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Your Clutch slave cylinder worn out? » Read more about common malfunctions • Repair • Replacement manual
Clutch slave cylinder: frequent defects and replacement manual
The clutch slave cylinder is an instrumental part of the clutch and essential for its regular function. A malfunction or defect can affect the entire clutch system. We show you how a clutch slave cylinder works and how to recognise clutch slave cylinder defects. Furthermore we offer a step-by-step manual for replacement of the clutch slave cylinder.
The clutch and the clutch slave cylinder in an overview
A hydraulic clutch has a clutch slave cylinder and a master cylinder. Stepping on the clutch pedal causes the master cylinder to transfer power by way of hydraulic fluid to the clutch slave cylinder which in his turn further transmits the power to the so-called throw-out bearing, opening the clutch and thus interrupting the direct power flow of engine and transmission. The clutch slave cylinder as well as the master cylinder are small hydraulic pumps attached to the bulkhead and the gearbox between gear and engine block. This makes its replacement in case of a defect rather complicated.
How to recognise clutch slave cylinder defects
Unfortunately, defects of the clutch slave cylinder are not as rare as we would like and not in the last place depend on the individual driving style. The most common symptoms are:
- incomplete clutch engaging and releasing
- jerky clutch engaging and releasing
- an audible noise when engaging the clutch
- leaking hydraulic fluid from the clutch slave cylinder
- clutch grinding
- increased fuel consumption
DIY replacement or garage replacement?
Ambitious DIY'ers can perform the disassembly and installation of the clutch slave cylinder without any problem. Nevertheless be aware that this is a complicated repair taking a lot of time, as both clutch and gear have to be disassembled. Furthermore, components are rather expensive and a preventive replacement might not be profitable. In the course of the repair or through a preemptive diagnosis should be made clear whether the master or the clutch slave cylinder is defective in order to enable a targeted replacement. Provided you have the right tools and a lifting platform at hand, you can save a lot of money by DIY repair. A professional garage calculates between six and eight working hours for a clutch slave cylinder replacement.
Clutch slave cylinder replacement: step by step
The following manual often varies considerably, depending on car and car model. The amount of work mainly depends on the engine and engine compartment layout. Some car models allow clutch slave cylinder replacement without too much trouble. Other components are installed in such a way that the transmission and part of the clutch must be disassembled to enable access to the clutch slave cylinder and the master cylinder. We start our manual at the point where the clutch slave cylinder is freely accessible for the repairer.
- start by disconnecting and securing all lines. This prevents excess leakage of hydraulic fluid. Make sure no dirt enters the hoses.
- remove connections and unscrew bolts.
- Remove the clutch slave cylinder.
- The hard part starts with installation.
- Install the clutch slave cylinder in such a way to allow for optimal positioning of the release lever.
- Screw the clutch slave cylinder tightly and attach all connections and lines.
- Vent the clutch. To do so, connect a hose to the clutch slave cylinder, which is connected with the tank containing hydraulic fluid. Now step on the clutch until no air bubbles show.
When replacing the clutch slave cylinder, always mind the following:
- Always vent the clutch after repair.
- don't allow any dirt to enter the hydraulic hoses.
- ensure a perfect connection between release lever and clutch slave cylinder.
Costs are difficult to determine and depend for a great deal on whether additional clutch parts are worn. Generally a new clutch costs between 100 – 400 EUR (± £90 - £180), depending on car manufacturer and car model. The required disassembly of the transmission takes between 2 and 4 hours, making replacement in a garage rather expensive. Therefore, expect costs between 400 and 1200 EUR (± £360 - £1052,- depending on car) for a total clutch replacement.