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I recently (about 3 months ago) got my clutch replaced in my '97 Ford Ranger, and when i was driving it yesterday, the clutch suddenly stopped working. I was in gear when it happened and was able to shift shortly after (didn't think anything of it) but then I was stuck in 3rd gear, and pressing the clutch did nothing from there. Had to get truck towed.

Best way to describe it is lack of resistance/pressure when pressing the clutch. From what I'm reading online it sounds like I may need to bleed the clutch? Is this correct? The fact that it was just suddenly bad makes me fear that it may be something more?

Any advice is appreciated, thanks!

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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If there is no resistance to the pedal, I'd suspect a hydraulic problem.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder (which should be the opposite side of the bulkhead to the pedal, and will look like a smaller, simpler version of the brake cylinder). If it is low or empty, you have a leak. If it is still full, you most likely have a problem with the master cylinder, or an airlock in the system.

If there is a leak, the fault will be either in the pipe(s) or the slave cylinder. You might be able to see signs of fluid where it leaked - if not, refill & bleed it, and get an assistant to press the pedal as you check for leaks (be careful, as fluid could spurt out under pressure!)

It is unusual for an airlock to suddenly appear, and they usually manifest as limited resistance rather than none at all - you'd find that the pedal did nothing for much of its travel, then got harder once you had compressed the air enough.

Master cylinder issues can be harder to diagnose, as they can fail without leaking externally, and simply allow the fluid to freely pass between the reservoir and pressure sides of the cylinder.

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Thank you, I will give that a try! –  Dan Drews Oct 28 '13 at 17:02
    
Okay, so I took a look at the fluid resivoir, and there appears to be a tiny amount of fluid in there. If it were empty, would it be bone dry or is it normal to have some there? –  Dan Drews Oct 29 '13 at 0:07
    
It depends on the design of the reservoir - quite a lot have a slight lip around the outlet, so a tiny amount does remain. If it were working correctly it would be about 3/4 full. Sounds like you do have a leak... –  Nick C Oct 30 '13 at 9:45
    
Well, I don't have enough time nor expreience to try to do much with this. Had to take it to the mechanic, and it turns out it was the slave cylinder –  Dan Drews Nov 15 '13 at 21:15
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