Frequently asked questions about FIAT Tipo 16V

Is the clutch hydraulic?

Yes, the clutch on the 16V Tipo is hydraulic.

Why does the clutch not return properly?

Tim Abbott asks why his clutch pedal does not return properly. The clutch and brakes are linked into the same reservoir. If the brake/clutch cylinder corrodes then under braking the clutch may not operate or may stick to the floor. This can be pretty scary at times. The clutch pedal can be freed by putting your toes under the pedal and lifting it up. This is only a temporary solution and the car should be taken to a garage to be repaired. Replace the slave clutch cylinder on the gear box and everything should be okay.

It could also be the seal on the master clutch cylinder as it's a know problem on Tipos. The seal eventually wears causing the fluid in the cylinder to leak past the piston. This can show itself as either the clutch pedal not returning properly or whilst the clutch pedal is pressed the fluid leaks back past the seal causing the clutch to engage - nasty.

Why does the clutch pedal sit about 1" higher than the brake pedal?

Nareman Virk asks why his clutch pedal sits higher than the brake pedal and squeeks when pressed. He also says that the warning light for low brake fluid keeps coming on. The brake and clutch fluid are shared. The brake fluid drains from the bottom of the tank and the clutch from about 1/2 way down. This ensures that if there is a fluid leak in the clutch then the brakes will always work.

Alex Wakefield says that it could be the master clutch cylinder but it's probably just the poorly designed pedal box that FIAT are aware of. Apparently the official FIAT fix is to use a thick cable tie between the bulkhead and the pedal to stop it coming up too far.

Is it normal for the clutch pedal to be so hard to press?

Barry Girgis says that the clutch pedal is relatively hard to depress and can get quite uncomfortable when driving in heavy traffic. Is this normal? Yes I'm afraid it is. You get used to it after a while and grow to like it, all part of the driving experience. If you get back into a "normal" car afterwards you almost push it's clutch pedal through the floor the first time you press it. You then spend the rest of the drive wondering if there is anything attached to the other end!

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