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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I have a civic 2.2 2008 - covered a good 165,000+.

I've have covered over 50,000 miles without any major problem.

I've noticed a rattling over the past year or and naturally assumed it was the clutch release bearing.

Noise has got louder over the past few months and is very apparent with a light touch of the clutch pedal whilst i am driving

Over the past three weeks it would randomly stiffen going into gear and have a jerky biting point. There is no sign of the clutch slipping at all- acceleration is as it should be.

Over the past week it has started doing this:
Works smoothly, absolutely fine, then suddenly will refuse to go into gear at all.
I have to quickly pump the clutch pedal for about 10 seconds and its go into gear- all be it very stiff. Then some jerky, stiff gear changes and back to being normal with no problems at all.


This happens almost everyday now. Today it happened once in about 45 mins of driving.

I have had three different opinions:
Clutch and flywheel need replacing.

Master cylinder is faulty.

Transmission fluid needs bleeding.

Any suggestion as to what it could be-
Please ask me more questions as I'm not sure I have described it correctly.

Thank you
 

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A couple of obvious questions, has the clutch ever been replaced? When was the transmission fluid last changed?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
A couple of obvious questions, has the clutch ever been replaced? When was the transmission fluid last changed?
Not since I have had it (almost 6 years and 50k miles)

Transmission fluid was last changed under two years ago approx 20k miles ago.
 

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I agree that the long-standing rattle is probably the release bearing. Perhaps this is unconnected to the current problem?

Does the MC look very dirty inside? A thorough bleeding would be a good start (and may be a good chance to assess how well the MC is shifting fluid and how far the release arm is being moved before and afterwards).

Bleeding these can be a bit tricky, you may need to force in the slave rod to prevent air being trapped in the SC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply.
Never thought of it as unconnected- assumed it was all part and parcel.

How would I check the inside of the MC?
I've not had to get my tools out since I bought this car!
 

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+1 to checking the clutch fluid, pop off the smaller reservoir cap under the hood. The larger cap is brake fluid.

If the fluid is black then that's a good indication that it's well past it's best and need flushing/replacing.

You don't say that the fluid has ever been changed so should be done as part of the vehicle maintenance schedule, use Dot4.

Good luck flushing the 2.2 clutch fluid, it can be a really PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks- I'll get onto it.

Sorry for my ignorance but is dot 4 the same as the brake fluid?
what quantity will I need to change it? I have an unopened 250ml bottle.
I think I also have a 1L bottle of the gearbox oil but thats no good here!
 

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Thanks- I'll get onto it.

Sorry for my ignorance but is dot 4 the same as the brake fluid?
what quantity will I need to change it? I have an unopened 250ml bottle.
I think I also have a 1L bottle of the gearbox oil but thats no good here!
Dot4 is the recommended grade of brake fluid to use in the clutch system (I guess you could use dot 3 or dot 5.1 but NEVER dot 5).

I'd get a litre bottle, just in case the bleeding gets complicated. I prefer to use a vacuum bleeder so I can do it on my own, but I'd still force in the SC rod to reduce the internal volume and prevent air gathering there.
 

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1 litre of Dot4 brake/clutch fluid will be more than enough to thoroughly flush the hydraulics of bad fluid.

Contrary to John, I found that pressuring the reservoir gave me the best results (quicker prime) but it's fiddly to get a cap to fit the teeny reservoir. A vacuum bleeder is much easier to set-up tho.

The Civic has a clutch damper between the master and slave cylinder, these can be known to go bad. I'm not convinced the design/layout will ever get any air out but then maybe it's designed to have some air in place? - contrary to hydraulic systems in general tho. Many remove this damper and bypass it with a plain hose, available from FreakyParts, TDiNorth, etc - which will give a more old school and direct clutch pedal action.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've become so complacent with it running well that ive forgotten the basics.

Ive had a look and its probably my negligence rather than a leak in the system.

The reservoir is dry! Do i simply top up or does it need bleeding through.
Is it worth a total change at this stage or wait to see how it feels after the top up.?
 

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I've become so complacent with it running well that ive forgotten the basics.

Ive had a look and its probably my negligence rather than a leak in the system.

The reservoir is dry! Do i simply top up or does it need bleeding through.
Is it worth a total change at this stage or wait to see how it feels after the top up.?
Top it up and bleed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Id say its either a leak from the slave or the damper going by that picture.


Most likely the slave if its not going in gear.
I got it up on the ramp. There is evidence of a leak from the gearbox area so i presume is the slave.

Topping the fluid up helped for a few days but the problem is worse than before.

Am I right in thinking that you cant bleed it as its a hydraulic system?

They question now is do I spend the best part of £700 on a clutch, flywheel for an 08 with 170k on the clock?
 

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You need to locate the leak properly, is the fluid hydraulic or gear oil?

No, the clutch can be bled/flushed with new fluid just like brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ive had the fluid changed.
The clutch feels less stiff but still randomly refuses to go into gear.

Sometimes feels likes it will kick out.

Faulty slave cylinder?
 

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From what you've said you do have a hydraulic leak from either the slave or master cylinder. It's generally (!) the slave cylinder and that isn't too big an issue to replace (this is a CDT-i I take it?) but the rattle is different. That is going to mean a full clutch job but really at the mileage you've got that is only to be expected.
Bleeding the hydraulics can be a pain but one trick which often helps is to bleed it backwards, as in push fluid into the slave and up to the reservoir. It can get messy but with a pressure bleeder and some adapters it is doable an often works well on "tricky" ones! I've even heard of people putting a pipe from a front brake calliper to the clutch slave bleed nipple and bleeding it by pushing the brake pedal. Obviously keep the brake reservoir topped up.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you for your reply.

Im getting it checked again tomorrow.
At 170k i don't mind changing the slave cylinder but not going to fork out on a clutch and flywheel.Cars probably not worth much more than a £1000 now...

The rattle is much quieter since the fluid has been changed.


I got a garage to do the fluid change. It was messy and fiddly. They did it for £40 including the fluid...
 
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