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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 23743
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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My Volvo V50 1.8 petrol 2008 estate car is having clutch (I

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My Volvo V50 1.8 petrol 2008 estate car is having clutch (I think) issues. Have had clutch replaced a few months ago but the fault has started again. Much as described on this page, floppy pedal and difficult/impossible to get in gear when moving. Left it on the drive overnight and it worked fine the next morning and for the next 3 days. Went again this evening on the way home and just managed to limp on to drive as I was only around the corner
Assistant: How many miles are on the clutch? Has it been slipping or sticking?
Customer: Not sure about miles but it was installed beginning Dec last year. Clutch not slipping or sticking but sometime a bit "sticky" to get in gear
Assistant: What year is your V50?
Customer: 08
Assistant: Are you fixing your V50 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: No I went to my usual mechanic and they fitted a new clutch. The RAC guy who helped my home last time (Dec) thought it might be clutch bearings worn and slipping
Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: Think that is about it

the first thing to do is bleed the clutch hydraulics and ensure that you replenish the all fluid in the system and get any trapped air out

I favour having a clear hose from the nipple to a jar 1/2 full of old fluid and with the nipple closed your assistant pushes the pedal up and down a few times, then holds it down whilst you then crack open the nipple and close it again whilst fluid is still flowing.
If you have difficulty getting fluid out then, on a lot of modern cars its far easier to use a vacuum bleed kit to pull the fluid through

like this

If this doesn't help then next check the gear linkage for any worn bushes or pivots as any lost motion means reduced effort at the gearbox and replace as necessary. Ideally have your assistant move the gear lever with you watching the linkage and see if you can spot where there is any excessive play or lost motion.
If its a cable type linkage check along the cable lengths for any damage or signs of heavy wear / fretting, if you find any replace the cable. There may be some adjustment on the cable tension at the gearbox end (depending on the year) and the cable should be tensioned so there is a minimum of slack but not so its taught

Then check gearbox oil levels and if its not been changed in the last 20K miles then drain it off and fill with fresh. I can strongly recommend the use of Castrol Syntrans 75W90 (was called SMX-S) as I've known it help with shift issues on many manual gearboxes
If your gearbox is meant to use GL4 oil (the Syntrans is GL5) then use Redline MT90 instead

If you still have issues with the hydraulics and its good after bleeding but then gets worse after a few days / hours, then I'd try leaving the clutch pedal held down overnight by bracing the pedal against the seat base with a piece of wood or similar, this is to try and force the seals inside the slave to take a set in the right orientation as over time they can shrink and dw air back in when you take your foot off the pedal.

This shrinkage isn't enough to leak any fluid but the gap is big enough to draw air in (gas being harder to seal than fluid) if this doesn't work I'm sorry to say that the slave cylinder is going to need changing.

also if the fluid is dark in colour this is a sign the seals are breaking up

Lastly if none of this helps then its possible the clutch is breaking up and no longer completely releasing and creating ‘drag’ - so in which case the transmission will have to come off to check / replace the clutch

My goal is to give you the best advice that I can and I hope that I've helped today. Please remember to rate my service by selecting from the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave. If you need more help, use the reply box to let me know.
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Thanks Matt

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** thought it felt like something hydraulic and this would seem to make sense. I won't be doing it myself but this might stop my poor mechanic from groaning when I rock up. Many thanks