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Thread: Clutch issues with Fiat Palio MJD - Solution on page 4

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    Unhappy Clutch issues with Fiat Palio MJD - Solution on page 4

    Guys,

    I'm sure you may have heard about the malfunction of clutch in Fiat Palio and Punto models that come with the MJD Diesel engine.

    I've a Fiat Palio Stile (April 2009 model) MJD (i.e. the 1.3 lts MultiJet Diesel). The car has done about 13.5K Kms till date. From about 10K Kms I'm facing problems with the clutch/gear. The clutch is really hard to press and the gears don't always slot correctly. If I drive the car and have to use the clutch a lot, then I get severe pain in left knee. This is quite severe and lasts for a couple of weeks. And if I use the car again, the pain returns.

    There is clearly a manufacturing/design flaw in the car. A lot of Palio and Punto owners are facing this problem. I've also read on internet sites that this is a problem with Maruti DDiS cars. I've also searched and read a couple of threads on GH that talked about clutch upgrade and fitting better (and heavier) clutch to the car.

    Can the experts here please help with a feasible solution that will take care of this issue once and for all. The idea is to make the clutch soft to handle (just like in petrol cars). This may involve replacing some parts and I'm ready for that.

    I'm a part of the PUG (Palio User Group on Yahoo! Groups) and we've collected details of all owners that face this problem. Trust me there are a lot of people already. To strengthen our case, we would urge others who may have faced or are facing this problem to join us.


    Mods,
    I've tried searching the forum and couldn't find any similar topic. Please move the topic, if you feel it's posted in wrong section.

    Thanks a lot,
    Himanshu

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    What is the feedback from the service center?? I read that you were part of Palio user group, did you guys team up and took this issue to FIAT??
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    Squid - From my experience with MJD, i have noticed that the Clutch is normally hard compared to other diesels.

    But i am sure there is a problem in your case since there is an issue with the gear shift as well. Also it can't be this bad to sprain someone ankle. Its very obvious that its just a car for Christ sake and not a truck

    Anyways coming back to the point, Couple of things that i would recommend.

    1) I think the car is still under warranty? (Considering the fact that it was a April 2009 Make?) If Yes, you should take it to the A.S.S to have them take a look at it.

    2) For MJD, the clutch is normally hard, But if could ask the A.S.S guys to take a look at the clutch mounting bracket to see if replacing it that would resolve the issue.
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    Himanshu, you must be aware of the fact that diesel clutches will always feel harder than their petrol counterparts. Purely because these clutches are heavier and well made to handle all that additional torque the diesel turbo motor puts out.

    Are you sure you are not riding the clutch in the last 13.5k kms? Usually, a worn out clutch plate can lead to the pedal becoming hard. If that is the case, I would relate this issue to a driver habit than a design flaw.

    I say this because, I own a Swift DDIs which runs the same engine, clutch combo. Never had issues with the clutch till it hit about 70k kms. Now the clutch pedal is a little hard, but that I am sure is because I need to replace my clutch.

    However, why don't you head to the service station and ask them to check if transmission oil is upto the mark? You can ask them to adjust the master cylinder push rod and see if it helps.

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    Things you SHOULD do if the clutch is hard, and NOT slipping -

    1) Bleed the clutch.
    2) Open and clean the clutch. Dust from normal wear and tear will make it hard.
    3) Have the master/slave cylinder checked. Might need replacement.

    I am 99% sure one of these will fix your problem.

    And these are not specific to Fiats. I do this stuff pretty frequently. And no escaping this if you want your clutch to feel showroom fresh over the years.

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    I have driven the diesel esteems and zens and Peugeot and did not feel clutch heaviness at all. But I am surprised such international and costly cars are having such problems. I think you and your group should fine more owners facing the problem and complaint to the fiat company itself and not spend money for repairing a new car.
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    camchennai - The A.S.S. usually would replace your M/c or S/c, bleed the clutch, and do other normal things. But people have already approached the A.S.S. The problem gets solved momentarily but resurfaces after a few thousand kms.
    Yes, we've teamed up and written to Fiat about the problem.

    SKC - Yes, I'm planning to do that. I will keep your suggestion in mind.

    mclaren1885 - No, I've not been riding the clutch. Have been reading a lot on TBHP, GH and other knowledgeable sites and have always tried to improve my driving. Thanks for your suggestions, I will keep them on my list

    tadukuttan - Thanks, I will make a note of these points and ask the A.S.S. to work along these.

    ginu - Yes, we've already got a lot of people and are trying to get more support.


    All,
    Thank you so much for all your suggestions and comments. I think there's a clear design flaw in the Palio/Punto models. Here are some features:
    * The clutch is not slipping
    * It is generally a bit hard like you all have said, and I too felt it was a little bit from the begining. But never had any knee pains.
    * The knee pain is purely due to driving the car and not any other reason. The pain is there when driving situations demand use of clutch a lot
    * People have got their M/c and S/c changed, clutch bleed, mounting brackets replaced, etc. But for some people it has aggravated the original problems and the car has become un-useable. So, I'm afraid to go to the A.S.S.

    Question:
    Since I've not heard any issues with Tata Vista o Fiat Linea, is it possible to replace the entire clutch assembly of my car with theirs? I'm ready for the expenses, but I cannot live with the pain and w/o a vehicle.


    Thank you,
    Himanshu
    Last edited by Squid; 26th Jan 2011 at 11:49. Reason: Added a question to the topic.

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    Squid This is kind of OT, and we can move this out if this discussion goes for long.

    Now, about the knee pain, I had them too. And of course, the pain was in the left knee, aggravated by driving. I lived with it for a long time, blaming it on the Diesel clutch, and many years of playing basketball on concrete courts.

    I was visiting my sister(she is a doc) at Coimbatore once, and she saw me nursing my knee. I told her the whole "clutch" story. She said I am smoking crack, and took me to a doctor specializing in sports medicine. He put me through to a physiotherapist, and he gave me stretching exercises for the legs. I did that for a couple of weeks and the pain has not recurred since then!

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    Hey guys,

    So can I replace my clutch system with a clutch from another vehicle like Vista or Linea? What parts would need changing and approx. cost?
    Experts please chip in here.

    Thanks.

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    First, you will have to check if the gearbox they are using is the same. If it is, then I don't see any difference in the clutches being used by Fiat/Tata/Maruti. They should all be sharing a common platform and vendor.

    In any case, do what tadukuttan has mentioned and see if it sorts the problem out. And if possible, drive 4-5 Palios and see how hard their clutch pedal is.

    In case you do want to replace the assembly you will have to replace:

    1. Clutch plate.
    2. Pressure plate.
    3. Releaser Bearing.
    4. Flywheel (only if in bad shape).

    The 1st 3 should cost you anywhere between 4-7k with labour.

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