We don’t see a lot of manual transmissions anymore here at All Tune and Lube Total Car Care Tempe but there are still a number out there. While clutches last longer now than they ever have the hydraulics that operate most manual system still give customers grief from time to time. The clutch master cylinder is a part of any modern car with a manual transmission, it provides the hydraulic pressure to release the clutch. If you start to feel or hear something unusual when you shift gears or push the clutch pedal down, pay attention because it may signal a problem with your master cylinder. If you have a bad clutch master cylinder then you’ll notice a few symptoms. Some of these symptoms can be the result of other transmission issues too but hydraulics are the first things we’d check out.
A Soft Pedal
A “soft” pedal is when you can feel with your foot that the pedal has lost some its normal resistance as you press it down. This is typically because of a leak in the master cylinder or the slave cylinder.
Hard to Shift
Here’s one that could be related to your transmission as well. A bad master cylinder will often make it tough to shift when the car’s stopped but you might not notice anything once you’re moving again.
Pedal Stuck to the Floor
Unless you have some major rust problems this is pretty much a sure sign. If the clutch pedal won’t come off the floor then the clutch hydraulics aren’t working at all. You can’t drive the car like this. Duh.
If the clutch master cylinder fluid is low and you have to refill it more often than normal then you have a leak in hydraulics someplace.
Fluid Rise in the Reservoir
Here’s a test you can do yourself with a little help. Have your buddy press down on the clutch while you look to see if the fluid in the reservoir rises when the clutch is down and then rises again when the clutch is released. If it does then you have a bad master cylinder.
Oil on the Cylinder
Open the hood and check the master cylinder. If the bottom of the cylinder feels wet and is oily then the leak is probably coming from the master cylinder.
A failing clutch master cylinder will lose its power to maintain the hydraulic pressure needed for the clutch to function. Taking care of repairs to the cylinder will protect you from damaging your whole transmission and keep you from introducing yourself to your garage door or the car in front of you or. Be sure to have it repaired right away.
From your Local Mechanic, All Tune and Lube Total Car Care. Complete Auto Repair and Maintenance