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Old 01-03-2019, 04:34 PM   #1
goob
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Default Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

Car won't go in gear while engine is running, can put car in every gear with engine off. I believe the master brake cylinder and the clutch share the same cylinder. I topped off the fluid. It was at the minimum level, so I brought it up to the max level. This didn't help.
Pumping the clutch peddle doesn't allow me to get shifter in gear. Clutch pedal operation feels normal. Don't see any leaks on ground after pumping pedal many times. What should I do? Why isn't the clutch fully disengaging?
Gary

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Old 01-05-2019, 04:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

I seriously doubt the brake master cylinder is a dual purpose unit serving brakes and clutch. Every manual has its own separate clutch master cylinder and slave unit. Some vehicles share brake fluid with the brake master cylinder supplying fluid to a separate clutch master cylinder via a small diameter hose. Look carefully beyond the brake master cylinder for the clutch master cylinder. You'll find it and probably find it topped off. Without more info, you may have a worn out clutch and presume low fluid is the problem. Barring any major wear or leaks from your clutch master cylinder and slave unit, clutches wear out with only a few indications. Inability to shift with engine running but can with engine off and rpm zooming while the speedometer doesn't increment. A slipping clutch is another sign of a worn one. A worn clutch also means worn pressure plate fingers. Combined together, the clutch master/slave unit cannot disengage clutch from flywheel with the engine running because everything is turning inside the xmission and cannot allow shifting until the clutch is fully disengaged. With engine off, the xmission isn't turning so shifts can occur.

How many miles on this car? All city, combined city and highway or all highway driving? Its been said that city driving takes its toll on clutches due to a higher number of shifts compared to all highway driving with fewer shifts so mileage and shift experience along with engine/xmission maintenance determines how long a clutch lasts.

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Old 01-08-2019, 05:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

Sounds like you might have a leak somewhere, possibly the clutch slave cylinder. My brake/clutch fluid has never gone down after 100k miles, so it's not normal for you to be minimum reservoir level.

If there is too much air in the lines, you won't be able to disengage the clutch, just like how brakes don't work well, or sometimes at all, until you bleed them. I would recommend bleeding the clutch first. If that fixes it for a short while and later the problem comes back, check for leaks near the slave cylinder and try to replace if necessary.

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Old 01-08-2019, 09:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

Friday, I think clutch felt normal but just could not shift into any gear with engine on.

Saturday, I think OP tried to add fluid and bleed clutch. A few air bubbles came out. Pumped clutch pedal and eventually it became stiffer for a few pumps. But then clutch pedal became floppy, without resistance.

OP can correct any narrative errors . . .

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Old 01-08-2019, 11:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

FDryer, I misspoke, the brake master cylinder and the clutch master cylinder share the same reservoir. And AstraFasta is correct, I tried bleeding the clutch at the nipple at the slave cylinder, pedal actually got a bit harder after the first couple of times. Then all of sudden, the pedal went soft and wouldn't build any pressure at all. Fluid wasn't coming out of the bleeder screw any more. My guess is the clutch master cylinder seals are shot. The reservoir was always topped off. I ordered a new one and will report back after I replace it.

The car has 118k miles on it. Mostly highway miles and it had no signs of clutch slippage at all. I baby the clutch.

Gary

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Spt Pkg, Prem. Aud. and Sunroof

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Old 01-09-2019, 09:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

Good thought on the clutch master cylinder. Hope you get it fixed and back to normal. Please take pictures and notes on the cylinder replacement for us if you don't mind!

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Old 03-11-2019, 10:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Manual Transmission, can't put car in gear.

Update- I think OP purchased a new master cylinder but that did not help.

Drove to a local shop to pull transmission and inspect the slave cylinder; they said problem was slave.

Shop said clutch was in good condition. But since transmission was out of the car, OP did a full clutch job, including pressure plate if I recall correctly.

Car drives perfectly now.

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