Why is my clutch soft? I don't think there is air in the system

My clutch pedal is soft. I have tried to bleed it but no air is coming out. I replaced the slave cylinder a few months ago, as well as the master cylinder. The slave cylinder is a good product, but I don’t know about the new master cylinder. It may have been a cheap product. There is no fluid leaking out, I checked under the floor mat by the pedal, the lines look fine and the fluid level isn’t dropping. So I don’t see fluid coming out, I didn’t get any air out while bleeding it. What else could make the clutch pedal soft?

Not quite sure what you mean by soft. If the clutch engages appropriately and starting and shifting are fine, maybe it’s the clutch return spring. I would definitely check it out as on some cars, without appropriate pressure pulling it up, it could put unnecessary wear on the throw out bearing. Not sure what kind of car you have.

Broken diaphragm spring maybe. Had this happen once, the pedal got progressively “softer” until the clutch would no longer disengage. No loose parts to make noise, just no clutch.

I drove it home without the clutch. Killed the car while coasting in neutral. Put into first and cranked it rolling the car forward until it caught when the light turned green. Up and down shifted without de-clutching. I was about 10 miles from home when it happened.

I had a pressure plate go out and it got like this. The clutch started slipping and I had to replace the clutch set.

@Mustangman; I had the same thing happen once and nursed someone else’s car to my shop that way also.
A little jerky at the starts, but once you got the revs right… shifting wasn’t bad.


Mine was like the pressure plate just quit applying pressure. There was no feel to the clutch and it started slipping as there wasn’t enough force for the friction disc to do its job. I guess the previous owner had roasted on it as it wasn’t a crappy part and gotten the springs hot and ruined the temper or something. I drove it by babying it for several months and then it just started slipping like mad one day and smoke was rolling out from under the car. I limped it home and parked it until I replaced everything.

It would be nice to know what other drivability problems are apparent.

@dagosa … by the return spring, do you mean the spring attached to the clutch pedal? I had that come loose on my Corolla one time. That would be something the OP could take a look at him/herself without much difficulty, just peer under the pedal to see if the spring has come loose, and it indeed could be contributing to the soft clutch feel.