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05 cts \/
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. Hoping that someone can provide some input on what the hell is going on with my car since no Cadillac dealership seems to be able to. I had an original post on this issue back in September and thought that the problem was fixed back then...Boy was I wrong!

Here's the scoop. About a year ago when sitting in traffic, I engaged my clutch as I was rolling to a stop and the pedal remained on the floor. I freaked out and pulled it back up but it appeared to have lost all the pressure. Trying to avoid stalling or hitting the car in front of me I frantically started pumping it with my hand and/or foot. System regained pressure but as soon as I had to stop again the pedal dropped out. I quickly realized that I couldnt yank the shifter back to neutral so I had to pump it again. Luckily I was right next to my exit and was able to get the car home with it only happening a few more times. All systems seemed fine as soon as I turned the car off and everything worked perfectly. I half ignored because there didnt seem to be an issue anymore.

About a month later driving down the higway and I hit traffic. Again rolling to a stop in 2nd and then shifting for 1st, the pedal sticks. This time it seemed to be much worse. I got the car off the highway and there was no fluid in the reservoir. Also noticed that the diaphragm on the cap had a large tear in it. Car was towed and ultimately had the slave cylinder replaced under warranty.

Everything worked without a hitch for about 6 months until the beginning of April. Again driving in traffic and repeatedly using the clutch, the pedal stuck. And again he fluid level was fine. To be safe I had it towed in but was told by the dealer that they "could not duplicate the issue" and they therefore could not repair anything. I knew immediately that this was just like the first time that it occured and I had about a month before it failed altogether. Surely enough, last Tuesday it happened. I got the car off the road but noticed that the fluid was still full. I called for a tow, this time making sure that the clutch pedal remained in the down position so they could see it with their own eyes. Dealer told me last Friday that they were again replacing the slave and I would see the car Monday. On Monday they called to ask if I wanted to pay for a new clutch because they had the tranny apart to replace the throw out bearing. I guess at some point after replacing the cylinder and it not working they determined this to be the probem, which def made more sense. I declined on the new clutch because the service guy said mine was only "slightly worn". Car was done Tuesday and ready for me to pick up. When I first drove it the pedal seemed very soft, but I blamed it on the new bearing.

Thursday came and when driving home from work I had a nervous feeling about how the pedal felt. About a half mile from home and the Fu*$&^# thing sticks again! I got the car back to my house and called for a tow again making sure that the pedal stayed down. Dealer called me yesterday to say that they could not identify the problem. We argued for a good 20 minutes about whether or not it was the same issue as described in TSB #1645348 Re:Clutch sticking at high RPM's. I explained that it could not be the same problem since mine only occured at low RPM's. He then told me that I had the same clutch noted in that bulletin but that he would not replace mine under warranty because I was having different symptoms. He then said "I have already recommended that you replace the clutch". I went off because the guy never TOLD me to do the clutch only asked if I wanted to, making it seem as though it was a favor since the tranny was apart and I would save on the labor. He recommended that I either replace the clutch or use a synthetic fluid, neither of which he could guarantee would resolve the issue. Prick even had the nerve to say "Use a synthetic like I do in my 700 HP hot rod, I never have clutch problems"!!! He told me that I would have to get the car and he could not do anything with it unless I wanted to pay for a new clutch, but with no guarantees. I declined and picked the car up. It drove home, but not without me questioning the feel of the pedal (it is now very soft, expecially the first 2 inches or so) Last night I figured I would try and take it out for a ride. First stoplight I hit the pedal stuck again. Now my car is sitting outside of my house and I don't even trust it enough to drive it...

Sorry to be so longwinded everyone, to say the least this is the most stressful experience I have had with this car yet (and there have been enough problems) Anyone know what the hell is going here??? Any input is greatly greatly appreciated!!! Thanks all.
 

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Raven Black 2004 CTS-V. Broken Diff!
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just subscribing, im quite interested in what the issue is when it gets fixed :)
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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If your fluid remains at a constant level during all of this it could be you master cylinder. If the master is letting fluid escape past the internal orings it wont leak. It will just loose all of its pressure. It sounds to me that the clutch is not the issue but rather a hydraulic issue.
 

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05 cts \/
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Discussion Starter #5
Bought the car with 39K and it now has 57K. I have never replaced it and figure that it is the original.

When it it is working it still very tight. If the clutch is worn to the point that it needs replacement wouldn't it slip?

CTSV154, the service manager claims to have rebuilt the entire hydraulic system.
 

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See you in the funny papers
04 CTS-V, 05 STS, 07 SRX- All sold :(
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26,239 Posts
The problem is definitely hydraulic, not clutch. That being said, the lack of proper pressure in the system may have damaged the clutch during this whole ordeal, but you need to fix the hydraulic problem before you go there.

I'd consider bleeding the whole system multiple times, as your problem sounds like a large air bubble somewhere in the system. Every time it gets to the right place, the slave has no return pressure and the pedal bottoms out. If you're not losing fluid, it has to be either the slave cylinder, master cylinder or air in the system.
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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Ask your service manager specifically if they replaced the master cylinder for the clutch. They never work on cars with manual transmissions so he probably thinks the slave is the entire hydraulic system. The master is attached to the clutch pedal and is the what forces the slave to do its job.

I'm really surprised that nobody has ever complained about that. You know, master and slave. Makes sense when you think about it.
 

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Tis Gone :(
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I try to stay away from "Cadillac Only" dealers and take mine to a place where the techs see some Vettes/Fbodys come through. We cant all have Luke and Will at our disposal.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Sounds like you're getting excellent advice from the guys above.

I had a clutch-pedal return spring break and found it laying on the floor under my feet. Clutch pedal action didn't feel any different, however. I drove to the dealer, and they replaced the whole clutch pedal assembly. Not saying that's the problem; I think it's hydraulic like the others here, but in the unlikely event that it's a compound issue, that'd be another possibility.

Haven't heard of this one before. Hope this gets fixed, 'cause you've certainly shown a lot of patience so far. :yup:
 

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2005 CTS V (long gone), 2016 CT6
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315 Posts
There is also a return spring assist, so the pedal shouldn't get "stuck" to the floor.
That's not really true, if the clutch does not help push the pedal back the spring will not return the pedal by itself...trust me I've had a replacement clutch pedal assembly loose in my hands, once fully depressed the spring will not return the pedal by itself.

I'd have to say that the seal on you master clutch cylinder piston is bypassing causing a loss of pressure on the slave cylinder which will of course cause your clutch to not function and the pedal to stick to the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The pedal does not get stuck, it drops to the floor from a loss of pressure. It can easily be pulled back up with your toe, and almost naturally returns from the return spring. If you can manage to pump it 3-4 times before the car stalls out or you hit the person in front of you it will regain pressure. BUt as soon as you need to disengage again it goes. Point is the spring seems fine

I have noticed that if the car sits for a little while, it works fine following that. I also noticed that the shifter appears to get tight and squeaks when changing gears right before it happens. Now I can almost predict when it's coming which is becoming more and more often.

Took it out for a ride just a little while ago and it didn't act up initially. At first the pedal was tight and felt fine. After about a 1/2 mile and a couple stop lights the first 2" of pedal had no resistance at all. I could literally tap the thing with my foot and it was slapping back and forth. Beyond the first 2" it felt fine but it was enough to make me nervous. I turned around and came home.

Lucky me, sounds like I'm the only one in the god damn world with a V that has this problem. Thanks for all the good info guys, would love to get some more feedback if anyone has ideas. Where's the Lindsay guys when I need them?
 

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2005 CTS V (long gone), 2016 CT6
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315 Posts
Dude the master cylinder is toast...if the seal on the piston is bad it would likely cause your shifter to get tight because there is not enough hydraulic pressure on the slave to fully release the clutch, you're actually shifting with the clutch partially engaged and if the seal is bypassing your pedal will be like jello...no effort to push it in, pumping the pedal is just moving fluid from one side of the master piston to the other. It probably gets worse as the hyd fluid warms up causing it to get thinner.
 

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2018 CT6E, old: 2014 XTS Vsport, 2005 CTS-V, 2004 CTS-V.
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2,718 Posts
I think the spring is there, on my C5 it fell off, for give a consistent action for the length of the pedal movement. It is not really needed but keeps the pressure constant when releasing the clutch.

Sounds like a bleeding is needed. The air bubble will expand when hot.

Norm
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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My money is on a bad master. I've never heard of a clutch being perfectly fine and then go completely to the floor without pressure without a failure of the orings. My slave did the same thing before it went south. Act perfect and then it started getting hard to get out of gear until the pedal stuck to the floor. Worse when hot, all the same symptoms but I was loosing fluid, thats why I new it was the slave. A failure of the master will start the same way only you wont loose the fluid because its bypassing into the reservoir, unlike the slave which will bypass in to the bell housing and hence you have a leak. It will also progressively get worse with time as the oring gets chewed up.

One thing to watch for is little chunks of black rubber in the reservoir. That would be the oring coming apart. If you have that, you are definitely hard broke. If not, that doesn't mean your not broke, but having the chunks of rubber is fo shizzle a sign of oring failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Gotta agree on the master cylinder...Found this post earlier on a website.

Q. How do I know my Clutch master cylinder is not working or broken?
A. Sure tell signs that your clutch master cylinder is not working correctly is when you press the clutch pedal, it does not return and simply sinks to the floor without disengaging the clutch. Also, leaks from either the rod exiting the clutch master cylinder or the actual clutch master cylinder itself are sure signs that your clutch master cylinder needs replacing

Other stuff I read makes it sound as if the fluid might be leaking through the center seal and back into the reservoir when I first push the pedal. Hence why I am not losing any fluid.

I pulled my service reports from all of the work that has been done on the hydraulics. At 49K miles the master and slave cylinders were replaced. At 57K miles only the slave was replaced along with the throwout bearing. Sounds as if the master should have been replaced this time as well. I'm gonna take pleasure in bringing this to light with the service guys on Monday. Thanks for everyone's input, this has been driving me absolutely nuts.

Any thoughts on why they would fail in only 8K miles time? Is there something that could be causing it?
 

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Raven Black 2004 CTS-V. Broken Diff!
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Gotta agree on the master cylinder...Found this post earlier on a website.

Q. How do I know my Clutch master cylinder is not working or broken?
A. Sure tell signs that your clutch master cylinder is not working correctly is when you press the clutch pedal, it does not return and simply sinks to the floor without disengaging the clutch. Also, leaks from either the rod exiting the clutch master cylinder or the actual clutch master cylinder itself are sure signs that your clutch master cylinder needs replacing

Other stuff I read makes it sound as if the fluid might be leaking through the center seal and back into the reservoir when I first push the pedal. Hence why I am not losing any fluid.

I pulled my service reports from all of the work that has been done on the hydraulics. At 49K miles the master and slave cylinders were replaced. At 57K miles only the slave was replaced along with the throwout bearing. Sounds as if the master should have been replaced this time as well. I'm gonna take pleasure in bringing this to light with the service guys on Monday. Thanks for everyone's input, this has been driving me absolutely nuts.

Any thoughts on why they would fail in only 8K miles time? Is there something that could be causing it?
yeah the dealer put in trash for parts. i wouldnt take my car back to that dealer based on the experiences you have had w/ them. sounds to me like they are running a sweat shop
 

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04 CTS-V with a little hp persuasion device
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Some parts are just bad from the factory or have a defect that causes them to fail early in life. My slave was replaced under warranty and less than a year later it failed again.
 
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