Clutch Slave Cylinder

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Clutch Slave Cylinder
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Clutch Slave Cylinder at 1A Auto

What is a Clutch Slave Cylinder and where is it Located?

In a vehicle with a manual transmission, there must be some way for the driver to disengage the clutch from the engine flywheel in order to shift gears. In some vehicles this is accomplished via a cable connected to the clutch pedal. In others this is accomplished through a hydraulic system that includes a clutch master cylinder and a clutch slave cylinder. 

When the driver presses on the clutch pedal, it pushes forward a piston inside the clutch master cylinder. This pushes out fluid (essentially the same as brake fluid) which creates hydraulic pressure. Fluid hoses carry that pressure to the slave cylinder, which has its own piston that gets pushed out to move the clutch fork, which in turn disengages the clutch. 

The clutch slave cylinder is located by the transmission. Its exact position varies from one model to another.  It may be mounted to the outside of the transmission, or it may be inside the transmission bell housing. If it is outside the transmission, it may be on top, and more easily accessed through the engine compartment, or it may be underneath and more easily accessed from below the vehicle. 

How do I Know if my Clutch Slave Cylinder Needs to be Replaced?

Over time, the seals inside the clutch slave cylinder can break down from use and cause fluid to leak out of the system. Without proper fluid levels in the system, the clutch pedal can feel soft and not allow for proper movement of the clutch. A soft pedal is the first sign that something is wrong with the slave cylinder. If the pedal feels “spongy” when you press it, this can indicate that there is air in the hydraulic system, which you may be able to solve by bleeding the system. If the pedal sinks to the floor and stays there when you take your foot off, then there is definitely a leak in the clutch system. 

If you find that you must frequently refill the fluid reservoir for the clutch system or that there is oily fluid around the slave cylinder or the bell housing, then it may have a leak. If the slave cylinder is mounted externally of the transmission, you may be able to check its function by asking an assistant to press the clutch pedal. You should be able to see the piston in the slave cylinder move when your assistant does so. 

If the master cylinder cannot produce enough pressure, then the slave cylinder might not be able to disengage the clutch completely. This may lead to loud noises from the engine compartment while you are stopped and idling. It may cause grinding when you try to shift gears. Eventually if the problem is allowed to get worse, you may be completely unable to shift the vehicle into gear, leaving you immobile.

Many of these symptoms can also apply to the master cylinder, so you should pinpoint the exact cause of the problem before attempting a repair, or consider replacing both clutch hydraulic cylinders. 

Can I Replace a Clutch Slave Cylinder Myself?

The difficulty of replacing your clutch slave cylinder will depend upon your model and where the slave cylinder is located. Wherever it’s mounted, you will have to start by draining the system of fluid. If the slave cylinder is mounted to the outside of the transmission, you’ll just have to unbolt it from the transmission, disconnect the hydraulic hose to it, and attach the new one. If the clutch slave cylinder is inside the bell housing, the job will be much more labor intensive and time consuming. You will have to disconnect the drive shaft, and disconnect the transmission from the engine. In either case, you’ll have to bleed the hydraulic system of air afterwards, and test that the pedal feels firm, before testing your clutch in a driving situation. 

Need a Clutch Slave Cylinder Replacement?

Any time a part of your clutch system begins to fail it is a major safety concern. If you own a vehicle with a manual transmission and your clutch slave cylinder has failed, then you won’t be able to shift the automobile into gear, which means you won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. You will need a replacement and there is no better place for one than 1A Auto. We carry a large selection of replacement clutch slave cylinders for many makes and models, at great prices.

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement clutch slave cylinder for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right one for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our parts, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. Order today and get your clutch functioning properly again!

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