I have a 2003 manual Nissan Almera S petrol 1.5L with only 75,000 miles on the clock. Today the engine has started to surge.

If I depress the accelerator pedal more than approx. ½ inch - 1 inch, the revs fly up and I get no increase in speed. This happens in any gear at any speed.

Usually if I am turning onto a 60mph dual carriageway, I'd let the revs get to 3,000 - 3,500 and then shift. By doing so I need to press the accelerator down to at least half way.

Now if I do that, the engine revs very quickly from 2,000 up to 4,000 (before I notice it and let go of the pedal so it doesn't go extremely high).

If I shift at 2,000 revs instead, the car drives normally with no issues at all. So I go from 1st to 2nd at 2k, then shift from 2nd to 3rd at 2k, etc. Up to 5th gear at 2k.

Then if I try to press the accelerator down more than an inch, it does the same thing.

Under the bonnet nothing looks out of place and everything sounds normal. The revs in neutral appear to be absolutely fine. I can press the pedal down as far as I want and the revs increase as expected.

In gear when driving, if I press the pedal down more than an inch, the revs behave as if I'd put my foot down in neutral.

I'll take it to the garage tomorrow to try to see what the problem is, but I'm worrying it could be an expensive job so I'm hoping you guys might have an idea before I go.

  • exactly the same thing has happened to my almera, just bought a clutch online £60, £250 on labour for the boys at the garage to do it, only bought the car for £430 so swings an roundabouts.
    – rory
    Oct 1 '19 at 19:40

Your clutch is done and will require replacement. Yes, not a cheap job. Parts, depending on where you are and where you get the parts from, will cost about 1/4 of the cost of installation. Labor, I'm afraid will cost the most here. Since it is a front wheel drive vehicle. the entire engine/tranny combo has to come out to do the job. It sounds as though it has been slipping for quite some time and now is completely toast. For parts, you will most likely need a flywheel (though they might be able to resurface the old one), but you'll most definitely need a new pressure plate, friction disc, throw out bearing, and you'll want to replace your pilot bearing while your at it.

  • Thanks a lot for your answer. Is it definitely the clutch or could there be anything else it might be? I guess it's due a clutch about now with it having done 75k miles, but it isn't biting high at all. I guess it'd be in the region of £200-£250 ($300-$380). Thanks again! Dec 6 '15 at 20:22
  • The clue here is that your engine revs high with any given amount of throttle past 1/2" (as you said). The only thing in a manual shift vehicle which would allow this to happen is: spinning tires; slipping clutch. I'd suggest the latter. As far as costs go, I'll bet it will be far in excess of that. There is a lot of labor involved in removing the engine/tranny to separate them and install a new clutch. Probably at least 8-10 book hours. Most shops here in the states are charging in excess of $100/hr, so would bet it's in the £60/hr+ in the UK. Dec 6 '15 at 20:27
  • Thanks. Two people I know have had a new clutch in the past year. Including labour, one paid £250 on a 2006 Volkswagen Jetta. The other paid £200 on a 2006 Citroen Berlingo. I'll update you tomorrow. Could've done with this happening after Christmas to be honest! Needed the money for gifts. What can you do! Dec 6 '15 at 20:41
  • I've been to my mechanic today. He didn't need to look at the car. From what I described he agreed it's the clutch. He said at most it will be £250. It's getting done tomorrow. Will update you when it's done. Thanks a lot for your help! Dec 7 '15 at 21:51
  • @DannyBeckett - Since this appears to answer your question, consider using the check mark at the left under the voting arrows. PS: I'm glad it's not going cost as much as I was thinking. That seems to be a pretty decent price. Dec 7 '15 at 23:26

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