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Old 19 Oct 2011, 11:01 pm
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Default I have a hunch it may be my clutch but can you guys diagnose my 1998 honda civic ?

I have a hunch it may be my clutch but can you guys diagnose my 1998 honda civic manual transmission? I noticed about 8 months ago I was having trouble with my clutch because I was having to really stomp on it all the way to the floor to be able to make sure I could get in gear so I did not delay traffic at intersections.. Of course I checked fluid level and made sure it was topped off but did not seem to make a difference.. So I took in car to dealership to get ignition switch fixed because this was another problem and after that clutch worked fine for a couple months so I did not pay any mind to it. Then it started again about 4 months ago where I had to really stomp on clutch and I had to pump it atleast 4 times to get in gear.. Soooo.. I sort of learned how to drive this way by making sure I was in first while I was at a red light.. Well as I was driving in from out of town I was in 5th gear and pressed clutch to drop to neutral and clutch felt really really soft like it had no resistance at all but pumped it again and was able to drop to neutral so then I put it in first and was holding clutch down then car started to try and take off on me and started hesitating and I seen engine lights come on and car died on me.. And I did not even let off the clutch... That was today.. But have been having trouble when I park car in 1st gear on incline in driveway when I start it and press clutch its like car wants to move forward and I can not take it out of 1st gear... Any clue? If it is clutch how much am I looking at?
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Old 19 Oct 2011, 11:16 pm
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The clutch might just need an adjustment. Haven't messed round with transmission in a while, but that's what it sounds like.
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Old 19 Oct 2011, 11:31 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Yeah i think u gotta change clutch. The time that 1st happened to me was a few weeks after i taught myself how to drive standard. My nissan 200sx cost about 200 at that time, so urs is probably 200-300. It depends on what kind of clutch too i think. Try calling mechanics around ur area and price match to save money! Lol hope this helped
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Old 19 Oct 2011, 11:46 pm
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The clutch master or slave cylinder has failed. This is a common problem if the fluid is not flushed/replaced regularly, especially in humid climates, as the hydraulic fluid absorbs moisture and then rusts the insides of the cylinders.

The fact that you had to "pump it" to get it to engage, and the "clutch [pedal] felt really soft ... no resistance at all" and that you now "cannot take it out of 1st" - absolute 100% dead giveaway that it's a hydraulic problem. Usually it's the master cylinder, but sometimes it's the slave cylinder, or both. It's a MUCH less expensive job than a clutch replacement - I replaced one in about 30 minutes in my driveway once for about $45.

The clutch itself *might* be okay based on the description of the problem. You certainly could have needed a new clutch anyway (especially with a car that old), but the only way to be sure is to replace the clutch master cylinder, bleed the system, and then test the clutch operation. You may very well have ruined the clutch by trying to drive the car with the master cylinder not working properly! If you do need it, the actual clutch replacement (which involves completely removing the transmission from the car) would be $450 to $800 depending on where you had it done, and how good a job they do. Good luck with your vehicle.
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