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Need new clutch :(

2617 Views 43 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  ArtM6SW
Just got back from the dealer, and sure enough, my worst fears are confirmed. I need a new clutch. I'm working with the service manager and hoping something can be worked out cause for one thing, I can't afford a clutch right now. I can barely afford to buy one, but I can't afford to pay the install fees. I'm arguing that it wasn't wear and tear that caused my clutch failure cause it's not wearing out the way a clutch normally would. It still engages really well on shifts and doesn't slip on shifts. It does the juddering sometimes but the issue here is that when I'm going at say 80 to 100 km/h and I decide to just step on it, the clutch will slip which is why my revs shoot up and the car doesn't accelerate. This isn't at gear shifts or anything. It happens when I'm fully engaged in gear with clutch out and cruising along. If I step on the gas a bit harder or floor it, then it'll slip. Any advice on how to tackle this or also as to why this may have happened? I also think it's just the clutch itself cause I didn't have problems with my other cars clutches and they gone over 100,000 KM. I've got 73800KM's on my car right now.
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Yeah I'll put my money on the clutch too!! Getting that many km on the stock clutch ain't that bad since I've heard of members that get under 60km's on there stock clutch!! Just take it easy on the driving till you save up for the job!! Maybe buy the clutchmaster stage 2 kit if it equals the price of the dealership!!!
I've got 64k on my car at the moment, and my clutch has had the juddering problem since about 17k. I bought my car with 15k on the clock.

Spoken to a few dealers over the past year or so, and none have given me a favourable response.

As with you Calvin, this isn't my first MTX car either... but it is the first one to give me clutch issues.
dam that's pretty bad if the clutch only lasts 75k... I thought it should last longer?
Sorry about it dude... Have u thought about checking independent transmission shops? Maybe they'd be cheaper...

I think it'll be hard to convince mazda to cover it... even if there have been reports of poor clutches.
So, I got a quote on a clutch and basically, it's $1050 installed and it's an Exedy clutch. Still waiting to hear what the dealer says. Sigh...hopefully I get some good news from the dealer but I'm screwed unless the dealer is willing to do it under warranty or if some kind samaritan here can lend me some money until I get my bonus cheque from work. "sigh"
Calvin, I recently purchased the Clutchmasters stage 2 clutch from RPM on behalf of someone else and the total came to about $600 CDN

I think the Clutchmasters may be a better product than the Exedy, although Exedy, ACT and Clutchmasters are all well-known names and probably make clutches of similar quality.

You'll be saving a lot of money going the Clutchmasters route, IMO.
RPM sells Exedy clutches too, and they're slightly cheaper than Clutchmaster.
Sorry to hear that dude, but yeah, a grand on just the clutch is pretty steep.
Maybe you should try contacting Mazda Canada. I hear your pain, the clutch disc shouldn't wear out that fast. At least maybe they can meet u half way...

I'm at 68K and fingers crossed, so far everything seems fine. But I do drive very gingerly... fingers crossed.
My girlfriend has a beat up 1996 chevy caviliar and her clutch disc / assembly is still going strong..

I've never had any judder issues, and I don't know why, but I have a funny feeling mines going to last a while. There's something about those early 03 batches, early gremlins that's what I think.

I've read reports that people have starter motor problems b/c of clutch dust too... again, those were the 03's. So I think a bad batch of clutch discs went out. Again, all speculation on my part but that's what I suspect...
My starter actually has been replaced once under warranty before...hmm...
I had my clutch judder issues and Sig. Mazda replaced the clutch.... after several visits to the shop.. I think they replaced entire clutch assembly at the end.
I just wrote a long message here with lots of swearing and stuff, but I don't think I'll post it, cause I'll get in trouble, but basically, I'm just a little pissed right now. Here's an edited much cleaner version of what I typed originally.
You'd think that if you bought a brand new car with extended to 5yr bumper to bumper warranty, you wouldn't have to worry about huge repair bills for at least 5 years. Guess not! I should have just kept my old car. I'd probably be able to get more Zoom Zoom out of it, cause I drive my car like a senior citizen now to try to coax as many kms out of my clutch as I can since I can't get a new one right now cause I'm in a financial rut. But it was nice venting and typing out that nasty message just now. What they say works about typing a nasty message. Let's you vent but if you don't post it you won't get in trouble for it...haha

"Happy Holidays!" not!
extremely rare for clutch to be covered under warranty
you can ask to see if the clutch and the dealer might be able to explain why it's not covered under warranty

ps: orphanboy, I always like ur avatars :)

You should come post in the toronto section more
I totally agree with you Calvin, and if I were your situation, I'd be posting up some seriously rude words out of frustration... and then I'd come back 10 mins later and edit the post :)

But here's the part that upsets me. Mazda has created quite a "safe" position for itself by washing its hands on clutch related issues.

1. Yes, the clutch is a wear-and-tear item that gets consumed
2. Yes, I realize that a wear-and-team item cannot by nature be covered under a warranty, much like a set of brake pads aren't covered.

However, there's a fundamental difference between a brake pad and a clutch disc. One is buried deep within the engine and the other can be accessed relatively easily.

Since the clutch assembly is so inaccessible (requiring several costly hours of labour simply to gain access to it) it goes without saying that a clutch must be designed in such a manner that keeps issues at a minimum and so the lifetime of the part is maximized within the warranty period. This is where Mazda has failed. Why should a clutch be failing at such a low mileage when the rest of the power-train is still under warranty.

I'm currently on my ninth car with manual transmission. I've owned and driven manual cars in Canada, in the US and back home in the UK where I started out many years ago. All of my cars were driven a lot and clocked many many miles by the time I got rid of them.

I ended up replacing the clutch in only three of the cars. These cars had well over 150,000 kms on the dial when the clutch was replaced. The remaining cars were never touched from a clutch standpoint. Most of the cars ended their lives in collisions. One of them had the engine seize up. Two of them blew head gaskets and since the repair cost was more than the value of the car, I just abandoned it. In most cases the transmission/clutch was never touched.

In addition, none of the cars ever had clutch judder/shudder issues. I've even owned cars that double in value whenever one fills the gas tank with gas, and the clutch was problem free and just awesome.

My 6 is the ONLY car that has a clutch that misbehaves... several club members who have ridden in my car have verified that the issue is definitely there. My fear is that come the 70K or 80K km mark, my car will be on a hoist and the prognosis will be a new clutch, just like Calvin's situation.

On top of that, my car was sold to me as a demostrator car, having been using from 0 to 15000 kms by some schmuck (aka the Business Manager) at the dealership where I bought my car. If he barely knew how to drive a manual car and thereby determined the fate of my clutch for all eternity, then why should I have to suffer? I started reporting this problem to my dealer back in ON around the 20,000 km mark, but by then it was too late and the dealer pretty much told me "sucks to be you bud".

Sometimes living in Canada really sucks because we don't have adequate consumer protection laws (especially governing cars) to prevent a person from getting screwed.
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I agree with Haroon on this one. My car has a bad synchro in 3rd gear. I have managed not to get it to grind when shifting into 3rd, but if you are new to driving my car you will grind the shift 100% of the time. I have asked 2 dealers to look at it, and they both said it's normal operation from the shifter. After I changed to a short shifter I still had the problem. I had one dealer look at it again, and this is what they told me.

((( To even inspect the synchro is about 12 hours of work, and if we find nothing, I can't exactly ask Mazda to cover the cost of one of my guys tearing a transmission apart. )))

The only way they would agree to look at the synchro is if my tranny was already out of the car, now I'm fully capable of doing this, but they said if I remove the tranny than all warranty is void on the transmission. So I asked if I got my clutch changed at the dealer than would they inspect the synchro at the same time. Since the transmission would be removed from the car anyway they agreed.

Now I'm looking into getting one of those Phantom Grip units, so at this point I may just take the car to a specialty transmission shop and have them change the clutch and possibly rebuild the transmission.

I'm still considering changing my clutch at home and then taking just the transmission to a shop and then asking Mazda for the replacement parts to be covered under warranty, even though they are not performing the work. I would also understand if Mazda did not want to continue with the warranty after this point.

But either way you look at it, you must pay, because in the end no matter what they are a business and they NEED to make MORE MONEY.
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Mazda Canada called saying that it is a wear and tear issue and they based that on conversations they had with the service manager and if I had anymore questions, I should ask the service manager. So, I'll probably have a chat with him some more and bring up the issue of my starter being replaced already, possibly due to clutch dust getting into the starter, which, if this was known, should have alerted them...I didn't know about that issue before, and the fact that I didn't know my engine mount was already torn and who knows how long I've been driving the car like that subjecting the engine and transmission components to more wear and tear than what is normal.
Paul... in your case they shouldn't even be trying to make excuses since a synchro has to be covered by warranty... but, the fact that their attitude is exactly the same towards your issue as it is towards our clutch issues, proves the point that some Mazda dealers just don't give a damn about the people who've bought cars from them.

Yep, bottom line is they're in the game for the sole purpose of making money... and to do so at whatever cost. Usually when a business starts taking that sort of an attitude, its a good indication to start looking elsewhere. Problem is, Honda's the same way, and so is Toyota and Nissan. I've got friends driving brand new cars from all the major Japanese makes and they all have similar stories to tell. American cars just aren't fit for consideration and the Euro makes aren't easy to own either.

Man, I just love how the 6 drives, looks and handles. But its the attitude that the dealers here in Canada have that really sours the relationship.

This is one time that I wish the US would invade this place so we can at least have a lemon-law or something to fall back on... or at least the TSBs that have been issued by Mazda USA would get honoured. :D

MCI is fully aware that TSBs exist for clutch problems for this car in the US... yet, they choose to turn a blind eye and hope the problem goes away.
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Well, just talked to service manager at Morrey again and told him about the engine mount and starter issues that I had with the car before and he said he'll talk to the district manager again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
good luck man
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