Within your vehicle's hydraulic clutch system is a flexible clutch hose. The purpose of this hose is to send fluid to your clutch, and it also works with your clutch salve cylinder. It is called a flexible hose because it's just that - flexible. In fact it's the only flexible hose in the clutch system. The fluid it is carrying is released when you press the pedal, which allows you to move the clutch in a smooth manner.
What can happen over time is that the hose can become damaged (a hole, crack, leak), it may become kinked since it is flexible, or even compressed. Any of these issues will cause it to work improperly as it won't be able to carry the fluid along. There is no set maintenance/service schedule for the flexible clutch hose, instead it's up to you to be vigilant and be aware of any possible problems. This part shouldn't wear out fast, but it's not unusual that it needs to be replaced at some point. It’s a good idea if you suspect there is a problem with the clutch hose that you have a professional mechanic take a look and diagnose the issue.
Here are some common signs to watch for that may signal your flexible clutch hose has reached the end of its lifespan:
If the clutch hose isn't working properly, and not able to deliver the clutch fluid as it should, then it's likely you'll have issues trying to shift gears. It's important you don't leave the problem, as this can cause a safety concern.
You can take a look under your car for signs of leaking clutch fluid. If you see a puddle, it's time to have the vehicle looked at. Another sign there may be a leak is if you seem to constantly be refilling your clutch fluid.
If you seem to be having problems getting your clutch to engage, it could be that the flexible clutch hose needs replacing.
Your flexible clutch hose is important in that it delivers the much-needed clutch fluid to your clutch. Without this fluid, you won’t be able to change gears properly. Should this hose start to act up, it’s important to have it looked at as soon as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your flexible clutch hose is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a flexible clutch hose replacement service with a certified mechanic.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Flexible Clutch Hose Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.