How Does a Hydraulic Clutch Work?

Updated April 17, 2017

A hydraulic clutch, which is responsible for engaging and disengaging the engine from the transmission, uses brake fluid instead of a cable to operate the clutch mechanism, which is the point at which the rotating power of the engine's crankshaft is transferred into usable motion at the transmission. When the clutch pedal is pressed inside the vehicle, the fluid in the hydraulic clutch system is pressurised and acts upon the clutch-plate mechanism, which disengages the transmission from the engine.

Hydraulic Fluid Reservoir

In order for a hydraulic clutch to function properly, it must contain a sufficient amount of hydraulic (brake) fluid. The hydraulic fluid reservoir, which is very similar in design to a brake master cylinder, is a rectangular basin in which hydraulic fluid is stored, added and checked.

Hydraulic Clutch Bleeding

All systems that use hydraulic fluid, including a hydraulic clutch system, must be bled periodically to remove air bubbles from the fluid. A hydraulic clutch that has air in its fluid will feel spongy and loose. A hydraulic clutch has small bleeder screws attached to its system that allow for easy bleeding of the system.

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