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Clutch Fluid Vs Brake Fluid – Is There A Difference? 

Clutch Fluid Vs Brake Fluid – Is There A Difference? 

As a car owner, it’s important that you know all of the fluids that must be poured into your vehicle, in order for it to run and work properly. So, when it comes to clutch fluid vs brake fluid, is there a difference?  We have the information you need now! 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


What is Clutch Fluid? 

You’ve heard the two words together… “clutch fluid” and when you hear them, it certainly sounds as if this kind of fluid is a “real thing”. But here’s the real deal about clutch fluid: clutch fluid is non-existent! Wait! Let us explain before you leave! 

Clutch fluid is actually brake fluid that is housed in the clutch master cylinder. Once you go to depress the clutch pedal, this particular fluid will travel from the clutch master cylinder, then enter into the slave cylinder. The pressure of the fluid then engages the clutch. This action allows you to shift gears. Once the clutch is engaged, the clutch pedal will then be released- allowing the fluid to travel back to the vehicle’s clutch master cylinder. 

“What is the importance of the fluid that is in my clutch then?” – Clutch Fluid Vs Brake Fluid

This particular fluid is kept in the clutch master cylinder. After you go and press your vehicle’s clutch pedal, the fluid then makes it way to the slave cylinder. This is where the pressure of the fluid helps to move the clutch-which is way too heavy to be moved without that added pressure.  Should you experience a leak of fluid from your vehicle’s clutch master cylinder, you will not have enough power or pressure that will effectively and efficiently engage the clutch. This will further result in your vehicle not being able to shift gears. If the brake fluid in your clutch compartment ever becomes contaminated with debris and dirt, then you risk severe damage happening to your clutch master cylinder as well as your slave cylinder. 

How often Should I replace the fluid in my clutch? 

As a car owner, chances are that you have figured out that you will certainly utilize your fluid in your clutch early as well as often. Each time you switch gears, you will need your fluid in your clutch to be able to perform its job. Given such, there will come a time in which you will need to replace the fluid in the clutch, with fresh and new fluid. Many auto experts suggest that you replace that fluid in your clutch approximately once each two to about three years. It’s a common occurrence for the fluid in the clutch to succumb to contamination. So, you certainly want to replace this particular fluid, or you run the risk of causing serious damage to your car and its components.  


“How Do I know that the fluid in my clutch is running low?” – Clutch Fluid VS Brake Fluid

You certainly want to look for the signs that it’s time to replace the fluid in your clutch. Let’s examine a few of them, ensuring you know when you’re low on fluid. 


Having To Refill The Fluid Reservoir A Lot More Than Normal 

Levels of fluid in the clutch can certainly drop- even with normal operation. But you want to take the time to rule out any huge issue- such as a leak or a fracture somewhere. If you are having to refill the fluid reservoir quite often, then you may need to take your car to a mechanic, ensuring that you don’t have a leak of fluid, or a crack somewhere. But if you do find that you are refilling that reservoir quite often, then there is a good chance that you have a leak that is somewhere in the system-and with that leak it could manifest in wet spots on your driveway or other places on the ground. Therefore, it’s to your benefit to make fluid checks a part of your vehicle’s regular maintenance routine. 


Vibrations and Shuddering 

With low fluid levels affecting your vehicle’s power transmission operation, chances are you may notice a difference in primarily how our vehicle shifts between gears. There may be instances in which your vehicle shudders or vibrates when you go to switch gears. Now you have introduced excessive stress on several mechanical components – which could lead to extensive repairs- if not taken care of ASAP. Are you also noticing that your car is far more unresponsive or even sluggish when you go to shift gears? You have now entered into the realms of gear slippage as well as clutch failure. These circumstances may be caused by a delayed response.  Is your vehicle beginning to lurch backward as well as forward? Then, this is due to lack of fluid, which enables a smooth and systematic transition. You may even see irregularities in your clutch- the clutch staying down and not coming back up when you press it- for example. And finally, never ignore any grinding noises that you may experience- once you change gears. Low fluid keeps proper engagement at bay. So, when those parts grind together, they are well on their way to breaking and wearing out fast. 


What’s The Cost of a Clutch Replacement? – Clutch Fluid VS Brake Fluid

Should you be dealing with issues with your vehicle’s clutch, then prepare for a repair that will cost you a pretty penny Generally, a clutch replacement is in the neighborhood of about $1,200. In fact, some clutch replacements have been known to be as much as $1,400- including parts as well as labor. The average costs we are presenting here are certainly not as high as some other vehicle repairs- but it’s still enough to make you think about a thing or two.


What is Brake Fluid and Why is it So Important? 

Brake fluid plays a key role in the role in the proper and correct functioning of your car’s brake system. Operating under very high temperatures, the brake fluid helps to facilitate the organized movements of the brake system’s parts and components. 


As a non-compressible substance which is housed within the brake lines, brake fluid helps to provide the force that is produced, once the brake pedal is depressed. This power is applied to all of the brake rotors, which are located on the four corners of the vehicle. Sustained and effective pressure once applied, helps the wheels to slow or come to a complete stop- depending on the amount of pressure that the driver uses. 


Brake fluid is indeed a fluid that needs to be replaced periodically.  Since there are a variety of brake fluids on the market and made for specific vehicles, you want to ensure that you choose the correct brake fluid for your particular vehicle. 


The main types of brake fluid are fluids that are silicon-based as well as glycol-based fluids. Glycol-based brake fluid is used mostly in vehicles that are manufactured with ABS or anti-lock brake systems. These particular fluids also come in a variety of grade options. 


Silicone-based brake fluid is one that is designed to be used in cars that are not manufactured with ABS technologies.  Should a non-ABS vehicle ever have glycol-based brake fluid in its system, then that particular fluid should then be used continuously- since the residual amounts of the glycol will then compromise the outcome as well as the performance of a fluid that is silicon-based. Ask your mechanic about the specific brake fluid you should be using. 


How Should I Check My Brake Fluid?
Depending on the kind of vehicle you have, checking your brake fluid may take a bit of time and energy. As a general rule of thumb, many modern vehicles are manufactured with a reservoir that is specifically created for brake fluid. You can always do a check online or read your owner's manual to find out where your reservoir is. When you find it, you can carefully unscrew the cap and look to see if you have a clean reservoir of if it’s dirty. A dirty one can certainly interfere with the operation of your brakes. So, you will have to take the time to clean it, if you are up to it.  Take the time to check the level. Once you do, you can begin to carefully refill it, should it be low. If you’re looking at an empty reservoir, then you may need to bleed your brake system. Don’t forget to take note of the color of your brake fluid. Does the fluid look dark and dirty? Then it’s time to head to a professional mechanic so that he or she can change it. For any DIY changing and checking of your brake fluid, you want to take your time, and be very careful. Brake fluid is quite toxic; this means that any old brake fluid needs to be discarded and handled carefully. Did you know that your brake fluid can eat paint? Remember to also combine your carefulness with speed. Why? Well, any long-term exposure to air, can ruin brake fluid. For these reasons and so many more, it may be wise to let a professional handle your brake fluid replenishment or replacement jobs.