Question about Pontiac Firebird

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Clutch stays down in first gear and sometimes second.Not a consistant problem. Any ideas?

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  • Master
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Hi!!

Depending on your vehicle year, not everything may apply. Check clutch slave cylinder fluid level, (small fluid deposit, usually by Master cylinder, if OK or don't have one, check clutch pedal adjustment, if OK, the trow out bearing may be binding, install new clutch assembly, before you do that, take it to a shop for diagnostic and estimate, most shops give free estimates.

Don't forget to rate this answer, Good luck!!

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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Manual. Clutch pedal very soft. Sometimes pedal stays down. Unable to change gears until engine stalls or is turned off. Worse in very cold weather. Fluid level OK.


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Sounds like the clutch is adjusted so it touches a little... not good.

The sound could also be from a burned out Throw-out Bearing. From the CarTalk web site:



"TOM:
The second most common type of clutch failure is when the throw-out bearing (also called the release bearing) fails. That\'s the bearing that pushes the clutch plates apart when you push in the clutch pedal to change gears."



It makes a roaring sound when you push in the clutch pedal. Silent otherwise. Its a pain to replace, as you have to get the engine and transmission separated. Sometimes you have to pull the engine, sometimes the transmission, sometimes both!

That is why that work on the master cylinder and slave cylinder are so critical, and why proper adjustment is vital.



They will probably charge a lot, but its a lot of work. If they pull the engine or transmission, may as well get a new clutch and certainly a pilot bearing, too.



Then again, you may be lucky and its just a clearance adjustment in the clutch slave cylinder.

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1 Answer

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The only thing cheaper is to drain the fluid and replace with the correct fluid and ask the Parts Salesman of what additive might work best in your transmission. Check the Fluid in the Clutch Cylinder. Bleed it after it is topped off.This could help.

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1. If it is maintaining a gear when you try to start it in gear = Pressure Plate is fine. Don't do this too much as it can blow the gear in the starter. Just do it momentarily to test it. If you start it in gear and the motor fails to turn you can be reassured your clutch is fine if you had no slipping issues before.
2. If pedal went down and stays down = Check fluid levels for the clutch master. This has a return spring in the master so it should return on its own even if it has sprung a leak.
3. If fluid level is up = Linkage has possibly come off or actuator has come off at the fulcrum in the bell housing.

If this has come apart at the actuator arm this may or may not be accessible with the transmission installed for inspection. Look for an exploded view of this assembly and it will give you a better idea of what is happening. If it has come lose at the actuator fulcrum arm the transmission will have to be removed to service the failed part. The actuator arm or failed master is consistent with your hard shifting issues prior to failure.

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