Q: Manual transmission; car acts as if clutch is always pressed; can start, wont put any power to wheels, can shift gears easy.

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Car has to have clutch pressed to start; I can shift between gears easy including reverse whether or not the clutch is pressed in. Clutch does not feel different when pressed, returns to normal position every time. Car acts as if clutch is always engaged. Car rolls just as if in neutral even when shifted in gear for every gear (R through 6) although at higher gears (3 and above) seems to almost be engaging and can hear some noise (not grinding just higher revs) but car will not go any where. Happened when turning onto road home and down-shifted into lower gear because I was slowing down. Started hearing noise when letting off clutch as if stick being dragged underneath car. Disengaged clutch/shifted to neutral and now car is like this. Was able to roll/coast to my apartment (I was very close to home). Seems as if car thinks clutch is always in, I don't hear any weird noises when shifting/no resistance when changing gears both when car is on or off. Could it be clutch sensor?

My car has 160000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

If the clutch is not engaging a major component has failed such as the pressure plate, diaphragm spring or possibly input shaft components which have splines on them. Although a mechanic will perform some initial checks to rule out simpler causes, some disassembly will likely be required to identify exactly which components have failed. Clutch systems do not last forever and will eventually wear our, particularly the consumable friction material, release bearing and pressure plate but other components in the hydraulic actuation circuit will fail as well. If this is the original clutch, after 160,000 miles it may have just simply failed. If you do end up needing a complete clutch overhaul be sure to remind whoever does the work to check and carefully measure (runout, surface roughness, etc.) the flywheel. For the clutch to work well, the flywheel must be straight, true, and flat and have an appropriate surface finish for the friction material to work on. Sometimes the flywheel needs to be removed from the car and sent to a machine shop for refinishing. If you do not perform such steps, your new clutch will not work as well as it could. If you would like your issue diagnosed and estimated for repair please request a comprehensive clutch diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get this resolved for you, right at your location. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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