I've been having problems with my clutch in my manual Skoda Felicia (1997) car. After (usually) some long drives the clutch fails to disengage (forever from that point on) and must be replaced. I had replaced the clutch for 5 times already in interval of about 1-3 months between each replacement. I'm no mechanic and the workshop tells me that it can only be the clutch, however, purely from statistical considerations this claim seems a little suspicious. After all, the first clutch lasted for around 10 years. Question is, whether the "purely clutch" explanation is viable or is there another problem at work here? If so, what would you suggest I can do to diagnose the problem?


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    Did they replace just the clutch, or did they replace the pressure plate and throw out bearing as well. Also did they resurface the flywheel? – Move More Comments Link To Top Jun 22 '11 at 0:33
  • Well, once they resurfaced the flywheel (so they say) and as far as I know they did replace the pressure plate and the bearing, but I wouldn't know for sure, they could just be saying they did – Reed Jun 22 '11 at 18:03

I'm afraid it sounds like you are being taken for a ride there :( Clutches should last tens of thousands of miles, so if they are failing within a couple of months then there must be an external influence (or you're driving like Colin McRae...)

In my experience, a clutch failing to disengage is more often a failure in the clutch release mechanism than the clutch itself. I don't know if the Felicia has a cable or hydraulic clutch, but my first thought on hearing your symptoms was that it is a cable that has stretched.

Other common causes of clutch failure include oil leaks and failed clutch release bearings, however the former would cause the clutch to slip rather than lock on, and the latter ought to be replaced when replacing the clutch. If the release bearing or release arm had failed I would expect it to not work at all until said parts were replaced.

It is possible that there is another factor involved such as a bent input shaft, but I would think that fairly unlikely - my first suspect would be the cable or hydraulics.

Find yourself a decent, reliable back-street garage and get them to take a proper look, because I wouldn't trust any workshop that tries to blame a newly fitted part 5 times!

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