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Old 15th February 2008, 20:08   #1
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Default Clutch plate goes kaput every 2-3 months

Zen MPFI 2001, bought used only a year back. Have driven only 10k kms after I bought it and the total odo reading is 60k. Till date, I've replaced the clutch plate thrice!! Last time, I also got the pressure plate and the flywheel changed (at MAS). Still facing the same problem...

This time, have given it to a sensible, friendly-neighborhood mechanic fellow who is replacing the gearbox bearings as I type this.

Note - I do not drive with clutch depressed. No abnormal driving habits, except driving in neutral sometimes in the city for short periods. Mostly drive at low RPMs (1-2k).

Any thoughts on what could be the real culprit? Anyone faced the same problem?
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Old 15th February 2008, 20:20   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amu1983 View Post
No abnormal driving habits, except driving in neutral sometimes in the city for short periods
hi, can you elaborate more on this
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Old 16th February 2008, 15:02   #3
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No offence, but the damage is either from the mechanic's ethics or your driving style. I can't think of any reason why the clutch would need a replacement thrice in 10 months.
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Old 16th February 2008, 20:47   #4
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Wow thats a lot of clutch wear man.

A clutch will wear out in the following circumstances too;

Firstly Does your daily travel/drive route happen to be a heavily congested sloped area or road? If you are keeping the car stationary on the slope using your clutch (clutch pressure) then this is another way to wear out your clutch rapidly.

SecondlyAre you pulling loads which are very heavy? I mean if you are
using your car as a delivery van of sorts.
Have you heavily modified your car, i.e. is you r car making far more BHP than it was designed to? (and you are using an stock clutch)

Thirdly Are you slipping the clutch either intentionally or unintentionally...Sometines, if the mechanic has not adjusted your clutch pedal in the right way you would end up slipping it all the time.

Fourthly are you using the OE clutch parts or some after market ones.
The only reasons for the clutch wearing out so fast, besides the above mentioned, are; (since you say that you do not ride the clutch)

Fifthly the following;
1) Using (not intentionally) duplicate inferior parts
2) Your Mechanic is a Goonk and is either doing trial and error on your car or is plain taking you for a ride.
I think you should go to the dealership and point this problem out. They are the best equipped to sort it out and you will get OE guaranteed parts. It is a myth that they are expensive.

When you do figure it out, please let us know what the problem was for our information. Thanks.
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Old 17th February 2008, 00:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
...Sometines, if the mechanic has not adjusted your clutch pedal in the right way you would end up slipping it all the time..
Good point there gogi. Seems like a possibility.

Amu1983, Have you got a chance to look at the worn out clutch ? Is it evenly worn out? Are there any extra vibrations when you engage the clutch when driving?

cya
R
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Old 17th February 2008, 02:05   #6
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They way I see it must be either option 3, 4 or 5. As in the ones
V-16 mentioned. My 1997 Zen MPFI has 130.000km's on the 'clock,
with its FIRST (original) clutch!

That's city use and various long distance travels, all over Europe, even
through high mountain passes.

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Old 17th February 2008, 02:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDR View Post
My 1997 Zen MPFI has 130.000km's on the 'clock,
with its FIRST (original) clutch!

That's city use and various long distance travels, all over Europe, even
through high mountain passes.
Nice!

However, as you mentioned, that includes long distance travels, and even in city use im sure that it is far less stressful for your clutch than in traffic in most indian cities.
(Im just pointing this out for members who might expect more than 60k km from their first clutch after reading your post )

cya
R
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Old 17th February 2008, 13:40   #8
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Thank you all for your replies.

I'll get the car inspected from the MAS again. The mechanic taking me for a ride, although a remote, is definitely a possibility. Even he may unintentionally be doing something wrong, owing to his lack of knowledge / poor infrastructure and all.

Just to clarify, I do not pull any heavy loads, have no mods and although, drive through the city, am very gentle with the clutch. I like to shift to neutral and 'coast' as much as possible (eg. a downward slope or a red signal with sparse traffic), and when I re-engage, the gear is such that there's little/no jerk.

Last edited by amu1983 : 17th February 2008 at 13:42.
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Old 17th February 2008, 13:56   #9
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Default Two things come to mind.

There is a spring which presses the clutch plate against the mating surface and if this spring is weak then your clutch plate is going to be eaten fast. Check if your clutch pedal is too easy on your feet when compared to another ZEN.

The other possibility is improper free play adjustment of the clutch release cable.

Bye and wear your seat belts.
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Old 17th February 2008, 18:52   #10
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Sounds rather strange, but perhaps you could reflect on WHY the clutch was replaced? What made you or the mechanic infer that the clutch needed replacing? Were you experiencing loss of power under the same driving conditions that you knew earlier? Was the mileage going down steadily (conversely, did your mileage improve after replacing it)?

In my Safari too the clutch was replaced during first service (9 months); but then it was definitely a case of mileage going down and a feeling of power loss, and it was found that the clutch material had failed - my luck.
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Old 17th February 2008, 20:41   #11
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If this is not due to the usual bad driving habits/driving conditions (e.g. are you driving with your foot on the clutch pedal? Do you drive frequently on ghat roads? etc.), then I can think of the following possbilities:

1. As drpullokaran pointed out, a problem with the clutch itself (is the clutch not getting fuly disengaged while drving with your foot off the pedal?).

2. Is your handbrake partially engaged all the time (due to incorrect adjustment) or have you driven unintentionally with handbrake on?

3. Is your brake properly adjusted with the correct free play? If the brake does not have enough free play then you may find that your brake pads are getting frequently worn out and the clutch will get strained. Looks unlikely.

4. Have you driven at very low tyre pressures for considerable distances?

5. Do you have a habit of starting from rest with your car in second gear? And in general, do you drive in higher-than-recommended gears, straining the clutch? Do you have a habit of starting your car in gear after coasting in neutral with engine off?

Regarding your coasting habit, I do hope you keep your engine switched on while coasing. Otherwise you will lose the gearbox lubrication (which could be a reason for the mechanic attending to the gearbox).

Last edited by rks : 17th February 2008 at 20:47.
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Old 17th February 2008, 23:39   #12
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Quote:
Nice!

However, as you mentioned, that includes long distance travels, and even in city use im sure that it is far less stressful for your clutch than in traffic in most indian cities.
(Im just pointing this out for members who might expect more than 60k km from their first clutch after reading your post )

cya
R
Lolz, Rehaan,

Never been to India but I've visited Manila, The Philippines a few years ago.
And I see what you mean...

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Old 18th February 2008, 10:01   #13
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BTW, coasting in neutral is NOT recommended. Search this forum for reasons.
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Old 18th February 2008, 20:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
BTW, coasting in neutral is NOT recommended. Search this forum for reasons.
But not a reason for clutch failing all the time.

It does not seem driving style is the issue.

Fork and the release spring needs to be checked, if pressure plate and release bearing are fine, (improper release bearing may also cause clutch slippage). However all this is too general to be able to comment upon remotely. MASS will be able to help, ask them for a thorough overhaul rather than solving just the issue at hand.

Generally new components dont like to work too good with old ones!
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Old 18th February 2008, 21:52   #15
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In addition to the points made, I am wondering if driving around on worn-out wheel bearings can cause premature clutch wear, as they will strain the engine. But these should be realtively easy to diagnose.

I also wonder if there is any possibility that excessive coasting with engine off can cause damage to the transmission, and possible premature clutch wear. Not sure about this in case of manual transmission.
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