Car Clutch Problems

Reader Question:

My son has a Acura Integra with a 5 speed manual transmission. The problem is when you try to shift from 2nd to 3rd it grinds, so he goes from 2nd to 4th. Is this a transmission problem or clutch. Please get back with me when you can, I know you are busy.



Hi Tony

That can be tricky to figure out, but he can try this.

FIRST make sure there is enough hydraulic fluid in the clutch master cylinder….usually real close to the brake master cylinder. If it is low on fluid it can make it hard to shift gears, also if it is low…there is probably a leak somewhere.

Second If fluid is full, try shifting through the gears with the engine off, if it shifts fine with the engine off….it could be a problem with the clutch.

If it shifts hard as with the engine on, it could be a problem in the transmission. You are going to have to take the clutch out to remove the transmission… you might as well try to rule out a worn out clutch or a hydraulic fluid leak like in the clutch master cylinder or clutch slave cylinder before you go through the added expense of a transmission overhaul you might not need.

I did not check this model specifically….but some models have a cable operated clutch and not hydraulic fluid….so if you don’t have a hydraulic clutch (you will know because you will not have a clutch master cylinder) your clutch cable could be worn out not allowing the clutch to release properly.

If the clutch has more than 50,000 miles on it…I would inspect and replace the clutch and see what happens.

Keep me posted,

Please share this with your friends,

Austin C. Davis

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