1991 Ford Escort 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Manual 177000 miles
I had an incident earlier this where the brake fluid reservoir got very low on fluid and the car wouldn't start (the clutch wouldn't work because of the low fluid level). I filled the reservoir and the car started/clutch worked again. I had a mechanic diagnose it as the Master cylinder going out. Since then I've kept the fluid level up but there is fluid leaking inside the car near the pedals and it's gotten on the floor, etc. There is nothing else wrong with the car at this time. The head gasket and radiator were replaced in 2003 and I just had the Idle air control valve cleaned because the car wouldn't idle after it was ran unless it sat for an hour in between use. My question is should I have the Master cylinder replaced and is that costly? The car has been a miracle because I'm the only owner and bought it new in 1990. I can't afford another car until possibly next year but I'm concerned about what will happen when that master cylinder finally fails.
Is it coming from the brake master cylinder or the clutch master cylinder? There are 2 masters under the dash, if they share the same resevoir, it will go down if either one is leaking
October, 10, 2008 AT 10:55 PM
Hello - sounds like you have a great car there. It has some miles so these are normal things to go bad. Actually for that many miles and just now having a master cylinder go, you do have a blessing of a car. Question though, I show 1991, Ford Escorts with only 4 cylinders though. One is a L4-110 1.8L DOHC and the other is L4-116 1.9L SOHC, I am not showing a 6 cylinder. If the master cylinder quits, no more clutch, no more move. No matter how far in the middle of the intersection you are. I know money is tight, but I would definitely replace the clutch master cylinder. I show the OEM replacement is only about $113.00. That is great. If you are going to do it yourself I show at Auto Zone between $36.00 -$52.00. Some advice. You also have a clutch slave cylinder. You should definitely replace that at the same time. That has a similar piston, rubber plugs etc in it as the master cylinder and has moved every time you pushed the clutch in just like the master cylinder. When you push the clutch in, the pistons in the master cylinder push the fluid to the slave cylinder and those pistons move and that is what pushes the lever to release the clutch. Do it too. AZ is about $34-$53 and the OEM I show about $70. Hope that helps.