Among the many joys of driving a Porsche is being able to seamlessly and smoothly shift gears while speeding around in this high-performance sports car. The clutch in the manual transmissions used in many of these European cars relies heavily on having a fully functioning clutch slave cylinder (CSC) to maintain optimal comfortability in the gear shifting experience.
Instead of a cable, a clutch that uses hydraulic fluid to engage and disengage functions with a clutch slave cylinder (CSC) and a clutch master. As you press on the clutch pedal, a lever is squeezed to force hydraulic fluid into the slave cylinder through hydraulic lines. When the pedal is released, this same CSC is responsible for returning and raising the pedal back into position. This article describes how to diagnose and then fix a failing clutch slave cylinder, an essential component for switching gears while driving your Porsche.
Understanding Clutch Slave Cylinders
Many of these luxury vehicles operate through the use of a hydraulic clutch engagement system. Pressing on the car’s clutch triggers pressurized brake fluid, causing it to move from the master cylinder, through rubber hosing (or a metal line) to the clutch slave cylinder above the car’s transmission. The idea behind this type of system that avoids using cables is to make overall fluid movement easier on a physical level. However, a malfunctioning CSC will result in improper shifting and may result in additional vehicle issues.
If the CSC is failing or has already failed, pressure is not able to transfer from the clutch master cylinder, making it impossible to disengage the stuck clutch and therefore, impossible to change the gears. Most of the cylinders do not instantaneously fail and offer drivers various indications that there is a problem that needs to be quickly addressed.
There are various factors that can determine how long your Porsche’s CSC should last. Depending on how often you perform preventative maintenance, how often you switch gears, and the overall upkeep of adequate fluid levels throughout the vehicle.
- Loose or spongy feeling when the clutch pedal is pushed down
- Grinding or stuck gears when shifting
- Leaking, contaminated, or extremely low levels of hydraulic and brake fluids
- Abnormal difficulties with the clutch pedal that needs to be pushed to the floor to work
How to Diagnose and Replace the CSC
Porsches have more of an uncommon layout since most of the transmissions are located in the rear end of the vehicles. This design was meant to equally distribute the automobile’s weight, but it can be a little tricky when trying to repair them. Since this unique design has a starter motor located on the clutch housing plate near the car’s bottom rather than on the transmission, you will need to remove the starter before reaching the CSC.
To reach this starter, you will first need to put your Porsche on a lift or fully jack it up. Disconnecting the battery is necessary, since you need to disconnect the cables going to the starter. Before starting the complex process, remember that the clutch system needs to be depressurized by turning off the engine and pumping the clutch pedal until it becomes hard. You may find it difficult to pinpoint and locate the exact issue with the clutch slave cylinder since bad clutches can occur for various reasons.
It is important that you work to diagnose and fix a bad CSC as soon as possible, since continuing to drive on a poor clutch slave cylinder can cause additional transmission damage in the vehicle. One of the main reasons is since repeatedly having to forcefully shift gears can cause vibrations, unnecessary wear and tear, leaks, or broken valves.
Local, Award-Winning Service Center
Norwood’s own Revolution Automotive Services been recently recognized with the WORLDPAC “Company of the Year” Award for consistently providing 5-Star, high-quality service and repair for German vehicles. Positive customer feedback has made us the premier alternative to dealership service in Norwood, Westwood, Walpole, Sharon, Canton, Medfield, Needham, Dover, Boston, MA, and surrounding areas. Our ASE-Certified Master Technicians are eager to continue offering our expertise, so please do not hesitate to contact our shop to have your German vehicle serviced by a team of friendly, professional, automotive experts.