Few things are worse than driving your pride and joy on a lovely afternoon only to quickly find yourself on the side of the road unexpectedly. Unfortunately, this was my reality last weekend and instead of enjoying my drive, I got to sit on the side of the road for 40 minutes and fork out cash for a tow home.
The culprit responsible for ruining my weekend was a small inexpensive part: the clutch pivot ball. While the breakage of this part is a well known issue on the Alfa Romeo’s, the likelihood of it happening increases dramatically if the part is not lubricated correctly. Thankfully we sourced a replacement part quickly, which cannot be said for the job of removing my gearbox to extract the broken part. The quick arrival of the replacement clutch pivot ball meant I was back on the road quickly.
This prompted me to write a quick bit on why lubrication is important. This doesn’t only go for clutch pivot balls, but almost every moving component in your vehicle.
While the more commonly known lubricants are changed at your service interval such as engine oil, transmission oil and differential oil. Other components that require good lubrication and should be checked during your service can include (but are not limited to) ball joints, tailshaft uni joints, clutch forks, pivot balls and brake caliper slides.
A lot of these items aren’t under any great amount of stress and it can be easy to overlook. A clutch pivot ball does not appear to be under extreme load but consider how many times you operate the clutch pedal every day. It doesn’t take long for the metal surfaces to start to wear away at each other. A small amount of greaseon this stops direct metal to metal contact and will prolong the parts life extensively. The grease required is usually inexpensive and nothing special. Often molybdenum grease which is readily available.