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Advice from the technical gurus is sought!

On May bank holiday weekend I got caught in a 4 hour stop / start queue for the Goddard tunnel. After 3 hours or so, the clutch developed a judder when starting off in 1st gear. This is the first time this has happened. I managed to pullover and let the engine rest for an hour and it was better when we restarted.

The following day all was fine until perhaps I had been driving for 3 hours and then once in city traffic I had the judder again. Not as bad but there. I was also sensing perhaps the clutch felt different while driving during the day.

Has anyone experience of this and more importantly tell me what will be needed to resolve? Please do not scare me too much as I am currently driving back to the UK!

By the way it’s a 2005 Hobby 750 FML on a Fiat Ducato 2.8D.

Thanks for your advice in anticipation.
Colin
 

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Let's look at the evidence because the clues are there. The vehicle drives OK and is only problematical when in traffic. The clutch gets hot. This could be down to several factors. First driving style. After 3 hours in traffic do you for example keep the clutch pedal depressed for long periods? This in itself would cause the clutch to overheat and place undue pressure on the thrust bearing. Secondly. Do you slip the clutch if on a slight hill for extended periods? This would place incredible wear on the clutch plate and cause it to overheat.

My guess is that there is nothing wrong other than the fact the clutch is groaning due to very hard use. My tip is to disengage the clutch pedal frequently when in traffic or use the autoroutes to by-pass towns if heavy traffic is prevalent until at least you get home and check things out. I would not be overconcerned.
 

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I have to agree with Gelathae, I think his assumption is spot on. If standing for more than a few seconds I always select neutral, a habit from motorcycling where the clutch although a different design entirely can also get hot resulting in extreme difficulty in selecting neutral which lies between first and second gears.

JohnW
 

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You could be suffering from a tired clutch foot. Its no problem in normal driving with just the occasional gear change. During a long traffic jam its incredible just how much strain is put on your left ankle, knee and hip joints, even if the clutch pedal is relatively light.
This can result in your letting out the clutch too sharply, thus causing a slight kangaroo effect.
 
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