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Solarshaun

help! clutch gone?

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Hey guys. Would appreciate a bit of help and advice please.

 

My 2011NA manual wouldn't get into gear after coming to a halt at a roundabout after a moderately spirited drive up from Yorkshire over the weekend.

 

I put the hazards on, and after a few minutes of pissed off traffic driving around me, it suddenly engaged first. There was no problem with the clutch pedal that I could detect -none of this falling to the floor business.

 

The next day from cold, I had no trouble engaging a gear, but then as I slowly got it out of the residential areas I found it more and more difficult to change gear. It was very notchy and it felt like it would "go" any minute and I wouldn't be able to engage a gear again. 

 

It's currently at my local dealer, who agrees the gearchange is very notchy, He also thinks the clutch is dragging and reckons it needs a new clutch and possibly there may be damage to the gearbox as well.

 

I can't figure out what's happened. And I'm staring down the barrel of an engine-out job without warranty cover. 

 

Any thoughts/ advice most gratefully appreciated. 

 

Shaun 

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Does it have the uprated gear cables? Or standard?

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unsure. ex-management car. never had a prob with gear change before though... and the shifter always centres itself. 

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Mines also ex-management, and was given the uprated gear bits and bobs, so could assume yours is the same. Not that it would make a difference perhaps to your issue. I cant imagine it's the clutch though on a 2011 plate though..

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Some questions:

  1. Does the clutch separate fully when pushed? If not then the car would creep (like an automatic) when in first gear with the clutch pedal down.
  2. Is it only first/second gear, or also third/fourth? Try engaging third when first won't engage.
  3. Is it nly first gear, or also second?

 

If third gear goes in then in all likelyhood its an issue of adjusting the gearchange cables. These actually contract when warm (well, actually the sleeve expands faster than the cable inside) and that can cause problems like you described. You might alo try pulling the reverse lockout and then look for second or first gear. In any case, adjusting the cables would be an easy fix.

 

I had the issue of creeping in first gear and did get a new clutch because of it. Reasong was apparently an assembly issue, the clutch would stick though pressed.

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1. intermittent: some creep, and very juttery. feels very sick when driven. 

2. all gears. able to engage when engine off, but when on very notchy

3. all gears -4th actually relatively unaffected. 

 

car prefers slow speed/ creeping. up to speed and gear change become more difficult. 

 

My dealer has been on the phone to Lotus techs/ engineers and they feel it's the clutch. My car has 35k on it, and I was shocked to hear that they've said they only expect the clutch to last 25k!


Also, the better part of £3000 inc VAT?!  25h of labour... 

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Does sound like the clutch, unfortunately. If the car creeps the clutch is obviously not disengaging. 

 

Do try to have Lotus cover part of the cost,. It is a known fault and obviously not due to wear (in contrast to a slipping clutch). 

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Thanks for all your replies.

I've already tried via the dealer- no joy. Can you suggest what I might say to them to push my case a little harder?

Does anyone have a contact at lotus I could email/ write to?? £3000 is...a lot...

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Sadly you're out of warranty so Lotus don't have any requirement to contribute to repairs. If you do want to make a contact, email Neil Turner ([email protected]) but I'd imagine your dealer has already been in touch with him as he's Customer Service/Warranty Manager there. 

 

And I don't want to sound like an ass, but £3k isn't actually that bad on a car which initially cost £60k+. My old 4 pot Esprit was £1,200 for a clutch, a V8 is £1,500 just for the parts then 8 hours labour. It's not a bill you're likely to see very often and from the people on here, clutches certainly do seem to be lasting a long time. 

 

Try contacting Chris Randall at Hoffmanns of Henley. They offer a deal on the Evora clutch which will be cheaper than most dealers I think.

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I think the issue is the suddenness of the problem. It wasn't a wear and tear issue, rather a very sudden mechanical failure. And it's a known issue.

The car's not been treated poorly, nor has it done more miles than one would expect.

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Does seem a bit early to let go. Whilst I was at Silverstone Lotus with mine a few months ago, they were preparing a blue one for re-sale. It had done relatively high miles (about 60k or so) and they had the rear clam off for various jobs including the clutch, which they were really only doing as a precaution, not because it had failed.

 

Was a big old job though running into several days, from what they told me.

 

Modern clutches seem to last far longer than they used to. I passed my test in 1987 and must have gone through 4 or 5 clutches on different cars during the first 10 years. Still, that could also be a reflection on my driving style back then...

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That would explain the problem. Unfortunately, being wear and tear it would also be a rather clear non-warranty issue. At least i know of no other cars having had such issue. 

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Does seem a bit early to let go. Whilst I was at Silverstone Lotus with mine a few months ago, they were preparing a blue one for re-sale. It had done relatively high miles (about 60k or so) and they had the rear clam off for various jobs including the clutch, which they were really only doing as a precaution, not because it had failed.

Was a big old job though running into several days, from what they told me.

Modern clutches seem to last far longer than they used to. I passed my test in 1987 and must have gone through 4 or 5 clutches on different cars during the first 10 years. Still, that could also be a reflection on my driving style back then...

That was probably my car. The mileage is currently 56k and I asked for the clutch to be changed as part of the deal as I was not happy with the feel of the clutch when I looked at the car and it couldn't be covered by warranty. So, yes, it was a precautionary measure but worth the impact on the purchase price for the peace of mind. It also gave the dealer the opportunity to carry out a very thorough 4 year service and fix/replace so many of those niggly things that can annoy. I was very happy with the car when it was delivered and I still am. It was a good deal on a great car and I don't anticipate any clutch problems. Edited by the83man

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Shaun,

Sorry to hear of your clutch problems.

Does anyone know if the clutch a specialist clutch or a Toyota one in the E? They can download the way the cars been driven from the ECU... A clutch should last way more than that surely... Get a download to prove your point

This is the sort of quality control Lotus really needs to get on top of if it wants to compete

Only expecting 25k is ridiculous, engines and transmissions are built to last 10 times that!!

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I'm a bit puzzled as to why they would instantly think the gearbox is affected as well?

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Sorry to hear your woes. Sounds very similar to the clutch failure I had on my first Exige V6, which was 1yr old and had 2000miles on the clock. Only occurred two weeks after I bought it at 1800miles! Friction plate centre had come apart from the outer section. There was no warning at all until it let go, the clutch felt as you would expect for a new car up until the failure.

 

Hope you're back on the road asap.

Edited by Arun_D

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I'm a bit puzzled as to why they would instantly think the gearbox is affected as well?

It seems to have become Lotus policy to exchange both the clutch and the gearbox if there is a fault that could not be localized prior to disassembly. Removing and reinstalling the clam make up a large part of the repair cost. At least for warranty work the additional cost of exchanging both clutch and gearbox outways the risk of having to do two repairs.

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Shaun,

Sorry to hear of your clutch problems.

Does anyone know if the clutch a specialist clutch or a Toyota one in the E? They can download the way the cars been driven from the ECU... A clutch should last way more than that surely... Get a download to prove your point

This is the sort of quality control Lotus really needs to get on top of if it wants to compete

Only expecting 25k is ridiculous, engines and transmissions are built to last 10 times that!!

 

 

Sorry I left things hanging without updating, I've been incredibly busy.

 

The clutch friction plate seems to have come apart -one of the rivets snapped. I think this is what you're describing Arun_D??

 

This is nothing more than simple part failure. There's plenty of meat left on the clutch.

 

The other rivets are intact, proving that this isn't caused by abuse (one would expect more than one rivet to snap with the twisting forces caused by eg 0-60 runs).

 

I've got photos but can't figure out how to upload them.

 

Lotus have asked for the part back to investigate. They've asked for engine data which I've agreed to as I've got nothing to hide from that point of view -not even track days. Having said that, the clutch itself is all the evidence required -I'll be a bit miffed if they try to use the ECU data to try to deny the obvious.

 

AuRouge: the fact that they started by saying they would expect the clutch to wear out at 25k, and mine's done 35k and still has lots of life left in it, strengthens my case I think. I have a friend who had an Evora IPS which needed a new gearbox while in warranty. He had a long and difficult fight to get it sorted. He sold soon after, and will never touch another Lotus again. We all accept a certain degree of...customer goodwill and understanding...when buying a Lotus, but if they don't address these sorts of issues with humility they'll keep losing customers.

 

Car's being put back together with a new clutch and fly-wheel.

 

The car is out of warranty, but I'm in talks with Lotus Cust Serv. I'm confident they'll do the right thing...

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While they are in there, they should put the extra thermal insulation around the clutch hydraulics pipe and slave cylinder.  The early Evoras had a problem with excessive heat causing the clutch to go spongy.

 

Lotus had a TSB

http://49210a70594045aae060-9ee7f563068e7bbd2f9eb533a1de6b33.r31.cf3.rackcdn.com/59333_1362492826_sb_2013_02_Manual_Evora_Plastic_Clutch_Master_Cylinder_Replacement_Issue_3.pdf

 

read more here

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f170/clutch-failure-2011-evora-s-again-262153/

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Sorry I left things hanging without updating, I've been incredibly busy.

The clutch friction plate seems to have come apart -one of the rivets snapped. I think this is what you're describing Arun_D??

This is nothing more than simple part failure. There's plenty of meat left on the clutch.

The other rivets are intact, proving that this isn't caused by abuse (one would expect more than one rivet to snap with the twisting forces caused by eg 0-60 runs).

I've got photos but can't figure out how to upload them.

Lotus have asked for the part back to investigate. They've asked for engine data which I've agreed to as I've got nothing to hide from that point of view -not even track days. Having said that, the clutch itself is all the evidence required -I'll be a bit miffed if they try to use the ECU data to try to deny the obvious.

AuRouge: the fact that they started by saying they would expect the clutch to wear out at 25k, and mine's done 35k and still has lots of life left in it, strengthens my case I think. I have a friend who had an Evora IPS which needed a new gearbox while in warranty. He had a long and difficult fight to get it sorted. He sold soon after, and will never touch another Lotus again. We all accept a certain degree of...customer goodwill and understanding...when buying a Lotus, but if they don't address these sorts of issues with humility they'll keep losing customers.

Car's being put back together with a new clutch and fly-wheel.

The car is out of warranty, but I'm in talks with Lotus Cust Serv. I'm confident they'll do the right thing...

Thanks for sharing the information.

At 35k there should be plenty of meat on it. I for one would be very upset at not getting at least 50k miles out of a clutch. Even my previous 20 year old aircooled 964 would give a minimum 50k miles worth of wear.

Wear and tear is one thing, part / design failure is another on a £60k car! Lotus's must hold it's suppliers responsible for this sort of thing. Hope you get the result you're looking for.

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supportive words; very much appreciated.

 

If anyone else is in a similar position please don't hesitate to get in touch for advice/ moral support. Shout out (again!) to the guys at Formula 1 in Newcastle for being so helpful.

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Sounds very similar to a problem that has appeared on our Exige this weekend. Suddenly had difficulty selecting gears but thought it was me at first. Stopped to let car cool down but when I started it again I couldn't select a gear at all. AA have dropped it at the dealers so we have to wait and see.

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