How to Buy Good Quality Clutch Fluid

Cars with a manual transmission require fluid to change the pressure between the master cylinder (the clutch fluid reservoir) and the slave cylinder (the unit at the other end of the mechanism which facilitates engagement of the clutch). The fluid flows from the master to the slave when the clutch pedal is depressed, allowing you to change gears while driving.

There’s a secret to clutch fluid – whether in a conventional transmission or one with a hydraulic clutch – it doesn’t exist. Brake fluid is actually what’s used in these systems. It may be labeled under the name “clutch fluid” but you can be sure, as there’s no such thing, that the liquid inside is brake fluid.

Gradual loss of brake fluid in the clutch system is expected – but it shouldn’t need anything more than to be topped off on rare occasion. If you notice a sudden drop in fluid in the master cylinder you may have a leak and the components should be professionally inspected.

How to tell if your clutch fluid is low:

  • Slipping gears – low fluid prevents the clutch from engaging, which stops you from effectively changing gears

  • Unpredictable vehicle motion – lack of proper fluid levels can cause the car to buck and lurch

  • Vibration or grinding – either of these events during shifting can indicate low clutch fluid

Tips to make sure you’re getting good quality clutch fluid:

  • Choose a well-respected brand of DOT-4 brake fluid.

  • Don’t be fooled by “clutch fluid” labels on higher priced bottles. It’s the exact same thing as what’s in the brake fluid bottle.

  • Do not use DOT-5 brake fluid. DOT-3 is acceptable but DOT-5 contain silicone which cannot mix with other brake fluids and could cause damage to your transmission.

YourMechanic supplies top-quality clutch fluid to our certified mobile technicians. We can also install clutch fluid that you've purchased. Click here to get a quote and more information on clutch fluid replacement.


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

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

Can a Leak in the Brake System Cause Total Brake Failure?
Although Although there are several issues that can lead to total brake failure, the most common one is some form of brake fluid leak. When a brake leak is present, it affects the fluid pressure in your system. Since it...
How a Cable Clutch System Works
If If you drive a car with a manual transmission, you know that to get your car moving, you depress the clutch pedal, choose a gear, and then give the vehicle a bit of gas. But have you ever wondered...
How Long Does a Clutch Slave Cylinder Last?
The The clutch slave cylinder is located on the inside or outside of the transmission. If the slave cylinder is mounted on the outside of the transmission, it is normally attached by two bolts. Every time hydraulic pressure is applied,...

Related questions

What does the “Brake fluid level low” warning in the message center mean?

Your car is equipped with some pretty advanced equipment in order to monitor the various systems needed for safe driving. One of those sensors is designed to check the level of fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. If the fluid...

Hear buzzing noise when pressing clutch.

From your description it sounds like you may have a bad pilot bearing, input shaft bearing, or release bearing. The engine noise may be a separate issue, but I would have to hear it first hand to know for sure....

Want to know if the transfer case clutches from a 2000 Chevy 1/2 ton will work in my 2003 Chevy 1/2 ton.

Hi there. Both vehicles should have an NP 246 transfer case in them. Check the casting number on the transfer cases and make sure that they both say 246 on them. If so, then yes they are interchangeable and you...

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