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I recently had the clutch replaced in my 2008 Mazda 3i manual transmission (last question in this saga I hope!). The car works now, but sounds and runs a bit differently than before. I expect some differences, due to parts being new and/or different, but I'm wondering if the differences I'm experiencing point to some problem with the repair.

  • When I start the car, it sounds as if metal is grinding together briefly - almost as if shifting gears without the clutch pedal in.

  • It is difficult to put the car into gear after a cold start - it won't go into first / reverse, or will go into a higher gear but with some grinding (after which I can get it into first / reverse).

  • The clutch pedal sticks about halfway up, especially after cold starts. As the engine warms up it seems to stick less.

  • There is almost no resistance when pushing the clutch pedal in (very similar to the brake pedal when the master cylinder is toast), and there's only about an inch of "travel" while the gears "engage" when letting off the clutch (I don't know the proper term(s) for this). This certainly will take some getting use to, but is the least of my concerns. I'd much prefer a shifting experience more close to what I had before, but if this is just due to the clutch kit they used or whatnot, so be it.

Do any of these indicate a problem with the repair itself (e.g., they forgot to tighten something) or with the parts they used? Or is this all expected behavior after replacing the clutch in an older car? They replaced the pressure plate, fly wheel, bearings, and maybe something else (they said it all came as part of a "clutch kit").

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    If a shop did the clutch replacement, take it back with your concerns, something is wrong with the repair. – Moab Sep 26 '20 at 21:31
  • Agree with Moab. Part of what you state could be the clutch isn't broke in yet, however, it sounds like there may be a problem with the slave not engaging the clutch forks correctly or is in need of adjustment. Yah, take it back and let them know there are issues. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 27 '20 at 12:12
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 how long should it take to break in the new clutch? I'm definitely taking it back in, just helps to have a bit of knowledge going in – mmathis Sep 27 '20 at 13:37
  • You should take it easy on the clutch for the first 500 miles of city driving. This gives a chance for the pressure plate and flywheel to get bedded properly. By that time, the springs are going to be good as well as there will be a slight amount of friction material worn off, which gives a little more clearance. Highway driving doesn't count, because you're not really manipulating the clutch during that period. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Sep 27 '20 at 14:52
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There was air in the line; the shop bled everything and the clutch pedal feels as it did when the car was new. Not sure why they didn't do this when they replaced the clutch...

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