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Old 16th May 2011, 17:09   #1
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Default Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

I would like to share a very disappointing experience that happened to me on Satuday, 14th May. Before I describe the painful event, let me give a background of my vehicle.

Vehicle: Scorpio Mhawk VLX 4x4.
Kms Done: 32,000
Service History: All service done on time at the dealer.


On Saturday, I was driving to coimbatore from chennai. About one hour after vellore, the clutch completely failed and the clutch pedal dropped to the floor. I put the vehicle in netral and came to a stop. I looked underneath and clutch fluid was leaking so i figured the slave cylynder had failed. My wife and two young children were stuck on the chennai krishagiri highway on a blistering summer afternoon. To make things worse, my 5 year old daughter was running a temprature as well.

I called Mahindra helpline and they told me that the nearest dealer is Jain Cars in Vellore and some one would call me. After about 15 minutes or so I got a call from them saying that their service personel would come over in about two hours. I told them to send a slave cylynder so that they could replace it. He told me that the vehicle would have to be towed back to the dealership as the gearbox has to be taken down to replace the slave cylinder. I was shocked to hear this. I thought they maybe trying to take me for a ride, so I called my service advisor in SKS Auto at bangalore and he confirmed this. He also mentioned that a few other vehicles had recently come in with the same problem.

Since it was on a Saturday evening, I was almost certain that the dealer wouldn't look at my vehicle till Monday morning. So, I called a friend who works with Mahindra in kerala and he put me onto the Regional Head for Mahindra in Tamil nadu. I explained the situation to him and he promised to help me out. He called back 10 minutes later to tell me that he had spoken to the dealership and instructed them that the car has te be repaired and delived on Saturday itself. He also told me that it will take a couple of hours as the gearbox has to be removed so I should find some place for my family to rest until this is done. I knew that it is going to take over 6 to 7 hours as the car has to be towed 70 kms to the dealership. So I got a Tavera Taxi with the help of some locals and left with my family to coimbatore in a taxi. My driver stayed back with the vehicle.

A Scorpio from the dealership arrived only at about 7 pm. The vehicle was towed back to vellore. They started work at about 8:30 pm and finished the work only at 3:00 am. My driven then bought the vehicle to coimbatore at 8 am. The dealership initially told me that I would have to pay towing charges, but they agreed to waive it after the RM called them.

I spoke to a friend and Mahindra who informed me that there was an issue with the slave cylinder for earlier mhawks and the part has now been redesigned. If there is a part prone to failure, why don't they issue a recall. I used to snug about the mythical reliability of the Scorpio but this experience left a bad taste in my mouth.

I personally feel that it is a stupid idea to place a slave cylinder inside the bell housing. Just imagine each time you have to even change a washer in the slave cylynder you will have to take down the gearbox.

Secondly how does a part like this fail in 30K kilometers without any warning? Typically when the clutch fluid start leaking the clutch tends to fail over time giving you some warning. In this case it just failed abruptly.

I also feel that Mahindra has lately been cutting corners and the current vehicles do not have the same quality and reliability as earlier Scorpios.

If you have an mhawk before early 2010, this could happen to you...

I will be selling my Scorpio once the warranty expires. The W201 is no longer on my wish list.
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Old 16th May 2011, 17:19   #2
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Really sad to know about the issue and the associated pain.

I wonder what kind of design engineers thought about keeping the slave cylinder inside the bell housing. BTW any idea how is the current part different from the old part. Especially in terms of design and placement.
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Old 16th May 2011, 22:38   #3
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

The hassle that you went through is tremendous. Probably having your driver with you was convenient. So how is the vehicle running now?
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Old 17th May 2011, 07:38   #4
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Foremost - The topic should be failure of clutch cylinder rather than failure of clutch.

Two things.
One the failure of such component is unacceptable at ~30l on odo. How old is the vehicle?
Two the dealership worked so late at night to keep their promise. Kudos for such customer service.

That said you could have avoided wasting lots of time by driving the vehicle without clutch. It is a technique that is easy to learn and comes in hand in such situations. Due to synchromesh gears you can change gears without disengaging gears box with clutch. Especially in emergency situations it is worth knowing this.

Basically it involves starting the vehicle while in gear from rest. Then shifting the gears smoothly at appropriate time. You can shift up or down with practise.
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Old 17th May 2011, 07:43   #5
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post

Basically it involves starting the vehicle while in gear from rest. Then shifting the gears smoothly at appropriate time. You can shift up or down with practise.
Sir, could you please explain a bit more of this technique.

Thanks
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Old 17th May 2011, 07:58   #6
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

@4X4Addict - Sorry to hear about your harrowing experience. I guess if not for your contacts in Mahindra the vehicle would not have been repaired till Monday.


@Sudev - The technique that you mentioned is only for Scorps or for other vehicles as well? provide more details for the benefit of fellow BHPians.
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Old 17th May 2011, 08:50   #7
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Sorry to hear about your experience 4x4addict. I know exactly how it feels, because the clutch on my Scorp failed too, a week ago (I have mentioned the details in my ownership review) and I'm yet to get the car back, because of a part (fly wheel) not in stock.

Mine is a 2008 model and has clocked 60K. However, the symptoms were different.

1. Couple of months ago, the clutch oil started to leak, just below the clutch. For this, the clutch assembly, including the cylinder was replaced.
2. Now, a week ago, the clutch became hard and shifting gears were not smooth.
3. Then, the car struggled to go forward, with normal acceleration. I was able to drive atleast 40Kms, before I reached the workshop.

The car was serviced 2 weeks ago and this happened a week later. So, when I asked the SA, if they dint notice this at the time of service, he said its an internal part (located inside the gearbox) and its hard to find out. In addition, he also mentioned that, there are Scorp's, that have had clutch failure's, within 10K kms.

Possibilities in your case :

1. Genuine failure : since you mentioned that you have a driver. Unless you have done most of the driving and dont shift gears with half clutch or keep the clutch depressed most of the time.
2. The clutch oil was not replaced.

A couple of things, I wish to know.

a) How long should the clutch ideally last, in Scorpio?
b) How to identify, physically, that the clutch has gone bad?
I'm asking since, the SA showed me the defective fly wheel and there were rough patches (something like scratches on the surface)

In addition to this, I even asked if there are common issues, faced with this model (the mHawk version) and the SA said there is no known issues. He just had to sympathize, saying it is unfortunate that a series of issues came up together. I'm just hoping that, no other electrical parts fail.

Experts, please do let me know if I should voluntarily replace any part, before it causes any serious damage.

Last edited by aviorp : 17th May 2011 at 08:51.
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Old 17th May 2011, 09:02   #8
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
Sorry to hear about your experience 4x4addict. I know exactly how it feels, because the clutch on my Scorp failed too, a week ago (I have mentioned the details in my ownership review) and I'm yet to get the car back, because of a part (fly wheel) not in stock.
Sir,

This is not a clutch failure but a clutch master cylinder failure. Its function is similar to cables in a cable operated clutch. One should keep a look out for the clutch oil level in the engine bay and that can provide a clue if there is an impending failure.

Clutch failure technically relates only to either the pressure plate or clutch plate failure and on the other hand can be noticed with gear shift becoming hard or less pickup et al.

Cheers
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Old 17th May 2011, 09:07   #9
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by aviorp View Post
a) How long should the clutch ideally last, in Scorpio?
b) How to identify, physically, that the clutch has gone bad?
I'm asking since, the SA showed me the defective fly wheel and there were rough patches (something like scratches on the surface)
In my non-crde 2005 Scorpio, I changed my first clutch plate at 95,000 kms as a preventive maintenance measure. After dismantling, the general opinion was that it would have gone at least another 15,000 kms more.

The second clutch plate had to be replaced just 45,000 kms because of the bad dealership experience - at teh time of teh first CP change, they did not have the clutch release bearing and an old one had to be reused, so that was asking for trouble. I could have fought with M&M on this one, but I am tired of doing so, and that would have also meant more time spent on emails, phone calls and workshops.

The CP changed at 140,000 kms is still going strong, and I have now completed 270,000 kms which means the CP is going at 135,000 kms. M&M guys tell me that a good CP should last 1.50 lakh kms.

Visible symptoms of CP wearing out - hardness of the clutch pedal (could also be due to slave cylinder, no only CP, so not conclusive), poor acceleration, sticky power (meaning you don;t get power despite accelerating), falling FE.

A test I do to check my CP is to find a steep slope (the 45 degree types), engage first gear, turn AC on and then let the car climb up WITHOUT my touching the accelerator. If it does without any stalling, you can presume that your CP is OK.

As sudev mentioned, you can drive the Scorpio even with a failed CP, by starting off on a higher gear (2nd or 3rd), which will enable you to cruise to your nearest destination for repairing the CP.
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Old 17th May 2011, 09:21   #10
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Two things.
One the failure of such component is unacceptable at ~30l on odo. How old is the vehicle?
Two the dealership worked so late at night to keep their promise. Kudos for such customer service.
Sudev, the reason for the level of customer service displayed is owing to the following parts which i have marked in bold. For a person with no easy access to such higher-ups, the vehicle would definitely not be repaired and released before Monday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
So, I called a friend who works with Mahindra in kerala and he put me onto the Regional Head for Mahindra in Tamil nadu. I explained the situation to him and he promised to help me out.

He called back 10 minutes later to tell me that he had spoken to the dealership and instructed them that the car has te be repaired and delived on Saturday itself. He also told me that it will take a couple of hours as the gearbox has to be removed so I should find some place for my family to rest until this is done.

The dealership initially told me that I would have to pay towing charges, but they agreed to waive it after the RM called them.
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Old 17th May 2011, 09:30   #11
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Sir,

This is not a clutch failure but a clutch master cylinder failure. Its function is similar to cables in a cable operated clutch. One should keep a look out for the clutch oil level in the engine bay and that can provide a clue if there is an impending failure.

Clutch failure technically relates only to either the pressure plate or clutch plate failure and on the other hand can be noticed with gear shift becoming hard or less pickup et al.

Cheers
You're right. When I first had the issue with the clutch oil leaking, at the bottom of the clutch, the cylinder was replaced.

However, now I had problems shifting gears.

Firstly, the gear shift was not smooth and the clutch itself felt hard. Also, when acceleration (the engine revs), but the speed does not increase at all, or sometimes it increases very gradually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
In my non-crde 2005 Scorpio, I changed my first clutch plate at 95,000 kms as a preventive maintenance measure. After dismantling, the general opinion was that it would have gone at least another 15,000 kms more.

The second clutch plate had to be replaced just 45,000 kms because of the bad dealership experience - at teh time of teh first CP change, they did not have the clutch release bearing and an old one had to be reused, so that was asking for trouble. I could have fought with M&M on this one, but I am tired of doing so, and that would have also meant more time spent on emails, phone calls and workshops.

The CP changed at 140,000 kms is still going strong, and I have now completed 270,000 kms which means the CP is going at 135,000 kms. M&M guys tell me that a good CP should last 1.50 lakh kms.

Visible symptoms of CP wearing out - hardness of the clutch pedal (could also be due to slave cylinder, no only CP, so not conclusive), poor acceleration, sticky power (meaning you don;t get power despite accelerating), falling FE.

A test I do to check my CP is to find a steep slope (the 45 degree types), engage first gear, turn AC on and then let the car climb up WITHOUT my touching the accelerator. If it does without any stalling, you can presume that your CP is OK.

As sudev mentioned, you can drive the Scorpio even with a failed CP, by starting off on a higher gear (2nd or 3rd), which will enable you to cruise to your nearest destination for repairing the CP.
Sir, glad to know that the clutch has lasted for 95K kms and 1.35k Kms respectively. This totally depends on the driving style and you are definitely an expert.

You are spot on, with the Incline test. There is steep incline near my house and I always climb in the 2nd gear. However, when the clutch failed, it refused to climb. In addition, while accelerating, the engine revs, but the speed does not. (more of a jerk, before the speed increases)

Following are the parts, related to the clutch that has been replaced.

1. M C assembly - Rs. 1400
2. Clutch tube Slave oil - Rs. 176

Now, the clutch and the flywheel. Estimation : 17K. (10K for the clutch and 7K for the fly wheel)
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Old 17th May 2011, 09:34   #12
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

It is a tragedy that one has to pull strings in M&M to get anything done.
I can imagine that the vehicle would have been in the garage for at least 2-3 days over the weekend and there would have also been some story of not having parts!!
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Old 17th May 2011, 10:13   #13
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
If you have an mhawk before early 2010, this could happen to you.
If you don't mind, could you share your Scorp's month & year of manufacture? Mine is a Feb 2010 SLE, so just wanted to know whether I could be in the line of fire too.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 17th May 2011, 10:32   #14
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

Dear Kumar - hello after a very long time. The clutch assembly must last for the life of the vehicle. The typical life of a vehicle is considered as 3,50,000 kilometers. Customer vehicles rarely go the distance. Our vehicles run 1000 kms per day. Your vehicle also runs predominantly on highways. For unit distance covered by the clutch, if I share the data, you will be pleased to know it under differing cycles of run like highway, city, mixed etc. Unfortunately, this information remains classified for obvious reason. FOS (factor of safety) of the clutch is also an important design parameter.

Dear 4*4 addict - sorry about the incident. The design is very robust, so this should not have happened.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 17th May 2011, 10:56   #15
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Default Re: Scorpio Mhawk Clutch Failure & Break Down

@DB: The more city use faster is wear out. Long distance drivers typically get more CP life.

@HVK: Sorry if the CP has failed then starting in gear would not work as the clutch will keep slipping. Only if the clutch wire or cylinder has failed that you can use on the gear starting and shifting without clutch to get to repair shop. The control and dexterity plays important part in how much traffic you can handle without clutch use.

I always teach any learner four things apart from basic driving - 1. Tyre Changing 2 Reversing without turning head or looking back 3 Changing gears without clutch and 4 Daily look at engine and floor for leaks and spills.

Will try to put a thread for gear shifting without clutch.
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