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nmatell

Clutch Actuator Or Clutch

88 posts in this topic

Hello all,Asking anyone out there if they have had to replace their clutch actuator or the clutch itself. My car is a little over 180,000 km. Recently I've been having a power loss but havent been getting any error codes at all. The car really seems to die when Im going up hills, so Im questioning how well the actuator is engaging the clutch or if the clutch itself is slipping. Has anyone had to replace these parts and curious of their symptoms. Last May I had the actuator 're-leanred' so not sure if it needs it again perhaps.Thx

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I had a power loss w/o CEL and it turned out to be my actuator. This could be the case for you too.

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If the actuator adjustment is all the way to the end of the slot you either have clutch fork wear thru or the clutch itself is worn out.Canman

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I had a power loss w/o CEL and it turned out to be my actuator. This could be the case for you too.

Did you really notice the power issue going uphill? Thats where mine just really seems to dog it.

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The car would pop and then LOD would not exceed 85.

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+1: actuator. Instances of actual clutch death are very uncommon. Before simply adjusting the actuator, remove it and inspect the fork socket for incipient or partial wear-through. Bil :sun:

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+1: actuator. Instances of actual clutch death are very uncommon.

Not really. Was talking to the parts guys at our sister dealership. They told me they have SEVERAL clutches in stock for our cars. Very common.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

^ ^ ^Just making a wild guess here, but if a smart came in for a clutch problem, the dealer changed the clutch and of course a few cheap small associated parts like the fork, then put it all back together and it ran fine the customer would be happy, the problem would be fixed and yet another data point of those little cars often needing clutches would be entered. Nobody at all would know that the problem could have been prevented by occasional lubing of the fork and fixed with a 3/8 inch acorn nut, an hour and some not-in-the-computer knowledge.

Edited by Alex

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Re dealer clutch replacements, were the clutches actually failing, or was the fork holed? When my fork showed signs of getting a penetration, I was offered a clutch replacement, which of course included a new fork, for $3,000.A $2 acorn nut solved the problem.Same as all those early $1,200 turbo replacements, where a $6 intake seal -- or just tightening the hose clamps! -- may well have fixed the "leaky turbo" complaint. Dealerships must hate this forum!Bil :sun:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Re dealer clutch replacements, were the clutches actually failing, or was the fork holed? When my fork showed signs of getting a penetration, I was offered a clutch replacement, which of course included a new fork, for $3,000.A $2 acorn nut solved the problem.Same as all those early $1,200 turbo replacements, where a $6 intake seal -- or just tightening the hose clamps! -- may well have fixed the "leaky turbo" complaint. Dealerships must hate this forum!Bil :sun:

No, it is the clutches wearing out. There was a problem with the clutch disks sticking on the splines of the output shaft on the tranny. Caused premature clutch wear. There is a bulletin about this, and when installing the new clutch there is now a special grease that must be placed on the splines to prevent it from happening again.$3000 for a clutch??!? WTF? The flat rate time for the job is only 5.5 hrs, and it is less than a grand for a new clutch assembly, which includes the flywheel. Should be around $1500 MAX. Edited by MightyMouseTech

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That sounds like the 451.

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Re dealer clutch replacements, were the clutches actually failing, or was the fork holed? When my fork showed signs of getting a penetration, I was offered a clutch replacement, which of course included a new fork, for $3,000.A $2 acorn nut solved the problem.Bil :sun:

I posted in the dreaded 3-bars thread about our clutch problem.Just heard back from the dealer. They installed the new actuator, but it did not fix the problem. So they have put the old one back in. They say it is likely the clutch itself that is jamming. I asked about the punch-through in the fork, but the service manager said he did not think that was it and that they usually only see that on high mileage cars. Ours has done just 60k km.I have asked them if MB Goodwill might cover part of repair cost considering low mileage and always dealer serviced. Failing that, it is hard to see a $2500-$3000 repair, so what to do ???? Not into that degree of DIY at this stage in life! Have three other cars all needing attention anyway.

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@ MMT,Interesting about the sticky disks. So this is a known issue. Would the TSB describe lubricating the splines with the new grease as a dealer-cost preventative measure, or is there a free (or maybe pro-rated) replacement if the clutch fails as a result of this known flaw?I may be misremembering that discussion I had about the clutch repalcement because I was so shocked at the price. I rememebr thinking, that's about all my car is worth! Do remember I was told $1,300 to just replace the fork.@ Graham,"... did not think that was it..." So he didn't actually inspect for that. IMO, it's no so much that it needs very high mileage (though yeah, 60k isn't much), but the distance driven in urban stop/go with lots of gear changes per km, and dusty or corrosive (road salt) conditions. Might not be the problem you have, but it doesn't sound like it was ruled out.Bil :sun:

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@ Graham,"... did not think that was it..." So he didn't actually inspect for that. IMO, it's no so much that it needs very high mileage (though yeah, 60k isn't much), but the distance driven in urban stop/go with lots of gear changes per km, and dusty or corrosive (road salt) conditions. Might not be the problem you have, but it doesn't sound like it was ruled out.Bil :sun:

Problem is that the service manager does not always know just exactly what the mechanic did. Our dealer does have a couple of very good mechanics that know these cars and they did know about the punch through problem. They were talking about a new "clutch pack" which I guessed probably meant clutch is not sliding on spline? waiting to hear if MB will help me on this.

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I have replaced two clutches in my 450 with approximately 300,000 km. The first was near the 130,000 km mark and the second at approximately 270,000 km. There is more information on other threads. The cost of the repair (not through the dealership) was approximately $3000. I have seen used smarts advertised for sale with clutch repairs costing $3500.00 in the Vancouver area. So yes, unfortunately instead of paying $800.00 to replace a toyota four runner clutch including the work, the smart part itself ridiculously costs more and over $3000.00 including the labor. I did it myself the second time for the cost of the parts and a few tools I didn't already own. I did have the worn clutch fork the second time around as well as a clutch issue I describe in a previous post. The thread was titled it started with the glow plugs and somehow we touched on the clutch. See below:

http://clubsmartcar.com/index.php?act=find...&pid=311587

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I have replaced two clutches in my 450 with approximately 300,000 km. The first was near the 130,000 km mark and the second at approximately 270,000 km. There is more information on other threads. The cost of the repair (not through the dealership) was approximately $3000. I have seen used smarts advertised for sale with clutch repairs costing $3500.00 in the Vancouver area. So yes, unfortunately instead of paying $800.00 to replace a toyota four runner clutch including the work, the smart part itself ridiculously costs more and over $3000.00 including the labor. I did it myself the second time for the cost of the parts and a few tools I didn't already own. I did have the worn clutch fork the second time around as well as a clutch issue I describe in a previous post. The thread was titled it started with the glow plugs and somehow we touched on the clutch. See below:

Looking at parts - clutch plus fork come to $1100 list - say $1200 with misc. So 1800 for labour? Even with taxes allowed for that is about 16 hours. Seems like a lot. Does the $3 - $3.5K include an actuator?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

No, when I had the first clutch done, the actuator was not replaced. Peter

Thanks for the input.After some discussions considering the low mileage and the good service record, MB Canada will help out a bit and so will dealer. So, they will do the work for about 1/2 the prices quoted above and not charge for diagnostic work done so far. Hopefully new clutch will solve problem! I asked what happens if it doesn't! Cross that bridge if need be later.Graham Edited by Graham

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That's a good result, Graham :thumbup:Bil :sun:

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Looking at parts - clutch plus fork come to $1100 list - say $1200 with misc. So 1800 for labour? Even with taxes allowed for that is about 16 hours. Seems like a lot. Does the $3 - $3.5K include an actuator?

The flat rate time for the job is 5.5 hours!??!?!?

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Good deal, better than the first quote!

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It's nice to hear better deals can be had. Unfortunately the stress of having to take your car to a dealer in BC is such a turn off I won't be buying another Mercedes product. I'm still working on my smart at home now with a seized alternator. I've waited near three weeks trying to save $100 on one or rebuilding it...they make it so difficult....the crazy expenses have scared me off of anything that doesn't involve DIY. When the price of the part costs more than the repair including the part for other cars, the fuel efficiency becomes questionable. I drive ~300 km per day, if I can't justify it who can? If you need your car and can get the work done for under ~$1500, I recommend getting it done. I had an old diesel Jetta to run around while I learned smart clutch repair through these fantastic resources...Thank you Club smar Car!!! I sold the Jetta and now my Smart alternator is seized. After DIY fixing the smart 3 times in the last year (EGR valve, fuel line, clutch), and now alternator I needed a reliable car to go to work again. After looking at several used smarts, most with reasonably low km, but still with issues...the price of buying the car and the thought of more repairs freaked me out. I bought a new Toyota Prius C. Thank goodness for the housing bubble in BC

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Looking at parts - clutch plus fork come to $1100 list - say $1200 with misc. So 1800 for labour? Even with taxes allowed for that is about 16 hours. Seems like a lot. Does the $3 - $3.5K include an actuator?

I just checked best prices in the EU: £325 (approx CAD 500) for Sachs clutch, fork and actuator. This is with my usual 35% discount. Clearly somebody will be growing himself fat on the prices you guys pay.

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Why don't you start shipping to Canada and get a slice of the fat?For that price + $100 to you+ shipping, I'd take 2 sets......oh and some brake cables and a turbo......etc :D

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If I look at it like a wholesale buyer and retail seller in Canada, take the 500 [call that wholesale price @ your 35% discount], add 100 shipping, 20% import duty, 12% taxes, handling... 750 by the time we're done. Then add typical 40% retail markup and the selling price to my customers in Canada becomes -- *voila!* -- 1,000. Right back where we started. That's not fat; that's ordinary goods trading. Bil :sun:

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