Super light super vague clutch pedal

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havoktsx
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Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:04 pm

i got an oil+oil filter change from the dealer last week. very routine stuff. included in the service is "top off all fluids". all the levels are as recommended in the owner's manual EXCEPT the clutch fluid. it is currently at the "max" line when its supposed to be between the max and min line.

since then, my clutch pedal is SUPER light and SUPER vague... BUT! the clutch is not slipping! i tried rev'ing it in 4th, 5th and 6th and the revs do NOT jump. car accelerates normally and speed seems to match revs.

having said that - 1st and 2nd gear doesn't seem to be as "grabby" and hard to launch as before. i'm actually a super duper smooth launcher now... i can still do a no-gas launch in 1st. shift-shock is also shockingly reduced in 1st and 2nd gears.

another symptom. on a hill, i knew exactly where the friction point starts so when launching on a hill, i could find that exact point and launch without rolling back. now, i ROLL BACK and the clutch pedal is almost all the way out.

this could be absolute coincidence, but, since i've had this "problem", my mileage has gone DOWN. i used to average an MID indicated 26-27 mpg. now, i'm doing MID indicated 21-22 mpg. manual calculation (gas fillup / miles) yields similar results...

i'm kind of at a loss as to what the problem may be... will siphoning out some of the clutch fluid help? any ideas would be appreciated.
08' Acura TSX ASM/Ebony 6MT

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InlinePaul
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby InlinePaul » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:33 pm

That is really weird. Are you suggesting the clutch hydraulic fluid was between min max when you took it in and now it is at max? I can't imagine that adding fluid to the reservoir would make a difference. My mechanic tells me that it is not uncommon for people to notice a problem that was there all along after having the vehicle in for repair. Somehow in our minds we then associate it with the repair job. This is especially true if you don't trust the shop, or they did something to make you wonder, such as topping the clutch fluid when it wasn't supposed to be.

But, what if they put the wrong stuff in the hydraulic reservoir, then I could see maybe your problem with a less defined clutch pedal, engagement point moves because wrong fluid does not respond the same way as proper fluid, yeah maybe that happened. Maybe some doofus works there and put power steering fluid in or who knows what? Or maybe somehow they got oil into the clutch disc, just enough to make it weird yet not slip badly.
Call the dealer and ask exactly what they did and what kind of fluid they put in the clutch reservoir. Tell them it is not acting right, as if the wrong fluid was used.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby Rope-Pusher » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:17 pm

If the fluid had actually been low, low enough to allow air to get into the line, then I'd say that the addition of fluid, assuming the air migrated back up to the reservoir and out of the line, would result in increased "reserve". This would mean that there would be a larger distance between where the pedal is when the clutch just disengages and where the pedal is when it is fully depressed. Similarly, the engagement point would have also moved up in the pedal travel. If you were used to low reserve / low engagement point, it might take some time to relearn operation of the clutch pedal, just as it takes some time to drive smoothly when getting behind the wheel of another Amish car.
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby InlinePaul » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:30 pm

Rope's point is a good one and more likely the true case than my speculation would be.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

havoktsx
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:59 pm

well... i can tell you for sure its not just in my head. that's why i drove around for a week to make sure it wasn't just in my head.

i can accept that its nice and "soft" and easier to drive and launch and shift and all that; though, members that have been here for a while will note that most drivers of honda clutches will complain of abrupt, tiny friction zone, tiny bit of travel etc. i too had the same characteristics; now those characteristics are all but gone.

the "test" that confuses me the most, however, is launching on a hill. before service, i knew exactly where the friction zone starts so i NEVER ROLLED BACK.

|-***--..|
that is to say, floor - friction zone - fully engaged - slack

now, after service, this is how my clutch pedal movement is like on a hill:

|---****-..| AND i ROLL BACK.

its the rolling back that both puzzles and worries me the most... i tried on purpose several times to quickly let go of the clutch on shifts and the shift shock is noticeably muted; almost feels like an automatic. whereas before, if i didn't get the clutch work right, the shift shock was head-snappingly strong. i can also definitively say engine braking is not as strong. 2nd gear engine braking feels like 3rd gear., etc., etc...
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby bk7794 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:44 pm

my 91 has a gigantic friction zone and the engagement point is really high. Keep in mind this is a cable clutch. My theory was that the clutch installed was a piece of crap. Though maybe they glazed your clutch. Or another thought is that they didn't do a good job bleeding the system.
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby SonicHKS » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:31 pm

Sounds like your clutch engagement changed. I'd bet it was from them driving the car, and not necessarily from them topping off the fluids or anything else.

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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:19 pm

UPDATE:

so... after about a month of driving, i actually enjoyed the 'soft' clutch and buttery smooth shifts. my cousin-in-law said the car should feel like that and that all honda clutches are supposed to be pretty soft and shifts should be butter... i test drove his modded rsx type-s with aftermarket clutch and the car was indeed still pretty soft.

now... well, the previous abrupt hard to shift and stiffer clutch is back. and yes, its not just in my head... the severe bucking in 1st and 2nd is back too; when the clutch was 'soft' the bucking was virtually gone. shifting also has gotten noticeably notchy instead of the buttery feel it had for the past month.

clutch fluid level is still at max, fluid is nice and light...

i'm kind of at a loss... any insights would be appreciated...
Last edited by havoktsx on Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby Rope-Pusher » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:55 am

If, with the vehicle standing still, shifting changes with the engine running vs engine off, the clutch is not fully disengaging. It can be due to the release system not pushing the release bearing far enough, or it can be due to the clutch hub binding on the splines of the trans input shaft. Prolly a couple other things it could be due to, but those are the most likely.
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:32 pm

UPDATE:

welp... i took the car in to a reputable tranny shop last month. a mechanic test drove the car and said the car is perfect... say wut? he said "that is exactly how i want a car to feel after i fix it". he said nothing is wrong. he said dealer may have put extra lube on release fork and pedal push rod to make it feel super slick. but that didn't last more than a month. that doesn't make a whole lot of sense since that is a lot of extra labor for free and i know my dealership doesn't have that much love.

i thought i sucked at driving. i figured i'll just have to slow down my clutch release a fraction of a second more to smooth things out.

well, after more research, i found out that my car's accelerator pedal position sensor can go bad with no codes. all this time, i thought i was a stuttering mess either a) bad clutch or b) i suck at driving.

i changed out the APP last night and tightened the throttle cable to factory spec and now my car is butter. the clutch is back to how it was before the dealership visit BUT now that i am smooth on throttle inputs, the clutch feel is fine.

i hope the dang dealership DOESN'T do what they did to make my clutch feel soft and vague again!
08' Acura TSX ASM/Ebony 6MT

havoktsx
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:36 pm

Rope-Pusher wrote:If, with the vehicle standing still, shifting changes with the engine running vs engine off, the clutch is not fully disengaging. It can be due to the release system not pushing the release bearing far enough, or it can be due to the clutch hub binding on the splines of the trans input shaft. Prolly a couple other things it could be due to, but those are the most likely.

i almost think that because the APP was bad, even if i was off the throttle, the ECU didn't recognize it as such and hence the hard shifting since as far as the ECU is concerned, i was still on the gas. i think that contributed to my rough driving. after the APP change, i can tell for sure the clutch is engaging/disengaging normally.
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby InlinePaul » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:04 pm

accelerator pedal position sensor

Must be drive by wire?

One more reason my next car will have to be an older vehicle in good condition or restored. Anything from 2002 back to the early-mid 1960s works for me.
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theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...

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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby theholycow » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:15 pm

InlinePaul wrote:
accelerator pedal position sensor

Must be drive by wire?

One more reason my next car will have to be an older vehicle in good condition or restored. Anything from 2002 back to the early-mid 1960s works for me.

...with slightly less trimming:
havoktsx wrote:i changed out the APP last night and tightened the throttle cable to factory spec and now my car is butter.

However, a 2008 Acura must be DBW, so maybe by "throttle cable" he means cable as in a bundle of electric wires, not cable as in a mechanical pulling cable?
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havoktsx
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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby havoktsx » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:52 pm

yes, my car is DBW.

and i do mean "throttle cable". the "sensor" is attached to a mechanically moving part (tightly sprung coil assembly) and is one complete part, that in turn is connected to the throttle cable, which in turn connects to the gas pedal...

there seems to be up to about 1 inch of free play. my car had about 5mm of slack when it should've had 0mm per factory spec.

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Re: Super light super vague clutch pedal

Postby InlinePaul » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:31 pm

Drive by wire and a throttle cable. Seems like a retrofit. All this new fangled stuff confuses me, and it doesn't help that I have a bad habit of not paying close attention to email and posts before replying. I think I am jaded of information overload. :?
Stick shiftin since '77
theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...


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