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Discussion Starter #1
My wife drove my Maserati every day last month to and from work. At the begining of August, I bought this car used from the dealership, and the clutch was 80%. I just took it to the dealer this week about the ABS/MSP lights coming on and he said the clutch is only 50%! How the hell did driving it in automatic reduce the clutch by 30%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell! Anybody else have this problem? Is the automatic mode this harmfull? Could something else have caused the reduction in clutch life? I will have to sell the car if the clutch problem is this crazy! I bought this car to be my wife's daily driver, and can't keep it if I have to change out the clutch every couple of months!

Zearnold
 

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could the dealer have fibbed initially about the % ? was is documented? if so what was the time/ milage between clutch test and your purchase?

the auto mode couldn't do this.

sorry to hear
 

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response to last question

I bought the car from the Maserati dealership. They wrote "80% clutch life is left" on the company letterhead they faxed me. I asked them to fax it to me this way so that they would be liable if they lied. It seems they may have, but I don't know why they would do this. I bought the car the next day after they faxed me the info.

Zearnold
 

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FWIW, and it may be worth VERRRRY little, I inquired about having my clutch checked via OBDI on the QP I'm getting and was told by an M dealer (NOT the selling dealer, so it carries a LITTLE more weight) that the electronic diagnosis is not very accurate..but maybe it's not accurate when it says 90% but it sure is when it says 30%..ie. time to replace and open the wallet. I don't know but maybe others have some experience as to the accuracy of the readout..I know I'll want to do some auto driving so hope it's not a real happiness killer for me. I want so much for my QP to be great..at < 3k miles it should be up to me..I hope!

Good luck..

Chris
 

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yours is a 04 coupe? how many miles does it have to begin with? how many miles did your wife drive it for?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
response to last question

My '04 coupe had 14,500 miles when it arrived. It now has around 15,000 miles. We put 500 miles in one month. My wife drove it a majority of the time. That means 500 miles wore down the clutch 30%. It does not make any sense.

Zearnold
 

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Take the dealer reading with a grain of salt....

Z:

I have spoken to a few service guys at FMNJ. The clutch readings are not 100% dead on. Infact, they have seen people get a lot of use out of their clutch after they were told it was time to get a new one.

According to the service people, its time to change your clutch when you notice it begins to slip.

Additionally, the dealerships make good money on clutch jobs, they want you to believe you have to get your clutch fixed as soon as the computer gives you a read out, when infact you may have another few thousand miles on it.

Let us know how you make out.

Good luck. CM
 

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zearnold said:
My '04 coupe had 14,500 miles when it arrived. It now has around 15,000 miles. We put 500 miles in one month. My wife drove it a majority of the time. That means 500 miles wore down the clutch 30%. It does not make any sense.

Zearnold
Zearnold

was the clutch the original clutch? at 14,500, it is VERY unlikely the Clutch was only 20% worn over 14,500 miles. I would question the selling dealer.

I truely beleive the dealers are told to say, "the readings are +/- 20%" which they always tell me, to cover their as*es. I am learning to take their responses to always favor THEM, cause they want to install clutches.
 

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i stick with mrthekid on this hypothesis that the dealer who sold you the car inflated the remaining clutch to make the sale.

500 miles in one month will not wear a clutch 30%, auto or manual mode.

unless you wife is launching the maserati HARD every street light without u knowing.

80% +/- 20% = 100%-60%
50% +/- 20% = 70%-30%

that should cover their ass.
 

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My 04 coupe had 14k on the clock and the original clutch was at 75% so it's not unusual.. that's just normal wear..

what you really have to watch is the "riding", essentially slipping the clutch.. especially when you are going slowly in traffic and never when you are going sso slowly up a hill that the clutch is not fully engaged.. that will burn the hell out of the clutch plate; under load and slipping.

AUTO is bound to wear the clutch more as you are not shifting into N when you stop.. there is therefore some minor slipping whilst stationary.

The more you drive in manual, the more you will get used to it - almost to the ponit that you will automatically flick the paddles, without thinking..

I just borrowed a QP over the weekend and because I am used to driving the Coupe in manual - I actually much preferred driving the QP in manual...
 

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Nope. Shifting it into N when stationary does NOTHING. It just disengages the actuator but the clutch itself continues engaged. It is ONLY electronically disengaged after 1 minute or so of being stationary, when (as the manual says) it shifts automatically into N.

This was shown to me at H R Owen in London about 10 days ago, when I picked-up my car, after asking their chief mechanic about this whole clutch-life debate (and other issues, as I posted elsewhere). In fact we both looked under my car and he gave me a complete walkaround the different mechanical clutch parts, and how they operate. Plus a practical demonstration.

Not my word, but that of Maser chief mechanic there.

FYI, my clutch was replaced just over a month ago, and after 600 miles it is 3% to 5% worn (that is 95% left at the bare minimum) which is the normal wear when beading. Wear is much less agressive once it has beaded (and then I drive my car almost entirely in Sport mode) but 20% in 500 miles, even in Auto, seems just too much.

Tend to agree they have inflated the remaining clutch figures to trigger the sale.

Ed
 

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Are you sure about the shifting into "N" process. I can't believe that shifting into N doesn't disenage the clutch....

In fact if you test it.. you will find that if you shift into N and press the accellerator, you will have no drive. As I have done to test if I still get the vibrations I have when moving, when stationary.

Interesting comment on the instruction manual - I did not see that.. I will have another read!
 

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Rich Hale said:
Are you sure about the shifting into "N" process. I can't believe that shifting into N doesn't disenage the clutch....

In fact if you test it.. you will find that if you shift into N and press the accellerator, you will have no drive. As I have done to test if I still get the vibrations I have when moving, when stationary.
There are two parts to the transmission, the clutch part (which connects to the engine), and the gearbox (which connects to the driving wheels). To make your car move, both parts have to be engaged/selected at the same time. In N, the non of the gears is selected, but the clutch is engaged, even the first half of the tranny is rotating but it's not driving the wheels. That's why when you rev the engine, the car remains stationary. The load on the clutch is minimal under this condition.
 

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Hey Dhcao, thanks for the clarification .. that makes some sense.. but that would mean that there would need to be a "clutch" at the gearbox end.. otherwise how would you transfer the power into the stationary gears :confused:

i have noticed that if you switch into N when moving - and switch back into gear it will chose the most appropriate gear for your road speed.. how does that work without disengaging and engaging a clutch?
 

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OK, here is a link that explains everything in gory detail.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_transmission

Remember, the clutch and transmission are separate systems. The clutch can be engaged or disengaged while the transmission is either in gear or out of gear. When our CC Maserati's are in neutral, I would expect that the clutch is engaged and the front side of the transmission is spinning, but I am not sure how the computer actually does things. I know in standard tranmission cars I have driven, I have left the clutch engaged when in neutral. This reduces wear on the throw out bearing. (That said, I have never had a throw out bearing fail, and have always replaced them when replacing a worn clutch plate anyway!) Of course, before shifting into first or reverse I would have to disengage the clutch.

All that said, there is no advantage I am aware of in shifting to neutral while slowing down. In fact, you lose a certain amount of control over the car that I don't like. Our CC computer automatically downshifts as you slow down (disengaging the clutch each time it downshifts, then engaging it again), until you get to a stop when it has downshifted into first. At this time, the clutch remains disengaged until you take off again. If you are going to be stopped for a long time, you should probably put the car in neutral which is easier on the throw out bearing. The car automatically does this if you are stopped and in gear for a minute or so.

Mike
 

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Adding another datapoint to the clutch life debate:
QP 2004 had entire gearbox replaced (under warranty) at about 10k. Now at 20k its 17% worn (83% left). Not bad if 10k = 17%. I drive always in manual and sport.

- Toffe
 

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"50%" isn't 1/2 life

zearnold said:
My wife drove my Maserati every day last month to and from work. At the begining of August, I bought this car used from the dealership, and the clutch was 80%. I just took it to the dealer this week about the ABS/MSP lights coming on and he said the clutch is only 50%! How the hell did driving it in automatic reduce the clutch by 30%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What the hell! Anybody else have this problem? Is the automatic mode this harmfull? Could something else have caused the reduction in clutch life? I will have to sell the car if the clutch problem is this crazy! I bought this car to be my wife's daily driver, and can't keep it if I have to change out the clutch every couple of months!

Zearnold

I know this doesn't make any sense, but bear with me here and confirm the % reading your getting.

"50% clutch" is different than "50% clutch life".

If the reading they're taking says "50%" you need a new clutch. Your clutch is actually in need of replacing when it reaches "50% wear". I know, instead of saying you have 80% left, they should be telling you 20% of available 50% is gone, so you have 30% left, but they don't.

If you're being told your clutch is at about "50% life", yor actual reading hold be 75%.

I went from 70% to 60% to 55% in a matter of a few thousand miles. Apparently, the measurement isn't exact and can vary a little. At 70% the clutch took a dump on me and left me stranded. They readjusted the PIS parameters but within a few weeks I was back for readjustment and then back soon again for a replacement. I thought this was a no-brainer warranty claim, 55% clutch life and it's shot!

Again, "50%" is where it needs to be replaced, "50%" doesn't mean it still has half of it's life let. I have my old clutch in a box (I think someone on the list was asking for it to use as a template for a non-dealer option), ask your mechanic to explain to you with your old clutch as an example, it makes sense when you see the assembly and how thin the material is and how the reading is taken.
 

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Thanks Mille162, according to your 50% = nothing left way of thinking I am actually one thrid through the clutch (66% left, 34% used). Still not bad for 10k. The service told me that worn clutches come from "unexperienced drivers" and from people that live in a hill. Just the same as for manual drivers...

Would you be able to take few pictures of the old assembly?
 

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You didn't indicate where you live. If you're in Southern California and your wife has a slow-crawl 60 minute+ commute, doing that in non-sport automatic mode would probably cause significant clutch wear.

Did you ask her if she's experienced a really bad smell? Does she back the car up alot at home or at work, especially backing up an incline (which will quickly produce a really bad smell)?
 
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