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2012 Chevrolet Sonic - Clutch

just bought a 2012 sonic with low miles and 68 miles later clutch blew out. are there any recalls on the clutch?

No , a clutch is a wear and tear item and Recalls are not for things like this . You need to do a web search so you will know what recalls actually cover. Sorry , but you bought a used car and you will just have to pay for the clutch repair.

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I suspect I know why you found a sweet low miles Sonic on the used market.

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Just as some people who abuse their brakes wind-up having to replace the brake pads sooner than others, folks who abuse their clutch will wind-up having to overhaul the clutch sooner than others. The first owner likely dumped this car just in time, and the OP had the misfortune to buy it without having it inspected by a mechanic of his/her choice.

Yes, whether the OP likes to read this news or not, this repair is entirely on his/her shoulders… unless the seller included a very comprehensive warranty on the car.

Unfortunately no there are no such recalls for the clutch on pretty much any vehicle. Clutches are however pretty good at providing clues or symptoms of their impending failure, so most times failure is easily predicted.

Exceptions to this would be some type of sudden pressure plate failure, sudden dual mass flywheel failure (if equipped) and or the sudden fail of the friction material of the friction disc (like the material suddenly coming unglued or breaking off the rivets or something. Sudden failures occur, but far far more common are the clutch failures that provide plenty of clues before they die.

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Also there have been many cases where an inexperienced driver has destroyed a clutch in a short time . That may not be the case here by the current owner .

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I would say the inexperienced driver was the previous owner but should have been noticed on the test drive if it went out in 68 mile’s it would have had to be in very rough not to be noticed.

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I don’t see anything in Mitchell’s.

Also… Who determined that the clutch actually failed here ? Is there any chance the clutch master cyl failed and its being perceived as a clutch failure?

I guess the most important questions here are who verified this condition as a clutch faiure and or what are the symptoms? If the clutch failed, it failed, but…

I’ve seen many people mistake something minor as a clutch failure so… what say thee?

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That is a good point. Similarly, we frequently see posts from people who attribute all sorts of non transmission-related problems to their automatic transmission.

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Is this your first vehicle with a manual transmission? Whether it is or not, now is a good time to make sure you know how to be gentle on a clutch. Of course, this might just be a terrible coincidence, but in case it isn’t:

  1. Be gentle on the throttle as you shift. Wait until your foot is completely off the clutch before you open up the throttle for hard acceleration. Which reminds me…

  2. Don’t ride the clutch. Don’t even hover above it with your left foot. When you’re not engaging the clutch pedal, your left foot should be on the floor.

  3. Don’t doddle in the friction zone. Try to be off the clutch in first gear before your car moves one car length. Don’t pop the clutch, but don’t let up on it slowly either. Shift efficiently, not too fast, and not too slow.

  4. Try not to sit with the clutch depressed. This puts extra wear on the throw out bearing. If you’re first in line, and you can see the crosswalk signal or the green light of the cross traffic, watch for early warning that your light is about to change, and shift into gear right before the light changes. If you’re not first in line, there will be plenty of time to press the clutch and shift into gear between the time the light turns green and the car in front of you starts moving. In the rare circumstance when you’re first in line and can’t see any early warning signs, just hold down the clutch and have the car in first gear. If you don’t make a habit of sitting in gear, the throw out bearing should be fine.

  5. Fully engage the clutch on every shift. Don’t just push the clutch part way down and then shift. Only shift when the clutch is pressed against the floor.

  6. Get to know your new clutch, and note where it engages the friction zone in first gear. When that point moves higher, your clutch either needs adjusting (if it isn’t self-adjusting) or it will need replacement soon.

Lastly, make sure you don’t rest your hand on the gear shift when you’re not shifting. This is a bad habit that can damage your gears.