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Breakdown

While travelling back from a wedding on sunday we experienced a very rare occurance, a breakdown. We came off the M5 heading towards Cheltenham and I thought the clutch pedal felt a little softer than normal. After finding the A40 and heading towards Oxford the clutch pedal was down to the floor with no resistance at all. Roundabouts and traffic lights were interesting, trying to get the car into gear with a clutch that could not be released.

I was aiming for Witney on the A40 and found a service station. I called the resuce organisation, who arrived within the quoted time. The guy looked at it and said the clutch had gone. So it was a tow truck ride home, which the kids enjoyed.

After dumping the car outside the house I had a think about what it could be. The clutch was replaced in February and had done around 6000 miles since then. I was doubtful about that being the problem and started to look at the hydraulics operating the clutch. To start with I decided to try to see how much fluid came out of the bleed screw when the pedal was pressed. With my eldest pumping the pedal I bled a lot of air out of it. After flushing more fluid through the system the clutch pedal felt much firmer.

A quick test drive and all appears normal.

The question now, is how did the air get into the system? The brake and clutch systems share the same fluid resevoir so was it from when I was pressure bleeding the brakes a few weeks ago and the level dropped below the clutch take off pipe allowing air to be introduced into the clutch system?

The next step is to bleed the brakes again and the clutch to make sure there is no air in the system.

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