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clutch problem or gearbox


Panyg2
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I've been having a strange issue with my car and I was wondering if anyone has any idea what could be wrong.

In October last year, I was driving for about 10 miles and I stopped at a junction to turn left. The car was in neutral and I tried to change to 1st but the gear stick wouldn't go into any gears. The car stalled and when I tried to start, the car struggled for 10 seconds before starting (felt as if the battery was flat). I tried a few times to change to 1st gear and it managed to go into 1st. But then it was stuck in 1st.

I turned on my hazard lights and brought the car home slowly in 1st gear. I parked in my driveway and turned off the engine. A few minutes later, I started the car again and everything is back to normal! I turned off the engine, started again and everything is still fine. I reversed and went forward a few times and everything is back to normal. 

Everything was fine but it happened again 2 weeks later. I couldn't change gear and after turning off the engine, the gears were fine. Starting the engine again and everything was fine. 

About 10 days later, it happened again. I stopped the car, turned off the engine, then everything was fine and it didn't happen again for about 9 months.

In the last few weeks, it's happened again many times. Usually, it's fine after turning off the engine but a few times, the engine struggled to start for a few minutes. Sometimes before it happens, the car is very jerky and feels out of control. Today, it happened and I felt the clutch pedal stay down for a few seconds.

I took it to Mr Clutch today. The 1st person told me the clutch felt fine and it was the flywheel. His colleague then told me the gearbox always fails on these cars and I need to get the gearbox fixed, then a new clutch for about £1800.

Does anyone know what could be the issue? I should mention I have an EMOTION2+ tuning device but I don't speed, rev the engine too much, thrash the car or accelarate at great speeds. I bought it for economy and for less strain on the engine.  Could this have damaged the gearbox or ecu? The device has been off for months now.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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10 hours ago, Panyg2 said:

I have an EMOTION2+ tuning device but I don't speed, rev the engine too much, thrash the car or accelarate at great speeds. I bought it for economy and for less strain on the engine.

Out of pure curiosity how much better is the economy with the EMOTION2+ ???

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1 hour ago, unofix said:

Out of pure curiosity how much better is the economy with the EMOTION2+ ???

Maybe 2mpg. The main difference is mostly reduced turbo lag

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The IB5 gearboxes are a bit weak.  Especially with more torque pushed through them.  I suspect the efficiency remap gives you more torque at lower RPM which won't help the gearbox.

I'm not sure these have a DMF?  I know the Focus 125ps did, but that used a different gearbox.

Honestly, I'm still not exactly sure what's causing the problem.  Seems so weird that it's fine again after a restart.

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18 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Seems so weird that it's fine again after a restart.

It's really strange. The gear stick will not move but as soon as I turn off the engine, the stick moves perfectly. When I start the engine, it's either fine for different amounts of time (minutes, hours, days or even months) or the car fails to start for a few minutes (as if the battery is flat).

 

Another thing worth mentioning is I've had the car from 3 years and once or twice a month, the stick would struggle to go into 3rd gear. But I would put it back to 2nd or move to 4th and when I try to move into 3rd the next time, it's fine. I just move into another gear and it doesn't happen again for weeks.

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1 minute ago, Panyg2 said:

It's really strange. The gear stick will not move but as soon as I turn off the engine, the stick moves perfectly. When I start the engine, it's either fine for different amounts of time (minutes, hours, days or even months) or the car fails to start for a few minutes (as if the battery is flat).

The failing to start is weird as well.  The gearbox/clutch shouldn't affect that at all.  I assume you're in neutral when trying to start?  Rather than clutch down in 1st?

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16 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

The failing to start is weird as well.  The gearbox/clutch shouldn't affect that at all.  I assume you're in neutral when trying to start?  Rather than clutch down in 1st?

Yes, the failing to start is what has been confusing me. The starter will struggle but if I leave it a few minutes, it starts ok. Yes, in neutral when trying to start.

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2 minutes ago, Panyg2 said:

Yes, in neutral when trying to start.

That rules out the clutch-dragging idea then.

As frustrating and expensive as it'll be, I think the only way to find the fault here will be to remove the gearbox, check for play in the input shaft bearing and visually check the clutch plates and slave cylinder. 

It seems to me that something mechanical must be physically preventing the engine turnover, as well as the gearchange.  I don't know exactly what, and I don't know quite how either...  Best guess at the moment would be that the clutch plates are damaged in some way that allows a 'loose' piece to get stuck in or around the clutch & flywheel.

Hopefully someone else may have better advice.  If you do ever find the fault, please do let us know what it was as it could be useful for future reference.

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12 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

That rules out the clutch-dragging idea then.

I'm pretty sure it was in neutral but I'm questioning myself now!

Thank you for all your kind help!

I will update the thread when it finally gets resolved.

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I think we're all clutching at straws here (pun intended!).

If it's an intermittent problem, then the 1st guy at Mr Clutch would be right in saying that it 'felt OK' if it wasn't exhibiting the issue at the time. 

I think Tom's right (as usual 🙂 ) I think you'll have to get it taken apart and with a bit of luck a new clutch will fix it. While it's apart, maybe replace the flywheel (if appropriate) and thrustrace and actuating mechanism etc and not just the wearing plates, as it sounds like it's sometimes disengaging, but sometimes it isn't.

I was concerned to read that you once experienced the clutch staying down for a short time - it really shouldn't do that and points to the clutch rather than the gearbox.

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