How to Replace Clutch Fluid

Written by sabah karimi
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Cars with a manual transmission rely on a clutch system to shift gears. If the clutch fluid level is low, you may find it difficult to shift gears easily and notice that the clutch "slips." The clutch fluid reservoir can be topped off with standard brake fluid so that the clutch pedal can perform optimally.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • DOT3 or DOT4 brake fluid
  • Small funnel
  • Gloves
  • Washcloth

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  1. 1

    Open the bonnet of your car and look for the clutch fluid reservoir; this is typically located next to the brake master cylinder. Check your car's owner's manual if you're not sure where this is located.

  2. 2

    Put on the gloves and open the cap of the clutch fluid reservoir using the washcloth. Look for the MIN and MAX gradations on the inside of the reservoir tube to see how much clutch fluid is already in there.

  3. 3

    Use the funnel to slowly pour the brake fluid directly into the clutch fluid reservoir. You may need to move the funnel out of the reservoir regularly to make sure you do not exceed the MAX fill line.

  4. 4

    Replace the cap of the clutch fluid reservoir and tighten it completely with the washcloth.

  5. 5

    Press the clutch a few times to circulate the brake fluid, then start the car. Leave the car running for 3-to-5 minutes so the fluid can get into the system.

Tips and warnings

  • If the fluid is so low that there is now air in the system, you may need a mechanic to 'bleed' the fluid out and replace it with fresh fluid
  • Never use brake fluid that's been open for more than a month
  • Don't let any brake fluid touch the surface of the engine; make sure it is only poured directly into the reservoir

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