View Full Version : Pressure Plate Fail @ 42,000km

06-04-2009, 01:09 PM
New to the forum. Wonder if anyone can assist with thoughts on a pressure plate failure, clutch locked on in 313CDI 2001, 2002reg whilst travelling, not stationary or positioning.

Vehicle only done 42,000 since new, B services and Oils per the book by dealer, never used as freight, fitted as an office with small side benches and table, so pretty much unloaded. Does about the same km each year.

Seems odd to be this early, and very rare to start with. Any thoughts as to possible cause. Out of warranty but MB may assist however worry is that replacing the obvious broken bits may just be a repeat 42,000 or less down the track.

Apparently pressure plate has "collapsed" with fingers adrift into the clutch internals not allowing it to disengage.

Thoughts appreciated, apart from the possble cause this early (and dont bother with the driver) and what should be checked/replaced. Dealer seems to be proposing only the obvious broken bits as "wear and tear" cause.


Altered Sprinter
06-04-2009, 02:02 PM
Hello Greg\
Well a pressure plate failure on a sprinter especially a 313 seems to be a fault the diaphragm will and can collapse under extreme loadings it only take one to collapse such as a start from a hill climb very steep. or maybe a bent clutch fork?
I had three replace under warranty with performance automatics and the last one under warranty required clutch pressure plate fork bearings and all linkages but that was on the only Mercedes van I ever purchased that gave that problem a MB 100 44k was it's life span under loads, no turbo assist:thumbdown:
313 is bullet proof, pity your out of warranty look for damage engine mounts that could be a problem maybe? Which end of the state are you dealing with Neil Buckley or performance automotive>? One question have you been towing with it????

06-05-2009, 04:01 AM
An update.

Have inspected the pressure plate and its not as I was told about fingers breaking off. It would appear that thespring plate that forms the fingers (must be an actual name) has split right on the outer ring, opened up about 1cm. So, the section that one would think wasnt supposed to flex, but that the fingers should instead, has been the part that has actually broken.

Cant even take a picture to show, its right up inside the housing and would have to dissassemble to do so. Just see the broken edges as a fracture break

Seems very odd.

Apparently there is no inspection that can be done, its not done as part of A or B serviceing but all of a sudden the clutch locks on and wont disengage.

This has some rather nasty implications if its a common occurance and is actually "wear and tear".

So, any thoughts appreciated, is this where they fail when they fail due to actual usage?


Altered Sprinter
06-05-2009, 10:17 AM
Greg your van it's not normal for the sprinter to have clutch or pressure plate failure, at the kilometre range you have indicated unless subjected to extreme stress.
On the old scale that's a tad under 25 thousand miles.
Who are you dealing with?
B service should have picked up on a possiable clutch defect but that's at 50 thousand clicks. your not there yet.
The down side is your out of the designated warranty period for a replacement, about a grand to repair at worst if you go via Mercedes that requires both clutch and pressure plate. at my best guess.
In Australia you have the mandatory secondary warranty of the supplier OEM Manufacture for warranty unfortunately it's 12 months or 20 thousand clicks.
The alternative is to investigate the actual cause for the defected area of damage and try to determine cause if the part was not manufactured to a specification where a weld has fractured or a spring has broken then you may have recourse to an adjusted costing on a pro rata basis labour not included sorry.
It's in the interest of Mercedes to keep you happy but they are not responsible for the cost as they are only the franchisee agent for Mercedes-Benz Australia.
Have they offered you a possible solution towards offsetting the full costing back unto yourself?

06-05-2009, 01:43 PM
Hello Richard, thanks for your interest.

The part thats failed is I think stamped directly out of spring steel sheet as one piece about 3mm thick as a disk, so no welds nor springs involved.

The outside of the circle has been broken, a crystalline clean fracture as much of it as can be seen; you cant see the root of the fingers to tell how it started between them short of drilling it apart (think its rivited). A look at the break would tell a lot more but its not possible to see presently.

With the outside split the disk gapped by 1cm+ and the fingers separated away from the bearing? in the centre and so no clutch action to speak of.

Awaiting MBA final position.


Altered Sprinter
06-05-2009, 03:20 PM
Greg I guess it needs to come out to see what broke
If you get the chance to see the metal fatigue look at the last point of the brake it will like a flat silver surface then look to where it started , it should be a dull almost rusted shade with corrosion , if so then gauge the distance from the older structural failure to the final fresh break if it's possiable the distance by eye as a guide will tell you when it stated to go , for instance half way between new and old is an indicator it started to fail at 21 thousand ks
it might help to persuade MB to ask the supplier for a partial pro rata refund for customer satisfaction push them on it if you can see an older fracture.
Let us know how you go .

06-05-2009, 06:34 PM

Altered Sprinter
06-06-2009, 07:19 AM