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Clutch Engaged At Start Up


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My car has not been driven too often since I bought it in June. I started it today to back it into the driveway and when I cranked it with the clutch engaged and in first gear it felt like the clutch was still somewhat engaged. The car tended to move forward but it started just fine and moving the car didn't seem to repeat the issue? Slave cylinder perhaps? The master appears to be new but the slave looks original.

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Does the pedal feel right? Does it go part way to the floor before you start to feel any resistance? if so you might have a slave cylinder going bad but they usually leak when that happens. Are you loosing fluid? if so and it is not coming out of the slave you might have a bad clutch master and it will be leaking into the pedal box, and it holds a lot of fluid before it starts to soak into your carpets.

If the hydraulics are ok you might just have a Flywheel/Pressure plate/clutch disk with rust and it will drag until the rust has been cleaned off. Using the clutch a few times should clean it off.

1970 1602 (purchased 12/1974)

1974 2002 Turbo

1988 M5

1986 Euro 325iC

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That's why it isn't on the road yet.  Been going through each system one at a time.  I did sneak it out for a spin around the neighborhood today.  Had some squealing from the clutch but it stopped in a minute or two.  The disengagement issues seems to have gone as well.


From an experienced 2002 driver, what is the typical clutch engagement distance from the floor?  Mine seems to engage at only about 2 inches or so from full in.

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  • 7 months later...

Since we now have no snow in NY I took the car out for a spin. The clutch engages very close to the floor, likely hydraulic related. I took a look around to look for leaks. Master and slave look dry but there is fluid leaking from around the gearbox. It's definitely brake fluid so a leak from one of the clutch systems. Any ideas?

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Yep, pretty likely your slave's leaking into the bellhousing...  uhh, wait, no, only if you have a 320 trans...


Sure, flush the hydraulics (low and 'springy' is the usual air symptom) but low and repeatable is often worn- out clutch.



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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