Clutch on the way out in France?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Guigsy, May 17, 2019 at 8:28 PM.

  1. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    We've spent the day driving from Italy (Turin), across the mountains to France to get to the Verdon Gorge. As we cross the border and while it was sleeting with loads of standing water, I was taking it easy, and then the clutch pedal started to feel odd. The bite point was really low and it was popping up really slowly and softly. I pulled over at a safe spot and realised that if I pump the pedal a few times, it feels like it's back to normal... but only for a few gear changes, before it gets slow and soft at popping back up again. We've limped on for another half an hour and stopped at a campsite near Gap.

    I'm guessing that it's a hydraulic issue if pumping it makes it come back for a bit??? I'm not sure, but I think the hydraulic fluid is shared with the brakes. The brake fluid was changed about 6 months ago and the brakes feel fine. We've done quite a few mountain passes in the past few months, but I don't think I've cooked the fluid yet. The brake fluid level is on max.

    Any suggestions on what it could be? What can I check? I suspect I'm going to roll it down the hill to Gap with my fingers crossed that I don't get stuck at a junction with no gears. I'm also expecting that I'll be waiting until Monday to find a garage that'll take a 3 tonne and 2.5 metre high van.
     
  2. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,851
    Ratings:
    +15,979
    What's the base vehicle?

    Can you pump before every gear change to keep you moving?
     
  3. DP+JAY

    DP+JAY Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,152
    Location:
    Cark, Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +3,055
    Is the reservoir full? The feed for the clutch is higher in the reservoir so you notice the low level before it affects the brakes.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  4. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    10,911
    Location:
    Dorset
    Ratings:
    +20,571
    If its a fiat the clutch slave cylinder is inside the bell housing with the clutch. If that has failed its false economy to replace without the clutch being changed at the same time. The hydraulic system for the brakes is entirely seperate
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  5. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    Sorry, failed on the basic info...

    It's a 2007 x250 Ducato 2.3. It's done about 70k miles.

    The brake reservoir appears to be on max. I guess that means I'm not pumping all the fluid out?

    At the moment I'm pumping the clutch and it appears to keep it going. I'm just concerned that it'll suddenly get worse. I also don't want to do any more damage.

    Could it be the clutch itself that's going, or does it sound like hydraulics if I can pump life into it?
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Love it Love it x 1
  6. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,376
    Ratings:
    +2,080
    Not on all of them.
     
  7. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,376
    Ratings:
    +2,080
    Could also be the master cylinder under the pedal, have you had the hot air blowers on? My master will start to squeak and can be slow to return if it gets hot. 2004 2.8jtd
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
  8. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    3,342
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +3,780
    The clutch as stated above is entirely separate from the brakes. The vehicle will have a different hydraulic system for each item.

    If you can pump it back it is usually a hydraulic problem but as said if it is in the clutch bell housing it would be a false economy to not replace the clutch.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  9. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    It's an x250, so I don't know if it applies. However, it did start not long after I turned on the hot... It was 25C earlier in Turin, but sleeting on the passes!
     
  10. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    So if it's the slave cylinder, it's inside the clutch housing. So lots of hours to labour. And while it's in bits, I may as well get the clutch done too.... I think I'm going to have an interesting time talking to a french mechanic when I only speak enough french to get a coffee... :crying1::crying1::crying1:

    If the clutch reservoir is separate on a 2.3 engine, where is it? Could it just be the fluid is low or needs refreshing?
     
  11. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,851
    Ratings:
    +15,979
    I've driven vehicles without a clutch to get me home - matching engine speed with gearbox - I do it now all the time in my 28 year old Eriba, I use the clutch but 'blip' the throttle between gear changes believing it helps clutch and gearbox

    Not suggesting you travel too far without having it checked

    .
     
  12. Boringfrog

    Boringfrog Funster

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,376
    Ratings:
    +2,080
    • Like it Like it x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    I blip the throttle on downchanges and try to release the clutch as the revs match on upshifts. I drive with my foot off the clutch. I'm one of those rare people that use the handbrake instead of riding the clutch at lights... I am however guilty of powershifting from 3rd to 4th when I'm trying to keep momentum up over steep passes (Fiat: Why is there such a huge gearing gap?), so it could be my fault...

    Two questions:
    1) How do you pull away from standstill?
    2) If the pedal is on the floor, won't I be stuck out of gear?
     
  14. MikeD

    MikeD Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    3,342
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +3,780
    To pull away - switch the engine off. Put it in 1st gear and then turn the key to start the engine.

    Your starter motor won't like it but it will pull away and start. After that to stop - knock it into neutral and brake.

    Repeat line 1 to move off.

    To change gear match the rev's and move the gear stick - your gear box won't like that either.

    The above is ok to get you home from the local pub but from South of France I would bite the bullet and get it repaired.

    Brace yourself for the bill though.

    But do u have any fluid leaks? Are there any puddles on the floor or stains/wet areas under the van?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  15. Barclaybasher

    Barclaybasher Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,851
    Ratings:
    +15,979
    I got moving by using the starter in 2nd - might not work in a heavy van though, stay well back, try to keep the vehicle rolling
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  16. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,822
    Location:
    kent
    Ratings:
    +113,384
    In my experience when you think the clutch is going then it usually is.

    I would try to book yourself in somewhere ASAP.

    I had a clutch go in France a few years back and it was a right PITA to sort out:mad:
     
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 1
  17. Guigsy

    Guigsy Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    549
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +1,300
    It's been pee'ing it down with rain most of the afternoon and the light isn't great, so I can't tell at the moment. I'll have a look in the morning.

    I did check under the bonnet and I couldn't see anything blatantly wrong with the tank or lines... (although the fuel filter housing looks decidedly sticky... grrrrrr).
     
    • Like it Like it x 2
  18. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,178
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    Ratings:
    +13,524
    Tell me exactly what you want to say to the mechanic and I will write it down in french on here .
    You'll just have to copy it on a paper OR
    Call me when at the garage and I will say it myself and get the mechanic answers translated back to you
    I can give you my mobile number on a private message
     
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 14
    • Like it Like it x 5
    • Useful Useful x 1
  19. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Messages:
    5,178
    Location:
    Balma (next to Toulouse) France
    Ratings:
    +13,524
    Here to introduce the prob

    J'ai un problème d'embrayage . Il faut que je pompe pour arriver à passer mes vitesses. Peut être un problème d'huile de boite
     
    • Like it Like it x 6
    • Nice One! Nice One! x 5
  20. Greenway

    Greenway Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    356
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Ratings:
    +566
    I've just had the same problem. Look underneath where the gearbox joins the sump if clear fluid leaking thats the clutch fluid leaking from the slave cylinder.
    I am at a garage in Royan free camping:) and waiting for it to be repaired. They are very busy and cannot complete repairs until next week. We speak very little French but managing with google translate. Good luck.
     
    • Like it Like it x 4

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice