Clutch fluid replacement from $68
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Clutch fluid replacement
How much does a clutch fluid replacement cost?
Vehicles with a manual transmission always have a clutch system. When the clutch pedal is pressed, hydraulic pressure inside the clutch fluid hose activates the slave cylinder.
The slave cylinder, in turn, applies pressure on the clutch fork to disengage the clutch disc.
The hydraulic fluid in the system breaks down over time and usage and needs to be replaced.
It’s a routine maintenance item, and clutch fluid replacement should be performed every two years or 40,000km.
The more use your clutch gets, the more frequently you should change the clutch fluid.
What is clutch fluid all about?
There’s a hydraulic hose that runs from the clutch master cylinder, which is attached to your clutch pedal lever and terminates at the slave cylinder on your transmission’s bell housing.
Hydraulic fluid inside the hose, the clutch master cylinder, and the clutch slave cylinder is compressed when the clutch pedal is pressed down, which moves the shift fork on the transmission.
The fluid is hydroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. In fact, it’s usually the same fluid you’ll find in your braking system.
Clutch fluid replacement is required to prevent internal deterioration and failure of the clutch master and slave cylinders.
It must be the exact specified fluid or your clutch may not operate properly. New fluid is a golden colour and transparent.
Dirty or contaminated fluid needs to be replaced or it can cause clutch problems.
Symptoms that your clutch fluid needs to be replaced
- The clutch pedal is spongy or isn’t smooth to engage.
- Grinding gears when clutch pedal is fully pressed.
- The fluid colour is milky, dark brown, or black.
- Your clutch fluid feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers.
- After driving aggressively, your clutch is difficult to engage.
How is clutch fluid replacement performed?
- The technician inspects the clutch system for leaks and component condition.
- The clutch bleeder valve is located and a drain hose it attached.
- While the clutch pedal is pressed, the bleeder valve is opened to expel fluid a little at a time, then closed before the clutch pedal is released.
- The process is repeated while new fluid is topped up in the reservoir, until the fluid coming out of the bleeder valve is clean.
Tips to remember
- The clutch pedal must remain fully pressed until the bleeder valve is closed, otherwise air will be drawn into the clutch system and the clutch won’t operate properly.
- Any fluid leaks should be repaired before the fluid is changed.
- Only new fluid from a sealed container should be used.
How Important is clutch fluid replacement?
Like changing your engine oil, brake fluid or transmission fluid, clutch fluid replacement is a maintenance item.
If left well beyond its service interval, you could experience clutch engagement problems or clutch component failures that could have been avoided.
If one of these problems happens while you’re driving, it’s possible you could get into an accident.
If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru.com.au.
We let you search and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.
Image credit: Nathan Perry