Please Share Your Clutch Experiences

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by seaweed, Oct 18, 2011.

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  1. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Fiesta, 5 years old, manual, 33,000 miles, NASTY SMELL through passenger window when open.

    Diagnosed as clutch. Mr Clutch fitted a replacement (smell still happening). Took it for its 500 mile check, Mr C says all OK. Said I'd been driving since 1958 and NEVER had to have a clutch replaced before. Mr C explains that 'modern' clutches are very sensitive and even the weight of foot on pedal without depressing it is enough to cause wear. 30,000 miles is about bogey for replacement he says. His mechanic then chips in with a Peugeot whodse clutch expired at 18,000 miles. It occurs to me that this must be true otherwise Mr C would not have a business.

    What's been 'improved'? Where does this leave higher mileage drivers (which is practically everyone else)?
  2. 30k miles or 48k kilometers isn't that good really. Unless you are doing continuous stop start driving in heavy traffic. Do you rest your foot on the clutch pedal? Did he change the pressure plate as well as the friction plate? Should never reuse a pressure plate.
  3. I'd like to share a 'clutch experience' but I drive automatics and although they have clutches it's not the same.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. People do have a tendency to 'hold' cars on the clutch these days, no surprise they need replacing. I think i've only replaced clutches when i've done engine rebuilds and not due to wear.
  5. Older drivers don't need clutches except when starting or stopping, having learned to drive either with crash gearboxes or tales of them.

    I can't believe that you've been resting your foot on the clutch pedal - if you had, this habit would have worn out more clutches in the past.

    I suspect that the clutch plate is misaligned so that instead of getting full bearing on the plates, they're only meeting at an edge so you've got constant (but almost imperceptible) slip.

    Chances are that if you keep taking it back to the same garage, you'll keep having the same problem. Go somewhere else. I won't get involved in your next question as to how you get your money back from Mr Clutch because they'll just blame your driving style.
  6. Forgot to add. Mr C is spouting bollocks. It's gullible people who keep him in business - more business than he has a right to.

    Of course, you may end up having to pay for a complete new clutch, rather than replacement discs. Some boy racer previous owner could have twisted the shaft while burning rubber from a standing start.
  7. 33K is far too soon for a clutch to need replacing - my '99 Alfa is on 85K and still on clutch no 1 (is starting to go now though).

    60-100K is normally the point of replacement in my experience, unless something is wrong with the car or the way it's driven.

    Unless of course it's an E-gear Lamborghini, in which case apparently it needs a new clutch after four full-bore standing starts...
  8. Did Mr Clutch replace the whole clutch or just the drive plate? In my (dated) experince if only the drive plate is replaced they do tend to wear out quite a bit quicker than if you replace the lot.
    There, I found an experience.
  9. Fiesta, 9 years old, manual, 166,000 miles, NASTY SMELL from driver.

    Diagnosed as crutch. My clutch, on the other hand, is the original. I don't use the clutch pedal as a footrest. I don't hold the car on inclines by slipping the clutch, preferring to use the handbrake.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Kit Reviewer

    Yep, only change gear when you need to, get a diesel and exploit the torque. Use the handbrake. Never rest your foot on the pedal.

    If you're really miserly, double de-clutch.
  11. Mr Crutch is known to talk ballcocks, quoting for DMF kits in old petrol cars is one example.
  12. In my past experince anything from 75k up to 100K miles is normal.

    My current car, a Citroen, chewed up the thrust bearing (common on French cars of early 2000s vintage aparently) at around 75k. On inspection, the clutch plates were not going to have lasted much longer anyway.

    Age is largely irrelevant unless looking for known trends as above. 33K is stupidly early. I had not heard of a problem withe early clutch failure on fiestas and there are plenty of them about. So either you were unlucky or a previous owner was a clutch abuser.

    Mr C is, like any large chain of rip-off merchants, likely to be talking bollocks. No, make that he is talking bollocks. 33K is early failure. I have it on good authority that that chain is known for taking short-cuts. Go to an independant garage and get a full clutch kit fitted next time. Expect 70K plus unless you either live somewhere with either a lot of hills or always drive in stop-start traffic.
  13. And my 09 alfa is on its second gearbox and clutch and its currently on 36k :(

    Seems they plonked a bog standard Punto gearbox and clutch into a turbo charged diesel that has bags of torque :( On the Alfa forums it appears many diesel Mito owners are not having a smooth gearbox/clutch time.

    I would also add its been resprayed due to paint coming off and had 2 sets of front discs in that time too..again, uprated engine, not uprated disks! grrrr.
  14. Ah yes, but my Alfa's a proper Alfa and not a re-badged and souped-up Fix It Again Tomorrow!

  15. 2/51, Its an Alfa. Did you expect quality? Lovely looking cars but they have a bit of a reputation. Still, a whole clutch and gearbox before 50K is taking the piss. Are you an "agressive" or "spirited" driver perhaps and part of the problem or is it just living up to the Alfa steriotype?

    I do wonder how many other makes are taking engineering shortcuts in the higher engine spec versions of basic cars.