Car Clinic: Clutching To Hope

Car Clinic: Clutching To Hope
 

Question:

After 277 000km, gear changing on my 2006 Ford Fiesta has lately not been as smooth as before. I took the car to different Ford dealers. One recommended that a new clutch kit, costing around R6 000, must be fitted, while another said it’s only some or other component that needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. I’m not sure which version to accept. Please advise.

VJ

Answer:

If the Fiesta is still on its original clutch, you probably need a new clutch kit. It always makes sense to fit a new release bearing at the same time. The 2006 Fiesta utilised a concentric slave cylinder, which provides certain advantages over the traditional external slave cylinder employed in hydraulically operated clutches.

The disadvantage of the CSC, however, is that it resides inside the clutch housing and therefore a fair amount of dismantling is needed to reach it. So it is prudent to also replace the CSC when a new clutch kit is fitted. Another thing that should be done as part of any clutch replacement is skimming the flywheel. This is not a job for amateurs.

Make sure it’s done by a reputable engineering shop. The price of R6 000 quoted to you probably includes the parts and labour for all these operations. You may be able to get it done for less at clutch specialists. I was quoted R1 232 for a clutch kit of a respected manufacturer , R652 for a CSC, and R274 for skimming the flywheel. If you add R1 800 for labour, the total cost came to under R4 000. The component the one dealer spoke about might be the clutch master cylinder. That is readily accessible and can be overhauled without too much expense.

Should the bore show corrosion, a stainless steel sleeve can be inserted, making the master cylinder more or less everlasting. If the car has already received a new clutch somewhere along the line, you may get away with just overhauling the master cylinder.

Gerrit Burger

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