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About 8 months ago the slave cylinder in my 2005 manual transmission Ford Focus went out. At the time the car had under 40,000 miles on it. When the cylinder went it took out the pressure plate and did major damage to the transmission. At the time it was not paid off, so I paid to have the transmission rebuilt, replaced the master & slave cylinders, the clutch, and the gear cables. Since then, the car has not driven the same (unexplained grinding in 1st gear that no mechanic has been able to figure out), but has otherwise seemed fine. Today, the clutch started slipping and is clearly about to go out. I just paid the car off 2 months ago and it has around 46,000 miles at this point. I am wondering if I should sell it and buy something used instead or replace the clutch again. The car is new and has low mileage, but I do not want to pay to replace the clutch and have the same thing happen again in a few months. I drive constantly for my work and a reliable vehicle is a must. Any advice?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Colleen McGee, Driving Instructor at Americas Driving School If it's been less than a year, and only 6,000 miles since the repairs I would guess the repair should still be under warranty. If the repair shop you used is refusing to fix it again, or can't find a problem, then you need to consider if it is worth having car payments again, or just paying one more time for a new clutch. If you use another shop to get the clutch replaced, make sure they have a good reputation for doing good work and standing by the quality of their work. Good luck Colleen

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Caitlin, From your description you put 6000 miles on your car from the time of rebuilt, I suggest that you visit your mechanic you performed this original repair. You should have a warranty of some type whether through the manufacturer or mechanic who performed this repair. Check your paperwork, you may be covered in one aspect or another.

Audra Fordin, Owner at Great Bear Auto Shop Catitlin, You just paid this car off. No, you do not need to get a new car. You do need to have this one fixed correctly and regain your trust in your car. When you brought your car back to the shop for the unexplained noise,Whether you grinding in 1st gear did you get a receipt documenting your complaint? whether you did or not, that's o.k. There is no way in 6,000 miles you need a new clutch. As you suspect, there was a problem with the repairs done to your car the first time. 8 months and 6,000 miles means your repairs are still covered under warranty. Bring the car back to the shop. This time, between the slipping and the grinding there should be no reason they can not find the trouble and fix it, correctly. Mechanically yours, Audra

Barb Petrey, President - DBK Enterprises Inc at Jiffy Lube First, go back to the guy that fixed it the first time because it sounds like he did something wrong.

Kathryn van der Pol, Owner/Manager at Adolf Hoepfl & Son Garage Dear Caitlin, Most shops offer a warranty with their work. Since it's less than a year and only 6,000 miles since your transmission failed, I would take it back to the technician who did the work. You spent a lot of money and you should not be experiencing these problems. A good shop will want to take care of any defects in parts or workmanship. If this is not possible, write back again and let me know. So sorry to hear you're having these problems.

Laurie Sarno, Co-Owner at Super Girls Auto Hello Caitlin- the job that was done 8 months ago sounds to me was not done correctly - if it makes noise it 1st gear only there is an internal problem with the transmission probably a failed bearing- NO clutch should fail within only 6 months- it is your option to get the clutch repaired again (BY A COMPETENT SHOP) or to purchase another car- down side to that is you do not know what issues the used car may have- hope this helps Thanks Super Girls Auto.

Lori Johnson, Owner and Instructor at Ladies Start Your Engines Dear Caitlin, First thing I would do is contact the shop that did the work. There's no way the clutch should go after only 6,000 miles. I drove my first clutch 235,000 miles before I replaced it. It sounds like something was not done right when you had it replaced last. Lori Johnson

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