Ford Focus '99 clutch problem

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I have a Ford Focus '99, 1.8l Zetec-E engine, with manual transmission.

I have a problem with the clutch. It does not "release" completely. I have to "force" in the gear. And from stand still if I change from neutral to reverse the car starts moving with the clutch pressed down. Same with first and second gear.

I called the Ford dealership and their service department made an "educated guess" that the whole clutch has to be changed. That's about 800-900 euros (~$1200?).

While browsing through the user manual I found that Focus share break- and clutch fluids. I guess the clutch is hydraulic? Could it be so easy that the clutch fluidlevel is just too low? The manual states that the the warning light for low break fluidlevel should light up if the level is low. But I guess the light could have burned out or something...

And is it possible easily to adjust the clutch or is it autoadjusting? I'd really prefer not to have the clutch replaced...

Any thoughts?

posted by  trace

Check the fluid. It probably is the clutch on its way out.

posted by  EvilPodAE

The breakfluid was really really low. I filled it to the MAX marker and everything started working fine again. Phew!

posted by  trace

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