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Q: Bad clutch, slips and makes shifting rough

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I bought my 2010 Mazda3 with a manual transmission because I like the added control you get on downhills. It usually helps my brakes last longer as well. I am experienced with manual transmissions and I never burn out clutches in cars. Now the clutch is slipping in my Mazda3 after only 45,000 miles! Pretty disappointed. Is this a defect or is the factory clutch just weak?

A: Hello, a clutch that wears out too soon can...

Hello, a clutch that wears out too soon can be frustrating. While doing research for this I found there are quite a few similar complaints. There are multiple parts involved in engaging the clutch and any one of these could be faulty. For example, when you push on the clutch pedal you are connected to the clutch master cylinder which pushes fluid through a line to the clutch slave cylinder. This is connected to a rod that pushes on a fork mounted on a fulcrum. On this fork the throw out bearing is mounted and it connects to the clutch plate, that will physically disengage the clutch.

Once the clutch is removed the disc, flywheel and pressure plate can be examined. If the disc is worn uneven on the flywheel side, then the clutch is not fully disengaging and the hydraulic system and attaching hardware needs to be looked at for leakage and clearance. There appears be an updated clutch fork to help with this issue.

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