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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 22749
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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My son has a 2007 Fiat Panda 1.3 multijet with a clutch

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My son has a 2007 Fiat Panda 1.3 multijet with a clutch problem that I have seen reported on the forums but never the answer. It is that after a short drive and the engine is warm the clutch pedal is inclined to stick down with annoying consequences. It can usually be released by either tapping the pedal with the foot or by reaching down and lifting it.
One garage has renewed the pedal spring with no effect and another fitted a rubber bush to the arm on the pedal limiting the movement which seemed to improve matters but not resolve the problem. Unfortunately when everything is cool the pedal moves freely with no evidence of sticking so this tends to fox the garages or they don't believe there is a problem.
I am a retired marine engineer and have been left the problem to sort out. When the car came to me hot yesterday there was a definite stiffness of the pedal at the bottom of it's travel accompanied by a squeeking sound audible by the pedal. Please give your advice before I proceed.
Many thanks,

I'd say the issue is with the clutch master cylinder, these have an internal return spring which sounds like it may be broken

also there's a valve on the cylinder to allow fluid to back fill from the reservoir and these can sometimes clog up or break

So I'd suggest stripping down the clutch cyinder as the next step , with a view to rebuilding it with new seals or just replace it with new
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I removed the master cylinder today and it seems in good working order and is not fitted with a return spring or valve.

This fault only occurs when the engine is hot ie after a run so do you have any other suggestions as to why the pedal is sticking down?

Hello Richard

this could be an issue with something on the clutch pulling out of alignment as it heats up and then grabbing the on the slave cylinder

the only way to confirm this is to remove the gearbox and use a dial gauge to check teh runout on the clutch and release bearing
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello again Matt,

I do not understand how the clutch can " grab " the slave cylinder as it is an external one and not a concentric one. Can you explain this?


Apologies Richard

my information shows it to be a concentric type - which is obviously incorrect

the only other thing I can offer is to check the pedal over for any cracks in the welds that would allow the pedal to flex and go over centre
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hello Matt,

The clutch pedal appears perfect and extremely rigid.

I have examined the slave cylinder ( which does have a spring) and found the the piston can stick in the pedal down position so have ordered a new one to fit hoping this is the cause of the problem.

However it would have to offer a lot of resistance to the clutch springs for this theory to be correct and I still do not understand why the fault only occurs when engine is hot.

When I first contacted JustAnswer I was hoping to talk to an expert who had experienced or heard of this particular Fiat Panda problem before and would still appreciate your input if possible.


Hello Richard

thanks for the extra information and that does sound like you may have found the issue as I've known a worn slave cylinder to stick at the end of its stroke ( although not on this car)

do you still need help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Matt,

Sorry for the delay but I only received and fitted the slave cylinder yesterday and still have the many bits removed for access to put back!

Please bear with me a little longer as I would like to see if this works before rating your service because I may have further questions. Rest assured I will give OK or above.

Take care,


No problem
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Matt,

My son tells me the car is now fine so the slave cylinder appears to have been the problem.The Haynes book showed the tightening torque for the slave cylinder securing bolts as a mere 4 lbft but Haynes said this was correct when I contacted them so I used this figure and fitted them with "nutlock". Maybe the original cylinder bolts had been overtightened and distorting the unit, they certainly were quite tight to remove.

Kind regards,


Well done for sorting it Richard

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