Engine & Gearbox Clutch slip on 34k miles.

Discussion in '7th Generation (2003-2008) [Acura TSX]' started by Doc, Friday 5th Oct, 2012.

  1. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    A couple of times when driving I've experienced the following scenario:

    I approached a large roundabout in 3rd gear and leisurely take the 1st exit. As I drove down the slip road I change up into 4th gear around 35-40 mph as it has a good speed range 40-60 mph. As the revs picked up past 2.5k I felt a slight hesitation, then the car picked up again, only to hesitate again, to then pick up once more. As this happened on the same piece of road a couple of times I thought the hesitation was the VSA kicking in on an uneven road surface, even though I never saw the VSA light appear, as this is exactly what the hesitation felt like. Today as I was further down the slip road I noticed the revs rise slightly faster than usual. So I lifted off and saw the revs instantly drop about 400-500 RPM before then tracking down consistently with the speed and revs of the car and engine.

    Up until this point the clutch has always performed very strongly. The usual test of a slipping clutch is drive the car in 5th or 6th gear at low speed, put your foot hard down and when the turbo boost kicks in the load on the clutch causes it to slip. I've tried this several times and only get a strong pull with no clutch slip. I can even generate wheel spin when exiting roundabouts in 2nd gear.

    I went for a drive tonight and repeatedly tried to make the clutch slip. I can only make it slip in 4th gear under heavy load and only when cold. Once the engine is up to temp I can't make it slip at all in any gear at which point the clutch is nothing but strong even under prolonged heavy load. The strong pull under load when warm leads me to think the problem isn't with the clutch plate but with something else in the system.

    Any ideas what could be happening, particularly in this gear, or possible adjustments that I can make to try and cure the problem.
     
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  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Doc I am going to suggest something which has never been suggested on diesel clutches, but I have done this on petrol clutches and it works like a treat

    Since your car has low mileage and carefully driven, what you experiencing has it similarity to front brake pad glazing.This is seen on a lot of OAP Jazz and mint condition Honda in hands of careful drivers which hardly get pushed or used frequently.

    It a common scenario the front pad\ clutch friction surface has become a mirror surface which is skipping when excessive force is applied.

    We need to rough up the friction material for it to grip . Brake pads are easy to rough up a few burst of heavy braking or dismantle and scar up.

    Clutch slightly difficult but can be roughed up without removing it.The best way to achieve it is on a rolling road get it up to 90mph in top gear pull the clutch in to disengage drive.Imagine clutch plate as if you are polishing it on a buffing machine , by gentle releasing the pedal against the spinning disc (flywheel) by repeating the operation three times you will remove a layer of this mirror finish.

    don't do this on roads as the speeds are illegal , you will smell your clutch burning when you do this.
     
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  3. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give that a go. :Thumbup: It never crossed my mind that it might be due to the friction material glazing over. It's not a problem I've ever suffered from as I've always driven petrol cars a lot harder. This would also make sense as I've been doing a lot of short journeys for the last 2 months in rush hour traffic. All that crawling along constantly on the biting point would be the perfect scenario for the glazing to occur. Premature wear or failure seemed very unlikely at such a low mileage. I was worried it might end up costing me a new clutch which was not an appealing thought.

    I'll also invest in getting the clutch fluid changed. The maintenance schedule suggests every 3 years, I had the fluid tested last year and it didn't need changing, but it wouldn't hurt to get it done.

    I know my clutch pedal cruise control sensor needs properly setting up but as I very rarely use the CC it seemed unlikely this would have caused any premature wear?!

    I'm doing a 260 mile round trip this weekend so hopefully the long run will also do it some good. :Smile:
     
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  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    I used to change the clutch fluid (brake fluid) every service or a year on Helen old Tourer as her driving was in city limits.

    The repeated engagement and disengagement does make the fluid dirty really quickly.I use 500ml to flush out the fluid and a top tip at the bottom of the master cylinder you will see a black lining of curd .. I agitate it with a plastic stick it so it easily ejected.
     
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  5. SayamaAccord Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    There's a good argument for changing brake fluid every year as it absorbs water at the quickest rate in the first year although it stays in spec in terms of % water content for maybe 2 or 3 but no more.
     
  6. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Well I did a round trip to Hampshire and back at the weekend and got a bit of clutch slip in 6th gear as well. But that wasn't totally unsurprising. Every time it happened though the pressure from the clutch pressure plate caused enough friction for the revs to drop and the clutch re-engaged.

    So would I be right in saying the procedure for de-glazing the clutch is as follows.

    1. Get the car up to 90 mph (on a rolling road).
    2. Maintain even and constant pressure on the accelerator pedal.
    3. Dip the clutch causing the revs to rise.
    4. Re-engage the clutch (causing it to slip and heat up).
    5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 until clutch smells.

    I think this has all been caused because, due to stories of slipping clutches and failing DMF's, when I accelerate I use the speed range of the gear to accelerate but each gear change is done gently with very little slip on re-engaging. I've also noticed I don't slip the clutch any where near as much, as I used too in petrol cars, when pulling away from standing starts. And I don't practice engine braking any more either. End result is my clutch has had it a little too easy and needs some abuse, well for a little while anyway.
     
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  7. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    I use a lot of engine braking hardly use brakes ...lol even perfected shifting up without touching the clutch pedal,Even the seamless shifting on the Honda moto gp bike would be proud off.

    good stuff Doc, just a small reminder do this once in a clutches life as it not good for it.
     
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  8. Primarycare Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Primary c Northampton
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    CJ where have you been all my life :Wink:

    You're a treasure trove of information ..
     
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  9. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Hiding mate ..:Thumbup:
     
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  10. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Cheers CJ. I don't intend to do this any more than I need to as even the thought of making the clutch smell doesn't sit very well with me. lol.

    In future I'll use the clutch a little harder and not try to be so protective of the clutch and DMF. That way it won't get back in this condition.

    I learnt engine braking when my standard brakes weren't as good as I wanted them to be but I couldn't afford an upgrade. I've never tried shifting without using the clutch, but my use of it was extremely minimal for quicker changes when the accelerator was buried on the floor. :Smile:
     
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  11. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    I think you can avoid it by getting on longish trips with stained high speed, the heat will be sufficient to keep the surfaces clean.

    However it is my humble opinion it is the torque bashing through the gears and the turbo sweet spot range which has affects the pressure plate.

    It for remapped race wannabe who cane the turbo sweet spot for the torque and acceleration and it wrecks the clamping on the pressure plate. And we all know it the pressure plate on the I-CTDI which goes first .

    Build up your speed and accelerate in top gear or buy a 8th Generation auto diesel which I really really adore. torque bash it to your hearts content.

    We have a 62 red diesel auto (courtesy car) at the moment and I am 99% sure it smoke a manual gearbox from red lights I will post a blog about it soon I have been using the autobox engine breaking to SUPERB effect.
     
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  12. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Maybe I should get a remap the heavy wear would de-glaze the clutch! Don't worry CJ that was a joke!! :Rolf:

    I accelerate from low RPM in each gear using the engine torque on low boost than hammer it over 3000 RPM on high boost. It wasn't designed for the latter.

    I was in Hampshire at the weekend and had to reverse park up a steep hill. If I had thought a bit harder I could have just sat on a hill on the clutch biting point and heated the clutch up. It would have done the same job a lot easier. Now I'm back in the land of flat fens. :Foolish:

    Did I just hear you right, you've been driving a diesel!? :Aghast::Aghast::Aghast::Aghast::Aghast::Aghast:
     
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  13. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
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    Well if you got the Yorkshire tune by the file uploader you will be encouraged to go to the Leeds outfit for the juddery clutch solution,juddering clutches sort out the glazing for good and proper. Not to mention the backhander for the referral.:Wink:

    The method you use spot on , the I-CTDI is not designed to be a speed machine, it freaks like the Yorkshire uploader who have given the impression to every Accord owner out there it is.. well least said the better.

    Never tried the hill approach but that would be ideal as both ends of the clutch plates will get full contact , the spinning method will cater more towards the flywheel side:Wink:

    Well Helen driving the diesel auto more than me but it a great little car,mileage wise when I drive the car it matches my best fuel efficiency on my 2.4 Tourer and this auto diesel is a saloon!!

    I would never buy it but the driving experience and gearbox is a sweet as nut its great fun and standing start from traffic light just smokes all the German cars it smokes it.
     
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  14. Doc Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Matt Peterborough
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    Just thought I'd give a update on this thread.

    As mentioned previously I made my clutch work a bit hard while reverse parking up a hill. This seemed to do it a little bit of good but I was still experiencing clutch slip in 4th and 6th gear.

    I then tried the method of de-glazing the clutch friction surface which CJ described. I only completed the process once, instead of repeating the process 3 times as recommended. I thought I'd try it a little to see if it made a difference, then try again more aggressively if needed, as I didn't want to overdo it and cause to much damage. After this 1st attempt I noticed a significant improvement in the clutches performance, and the amount of slipping was significantly reduced.

    Even doing this process once generated a noticeable amount of heat and smell. I can well understand why CJ advises to only do this once in a clutches life as it's very hard on it and is by no means recommended as a regular treatment.

    The next opportunity I could get to repeat the process was a week later. But before putting the clutch through this repeated strain I thought I'd try changing my driving style and see if lots of smaller attempts at slipping the clutch helped. So every time I could pull away with force when I changed from 1st to 2nd gear I deliberately accelerated prematurely so the clutch slipped for a prolonged amount of time before taking up drive in 2nd gear.

    This seemed to have removed any remaining glazing on the clutch friction material as the clutch hasn't slipped for a week now, no matter how hard I try it pulls just as strongly as it used to. Because of this I've decided not to repeat CJ's recommendation a 2nd time, for now at least, and see if the clutches performance is maintained.

    Thanks CJ for your great advice. It never crossed my mind that this could have been the problem and your description of the cause made a lot of sense. When I first started to notice it slipping I seriously thought I was looking at replacing the clutch. But this was a really quick and easy fix, not to mention saved me a lot of money. Hopefully with this knowledge I can now prevent the problem from reoccurring by simply adapting my driving style slightly. :Thumbup::Thumbup:
     
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