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Discussion Starter #1
So it's -31 Celcius (sorry, I don't know the Farenheit conversion) here yesterday and today as a "high" and I've been experiencing some problems with my clutch. My husband is away on a business trip so I thought I'd tap into the opinions here...

I've had the cold shifting issue that others have mentioned but this is different. When I leave our garage in the morning it's fine but within three miles I am having difficulty pushing the clutch pedal to the floor and it doesn't pop up as quickly as usual. I assumed that it was the cold, and that it would improve as the car heated up with driving. By the time I got to the office (another 3 miles) it was no better, maybe even worse. When I got into the car at the end of the day (after letting it run for 15 minutes) I thought the clutch would be stiff again but it was fine. Within a few shifts though, it was stiff again and remained so all the way home. Same routine driving to work this morning. I went out to warm it up at lunch (even though it's plugged in) and the clutch was normal.

So it's not just the cold, or the clutch would be stiff after sitting outside in -30 all day. A guy I work with thinks it may be the master cylinder and needs to be repaired.

Has anyone else experienced this problem or have an idea what it could be?

Thanks,

Sue :)
 

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Prodrive Mufflers

Sue I have the same issue with my car. I think that the fluid in the hydraulic clutch is being super cooled by wind chill making its viscousity really thick when driving on the highway. Dont forget at highway speeds the air temp with wind chill would be minus 60 if the outside temp is minus 31. I near killed myself the other morning screaming into an off ramp downshifting. The clutch would not re-engage and I was really counting on using the engine for braking since I was on sheer ice. I had to use the brakes and I was not really prepared to do that. I dont think its a hugh problem once you know it is going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input Rod.

Your wind chill argument works one way for me, home --> work, but doesn't explain why the clutch would super cool so quickly on my way work --> home, when I'm doing 60km through Steinbach for a while before I hit the highway. I'll keep an eye on it and see if things improve with the weather.

"I near killed myself the other morning screaming into an off ramp downshifting. The clutch would not re-engage and I was really counting on using the engine for braking since I was on sheer ice."

You sound like one of those guys that's giving us STi owners a bad name what with the way you drive :lol: :wink: , based on this and other things you have told me (eg. the winter tires only make noise once over 160km on back roads...) We need to get you out to Autocross!

Sue :)
 

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Just to let you know, wind chill only has an effect on us humans. The reason for this is our skin. Wind chill is simply a measure of how we feel in the cold with the wind blowing. When the wind blows over our skin it removes the heat being radiated, making us feel colder. Therefore, it has no effect on cars. However, being that the air is -23.8 F where you are STilinMR2Sue, that is damn cold and I can imagine it is creating a more viscous hydraulic fluid than normal, causing your problem.
 

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wannaSTi said:
Just to let you know, wind chill only has an effect on us humans. .
i'm pretty sure that the effect of the car being in motion makes things colder in the engine compartment, whether it's proper terminology to call it "wind chill", i don't know. i do know that when i have the kart up at the track in the winter time, i can get it to warm up on the stand, but when it's on the track, the water temp will drop so far that the engine won't run. maybe we can coin a new term, like "motion induced clutch popsicle"?
 

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The clutch does appear to take an extra split second to return at certain times. I noticed it for the first time this week, and it has been extremely cold. I shifted quickly and pulled my foot back all the way and then the pedal came up and hit it a split second later.

-st
 

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The reason it keeps cooler while it's moving is the same reason as when it's warmer outside.

A running engine generates heat - lack of airflow means that the heat gets to build up in a static environment, continuing to heat up the same air for a longer period of time.

When the car is moving, the airflow keeps new, cold air flowing past everything constantly.
 

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Temp conversion from c. to f. is c.tempx1.6+32=f.temp.
The conversion from f. to c. is f.temp-32/1.6=c.temp.
It might actually be 1.6somethingsomethingsomething but this is close enough. --Sin52
 

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Yes there is wind chill on all things, including the car and it parts. Atleast you hope so, because if there isn't then the radiator will not function. HEE HEE properties of thermodynamics.. heat transfer to a lower source. NOw as for the problem at had. I think the fluid and the piston are a two fold problem. 1. The casing on the salve cylinder could be so cold that is had shrunk enought to inhibit the piston from sliding easy. Also the return spring will be effected by cold, just like any other metal. 2. Aslo there are Dot 3-4 brake fluids out there that have different operating temps. I would suggwest trying a synthetic fluid. Thay are great for depleating moisture and also standing up to high and i this case, low temps. The most common problem wioth brake/ clutch fluid is that is can absorbe some water. The more water the less it can handle the temps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for offering opinions.

It's really cold again today but maybe by next week we'll see some relief and the car will be happier. Driving just isn't as fun when I can't shift as quickly as usual!

Sue :)
 

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Blue on Gold

i noticed that when its cold too. but not to that extreme. clutch engages a little later then when it is warm. i find myself always trying to adjust.
 

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This problem isn't just an Sti one. With the windchill the temp here was -52 celsius this week and the pushing the clutch in on my civic was like sticking your boot into a bucket of glue. You don't need to be driving highway speeds for the windchill to go from stupid cold to just plain crazy, screw this i'm moving to vegas cold.
 

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This problem isn't just an Sti one. With the windchill the temp here was -52 celsius this week and the pushing the clutch in on my civic was like sticking your boot into a bucket of glue. You don't need to be driving highway speeds for the windchill to go from stupid cold to just plain crazy, screw this i'm moving to vegas cold.
 

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Actually wind chill temps only apply to what our skin feels in the cold. If the car is sitting out all night and the actual temp is -20, that will be the temp of the components. When driving slow, some parts may warm up. Eventually as speed increases, some parts may cool back down due to the heat transfer - but the actual component temp can't go lower than the air temp. So 'wind chill' temps posted on the news mean nothing to our cars -
 
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Yea this problem does not affect Sti's only. My old corolla did the same when very cold, my parent's toyota does the same and my sister's honda does the same. I think all clutches act that way in extreme colds.
 
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