Sunday World - - Life Style -


I have a 2009 Corolla and have no­ticed that when set­ting off in first gear the car some­times shud­ders. It has done this on and off for as long as I have had it.

I thought it was just me, but my other half drove the car through a bad traf­fic jam the other night (he does not nor­mally drive my car) and ev­ery time we set off in first gear the car jud­dered very badly.

We rang Toy­ota to book the car in for this week. How­ever, they say it might be the re­sult of wear and tear and so it will not be cov­ered un­der the war­ranty. I ex­plained that it has al­ways done this but, be­cause I have never taken it in be­fore, they ob­vi­ously can’t take my word on this.

Has any­one else had this prob­lem and is it go­ing to cost me a for­tune? Naledi Khany­ile, Jo­han­nes­burg

Hi Naledi, Clutch shud­der is ac­tu­ally quite com­mon and there are a num­ber of pos­si­ble causes, which are usu­ally ex­pen­sive to fix.

Clutch shud­der can be caused by oil con­tam­i­na­tion of the clutch plate, by a fly­wheel or clutch plate out of spec­i­fi­ca­tion, by worn clutch springs or by worn splines on the clutch disc.

Check for oil leaks around the gear­box hous­ing. In many cases the clutch will need to be dis­as­sem­bled and re­paired or resur­faced. Mon­i­tor your driv­ing habits and be sure not to rest your foot on the clutch pedal on in­clines or dur­ing traf­fic.

Dear Mor­gan, I own an 05 Ford Fo­cus and it runs fine but the air con­di­tioner is not cool­ing enough (this might be a sep­a­rate prob­lem). Also, when the air­con is on the car of­ten stalls and some­times shuts off. Af­ter­wards it comes back on with no prob­lem but it’s an­noy­ing and un­safe.

I read that this could be caused by a dirty throt­tle po­si­tion sen­sor but be­fore I start spend­ing money and time I would like to hear some good ad­vice from you.

Thanks. Duma Go­nan­gombe, East London

Dear Duma, This is usu­ally a prob­lem on cars with a small ca­pac­ity en­gine be­cause the air­con places a big load on the en­gine.

Does the car idle smoothly when the air con­di­tioner is off? It could be that the air­con is draw­ing more power than the elec­tri­cal sys­tem can pro­vide. Be­gin by check­ing the bat­tery and al­ter­na­tor sys­tem.

The idle air con­trol (IAC) is sup­posed to keep idle speed con­stant by clos­ing an air by­pass in the throt­tle body when there is an added draw on power from the fan, lights, heater or air­con.

The IAC could be faulty along with the set­ting on the car s ECU com­puter.

’ A di­ag­nos­tic test at the dealer should en­able the prob­lem to be fixed eas­ily.

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