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Clutch Slave Cylinder
The Essentials of the Clutch Slave Cylinder and Its Replacement
Part of regular vehicle maintenance includes oil changes and brake fluid checks. Discover the warning signs to watch for and what to talk to your mechanic about when it comes to your clutch slave cylinder maintenance. Replacing the clutch master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder replacement regularly keeps the vehicle operating safely and as expected.
Anything that affects your brakes or your clutch, and even worse, both, is crucial information to keep your vehicle in safe operating condition. The slave cylinder is a vital piece to keeping the brakes and the clutch working correctly.
What is a clutch slave cylinder?
The clutch master cylinder includes a reservoir that stores the brake fluid. This reservoir is connected, through hoses, to the slave cylinder. Thus, the brake fluid flows from the clutch master cylinder to the slave cylinder whenever the clutch pedal is pushed. This cylinder, reservoir, and hose system to the clutch slave cylinders are how the engine’s pressure is applied to engage the clutch.
Watch out for:
If you notice any of these symptoms with your vehicle, it’s likely time to replace the slave cylinder:
- The clutch pedal depresses all the way to the floor.
- There is brake fluid leaking around the clutch pedal.
- You’re not able to change gears.
If the clutch master cylinder and the slave cylinders are in the engine compartment, how is brake fluid flowing down by the clutch pedal inside the vehicle itself?
No matter how careful when driving, seals wear out over time. When the internal seals wear out that keep the hoses connected between the master cylinder and the slave cylinders, that brake fluid held in the reservoir can seep through the wearing seals.
When the external seals wear out, brake fluid leaks from the clutch master cylinder. Because of this leakage, the fluid amount is reduced in the car, and the clutch begins to malfunction.
The other way it works is with worn-out internal seals. As a result, the clutch fluid continues circulating inside instead of moving toward the slave cylinder. When this leakage happens, you’ll notice the clutch pedal hitting the floor when depressed.
What it feels like:
Typically, mechanics check the brake fluid amount during an oil change. Before your next oil change, pay attention to how the clutch pedal feels when stepping on it. If the pedal feels softer, ask the mechanic to inspect the clutch master cylinder and hose.
How to Replace Your Clutch Slave Cylinder
- Perform an inspection on the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder.
- Check the brake fluid color and level (overall condition).
- Check the clutch pedal operation.
- Remove and replace both the clutch master cylinder and slave cylinder. Both are replaced at the same time, every time.
- From the master cylinder, bleed all the air out.
- Take the vehicle for a test drive.
What else do I need to know?
Even if the warning signs aren’t happening, it’s recommended to change the clutch fluid every 24,000 miles. Remember, some clutch slave cylinders are inside the transmission. You or your mechanic will have to remove the entire transmission to replace the slave cylinder in those instances.
Our expert mechanics are available seven days a week to perform any diagnostics needed to keep your vehicle in top shape.