Clutch Return Spring

ford
focus

#1

The clutch return spring went out on my 2009 Ford Focus. Fortunately, that is covered under warranty. However, I would like to know how that affects the clutch. Will it cause it to go out sooner? Should I request a new clutch now while it is still under warranty?


#2

No. It is designed to just help pull the pedal all the way up. Most of the opposing force is going to be the BIG spring on the clutch pressure plate. If this repair was done in a timely manner, there should be no appreciable damage.


#3

What are the symptoms of a broken clutch return spring?


#4

Thank you for your response. Ford couldn’t get my car in for about 5 days, and while I only drove it to and from work (approx. 10 miles a day), I did drive it. Would that amount of driving cause appreciable damage?


#5

It was very, very hard for me to get my car into gear when the temperature dropped below about 70 degrees. Fortunately, it was only in the mornings because we have had a heat wave.


#6

I should add, that I only had trouble getting the car into gear in the morning, when it was cool out.


#7

Your complaint doesn’t sound like a clutch return spring problem and warranty does not cover all clutch problems. It may cover a clutch hydraulics failure or something very unusual and catastrophic like an exploded pressure plate but will not cover a worn clutch, which may cause the transmission to become a bit hard to shift.


#8

If it doesn’t sound like a clutch return problem, what does it sound like? The car is at the dealership now and they told me that that is the problem. What course of action do you recommend I take?


#9

There are a number of things that could cause a manual transmission to become hard to shift when cold. Wrong gear oil, wrong fluid in the clutch resevoir, internal wear in the synchronizer assembly (and I’m assuming you mean it’s difficult to shift into 1st gear), failing clutch hydraulics, or wear in the clutch assembly.

All of the above would be very unusual for an '09 model car except for the latter and that one is not a warrantable issue UNLESS it was caused by something else.
A broken pedal return spring only serves to keep the pedal from flopping around and a throwout bearing spring (I think your car does not have this due to design) only serves to keep residual pressure off of the throwout bearing.

How many miles on this car and has there been any history of servicing at fast lube facilities, etc.? (This could go back to what I mentioned about the wrong gear oil, wrong clutch fluid, etc.)


#10

That sounds very much like the wrong lubricant was in the transmission.


#11

My car has just over 13,000 miles on it and it has only been serviced by the dealership. Thus far, I have only had oil changes because that is what the maintenance schedule calls for. I was actually unable to get the car into any gear at all, not just first. This afternoon I picked the car up from the dealership and it turns out they also replaced the master cylinder and the switch (which they did not inform me of, I read it on the invoice). The only part they would show me was the spring. My car is definitely not performing the same way it was. Everything seems looser (if that makes sense), louder, and when in reverse and first I pretty much have to have the pedal to the metal for it to move. I want to take the car back, but I would like to know what could be some possible problems before I do because they treat me like I am completely crazy.


#12

If there are other Ford dealers in your vicinity try them. When a service business treats a customer “like they are crazy,” it is a good indication that they are incompetent. And the story you related here furthers that observation.


#13

From your description of the car not wanting to move could it be that the clutch is prematurely worn? (I’m assuming this master cylinder is the clutch master cylinder, not the one for the brakes.)

Try this. With the engine off, set the park brake firmly (preferably with the front wheels against a curb), and shift the transmission into 3rd gear.
Start the engine, hold the footbrake, rev the engine up to about 3k RPM, and then let the clutch pedal out. (I know, this apparently takes 3 feet)
The engine should die immediately. If it does not, the clutch is worn more than likely.

I’m in agreement that maybe you should see another dealer. Also keep in mind that when you’re at the dealer a service advisor is generally the person that you’re dealing with. Very very few of these guys have a mechanic background at all so their mechanical expertise is pretty thin to put it politely.