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I'm having a bit of trouble with my car; it's a Ford Fiesta 1.4 Zetec (2008 model).

These past few weeks when I accelerate hard the rev meter rises steadily up to a point and then shoots to the top very quickly. It does this in every gear. It's making driving very difficult at the moment and it means I have to accelerate very slowly. This is fine on side roads but as soon as I hit a motorway it causes me problems.

I'm worrying how much this is going to cost to repair as well.

Has anyone seen this problem before?

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In my experience, clutch problems usually manifest themselves in high-torque situations like pulling away. Are you sure it's not slipping out of gear somehow? If you lift off, does it regain drive as the revs drop? –  Nick C May 24 '11 at 9:19
    
I can hold the revs in 5th gear at about 3000rpm, the minute I wish to accelerate further I have to do so very carefully and slowly because if I'm to heavy on the pedal then it'll shoot to the top again. If I take my foot from the clutch and accelerator entirely it appears to settle into gear but that doesn't improve the situation. It's possible that it's slipping out of gear. There's about 40,000 miles on the clock if this helps you diagnose. –  Dan Hanly May 24 '11 at 9:57
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2 Answers 2

That sounds like a clutch that's reached the end of the line. If you're applying throttle and the rev's start to climb faster than the car is accelerating then the clutch is slipping.

A clutch can go that quickly... depends on driver skill. I've seen clutches last 180k and still look fresh. There are other folks that have destroyed their clutches in less than 40k as well...

Seems like your from the UK, a job like that takes approx 4-5hrs, not sure what the hourly labor charges are over there. Expect to pay around 100-150 quid for a new clutch + pressure plate.

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cheers mate, your a saint. I'll get this checked out. –  Dan Hanly May 25 '11 at 8:58
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It looks like your clutch is worn out, but that's a few years (and certainly) many miles too soon. Does the clutch slip in every gear? And always at a certain speed/rpm? It could be worn out plates, but also a broken pressure bearing? How does the clutch feel when shifting gears? Does it operate smoothly without any grinding (or other weird) sounds? Please try the following: Park at a empty parking place with lots of free space around you. Put the gear in 1st and gently engage the clutch without pressing the throttle. When the engine stalls your clutch might be alright, in which case we need more information, and when the engine keeps running without moving the car your clutch is gone.

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I did the 'stall test' and I stalled successfully as it were. My engine stalled. I'll try and describe what's happening on the way home tonight. Thanks for your help though mate. –  Dan Hanly May 24 '11 at 16:18
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I've been through several clutches between both my racecars and the wife's daily driver. At the end of their lives, they've always passed the "stall test", yet would break loose under merging type power output, and they felt "odd" (not sure how else to describe it) when pulling away from a stop. –  Brian Knoblauch Jun 2 '11 at 17:40
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