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Thread: Car shudders when engaging clutch...potential reasons?

  1. #1
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    Car shudders when engaging clutch...potential reasons?

    hey all,

    Have a 2002 P5 manual (just picked up). previous owner said he never replaced the clutch but never had any issues with it.

    lately, everytime I try and start from 1st or when shifting into 2nd, as I let the clutch out, the whole bloody car shudders. this DOESN'T happen when the engine is cold....only when it is warmed up and after driving a while. For example, stop and go traffic. If i was in traffic right after starting the car in the am, no issues. However, if I was stuck in traffic after driving around for an hour, bigtime shudder. The only way I can prevent this is by really revving the rpms up and shifting or very quickly letting the clutch out.

    I've driven manuals for most of my life, so it's not that I am not driving the car improperly. Also, I don;t think the clutch is slipping because if I gun it in 5th going up an onramp or something, there are no issues.

    I'm wondering if replacing the transmission mount might fix this? I don't think the car is worth fixing if I have to replace flywheel, etc....

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Protege5

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    Warped pressure plate or flywheel most likely, since it only does it when warm.

    I have seen engine mounts do this on a Corolla. While running in 1st gear around 1500rpm, apply the brakes (while holding throttle) until the car almost stalls. If it starts shuddering like you describe, you've found the problem. On the Corolla, the mounts were bad enough that the rear mount would touch the sub-frame whenever you took off.
    2002 Protege5 5 Speed, Pure White, FSZE Swap, Konig Incident 17's
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGiggles View Post
    Warped pressure plate or flywheel most likely, since it only does it when warm.

    I have seen engine mounts do this on a Corolla. While running in 1st gear around 1500rpm, apply the brakes (while holding throttle) until the car almost stalls. If it starts shuddering like you describe, you've found the problem. On the Corolla, the mounts were bad enough that the rear mount would touch the sub-frame whenever you took off.

    So I'm assuming replacing the flywheel isn't cheap as the tranny has to be dropped...

    sounds like it probably isn't due to mount issue...but I will try what you suggested.

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    Registered Member kms1990's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrGiggles View Post
    Warped pressure plate or flywheel most likely, since it only does it when warm.

    I have seen engine mounts do this on a Corolla. While running in 1st gear around 1500rpm, apply the brakes (while holding throttle) until the car almost stalls. If it starts shuddering like you describe, you've found the problem. On the Corolla, the mounts were bad enough that the rear mount would touch the sub-frame whenever you took off.
    So if it shudders during this, it points towards the mounts? Would it be specifically the tranny mount?

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    Registered Member The_big_dill's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by davemsc View Post
    So if it shudders during this, it points towards the mounts? Would it be specifically the tranny mount?
    The mounts on these cars are so bad, that I never see one of these cars with good mounts... Always torn.

    Usually, the rear mount is the one that has the most problems, but they all tear. Inspect your rear mount.

    I found that my vibration was the worst when turning hard left up a hill or with a loaded car and turning left from a stop.

    See if there is a difference going left or right from a stop (up a hill preferably).
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_big_dill View Post
    The mounts on these cars are so bad, that I never see one of these cars with good mounts... Always torn.

    Usually, the rear mount is the one that has the most problems, but they all tear. Inspect your rear mount.

    I found that my vibration was the worst when turning hard left up a hill or with a loaded car and turning left from a stop.

    See if there is a difference going left or right from a stop (up a hill preferably).
    There isn't much vibration except when the engine is warm and I am starting from a stop and as well going into second. And even the, it's not vibration, it's whole car shudder. It sounds like it's a warped pressure plate or something but I was just hoping for the crazy chance it might be a mount. I'm suspecting even if all the mounts get replaced, this would still happen.

  8. #8
    Swollen Member Natey's Avatar
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    Mine used to do that, then it stopped. Either I learned how to engage the clutch a certain way without knowing it, or something wore in.
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    Mine does the same thing. If you raise the rpm a bit while engaging the clutch it is less apparent.

  10. #10
    Registered Member slvrPR5's Avatar

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    another vote for motor mounts. Just had my front replaced, and it drastically reduced the amount of shudder and jerkiness when shifting. 152K miles, original clutch
    2003 PR5 / 125k miles / manual trans / bone stock

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    it sounds like you are not using enough rpm when engaging first gear.

  12. #12
    Registered Member Recon1342's Avatar

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    I had a ford pickup truck that did the same thing. Turned out to be a soft spot on the flywheel that would grab harder than the surrounding material.
    Iím a V-8 junkie in a strange new world...

  13. #13
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    agreed either mounts or clutch chatter. try engaging at a bit higher RPM with a little less "slip" when you engage. may just be learning to drive the new vehicle. mine does it sometimes (once in a blue moon) too if i engage the clutch wrong, but i can just push it in and do it again with less "slip" and it doesn't do it again. original clutch with over 250k miles here...

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    i am also getting the same chatter. seems to be less evident the quicker i release the clutch, most evident when starting from a stop in 1st, or near stop in 2nd, and also significant when downshifting to 2nd for engine braking. asked many mechanics and most thought it was likely a warped flywheel. only really happens in one spot on the clutch pedal. noticed that when i engage faster it's less evident. I just replaced the front and passenger side mounts because they were wrecked. rear soon, but that one is pretty buried. also considering the transmission mount soon as well. can't see that one as easily, but if it's original (170k), it's gotta be just as F'ed as the others, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by davemsc View Post
    There isn't much vibration except when the engine is warm and I am starting from a stop and as well going into second. And even the, it's not vibration, it's whole car shudder. It sounds like it's a warped pressure plate or something but I was just hoping for the crazy chance it might be a mount. I'm suspecting even if all the mounts get replaced, this would still happen.
    FYI, replacing the front and passenger side mounts didn't change the chatter for me

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