Replace The Clutch Fluid on a Honda S2000
Honda recommends replacing your brake/clutch fluid every three years. However, if you notice your clutch is engaging at the floor then you have air in your clutch system. In either of these cases you'll need to bleed the system to remove old fluid and air and replace it with new fluid.
If you can change your oil then you shouldn't have any trouble with replacing the clutch fluid. This article describes the tried and true pedal pumping method, meaning you'll need a friend or someone who can help you pump the pedals while you bleed the system underneath.
- Someone willing to help - They'll need to assist by pressing the clutch pedal
- Hydraulic Jack (and Low-Profile Ramps if your car is lowered or your jack is too tall)
- 2 Jackstands
- 2 Wheel Chocks
- 8mm Wrench
- Vinyl tubing - I recommend a trip to Home Depot and picking up a few different sizes
- Scissors to trim tubing to desired length
- Container to catch old clutch fluid
- Turkey Baster (Or similar, to remove old fluid)
- Torch / Lighter to make tubing pliable (Optional)
- Mechanic's Work Mat (Optional)
- Paper towels & Cardboard
Jack up the car
Depending on if your car is lowered or not and the size of your jack you may need to drive your car up on ramps first.
Find the front center lift point and jack up the car
Lower the car on jack stands
Give the car a good shake just to make sure it's solid before you crawl underneath
Finally, add wheel chocks to the back wheels
Remove old fluid
Open the hood & locate the clutch master cylinder
Twist off the cap and with a turkey baster, pipette or similar device remove as much fluid as you can from the cylinder
Place your funnel in the cylinder and get your new brake fluid ready. If you have a mechanic's work mat go ahead and add it - this will help protect your paint should any brake fluid drip.
If you do get any brake fluid on your paint be sure to clean it off as it's very damaging to paint.
Prepare the slave cylinder
Crawl underneath and locate the slave cylinder - it will be on the driver's side of the transmission, about the center of the car.
Remove the small rubber cap on the top of the bleed screw
You're going to attach your vinyl tubing to the bleed screw so that fluid can exit the screw and into the tubing down to your old-fluid collection container. Sometimes the tubing is a little too tight and difficult to slip on to the screw - in this case heating the tubing up with a torch can make it more loose and possible to slip over the screw.
Now slip the tubing over the screw. As you can see I melted the tubing a little - no matter, as long as it's over the screw you should be good.
Place your old-fluid container under the hose to collect the fluid that moves through the system
Now get your 8mm wrench ready - you'll be opening and closing the bleed screw with it
I get by... with a little help... from my friends
Have a friend sit in the driver's seat. They'll need to alternate between pressing down on the clutch pedal and bringing it back up to move fluid through the clutch system.
The process is as follows:
- You open the bleed screw, say "down"
- Your friend presses down on the clutch pedal and holds it there. You should see fluid come through the tubing.
- Close the bleed screw, say "up"
- Your friend lifts up on the clutch pedal - if the pedal doesn't come up on it's own they will need to pull it up.
- Repeat. After a few cycles check fluid level.
After a few iterations either you or your friend should check on the fluid level at the master cylinder. You don't want the fluid to drop so that the master cylinder is empty. Otherwise you'll introduce air into the system and will need to keep pumping until that air moves through (you should see bubbles / air move through the tubing)
Even better if you can rope in a third friend as the designated brake fluid watcher/pourer.
You'll want to continue until the fluid coming through the tubing appears to be clear and free of air. Once it seems that new fluid is coming through go ahead and repeat the process a few more times just to be sure. For me this ended up being around ~24 or so pedal cycles. Your mileage may vary (no pun intended).
Your friend's work is now done. Be sure to buy them a beer next time for their trouble.
Remove the tubing and replace the rubber cap on the bleed screw. Remove anything else from underneath the car.
Now remove the funnel and add in fluid until the amount of fluid sits at the MAX line of the cylinder. If you have too much you can remove excess with your turkey baster.
Screw back on the master cylinder cap
Jack up the car, remove jack-stands & wheel chocks and jack the car back down
Give the car a quick test - your pedal should feel firm and engage closer to the top/middle of the pedal. If not then air could still be in the system and you'll want to repeat the process.
- 8mm Wrench
- Honda DOT 3 Brake Fluid (Honda Part #08798-9008)