: Irreproducible clutch failure



JFC
10-29-07, 05:59 PM
I parked my 2004 CTS-V Saturday morning. Saturday night I started it up and it wouldn't go into gear. The clutch would not disengage. Start in first (clutch down) and the car would lurch forward. Start in neutral, press the shifter towards first, and the car would roll forward a little bit but not go into gear.

This lasted three hours -- the tow truck driver had the same problem when he finally arrived.

The dealer called me this afternoon and said they took it out for a road test and nothing was wrong.

Any idea what might cause this sort of intermittent problem?

When the clutch on my old Audi failed it got harder to shift over a period of about 10 minutes before the clutch died altogether. Then it stayed dead. This is different.

I have about 29,000 miles on the car. I bought it used last spring with a little over 20,000 miles on it.

SkullV
10-29-07, 06:02 PM
Check your clutch fluid. There have been a lot of people on this forum that have had shifting problems because their clutch fluid was low!

Good Luck!

JFC
10-29-07, 06:49 PM
Does low fluid cause the intermittent but complete failure that I described? I saw some of the low fluid messages but didn't think they would apply to my situation.

Anyway, I'll ask the dealer tomorrow -- the car is still there. Thanks.

SkullV
10-29-07, 07:58 PM
well as your clutch plate wears down the fluid in the lines needs to "fill that space" in order for the clutch to disengage...no fluid=no filled space and it wont be able to push the clutch off

Twitch
10-29-07, 08:24 PM
Does low fluid cause the intermittent but complete failure that I described? I saw some of the low fluid messages but didn't think they would apply to my situation.

Anyway, I'll ask the dealer tomorrow -- the car is still there. Thanks.

You gotta give the V some love when she asks for it. :tisk:

TXSilverV
10-29-07, 10:56 PM
Maybe you had air in the line!

JFC
11-02-07, 09:25 AM
Maybe you had air in the line!

They say they checked for air and didn't find anything wrong.

My car is back and working fine and I have no idea if it will fail again without warning. At least I didn't have to deal with stupid dealer tricks like when the clutch went on my Audi.

JFC
12-31-07, 06:09 PM
It happened again. As before, my car had been parked for about ten hours on a Saturday. When I returned in the evening the clutch would not disengage.

Knowing that the problem went away on its own last time, I pumped the clutch for a while and it started to work again. 20 strokes didn't fix it but 70 did.

The weather was cool and wet -- 100% humidity with fog. I wondered if water could be condensing and getting in the line but the system should be sealed. The dealer said they checked for air in the line last time.

The Tony Show
12-31-07, 06:13 PM
20 strokes didn't fix it but 70 did.

Story of my life.

:rimshot:




Seriously though, folks.......sounds like a leaky slave cylinder. Loses pressure over time, but builds back up again when used. Has the fluid level stayed constant, or are you losing a bit?

JFC
12-31-07, 06:20 PM
Seriously though, folks.......sounds like a leaky slave cylinder. Loses pressure over time, but builds back up again when used. Has the fluid level stayed constant, or are you losing a bit?

I haven't checked it myself. It's under warranty so I had the dealer check it out last time. I should figure out how to check the level. There's no evidence of leaking in my regular parking spot.

Both times the clutch failed the car had sat parked all day, but it has sat parked for days with no trouble.

heavymetals
12-31-07, 06:36 PM
Cold weather related?

Contaminated fluid or a bad hydraulic pump or piston.

I vote hydraulic assy connected to clutch.

rekctsv
12-31-07, 06:37 PM
I haven't checked it myself. It's under warranty so I had the dealer check it out last time. I should figure out how to check the level. There's no evidence of leaking in my regular parking spot.

Both times the clutch failed the car had sat parked all day, but it has sat parked for days with no trouble.

This is exactly what's going on with mine.

About 2 months ago, I fought my way to the dealership barely able to shift into gear because the clutch was almost to the floor. They said my slave cylinder was leaking and repaired it but I still have the same problem today.

This never happens to me unless I do some spirited driving. Like today for instance, I did a little spirited driving and clutch stayed to the floor. Now I just take my foot and pull the clutch back up and its back to normal again.

Next time it sticks, reach down there and pull it back up. That's my fix for now. I'm thinking about reproducing the problem and go back to the dealership and let them scratch their heads. There is a TSB for this problem but it doesn't include the 04.

JFC
12-31-07, 06:43 PM
This never happens to me unless I do some spirited driving. Like today for instance, I did a little spirited driving and clutch stayed to the floor. Now I just take my foot and pull the clutch back up and its back to normal again.

I didn't notice a difference in feel. When I was pumping the clutch to work out whatever was blocking it, the first press felt about the same as the last. The pedal didn't go to the floor without resistance at any time. (That happened to me once with a brake pedal -- a mechanic put the wrong fluid in the brake system and the seals blew out while I was driving.)

rgd
12-31-07, 07:49 PM
This is exactly what's going on with mine.

About 2 months ago, I fought my way to the dealership barely able to shift into gear because the clutch was almost to the floor. They said my slave cylinder was leaking and repaired it but I still have the same problem today.

This never happens to me unless I do some spirited driving. Like today for instance, I did a little spirited driving and clutch stayed to the floor. Now I just take my foot and pull the clutch back up and its back to normal again.

Next time it sticks, reach down there and pull it back up. That's my fix for now. I'm thinking about reproducing the problem and go back to the dealership and let them scratch their heads. There is a TSB for this problem but it doesn't include the 04.

I would almost guarantee its your fluid. I used to have the same thing happen to mine when I tracked it. It would be ok for the first few sessions but would stick to the floor in the later sessions. So I began bleeding fluid every other track event. No problems since then. In my case it is moisture getting in thru the cap due to my vented hood. The cap is not sealed.

rekctsv
12-31-07, 08:04 PM
I didn't notice a difference in feel. When I was pumping the clutch to work out whatever was blocking it, the first press felt about the same as the last. The pedal didn't go to the floor without resistance at any time. (That happened to me once with a brake pedal -- a mechanic put the wrong fluid in the brake system and the seals blew out while I was driving.)
That's what I'm saying. My clutch never goes to the floor without resistance. There's resistance, but I can't engaged into any gear. If I keep pressing it, it will eventually go back to normal like you said with your 70 pumps. But now I realized I can just reach down there and pull the clutch back up by hand or foot and its back to normal immediately. Try it next time.


I would almost guarantee its your fluid. I used to have the same thing happen to mine when I tracked it. It would be ok for the first few sessions but would stick to the floor in the later sessions. So I began bleeding fluid every other track event. No problems since then. In my case it is moisture getting in thru the cap due to my vented hood. The cap is not sealed.
I'll take a look at my cap. Do you think a new one would help?

keeksv
12-31-07, 08:31 PM
...maybe a different Caddy dealer would help. I'm assuming your car is all stock, right?;)

rgd
12-31-07, 09:09 PM
That's what I'm saying. My clutch never goes to the floor without resistance. There's resistance, but I can't engaged into any gear. If I keep pressing it, it will eventually go back to normal like you said with your 70 pumps. But now I realized I can just reach down there and pull the clutch back up by hand or foot and its back to normal immediately. Try it next time.


I'll take a look at my cap. Do you think a new one would help?

No they are made to breath. I suggest bleeding the clutch with Motul 600.