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I have a 2003 CS4 which I just recently started having issues shifting gears, specifically into reveres or down shifting to first and second gear.

It feels as though I have plenty of clutch, so I decided to go into DIY Brake & Clutch fluid change and bleeding instructions in which I was able to bleed air out of the system.

However, now that I’ve bled all the air out of the system I cannot shift gears at all.

Can you guys help?

19Fatboy53

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What are some of the symptoms of a slave cylinder failure. I was assuming that fluid loss or dripping on the ground around the transmission / clutch would be one of the main indications.

Can the slave cylinder fail without there being a leak?

The same indication should be true with a master slave cylinder except the leaking would be up front and you could perhaps have break issues since they share the same reservoir, right?

I am still learning this particular system on our cars.

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When the slave fails, they sometimes leak internally. When this happens, insufficient hydraulic pressure is developed to operate the clutch, but there are no external signs of leakage. The slave simply no longer pushes hard enough to work the pressure plate and release the disc.

Edited by JFP in PA
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JFP in PA,

I replaced the slave cylinder without any issues, but, now I am having a heck of a time trying to bleed the air out of the system eventhough I followed the instructions from DIY Brake & Clutch fluid change and bleeding instructions to the tee.

I even tried using a hand operated vaccum pump which seems to work since I can see the air bubbles coming out, but, I am having issues holding a vaccum on the system; probably leaking by the seals on the container so I am thinking of buying a new pump.

Oh yes, I was told that if I use a vaccum pump I don't have to hold down on the clutch pedal but need to ensure there is plenty of fluid in the brake mastercylinder, is this correct?

Please advise, and thanks for any inputs you may have.

19Fatboy53

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Holding down the clutch is only applicable to manually bleeding the system. With the pedal down, pressure is held against the system and forces out a small amount of fluid/air with each compression. Holding the bleed valve open too long or allowing the pedal to retreat will draw air into the system. If using a pressure bleeder you simply use the tool to maintain the pressure. Pressure bleeding is better as it provides a better flush of the system in short order. And you will need to keep an eye on the reservoir to ensure you don't suck huge amounts of air into the system and have to start over.

Edited by goldenwarrior1
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Holding down the clutch is only applicable to manually bleeding the system. With the pedal down, pressure is held against the system and forces out a small amount of fluid/air with each compression. Holding the bleed valve open too long or allowing the pedal to retreat will draw air into the system. If using a pressure bleeder you simply use the tool to maintain the pressure. Pressure bleeding is better as it provides a better flush of the system in short order. And you will need to keep an eye on the reservoir to ensure you don't suck huge amounts of air into the system and have to start over.

That is not completely correct; you still need to hold the pedal to the floor while using a pressure or vacuum bleeder. When you are finished, the pedal will stay down, and needs to be manually pulled up, after which it will function normally......

Edited by JFP in PA
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JFP in PA,

I replaced the slave cylinder without any issues, but, now I am having a heck of a time trying to bleed the air out of the system eventhough I followed the instructions from DIY Brake & Clutch fluid change and bleeding instructions to the tee.

I even tried using a hand operated vaccum pump which seems to work since I can see the air bubbles coming out, but, I am having issues holding a vaccum on the system; probably leaking by the seals on the container so I am thinking of buying a new pump.

Oh yes, I was told that if I use a vaccum pump I don't have to hold down on the clutch pedal but need to ensure there is plenty of fluid in the brake mastercylinder, is this correct?

Please advise, and thanks for any inputs you may have.

19Fatboy53

I have never been a fan of vacuum bleeding tools for a variety of reasons; get a pressure unit such as the one Motive Products makes.

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Guys,

I finally received my Motive Power bleeder but have one question; after going to the process of checking the bleeder for air leaks, there were none, I filled up the tank with brake fluid as directed, but, I notice that when I went to pump up the pressure it filled the clear line with fluid and “air” that traveled through the hose into the reservoir. Is this normal?

The reason I ask is that I am afraid to pump more air into the system defeating my objective, please advice thanks.

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You will be fine, the Motive unit needs to clear the air out of the line before the fluid flows, and this will just sit above the fluid level in the system reservoir during the bleeding session. It will not get into your system.

Small bit of advice for the future: I always suggest that people fully hook up the Motive unit dry (no fluid) if they do not use it regularly, then pump it up to about 10-12 PSIG and let it sit for about 10 min. to see if the pressure holds. If it does, you are golden and can release the pressure by unscrewing the pump cap on the Motive unit slightly until the pressure vents off, then fill the unit, pressurize and commence the flush. The reason I suggest this “dry pressure” run is that if the unit, the line or the cap it is connected to are leaking, you will find that and be able to fix it without brake fluid, which is Hell on paint, spraying all over the place. Better safe than sorry.

Edited by JFP in PA
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You will be fine, the Motive unit needs to clear the air out of the line before the fluid flows, and this will just sit above the fluid level in the system reservoir during the bleeding session. It will not get into your system....

+1 totally normal to see some air "behind the fluid" in the tube coming from the bleeder to the cap.

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Guys,

I used the Motive power bleeder per your recommendation and everything seemed to work out accordingly, i.e., air came out in droves until finally nothing came out but clean fluid. However, I still can’t shift into reverse or 1st and 2nd gear and the pedal feels spongy and not at all like before.

My plan for today is to take the care off the ramps to see if the angle in which the car sits is causing the issue since the OEM recommends to take the left wheel off to bleed the slave…it doesn’t make sense but I am at wits end and pretty close to just having it towed to the dealer to get fixed, dang it all.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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The clutch slave is located in a tight spot, but is not much of an issue to bleed. Removing the rear wheel helps to see it, but really does not make it any easier to get at. Just be sure the clutch pedal is held to the floor (an adjustable hood prop or section of 2X4 seem to be the preferred tooling) the entire time you are bleeding the clutch. When you are done, the pedal will remain on the floor and must be pulled up manually, after which is should be fine.

If you have done a full bleed of the clutch hydraulic system (let it run for a bit, it hold ssome fluid volume) and it still feels funny, your clutch slave may be on its way out.

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