If the clutch does not release completely when the clutch pedal is fully depressed, the disc will continue to turn the input shaft. This may prevent the driver from shifting the transmission from neutral into gear, cause grinding when the gears are changed, or cause the engine to stall when coming to a stop.
A clutch that won't release may have a misadjusted linkage, a broken or stretched release cable, a leaky or defective slave or master clutch cylinder, air in the hydraulic line or cylinders, corroded, damaged or improperly lubricated input shaft splines, a worn pilot bearing/bushing, a worn bearing retainer, bent or worn release fork or pivot ball, bent clutch drive straps, bent or distorted clutch disc, a clutch disc that was installed backwards, or mismatched clutch components (if the clutch was just replaced).
Other things that can cause the clutch to drag or not release include heavy gear oil in the transmission that's too thick for cold weather, defective or worn clutch pedal bushings or brackets, or flexing in the firewall or any release component attachment point.
October, 23, 2010 AT 6:01 PM
Thank you very much for the quick response. Much appreciated.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't witnessing the slave cylinder piston pushing the release arm rule out everything up to that point(ie: fliud, master cylinder, lines, and slave cylinder?) Doesn't the problem have to be inside the case?
The transmission will shift in and out of gear with the engine not running. If you put it in gear and then start it, it will start in gear(1st only of course because of the torque issue). Like the clutch pedal is not being depressed at all. If you start the car out of gear and then try to put it in gear, the stick physically will not go into any gear. No grinding though except for one quick time. It just won't go.
The clutch kit has 5000 miles on it and absolutely no problems until this day. Might I mention that this is the day that my son spent 4 hours trying to get comfortable driving a manual shift transmission for the first time.
Well, thank you very much for your advice.