My 2004 Honda Accord has been well maintained for 235,000 miles but recently using the clutch pedal (stick shift) fails to accomplish anything and I saw and smelled fumes coming from the engine. For several weeks prior to this, I heard some raspy noises. QUESTION: Is this situation repairable?
Yes, repairable. But what cost, only a shop can tell you.
With enough money anything is repairable. It likely would have been cheaper had you taken it to a mechanic when it first started making noise. I wouldn’t even try driving it to a shop now. I’d have it towed there.
Your clutch pedal works kinda like your brakes. There’s a master cylinder and a slave cylinder. If you push against one the other reacts. One or the other–or possibly the line between–is bad and leaking. You might notice or have noticed fluid under the car. The “fumes” might be hydraulic fluid leaking onto a hot exhaust, in which case you only have one problem–or they might be something else even worse. Get the car to a qualified shop ASAP.
So you are stopped in neutral then press on the clutch pedal to shift to first, but can’t get the shift lever to smoothly slide into first? I’ve had that problem 3 times on my Corolla over the years, and each time it was the clutch master cylinder had gone kaput. In fact it happened the last time just a few months ago. Replacing that part fixed the problem entirely each time. When this happens try pumping the clutch pedal a few times first. If that makes it easier to shift to first gear, pretty good chance you have the same problem, faulty clutch MC.
Note: A faulty clutch MC wouldn’t normally cause any fumes from the engine compartment. You might however hear raspy noises when trying to shift with a faulty clutch MC.