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I am new to this forum and am posting because of a serious problem with my Mazda 3 clutch. On November 5 my car had to be towed to the dealership because when I tried to start it the clutch pedal stuck to the floor and I couldn't get it into gear. The dealership first said that a rodent had chewed on the clutch line so all the fluid leaked out. When we picked up the car on November 15, the service manager showed us the clutch line and said it looked to her like it had been cut. Kind of unbelievable in either case and not covered under warranty so we shelled out $222 to get it fixed. On November 26, just 11 days after I picked up my car, had the same exact problem when I went to start my car after work, clutch pedal stuck to the floor and won't go into gear. The dealer is telling us its the same problem, a cut in the clutch line. The service manager says there must be an animal that is doing it because someone couldn't cut it without opening the hood and knowing exactly where to cut. Of course this is not covered under warranty again. I find this explanation ridiculous and completely unbelievable. There is an animal out there that will get into an engine and somehow cut the clutch line specifically?? To top it off, one of the service techs turned on the car to check the mileage but was not seated in the car, the car of course was still in gear due to the clutch problem, it jumped the curb and crashed into a wall. Unbelievable. Wondering if anyone has had similar issues with clutch line? The more logical explanation to me is that Mazda has a defective clutch problem. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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This is an incredibly unfortunate story. How would you describe the cut in the line? I've had rodents as pets for many years and am trying to imagine the way one might bite through a line. This is the first I've heard of anything like this.

Also, I find myself wrongfully entertained by the fact that a Mazda dealership ghost rode your car into a wall, was there substantial damage? Did they cover it?
 

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They showed us the first damaged line and the cuts were completely clean. The service manager said it looks like it's been cut, not a rodent. Haven't seen the damaged line yet but she said it's the same as last time just in a different place. She doesn't think someone cut it because of the difficulty it would be to do, but apparently there is a rodent out there that has gotten into the engine and somehow made a perfectly clean cut on the clutch line, not just once but twice in a month. Give me a break. Do you know of a rodent who could do that?

As far as the "ghost ride" into the wall, the damage is substantial in our opinion of course but the dealer totally down played it. The bumper is pushed out on the passenger side, passenger side quarter panel is pushed back, front grill is scratched a dented, tip of hood is scratched and dented and that bottom heavy plastic thing (don't know the name of the part) is torn off. At least a few thousand in damage. They will pay for the body work but our concern is also any additional damage to the engine and the diminished value if the vehicle now that it was in an accident. It's all very frustrating and we are not at all satisfied with the way the dealership is handling this.
 

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There's no way rodent bites would make a clean cut let alone perfect. As far as a manufacturing defect would go, I have a hard time imagining that there could be something so wrong that would sever the line cleanly and not jagged from a possible rubbing.

The situation smells bad to me. I'd be irate if this is how I was treated by my dealership
 
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Rodents gnaw, so it's also hard for me to imagine them making a clean cut. Then I learned clutch fluid is brake fluid and tastes sweet to some animals. Here's someone with a fox problem:

Foxes drink my car brake fluid | UK | News | Daily Express

Still, this is so far out.

I haven't had much luck with Mazda service centers (tried two), and they ultimately disappointed me. I am not surprised to read about the "ghost ride." Hopefully, it's just panel damage. The bottom part is often referred to as the underbody shield. It improves aerodynamics.
 

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Rodents can cut lines, however, the way it usually looks is a little bit chewed. What I would do is open the hood and take pics of the new line all the way down. If it happens again, I would go custom order a stainless steel braided line. Rodents will have a hard time chewing through that. As would a knife.
 

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Rodents and other small creatures do love to nest and chew on things in cars during colder months. But when they chew it's usually on electrical wires or insulation. Regardless, even rodents chewing on brake/clutch/etc lines would reveal itself as fairly obvious creature damage in that it was some sort of gnawing versus a "clean cut" as you describe.

That said, I can't think of any possible mechanical thing that would cause a clean line cut to a fluid line in TWO separate places. If it was one place I'd look for something jagged rubbing on it. But two places? Sounds suspicious/weird.

Basically even though the clean cuts don't seem to point to rodent damage, that's still a more viable explanation than something mechanical. It's not the car. It's an outside force. Anything else offered up by me or others would just be speculation at this point. It's a mystery for sure.

Sorry about the car damage caused by the dealer. That stinks. Hopefully they make it right. Good luck.
 

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Also, rodents typically dont make clean line cuts, they usually put a hole in the line. The only other possible explanation I could come up with is the plastic they are using in the line is brittle in the cold and as a result it breaks clean under pressure which would account for the multiple positions. Usually this is tested though.
 

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wow. That is the sketchiest story from a dealer I have ever heard. Since you had to pay for the repairs did you keep the cut lines or at least take pictures of them. I would be documenting everything as completely as possible.
 

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This is two completely separate issues.

If they're not covering it under warranty anyway, I'd take it to an independent shop and get a second opinion. Mazda is just apparently trying to cover their butts, but a trustworthy independent mechanic wouldn't be concerned about, say, getting a warranty claim.

As for the crashing into a wall thing.... how does that happen? You can't start the manual without your foot on the clutch, so he started it and then let GO of the clutch in gear?! That's a whole new level of stupid, even for a mechanic.
 
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