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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2000 manual (battery disconnected until further notice) is experiencing clutch problems. I'm having to pump the clutch many times to be able to shift without bad grinding, i.e., very similar to a bad brake hydraulic problem. My mechanic says this is probably a really big bill since it will be 10+ hours of labor to service a truly bad, worn-out clutch. Is there any chance this is just something that needs tightening? Does my clutch use a cable or some sort of hydraulics? I know I'm being vague, but I'd like to hear some wisdom/experience/options. He'll give it a look-see on Friday.
 

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It is hydraulic just like the brakes.

Open the hood and in the corner of the engine compartment there is a reservoir a little bigger than a shot glass, take off the lid and check the fluid level. If it’s low add some brake fluid and it will probably work until you can take it to the mechanic to have it checked.

This is a common problem on these cars and might need a clutch master cylinder and or a clutch slave cylinder. It’s not uncommon to have to replace both at the same time.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My manual says use only Honda DOT 3. My Napa has only their brand and a synthetic Valvoline DOT 3. Would they be okay?
 

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Any conventional DOT 3 will work. I'm not sure about mixing synthetic with conventional so I'd buy a small bottle of conventional to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I just topped it off (it was very low) . . . and it doesn't seem to be the silver bullet. I drove around and it might be a little better. So does this take some time? Or does the "system" need to be bled? And if this didn't help, does that mean, yes, I probably need the complete clutch repair?
 

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Take it in. Your slave is probably bad.
 

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Try pumping it a lot. You might get lucky and get rid of the air bubble temporarily. Then check the fluid again.

Look at the firewall under the dash. If the master is leaking you'll see a wet trail going down. It may be going under the carpet. You'll have to remove the air filter box to see the slave. If it's leaking it'll be wet under the rubber cover.

If you can do the work yourself, or with a friend, you can get both the master and slave from RockAuto for about $100.

Sam
 

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The questions he's asking make me think he cannot do this himself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Right, I'm not a mechanic anymore. I did top it off and it seems a bit better. But if it does have a bubble in it, how would I really get rid of it? I know there's a standard procedure for brakes, but how does an Insight clutch get properly bled?
 

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Right, I'm not a mechanic anymore. I did top it off and it seems a bit better. But if it does have a bubble in it, how would I really get rid of it? I know there's a standard procedure for brakes, but how does an Insight clutch get properly bled?
First, you download the factory repair manual.
Honda-Insight-2000-2006

Then, run the exe, then open the folder and look for clutch.pdf, open the PDF, inside you'll find pictures of where the parts are and instruction on how to bleed the clutch.
 

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The problem is that brake fluid does not evaporate. It's leaking somewhere and will continue to do so. You could probably do it yourself. It's not that hard and you'd save yourself some cash. A trustworthy shop should be able to do it pretty quickly....untrustworthy will tell you that your clutch is bad and needs to be replaced (which it may be). Good luck.
 

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but how does an Insight clutch get properly bled?
There is a bleeder on the slave cylinder which is located at the front of the transmission next to the throttle body. You need to remove a few ducts to get access. Loosen the bleeder screw a few turns and let the fluid drip out a few minutes while making sure the reservoir doesn't get empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My mechanic found a tiny leak in the master and a bigger leak on the slave. Basically, just keep the clutch fluid topped off and I can put off replacing the slave for a while. He had trouble opening/closing the bleed bolt. Rust? Mechanic said "expect to walk every time you drive out in an 18-year-old car."
 
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