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Am I being lied too by dealer?

27 April 2001
Huntington, NY USA
I have a '91 that had 11k miles last year when I bought it. I put 7k very gentle miles on it. I took it to my local dealer to get my window fixed (Acura is picking up the cost of the part) and they told me I needed a new clutch! It feels fine to me, smooth, no shudder. They say it is engaging high and if I keep driving it I will burn up something, I forget exactly what. Does this sound right to any of you guys? I very much appreciate your help.
You will 'burn up something'? They either meant you will burn through the clutch quickly when it starts slipping, or you'll put hot spots on the flywheel from high rpm spinning if the clutch is slipping bad. IMO, sounds like BS. Isn't there a good NSX dealer in the area? Davis?

-- Chris


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I agree that this does not sound right. NSX clutches have a tendency to engage high. I've been told that the symptom of a worn clutch is that it slips. You're saying yours doesn't.

My advice - if it drives fine, don't worry about it. Or, if you're concerned, get a second opinion, preferably from a dealer that does a fair amount of NSX work. I'm not familiar with the dealers on the island; maybe there are is a good one around? Greenwich Acura does a lot of NSX work and might be an alternative that's closer than Davis. (Chris, Huntington is on Long Island, 150 miles from Davis Acura (Langhorne, PA).)
Am I being lied too by dealer?
i've never heard of this happening before... dealers are as pure as the driven snow and/or xx virgin olive oil :>)

i agree with whoever it was that said if it ain't slippin', drive it til it starts showing a problem.
Sounds like BS to me as well, but sometimes they try to simplify what they tell you and come off sounding dishonest.

The thing they may be worried about burning up is the throw-out bearing, and the pressure plate at the point where the bearing rides on it when pressed. However, I would assume that the pedal can be adjusted to allow some play at the top. (Don't have my manual handy and haven't needed to mess with mine.)

If you can jack the car up (in the rear at least), try letting the clutch out slowly to see where it starts to engage compared to full up. (You can do this on the ground but it's easier on the clutch and easier to watch if you jack it up.)

Drive along at 30 in third gear. Dip the clutch, rev the engine a bit, then let the clutch out very abruptly while giving it gas. If the clutch is slipping, you'll know it (and lift off the gas immediately). I hate to recommend this to someone who doesn't have experience doing it, so you might ask someone who does.
Here's another test you can do to see if the clutch is bad or not. On a slight incline, put the car in 2nd gear and see if you can make the car move forward without the clutch slipping. If your clutch is going out, as you're giving gas, your rpm will rise as the car remains stationary. If this is the case, you probably have a couple of weeks before it'll get so bad that you won't be able to drive your car.
Greenwich Acura does a LOT of NSX business. I
had a small service done by them when I first got my car, and spent a lot of time talking to the service manager and the guy who is their main NSX tech( it was a slow,rainy Saturday so I got to hang out in the garage while he was working on it ) They were very pleasant and seemed reliably competent/experienced, but their prices are high.( hey, it's Greenwich ) They're so busy
they don't care if they get in another NSX to work on or not, so I would tend to trust their diagnosis.
Hi Tom
If your clutch isnt slipping i would leave it alone.If you do need work done i would def. recommend Davis Acura in langhorne pa.
I'm in Staten Island and it's an hour ten min for me to get there.I would gladly drive 2 hours just for the peace of mind of having a competant mechanic working on my car
paul m.
95 t blk blk
You guys are teriffic. I will pick up the car tomorrow and really pay attention to how the clutch feels as well as trying the suggestions you all have recommended. I will certainly get a second opinion. I recognize that dealers make a goodly portion of their revnue from the service bays and with sales so soft, I am a little suspcious. Plus, the service manager told me on the phone that the car was "Fairly clean." Ok, that cheesed me as this car is stupidly clean! I'll keep you all posted.
After arriving in NY from FL, I had the car serviced. It had a small leak in FL, but after arriving in NY in January, the cold seemed to stop the leak. The service advisor said that the leak was between the engine and transmission and needed immediate attention because he could not tell how much trani-fluid had leaked out, and it may be all gone. Then he called to inform me that the clutch was half gone and it would be cost effective to have it done at the same time, since he was going to pull the transmission from the engine. I agreed to the full service, only to have my car stolen the same day I picked it up. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
I crashed my first NSX a month after having the timing belt replaced and a brake job! Too any of the guys who've been helping me out, I picked up the car today, the clutch definately is grabing high, but doesn't feel like it's slipping. I took someone's suggestion and sat on an incline, put the car in second and held it there. It didn't feel like it was slipping but it smelled really bad! Is that indicitive of a bad clutch? Thanks again for everyone's advice.
Hmmm, I've never had a totally fried a clutch before, I've simply lost gears on a couple of 911s, signaling rebuild time. That bad smell you refer to would lead me to believe something is wrong. I've changed my mind, an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I think the second/third opinion route is the prudent thing to do at this point.
Originally posted by Tom Kehoe:
...I took someone's suggestion and sat on an incline, put the car in second and held it there. It didn't feel like it was slipping but it smelled really bad! Is that indicitive of a bad clutch? ...
I'm very concerned about what describe as your test. If you mean that you had the car on an incline, and kept it from rolling backwards or forwards by keeping the clutch partially engaged, then you have just caused considerable wear. That is the absolute worst thing you can do to a clutch. I think you have misunderstood someone's suggestion.

The smell is the clutch material being burned off the disk because it is pressed hard against the flywheel but not hard enough to fully engage and keep it from spinning. If that happens under hard acceleration (typically at mid RPM up hills in the early stages) then it is indicative of a bad clutch where the disk surface is nearly worn out or the pressure plate is weak. That's the most common failure. The symptoms described by Major are generally due to the failure of the pressure plate whereby it does not release properly. (The spring-loaded mechanism against which the throw-out bearing presses does not release evenly all around.) There are also springs in the disks that can fail.