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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

After just 2,600 miles, the clutch failed on my Abarth Spider. The closest dealership (not where I bought it) that took the tow inspected and blamed the user (i.e., me). I've been driving manual cars for 32 years - many makes and models - and was offended to be blamed. I drive the car to work, don't race it, and haven't let (or taught!) anyone else how to drive it. After I vigorously pushed back, they said they'd fix it as a "courtesy." I haven't seen any other clutch issues on this forum but I did see there was a recall of the 2012-2017 Fiat 500 for its clutch which affected less than 1% of its cars. Interestingly, the dealer said that the clutch assembly was on back order so it would take some time to replace. Is there a big demand on 2017 Spider clutches?

Anyone else have this problem?

Thx!
 

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It seems parts availability is a problem. I had mine in for routine maintenance, and they did not have the parts to complete that. Took them a month to order the parts.
 

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What??? What parts were ordered for

It seems parts availability is a problem. I had mine in for routine maintenance, and they did not have the parts to complete that. Took them a month to order the parts.
Routine maintenance??? I would like,to know so I can start stockpiling them

Tia:eek::eek::eek:
 

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what kind of clutch failure? hydraulic failure or a disk / pressure plate failure? I have never heard of a disk failure I such low miles except for improper installation or contamination. was the transmission overfilled causing a front seal failure, thus contaminating the disk?
 

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Welcome, Ben. Nice to see another yinzer on the forum.

A bit of background you may be unaware of, this fiat uses the 6MT from the previous generation mx-5 (which I owned). It has developed a reputation for being very robust and the clutch typically has held up well to power upgrades and heavy use. This transmission is one of the reasons I choose the fiat over the mazda. Still, **** happens and your experiences say far more about the dealer than the car.

I don't think there has been a big demand for clutches. With the car being so new, few if any other failures, and a supply chain linked closer to mazda japan than FCA, it is not too surprising there isn't a parts inventory on hand at this point.

Keep us posted. Having sourced my car out of state, I haven't worked with a local dealer yet. Wouldn't mind a PM with details on the dealer in question and your assessment of the work they do for you.
 

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17k miles, took the car in for an oil change and scheduled maintenance. They said it needed a cabin air filter and engine air filter. They did not have the filters and had to order them. Took 4 weeks.
as a smoker I drive with windows down, so the cabin air filter is not something I would be inclined to replace... that is just a sham to jack up the service bills in my opinion.....
 

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What cabin air filter?
 

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You would have to be the world's worst and most incompetent manual driver to do a clutch in that distance. Everywhere you went you'd be accompanied by the smell of burning clutch. This has to be a component failure.
 

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You would have to be the world's worst and most incompetent manual driver to do a clutch in that distance. Everywhere you went you'd be accompanied by the smell of burning clutch. This has to be a component failure.
I agree with that. If the clutch disk failed in 20,000 miles, that would be different, but it would be really tough to burn up a clutch in 2600 miles, you would probably have to try to do it on purpose to wear it out that fast. I think a component failure is much more likely. Until OP tells us what actually failed, it's pretty tough to diagnose this.

I also want to point out that OP has only one post here, and that's this post about a clutch failure. It's not backed up by any specifics. Do the clutch hydraulics work? Is the pedal operating normally? I wish we had more info so we could get a better idea of what actually happened.

Greg
 

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Sorry you got took...

17k miles, took the car in for an oil change and scheduled maintenance. They said it needed a cabin air filter and engine air filter. They did not have the filters and had to order them. Took 4 weeks.
What cabin air filter?
Phill...you can get a wix engine air filter and do that maintenance yourself. The first time you do it , it will take you 7 minutes, next time 3 minutes.

Yes Pghgrhg, we have a cabin air filter that needs to be changed. If you live in a dusty environment state...Arizona,Texas,Oklahoma...etc...then you want to change it ahead of required schedules. It will clog up and effect a/c efficiency. It is a PITA to replace, and I believe there is a step by step instructions on the Mazda MX 5 forum on how to do.. I'll go see if I can find the link and post..:)
 

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Good grief, not sure. Now there is something one should never have to fuss with in a roadster. Clutch replacement (after many thousands of smile filled miles) comes with the territory. A cabin air filter, let alone one buried in dash, is just wrong. Found the mx5 thread. Reading the mx5 description of a metal wire mesh "dust screen" really has me scratching my head!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree with that. If the clutch disk failed in 20,000 miles, that would be different, but it would be really tough to burn up a clutch in 2600 miles, you would probably have to try to do it on purpose to wear it out that fast. I think a component failure is much more likely. Until OP tells us what actually failed, it's pretty tough to diagnose this.

I also want to point out that OP has only one post here, and that's this post about a clutch failure. It's not backed up by any specifics. Do the clutch hydraulics work? Is the pedal operating normally? I wish we had more info so we could get a better idea of what actually happened.

Greg
Hi Greg, yes it's my first post - as you could guess from the mileage I've only owned the car for a few months. Also, prior to this incident, I have never previously joined or posted on a auto blog. As for the specifics, a few days before the clutch burned out entirely, I noticed that the rpms were revving higher than the torque, and I wondered whether this was clutch slipping or there was some electronic mapping issue (I almost always toggle to sport mode when driving). Then on Monday (7/24/17) on the ride home from work, the gear indicator on the tach went haywire and the transmission started not to engage at all, with the burning smell, etc. I'm not a mechanic so cannot tell your exactly which bits failed. The service manager at the dealer said that the clutch was entirely destroyed (I used every last of it to get off the highway exit to get home), though blaming me for the end result is like seeing a burned down house and assume I, a non-smoker, was smoking in bed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The real OP

I agree with that. If the clutch disk failed in 20,000 miles, that would be different, but it would be really tough to burn up a clutch in 2600 miles, you would probably have to try to do it on purpose to wear it out that fast. I think a component failure is much more likely. Until OP tells us what actually failed, it's pretty tough to diagnose this.

I also want to point out that OP has only one post here, and that's this post about a clutch failure. It's not backed up by any specifics. Do the clutch hydraulics work? Is the pedal operating normally? I wish we had more info so we could get a better idea of what actually happened.

Greg
Hi Greg
Specifics are this:
A few days before the clutch failed catastrophically, I noticed a substantial lag between the throttle/RPMs and transmission engagement. I wondered whether it was the clutch (which didn't make sense) or some electronic engine mapping issue (I toggle to Sport mode almost every ride). Then, one week ago Monday, on the way home from work, the slipping became more pronounced, and the gear indicator on the tachometer starting changing without regard to the gear I was in. As I left the highway, it became apparent (through smell and loss of transmission), that the clutch was going. As I was late to take my shift with the kids, I rode it (and burned it out) to get home. Perhaps, I should have parked and got the car towed at the point, as the dealer initially looked at the burned out clutch and assumed it was caused by driver error (to which I responded, that's like happening upon a house that burned down and citing the cause as smoking in bed to a non-smoker).

UPDATE: Today the dealer said that the clutch part was overseas and they will not get it in until October (there is one other dealer in US also waiting for one). Does the last gen MX-5 have the same clutch assembly? Seems like I'd should find out rather than wait three months to get my brand new car back.
 

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Yes...I'm 100%

Good grief, not sure. Now there is something one should never have to fuss with in a roadster. Clutch replacement (after many thousands of smile filled miles) comes with the territory. A cabin air filter, let alone one buried in dash, is just wrong. Found the mx5 thread. Reading the mx5 description of a metal wire mesh "dust screen" really has me scratching my head!
With you on the pita cabin filter...:)
 

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has there been any diagnosis on this failure? I would like to know if this is a problem which the factory needs to know about or human error with servicing or some other aspect of ownership......
 

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Phill...you can get a wix engine air filter and do that maintenance yourself. The first time you do it , it will take you 7 minutes, next time 3 minutes.
It's the incidental time and expenses that would kill me. It's the moving expense, added rent etc. when I get evicted for working on a car in the building garage. Plus that I bought the car to drive not to spend my time working on it. As far as I'm concerned the dealer showed me the engine when I bought the car - the next time I open the hood will be when I sell the cart to make sure it's still got an engine. There are no Phil maintainable parts under the hood.
 

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UPDATE: Today the dealer said that the clutch part was overseas and they will not get it in until October (there is one other dealer in US also waiting for one). Does the last gen MX-5 have the same clutch assembly? Seems like I'd should find out rather than wait three months to get my brand new car back.
OFFS - Fiat need to get the finger out regarding parts availability. So basically you should have it back in time for winter...

Has the dealer made any reconciliatory offers on a loaner for while your car is off the road? A Guiletta for a couple of months wouldn't be the end of the world...Failing that, what are the PA lemon laws?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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has there been any diagnosis on this failure? I would like to know if this is a problem which the factory needs to know about or human error with servicing or some other aspect of ownership......
No diagnosis - the dealer, South Hills Fiat (not where I bought it), got the car with a burned out clutch and assumed it was my fault. The clutch worked absolutely fine and smoothly for the first 2,500 miles. I drive it to work, not on a racetrack!
 
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