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Clutch not working correctly

Help! I am a lost. I had a friend of a friend install a new clutch for me. (That was my first mistake). He did it in his garage and everything seemed fine. Then about 2 weeks later I noticed that when I pushed in the clutch to shift gears it would come out of gear fine but, did not want to go into gear without a wrestling match between me and the gear shift. It didn’t grind or make any noise it just refused to go into gear like I was pushing and some invisible wall had dropped preventing it from going back into gear. It doesn’t always do it. I have noticed no pattern in when it does it. Sometimes Ive been driving a while and it starts, other times I just started the car and within minutes of driving down the road it starts refusing to shift back into gear. I have noticed when It gets really bad I hear and feel this thumping or banging when I push the clutch in. When I pump the clutch a few times, sometimes this works to get it back into gear. At times it is sooo hard to put back into gear that I have had to use both hands on the clutch to force it into gear.? I have discussed this with some people they think it is my “pressure plate” (what ever that is). I do know that when the guy put the new clutch in he was not able to polish something down? The new clutch was installed about may 2012. Help!!! I am a single mother at a new job just coming off 2 years of unemployment so I need the cheapest solution. Could it be I simply need to fill my transmission fluid or something simple like that> Thanks for your help

What kind of car? Year, Model? Without these I’m guessing a bit.

It sounds like the clutch hydraulic system has air in it and needs to be bled. The air in the fluid is squishy and won’t allow the clutch to open when you press the pedal. This makes it very hard for you to engage the next gear. You say pumping the pedal helps, that is the clue that there is air in the system. If the clutch worked fine after replacement but got worse over time, the slave cylinder down at the clutch or the clutch master cylinder may have a bad seal and needs to be replaced. Have it inspected for leaks first, bled and if that doesn’t fix it, the clutch master cylinder is probably at fault. All can be serviced without removing the transmission and clutch.

I agree with @Mustangman but for the time being check the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir, topping it off as needed and when it is difficult to shift into gear turn the engine off, shift into first or reverse as needed, then start the engine and drive away. Doing so when possible will reduce the damage to your transmission.

Since the clutch has been working fine since 2012, I concur w the above comments, the problem is likely in the clutch master cylinder or associated hydraulics. I had a similar problem on my Corolla years ago, replaced the clutch MC, and haven’t experienced this problem since. Don’t put this off, as forcing the transmission gear shift lever may cause you transmission problems. You definitively don’t want those.

The thing he wasn’t able to “polish down” was the face of the flywheel. That isn’t causing your problem, but I thought knowing that might help. If the face of the flywheel had a problem, you would have noticed it immediately as chatter, squealing, or perhaps even slippage.

Since pumping the clutch sometimes helps, I’m inclined to agree with the others. But I am concerned with the thumping and banging. That WOULD suggest a pressure plate problem. When your friend changed the clutch, do you know if he changed the pressure plate too? They come as a kit along with a new release bearing and “pilot shaft” (to align the clutch on the flywheel before bolting on the pressure plate assembly).

Post back. We do care.

Its a 1999 Chevy S10, Thank you all so much, I cant express enough how much I appreciate you help. I will get it looked at. And in response to “the same mountainbike” We did purchase the kit so I do think he had all the mentioned parts. I will post when I get it looked at and let you all know what happens. Thanks Again!!

That clutch has been in there for almost 2 years. Forcing the shifts is very bad for the transmission, so if you keep doing that you will have even more and more expensive problems.

It could be a hydraulic problem with the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. These are what moves the clutch mechanism when you push on the petal. The clutch isn’t releasing properly. It might go back to a poor installation, but after 2 years I think you just have another problem.