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Old 03-15-2005, 05:45 PM   #1
lexington01
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Default Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Hi everyone. I've been doing a lot of reading trying to diagnose my transmission problem. I think I may have a failing clutch master/slave cylinder. Best I can find, when this happens it's difficult to shift into gear? Is that the only symptom? Would you ever feel the gears grinding (but they make no sound)? Could someone please explain what happens when they fail? Thank you!
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Normally a low pedal engagment is an indication of the hydralic system going bad. High pedal engagment suggests the clutch parts.

What kind of problem are you having?
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

The shifter is giving a lot of resistence going into gear. It's been doing this for a while now (about 10,000 miles). I changed the transmission fluid to synthetic, no difference. I had my dealer inspect the car. They said it was 'normal' due to the car's age. I then took it to a transmission shop who said the clutch was starting to wear. I had that replaced ($650), still no change.
It's most obvious in 1st through 3rd, but even 4th and 5th give a little resistence. It's like I can feel the gear pushing back. Sometimes I can really feel it kick back and I have to push with more pressure than I'm comfortable with in order to get it into gear. It's worse on cold mornings, but still does it even when it's warmed up (to a lesser degree). When it's really bad it feels like I'm grinding the gear but there's no sound.
Last night I was poking around in the engine compartment and noticed TWO fluids for the transmission? I wasn't even aware of this! There's the one down low with the red capped dipstick. That fluid is right on the full mark and it's bright red. The other cap, up high by the firewall, the fluid was completely transparent. That strikes me as odd. It seriously looked like thick water.
Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

my hydraulics are in need of replacement. What happens to me (after a period of driving and pressing the clutch) the pedal begins to "stick" and it's hard to get it to slowly release from the friction point, so I usually end up w/ a stall or chirp the tires. Also makes a squeek sound when I press and release. You may have a problem w/ your shift cables. They aren't too hard to change. I need to change mine as well.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lexington01
The shifter is giving a lot of resistence going into gear. It's been doing this for a while now (about 10,000 miles). I changed the transmission fluid to synthetic, no difference. I had my dealer inspect the car. They said it was 'normal' due to the car's age. I then took it to a transmission shop who said the clutch was starting to wear. I had that replaced ($650), still no change.
It's most obvious in 1st through 3rd, but even 4th and 5th give a little resistence. It's like I can feel the gear pushing back. Sometimes I can really feel it kick back and I have to push with more pressure than I'm comfortable with in order to get it into gear. It's worse on cold mornings, but still does it even when it's warmed up (to a lesser degree). When it's really bad it feels like I'm grinding the gear but there's no sound.
Last night I was poking around in the engine compartment and noticed TWO fluids for the transmission? I wasn't even aware of this! There's the one down low with the red capped dipstick. That fluid is right on the full mark and it's bright red. The other cap, up high by the firewall, the fluid was completely transparent. That strikes me as odd. It seriously looked like thick water.
Any thoughts are appreciated!
The fluid container by the master cylinder is the clutch master cylinder and contains brake fluid. Nothing surprising there. You had your clutch replaced and they didn't change out the hydraulics? I always replace the hydraulics with the clutch job in order to avoid the very problem you're having. Then there is no question, everything is new. Buy a new set of hydraulics and install them yourself, easy DIY.
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Old 03-16-2005, 10:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

My problem doesn't sound at all like what sps_sohc described because once I get it into gear, the clutch engages and disengages just fine.
I'm a little confused...sys_sohc, you think it's the cables? But SaturnTech, you think it's the hydraulics?
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

This sounds exactly like what has been going on with my clutch, down to the squeaking and chirping when releasing the pedal. My master cylinder had failed, and I am on the way to pick it up here in an hour or so.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

you should replace the hydraulics when your clutch is changed. I didn't do that and mine need it.

If it were your hydraulics (like mine) they would be MUCH worse when the car warms up.

Check your cables, pull the center console up. Check them at the transmission as well.
How many miles on your car?
Mine has about 100K and needs new cables. Of course it's been shifted quite a lot... These aren't highway miles.

If you are sitting at a light or something and the car is in neutral, you push in the clutch and try to put it in first but it won't go....at least not easily?

I'd change the hydraulics first since they should have been changed when you changed your clutch. Then if the problem persists, change the shift cables. Both jobs not too difficult.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sps SOHC
If you are sitting at a light or something and the car is in neutral, you push in the clutch and try to put it in first but it won't go....at least not easily?
Exactly!

106,000 on mine.

They only replaced the clutch...I just looked at the receipt.

I guess I'll check out the cables this weekend. I did take it into Saturn and paid them $75.00 for a diagnosis fee. They said they checked the cables and found nothing wrong with them.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

well I just realized that I can't decide which it is. I need both so my symptoms are similar to yours (but a lesser degree). The reason I said it was the cables is because you didn't say anything about your pedal feel.
Mine feels sticky after driving a while. Thats the best way to describe it. It feels like it is sticking when you press it in and release it and the squeek noises as well.

Would you said yours gets a little better or worse after a long period of driving?
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Old 03-16-2005, 04:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Mine gets slightly better after driving for a while.
Not that you have this in Florida (jealous!) but on cold mornings below freezing its really bad. Also, none of the problem is in the feel or action of the clutch pedal, it's all in the shifter itself. I thought maybe the clutch wasn't engaging all the way which lead me to believe it's the hydraulics. I don't have any squeak noises or chirping of tires at all. I guess it could be the cables, but why would I feel resistance and even a push back from a worn out cable? Heck, maybe it's the synchros.
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Old 03-16-2005, 06:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

your cables will stretch. Your shifter can only go so far. The maximum distance your shifter goes may not be right lined up with the forks in your tranny...don't know ALL the technical terms, sorry if you don't know what I mean. I guess they are called shift forks that you switch gears with via your cables.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Symptoms of a failing clutch master/slave cylinder?

Thanks for the advice. I'll try to inspect the cables a little more closely this weekend.
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