The Clutch Cable Conundrum

Subtitle: Why does the cable keep breaking?Question: RAY: A guy came into the shop with his Volvo on the back of a tow truck. He says the clutch cable has broken five times in the last five months. I asked what happened, and he said, “I had a new clutch put in six months ago. When they put the new clutch in, they advised me to put a new cable in. I said go ahead. A month later they closed up shop and headed for some unknown Pacific Island when the clutch cable breaks.” The guy puts a new clutch cable in, thinking the one that the shop put in was defective. A month later that cable breaks. Another month goes by and that cable breaks. By this time, he says, “I was at my wit’s end. I figured the clutch had to be defective, so I brought it to another shop and, what? They install a brand-new clutch. And, of course, what? A new clutch cable.” A month later the cable breaks again. I asked him under what circumstances it breaks. He says, “I start the car, I go to drive it away, I step on the clutch or I go to shift it into gear. I get to the corner, for example, and I shift into neutral. I wait for the light to turn green. I step on the clutch and the cable breaks.” I said, “Oh, my God.” I asked him if the car starts now. He said, “I don’t even bother to start it. Since the cable was broken, what was the sense?” I say to him, “I bet it won’t start.” He said, “Why shouldn’t it start? It started yesterday; it has nothing to do with the clutch.” Anyway, we go out to the car and turn the…

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