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neil, UK Ford Car Mechanic
Category: UK Ford
Satisfied Customers: 327
Experience:  started as appentice electrician , now specialise in transit
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Ford Fiesta Durashift I need to replace the clutch actuator

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I need to replace the clutch actuator on my ford fiesta durashift 1.4 2003. The car is stuck in gear 3rd I think. I have removed the unit to have it reconditioned and was wondering if I need to do anything specific with the car before refitting the unit once its returned to me.



Hi there jim welcome to just answer hope i can be of some assistance to your problem


I just need to clear up which part you have sent for reconditioning as you have stated you have sent the clutch actuator however it is normally the shift motors that seize up and cause these to stick in gear if you can just indicate in the picture below which bit you have sent off picture one or picture two so i can supply you with the correct information.



1 clutch actuator




2 shift motors





Kind Regards




Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Neil,
Its the clutch actuator I sent for repair [item 1 ].
let me explain what happened. I went to work in the car and when I went to return home the car would not start. {Flashing N and transmission light on]
I unplugged the 2 sockets to the clutch actuator and replaced them.
This allowed me to start the car. However on the drive home things started to go wrong. Gear change became erratic and finally would not change out of 1st.
I pulled in and stopped the car. Unplugged the clutch actuator again and the car started and I continued home.
Close to home the gear lcd screen went blank and the transmission light came on but the car kept going. as I approached the last junction I need to take I had to stop for traffic and the car shuddered to a stop. It had stayed in gear.
I know its in gear because I had to push it into the side and the engine was turning as I pushed it.
I am almost sure it was in in 3rd gear when it cut out.
My worry is when I replace the clutch actuator will the software understand that the car is in gear and allow me to change to neutral with the engine powered down.
I hope this information helps and I look forward to your reply.


Hi jim.............


Ok the clutch actuator unit also incorperates the transmission control module inside it now these modules are programmed to the vehicle so if you get a new one of these then it will have to be reprogrammed to the vehicle to work and the transmission parameters will need to be relearned to it which will need to be done at your local ford dealer.


If they are just repaing it and sending you it back then you will need to have the clutch touch point relearned and the clutch bleed done and also the shift motors will have to be relearned so the control module knows what gear the vehicle is in and again this needs to be done by your local dealer as the diagnostic machine is required.


Normally what happens is when the ignition is switched on the tcm unit looks to see what gear it is in now if it is in a gear then it will automactially put the vehicle into neutral so the vehicle can be started how ever if the tcm can not determine what gear it is in or cannot move it out of gear then the vehicle will not start, but it should when plugged back in put the vehicle back into neutral.


I have to say that i have never know one of these units fail before and from what you have described it sounds as thou your shift motors have stuck causing the vehicle not to come out of gear. I would just pull the cover of the front of the motors and see if you can put it in neutral by hand were it connects to the gearbox if you cannot then your motors are stuck, also just have a little look at the wiring were it comes down from both motors as it use to get water into it and cause it to become corroded so the motors didn't work.


Hope this is ok for you if you require any further help then please ask as in always glad to help


Kind Regards





Edited by neil on 11/11/2010 at 2:42 PM EST
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi Neil, Thanks for your assistance on this matter. Just to let you know these units do fail as I had the very same problem with our other car a 2004 Ford Fusion durashift 2 weeks ago and the clutch actuator was the fault. Only difference in that case was the car was in neutral when it failed. As I await the return of my reconditioned unit I will follow your suggestion and try a put the car in neutral by hand. If I am still having problems at that stage I will get back to you.

Best Regards,

Hi jim thanks for that see how you get on when it comes back and if you can get it into neutral at least you can move the car around easier.


Kind Regards