Clutch pedal went to the floor

Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
  • 2004 SATURN VUE
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 218,000 MILES
Driving taking an exit off the freeway went to downshift, clutch pedal went to floor, could not get it into gear. I finally got it into first I do not know how but it was in first. I started the car, it jolted forward. When the car is off I can get into any gear but when I start the car I'm not able to use a clutch pedal to get it into gear. I heard no noise. No vibrations. No signs of leakage anywhere. Reserve was full although dirty. Bleed clutch, cleaned reserve, it worked although third gear grinned. Friend came to do again but now it doesn't work at all, apparently we didn't bleed it correctly all the way through this time because now it's just goes to the floor and unable to get it in first. My question to you is, in troubleshooting this what do you believe it could be? How do I go about troubleshooting to find the cause?
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Sunday, May 12th, 2019 AT 8:27 PM

42 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome to 2CarPros.

Either the clutch master cylinder has failed or the slave cylinder. Also, the pressure line between the two may have failed. First, check for evidence of leaks. Most times, you will see which one is bad. Here are directions for both in case you determine which is bad. Considering it worked better for a short time when you worked on the master cylinder, that is my first suspect.

Here are directions for slave replacement. I am hoping this isn't the cause because the trans needs removed to replace it.

PROCEDURES
Clutch Actuator Cylinder Replacement

Removal Procedure

picture 1

1. Disconnect the clutch master cylinder line from the transaxle by removing the C-clip.
2. Remove the transaxle.
3. Remove the clutch actuator cylinder bolts from the transaxle.
4. Remove the clutch actuator cylinder.

Installation Procedure

pic 2

Important: Excessive amounts of lubricant on the input shaft splines can contaminate the clutch disc and cause clutch shudder.

1. Lightly lubricate the inside diameter of the bearing with input shaft lubricant P/N 21005995 or equivalent.
2. Install the clutch actuator cylinder (1) to the transaxle.

Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Cautions and Notices.

3. Install the clutch actuator cylinder bolts.
- Tighten the bolts to 10 Nm (89 inch lbs.).
4. Install the transaxle.

Pic 3

5. Connect the clutch master cylinder line to the transaxle by pushing it in until it seats.
6. Bleed the clutch hydraulic system.

______________________________________________

PROCEDURES
Clutch Master Cylinder Replacement

Removal Procedure

pic 4

1. Clean the clutch fluid reservoir cap and area around the cap.
2. Remove the clutch fluid reservoir cap and remove enough brake fluid to clear a passage to the clutch master cylinder.
3. Remove the clutch pedal retainer.
4. Remove the clutch master cylinder pushrod from the clutch pedal assembly, 1st design.

Pic 5

5. Remove the clutch master cylinder pushrod from the clutch pedal assembly, 2nd design.

Pic 6

Notice: Refer to Brake Fluid Effects on Paint and Electrical Components Notice in Cautions and Notices.

6. Place a shop towel under the clutch master cylinder in order to catch any fluid loss.
7. Using a pick tool on the strut tower side, disconnect the clutch line from clutch master cylinder.
8. Cap the reservoir and hydraulic lines in order to prevent fluid loss and contamination.

Pic 7

Important: Do not damage the pushrod boot when sliding it through the front of the dash.

9. Remove the clutch master cylinder mounting nuts and slide the clutch fluid reservoir up and out.

Installation Procedure

pic 8

Important: Do not damage the pushrod boot when sliding it through the front of the dash.

1. Uncap the fluid reservoir and hydraulic lines.

Notice: Refer to Fastener Notice in Cautions and Notices.

2. Slide the clutch fluid reservoir into the mounting slot and install the clutch master cylinder mounting nuts.
- Tighten the nuts to 23 Nm (17 ft. Lbs.).

Pic 9

3. Install the clutch master cylinder pushrod to the clutch pedal assembly, 1st design.
4. Install the clutch pedal retainer.

Pic 10

5. Install the clutch master cylinder pushrod to the clutch pedal assembly, 2nd design.

Pic 11

6. Remove the shop towel and discard into a suitable container.
7. Connect the clutch line to the clutch master cylinder.

Pic 12

8. Connect the clutch master cylinder pushrod to the clutch pedal.
9. Install the clutch pedal retainer, nuts and bolts.
10. Bleed the clutch hydraulic system.

_______________________

Here are the most updated procedures for bleeding the system.

This procedure can be used anytime air is introduced into the hydraulic system. Following this procedure may also reduce the number of unnecessary parts replaced for low clutch pedal reserve and high shift effort.

Verify that all the lines and fittings are dry and secure.

Clean the dirt and grease from the reservoir cap in order to ensure that no foreign substances enter the system.

Remove the reservoir cap.

Fill the reservoir to the proper level with the required fluid.

Attach the J 43485 (Adapter) to the J 35555 (Mity Vac), or equivalent.

Brake fluid will deteriorate the rubber on J 43485. Use a clean shop cloth to wipe away the fluid after each use.

Place and hold the adapter on the reservoir filler neck to ensure a tight fit. In some cases, the adapter will fit into the reservoir opening.

Apply a vacuum of 51-68 kPa (15-20 hg) and remove the adapter.

Refill the reservoir to the proper level.

Repeat Steps 6 and 7.

If needed, refill the reservoir and continue to pull a vacuum until no more bubbles can be seen in the reservoir or until the fluid level no longer drops.

The vehicle will move if started in gear before the Actuator Cylinder is refilled and operational. Start the vehicle the first time in neutral to help prevent personal injury from vehicle movement and see if the transmission will shift easily into gear.

Pump the clutch pedal until firm (to refill actuator cylinder).

Add additional fluid if needed.

Test drive vehicle to ensure proper operation.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Let me know if this helps.

Take care,
Joe
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Sunday, May 12th, 2019 AT 9:12 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Joe, thank you for your prompt response. Unfortunately I am out of my hometown and no access to tools.
If I was too take to mechanic shop would they perform services you described? Approximate cost? I'm in Fresno California.
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Sunday, May 12th, 2019 AT 9:44 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

Yes, they would perform the task. Cost is really going to be based on what is needed. What I have done is attach two pictures. The first one shows parts and labor for a clutch master cylinder (which I think is the problem). The second pic shows parts and labor for the slave cylinder, which is much more because the transmission needs removed.

The labor is in hours, so multiply the number of hours by the shops labor rate to get an idea on cost. The parts listed are original equipment parts and you should be able to get after market for less.

Is Fresno in southern Ca? The owner of this site owns a shop in socal. At least I would know you are getting someone honest. I'm in PA, so a bit far. LOL

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.
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Monday, May 13th, 2019 AT 5:01 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Hi there!
Is the following statement true?
When a slave cylinder is bad you would be at an able to put it in gear when the ignition is off?
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Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 AT 2:57 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

When either the slave cylinder or clutch master cylinder are bad, you can still shift into gears with the engine is off. There may be some resistance if the gears are not meshed, but you will not get a grinding and it will go into gear. When you start the engine, it will not go into gear if either of the components has failed. Please keep in mind, if either component is still working and is only in the process of fully failing, you may be able to shift. However, most times the clutch pedal will feel spongy or differently than normal.

I hope that answers your question.

Take care,
Joe
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Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 AT 4:38 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Thank you Joe for sharing your knowledge. At this point I have done all I can to try to figure it out. Being that we were able to bleed it, then it ran fine, drove around town, got on freeway, working fine for 80+ miles then pedal goes to the floor, no type of resistance. No leaking of fluid that is visible, the reserve is full. I'm not a pro mechanic my conclusion is that air is getting into this system. In using deductive reasoning that it ran fine in town then on the freeway I'm thinking okay lot of miles it's getting hot, air expands then the clutch doesn't work.

Well at this point I'm going to go ahead and take it in, get their diagnosis.
I'll let you know what it was how about that?

I do appreciate all the time you have given assisting me in this matter.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.

Gabrielle

More.
Joe you gave me some advice regarding a shop that I could go to when I was in southern California. I was wondering if by chance do you know of any shops in Sacramento California. I had the car towed up here. FYI lol
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Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 AT 7:10 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Gabrielle:

First, I like your analysis. It is something many can't do anymore. LOL If you have no pedal at all and there are no leaks, my first suspect is the master cylinder. As far as a shop, I wish I could give you an exact name, but being in PA, the only thing I can do is envy where you live. LOL

The owner of this site has a very successful business in socal. I will send him this link and see if he has any recommendations for you.

Take care of yourself and I hope you have a nice memorial day weekend. I will watch for your reply.

Take care,

Joe
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Thursday, May 23rd, 2019 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Joe I need your advice. I took my car in. Manju the reservoir is full it has been full before this issue started and after we bled it improperly or otherwise it has always been full. In addition there was no visible leakage. My question to you is, is it possible for the reservoir to keep its consistent level and there be leakage within the slave cylinder? Where is that fluid stored if there is leakage and it's not coming from the reservoir?

Just to let you know I'm not too sure about these questions but that's what I was told. Please answer me back as soon as possible like today. Joking LOL, Gabrielle
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Friday, May 24th, 2019 AT 6:10 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

If the slave is leaking, the level will go down in the reservoir. There is nowhere for the slave to store fluid. Also, I feel strongly that if that was the case, you would see the leak.

Let me know if you have other questions.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, May 24th, 2019 AT 8:21 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Where would I see the leak?
Can it leak inside?
These question I do not know. They are telling me that slave is leaking.
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Saturday, May 25th, 2019 AT 6:56 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
OMG JOE. I had my car towed to shop. They are insisting that it is the slave. There's only one time I saw any sign of leakage. I had it towed from the southern California, parked here in Sacramento there was two tiny tiny drops that dried up quickly. I I know that fluid had been spilled when it was being bled in so. Cal. I believe very strongly that they did not do the total diagnosis on it. I questioned them in detail because I'm a pain in the butt, I said how did you diagnose the car did you check the clutch play, did you check the clutch when started and off, ect. How you the mechanic know slave leaking, do you go through the gears etc, he's telling me yeah well the mechanic had been a mechanic for 30 years n he trusts him. I told him why I don't! I'm like well I want to know how he diagnosed did he go through the procedures. And if in fact it is a slave and it's leaking why has the level never changed in the reservoir. I fell they are playing me like a fool because they want $1,800.00. Mind you they still have my car at their shop. Oh and yesterday on the telephone after they diagnosed it's supposedly they told me that there was little to none fluid in the reservoir I totally said "what?" There I've never ever any change in the level of the fluid in the reservoir. Then when I questioned them today about why don't they just change a master cylinder for me well yesterday on the phone he told me know he's not going to do that for me now today he saying we'll go ahead and do that if that's what you want but it's that's not the problem. He said he's going to cost you a lot more. And then he's telling me to change the master it's like four or five hundred bucks. I looked online the maximum Sacramento the max is like 377. Joe I know I'm asking probably a lot and I don't know if you can answer this but they're in possession of my car and I went back multiple times to question him he's always tells me that the slave is the problem but he'll give me a deal if it's the master. He says he won't let me in the shop to look at my car the mechanic doesn't even give any explanation he doesn't really have to speak good English. Do you really think it could be the slave by them just taking off the clutch plate cover and visually looking at it inside? Please help if you can thank you, Gabrielle

I hope you understand this text I am kind of upset.
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Saturday, May 25th, 2019 AT 7:14 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Joe, can you fly to California be my mechanic and fix my car? Besides I think you're due for a vacation, LOL. Thank you for your help.
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Saturday, May 25th, 2019 AT 7:17 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

All I can say is, I wish. I have never been to CA but plan to visit one day. Now for the problem at hand. Anything is possible. However, it is interesting that the master cylinder is now nearly empty. Ugh! Honestly, and I hate to say this because I'm not there to see what is happening, but you may want a second opinion from a different shop. They can't hold your vehicle.

I'm sitting here thinking and it hit me, $1.800.00? Do they charge $200.00 an hour for labor? I have no idea what the labor rates are there, but wow!

Take a look at the picture. It shows the cost of an original equipment part and how many hours labor is given to install it. The part is over $300.00 and it calls for 7.2 hours labor. That means they are charging around $200.00 an hour. Is that correct? If it is, maybe I should move. LOL And yes, I am sure an aftermarket slave can be purchased for cheaper.

Don't allow yourself to get upset. There are always options, and at this point I think you should get a second opinion. I have no idea how they are testing the car, and now I have no idea if the master cylinder has or hasn't dropped. If it has, then I would suspect a leak at some point or a bad slave. If the master cylinder leaked, you would be able to see it.

I wish I had a better answer for you and wish I could help more. However, please feel free to let me know if you need anything.

Take care,
Joe
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Saturday, May 25th, 2019 AT 8:56 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Joe, got my car back. They changed the clutch assembly, the slave and the master. Right off driving there gear grinds a little then two miles at red light rpm's jumping car shuts off, started keep gassing so would not shut off third into parking lot does again. OMG. Had my AAA tow me back. Now sitting at Firestone waiting.
Hey they did show me the clutch where the rivets are pretty low, worn.

What did they do to my car for it to shut off? Why is it grinding in third. Everything is new?
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Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 AT 10:26 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Honestly, they did a lot of work. As far as the stalling, it could be something as simple as an engine vacuum line that was missed. See what they say. Also, the grinding is another issue. Again, it to could be simple. Maybe they need to re-bleed the system. It's very possible a small amount of air is still there.

Let me know what you find. Also, I did speak with the site owner regarding your issue. He offered to contact the shop to see if he could help. He is 9 hours from Sacramento. If you give me the shop's phone number, I will forward it to him and he will call on your behalf to see what is going on.

Let me know.

Joe
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Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 AT 5:46 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Joe, regarding stalling, I was told linkage dirty (? I received no paperwork unsure.)
They cleaned. Manager and I went for test drive. Not engaging in third, grinds. Only heard grinding. I was told take car home and drive it and to bring back Thursday they would do repair again. Manager and mechanic of today. Joe, I'm not driving it anymore than I have to.
It would be nice for your boss to call. 7:00 to 8:00 am Thursday tomorrow I will be at the shop. If your boss thinks he can help me that would be great. So long as he does not cost me anymore money lol. $1,850.00. Was a lot.
Manager is Ken 916-454-0689. My number is 916-670-2195
Gabrielle
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 AT 7:36 AM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
If it's not too much to ask.
Is there any chance your boss would call me? That way he will know from me what I'm experiencing.
Let me know.
Gabrielle
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 AT 12:52 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Gabrielle:
I will forward this to him. Let me know when he calls or as always, let me know if I can help.

Joe
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 AT 5:14 PM
Tiny
KEN
  • ADMIN
Hello,

Sorry for the delay, too late today to call. I am on it tomorrow.
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Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 AT 6:16 PM
Tiny
GABBYGILBO
  • MEMBER
Thank you much. I greatly appreciate you extending yourself to help me.

If it is allowed I'd like to send you a gratitude present. Let me know.

Gabrielle
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Thursday, May 30th, 2019 AT 12:04 AM

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