Every manual car will have a clutch master cylinder in it. This cylinder gives the clutch the hydraulic pressure it needs to function. You will know if there is a problem with this master cylinder because you will hear or feel strange things when you press down on the clutch or shift gears. These are the symptoms of a faulty clutch master cylinder. However, your transmission could be having other problems too that are causing these symptoms. But first, inspect the master cylinder to see if that is the cause.
1) Difficulty Shifting the Transmission
If you have trouble shifting, then there could be a problem with the clutch master cylinder. Due to the hydraulic function of the cylinder, leaks could easily form internally and interfere with its ability to create pressure. Once that happens, pressing down on the clutch pedal will not cause the clutch to disengage. As a result, gear shifting will generate grinding noises.
2) Clutch Pedal Drops to the Floor
You will know if the clutch’s hydraulics have gone bad if the clutch pedal stays close to the floor. This was likely caused by a dead master cylinder which means you’ll have to replace it. Until it is replaced, you won’t be able to drive your vehicle.
3) Smooth Clutch Pedal
If the clutch pedal does not have as much resistance as it used to have and it instead feels smooth, then your master cylinder could be leaking. This particular leak may be the result of something wrong with the cylinder’s seals.
4) Clutch Fluid is Dirty or Low
When the clutch master cylinder has a problem, the very first symptom that you will usually be able to recognize is the reservoir having low amounts of fluid or merely fluid that is dirty. If your master cylinder’s inner seals break down or get worn out because they’re old, this will cause the fluid to become contaminated and dirty. The older these seals get, the more likely they will leak over time. If the system has a leak in the slave cylinder or clutch master cylinder, then the common symptom will be low fluid.
It is important to understand that the clutch master cylinder is a component that is critical for your vehicle. If the cylinder starts to have issues, then your car will either be difficult or impossible to drive. That is why you should have a professional auto technician inspect your vehicle if you experience any of the symptoms described above.