uh oh, 2001 elantra clutch fluid

Hi folks, got a question for anyone kind enough to help.
2001 Elantra, 5speed. While driving, I noticed the clutch lost pressure. When I checked the reservoir, it was bone dry. (80k miles, I thought it was
full, but it was the cap i saw inside, not fluid)
I've refilled the res, and the clutch operates, but loses pressure, and needs to be pumped occasionally to regain full pressure. I've noticed no leaks at all at any of the fittings, no puddles, or telltale signs of leaks. I've put 20k miles on it since late January when I bought it (I'm a field service technician for an electronics co.) and it just started this problem today.
I see what I think is a bleeder screw underneath my air box, but not terribly certain on how to bleed it if that is the problem. Has anyone had a similar problem, or does anyone know if something in the system has failed, even though I can't see any leaked fluid? (and I haven't been able to find a chilton's manual at my local parts stores)
If I've left out any vital info, let me know and I'll respond asap.
Thanks for any help.
Andre
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You've probably found the bleeder. It's on the release cylinder, which us under the air box bolted onto the transmission. The clutch system bleeds pretty much like a brake system: open the bleeder, depress the pedal, close the bleeder, pull the pedal up, and repeat. It's often difficult to get all the air out of a clutch system. If you have a vacuum pump you can attach to the bleeder instead of pumping, that'll probably give you the best results.
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thanks hyundaitech,
is it possible some component in the system has failed (no leaks spotted), or is it normal for the reservoir to be empty (80k miles) if it hasn't been closely monitored?

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No, the fluid shouldn't be low unless you have a leak. Pull back the boot on the release cylinder and check for fluid there. Also look behind your dash to see if any is coming out of the clutch master cylinder.
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okay, I did locate the problem.....it's definitely the master cylinder. It's got fluid on the inside behind the dash just as you described.
I have the part on order, next question-
when I change the master cylinder is there anything I need to watch out for, i.e. sensitive adjustments, or is it a pretty straightforward part swap (aside from bleeding the system, which i know is necessary.)
again....thanks for everyone's help. hopefully someday I can repay the favor.
andre

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for,
Bench bleed the master cylinder before putting it in the car. The new one should come with instructions on how to do this.
--

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You'll need to adjust the pedal free play. Basically, what you're looking for is that the pedal moves in and out slightly before activating the master cylinder. Use the pedal free play before you remove the old part as a guide as to how you should adjust the new cylinder.
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hyundaitech wrote:

If you need to bleed the clutch but don't have anyone to assist you, cut a piece of wood long enough to wedge between the driver's seat and the depressed clutch pedal and use it to hold the pedal down while you close the bleeder.
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On Thu, 14 Sep 2006 12:58:43 GMT, Brian Nystrom

Take it to a competent mechanic, I had a clutch cylinder fail on a car several years ago, was stuck in 2nd gear, no reverse or any other gear. Managed to get rolling and slowly drive to a repair shop.
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Just wanted to take a minute to thank those who helped out.
Did the repair a couple weekends ago, from the moment I popped the hood, till I finished bleeding the system and tested it's operation, (and adjusted the free play 'til it felt just like the old one) it was under an hour.
much appreciated,
Andre

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