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Old 09-04-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Question Clutch troubleshooting basics?

Hey Gang,

I wonder if you might point me in the right direction as my search of the forums is coming up short. My wife's 2007 S (Base) Model Focus/5-speed is having a clutch issue. This is likely due to any 2 or more of the following:

1) The car has 53K mostly city miles
2) She is notorious for riding the clutch
3) The car was in a major front end collision last year
4) The car was a demo unit with 3K "who knows what they did" miles on it when purchased new.

We bought this for my son as a first car but he couldn't handle a manual (I won't even go into what an ordeal that was) so my wife took over the car with about 4K miles on it new. Whenever I would hear her pull away from the driveway she would rev the heck out of it and verrrrryyyy slowly let out the clutch (OUCH). My correcting her every time I saw this obviously did no good. She also leaves her foot on the clutch between gear changes and at stop lights (honestly, most of my clutches including my SVT Focus lasted 95K+ miles)

My wife now commutes 2 hours to work every Monday and back on Friday and I am concerned that she will be stranded in BFE Kansas some time when I am traveling with no clue what happened (yes, I have AAA)

The symptoms I am seeing are as follows:

When, first starting the car (cold) the clutch depresses nearly to the floor to engage. I immediately check the clutch/brake master, which was low and that seemed to solve the problem temporarily. After the car is warmed up, the clutch pedal and back to what I would consider "normal" travel to engage. The fluid level has not varied since I topped it up 6k miles ago but the long throw on cold start persists. I don't see any apparent leaks or telltale fluid stains on the under carriage to detect a leak but frankly, I don't know where to look first.

Next the car was in a rather major collision last year (she was jabbering on a cell phone on slick roads and rearended 2 cars stopped in the road, one of which was a Police car!!). Since that time the clutch has felt weak. Is is possible the clutch housing and or slave was damaged in the collision? (Long shot but I am taking wild guesses here).

I don't come on the forum much as I no longer have my Focus and I spend most on my time building "other cars". Where/what would you suggest looking at first?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated,


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