master cylinder has gone again

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My Name: RC3D

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
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Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
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I have got a C3 Picasso 2011 which has done nearly 160000. I have spent quite a bit of money on the car recently.
The recurring problem is with the clutch. In July 2020, the clutch and the slave cylinder were replaced by the mechanic. A few weeks later the clutch peddle was stuck to the floor again, the mechanic replaced the pedal unit. Then got stuck again, this time he changed the master cylinder. Then got stuck again, this time he replaced the pipe that connects to the reservoir. It got stuck again, he was at a loss and he replaced both cylinders. Now the peddle is stuck to the floor gain. I can manually pull the lever up but when I pushed down it won't return. The spring is in place. the break fluid level is at it's max. I have pumped the pedal with my hands a few times, I can hear a hissing noise but pressure is not building up. I can't see any oil leaking from the cylinders.
What could be the problem?
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My Name: C3CAR

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
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Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi, I thought you would have given up with Citroens by now 😂

Do you have air in the clutch system? That would cause a lack of hydraulic pressure.

The bleed is on the master cylinder (probably) as it is on the C3. Try bleeding it.
My Name: RC3D

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Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
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Sucker for punishment, lol

I know the mechanic bled the system, there is a bleed nipple on the slave, didn't realise there is one for the master too!

Also since this has been happening repeatedly, I'm wondering whether the problem is with the bearing on the clutch? The mechanic mentioned that the clutch might be putting additional pressure on the cylinder and that could be the reason for it to fail.
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My Name: C3CAR

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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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RC3D wrote: Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:04 pm Sucker for punishment, lol

I know the mechanic bled the system, there is a bleed nipple on the slave, didn't realise there is one for the master too!

Also since this has been happening repeatedly, I'm wondering whether the problem is with the bearing on the clutch? The mechanic mentioned that the clutch might be putting additional pressure on the cylinder and that could be the reason for it to fail.
Ah, sorry, scratch 'master'. It's been a long day. Should read slave cylinder.

I had a pedal stick down and it sorted itself out by the time I got to it. Never did it again and coincidentally not hundreds of miles after a new complete clutch.

Could mechanical pedal be too sticky for the spring to overcome the resistance?

I do hope it's not the clutch, so exhaust all options first :)
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
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You will need to see if the clutch fork (and/or slave cylinder) is actually moving when you "move" the peddle.
This will tell you if it's the clutch or hydraulics.
If the fork does move backwards and forwards when you push and pull on the peddle, the problem is in the clutch. If the clutch fork stays when you move the peddle backwards and forwards, then the problem is in the hydraulics.
Can you put the car in gear with the engine running? Any other clues?
My Name: RC3D

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Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
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thanks Ozvtr for you reply.
When I pull & push the lever with my hands, I am hearing squelching noise, possibly indicating a hydraulic problem. I can't put it into gear when the engine is running. The car has just been taken to the mechanic. He recons the problem is either with the clutch plate or flywheel, which was replaced with non genuine parts, to get genuine parts £700+ before adding labour cost. I think it's time to do part-exchange!!
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My Name: C3CAR

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Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Squelching sounds like hydraulic fluid moving around the air.

Not a mechanical clutch problem.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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It is possible that the clutch diaphragm spring has broken or the throw-out bearing has fused onto the input shaft (in a very strange way which is highly unlikely). This will cause similar symptoms to what you have (aside from the potential hydraulic failure).
I cant see how the clutch disc or the flywheel could be involved? The clutch disc can be non genuine...that's irrelevant. The flywheel is part of the engine and if it's galled, damaged or too smooth, it's typically removed and sent to a machine shop to get refaced!! Replacing the flywheel is expensive and not usually done. Did you (or they) mean pressure plate and not flywheel?
Typically only the clutch disc and pressure plate (this is a one piece assembly of the clutch cover, diaphragm spring and pressure plate) are replace when you "do the clutch".
If the clutch disc and flywheel are fused that will stop the gearbox from going into gear. However, it wont affect the action of the clutch peddle as the diaphragm spring will still work.

The clutch hydraulics shouldn't make a "squelching" noise. It's possible there is a bit of air in the system causing the noise (I don't know how loud this squelching is).
I'm sorry but I'm not there, so I cant hear for myself. Might be, might not be?

Has all this work been done by the same mechanic?
Are you trying to get him to fix all this for free? Are you beyond the point of no return with this guy? You can't back out?
If all this work has been done by the same mechanic...then they are incompetent! In the technicians trade we call it "shot gunning". It means you throw every thing at it until it works!
Occasionally, a problem can be very difficult to diagnose, and that's the point, diagnose!! The golden rule for a carpenter is to measure twice, cut once! Get it? So the rule for a mechanic is basically the same. Diagnose twice, replace once! You don't just randomly replace parts until it works.
As I said, some problems can be hard to diagnose and as a mechanic you might get it wrong the first time. Sh!t happens, but in this case the guy has thrown everything at it except the kitchen sink and it's still not working! Also, this is NOT a hard thing to diagnose, so it should have been easily fixed.

I would (as I said previously) check the action of the clutch fork, determine what he failure is (clutch or hydraulics) then take the car TO ANOTHER MECHANIC!

My bet is either the clutch diaphragm spring or the clutch master cylinder (my money is on the master cylinder).

I am not being facetious when I say "good luck".
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