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Q: My clutch pedal is extremely "light" and gears won't go in.

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I went to turn on my car while it was on neutral, i heard a VERY LIGHT sound coming from the pedal but i paid it no mind. a minute later after the car was warmed up, I went to press the clutch to go into first hear and the pedal was SUPER SUPER LIGHT, and my gear did not go in at all, it was as if i was not pressing the clutch. I turned the car off, and tested my gears with the engine off, the gears went in without a problem. i then tried to turn the car on while on first gear (with the clutch pushed in) and it sounded like it wanted to start but it did not start. The pedal is very soft, it goes down about 75% of the way EFFORTLESSLY, and the last 25% takes the slightest amount of effort to push down all the way. Im thinking its it CMC? any suggesting on something else that it could be? thanks for your help! the car is a 2008 civic si model 6 gears.

My car has 104000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: There are a few possibilities; you either h...

There are a few possibilities; you either have a problem with the hydraulics, a mechanical problem with the clutch, or a transmission fluid leak.

  • Hydraulics: When you push down the clutch pedal, the clutch master cylinder (CMC) uses hydraulic pressure to push out a rod on the slave cylinder. This is the hydraulic portion of the system. It is very simple: The rod pushes on a steel lever that in turn pushes in the pressure plate to release the clutch disc. The hydraulics are fully accessible to diagnose without any major disassembly.

  • Mechanical problems: If the hydraulic portion of the system is found to ok, the problem lies in the clutch disc, pressure plate, or release bearing. The transmission needs to be removed to service these parts.

  • Transmission fluid: Check the transmission fluid level in the reservoir. Follow the hose coming off the CMC to the slave cylinder and look for fluid leaks. If there is a leak, that is the issue. If there are not, have a helper watch the slave cylinder while the pedal is pushed down. If it does not move, the CMC is at fault. If it moves, (it should move about an inch,) the problem is mechanical.

I would recommend an inspection of the clutch pedal issue by a qualified mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

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