Our 1999 CRV has had the clutch fail several times in the past year. The pattern is that you notice it slipping a bit now and then, but trending worse over a few days. Then it gets dramatically worse in a period of minutes: it does not engage fully when let out. The pedal feels fine, the engine is running fine, but power is not transmitted to the wheels.
On two occasions, we were able to take it directly and the mechanic resolved the problem with some adjustment to the master cylinder, or something like that (my wife spoke to the mechanic and it was many months ago).
Last winter, I was driving as the problem was recurring and I found myself nursing the slipping clutch up a steep one mile grade. At the top of the hill, totally flat ground, the problem continued to get worse for the next half mile, till there was no power at all! Engine fine, pedal action fine, but effectively the clutch was permanently disengaged. I left the car there over night. The next morning, before calling for a tow, I tried again and the clutch was working! I could tell it was still slipping a bit, but it was no problem to drive to the mechanic, who fixed the problem again for just a hundred bucks or so.
Yesterday, my wife again found that the clutch failed completely over the course of a few miles driving. She had to be towed. Today the mechanic says they can’t reproduce the problem!
What the heck is going on here?