor. A low oil pressure warning light came on and as I was not able to put the car in neutral, the engine stalled. It is parked securely outside my house but is plainly not at all drive-able.
I telephone Lewis Motors this morning and they swear blind that they did not touch the engine or gearbox and merely lifted the cover for a visual inspection before calling the warranty company. Naturally I am skeptical as there was nothing wrong with the gears before leaving it at the garage.
Anyway, there's my story. What I need now is a solid recommendation for a garage that knows what it's doing and won't make things worse. With a bit of googling I have found that Bridgend Motor Works has a good rep for ARs but that's a fair trek from Caerphilly. Can anyone recommend anything closer or is BMW (hehe) my best bet?