The scene: Driveway on the way out of the house. It’s dark. Heading to a party.

Sit in the car. Shift to neutral. Start the car in the garage. With my left foot still on the clutch shift into reverse and pull out.

Put it into first.

Oh. Wait. It’s not letting me shift to first.

Then, remember how the clutch felt odd both engaging and disengaging it while shifting it out of reverse. Like it was going over a series of small detents.

So with the car still running in neutral Ennie and I push it back to the garage. No luck in doing anything with it.

On Tuesday I finally was able to get a tow to the shop (closed on Monday).

My hope: hydraulics. I’d be “happy” with either the master or slave cylinder being the culprit.

Later on Tuesday I got the call: “You need a new clutch. We might as well replace the slave while we’re in there. It’ll be around $2500.”


The car’s been paid for for around six years now. Every year I pay a car payment or two to the shop in some repair or other. I can only complain so much. I wish it were cheaper, but it’s still far less than the car is worth.

Today I picked it up. It now works fine. (though the check engine light is now lit — I’m guessing something shook itself loose since things run fine now. I’ll have them remedy that next week.) The clutch does feel a lot better now.

Seems a piece of the clutch pressure plate broke and wedged itself between the clutch plates locking them together.


10 years. A track day. 76K miles. Things add up. (Yes, I drive the car that little. I’ve lived no further than three miles from work the whole time.)

Hopefully this little excursion is the last I’ll see of the shop this year for anything other than oil.