I have a 1990 Toyota 4-Runner, manual 5-speed transmission. About a week ago, while shifting gears, I heard a loud “popping” noise from the general vicinity of the clutch. I did not feel anything different in the clutch, it returned to the appropriate position and didn’t feel any more or less “loose.” However, after the “pop” it seemed difficult to get the vehicle into first gear and second gear, and I really had to “push” it to get it into gear, but it would not grind or anything else. Also, when shifting into reverse, it would grind loudly and be very difficult to get into reverse gear. If I turn the vehicle off, put it in reverse and then start the car, it works fine, though it seems like it “sticks” longer in reverse and takes a bit more muscle to get it out of reverse and into first again. Additionally, when the shifter is in first gear, but the clutch is pressed, it seems as if the clutch is not disengaging entirely, because the car wants to move forward slightly when I take my foot off the brake, almost as if I’m letting my foot off the clutch a bit with it in gear. All of this has been happening pretty regularly, but the car has still been driving fine. However, today, the poor thing wouldn’t start. This vehicle (like many manual transmissions) needs to have the clutch pedal pressed in order to start the vehicle. Even when I press the clutch all the way to the floor, the car won’t start (and I know it is not a starter/battery issue). Given the other problems with the clutch and shifting gears, it almost feels as if the clutch was not getting disengaged all the way even when the pedal was pressed to the floor, and now that it won’t start, I’m wondering what is going on. Does this model have a linkage adjuster that needs fixing? Is it something wrong with the clutch fluid? Or do I need a new clutch entirely?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.