Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How a Hydraulic Clutch System Works

How a Hydraulic Clutch System Works

Hydraulic Clutch

If your car transmission has a hydraulic clutch, chances are you’re wondering exactly how it works within your shifting system. Most clutches, especially on older vehicles, work by means of a cog system that changes the gears as you shift. With an automatic transmission, you don’t actually shift at all – the car does it for you.

The basics

Essentially, a clutch works by means of the gear shift lever or stick. You press the clutch down with your foot, and that causes the flywheel to move. This works with the pressure plate, disengaging the clutch disc and stopping the driveshaft from turning. The plate then releases, and re-engages in the gear you’ve selected.

Hydraulics

A hydraulic clutch works on the same basic principle, but it differs from its mechanical counterpart in that it has fewer components. This type of clutch has a reservoir containing hydraulic fluid, and when you push down on the clutch pedal, the fluid becomes pressurized. It works along with the clutch plate to disengage the gear you’re in, and engage the new gear.

Maintenance

It’s important to be sure your fluid is always adequate. In most vehicles, this isn’t a problem. It’s a closed system, so usually your fluid should last the life of the vehicle and never need to be changed. The exception to this, of course, is if you’re in the habit of driving a very old vehicle. Then, wear and tear can cause leaking, and you’ll need to top up the fluid. You don’t have to worry about buying anything fancy – simple brake fluid will do.

Problems

Your shifting system is, obviously, vital to the operation of your car. The hydraulic clutch is what delivers the gear changes, and if it’s not working you’re going to find yourself driving in one gear – not for long, though. You’ll have to get it checked out by a mechanic. To keep the hydraulic clutch problem-free, the best thing to do is avoid the practice known as “riding the clutch.” This means simply that you’ve developed the habit of constantly having your foot on the clutch pedal, raising it and lowering it as a means of regulating your speed. This is what your brakes are for! Properly cared for, your hydraulic clutch will last a long time.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...

Related questions

Q: When trying to reverse my clutch makes a grinding noise and stalls out. Also when driving down the highway theres a rattling sound

The rattling noise under the vehicle could be a loose heat shield that could be moving around when the wind is moving fast under the vehicle. For the grinding issue when going in reverse, the reverse gear could have broken...

Q: How Long Does Clutch Fluid Last?

Clutch fluid in most vehicles is the same as what is used in most brake systems, brake fluid. The fluid over time will get contaminated with moisture, dirt, debris, and internal clutch master and slave cylinders wear materials. All of...

Q: Stuck in Park gear - 1997 GMC K2500

Hey there. I would check to see if your vehicle brake lights work. The shift lock needs the brake switch to activate and the shift lock solenoid in the steering column. If you do not have brake lights, then you...