Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Car Bleg

     Didn't blog this yesterday because there wasn't time: Tam and I were going to take separate cars to vote yesterday, since our polling place* is pretty much on my way to work.

     Got in my car and took it out of gear (H'mm, transmission feels kinda sluggish), started it up, got out and scraped the windows, well-nigh opaque with frost, got back in and--  H'mm.  Clutch pedal feels way weak and Holy Cow!  I can't get the car in gear!

     Tam was just making ready to pull out; I stopped her, we moved my briefcase and lunchbox to the Zed Drei's trunk, and went away to vote.

     My clutch is broke, which I am suspecting will be neither cheap nor simple to fix.  Must admit, I have not paid enough attention to the Inner Workings of my Hyundai Accent to notice if it is hydraulic like my old MGB or a simple linkage, but as I don't recall more than one brake-fluid-type reservoir under the hood, I'm betting on the latter. The pedal is not totally floppy; so it's probably a failed part in the clutch assembly proper.  :(

     Gee, and I was giving thought to buying the Haynes manual for my car only the other day.  (I have owned three 2002 Hyundai Accents, all purchased used, and don't remember any of them having come with an owner's manual.  What, do the original owners thumb through it, lips moving as they sound out the difficult words, peer at the pictures, gnaw briefly on the cover and throw it over their shoulder?)
* A Catholic school; previously, we have voted at a nearby public school and before that, a synagogue.  The most recent location offered a brilliant innovation this year: booths are set up in the gym/cafeteria, so they opened up the serving window as a snack bar, selling coffee, juice, rolls and fresh fruit!


Anonymous said...

Rock Auto will sell you a new clutch kit for about $80, though the $130 price range might be a better bet.

I'm a fat, middle-aged software engineer -- not exactly a car guy. I recently changed the manual transmission in my pick-up truck. It was remarkably easy, though it took all weekend. Front wheel drive looks to be a bit easier.

Likely not your style, but it is a possibility.

og said...

Should be hydraulic. Some have remote reservoirs in weird locations. Very few share reservoir with brakes.

rickn8or said...

Hoping maybe a clutch cable that has given up the ghost.

or, following og's comment, a slave (can I say that?) cylinder leaking across the piston?

og said...

According to the auto parts places they're hydraulic. The reservoir should be a small black cap right next to the brake master cylinder booster right next to the firewall as seen in this picture.

The replacement slave cylinder isn't horrid, you shouldn't even have to get under the vehicle to change it, you just have to dismantle a lot of crap. here's a step by step to replace the whole clutch, it also shows taking off the slave cylinder which is not hard.

Hand tools, really. And you might very well get really lucky and just discover that it needs some fluid.

Jerry said...

What Og said, most likely a leaking slave cylinder.

Jerry said...

If you require info on how to do the deed, check out It's a subscription service that gives you access to the factory service manuals. Subscriptions are modest and, for me, it's paid for itself more than once.

karrde said...

...and if you lived in my area, I'd know who to recommend for advice.

Don't know much about manual-tranny clutch repairs. Except that if the how-to includes "use impact wrench to remove...", then it's out of my immediate reach. (Though one of my recommendation-sources would loan me an impact-wrench, should I ask.)

Best wishes on the clutch problem.

og said...

In Partner's Alfa Romeo, more than once, the fluid in the master seemed to have simply evaporated. We'd top it off, bleed it, and it would be fine. For as much as a year. then one day, no clutch- lather, rinse, repeat, and it would be OK again for the longest time. Never did find out why. My money is on low fluid until more facts are known.

Angus McThag said...

My Vette does the evaporate trick. No evidence of leakage around the slave (which is a hydraulic throw-out bearing), line, master or reservoir.

I don't know where it goes, but every 8 months or so I have to add some.