Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Clutch pedal didn't engage and slipped when shifting

asked by on

In heavy traffic at a busy intersection (clear sunny day, moderately warm weather), I engaged the clutch and shifted to 1st gear to move forward after being stopped at a red light. At about 10 mph I depressed the clutch pedal fully to disengage the clutch and coast with traffic, then shifted to 2nd gear. I re-engaged the clutch with throttle to resume driving with the traffic. The clutch pedal did not return to it’s regular position and it only returned about ⅓ of the way.

It did not engage and slipped when I tried to shift. I pumped the pedal but that didn’t help bring it to proper position. I couldn’t fully control my car. It was very frightening! I had to force it to neutral, turned on emergency lights and coasted to the shoulder through several lanes. I’m so fortunate there wasn’t an accident. There wasn’t anything obstructing the clutch pedal when I looked, but there was an odor which I assumed was from the overheated clutch or the hydraulic fluids. In several minutes, the clutch pedal started working again normally. I drove several miles and then parked it for an hour. Then driving again, the clutch performed properly. Please tell me what caused this bizarre occurrence.

A: Hey there, thanks for writing in about your...

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2014 Nissan 370Z. It sounds like there may have been a spot of moisture in the light or a component in the clutch hydraulic system may be malfunctioning. Moisture can cause problems during operation when the clutch gets hot and failing hydraulic components can cause the system to lose pressure and slip which will heat up the clutch. If you would like to have this done, a professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the clutch pedal and perform the appropriate repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: I've changed my water pump, thermostat, thermostat housing, fan clutch, radiator and my ram is still overheating to about 250 degr

You need to have the cooling system checked to see if there is combustion gases getting in the cooling system, causing it to get hotter than it should. Since you have overheating problems you may have a blown head gasket...

Q: When put in drive, transmission automatically shifts to park

Hello. Since the car is still relatively new, I do not have any information on this problem at moment. If you took it to the dealer, then they are aware of the problem and currently do not have a fix...

Q: Transmission gets stuck, reverse issues, delay in shifting

Hello. From your description it sounds like the transmission is beginning to fail. The second clutch pack fails or the sun shell cracks keeping the gear from engaging. I typically remove the transmission pan and inspect the fluid. If there...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.