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'04 Sonata - Is it really the clutch screaming?

About 2 months ago I noticed a horrendous squeeking when I would depress the clutch pedal. It didn’t happen all the time. It really only happens in extreme heat (I live in TX - oof). It happens after about 15 minutes of driving, typically when I’m in more stop and go traffic. It starts off as a mild sound and increases to nails-down-the-chalkboard. As the noise icnreases the engagement point of the pedal becomes greater. When I turn the car off the noise will continue until it’s cooled down and then it’s gone. Rinse and repeat.

I’ve called 3 different mechanics, taken my car by 2 of them and all have said that it’s “probably the clutch but unless it’s actually making the noise we can’t tell”. Murphy’s Law. Naturally I haven’t been able to make it create the noise when these places are open. I’m thinking that if it’s the clutch it wouldn’t continue to make the noise after the engine has been turned off. I’m having axiety attacks over the cost to replace the clutch too (2k thanks to the flywheel that they say has to be replaced). It was also suggested by a friend that it could be the master cylinder.

Does anyone know? Now my driver’s side window is being stubborn and I just don’t want to sink any money into that unless I know that the bothersome issue is going to be less than $2k.


My first thought was the release bearing (throwout bearing), a part of the clutch assembly. But that would definitely not make noise with the engine off.

The only thing that might be operating after the engine goes off is the cooling fan. But that should not affect the engagement point o the clutch pedal.

Perhaps you have more than one problem.