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Today I drove two hours to buy a 2011 S /6mt. After confirming several times that car was ready for a test, I arrive only have them tell me the clutch just failed earlier that day(hmmm?

Any way we negotiated and I said I want the clutch assembly, flywheel and throw out replaced, they agreed, dropped the price $100 and will deliver the car to me.

I've asked for receipts for the parts.

I put a $500 deposit on my CC and have the option of walking away and getting the deposit returned. It worked for me since I'm in no hurry to get the car.

It's a Toyota dealer, I'm sure the Mazda clutch isn't too different.

Question: How can I tell if they did a good job. Did I get taken?

In my research looking for 6MT it appears the clutch failures are very common at that mileage.

Cheers, first post here.

Tim In Capitola,CA
 

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I think you could have gotten a bigger discount for the car. $100 isn't much compared to the overall cost. If the clutch JUST went out, then who knows what else might go in the near future. There HAD to be some sign of wear on the clutch when driving unless it was the throwout bearing that just grenaded. Or if the clutch did unexpectedly go, it could have been something like the springs blowing out through the clutch hub and wreaking havoc. Odds are that is either the original clutch (lucky if it lasted over 100k miles from what I have read), or the second clutch (more likely as these clutches don't seem to last very well passed 50k). This is a maintenance issue and I would question the long term upkeep of the rest of the vehicle.

My advice is to give the car a GOOD looking over before signing on the line. I'm sure everything in the engine bay will be clean and sparkly, so take the car for a test drive (as many miles as they will allow. Insist that you need to get a good gauge of how the car is running) and then inspect and feel around for any oil leaks. A clean engine bay is a great way to find such things. Bring a pair of latex or nitrile gloves with you so you can check for oil leaks in areas you cannot see. Once you break out the gloves, it becomes a bit of a mind game with the dealer, they see you are serious about inspecting the car. Feel around in areas you cannot visually see where oil might seep. Around the valve cover, between the head and the block, any lines or tubes that transport oil or coolant. If you can reach down to the transmission where the CV shafts mate, check for any leaking around there. Bring a flashlight and look for puddles or signs of coolant or oil spray / leaks. Make sure the CV boots aren't weathered and cracking. Take your time and know what to look for.

They should give you some guarantee or warranty if it is a 'certified' used vehicle. Even if it isn't certified (given the mileage), they should still cover you for some amount of time, long enough to find any additional issues.

Good luck and if you see anything questionable, stop and ask about it. If they don't give you a straight answer, come back to us with pictures and hopefully we can help steer you in the right direction.

-CR
 
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