Pluggin' up the leaky bits! Which bits are the leaky bits?
January 5, 2007 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Car. Clutch. Mystery fluid. Leaking. Help!

A few weeks ago, my foot started slipping off my clutch pedal. I just assumed that my feet were wet, thus causing the slippery-ness.

It's not water. It's some oily fluid that appears to be leaking in somewhere around the root of the clutch pedal. I can't find any leaks under the hood, and I highly doubt that it's water, dirty as it may be.

The liquid appears to be fairly odorless and colorless (it COULD be grayish green. I've wiped the leaky area with a white cloth, but all I get is gray-green muck - it's pretty dirty down there). It's also very oily/slippery.

Any ideas?
posted by Cat Pie Hurts to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
What kind of car?

If it's one with a hydraulic clutch, you've probably got a leak in the cylinder (which is above or behind the clutch pedal), and you're leaking fluid from there -- it's the same texture as brake fluid. If you've got a (more common) cable-operated clutch, then something else is probably amiss.

Have you noticed any different feeling in the clutch or brakes?
posted by toxic at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2007

Crap. I knew I forgot to add something.

2002 Ford Focus..manual shift, obviously.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:38 PM on January 5, 2007

|Have you noticed any different feeling in the clutch or brakes?

Well, for the last few months, I have had an occasional problem getting my car into 1st gear from neutral. It's like it feels blocked. I'll release the clutch and depress again, and it will go right in.

The brakes feel fine.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2007

I'd guess it's the clutch master cylinder. That's the cylinder near the pedal, into which the pedal forces a cylinder. It's linked by an oil line to the slave cylinder which activates the clutch.

Any time that you're having gear change problems until you pump the clutch a couple of times, you can bet it's a clutch fluid leak.
posted by veedubya at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2007

Agreed. Your clutch master cylinder needs replacement. The part should cost less than $100. Not sure about labor.
posted by autojack at 2:14 PM on January 5, 2007

Thanks for the info. Hopefully I can find a mechanic that can do it fairly inexpensively.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:17 PM on January 5, 2007

If you are at all handy, you can probably find an online Ford Focus forum that can give you very specific directions on how to do it yourself.
posted by Doohickie at 8:37 AM on January 6, 2007

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