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Clutch Pedal - High biting point

Discussion in 'Ibiza Mk5 (2008-2017)' started by everson38, Oct 20, 2019.

  1. everson38

    everson38 Active Member

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    Hey guys.

    My sister has a 1.2 Seat Ibiza tsi 62 plate 60k miles . Something I noticed that the pedal has a quite a very high bite point. To the point when I go to drive this car after awhile without using it, its as.if I have just last.my test and takes a moment to get used to it. My mom has a 1.4 Seat ibiza SC 2009 and her clutch pedal feels a lot to the "norm".

    Is there anything I should be check etc?

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
  2. Crossthreaded

    Crossthreaded Active Member

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    Although I now have a 16 plate Ibiza 1.0 litre most of my experience is with older Skoda and Seat models (like from the '80's and 90's into the early noughties). However clutches on ordinary manual gearbox cars haven't changed much over the years so here's my take on things.

    Most of our cars have hydraulic clutch actuation. Things can go wrong with the hydraulic cylinders which most often will manifest themselves as leaks. Get a nice bright torch and poke your head under the dash where the pedals are. Look for the clutch pedal and locate the actuating rod which goes into the back of the master cylinder. Any leaks? if it's leaking you'll see fluid - if it's bad it can run along the rod and dribble down the pedal itself which can be dangerous as it makes the pedal slippy! Of course there should be no leakage. Next check the slave cylinder which may be on the outside of the bell housing or, if it's a concentric cylinder, it's inside the bell housing (and you have my sympathies if that's the type you have because the gearbox has to come out to do anything with it!) If you don't know what the slave cylinder looks like then find the end of the master cylinder which is on the bulkhead in the engine bay on the other side to where the pedal is. There will be a pipe coming out of it which you can follow round the engine bay until it joins the slave cylinder on the outside of the gearbox. If you can see the slave then it shouldn't be leaking either! However, having said all this, problems with the hydraulic system usually result in air getting in to the system and as air is compressible whereas fluid is not, the result is most likely to be a pedal with a long throw before anything happens (ie. the pedal is near the floor before the clutch bites/is freed). You have the opposite problem if I understand correctly so what might cause the clutch pedal to come up a long way before the drive is taken up/disengaged? I think it's possible the driven plate could be very worn. When a clutch is new the driven plate (that's the disc with the friction lining) is at it's thickest. When the cover (that's the bit with the diaphragm spring) is tightened down on a new driven plate the diaphragm will go from being a quite dish shaped to being almost flat. Then, as the friction faces wear the diaphragm slowly becomes more dish shaped to compensate for the wear on the lining. As this is happening the ends of the diaphragm fingers, where the release bearing pushes, will be moving slightly nearer the gearbox - away from the engine flywheel/clutch assembly - causing the slave cylinder piston to be pushed further into the slave cylinder itself. (ie. with a new clutch fitted the slave cylinder piston will be maybe half way down it's stroke when at rest. Then as the clutch lining wears, the end of diaphragm fingers, because the diaphragm is becoming, albeit ever so slowly, more dished, will cause the release bearing to very slowly push the slave cylinder piston into the slave cylinder bore thus forcing the slave piston to very slowly adopt a resting position progressively further and further into the slave cylinder bore. My guess is it's likely to be something to do with this. It's about the only way I can think of which will cause the bite point to be higher. In the old days when manually adjusted clutch cables were common it would be one of the things we checked for at a service. If the pedal was high then the cable would be adjusted to put a bit of slack in the system and allow the pedal to go back down to an acceptable position. A gloomy prospect I know, but I think it likely your sister's car is trying to tell you it needs a new clutch?

    You may have noticed how a new car often has a nice light clutch action? As it ages, maybe 5 or 6 years later, you suddenly think to yourself, perhaps when crawling along in a traffic jam so using the clutch a lot, Golly gosh, my clutch feels heavy/stiff these days, not nice and light as it was when new. This is because when the clutch is new and the diaphragm effectively flat in configuration it is relatively easy to push it in with the release bearing. when the friction lining is well worn the diaphragm will be adopting a quite dished shape - to take up the wear - and it's much harder to push against when it's in this dished configuration. I'm saying this because if the clutch was nice and light a few years ago and is now noticeably heavier in action then taking that in addition to your high bite point would be all adding up to helping diagnose a worn clutch. It probably wouldn't harm to just get an opinion from a "professional" if there's someone local you trust to give an honest opinion. Manual gearbox clutches and their operating hydraulics are pretty simple systems and usually (but not always) easy enough to diagnose.
     
    everson38 and Legojon like this.
  3. everson38

    everson38 Active Member

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    Thanks for this. A lot of information and good to read an learn. I know clutches are not the best thing you want to hear. I'll have a look around when I can and keep you updated. Thanks again

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     

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