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

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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.

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