REASONS TO SHUDDER
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.