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Discussion Starter #1
Long time listener, first time caller here. Driving to work Tuesday and the clutch suddenly felt like it had a tennis ball wedged under it, then I couldn't shift, and I knew it was finally my turn. Arranged flatbed to dealer (Fiat Alfa Romeo of Austin) and told him I suffered a clutch failure due to the pedal assembly allowing too much clutch travel that's being addressed by the recall. Dealer insisted broken clutch diaphragm spring had nothing to do with pedal assembly recall even though it specifically states "The clutch cover diaphragm spring on your vehicle may fatigue and/or fracture." It was obvious the dealer had zero interest in even discussing the issue, so I just paid for the "repair" and went on my way. They at least agreed to give me the old parts back so I could verify the issue. Friction disc looks fine with plenty of material left, throw-out bearing is intact and smooth, surface of pressure plate looks about perfect, and diaphragm spring has a 1/4" gap where it split apart. I submitted a reimbursement request via the website listed on the recall notice for owners who had already paid for repairs before the recall started.

cracked_spring.jpg friction_disc.jpg throw_out_bearing.jpg pressure_plate.jpg

On a side note, the clutch engages very close to the floor now. Has anyone else who has had a clutch replaced noticed this?

Take care,
Mike (Bibiana is my car's name, sorry guys)
 

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I sort of wished that you pushed the dealer on it. I really hate when a dealer does this. Hope you get reimbursement without an issue. Did you have the recall performed at the same time?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes, the recall was handled with the revised clutch pedal as part of the whole job. At one point one of the two guys there was saying the diaphragm spring was part of the new pedal assembly (I did see a coil spring behind the pedal), and when I was trying to show the other guy where the recall specifically mentions the clutch cover diaphragm spring fatigue/fracture issue it was like trying to get an atheist to read a Bible (no offense intended to anyone on either side of that coin). He said I could call the 800 number. Knowing that the reimbursement request website existed and finding that the dealer was so resistant, I just decided to try the easier route. On a positive note, my steering shaft no longer pops during low-speed turns.

Also, later on I mentioned that my understanding was that the revised pedal assembly was to limit pedal travel and one of the guys said no, that the main purpose was the revised return spring, and that yes it also had a limiter on there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
For my birthday today my Fiat gave me a puddle of fluid from the hydraulic clutch system in my driveway. Clear, oily fluid, dead-center under car, with a drop hanging from the bottom of the transmission. So, the big question is whether the dealer will consider the fact that the car never dripped in the 4 3/4 years I've driven it before they did the clutch job five days ago, or will this somehow be my fault and I'll have to pay for it to be fixed? Stay tuned...

And apparently the clutch system and brake system use the same fluid reservoir, so if enough fluid leaks out it will have no brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update. Per the dealer the fluid leak was gear oil coming from an axle shaft seal. That is the thinnest and clearest gear oil I've ever seen which is why I thought it was brake fluid, but that's fine. I'm parked back from the original driveway stain and will monitor for leaks. It's an amazing coincidence that there was never a drop from the car for 4 3/4 years until a few days after the clutch job. And I changed the engine oil a few weeks ago and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. Today it was coated in an oily film with drops hanging from the shaft. My guess is they nicked a seal when pulling everything apart for the clutch, but I can't prove it and that's life. So, another $354 later (after 10% discount) and I'm back in business.

I mentioned to the service guy that my clutch failure was indeed caused by a broken diaphragm spring (since I hadn't looked at the parts until I got home from that first visit) and he had never heard of the situation.

And just think, three more payments and this baby is all mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Some good news. Got a check from FCA for a little over $1,200 to cover the clutch replacement. They didn't cover the tow and I'm still out for the seal replacement, but I can live with this outcome. So now FCA vehicles will continue to be considered for future purchases, but Fiat Alfa Romeo of Austin/Nyle Maxwell dealer network will not.
 

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Same exact issue with my wifes 12 Sport. We had the recall, limited pedal, done a year ago. A month or so ago she left for work, made it about 200 feet from the house and came back saying the car wouldn't shift. I go out and sure enough. I shut it off, put it into reverse, would shift with the engine off, than backed it to the house. Being out of warranty, I pulled the transmission my self and found the pressure plate broke exactly like the one pictured above. I bought a new clutch, pressure plate, release bearing and trans oil from the local Fiat dealer. While there asked if it at least the part would be covered under warranty, they told me to call Fiat. I call Fiat and they said they wouldn't, however, it would be up to the dealer. If they wanted to cover it, they could. So I call the dealer back up, left a message. Completed the job. Got a call back about a week after I left a message, they said the only way they 'MIGHT' cover the pressure plate is if they did the job. So if I paid them $1800-2000???? to do the job, they 'MIGHT' cover the $200 part...... Being a mechanic, it was much more economical for me to spend $412 in parts vs paying to have them do it. 62,000 miles on the car at the time.

As far as the axle seal, sometimes they tear while pulling or installing the axle shaft or dirt may have gotten on the shaft or seal and caused failure.

BTW, the clutch pedal is engages much closer to the floor now also.
 

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Yes, after having the pedal assembly recall done, the clutch engaged much closer to the floor for me also, and felt very light and smooth, but after about 4 months, the engagement point was back up higher in the clutch travel, and the feel was rough and jerky as mentioned here: http://www.fiat500owners.com/forum/9-fiat-500-engine-technical-discussion/146871-2012-fiat-500-clutch-diaphragm-failure-post-recall.html

Please let us know, 4carbcorvair, and Bibiana, if, some time after your recall, the clutch feels different to you again. I worry this is evidence of a possible future second failure of the diaphragm.

Fwiw, I also had to pay out of pocket for my clutch assy replacement after the dealer refused to admit that a clutch with barely any wear should fail after only a few years. FIAT also denied having any knowledge about clutch diaphragm failure until well after I had paid for it myself. After the recall was finally issued, they did reimburse me (after I pursued them for it).
 

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Yes, after having the pedal assembly recall done, the clutch engaged much closer to the floor for me also, and felt very light and smooth, but after about 4 months, the engagement point was back up higher in the clutch travel, and the feel was rough and jerky as mentioned here: https://www.fiat500owners.com/forum/9-fiat-500-engine-technical-discussion/146871-2012-fiat-500-clutch-diaphragm-failure-post-recall.html

Please let us know, 4carbcorvair, and Bibiana, if, some time after your recall, the clutch feels different to you again. I worry this is evidence of a possible future second failure of the diaphragm.

Fwiw, I also had to pay out of pocket for my clutch assy replacement after the dealer refused to admit that a clutch with barely any wear should fail after only a few years. FIAT also denied having any knowledge about clutch diaphragm failure until well after I had paid for it myself. After the recall was finally issued, they did reimburse me (after I pursued them for it).
The clutch engagement point after the pedal assembly replacement seemed closer to the floor. I'm assuming this is due to less pedal travel, the pedal isn't being it's travel limit is reduced. It was engaging in the same spot, just felt different due to the pedal not going down as far.

After installation of the new clutch, the engagement was definitely lower, that can be due to the new clutch as it's slightly thicker than the slightly worn one I replaced.

I still feel Fiat should have covered it as they new it was a problem and did do the clutch pedal recall. By the time we had it done, the pressure plate was already over fatigued.
 
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