How to Bleed a Hydraulic Clutch on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

In older Vehicles the clutch is engaged and disengaged using a cable. Over time, the clutch would wear out and an adjustment would be necessary to make it work properly. In more recent Vehicles like the Vehicles a hydraulic system was used to engage and disengage the clutch. This eliminated the need Vehicles time-consuming adjustments, as the hydraulic system made adjustments automatically. However, air might get into the hydraulic system and cause a spongy or soft feel to the clutch. To rectify this problem, the hydraulic system must be bled.

Under The Hood:

 How to Bleed a Hydraulic Clutch on a Corvette

Place the wheel chocks in front and behind the rear wheels to keep the Corvette from moving. Set the parking brake to secure the rear wheels from moving.

Raise the Corvette with the floor jack and use the jack stands to secure the vehicle before performing work under the car.

Open the hood and locate the clutch master cylinder, located on the firewall. Remove the cap from the master cylinder and fill to the maximum mark with new brake fluid.

Attach one end of the clear tubing to the bleeder screw on the slave cylinder. Insert the unattached end of the clear tubing into the empty bottle.

Have an assistant sit in the vehicle and press the clutch pedal to the floor. Using a metric wrench, loosen the bleeding screw on the slave cylinder. Tighten the bleeding screw after the clutch fluid ceases to flow from the slave cylinder.

Repeat Step 5 until air bubbles are no longer visible in the clear tubing, when the fluid is flowing through the tubing.

Tighten the bleeder screw on the slave cylinder and remove the tubing from the bleeding screw.

Fill the clutch master cylinder to the maximum mark with new brake fluid. Attach and tighten the cap on the master cylinder reservoir. Close the hood and have your assistant exit the Corvette.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands with the assistance of the floor jack. Remove the wheel chocks and release the emergency brake.

Items you will need

  • Wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Clear plastic tubing

  • Empty bottle

  • Wrench

  • Brake fluid

 How to Bleed a Hydraulic Clutch on a Toyota Pickup

Open the Toyota's hood. Remove the cap from the clutch master cylinder, which is the component on the far driver's side of the firewall, near the brake master cylinder. Fill the clutch master cylinder with DOT3 brake fluid. Add about three inches of DOT3 brake fluid into the empty container.

Raise the front of the vehicle, using a floor jack, and place the jack stands beneath the Toyota's frame rails. Lower the vehicle until all of its weight is on the jack stands.

Crawl beneath the truck until you reach where the engine and transmission bolt to each other. Locate the clutch fork. It's the metal bar protruding from the driver's side of the transmission's bell housing. Trace the arm until you reach the hydraulic cylinder it is attached to, which is known as the clutch slave cylinder or clutch release cylinder.

Press one end of a 1/4-inch rubber hose on the end of the slave cylinder's bleeder valve, which is the small, gold-colored valve on the side of the slave cylinder. Submerge the other end of the hose into the brake fluid in the container, making certain to keep the end of the hose submerged through the entire bleeding process.

Instruct your assistant to press and release the clutch pedal several times, then hold the pedal to the floor. Loosen the bleeder valve using a line wrench, and observe as air bubbles escape the hose in the brake fluid.

Tighten the bleeder valve and instruct your assistant to release the clutch pedal.

Repeat steps 5 through 6 until no air escapes from the rubber hose.

Remove the rubber hose from the bleeder valve. Raise the truck from the jack stands, using the floor jack, and slowly lower the Toyota to the ground.

Check the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder. It should be between the "Min" and "Max" lines on the cylinder. Adjust the fluid level by adding fluid to reach the proper level. Close the Toyota's hood.

Items you will need

  • 1-quart DOT 3 brake fluid

  • Clean empty container

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • 2 feet 1/4-inch rubber hose

  • Assistant

  • Line wrench set

 How to Bleed a Hydraulic Clutch on a Jeep Wrangler

Fill the master cylinder with new brake fluid. Fill a small, clear plastic container with about two inches of brake fluid and place aside.

Raise the front of the Jeep on jack stands high enough to access the bleeder screw. The screw is located on the passenger side of the vehicle's transmission housing on four-cylinder Jeep Wrangler models. The screw is located on the left side of the transmission housing, immediately above the fitting for the clutch hydraulic line on six-cylinder Jeep Wrangler models.

Remove the dust cap covering the bleeder screw by unscrewing with a wrench. Place a section of plastic hosing over the screw. Place the other end into the container with brake fluid so that the hose is fully submerged in the fluid at the bottom.

Have a helper press down and hold the clutch pedal. Open the bleeder screw on the transmission and allow the fluid to flow through the hose.

Once the flow of bubbles and old master cylinder fluid has stopped, close the bleeder screw. Once the screw is closed, have the assistant release the clutch pedal.

Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all air is bled from the system as indicated by a solid stream of fluid from the bleeder screw and no air bubbles in the hose or container. Lower the vehicle and top off the fluid level.

Items you will need

  • Brake fluid

  • Plastic hose piece

  • Clear container

  • Wrench

  • Jack stands

 How to Bleed the Hydraulic Clutch in an S10

Fill the clutch master cylinder with fresh DOT 3 brake fluid using a suction tool like a turkey baster (one that has never been used) to deposit the liquid.

Raise the truck's front end and support it on jack stands.

Remove the dust cap covering the release cylinder's bleeder valve. Stick one end of a small plastic hose on the valve and insert the hose's other end into a small clear bottle containing about two inches of brake fluid.

Open the bleeder valve on the cylinder while another person pushes down on the clutch pedal inside the truck. Look for air and fluid to come out the hose and into the bottle.

Close the valve once the second person has pressed the pedal all the way down, then have that person release the pedal.

Repeat each of the previous two steps until fluid cleanly comes out the bleeder valve with no air, then close the valve for good and reconnect the dust cap on it.

Lower the truck off its jack stands.

Items you will need

  • Brake fluid

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Plastic hose

  • Small bottle

About the Author

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