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Clutch does not engage/disengage


I have a Kia Spectra 2005, manual transmission. Last night I was stuck in traffic because of an car accident. After about 45 minutes of stop and go, the clutch started making a squeeky noise when I stepped on the pedal, and when it return to the normal position. Little by little the clutch pedal started getting loose and looser, ie. I felt very little resistance as I depressed the pedal, until it finally gave up. The clutch was engaged but it would not return to the disengaged position, and the pedal was totally loose. I stepped on it and it floored with no resistance at all. I had to push my car out of traffic towards he shoulder of the highway. I sat on the car for about 45 minutes with the engine off, waiting for a tow, and suddenly I felt that the clutch was recovering by feeling again some resistance to my stepping on it. I waited another 15 minutes, and the clutch felt normal again. I started the car and everything was OK. What do you thing the problem is? Thanks

I’m not up on Kias, but I’m going to guess that it has a hydraulic clutch. That being the case, have you checked the clutch fluid level? It is probably quite low and has allowed air to enter the system. Top the clutch reservoir off with brake fluid.

The clutch master cylinder is located under the hood. As you sat in that stop and go traffic for 45 minutes the clutch master cylinder got hot from the engine heat. This caused the bore of the master cylinder to expand from the heat where the seals in the master cylinder could no longer seal. This caused a loss of hydraulic pressure in the clutch system so the clutch pedal would no longer work. When the engine was turned off for 45 minutes waiting for the tow, it allowed the clutch master cylinder to cool back down and the seals were able to produce hydraulic pressure again and the clutch worked.