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Q: Grinding noise shifting in reverse and clutch goes to floor

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My car is having trouble shifting. I get in and then press the clutch in and start the car. When trying to go in reverse, there is a grinding noise and the clutch goes all the way to the floor. When trying to put it into 1st gear or any gear, it does not grind; however, I have to quickly force it in. Previously, it would slide in. It was just the day before that I taught myself how to drive a stick shift and it stalled around 20 times while I was learning. What did I do wrong to cause this and how do I fix it?

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

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 1988 Pontiac Fiero. It sounds like the clutch is dragging and not releasing properly. The problem could be with the clutch itself (warped disc or pressure plate), or a problem in the clutch hydraulic system (faulty master cylinder, slave cylinder, air or leaks in the system). The only way to know for certain is to have your vehicle inspected firsthand by a professional. If you would like to have this checked, a technician from YourMechanic can diagnose the grinding noise and clutch issue for you to determine the appropriate repairs.

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