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Stiff Gear Changes, Low Biting Point

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Hello all,

I am new to this forum and a complete car newb (recently passed my test and bought a bit of a nightmare car from a friend under impulse)..

One day when driving back from a partner's house I couldn't get the car into any gear at all. Pushing the clutch pedal to the floor she wouldn't go into first, a 2 hour AA wait and miraculously as the gentlemen sat in my car it worked again. From that point there has been a significant difference in stiffness when changing gears.

I have tried to research all possible issues (master or slave cylinder in need of changing, clutch wear, clutch fork etc etc) but would like some opinions from others.

The car is a Ford Fiesta Finesse 2004 with 61K on the clock. I have no service history so no idea really how well the car has been maintained under the bonnet. She was driving fine when I purchased the car, gear changes were smooth also.

P.S I have put a cable tie around the clutch pedal to make sure the rod is going into the master cylinder properly (known fault with these cars from my research).

Any help would be much appreciated..


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lol out of curiosity is the first 4 digits LX54? :p

It sounds like you have a bad cylinder, probably master to be honest, but its one of those things thats difficult to say.

Has this been a deteriorating problem? or has it just happened?

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It's not the LX but a 3 door Finesse?

I haven't had the car long to notice a deterioration, more of a sudden change. This has just happened recently out of nowhere. I did smell some odd odors a week ago when driving around London after a few unexpected hill starts. It was like a burning metal smell. I'm guessing that's one of the cylinders? Would you be able to smell a slave cylinder getting hot or only a master cylinder?

My suspicions are one of the cylinders as a local mechanic said the clutch wasn't slipping at all?

Thanks for your help so far.

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Lol I meant the number plate on the very unlikely chance I had found my old car lol.

the burning smell could be anything cabin filter replacement to lack of oil or burned clutch. .

sent using the Ford OC app for android.

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Sounds like the clutch diaphragm spring mechanism may have gone. Either way you need to have a good look at the system as you don't really want it to fail again, especially as breaking down on busy roads or motorways can be rather dangerous.

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Ive had a few older Fords where the gear selector used to lock up in cold weather. Half a can of WD40 under the gear stick gator fixed those.

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