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We have a 2008 Focus, manual transmission, with 42k miles. We're having intermittent trouble with shifting. The clutch gets to the point where it begins to make contact about 1 inch from the floor, and it becomes very hard to shift gears. ~~ This does not happen all the time. ~~ From what I understand, there is no slave cylinder for the clutch; it operates from the brake master cylinder, which is full and doesn't leak. I took it to the dealer a couple of months ago for this, but they couldn't find a problem. (At that time, it wasn't malfunctioning, I guess.) ~~ Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be, and what could be done about it? Thanks!
 

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We have a 2008 Focus, manual transmission, with 42k miles. We're having intermittent trouble with shifting. The clutch gets to the point where it begins to make contact about 1 inch from the floor, and it becomes very hard to shift gears. ~~ This does not happen all the time. ~~ From what I understand, there is no slave cylinder for the clutch; it operates from the brake master cylinder, which is full and doesn't leak. I took it to the dealer a couple of months ago for this, but they couldn't find a problem. (At that time, it wasn't malfunctioning, I guess.) ~~ Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be, and what could be done about it? Thanks!
Hi bolep,

Since your shifting concern has increased since you last had the Focus inspected, I definitely recommend visiting your dealer so they can diagnose it. If they are unable to determine the cause of the difficult shifting, please send me a PM with your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state so I can help get you back to shifting smoothly.

~Natasha
 

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Bleed the clutch.
Even though it is connected to the master brake cylinder, it still has a clutch cylinder and that has a little bleed valve on it. (use the exact wrench that fits perfect, do NOT use an adjustable wrench)
To bleed it, you need two people.
Find the clutch cylinder(on the tranny case), find the bolt for the bleed.
Pump the clutch pedal a few times and while a person holds the clutch pedal down to the floor: open the clutch bleed valve. (use a tube on the nipple to catch the fluid squirting out, into a jar!) open the bleed valve slowly and watch the fluid squirt into the tubing. as soon as it slows down (five inches of fluid in the tube or so) shut the valve!
Then release the clutch from the floor very slowly.
After it is fully up.. pump the clutch several time again.
Repeat all.
Check the fluid in the brake master cylinder after each bleed cycle. top off brake fluid! Do NOT let it empty out!!!
i would do the bleed cycle three full times. Then the last time only open the bleed valve for a moment , let out only a fraction of the fluid that will want to squirt out.. and close it to be certain it has zero air in it.
Done.
I did this alone, using a wood stick to do the pedal holding, on my Contour SVT.
Bleeding the clutch only needs to be done once in a blue moon, but if it had air in it, it would be doing just what you are having a problem with.
If this does NOT solve the issue. you may need a new clutch cylinder off the clutch. (not too expensive)
good luck
 

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I have a friend who's car used to do this periodically.

First off, there are 2 master cylinders- it has to be that way. The master cylinder is the plunger that pushes the hydraulic fluid to operate whatever it works on the other side- brakes or slave cylinder. The clutch and brake master cylinder share the reservoir. That's why there's no separate reservoir.

Now, on to the easy fix. You can bleed the slave cylinder as written above. You can also do a much simpler gravity bleed. Bleeders are always located at the top of the cylinder so that air in the system will naturally rise to the bleeder. Pump the clutch feverishly for 20 x or so. This will force any air in the system to the slave. Pop the cap off the reservoir, fill to the max line, leave the cap off, and now find the slave cylinder bleeder nipple. These are really difficult to get torque using a wrench on them sometimes, so I usually loosen it with a deep socket first, then tighten back. Make sure you have a lot of light, and use a wrench to open the bleeder valve. If you have a section of clear tube that will fit over the bleeder you can run to an old bottle of brake fluid then that helps. If not, no worries, I used to do this in parking lots with nothing. Open the bleeder valve and wait until only fluid runs out of the nipple. It only takes a few seconds typically. A very small amount of air will reduce your slave cylinder action tremendously. Like I said, I did this periodically over my friend's car's life, and it only took a few seconds each time.

I don't know what causes air to be introduced into his system or yours. It's hard to say. When you replace the clutch, replace the slave cylinder- every time. They don't make them out of metal any more.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all! I was able to find the clutch bleed valve and there was definitely some air in there. I bled it off and things seem to be working much better now. I appreciate all the responses and help.
 

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Hi bolep,

Since your shifting concern has increased since you last had the Focus inspected, I definitely recommend visiting your dealer so they can diagnose it. If they are unable to determine the cause of the difficult shifting, please send me a PM with your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state so I can help get you back to shifting smoothly.

~Natasha
I have been having the same problem with my 2005 for a long time. It has been taken to dealers many times under warranty and they have confirmed problem at least once, but have not been able to fix it.

My question is, the problem was pre-existing while it was still under warranty, but it was not corrected. Given this, what are my recourse in getting it actually fixed under warranty on the ground that it was a document problem that was not corrected during warranty? I've got about 50,000 miles on it now.

My problem is getting shifter into any gear after the clutch is released in neutral, such as at a long light. This fades away when the gearbox is fully warmed up (usually five minutes or so on freeway)

If I just started up and hit up city center driving, its bad enough that I struggle to get it moving if I was to release the clutch in neutral at stops.
 

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I have been having the same problem with my 2005 for a long time. It has been taken to dealers many times under warranty and they have confirmed problem at least once, but have not been able to fix it.

My question is, the problem was pre-existing while it was still under warranty, but it was not corrected. Given this, what are my recourse in getting it actually fixed under warranty on the ground that it was a document problem that was not corrected during warranty? I've got about 50,000 miles on it now.
Hi xFOCIx,

The best first step is to bring it back to your dealer so they can inspect it, as they will be in the best position to discuss any warranty coverage. If they are unable to assist, please PM me your VIN, contact information, mileage, & servicing dealer name/state so I can review the situation. No promises, but I'll see what I can do. [:)]

~Natasha
 

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Discussion Starter #8
iFOCIx, my daughter drives the Focus we were having trouble with, and she has had absolutely no trouble with it since we bled the air off the line. The past couple of mornings have been a little chilly, and she said it definitely would have been difficult to shift on cool mornings.

I don't know if the bleed valve is in the same place on your '05 as on my daughters '07 (I mistakenly said it was an '08 in my original post), but I found a very easy way to access it. I could email you a photo of where I found it if you like. The whole process just took a few minutes, and with amazing results!
 

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The dealer I bought it from is no longer in business. Although, its been to the dealer for hard shifting complaints, several times, so there is paper trail.
 
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