The clutch master cylinder is located near the clutch pedal motor outlet. It is a very simple hydraulic cylinder that is connected to the clutch pedal of our vehicle and to the impeller of this pedal by a hose full of oil.
As a hydraulic clutch, the clutch master cylinder is a complex system, but it is often easy to find the cause of its failure.
In this post by Frenkit, brake parts manufacturer and distributor, we tell you everything you need to know about the clutch master cylinder or clutch pump, a fundamental element in the clutch system of our vehicle. You can’t miss it!
What is a clutch master cylinder and how does it work
The clutch master cylinder, or clutch pump is the main type of hydraulic clutch operating system. This simple hydraulic principle is used to transmit the required force from the clutch pedal to the slave cylinder.
This part of the clutch system is connected on one side to the clutch pedal via a lever mechanism. The other end is connected via a hose to the slave cylinder, which moves the clutch.
When to change the clutch master cylinder
The clutch master cylinder or clutch pump is a component that allows us to manipulate the clutch pedal correctly, always with less effort than we would need if this part were not present in our vehicle.
Like other components of the clutch system, the clutch master cylinder can exhibit very characteristic faults. It is therefore very important to be aware of all of them.
Depending on the vehicle model, repairing the clutch master cylinder is usually quite simple, as well as inexpensive. On some car models all that is required is to purchase a new clutch master cylinder kit, unscrew the clutch line, then remove the component retaining bracket, replace the internal components and reassemble the clutch pump.
Here, we explain when it is necessary to repair the clutch pump of our vehicle or when to do the clutch master cylinder replacement:
When the pedal is stuck
This first symptom occurs when the clutch pedal of our vehicle is depressed, the clutch pedal goes down, but does not return to its initial position. If this happens, we cannot change gears, so we will have to stop our car until we replace the clutch master cylinder with a new one.
Hardly any brake fluid
In the reservoir where the brake fluid is located, we can see some marks on the side that indicate the amount we have in the reservoir. If the brake fluid is below the mark, it is important to top it up. Depending on the vehicle model, one type of fluid or another will be necessary.
But why does the brake fluid diminish? Over time, the clutch master cylinder or clutch pump loses brake fluid due to a possible leak in the master or slave cylinder of the clutch system.
Gear shifting is too jerky
When the clutch master cylinder is damaged, but we can continue to drive, this may be due to the fact that gear change is too abrupt during driving. As a result, the clutch may start to slip. It is important to press the clutch pedal firmly and consciously, but not violently.
When the pedal is soft or spongy
If at any point in your driving you notice that the clutch pedal is lighter and easier to depress than before, this is another symptom that indicates that the clutch pedal should be replaced. This is because the clutch master cylinder has air in it, so the pedal starts to feel softer.
Brake fluid is dark
The last indicator that may alert us to check our vehicle's clutch pump is if the brake fluid we have replenished suddenly becomes very dark.
This may be because one of the internal seals in the clutch master cylinder is failing. Rubber debris from these internal seals can break down with use and contaminate the fluid, thus discolouring the contents of our car’s reservoir.
However, if the brake fluid has not been changed recently, it is necessary to consult the owner’s manual of your car to find out the recommended maintenance interval.
To avoid clutch master cylinder or clutch pump wear, at Frenkit, we have a wide range of clutch master cylinder repair kits for various different types of passenger cars and light vehicles on the market.
In addition, we have a Development Department that is constantly creating new brake kits for new models. Discover our extensive brake catalogue with a wide range of products and repair kits for brake systems.