Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: hard to shift into gear

asked by on

earlier this week it was getting more difficult to shift gears. no grinding, just felt like clutch wasn't engaging/disengaging. clutch feels a little spongy. when pushed to the floor it comes back up on its own. we checked the fluid yesterday and it was low, both in the master cylinder reservoir and brake fluid reservoir, so we filled them up. it was easier to shift into gear last night and for a few hours this morning. after a little while it went back to shifting hard again. fluid levels are still good. we didn't "bench bleed" because we have to take the master cylinder off to do so (according to a few different websites) to get it at a proper angle to release all the air. before I go buy parts I was wondering what input or advice you could give me. thank you!

My car has 170000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Hi there. From the description you have pro...

Hi there. From the description you have provided, your clutch felt like it wasn't engaging/disengaging, the pedal feels a little spongy, could be the beginning stages of component failure. There should be no reason to bench bleed the clutch master cylinder unless, the reservoir was so low, air was introduced into the clutch master cylinder. Typically, that would indicate a leak in the system. It could be, the clutch master cylinder is no longer supplying sufficient hydraulic pressure to the clutch slave cylinder. It could be, the clutch slave cylinder is not moving the clutch throw-out arm far enough to disengage the clutch. It could be, the clutch pressure plate is not releasing the clutch disc. It could be, the transmission input shaft is sticking to the pilot bearing and not slowing between shifts. I recommend having your vehicle's clutch be diagnosed and repaired by a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic.

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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Tail lights intermittent and brake lights sometimes stay on, then I tap brake pedal and they shut off?

Hi there. The intermittent tail lights may be, a poor connection at the fuse. The headlight switch may be the cause for the intermittent tail lights. The brake lights staying on, is most likely, a faulty brake light switch. The...

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...

Q: Car overheated and battery light came on, now car won't start.

It sounds like you have had a failure of one of the belt driven accessories under your hood. The pulleys attached to you engine have bearing in them so they can spin freely. When one of these bearings fail you...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.