Question about Chevrolet Cavalier

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I was driving yesterday and i could go anywhere when i pressed the gas. The clutch pedal had absolutely no response (went to floor and stayed there) and could not shift into any gear. I checked the fluid and it was significantly lower than the previous day, but there was still some fluid left in the reservoir, the shift linkage was fine, and i didnt notice any fluid underneath the car or around the reservoir. i was thinking that it might be the clutch master cylinder or possibly the slave cylinder. i hope that it is not the clutch itself, although that has to be relaced soon as well. please offer me some assistance in resolving this matter.

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Your throwout bearing went out. For confirmation, get under your vehicle, and look at where the slave cylinder pushed on the arm that goes into the transmission. See if you can move this arm. Normally, you should get little to no travel on it. If you can move it more than about an eighth of an inch, you know that the bearing bit the dust. Other symptoms, is you may have heard a groaning sound when pressing in on the clutch recently, and at this point, most people assume that they will need a new clutch soon. The next symptom is that sound will stop (when the bearing seizes). The next thing that happens is that it wears through the fingers on the pressure plate, wiping out the clutch completely, so it will not disengage. The hydraulic cylinders on chevrolets rarely go out before the clutch itsself does. Hope this helps you out.

Posted on Sep 10, 2010

  • chaotickusto Sep 10, 2010

    flyinglabrat. i appreciate the assistance with the issue that im having. but i figured id try some other things before i tore everything apart. whe i tried bleeding the clutch, i looked underneath and noticed fluid leaking from between the engine and the transmission. it was not transmission fluid, but clutch fluid. the only thing i could think of that would do that is the slave cylinder, but i would like your input on this as well since it seems like you know what you are talking about. thank you.

  • Dustin Sep 11, 2010

    You will find brake(clutch) fluid if you press the pedal more than once and it pushes the piston out of the slave cylinder(overextending it). This condition would also cause your fluid level to go down. The reason I gave you the scenario that I did, is it would get you under the vehicle to see what exactly was the problem. By attempting to move the disengagement arm by hand, it will tell you if it is only the cylinder, or if the throwout bearing went. Again, if you can move it any bit without major exertion, the TOB went out. You would also be able to see if the slave cylinder is extended all the way. The disengagement arm should rest on the edge of the transmission housing closest to the slave cylinder. It's also necessary to check the line that goes to the slave cylinder to make sure that it hasn't broken, but it is also unlikely. You will also be able to inspect the mounting for the slave cylinder to see if it has lost a bolt (which is far more likely than cylinder failure). Technicians are taught a process called Logical Troubleshooting. When there's a failure, you use the symptoms to determine the area that failed, then you go to the center of it and test. On this system, you know that somewhere in the clutch system, between the pedal and the transmission, a failure occurred. The center(and most common failure point) is the throwout bearing, which you would test by attempting to move the linkage. This test will tell you which direction to test again. if the linkage moves, you know that the next step is inside the bell housing; and further testing on the hydraulic system is unnecessary. If it doesn't, you start to backtrack, first looking at the slave cylinder and linkage(which is right there for you to look at), and work your way back to the pedal. Logical troubleshooting eliminates replacing parts that are still good because of an inability to tell if the rest of the system is working right. For instance, if your TOB is out, and you replace the slave cylinder, it will just cost you a slave cylinder, the time, and it will blow out the new cylinder because it moved too far, and you will still have to change the TOB and clutch. Again, I hope this helps out. Mind if I ask what kind of vehicle this is? If it's a chevrolet, I'd have to guess either an S-10 or a Cavalier. If a Cavalier, I feel sorry, I despise doing clutches on those. Feel free to ask any other questions.

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