How a Hydraulic Clutch System Works

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.


Next Step

Schedule Clutch is not working Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Clutch is not working Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Clutch is not working Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(56)

Rating Summary
52
1
3
0
0
52
1
3
0
0

Juan

9 years of experience
155 reviews
Juan
9 years of experience
Mazda MX-5 Miata - Clutch is not working - Orlando, Florida
Juan was professional, nice, and good at explaining what he was doing and why. He helped me understand the issues with my car and my obtions to resolve them.

Michael

6 years of experience
58 reviews
Michael
6 years of experience
Ford Escape - Clutch is not working Inspection - Lakewood, Washington
Extremely polite and professional. He explained things to me in a way I could understand (as best he could to a senior woman) lol. He even moved my car off the street due to neighbor complaints.

Ramon

20 years of experience
130 reviews
Ramon
20 years of experience
Toyota Pickup - Clutch is not working - Tucson, Arizona
Ramon was courteous and on time. He was thorough and explained everything he was doing. I have to say, I am so impressed that I will be calling for him for my two other vehicles! And, I have already recommended this service and Ramon to my co-workers! Thank You!

Jeremy

20 years of experience
428 reviews
Jeremy
20 years of experience
Mini Cooper - Clutch is not working - Boynton Beach, Florida
On time... Very informative... Offered tons of advice... Extremely knowledgeable... I would contact him again if/when needed!

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

Related articles

How to Use Autostick
Autostick gives drivers with automatic transmissions the feel of a manual car. It allows the driver to upshift and downshift for extra control.
How to Shift From First to Second Gear in a Manual Transmission Car
Shifting from first to second gear in a manual transmission requires accuracy and practice, as well as a feel for the car.
5 Signs Your Car Isn't Shifting Correctly
Improper shifting is a sign of car transmission problems. The solution might be simple or complex, but get it inspected to avoid expensive repairs.

Related questions

Can keeping the clutch pedal pressed down while not moving have negative effects on a car?

When I come to a stop, usually I let go of the accelerator pedal and don't use the clutch. When you let go of the accelerator pedal, you can shift it into neutral. I let it sit in neutral, because...

My car won't shift out of 1st gear. I replaced the engine with one from a Saturn, now it won't shift up.

The vehicle speed sensor (VSS) has failed or lost power to the transmission and computer system. The computer needs to recognize the road speed to perform an up shift. Check the VSS to make sure the harness is plugged in...

Gear slipping 1st 2nd

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The first thing to check would be the transmission fluid level. A low transmission fluid level from a leak can cause symptoms where the engine speed rises without...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com