Maruti Ciaz 1.3 diesel juddering in first gear after clutch replacement

I opted for this extensive service primarily because my car’s fuel efficiency had been on the decline and the clutch was showing signs of wear.

BHPian recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello, fellow car enthusiasts,

I hope this message finds you all well. I’m reaching out to this knowledgeable community today with a heavy heart, as I’ve encountered some extremely frustrating issues with my beloved Maruti Ciaz 1.3 diesel. Despite spending over 50,000 rupees on a comprehensive service at an authorised service centre in Gwalior, my problems have only increased, and I desperately need your insights and advice.

Here’s a bit of background:

My Ciaz has been my reliable companion for quite some time, having clocked over 133,000 kilometers. Around the 131,000-kilometer mark, I decided it was time for a major service, and I entrusted my car to an authorized service station. The service included a comprehensive set of tasks: clutch set replacement (excluding the flywheel), timing kit replacement, EGR cleaning, and the standard oil change service. I opted for this extensive service primarily because my car’s mileage had been on the decline, and the clutch was showing signs of wear.

Previously, my Ciaz used to deliver impressive mileage figures, with 20-22 kmpl on the highway and a solid 17-18 kmpl in the city. However, this had decreased over time, and I believed that a service would help restore it. The service centre assured me that my car’s current mileage figures (14-15 kmpl in the city and 17-18 kmpl on the highway) were acceptable. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that something was amiss compared to what it used to be.

Now, here’s where things get truly disheartening:

After getting my car back from the service centre, I’ve started experiencing not one but two concerning issues:

Juddering in 1st Gear

Whenever I release the clutch in 1st gear, my car experiences a disconcerting juddering sensation. This sensation occurs specifically in 1st gear, right when the clutch begins to engage. It doesn’t persist in any other gears, and intriguingly, it disappears as soon as the speedometer hits 3-4 kilometers per hour. The service centre claims that this juddering is due to the new clutch and will diminish as the clutch ages. However, even after driving around 2,000-2,500 kilometers, the improvement has been marginal at best. It’s important to note that this issue was not present before the clutch replacement.

Increased Vibrations

I’ve also noticed a slight increase in vibrations after the service. These vibrations were not an issue before, and their appearance post-service has left me puzzled.

Furthermore, I’d like to emphasize that there has been no improvement in my car’s mileage despite the extensive service. This is particularly frustrating given the significant investment I made in the service.

As someone who is passionate about their car, I’m eager to address these issues and restore my Ciaz to its optimal performance. I’ve made multiple visits to the service centre, but their explanations have left me somewhat uncertain.

I’ve invested a substantial amount of money, over 50,000 rupees, hoping to improve my car’s condition, but instead, my problems have multiplied.

Any insights or advice you can provide would be immensely appreciated. I’m truly at a loss and need your expertise to navigate this frustrating situation.

Thank you all for your time and expertise, and I look forward to your valuable input.

Here’s what BHPian TheCamShaft had to say about the matter:

Take the car to a good mechanic in your city outside this incompetent service centre. Given the symptom is happening for one of the gears only, my suspicion is that the issue is related to synchronizer ring for that gear. It may not be clutch related issue after all as clutch operation is the same for all gears. However, this doesn’t sound like a difficult problem for a good mechanic to root cause and fix.

Here’s what BHPian GTE had to say about the matter:

They should have skimmed the flywheel or replaced it.

Here’s what BHPian Kumaran93R had to say about the matter:

Shuddering usually means inconsistent contact between the flywheel and the clutch plate. Did they change the flywheel? If not, it’ll continue to happen.

Mileage seems to be normal though. Check if the fuel filter and the air filter are new and clean the injectors. Also, check the fuel tank cap.

Here’s what BHPian scorpian had to say about the matter:

The juddering will not go unless the flywheel is changed! Flywheel has to be skimmed or changed for this problem to be eradicated.

Your clutch plates are new and the flywheel is old which has developed uneven wear as the old clutch plates had wear. Now the new plates are not matching a hundred percent to the old flywheel. Hence the judder.

I have had similar issues in my SX4 and were solved after replacing both the clutch plates and flywheel with brand-new ones.

Here’s what BHPian Jeroen had to say about the matter:

Sorry to hear about your problems.

Letโ€™s make one thing abundantly clear. When a service is carried out using the appropriate tools, and procedures by a competent mechanic the car should not vibrate, shudder or anything like that. The mere suggestion that it will improve over time is ridiculous. Seriously, these guys are taking you for a ride.

Something has gone wrong and they need to fix it. A new clutch should not present you with these problems.

There are two things that pop-up on our threads all the time. Replacing ECUs and skimming flywheel. I can honestly say I have never done either. Now I would be the last one to extrapolate my experience to being the norm, but check the international car forums and you wonโ€™t find many ECU replacements or flywheels skimming. I must have replaced a couple of dozen clutches on just as many cars in the last couple of decades and have never encountered the need to skim the flywheel.

Your mechanic did not see the need to do so. Statistically, he is likely to be correct I would say, but I hope he actually took measurements and based on measurements and a visual inspection he decided it was not required. I think most of us would agree that if it was necessary, only by a very small margin he would have done so, as it would make the repair more costly.

There might be something with the flywheel. There is nothing wrong with your synchronisation rings. Very unlikely they will cause this problem. The synchromesh rings have no function in the actual operation of the clutch and the clutch engaging/releasing from the flywheel.

My money would be on an alignment issue and or mounting issue of the clutch and or gearbox. When you remove the gearbox of a car that has done some good mileage, you need to take particular care in ensuring all the engine mounts and gearbox mounts are still good. Which to be very honest, at the mileage your car has done is unlikely. The problem is that you will never ever be able to get them to mount in the exact position as before. Over time they have become worn, sagged a bit and so on. So really you need to replace them.

Similar to your drive shaft and or CV joints where applicable. On some cars, these can give similar problems and they should always be marked so when reinstalling they are mounted in the identical orientation as before.

As you mention increased vibrations the above really need to be checked.

The other thing is the alignment of the clutch itself. Sometimes, even with proper due and care, you might not get into the perfect position. The older the car, the more mileage the more room for error.

This juddering will not get better by themselves. Neither will the vibration. The gearbox needs to be removed and a proper investigation into the root cause.

Donโ€™t take this nonsense about โ€œit will get better over timeโ€. They made a mistake, and need to fix it.

Good luck.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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