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Mazda B3000 clutch and hydraulics

At 120 miles the the service dept at the Mazda dealership told me the hydraulics on my clutch were going out ( I had not replaced the clutch on this vehicle at that point–it was on its original clutch). [PS I am not hard on clutches. I have had 3 vehicles with clutches in my lifetime, with all three, the original clutch lasted past 130miles.] They said the clutch was fine, but since I would be paying for the labor for the slave cylinder , etc. I should replace the clutch.I agreed. 12,000 miles later the slave cylinder went out. They replaced that charging me $500+ for that job. Only four months later (about 2500 miles) the clutch was acting up again, and today the service dept told me that the master cylinder had to be replaced. They told me that would be $783.

I have a couple of questions. Should they have caught the master cylinder issue when they replaced the slave cylinder 4 months ago/2500 miles? And do these charges seem fair? Thank you for your help.

Correction, I just looked at the invoices. At 112k miles they replaced the clutch and the slave cylinder. 120K they replaced the slave cylinder again, and now they are replacing the master cylinder. The second slave cylinder replacement and now the mater cylinder replacement are costing me about $1300.00 (the master cylinder $783).

A clutch master cylinder failure at 120K is entirely normal. My Corolla’s clutch MC failed bout that mileage too. If you had to do this over again, I would have recommended to just replace the MC and see if that fixed the symptoms. If so, forget about replacing the clutch, and drive on.

I presume the recommendation to replace the clutch is b/c the shop decided the slave cylinder required replacement in add’n to the MC, so might as well replace the clutch too. You car must be configured so the a slave cylinder replacement requires removing the transmission. Not so w/my Corolla, the slave is a simple job to replace I think. I’ve never replaced it though, b/c it has never failed. Only the MC has failed, twice over a 20+ year run.

I can’t speak to the charges as the time to do this kind of stuff is highly dependent on the car design. It can be much more time consuming on certain cars, like sports cars where everything is packed into a tight space. For a data point, replacing the clutch MC on my Corolla is about an hour job including the bleeding and the parts cost is around $50-$75 as I recall.

Thank you. I kept hearing $$ quotes for replacing a MC from others that were more along the line of yours for your Corolla, so nearly $800 for my MC replacement seemed crazy high.

Have your tech look into aftermarket parts ( it’s just a Ford Ranger 3.0 l v6 ) like Auto Zone.
You may save some money if that shop is your best option.

. At 112k miles they replaced the clutch and the slave cylinder.

But not the master cylinder? That was questionable. They use the same material for their seals. If they were both installed at the same time (which they were, at the factory) then it’s likely that when one cylinder’s seals are worn out, the other is not far behind. It’s a pretty good idea to replace both at once in such cases.

120K they replaced the slave cylinder again

Yeah, that’s problematic. A slave cylinder should not fail in 8,000 miles. Either the part was bad (entirely possible) or they damaged it on install (also possible).

now they are replacing the master cylinder.

To clarify, this is the FIRST time they have replaced the master cylinder, right? If so, then that’s expected, per my comments above. It should have been replaced the first time, because now you are paying to bleed the system again, and you should only have had to pay for that once.

All that aside, I agree, they’re charging you an awful lot of money to replace a master cylinder. The physical replacement takes, like, 15 minutes tops. Bleeding it takes another 10 if they do it pneumatically, which they probably do.

The clutch retails for around $50. Assuming a 100% markup, around $100 of your $800 bill was for parts.

$700 for (generously) 30 minutes worth of work is steep. I wish I made $1400 an hour.