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Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: sloinker] #5355291 02/20/20 10:30 AM
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atikovi Online Content
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Originally Posted by sloinker
No good reason to change the fluid in the slave or master cylinder for a clutch if it's on its own system, probably not even if it is on a shared system. The only possible reason I could think of is if the fluid had absorbed so much moisture it would rust the internals. The boiling point of the fluid is a non factor in a hydraulic clutch. I would be more concerned with its freezing point and moisture contamination/freezing point on a shared system. Otherwise I would change it only when a replacement clutch/cover is installed along with a new pilot and throw out bearing.


You ever had a car that you have to pull the transmission to replace the slave? Then you do anything to keep it from rusting internally.

Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5355361 02/20/20 11:36 AM
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skyactiv Offline
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Most Ford and Lincoln vehicles now specify a DOT 4 LV brake fluid.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: atikovi] #5355440 02/20/20 12:57 PM
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sloinker Online Shocked
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Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by sloinker
No good reason to change the fluid in the slave or master cylinder for a clutch if it's on its own system, probably not even if it is on a shared system. The only possible reason I could think of is if the fluid had absorbed so much moisture it would rust the internals. The boiling point of the fluid is a non factor in a hydraulic clutch. I would be more concerned with its freezing point and moisture contamination/freezing point on a shared system. Otherwise I would change it only when a replacement clutch/cover is installed along with a new pilot and throw out bearing.


You ever had a car that you have to pull the transmission to replace the slave? Then you do anything to keep it from rusting internally.

Yep, pulled many a transmission to change clutches and slaves, rear main seals, ring gears etc . The only slaves I have had to change because of failure had some hundred(s) of thousands of miles on them. I take that opportunity to change the clutch too. Boiling point of brake fluid has nothing to do with hydraulic clutches master/slave cylinders. Wasn't that many years ago when brake fluid was alcohol and I don't mind a bit of water in my alcohol. I've attached some basic tools for changing slave cylinders.

undercarriage2.jpgundercarriage1.jpgundercarriage.jpg
Last edited by sloinker; 02/20/20 01:11 PM.

'16 Tiguan TSI Vaico 5W40
'15 VW Golf TDI Ravenol VMP 5W30
'15 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI VMP 5W30
'14 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.6 Red Line Blue Label 5W20
'64 Plymouth Fury440 Red Line Blue Label 10W40
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: sloinker] #5355483 02/20/20 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sloinker
No good reason to change the fluid in the slave or master cylinder for a clutch if it's on its own system, probably not even if it is on a shared system. The only possible reason I could think of is if the fluid had absorbed so much moisture it would rust the internals. The boiling point of the fluid is a non factor in a hydraulic clutch. I would be more concerned with its freezing point and moisture contamination/freezing point on a shared system. Otherwise I would change it only when a replacement clutch/cover is installed along with a new pilot and throw out bearing.


Actually, if you read or view the Ranger information I posted above, he shows you exactly how brake dust gets into the valves and system components in some GM manual transmissions such that you do need to clean it out periodically or replace parts when they fail early. If you can keep all contaminants from getting into the system via valve seals....they you probably don't need to change it other than for moisture contamination or heat/oxidation.

Last edited by 69GTX; 02/20/20 01:28 PM.

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2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 50K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: E150GT] #5355912 02/20/20 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by E150GT
Originally Posted by CR94
Hydraulic clutch actuation was a technological great leap backwards, in my opinion. In over 1.4 million miles combined, I, my brother, and our parents never had a single problem with clutch cables or linkage.
Never had a VW? That cable was stiff as a board, snapped and was a real pain to get back on
My brother had two VWs with cable clutches. They admittedly weren't as smooth as my Japanese ones (see below), but never broke in ~150k miles he had the first one and ~340k on the other one.

Was your broken cable as much a "pain" to fix as a failed internal slave cylinder?


2011 Toyota Prius now at 110K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5355952 02/20/20 08:36 PM
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My 1984 Rabbit GTI had a cable actuated shifter and clutch and never had any problem at all, Worked well, just the right amount of feel in the pedal too.
1996 Golf GL 2.0L had a rod actuated shifter and cable clutch and both worked perfectly actually the shifter in this car was smoother and a bit more positive than the
1984 Rabbit GTI but not by much...

I agree Hydraulic clutches are NOT a positive in any way, whether reliability or pedal feel.

Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: AC1DD] #5355964 02/20/20 08:52 PM
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CR94 Offline
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Originally Posted by AC1DD
... I agree Hydraulic clutches are NOT a positive in any way, whether reliability or pedal feel.
I didn't know they existed until I was asked to help repair the one in a friend's late-1970s(?) Saab. It seemed a dumb idea then, and still does.


2011 Toyota Prius now at 110K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5356136 02/21/20 02:29 AM
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sloinker Online Shocked
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Higher horsepower and torque engines need a hydraulic clutch for the clamping force of the cover. You could use a cable but you would need some big levers and the space may not be there. Leg fatigue may also be an issue with a mechanically actuated clutch. I have driven a couple vehicles that require a well conditioned left leg to actuate precisely. They would easily disqualify many woman and smaller folks. Doesn't really matter much anymore. Not a lot of clutches being built for anything anymore.


'16 Tiguan TSI Vaico 5W40
'15 VW Golf TDI Ravenol VMP 5W30
'15 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI VMP 5W30
'14 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.6 Red Line Blue Label 5W20
'64 Plymouth Fury440 Red Line Blue Label 10W40
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: sloinker] #5356144 02/21/20 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by sloinker
Higher horsepower and torque engines need a hydraulic clutch for the clamping force of the cover. You could use a cable but you would need some big levers and the space may not be there. Leg fatigue may also be an issue with a mechanically actuated clutch. I have driven a couple vehicles that require a well conditioned left leg to actuate precisely. They would easily disqualify many woman and smaller folks. Doesn't really matter much anymore. Not a lot of clutches being built for anything anymore.

the pivot point on the pedal is one consideration, the strength of the fingers springs is the other. multi-plate clutches give significantly more surface area, and therefore grip, for the same surface area, making cables suitable and easy to use in hoigh power applications.

the master and slave in a hydro setup take away a lot of the tactile sensation, and as such are often used with 'delay valves' which add an additional level of cost and complaxity that is simply not needed. Cables and multiple plates are quicker and easier and cheaper to fit/inspect/diagnose/repair because there are much less components.

hydro clutches have their place, but its not in vehicles that people enjoy a high level of involvement.

Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Olas] #5357242 02/22/20 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Olas
Originally Posted by sloinker
Higher horsepower and torque engines need a hydraulic clutch for the clamping force of the cover. You could use a cable but you would need some big levers and the space may not be there. Leg fatigue may also be an issue with a mechanically actuated clutch. I have driven a couple vehicles that require a well conditioned left leg to actuate precisely. They would easily disqualify many woman and smaller folks. Doesn't really matter much anymore. Not a lot of clutches being built for anything anymore.

the pivot point on the pedal is one consideration, the strength of the fingers springs is the other. multi-plate clutches give significantly more surface area, and therefore grip, for the same surface area, making cables suitable and easy to use in hoigh power applications.

the master and slave in a hydro setup take away a lot of the tactile sensation, and as such are often used with 'delay valves' which add an additional level of cost and complaxity that is simply not needed. Cables and multiple plates are quicker and easier and cheaper to fit/inspect/diagnose/repair because there are much less components.

hydro clutches have their place, but its not in vehicles that people enjoy a high level of involvement.



I'm thinking you may be hard pressed to find any sports or muscle car nowadays without a hydraulic clutch system. It may also be difficult to buy an aftermarket multi-disc clutch that isn't hydraulic either. There are exceptions to this rule. I'm not discounting that the cable system may have better tactile feedback but Porsche and Audi among others are ignoring this premise. It isn't impossible to find an aftermarket mechanical clutch multi disc system but since they are built for higher demands and utilize higher clamping forces they are invariably hydraulic. The cable operated clutch isn't found much anymore in any automotive application.


'16 Tiguan TSI Vaico 5W40
'15 VW Golf TDI Ravenol VMP 5W30
'15 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI VMP 5W30
'14 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.6 Red Line Blue Label 5W20
'64 Plymouth Fury440 Red Line Blue Label 10W40
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5357696 02/22/20 11:19 PM
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Plenty of manual transmissions being sold in Europe and the row. Only us and Canada prefer auto units.

Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5375595 03/13/20 03:57 PM
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This is what I went with. It seemed to be a good option - still DOT 3 (as specified in the OM), specifically formulated for Asian vehicles, and with a good boiling point of 252 C/486 F.

The company is Recochem Inc., which the bottle states imported and packaged the fluid in Canada. COO = US?

IMG_8489 - Copy.JPG
Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5376025 03/14/20 07:06 AM
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Not needed, I still have the original fluid in my 87 and never had a problem.


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Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Number_35] #5376039 03/14/20 07:19 AM
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There was a time some years ago in the german Honda del Sol community, when the cars where 10+ years old and used.
Every few weeks a member came up with the same question: "Help, my clutch padal just went to to the floor and dont come back.."

All of them had failing clutch master or slave cylinders. None of them with this problem has ever changed the clutch fluid. Some dont know about it, some think the shop does it (but never does..) , some just say "I thought it was a waste of money.."

Many pictures of clutch master reservoirs filled with black sludge, remainings of DOT4, occured in the forum.

I change the clutch fluid togehter with the brake fluid every two or three years. It is a fluid that brakes down over time, easy work and dirt cheap. There is just no excuse for not doing it.

Re: Don't forget about your clutch fluid [Re: Lubener] #5376446 03/14/20 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Lubener
Not needed, I still have the original fluid in my 87 and never had a problem.
Well, it was certainly needed in my car! (And many years ago my '71 Corolla had the same symptoms, and the fix was the same. I had had the car in at the dealership just a few weeks before, and they had not changed it as part of the big 40,000 mile service. I guess it was not a recommended service, but in my opinion it should have been.)

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