Clutch pedal sticking occasionally

HMHB

Distinguished Member
My Seat Leon (14 Reg) has just started having issues with the clutch pedal not always returning after pressing. This could be due to a couple of extra factors other than a fault ....
1) I just had an MOT and an oil change. I haven't noticed this issue before
2) I've only done 700 and something miles over the last year so the car has hardly been used - especially over the last 6 months

I went out in the car Friday and after I'd been driving a while noticed the clutch pedal acting a bit strange. At first I thought I'd imagined it but then it kept happening. The pedal would stick down and I had to pump it again to release it.

This morning I decided I need to use the car more so I sat in it and pressed the clutch which went all the way to the floor with no resistance. I had to pull it back up with my hands. For quite some time there was no resistance at all. Then I started the engine and let that warm up and eventually the clutch started getting resistance and although was sticking most times, would come back up again with pumping. Then after a few more minutes it seemed fine.

So I went for a drive and for the first 30 or so miles it was fine. This was a mixture of slow town driving and higher speed. It was only when I got near home that it happened about 3 times again. Each time though, one pump of the pedal was enough to make it right again. For the last mile or so I didn't notice any problems.

My plan at the moment is to take it out as often as possible over the next few days but wondered if anyone on here could offer any opinions please? I've done a search on the internet but I'm a complete nobhead when it comes to car mechanics so nothing I've read actually means anything to me :)
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I would suggest that air or condensation ie water has got into the system and/or the seals have gone on either the clutch master or slave cylinder or both. Possibly a small split in a hose. I'd hope the seals and hoses would be OK in a 6 year old car though. Have you checked the level of fluid in the reservoir?
If you can spot a leak anywhere along the path from the clutch fluid reservoir to the gearbox (that the slave cylinder is bolted to) then you have found the issue. Not the trickiest job in the world but I'd imagine you'd want to get a garage to do it. I know I would, my days of crawling around under cars are done for. :)
 
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HMHB

Distinguished Member
I'm not exactly sure where the reservoir is, will need to check. Does it share the same fluid as the brake system I wonder?
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I can't find any images of a separate clutch fluid reservoir for a Leon so it's possible. But if so it should be compartmentalised so that if one system fails the other can still function. So although there may be a single cap you should be able to distinguish one or more compartments. And the clutch master cylinder should be distinct from the brakes one.
 

Aerojon

Active Member
@6yrs old the brake fluid should have been changed at least once in that time,maybe more..
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
It’s only done just under 18,000 miles in 6 years but I assume it’s the time that matters rather than the mileage?
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
Every two years for brake fluid. But i’d say the master cylinder has gone.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
It’s only done just under 18,000 miles in 6 years but I assume it’s the time that matters rather than the mileage?
Yes, even though the system should be air tight it still can absorb water which reduces the efficiency of the fluid.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Every two years for brake fluid. But i’d say the master cylinder has gone.
I agree. Similar thing happened in an old Peugeot until it completely failed. The clutch pedal stuck to the floor and I couldn't take it out of gear.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
My daughter's Ibiza does the same thing in hot weather.

It feels like a mechanical issue rather than the hydraulic system however, as she can release it by engaging neutral and flipping the pedal with her foot so that it comes back up. Never does it when it's cooler, only when it gets above about 25C inside the car.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I took it for a very short drive this afternoon and there was no problem at all. Going to try it again after work tomorrow.
 

madstaff

Active Member
Had similar on a Tiguan recently, changed the master (pedal) cylinder first as this was the cheapest option and it cured it.

Master cylinder was about £65 IIRC.
 
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nvingo

Distinguished Member
Is it hydraulic or cable?
A Peugeot I briefly had, the cable was supposed to be secured to the bulkhead behind the pedal, by a grommet/clip. Somehow the clip lost grip on the bulkhead and the clutch wouldn't operate.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I'm assuming it's hydraulic mainly because myself an a neighbour couldn't see anything moving in the engine compartment when operating the pedal. Mind you, you could really do with it on a ramp to be able to see properly.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
I'm assuming it's hydraulic as you can buy a clutch master cylinder for it :)
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Just a quick update.. It started getting better each drive after I posted this. I was going to nip into the garage with it when it was going wrong but it never did when I was in the vicinity of the garage. It would do it a couple of times and then be OK.

For the last 6 to 8 weeks it’s been fine with no hint of it sticking, so I’m wondering if it was sticking due to lack of use and now I use it at least twice a week it’s OK ?

The next time I have a service though I will mention it.,
 

mikes48

Distinguished Member
I'd be looking at the pivot that the clutch pedal turns on, and seeing if you can get some oil on it, or even a quick squirt of WD-40.
Hard to see a knackered master cylinder improving with time - the seals will either be swollen or split through contamination, and that doesn't get better.

Oh, and a quick 🙁 for @IronGiant - post#2 - join the club - I once replaced the clutch slave cylinder on my MkII Consul lying on my back - in a puddle, without a pair of circlip pliers - never again :thumbsdow.
 

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