Weak clutch pedal – honda element owners club forum gas hydrates are used

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I don’t know this for a fact but I believe I replaced my original clutch at 240k. If the clutch release bearing was going you’d likely hear a light to moderately loud scratchy rotating noise down there. I’d like to say that refilling the CMC wouldn’t effect anything. In your case it has, right?

I would also run a light on all your hydraulic lines and just be double sure you don’t see any leaks. You may have read already that the original CMC’s are prone to cracking inside the pressure triangle you see. There was hack for that I believe though which you may want to try, if this is what’s wrong. I think it involved installing a Civic CMC from around the same year with a minor alteration in a nut. You may have to look that up though.

OEM is 99% best but I have never had a problem with the Exedy slave cylinders. I am on my second Exedy CMC, I believe only because I abused the first one because I installed it before I fixed the issue with my throwout bearing and clutch, causing me to have to keep the clutch pedal down for an inordinate amount of time. It was a lot of stress for the part.

I hope it’s just the CMC or slave. Plus, if you’ve never ever changed the fluid, it’s likely that it chemically broke down and evaporated, which happens. This would also cause light pedal pressure. If your not hearing any noises and the issue isn’t returning after you refill the CMC, than I willing to bet a good ol’ fluid flush and bleed is all you need.

belated update… the clutch slave cylinder was starting to fail. the boot on it was full of nasty old fluid. I think what happens is the inner seal on the cylinder wears out and then fluid bypasses it into the outer boot, thus the system loses pressure. looks like the SC could be rebuilt easily but I don’t know if there are parts for that, a new one is not expensive.

some tips… put down some old towels because inevitably you’ll make a mess with the fluid as you take things apart and as you try to bleed the clutch. removing the battery bracket might not be totally necessary for this job, but it’s easier to have it out of the way; good time to clean up any battery corrosion. it’s also a good time to clean the airbox and replace the transmission mount if needed. you need 10mm & 17mm flare nut wrenches to separate the hydraulic line from the SC. you do not need to punch out the roll pins like the service manual shows, because the new SC already comes with the 17mm fitting attached. if you wanted to and are replacing the MC at the same time, you could replace the 2 hard lines which are <$10 each and the rubber line $15 for the Dorman part (the OEM part is $35). the new SC comes with a packet of brake grease, pop off the boot and apply liberally inside and on the rod. there’s a plastic disk doohickey on the outer end of the rod on the old SC which I’m not sure what its function is, but it didn’t come on the new one, so I transferred it over. make sure the boot isn’t kinked when you put it back together. also the manual calls for high temp urea grease to put in between the rod and release fork. installing the new SC is easy, first attach and snug up the hydraulic line with the flare wrenches, then push the SC into place on the back of the release fork and put the two bolts on.

I used a piece of 1/4" clear tubing and a water bottle to bleed the clutch, maybe a brake bleeder that applies slight vacuum would be better. I also suctioned the old fluid out of the reservoir a few times before topping it off. seems like when you bring the clutch pedal up it sucks some back in through the bleeder screw. I’m going to bleed it again to try to get some more fresh fluid through the system.