I have a 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport, manual transmission (the 6 cylinder model, I believe 4.0L). It has 4 wheel drive.
I've lent the car to some friends recently who were 'rusty' with their manual transmission skills. Recently when I received the car back, I noticed that it is now difficult to put the car into gear while the engine is running, and the car is still. From what I've read this could be due to a clutch problem (namely, a broken pressure plate) or a clutch hydraulics problem (leaking/missing fluid). I checked the hydraulic system reservoir and its full.
The clutch 'feels' like it normally does, but here are the symptoms;
- You can easily put the car into any gear when the car is off.
- When the car is moving, its easy to change gears (though I haven't tried a rolling start/first gear test yet)
- When the car is on and not moving, If I depress the clutch and try to put it into ANY forward gear, it will not go into gear (although if I push it hard it will go in). That said, if I depress the clutch, and subsequently wait ~5 seconds, then I can easily put it into any gear.
- When the car is not moving, and I depress the clutch and rev the engine like crazy, the car does not pull (in other words, it does appear that the clutch fully disengages from the engine).
Since my hydraulic fluid levels are fine are these the symptoms of a bad clutch (e.g. broken pressure plate)? I would have guessed it was a syncro's problem given what I said in #3, but the symptom exist with all 5 gears. If the pressure plate is broken, why would it matter if the clutch is spinning or not (i.e. how does that affect whether I can put the car into gear or not when the clutch is fully depressed)? I would think if the pressure plate was broken it would just not go into gear even if the car was off, but maybe thats just my misunderstand of how clutches/manual transmission works.