Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Clutch Master Cylinder

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Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Clutch Master Cylinder

Common signs include low or dirty fluid, difficulty shifting, and abnormal pedal behavior. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Clutch Master Cylinder & Slave Cylinder Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2014 Hyundai Genesis Coupe $394 $302.88 $91.00 11% $442.63
2008 Volkswagen Eos $311 $191.54 $119.00 17% $374.29
2011 Aston Martin DB9 $232 $140.60 $91.00 17% $280.35
2008 Acura TL $194 $123.72 $70.00 16% $231.22
2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 $309 $189.89 $119.00 17% $372.64
2007 Maserati Coupe $500 $409.06 $91.00 8% $548.81
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How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Clutch Master Cylinder?

clutch master cylinder

A clutch master cylinder is a component found on vehicles equipped with manual transmission, and serves as the pump for the hydraulically operated clutch system. When the clutch pedal is pressed, the clutch master cylinder pushes fluid through the system down to the clutch slave cylinder so that it may disengage the clutch. As they are hydraulic in nature, clutch master cylinders are often prone to issues with leaks that will interfere with its ability to displace fluid. When the clutch master cylinder has problems, it can lead to issues with the clutch pedal and shifting gears. Usually a bad or failing clutch master cylinder will produce a few symptoms that can notify the driver that a potential problem has occurred and should be serviced.

1. Low or dirty clutch fluid

One of the first symptoms commonly associated with a potential problem with the clutch master cylinder is low or dirty fluid in the reservoir. Dirty fluid can be caused by the seals inside the master cylinder breaking down due to wear and old age and contaminating the fluid. Aging seals are also increasingly prone to leaks as time goes on. Low fluid may be a symptom of a potential leak somewhere in the system, either at the clutch master or perhaps slave cylinder.

2. Hard to shift

Another symptom commonly associated with a bad or failing clutch master cylinder is difficulty shifting. The clutch master cylinder is hydraulic in nature and is therefore prone to internal leaks that can interfere with it’s ability to properly displaced fluid. If the master cylinder is not able to properly create pressure, it will not be able to disengage the clutch properly when the pedal is pressed. This may lead to grinding the gears when shifting, and possibly even a transmission that pops out of gear.

3. Abnormal clutch pedal behavior

Abnormal pedal pressure is another symptom of a potential problem with a bad or failing master cylinder. If the cylinder develops any internal issues, it will directly affect the feel of the pedal. A leaky cylinder may cause the pedal to feel mushy or spongy, and in more severe cases, will lead to a pedal that will sink to the floor and stay there when depressed.

The clutch master cylinder is an important component and if it develops any problems, they can quickly lead to issues that affect the overall drivability of the vehicle. If your vehicle is displaying any of the symptoms above, or you suspect that your master cylinder may be having a problem, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to determine if the car will need a replacement clutch master cylinder.


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Recent Clutch Master Cylinder & Slave Cylinder Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

YourMechanic Clutch Master Cylinder & Slave Cylinder Replacement Service

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18 years of experience
767 reviews
18 years of experience
He was very friendly and helpful.


18 years of experience
451 reviews
18 years of experience
He did, as far as I can tell, a great job. He fixed it quicker and seemingly more 'correctly' than previous similar problems. The clutch had a better 'feel' after he adjusted it. He thoroughly test drove it and it was fine. An hour after he left, I drove it and it started out fine but during my first trip, my clutch started making a "thud" sound as I released it. I was going to Mississippi the next day and really needed it looked at. I was unable to schedule a convenient time for Richard to check it out. I assumed he would have wanted me to go through him so he could fix it without letting YM know because I assumed it was an installation issue. But he said to contact YM and let y'all schedule the check. I have customers in several businesses that I own or manage. If one of them has a problem, I jump out of my skin to fix it as quickly as possible. It appeared to me that both Richard and Your mechanic took it pretty casually. The soonest I could get anyone to take a look would have been tomorrow -- Tuesday, morning. During this whole process, I have been in constant contact with Richard and he has done an outstanding job of communicating and letting me know what is happening. I have not always liked the answer but he has been very honest and straight forward. Cindy in customer service has likewise done a good job. I like being able to talk to CS people and it's easy with YM. (as long as you live in the correct time zone. Every other company that I have ever dealt with on the left coast takes time zones into consideration and starts earlier in the day. As good luck would have it, whatever it was went away. If it mysteriously comes back, I'll let you know.


14 years of experience
433 reviews
14 years of experience


17 years of experience
364 reviews
17 years of experience
Kiri was a big help with my clutch problem. He was on time and got the work done quickly. Much appreciated!

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