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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My manual T5 is reluctant to go into gear at a stop. Does anyone know if this a clutch problem or something else?

Though I drive it hard, I am careful not to slip or ride the clutch. The trouble began abruptly after a pot-hole filled run through the city half a year ago (~85K), sticking in 3rd gear until I banged it out of gear (clutch fully engaged, of course). Since then it has been increasingly difficult to engage at a stop and to disengage on the move. The problem is still sporadic, but cold snaps (weather) and jarring while under acceleration seem to renew or aggravate the problem. The clutch engage / disengage point has always been right down against the floorboard (another peeve).
Is the clutch worn out as I am being told?
It feels like it is holding under power just fine - no slippage.
Or, could it be something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The brake/clutch reservoir was about 2mm below the mesh filter level, so topped it off (3/4 of the way up the mesh filter) with more DOT4. As a side note to anyone else following this thread, the folks out at ipd noted that the slight drop in fluid level was due to brake pad wear. As the pads wear down, fluid is drawn in to displace the space in the calipers, thus running through a set of brakes might displace about 4~5mm (vertical) of fluid in the reservoir.

Discussing the shifting problem with the folks at the dealership following a test drive this morning sussed out that a bent clutch/transmission fork in the tranny might prove to be the problem.

Volvo dealer's assessment (brainstorming w/ mechanic & head of shop):
There's no mushyness or lack of rebound to the clutch pedal (clutch master cylinder).
There's no grinding sounds during shifting (throwout bearing / slave cylinder).
There's no clutch slippage under load (clutch disc / pressure plate).
The car has +90K on it and the problem began abruptly about 10K ago, ruling out a bound transmission input shaft.
The problem is sporadic, operating fine one moment and near impossible to shift the next (post pothole, road seam/gap, etc.), pretty much ruling out cable linkages (but would still be worth checking in the dealer's opinion).
And thus, by process of elimination, the Volvo service department figures the problem to most likely be a bent (clutch) fork in the transmission. $$$$

Thoughts?
 

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That sounds like a pretty thorough inspection. Not being there and doing this over the net they are likely to be correct.
 
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