What are the symptoms of poor clutch disengagement?

Similar Questions:
It seems my clutch may not be disengaging correctly! What should I look for to fix it?

Poor clutch disengagement can lead to the following problems:

  • A very low engagement point on the clutch.
  • Persistent grinding when shifting. Note this may also be caused by worn syncros.
  • Shifter blocking, where the transmission simply will not shift into gear, especially at high RPMs.
  • A tendancy for the car to creep forward when the clutch is supposedly disengaged.

In summary, here are most of the possible causes of clutch engagement/disengagement problems and their solutions. They are ranked in rough order of least difficult/expensive to most difficult/expensive. Most of these symptoms also apply to shifting problems that can manifest due to poor clutch disengagement.


Air or water in clutch hydraulic fluidBleed clutch fluid and replace.
Master cylinder is leaking.Replace master cylinder.
Slave cylinder is leaking.Replace slave cylinder.
Clutch pedal rod is worn out.Replace rod.
Master cylinder pushrod is incorrectly adjusted.Readjust master cylinder rod.
Incorrect clutch pedal free play adjustment.Readjust clutch pedal free play.
Transmission is loose, resulting in movement when clutch is depressed.Tighten loose transmission bolt(s) by front engine mount.
Master cylinder rod too short for current clutch setup.Lengthen master cylinder rod.
Master cylinder worn out.Replace old master cylinder.
Slave cylinder worn out.Replace old slave cylinder.
Poor lubrication on clutch fork and/or pivot ball.Grease moving parts well.
Worn clutch fork pivot ball.Shim pivot with one or two 3/8" washers to regain missing travel.
Poor lubrication on pilot shaft or throwout bearing.Grease throwout bearing very well.
Worn or bent clutch release fork.Replace fork.
Worn clutch pivot ball.Replace ball.
Worn out or incorrectly installed clutch / flywheel.Replace clutch / flywheel with new clutch and flywheel machined to correct specifications.

Paying attention to the above items can make your next clutch swap a real success.

QA #219

Last Updated:
2016-05-29 05:29

Cam Dorland | 95 Eagle Talon

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