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Larry, Technical Editor
Category: Ford
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Experience:  Automotive tech editor & author, 30 years experience, ASE certified
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ford contour: rpm shift but the clutch..pedal..10 minutes..wouldnt

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i have a ford contour 1997 5 speed clutch, if started in second the car would go, you could rpm shift but the clutch itself would only work about 50%, sometimes as i was driving the clutch would all together go out. pedal to the floor it wouldn''t help any but if i pumped it and gave it a little gas it would shoot back up and start working again 100% for about 10 minutes, then it would start disengaging about half way down again and it wouldnt work. a few friends tell me i need to bleed the line, how would i do that or if thats not it what should i do?
It sounds to me like the piston seals in the clutch slave cylinder or master cylinder are leaking. Bleeding the system won't make any difference because the seals are worn out and one or both of these components needs to be replaced.

Unfortunatley, the slave cylinder is located INSIDE the transaxle, and to replace it you have to remove the transaxle from the vehicle. A new slave cylinder costs about $125 (the part number is XXXXX), and the labor to replace it is about 10 hours! It's an expensive repair.

The clutch master cylinder is located up under the dash near the top of the clutch pedal. It costs about $45 (part number XS2Z7A543AD) and can be replaced in about an hour.

My advice would be to first look at the line that goes from the master clutch cylinder to the transaxle for any obvious fluid leaks. If you don't see any, check the fluid level in the master brake reservoir. The clutch cylinders and brake cylinder share the same reservoir. If the fluid level is low, add fluid. If it is not low, it confirms the seals are worn in one or both components.

The slave cylinder is almost always the one that goes bad first because it is the lowest component in the system, and any corrosion that forms inside the lines usually causes the rust and debris to settle to the bottom. The junk wears away the seal, and the seal stops holding pressure.

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