Q: Replaced Master and Slave clutch cylinders, feels like I have a clutch but can't put into gear while running.

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Problem: After driving about a 600 mile round trip. Car had problems shifting - Difficult to cycle through gears while running. Easy to cycle gears while off. I researched and replaced both the master and slave cylinders. Both of which didn't appear to be leaking. I forgot to bench bleed the master so pulled it out and did the best I could at bench bleeding but was difficult to get back on with the reservoir attached. Got everything back together and have been trying to bleed the clutch for a while. Pumped through a whole 32 OZ of fluid. Tried a hand vacuum to do the lines and am having little luck. Now It feels like I have a clutch again and was able to drive it around my complex one time. Now the first issue remains. Difficult to cycle gears while running.

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

You may still have some air in the clutch hydraulics, or you are having an issue with the clutch not fully releasing. This can be from the air in the system causing the clutch slave cylinder to not move far enough and disengage the clutch all the way.

You may also have a pressure plate that is not releasing the clutch completely. Try to position your vehicle with nothing in front or behind you. With the engine off, put it in first or reverse gear with the clutch pressed and start the car. If the car starts to move, then you know you are not disengaging the clutch all the way.

If the vehicle is not moving, then slowly let up on the clutch until you feel the clutch start to engage. The pedal should get at least 3 inches off the floor before it starts to engage. If this is okay, then let the clutch all the way out and move slow, then press in the clutch all the way to see if the clutch releases and the vehicle can be stopped while it is in gear with the clutch pressed down without stalling the engine. If any problems are found during these tests, then you may need more bleeding of clutch or a replacement clutch. If you would like a local expert to come and conduct these tests for you, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose your shifting issue.

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