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Q: clutch sticks halfway after pressing down, cannot engage gears

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I had my master and slave replaced on my 2004 Toyota Camry 4 weeks ago due to the clutch sticking to ground when pressed and not engaging the gears. I am now having an issue with the clutch getting stuck halfway back up after pressing it in and it will not engage the gears. I am trying to find out more about the issue and get a second opinion, as Im being told the proportioning valve needs replaced.

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hello. It is important when discussing mast...

Hello. It is important when discussing master and slave cylinders to make it clear you are talking about the clutch and not the brake system – there isn’t a proportioning valve in the clutch system. Both have master cylinders and it is very easy (even for a seasoned mechanic) to confuse the two systems when having a discussion. I’m assuming this is what has happened with the mention of a proportioning valve.

My first question is, have you had the clutch replaced? A worn clutch can exhibit the same symptoms. 140,000 miles is about the time most clutches will need to be replaced on a Camry.

Next, it sounds like everything was working after the master and slave cylinder were replaced. It seems there are two possibilities left: something failed in the new components, or the clutch finally gave up, and it is a coincidence it happened four weeks after you had the hydraulics replaced.

A few more details about your hydraulic system. When the master and slave were replaced, were they leaking? Are they leaking now? If they are leaking, you should see a low fluid level to the clutch hydraulic master cylinder, as well as some fluid dripping under the car when you pump the pedal. If the system is full, there could be air in the system, which can be a more difficult problem. Clutch hydraulics can be problematic to bleed. And if it worked for a few weeks and now has air in the system, that means it is sucking in air someplace. This failure is hard to locate as it often happens intermittently, depending on temperature and how far you have driven.

Also, you won’t be able to engage the gears without a working clutch. The clutch releases the transmission so a gear can be selected. Without a working clutch to release the transmission from the engine, engaging the gears is possible but very difficult.

Hopefully I helped you get closer to an answer. Having a qualified mechanic take a look at it will give you more knowledge. A certified mobile mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to inspect your clutch issues.

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