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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My clutch pedal recently starting sticking to the floor on occasion.
What can cause this and any suggestions to diagnose?

I have a 2000 Insight, manual transmission with 120,000 miles. The transmission fluid has never been changed. I called a dealer and they suggested having the tech diagnose it. I thought they would have to pull out the transmission to do this, which is quite a bit of labor. Seems like I should start with maybe getting the transmission fluid changed first.

Also, for about a year the engine seems to vibrate slightly when I am stopped at a light upon acceleration, but hasn't gotten worse. Any connection?

Any opinions welcome.
 

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My clutch pedal recently starting sticking to the floor on occasion.
What can cause this and any suggestions to diagnose?

I have a 2000 Insight, manual transmission with 120,000 miles. The transmission fluid has never been changed. I called a dealer and they suggested having the tech diagnose it. I thought they would have to pull out the transmission to do this, which is quite a bit of labor. Seems like I should start with maybe getting the transmission fluid changed first.
I can't come up with a mechanism that would explain how the transmission could be the cause of the clutch pedal problem.

Also, for about a year the engine seems to vibrate slightly when I am stopped at a light upon acceleration, but hasn't gotten worse. Any connection?
If the vibration occurs only as the clutch is being released when starting from a stop, this could indicate a clutch problem. If the clutch pressure plate or throwout bearing is sticking in the released state, that could cause the pedal to stick in the down position. However, I don't recall ever hearing about such a problem. The pressure plate has strong springs that would make such a problem seem unlikely.

The clutch pedal is connected to the clutch mechanism by a hydraulic line, not by a mechanical linkage that could be binding occasionally. I would first check the clutch hydraulic fluid level. Maybe the clutch master or slave cylinder needs replacing because one of them is binding occasionally or leaking hydraulic fluid.

Some cars have a clutch pedal return spring that is supposed to pull the pedal up. I don't know if the Insight does and my Insight and service manual are half way around the world from me right now. If the Insight has a clutch pedal return spring, maybe that spring is bad or the pedal mechanism under the dashboard is binding occasionally.

I'm just throwing out a few ideas off the top of my head. Any additional information that you can provide might help. E.g., is the clutch hydraulic fluid level low? Is there any evidence of a hydraulic fluid leak either from the master cylinder (you might notice some hydraulic fluid on the carpet near the clutch pedal) or from the slave cylinder? Does the clutch seem to work normally when the pedal doesn't stick? How do you return the pedal to its normal position? When the pedal is stuck down, is the clutch released or engaged?
 

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I had this happen to a 1982 S-10 pickup.

It was the clutch release bearing binding on the collar.

As a temporary "cure", I drilled a small hole in the bellhousing and sprayed WD-40 around the area. That would "cure" it for a few weeks, then it would require another shot of WD-40. After a while I pulled the transmission and properly lubed the release bearing and the problem never returned.
 

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If you do that I'd suggest something other than WD40. WD40 is a terrible lubricant in my opinion. It's a penetrator that might free a rusted bolt but it doesn't hang on well. I've used motor oil injected through a grease needle before if it needs some pressure to get it in, but if its a static part will go for grease if it won't destroy any rubber or anything else. ...but like you said, pulling it to properly lube or if things are worn to replace the damaged part is the permanent fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't come up with a mechanism that would explain how the transmission could be the cause of the clutch pedal problem.


If the vibration occurs only as the clutch is being released when starting from a stop, this could indicate a clutch problem. If the clutch pressure plate or throwout bearing is sticking in the released state, that could cause the pedal to stick in the down position. However, I don't recall ever hearing about such a problem. The pressure plate has strong springs that would make such a problem seem unlikely.

The clutch pedal is connected to the clutch mechanism by a hydraulic line, not by a mechanical linkage that could be binding occasionally. I would first check the clutch hydraulic fluid level. Maybe the clutch master or slave cylinder needs replacing because one of them is binding occasionally or leaking hydraulic fluid.

Some cars have a clutch pedal return spring that is supposed to pull the pedal up. I don't know if the Insight does and my Insight and service manual are half way around the world from me right now. If the Insight has a clutch pedal return spring, maybe that spring is bad or the pedal mechanism under the dashboard is binding occasionally.

I'm just throwing out a few ideas off the top of my head. Any additional information that you can provide might help. E.g., is the clutch hydraulic fluid level low? Is there any evidence of a hydraulic fluid leak either from the master cylinder (you might notice some hydraulic fluid on the carpet near the clutch pedal) or from the slave cylinder? Does the clutch seem to work normally when the pedal doesn't stick? How do you return the pedal to its normal position? When the pedal is stuck down, is the clutch released or engaged?
I have to work through a mechanic, and don't know much about the ins and outs of how clutches work, but am just looking for direction to not being taken to the woodshed by the dealer.
No the pedal does not feel softer.
The vibration DOES occur as the clutch is being released from a stopped postion. I found another post in this forum of someone who changed their transmission fluid and this stopped, but it was a CVT vs. manual so that may make a difference.
To check the 'clutch hydraulic fluid level', I think there is an overflow to check underneath the hood which my manual refers to as 'transmission fluid' but no I have not checked that yet.
'Evidence of hydraulic fluid leak', hmmm, several months ago I recall an oil on the clutch pedal and underneath which I chalked up to stepping on something before I got into the car, maybe not...
Yes the clutch appears normal when not sticking. It has not stuck in several days, and the days it did stick were abnormally cold, but maybe no relation.
I did nothing to return the pedal to normal, it just stuck for maybe 1 sec and then popped up on its own.
Not sure if clutch was engaged or released when stuck down- it was always when starting up when car had been parked.

All opinions welcome! Thanks for your feedback.
 

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So basically you are saying that you were in the start mode, in neutral at the time?
Maybe lube the pivot shaft for the clutch pedal.

Willie
 
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