2005 celica gt intermittent clutch problem

I parked the car on 11/14/17 in the afternoon, in my Florida drive way. Later that day I went to drive it and the clutch would not disengage with the pedal to the floor. The pedal feels normal, brakes were recently bled, the hydraulic clutch shares the brake master reservoir for fluid. The next day I had time to mess with it.
I started the car , clutch pedal to the floor and it wanted to go forward, I took the foot off the pedal and drove the car down the road, I got it into 2nd, then 3rd, keep in mind I was shifting as if the clutch would not release. I then speed up and push the clutch pedal to the floor and off, like popping the clutch . suddenly the clutch starts to operate correctly. I drove to my repair shop and we discussed the issue. Its a new shop for me and I think he is thinking a loose nut behind the wheel. I get a 1.5 mile down the road from there and the clutch will not disengage again.
On my way back to the shop it goes to working again. I left it there a week ago, they have been using it to get parts, and test drive every chance they get with no evidence anything is or was wrong!!
The pedal always feels the same, no noise was ever heard. Any Ideas???


Anytime a hydraulic clutch system starts acting goofy, suspect the hydraulic clutch master cylinder.


I’m working with a Toyota certified mechanic shop with 35 years experience, he’s not ready to do anything till the problem exist in front of him. wouldn’t I be able to feel some change in the pedal if the master was acting up?

I’ve had to replace the clutch MC on my Corolla 2 or 3 times over the years. The symptom is always I press on the clutch pedal but I can’t shift into gear b/c the clutch hasn’t released enough. Noticed initially when shifting into R or 1, but it gets worse over time when all gears become difficult. Pumping on the pedal a few times will allow me to shift to 1 though usually when this problem first starts. Symptom varies a little, depending on engine temperature and how much shifting has gone on before during that drive. So the clutch MC should be considered a definite suspect.

There’s a weird thing that can happen – if you’re looking for other potential suspects – where the transmission input shaft binds in the crankshaft pilot bearing. That can make it difficult to shift too, and isn’t related to the clutch MC. You can never get the transmission input shaft to stop rotating, independent of the clutch.

Not necessarily. You’re still applying the same amount of pressure, except instead of it pushing the fluid to the slave cylinder to overpower the springs on the pressure plate and allow the clutch to be freed, it’s occasionally pushing the fluid past the master cylinder piston seal and into the chamber behind the piston.

I too would suspect the clutch master cylinder. Or the slave cylinder. The principle is the same there too. I’d change both.

I want to thank you for your input
All of what is said is a reasonable solution, I’m 63 and not into the auto repairs as much as when I was younger with the fix or repair daily cars that I have owned.
Only one other hydraulic clutch have I had.
I will try those part replacements and come back to share results.

I should add that the first time this happened, the car wanted to lurk forward, at that time I could smell the clutch disc for a moment, I didn’t let that happen long as it was reflex to stop it. I want to make sure you understand that the clutch does not appear to be fully engaged or disengaged.
I guess it acts like a worn clutch, but when the pedal is released there is no slippage.
I have not pushed this test as I know what damage occurs when the clutch is slipping.

It took some time to make a decision, but I ordered the clutch replaced. The disk was worn and the springs had excessive wear, some loose and broken debris was found which was jamming against the assembly to stop the disc from totally disengaging . 800.00 $ later all things working ok

Glad you got your clutch diagnoses and properly repaired OP. Good for you for finding a shop who could solve the mystery. Googling “how to extend clutch life” may provide you some tips you can use to extend the life of your new clutch. $800 isn’t bad for a clutch replacement, but I presume you could think of more fun ways to spend it.

Thank YOU very much