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I've had some trouble identifying a clutch issue and wonder if someone can advise if its likely to me the master/slave/accumulator or a good old fashioned leak. It an 02 996 turbo manual.

Over a period of a few days my clutch started to feel strange, with the biting point getting progressively closer to the floor, until finally the pedal wouldn't fully return, then fairly quickly I couldn't engage gear and the pedal wouldn't return at all.

At no point did the pedal feel "stiff".

Once I completely lost the pedal I noticed a drip under the front of the car (fairly central but towards the passenger side (UK car) but thats possibly just where it got out from the undertray.

I then checked the pentosin levels - rear seems correct, front was dry :o (car is just a couple of weeks back from a major service, so hadn't checked it myself since). No sign of overflowing at either.

Reading through the (many) other posts on this subject, I suspected the accumulator and/or slave, but now I'm not sure and wondering if the leak and dry reservoir at the front mean either a master cylinder or a good old fashioned leak.

I'm going to get a topup of pentosin and refill/bleed so I can at least trace the leak, but any thoughts on what may be the cause?

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It sounds like you have a leak in the system. Did the garage do anything with the clutch/brake hydraulics when it was in for the service? I would return to the service garage and have them look at it. That Pentosin fluid is nasty stuff on plastics,rubber and painted surfaces so get it sorted asap.

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I had a similar clutch issue on boxster s (986). Pedal engagement height changed over time like you've indicated. Occasionally slipped the clutch a bit.

When I changed the clutch last year I went to bleed as per the maintenance manual, kept pedal fully depressed with a pressure bleeder on the reservoir. No fluid would come out of bleeder nipple, so against good judgement I pumped the clutch pedal as well, causing a sporadic flow of fluid out the nipple (all clean fluid, no debris). Obviously master wasn't behaving so I replaced it, & it works beautifully now.

I dissected the master cylinder to investigate, rubber seal on actuator shaft was deteriorated, allowing fluid past the shaft (must've been unloading hydraulic effort whilst pedal was depressed).

Hope this doesn't create more confusion, but you could try bleeding the clutch to see if the master behaves accordingly, or just to pick up any leaks under pressure.

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mattatk - did you have fluid dripping out due to the failed master?

I am starting to think this is a good old-fashioned leak - I'll refill with pentosin today to see if I get some pedal back (that would be good as it would save me trailering the 15 miles to the garage).

I don't know if the garage did anything - I would assume they had checked the level for a major service, but will ask the question.

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