Bad clutch related to electrical problems?

Hi all!

I have a 1992 Honda Civic LX 4 door 5 speed. It has about 202,000 miles on it, and is, shall we say, cosmetically challenged. But what do you want for a car I bought for $350?

Anyway, two problems that may be related. First, there seems to be an electrical problem. The car sometimes won’t start. When the key is turned, nothing happens–the warning lights may or may not flash for an instant, but that’s it. Jump starting it has, so far, always worked to get it started. Also, when changing gears, the radio will turn off and occasionally reset–like power was totally removed. So far I have replaced the battery–which helped initially, but it seems like there is a current drain or a short somewhere.

Second, the clutch/transmission has suddenly started acting strangely. Sometimes it will be VERY difficult to put it in first or second gear. My first thought was that the relatively sudden cold snap we’ve had here (I’m in Denver, CO) might be responsible, but the clutch, which used to engage about halfway out, now engages a millimeter or two off the floor (a bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit). Does this mean the clutch is bad? If so, can you clue me in on how much a clutch would be?

Finally, is it possible that these two things are related?

Thanks in advance!

Let’s start with the easy thing. Remove both ends of each battery cable and do a good cleaning. Do one at a time starting with the ground and put the ground back on last.

You may have a broken motor mount. This would allow the engine and transmission to shift in its position and cause the clutch to engage at a different point. In shifting, it may have also pulled a ground cable from the battery loose from the engine block.

You have a hydraulic clutch release in this car. Check to make sure the reservoir is full of fluid. If it is full and the problem still persists, you might need a new clutch master cylinder. If the master cylinder reservoir was low but filling it did not cure the problem, have the clutch system bleed of air. At the same time have a look to see where the fluid might be leaking. If filling the master cylinder reservoir cures the problem, keep a close eye on the reservoir level. If it goes down again, inspect under the dash at the tail of the master cylinder and under the car at the slave cylinder, to determine which component is leaking.

Hope that helps