Q: Clutch issues

asked by on July 13, 2016

Hi Had a lot of issues with chattering when releasing the clutch. In 02/16 it quit on the side of the road. Mechanic advised seal in the slave cylinder had gone & put in a new clutch assembly which incl. new slave cylinder & they resurfaced the flywheel. Upon return we noticed a new issue: often when coming to a stop & shifting into 1st gear, it won't go in. You have to shift into 2nd & then it goes into 1st OK. Not knowing much about this, we figured since it was new, it was just tighter. About 2 mos later we noticed once the engine was warm (hwy driving about 15 mins) the chattering was back & getting worse & worse. Took back to the same mech. who advised the issue was bad engine mounts. 2 other mechanics state that's not the issue. Dealership thinks it's a faulty clutch or has to do with the resurface of the flywheel. The issue is getting worse, so much so that on one trip, after about 2 hrs hwy driving it was so bad it wouldn't engage at all. Eventually did. No leaks. Any ideas?

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It’s always a challenge when multiple people get involved, as it can get very confusing since you won’t know who is wrong or right. Let’s begin with the shifting into first gear issue. This is most commonly an issue with the hydraulic portion of the system. This includes the clutch master, clutch slave and the clutch pedal. Clutch hydraulics can be very difficult to thoroughly bleed and this is where I would begin addressing the issue of getting into first gear. It will take some patience on the mechanics part. A thorough inspection the clutch system is needed.

As for the chattering, this is most commonly and issue with the clutch to flywheel interface. But chattering can be a result of crankshaft end play. The clutch pressure plate could have issues as well. Again, this will need thorough diagnosing.

Since you noticed an issue as soon as the car was returned to you, it would seem to be the responsibility of the mechanic who replaced the clutch. Unless they are not cooperating with you, I would give them a chance to take a look at it. Keep in mind, it has been sometime since the initial clutch replacement, so there is almost no way for the mechanic to verify if it was something they did or something else that has developed. If you want the car looked at by an independent technician, book one of our technicians to diagnose the clutch issue for you. They will be able to pinpoint the problem and advise you on the correct repair.

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