Sunday, 17 November 2013

Loading the car and losing a lot of clutch fluid

The two are not related other than that they happened at about the same time.

Last night, driving back to Milton Keynes from the BCF AGM, I noticed that there was more travel on the clutch pedal before disengaging the drive. I wondered if it was anything to do with the incident in France a few years ago when the slave cylinder exploded. The car got back, but changing gear was getting difficult.

Today Ally and Ben wanted us to help them collect their new kitchen units etc. from Ikea. The 240 estate was obviously going to be very useful - as long as it worked. As soon as I lifted the bonnet I could see the problem: no clutch fluid. I bought half a litre of the stuff and filled the reservoir which sits on top of the master cylinder.

Oh dear. A steady trickle of fluid dripped from the master cylinder onto the road. In about five minutes what I'd put in had drained away. Hmm. It's Sunday, we need to get back to Norwich today, our things are on Jubilee five miles away, and we haven't picked up the kitchen yet.

So I thought I'd give it a go. I topped up the reservoir and drove to Ikea. After trawling through the store A+B did final checks and paid for the kitchen. Then I topped up and drove round to the collection point. The car was fine after each top-up, by the way.

Here we loaded a seemingly endless supply of heavy slim cardboard boxes - the famous flat-pack units. The Volvo swallowed them with ease. Ally and Ben put a few things in their Ford Focus, but I reckon I could have got those things in the Volvo too.

The photo doesn't show how much the car was down at the back, but after another guzzle of brake fluid it drove fine. (It always drives much better loaded.)

After unloading at the house in Wolverton, and a bit more work there, it was time for us to return home. To minimise the amount of clutch use on the 240 A+B lent us their car to get our things from the boat. After transferring it all to our car we drove home, stopping to top up twice on the way. The last top-up was about 45 minutes before the end of our journey: everything was fine until we got into the driveway. Then I had to crunch it into reverse. Oh well, I'll have some time tomorrow to consider what to do about it. I'm hoping it might be as simple as a gasket.

There's not much of that 500ml bottle of brake fluid left!


dave said...

Hi. Had a 240 glt years ago and one time the circlip holding the slave cylinder broke leaving me with no clutch at all in rush hour traffic - not good.
Anyway, not too bad to change and i've found its best to change it rather than try new seals. It might be the flex hose though.
have a look on the VOC forum


Halfie said...

Dave, thanks for this. A very clearly illustrated description of how to replace the slave cylinder. I'm hoping that the slave cylinder is all right, though, as the fluid leak seems to be from where the clutch fluid reservoir sits on top of the master cylinder.

Dave said...

Sorry, just tead it through again and see that you did say it was from the master cylinder.
Think its just a rubber seal but whether you can get the reservoir off or get the seal separately is another matter.
Stumbled on this site which i've bookmarked since they also have other manuals but looking through the catalog it looks like the seal isn't available separately and the master cylinder repair kit doesn't show it.