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Clutch mystery

Question : My 1991 BMW 320i manual runs beautifully as long as I do not have to shift gears at low speeds or from stationary. When in first gear or reverse, the clutch doesn't work momentarily. If I reverse during parking, the clutch loses pressure. Then when I release the clutch, and push it back to the floor, it is working.

On some occasions I have to stall the car because it acts as if I slowed to a stop in gear without depressing the clutch pedal. I have checked the clutch/brake fluid and the level is fine and there seem to be no leaks.

Answer : It appears you are losing fluid from either the master or the slave cylinders. If the slave cylinder is leaking, the outside of the casting would be wet with fluid and the fluid level would always be dropping and need to be topped up. Since you do not have to, then we can rule out the slave cylinder.

There could be two types of leaks in the master cylinder, internal or external. If the leak is past the outer seal, then the firewall would be wet with fluid and you would need to top up occasionally. Since this is not happening, you most likely have an internal leak where the fluid is leaking back to the reservoir and you can see no external leaks but the system is not holding pressure. Pull out the master cylinder and check it out.


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