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Popped the clutch accident!

I need your advice! I accidentally “popped the clutch” while
parking in my driveway and now there’s something wrong with the clutch pedal!!

I let the car stall out on accident and somehow had the clutch engaged while in gear and forgot or something and when I released the pedal while still in gear, the car tried to start, but I pushed the clutch in instead of letting it start and now the clutch pedal is all the way to the floor, there is no tension, like a spring came loose, but this is a hydraulic clutch so there wouldn’t be a spring, right? What did I do?? And how can I fix it?

2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS

Here’s an exploded view of the clutch pedal assembly in your vehicle.

As you can see, there’s a component called the OVER CENTER SPRING.

Look under the dash to see if this spring has become disconnected.


Thank you, I will check!

-update: Nope, spring still there.

You’ll also see a tension spring that’s connected to the release fork the purpose of which is to draw the fork back releasing the pressure of the throwout bearing on the pressure plate fingers. See if this one has come off.

Is it stuck in the carpet or the edge of a mat? Also, try wiggling or even moving the shift lever around, with your foot on the clutch. Try it with the key turned to “On”.

upon further inspection I don’t think there is anything wrong with the pedal. It moves, but as soon as you get close to the floor the pedal just sinks and doesn’t return to its position.

I’ve had a clutch go out on me in a different car and the pedal did the same thing, I’m just confused as to why the clutch or even how the clutch would go out or if it’s even possible that the clutch can get ruined by what I did??? I’ve been driving it with absolutely no problems since we purchased the vehicle.

The shifter does not go into gear when I push in the clutch pedal. It acts like it wants to start moving though, it moved about 5 feet when I was trying to get it in gear. Strange, I know.

Sounds like a hydraulic failure, the diagram above if of a very old car or truck.

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This car has several recalls, would any of these affect the hydraulics of the clutch?

2011 Sonata Recalls:

SYSTEM Recall for 2011 Hyundai SonataRecall Announced
APRIL 05 2016
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Recall Announced NOVEMBER 16 2015

Recall for 2011 Hyundai SonataRecall Announced
OCTOBER 07 2015
Recall for 2011 Hyundai SonataRecall Announced
Recall for 2011 Hyundai SonataRecall Announced
JULY 18 2014
Recall for 2011 Hyundai SonataRecall Announced
JULY 18 2014
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata Recall Announced APRIL 01 2013
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata Recall Announced APRIL 01 2013
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata Recall Announced OCTOBER 01 2010
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Recall Announced SEPTEMBER 20 2010
Recall for 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Recall Announced MARCH 02 2010

No. None of those recalls have the word clutch in them. This repair is on you, it is a 5 year old car.

regardless of who has to pay for the repair, I’m curious as to why it happened. I mean the clutch should not go out by simply popping the clutch, right? or wrong? I guess it was just a freak accident.

I can and will spontaneously fail, at times. A seal in the hydraulic clutch system may have failed. Or the pressure spring that actually holds the clutch disk against the flywheel failed. That, BTW is the spring you are pushing against when you push in the clutch pedal. Either of these can fail spontaneously without warning.

Check the hydraulics first, they are cheaper to fix. If that isn’t it… get ready for a much bigger bill as the transmission must come out to service the clutch.

I got a little confused here when I first read this thread. You say it is a hydraulic clutch but Tester posted a diagram of a mechanical clutch. He usually has access to the factory diagrams so I don’t understand why his diagram would be the wrong one.

I have had this issue with the hydraulic clutch on my Saturn. If the clutch was popped, the rod that goes between the pedal and the clutch master cylinder would pop out of the master cylinder and would just hang from the clutch pedal. Its a simple fix, lift the clutch pedal all the way up and stick the rod through the hole in the firewall. It will engage the master cylinder on its own.

If thats not it, something is broken and it should be easy to find.


Just got the car back yesterday!!! It was a seal in the master cylinder. Only cost $253 including labor. Thanks to all your advice and everything :slight_smile:

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Glad to hear it was an easy fix… Maybe the extreme forces caused by the popping of the clutch were enough to kill off that seal? I wonder if this was a total fluke or if that seal would have failed eventually in the near future.

I have never heard of this mode of failure but would expect hotrodders and such to have experienced it if common.

I wonder the same… I will be more careful in the future! :slight_smile:

I’ve done the pop-the-clutch by accident thing myself, for example my foot slips off the clutch pedal. Usually happens when backing out the driveway, b/c I’m twisting in an awkward position to see what’s behind me, probably the same for you. I expect that seal was about to fail anyway, and the experience of the pop the clutch gave it just enough force to do it then, rather than waiting until you are 80 miles from home. Glad to hear you are no longer clutch-less.

I agree, I’m very thankful that it happened in the drive way!

Not to dampen the pleasure at having it fixed, but don’t be surprised if you have problems again before too long. Oftentimes when the master cylinder dies, the slave cylinder isn’t far behind. The good news is that once the slave is replaced, you should be good to go for a long time.

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