Signs And Symptoms Of Low Clutch Fluid - Enji


Signs And Symptoms Of Low Clutch Fluid

May 16, 2022

Signs And Symptoms Of Low Clutch Fluid

Worried your clutch fluid is getting low, or unsure how to refill it? Clutch fluid is an important but often overlooked part of the car's clutch system. Helping the car run smoothly, clutch fluid assists in switching gears and functional pedals. If you have low clutch fluid, you might experience disruptions while driving that can further impact the quality of your car's engine.

What is Clutch Fluid?

There are many different fluids in a car, like motor oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and clutch fluid.

Clutch fluid is an important fluid for cars, helping them function and run smoothly to maintain the overall standard of wellbeing for the vehicle.

Clutch fluid is brake fluid that is stored in the clutch master cylinder, as a part of the clutch system.

When the clutch pedal is in use, the clutch fluid passes through the clutch master cylinder to the slave cylinder.

The fluid's pressure engages the clutch, which assists in changing gears.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Low Clutch Fluid?

There are a few telling symptoms and signs of low clutch fluid, including:

  • Grinding gears
  • Vibrations when shifting gears
  • Gears are sluggish and slipping
  • Lurching when switching gears
  • Resistance in the gearshift lever

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it could be a sign your car has low clutch fluid.

Grinding Gears

Grinding gears are the first obvious sign of low clutch fluid.

The gears will grind when there is not enough fluid to flow through the master cylinder to slave cylinder, causing friction and tension between the gears.

When you hear the gears grinding, your first checkpoint should be the oil levels. It is possible the clutch fluid levels are fine, and it could be another fluid that needs refilling - like the engine fluid.

Vibrations When Shifting Gears

If there are vibrations when shifting gears, your clutch fluid could be low.

Shifting gears is normally a smooth process, and if there are vibrations while changing gears then this could indicate an issue with the clutch system.

Low clutch fluid can cause resistance and vibrations when shifting gears, so this is something to look out for.

Gears Are Sluggish And Slipping

If your gear movements have slowed down or have become less responsive, then this could indicate your clutch fluid needs refilling.

The longer you leave your car with these symptoms, the more difficult it will be to drive and subsequent issues can arise.

It's better to get the problem sorted at the get go rather than down the track!

Lurching When Shifting Gears

If your car is lurching when shifting gears, there is some issue with the clutch system, with low clutch fluid as the usual suspect.

The clutch pedal isn't able to function smoothly when there is low clutch fluid, causing the car to lurch back and forth when switching gears.

This can make for an uncomfortable and annoying car trip and put extra strain on your car's clutch system the longer it persists.

Resistance In The Gearshift Lever

If there is resistance in the gearshift lever, this can indicate low lubrication in the clutch system. The clutch reservoir runs low from time to time, needing new fluid to keep the car running smoothly.

If there is strong resistance in the gearshift lever, there is a good chance a simple top up of clutch fluid will help ease the pressure and get the car going again.

Where is the clutch fluid located?

Located in the vehicle's engine bay, the clutch fluid reservoir holds the clutch fluid.

This is usually under the front hood of the car for many vehicles, but the instruction manual will detail whether this is different for your car's clutch system.

How to Refill Your Clutch Fluid

If you are refilling your clutch fluid, follow these steps to ensure a safe process:

  1. Read your car's users manual before undertaking any top ups or repairs.
  2. Make sure you have the correct clutch fluid for your car's clutch system.
  3. Park your car on a levelled surface.
  4. Locate the clutch fluid reservoir, under the front hood.
  5. Make sure the engine is turned off and wait until it is cool to touch. This could take between 30 minutes to an hour after the engine has been turned off.
  6. Find the clutch fluid tank, which is a small, clear tank. Normally in the engine bay near the windshield, on the driver's side. The black cap on the tank should be labelled with 'clutch fluid'.
  7. Wear rubber gloves to ensure your skin is safely protected from the fluids, and have a paper towel handy for any excess spillage.
  8. Notice the clutch fluid levels on the side of the tank to see how much needs to be refilled.
  9. Unscrew the black cap and begin to refill the tank. Make sure you do not fill past the 'Maximum' line.
  10. Screw the cap back on and clean up any mess.

Once these steps have been followed through, you can restart your car and see how it functions.

If the clutch pedal moves smoothly and springs up, it is a good sign refilling the clutch fluid was successful.

If there is still some resistance or it is difficult to consistently move the pedal, another issue might be at play.

Why Was Your Clutch Fluid Low?

Low clutch fluid is not an uncommon problem.

When your clutch fluid is low, this is usually caused by a leak or an issue with the slave cylinder. Slave cylinder replacement is an easy process for mechanics to do.

While mechanics inspect your car, they might notice other issues with the clutch system as a whole. Your mechanic will advise you whether it would be worthwhile having other repairs or replacements done to minimise and prevent other issues occuring.

For a qualified mechanic to assist in all of your vehicle needs, including dealing with low clutch fluid, contact Enji today.