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Clutch pedal position indicator

Hi Car Talk people!

My engine light started going on intermittently, and shortly thereafter it began to be difficult to change gears. I brought the car to a garage, and was told I need a new clutch (I have 50K miles on the car). However, the engine light says that there is a problem with the “clutch pedal position indicator.”

The mechanic says that the position indicator is a separate problem, and I still need a new clutch. I don’t know much about cars, but it seems to me that if the clutch doesn’t know I’ve pushed the clutch pedal, that would explain why I have trouble changing gears.

The clutch is about $900, and the indicator is about $50. Is the mechanic being straight up with me, or do I only need to fix the indicator?

Any guidance would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
David from Miami

Get a second opinion if you don’t trust the mechanic. A clutch position indicator should not affect your ability to change gears properly.

Okay guys, what does a “clutch pedal position indicator” do? I’m familiar with a “clutch position switch”, which prevents the engine from being started unless the clutch is pushed in, but I’ve never heard of a “clutch pedal position indicator”.

And a clutch position switch won’t prevent one from shifting. If the clutch is acting like the pedal isn;t being pushed in and shifting is difficult, I’d want to check the slave and master cylinders.

The clutch pedal indicator code is probably the result of your current clutch problem. Fix it and the code should go away.

As far as the clutch, I also think the problem is probably the clutch release system, and you may just need new master and slave cylinders.

A quick test for the clutch itself is to block the wheels, put the transmission in a high gear, like 4th, and slowly release the clutch. If the engine stalls, the clutch is Ok.