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Thread: My car is stuck in gear

  1. #1

    Default My car is stuck in gear

    I drive a 2000 Chevy Prizm and my car has been getting stuck in gear for the last couple weeks and I'm not sure how to fix it. Is there anyone here who knows anything about manual transmissions and how to replace master cylinder and clutch slave cylinders stuff like that like bleeding the slave cylinder? I would be greatly appreciative of any help I can get. I am no mechanic when it comes to dealing with cars but I have been watching some YouTube videos I pretty much just need a confirmation on it like a second opinion to make sure that I'm not messing anything up on my car because it's the only one I have and from my understanding of it all I have to do is pretty much bleed the slave cylinder after I find the bleed valve by pressing in the clutch and looting looting the valve draining the brake fluid from the cylinder while having something hold the clutch down in place while watching the reservoir and topping it off making sure that the reservoir doesn't go completely dry because they are saying that if you let the reservoir go completely try then it'll suck air and that kind of worries me about trying this myself. I have taken this to a mechanic and they recommended that I put a master cylinder in there and a clutch slave cylinder so I bought a new master cylinder from AutoZone and had it installed by the mechanic but its still getting stuck in gear so I went back to AutoZone and bought a new clutch slave cylinder . I still need to take it back to the mechanic and have that put in so I guess what I'm looking for while I'm waiting for the funds to do that is a temporary fix.

  2. #2


    You could look at the Chilton's repair manual at your local library, or buy one, but you're talking about a very detailed job. Also, you should have another person help you to move and carry that transmission.

  3. #3


    Bleeding a clutch system is pretty simple. If you have a friend who can help, just locate the bleeder screw. Once you've found it, put a wrench on it. Top up the clutch master, and have the friend pump the clutch pedal 5-10 times. On the last pump, have them hold the pedal to the floor, and crack the bleeder open slightly. If there is air, you'll see bubbles come out. Once it slows, tighten it back up, top up the reservoir again, and repeat until a solid stream comes out. Just make sure to close the bleeder before the stream stops completely or it'll suck air back in. Or you can purchase a hand bleeder tool and do it yourself, which is pretty easy.

    When searching for information, everything in the engine bay is exactly the same as a Toyota Corolla of the same year. Same procedures too.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  4. #4

    Default It may not be a clutch related issue...

    Quote Originally Posted by dragon123 View Post
    I drive a 2000 Chevy Prizm and my car has been getting stuck in gear [...]

    The clutch mechanism shouldn't have anything to do with it getting stuck IN gear... It would however, prevent it from going into gear while the engine is running...

    With the engine off and parking-brake firmly set!... Can you then, move the shifter into/out-of each gear position? (you should be able to) Try with and without depressing the clutch-pedal.

    ... if not, I don't believe that you have a clutch related problem at all (including clutch, master and slave cylinders)... In my opinion, it's more likely to be internal shifting-'forks' or, the shift rod/shaft, that passes from the gear selector into the transmission... being bent, broken or, bound by debris/lack of lubrication, rust/corrosion, etc...

    This can be caused from brute shifting, debris bound up, hitting or getting a large rock or stump pushing on components as you drove over them or, bottoming-out on a dirt mound, etc... Or, even a loose/broken engine mount causing the engine to rotate too far in the compartment...

    What happened to the car just before the shifting troubles? Did the people that suggested hydraulic clutch operations as the problem... actually inspect and test your vehicle?

    Maybe I'm missing something here yet, I think you're barking up the wrong tree...

    Roughly what you'll be doing for the flush and air-bleed out, of the master-cylinder, connecting line and, the slave-cylinder is:

    A pretty large bottle of brake-fluid (check the MFG specs for DOT [DOT 2,3,4?] ratings)... you can use a one-person brake-bleed kit (check-valve and tubing) Top-off the master-cylinder reservoir - install the bleed kit and collection bottle from the slave-cylinder and open the bleed-valve about one full turn and, fully yet not too fast - pump the clutch-pedal all the way to the floor till it stops and then let it all the way up until you can take your foot off of it...

    I do around 3 repetitions after having over-filled the master reservoir first... then after around each three reps, stop and recheck the level, making sure the reservoir is not too close to empty... top off again and repeat this process until you have clear, clean and bubble/fizz free fluid - going into the catchment container, that you've set up with a check-valve and clear tubing... just off of the slave-cylinder, from the bleed-valve off of the trans-axle...

    Once it's clear, clean and bubble-free in the collection container... cycle the clutch-pedal just enough more times to make the master-cylinder reservoir from too full to level - right at the indicated full mark line and, put the reservoir cap on properly.

    Going below - do not remove the tubing and check-valve until, you have closed the bleed-valve snugly with a wrench, first...

    Once the bleed-valve is properly secured... remove the check-valve, tubing and collection container from under the vehicle.
    Verify that the reservoir cap is secured and that the reservoir level is up to the full mark.

    That's basically it... BTW, wear some type of rubber gloves like the nitrile ones and, have plenty of shop-towels on hand. And, use a closed/box end, wrench that fits snugly on the bleed-valve... they can be quite resistant to loosening, after being in there for nearly 18-years. Be patient and methodical so you don't have to figure out how to get a rounded lug out and have to replace it too...

    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    [...] you should have another person help you to move and carry that transmission.
    I wouldn't swear to it yet, I believe the slave-cylinder on those is on the side/out side of the transmission... shouldn't have to take the trans out for this...

  5. #5


    Thank you all very much for all your help.

  6. #6


    Have you verified that the shift linkage is all connected and where it's supposed to be? When this happened on my old Neon a while back, it was a broken bushing holding one of the shifter cables to the lever on the tranny. Dealer and parts places only had complete shifter cable sets for ~$200, found aftermarket urethane bushing set for $20 online. Repair was a simple matter of pushing the new bushing into the cable header, then snapping that onto the tranny shift lever. Had it been the other end, I would have had to remove the console inside the cabin first, but still a pretty simple repair.

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