Clutch Cylinder Replacement

9th August 2018

Introduction

I can only remember once having to call out a recovery service to rescue me after one of my cars let me down. Last week I thought I'd have to call them again. I've always said a car gives you warning signs before something fails. Last week, I did get warning signs, but they didn't last very long.

The Warning Signs

I had just pulled off a motorway and had stopped at a roundabout. As I set off again I thought I felt the clutch pedal taking a second or so to return to its normal position. I didn't think anything more of it and the car was fine the remaining few miles home. The next day I used the car again and all was fine except again, after coming off the same motorway exit, the same thing happened. I then knew something wasn't right. These were the warning signs.

Investigation

I connected my laptop to the car using my VCDS cable and scanned all the control modules for fault codes. Nothing unusual appeared. I also checked the brake fluid reservoir level as I knew my car had a hydraulic clutch which shared the fluid. Everything looked normal. So I was stumped. I didn't have time to take my car to a garage straight away so hoped I could continue to use the car for a few more days. I was wrong.

Failure

The next day I began another journey. As before, things started off ok but just after accelerating away from a motorway roundabout, as I put my foot on the clutch pedal to change up a gear, this time the pedal just stayed down. I had no drive! Hazard lights on I tried all I could think of to get the clutch to re-engage: pumping the pedal, stopping and starting the engine. Eventually I discovered that I could just lift the pedal with the tip of my shoe and the clutch would engage again. 7 miles of my journey remaining, I continued like this with the clutch becoming more and more problematic. At one point I just couldn't get it to re-engage. I really thought I'd need to call my recovery service. Then all of a sudden the pedal sprung back up, felt really stiff and then when pressed, you could hear this hissing noise. I could then select a gear and drive off again.

The Repair

I managed to complete my journey and fortunately was able to borrow another car for a few days. Wanting to get my car fixed ASAP and knowing a good independent garage nearby I arranged for them to take a look. I was able to drive my car to them. I was prepared for them telling me I needed a new clutch but fortunately they diagnosed a broken cylinder in the clutch's hydraulic system. I can't remember if it was the master or slave cylinder which had failed but they advised me to get them both replaced. Total cost £387.48 inc VAT (£130 for labour, £99.06 for the master cylinder and £89.85 for the slave cylinder).

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