Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How Does a Hydraulic Clutch System Work?

asked by on

How does a hydraulic clutch system work?

A: A hydraulic clutch system works using vario...

A hydraulic clutch system works using various hydraulic components to actuate the clutch when the pedal is pushed in. The system works similar to how the brakes work on your vehicle. The clutch hydraulics consists of the clutch pedal, connecting push rod, clutch master cylinder, hydraulic metal or plastic piping, and the clutch slave cylinder.

The clutch pedal is a solid lever hooked to a pivot point above the driver’s feet area. The pedal lever connects to a rod using a clevis pin. The rod connects directly to the clutch master cylinder. When the pedal is pushed in, it will push the rod out toward the master cylinder. The rod will push in the master cylinder, causing it to push out hydraulic fluid into the fluid line connected directly to it. When the fluid leaves the master cylinder into the piping, it will flow into the clutch slave cylinder. The fluid will cause the slave cylinder to push in the clutch pedal or the clutch pressure plate depending on design.

The only adjustment on these hydraulic systems is at the clutch pedal to keep the free travel correct. The system from the master cylinder to the slave cylinder is a closed system that must not have any air in it. The fluids should be replaced on a regular basis just like your brake fluid is changed.

The hydraulic clutch will feel easier to push in when compared to other clutch systems like lever or cable types. The system uses the same fluid as most brake systems. Note that some systems only use silicone-type fluids and using the wrong fluid can damage the seals and cause leaks.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The car starts but won't shift and when I take my foot off the cluch its shuts off

If the clutch is disengaged (from the flywheel) and yet you cannot shift the transmission into select gears, there are really only two possibilities: there is a problem with the mechanical shift linkage or the synchronizer gear mesh assembly is...

Q: Van will not start randomly

Hello. If you have a new battery and new terminal connectors, then I would be curious about the starter solenoid. That could cause temperamental starting with a perfectly good battery and electrical system. If the starter solenoid is beginning to...

Q: Clutch doesnt work

You most likely broke the clutch or transmission input shaft gear. This most likely happened when you started the engine without pushing in the clutch. The normal way was to push in the clutch to start the truck. Now you...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.