Clutch fluid (sometimes also referred to as transmission oil) is a vital part of your vehicle's operation, allowing your transmission to efficiently switch gears while driving. Low clutch fluid can lead to a number of auto repair problems and make the chances of an accident occurring much higher. Thankfully, there are a few warning signs that you can look out for to help determine when it's time to refill your vehicle's clutch fluid.
If you notice that your vehicle is shaking and vibrating every time you try and shift gears, your clutch fluid may be running low. Low levels of clutch fluid make it harder for your transmission to run efficiently, causing increased wear and tear on your transmission and engine.
Jumping and Slow Shifting
If your clutch fluid is running low, your transmission will have trouble switching pressure from one gear to the next. This can lead to a delay when shifting gears, or even "slipping" gears where the transmission doesn't manage to switch gears, leaving your vehicle in neutral. Sometimes, this can manifest itself by slowed shifting between gears which causes your car to jump forward suddenly when the gear finally manages to engage. If this is the case with your car, you should contact a mechanic immediately, as jumping and problems shifting can greatly increase the risk of a collision.
Spongy Clutch Pedal
A lack of clutch fluid can also make it harder to use the clutch pedal – it will not have the proper amount of resistance, and will sometimes have a spongy feel to it, taking a while to return into position when it's released. This can make it harder for you to start to switch gears and ruin your reaction time on the road, which can be quite dangerous.
Finally, strange noises can occur when operating your vehicle if the clutch fluid is running low. These can include grinding, rumbling, and squealing noises, and can all be attributed to increased pressure on your transmission and clutch. While the noises themselves do not represent a problem besides being a minor annoyance, they are a symptom of increased wear on your transmission and engine systems, which can quickly turn into more serious problems if their moving components become damaged. You should consult a mechanic straight away to top up your clutch fluid to ensure that your low clutch fluid does not become a more complicated and expensive to fix problem.