Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'88 Pontiac Fiero, Clutch Problems
I am having clutch
problems with my 88 Pontiac Fiero and can't find the proper troubleshooting
guide that describes the symptoms my car is having! I replaced the slave
cylinder and bled the clutch lines, real good! The master clutch cylinder
seems to be functioning properly! When I go to put the car in gear it
starts to move before its all the way in gear, when I get near where
reverse is supposed to be it starts to roll back as if already in gear,
same with first, second, etc...! Can you help me please?
- David H.
For starters, your
Fiero, has just about the hardest clutch system made to bleed correctly.
The clutch master is in the front of the vehicle and the clutch slave
is in the rear with about 10 feet of twisted line that carries the fluid
from the front to the rear. There are plenty of places for air to be trapped
in that system. If you pump the clutch pedal quickly 2 times, can you
put the transmission in reverse without grinding the gears? If yes, with
your foot still on the clutch pedal, after 2 quick pumps, and the vehicle
in reverse does it start moving by itself? If it does, it is likely you
need a clutch master cylinder. If a clutch master cylinder is leaking
internally, it will act like youre taking your foot off the clutch
pedal because the pressure in the system is leaking back into the reservoir.
If youre having trouble getting the vehicle into a gear and/or it
is binding between shifts then there is air in the system. The best way
I have found to deal with this, short of standing the vehicle on end,
is to open the bleeder at the slave cylinder and have a helper quickly
push the clutch pedal down and hold it there. Then close the bleeder screw
and repeat. This method allows for quick movement of the fluid and the
air trapped in the system.