How to Check Clutch Fluid Level

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While most drivers today prefer vehicles with automatic transmissions, some drivers still swear by manual transmission cars and trucks. Manual transmission vehicles either use a cable to connect the clutch to the transmission or a hydraulic system with a fluid reservoir. If your car has a stick shift with a hydraulic clutch, here’s how to check the clutch fluid level.

Steps

  1. Open the car’s hood. It’s best to do so when the car is stopped on a level surface, with the engine cold.
  2. Look for the clutch fluid reservoir. On most cars with hydraulic clutches, the clutch fluid reservoir is located near the brake master cylinder at the back of the engine bay but is smaller than the brake fluid reservoir. If in doubt as to where to look, consult with your car’s owner’s manual.
  3. Check the fluid level in the reservoir. The reservoir should either be filled to the top, or filled to between the minimum and maximum lines shown on the reservoir, depending on the car in question. On most newer cars, the reservoir will be made of translucent plastic, while older cars may have metal reservoirs, requiring you to remove the reservoir cap before you can see the fluid level.
  4. Add fluid to the reservoir.Pour the fluid carefully into the reservoir, wiping up any spills.
    • Hydraulic clutches use the same type of fluid as hydraulic brake systems. Use the fluid with the DOT specification recommended in your car’s owner’s manual.
  5. Replace the reservoir cap and close the hood. Be sure the gasket on the cap seats correctly.

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