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Clutch low bite point

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Hi, just got a 2002 corolla 1.4 and Iove it. Great smooth car but one problems is annoying me. Sometimes when starting off in first the clutch bites within an inch of lifting the pedal. This doesn't happens always and I can change gear through the rest of the the gears fine and smooth. It has also sometimes stuck in first and I have to pump the pedal to get out of first gear, obviously in heavy traffic this is dangerous and annoying. 

I haven't had a hydraulic clutch before so I sure what this could be, can it be adjusted at the pedal or bleed at the slave cylinder etc. 

 

Any help would be great thanks. 

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If you  need to pump the clutch a few times to get it going, it usually means means the slave cylinder is on it's way out, more exactly the slave cylinder seals.

However, it could also be the master cylinder. 

Check the slave cylinder, it's near the clutch and easy to find, see if there is any Oil around it, or if it looks greasy. Also check if the Oil level is as it should be (the hydraulic Oil used for braking and operating the clutch).

If all that appears to be fine, then it's time to check the master cylinder, get some light and look around the clutch pedal in the inside of the car, check the mechanism, and check for any signs of Oil leaking.

 

In the end, you can try bleeding the clutch, it's pretty simple procedure, but a 2 person job, you can find videos online easily.

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Hi,

As well as what Furtula has just mentioned  -  a low biting point generally means its got a new clutch, typically on an old clutch  the biting point is high up on the pedal and its also heavyish to press, is yours  light or heavy to press ?

Your symptoms remind me of when I had my clutch replaced by a local clutch "specialists" , it  gave me  problems engaging low gears ?!

Turns out the clutch assembly was not working correctly because some clown  had greased parts that should not have been greased, another new clutch assembly, self fitted this time,  cured the problem.

Any clues that your clutch has been replaced recently ?  

No adjustment on the hydraulics that I know of, but it can be bled like the brakes, there is a standard bleed nipple on the slave and it shares the fluid reservoir with the brakes.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Many thanks for the quick reply, I've check the slave cylinder and it's all dry, checked the pedal and it's all nice and dry I can't see any leaks at all. The fluid is at max and hasn't moved in over 400 miles when I first noticed this problem. Today I'm getting a bit of difficulty going into second gear so bad I had to stay in 3rd to keep the car moving. 

I will try to bleed it and report back any improvement. 

Is there any point in trying to adjust free play or biting point at the pedal, which looks fun as it's so tight to get your hand in there?

 

Also, I wasn't told when I bought the car about a new clutch so I doubt it is new. Just to be clear it's not everytime the shirt bite point. The next time I drive the car the bite point can be half way off the floor which seems just about right. 

Edited by Armyd
Extra info.

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Never adjusted the pedal or heard about any one needing to do it, but the pages below from a US corolla manual might help, would think the routines the same, the measurement seem to agree with the UK Haynes manual.

Removing the cardboard lower cover helps along with a visit to a back and neck physio afterwards :laugh:

 

 

001629.jpg

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  • Haha 1

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If all dry, then its probable there's air in the system. You pump the pedal few times, compress the air, and clutch works, kinda.

Do not adjust the clutch pedal until you bleed the clutch and make sure there is no air in the system. A bit of transparent pvc tubing pointed upwards is of great help, as it ensures that no air enters the system that way, since there will be Oil in there stopping it.

 

You can adjust the clutch as you wish, but remember this, there always must be a bit of freeplay in the clutch pedal, say 3 mm or more. If there is no freeplay, it means the clutch is always a big engaged, which causes extra wear on all the components involved.

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Thanks for your advice and suggestions everyone. I will bleed the system and see what happens, it would be great if it was as easy as that. 

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If its biting earlier than it was my guess is the master cylinder is on its way out, (or slave) new fluid and a bleed might help for a while

IIRC, if the clutch itself is going the pedal will be quite hard and it;ll bite later if anything

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Any news ?

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Hi, well I bleed the system using the two person method (it was really quick) and it's much better. The bite point is half way off the floor although sometimes it's bitting just off the floor but not nearly as much. 

I am going to replace the slave cylinder (start with the cheapest item first) but my local car shop don't have in stock so will need to look online. Is it an easy enough job to do, or anything I should know before starting? 

Must say this forum has been very useful, helpful and quick so thanks to all. 

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The fact that you've achieved an improvement with bleeding suggests air is getting into the system somehow, so I think replacing the cheapest/easiest item first is a good plan. 

BTW, is it possible that air got into the reservoir because the fluid had run a little too low, which could occur as the brake pads wear?

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You could be very correct with that point about the reservoir being low. When I got the car the coolant reservoir was nearly empty, the plugs hadn't been changed in god knows how long so I don't think they looked after the car. 

I have kept an eye on all fluids and so far so good. I put in a bottle of k seal into the coolant to stop a leak and it worked a treat so if I can recommend it please try it. 

For a car that has 148000 miles it is surprising such a great drive. 

I want to keep it until it dies, which may be a long time yet ha ha. 

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