Suffering from knee pain: Retrofit an autoclutch system or get an AT?

The car has become increasingly difficult to drive in Bangalore Traffic, my dad is in his late fifties and sometimes complains about leg pain.

BHPian Piyush_Kanthak recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I have a 2007 Maruti Suzuki SX4 ZXI, this is our first car, it has only run 30,000 KM, it has finished 15 years in Bangalore and has been re-registered for the next 5 years. The car has no major issues, the engine is in excellent condition, there are no rust issues as such. It has been driven only by my Dad and I will start driving this year.

The car has one major issue, the clutch is very hard. It has become increasingly difficult to drive it in Bangalore Traffic, my dad is in his late fifties and sometimes complains about leg pain. I am suffering from a herniated disc and have been banned from driving a manual transmission.

There are 2 possibilities to this problem.

1. Installation of auto clutch. Here are some of my concerns:-

  • Is it viable to spend 60K on a 15 year old car?
  • Will the 15 year rule be enforced in Bangalore, just like Delhi NCR?
  • Will this auto clutch be reliable?

2. Buy a New car, budget: 10-11 lakhs on road max.

Here’s what BHPian Reinhard had to say on the matter:

My 1st cousin had the SX4 and he had installed the auto-clutch in it. He was extremely happy with the outcome and it was reliable too. Never gave him any trouble. He has since switched from his SX4 to XL6 auto and Ignis AMT.

However – for such an old car – personally I’d never spend so much on an auto-clutch installation. Its definitely better to sell the car in good shape, and get a replacement. I’d say keep the budget slightly stretchable as in our market the available options increase significantly per additional lakh you can spend. Anyway you seem to keep your cars for a long time, which will mean a little long-term extra spend per year on buying a better car.

In fact – currently there is a large list of pre-owned automatics available in the market. Platforms like Spinny can be worth a look. My experience there has been good too, quite a few times. This will bring better cars at lower budget to you, thereby reducing the feeling of losing a larger car to get a small one now.

15 year rule possibility aside – anyway the SX4 is a fairly old car now. My gut says, you’ll spend a lot for the auto clutch, and still feel like getting a new car after 6 months. Thats a lot of money at risk then.

Here’s what BHPian IshaanIan had to say on the matter:

In my experience Maruti petrols always came with a light and easy to operate clutch; was your car’s clutch always hard? Have you spoken to MASC about this? I would advise to go for a new car if you really need an automatic but considering you have only done 30k kms in 15 years, perhaps you can make do with an auto clutch (no personal experience with those so cannot say much). Do let me know if you are selling the car though I would be happy to buy a bhpian owned low mileage SX4 ZXi

Here’s what BHPian sagarpadaki had to say on the matter:

15 years on stock clutch. It is likely that the pressure plate has lost its springiness and the release bearing may have worn out.

The clutch plate as such is good since you have not mentioned any slippage.

I suggest you replace the whole clutch set comprising of Clutch plate, pressure plate, release bearing, slave cylinder. The clutch pedal feel will return back to how it was when car was new. It might cost you around 10k which is far cheaper than the auto clutch and your left leg will thank you.

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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