The clutch hydraulic system on these popular vans comprises a traditional master cylinder, which feeds a concentric slave cylinder (a slave cylinder and clutch thrust bearing combined, which is otherwise known as a CSC), located in the gearbox.
The CSC, particularly in the 1.9 dCi powered models, is known to fail early in its service life, even when the vehicle has covered a low mileage. The failure can start with just a small leak, but due to its location, it is often the case that the leak itself is not actually noticeable, just the symptoms within the clutch system when driving. The specific symptoms can include clutch judder, loss of pedal or slow pedal return, most of which are directly attributable to an issue with the CSC.
Generally, the only solution is removal and replacement of the CSC, paying attention to the clutch itself, ensuring that it too is replaced if any contamination has occurred from the leaking hydraulic fluid.
It is imperative that vehicle manufacturers’ instructions are followed when removing and replacing any part of the clutch system, but particularly the CSC and especially in relation to the bleeding procedure after its fitment. It is vital that the clutch pedal is depressed slowly and technicians also need to be aware that it is not unusual for it to take several attempts to fully bleed the system.
In addition to the fitment information, it is also important to note that there are two possible alternative CSCs fitted to 1.9 dCi powered models, usually dependant on year and gearbox type. However a more simple way to identify the correct parts, is to check if it has two or three mounting holes.
Bearings and Steering & Suspension
As with the majority of commercial vehicles the Trafic/Vivaro/Primastar is subjected to a hard working life, which can often result in component failure. This is especially true of the front wheel bearings, suspension bushes and the track rod ends.
Care must be taken when identifying the correct bearing for this vehicle, as there are three variants, all with slight differences. The ABS versions of the vehicle for example, use an active sensor bearing, which must be installed in the correct orientation, otherwise the ABS system will not function.
FLG has developed a bush replacement tool (part number FLST101) that allows technicians to remove and replace the old bush with the sub-frame still attached, therefore taking hours off of the previously labour intensive process.
There are also reports of premature fuel pump failures and other fuel system related issues on these vehicles. Therefore it is vital that the fuel filters are replaced at the stipulated service intervals and with a premium quality part, such as a Borg & Beck fuel filter, which conforms to the correct specification for the vehicle.