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How to replace a slave cylinder on a 1996 gmc sonoma

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Slave cylinder (brake or clutch)?

Posted on Sep 05, 2009

  • Onifade Adewunmi
    Onifade Adewunmi Sep 05, 2009

    What is a clutch slave cylinder?
    Downstream from the clutch
    master cylinder, the clutch slave cylinder is typically located on the
    clutch bell housing of the transmission and is responsible for pushing
    fluid through to the clutch under hydraulic pressure. The slave
    cylinder is a bit smaller, does not have the same reservoir as the
    master, and is primarily used to disengage the clutch.

    What can go wrong with a slave cylinder?
    Similar
    to the master cylinder, you can experience failure in a few different
    areas of the slave cylinder. A loss of pressure due to leaks, cracks,
    or torn gaskets can cause the slave cylinder to become ineffective. The
    parts within the slave cylinder can also break or wear down leading to
    cylinder failure. Inner parts can be replaced or repaired, but with the
    time and labor involved, it is usually more cost effective to replace
    the whole slave cylinder than it is to rebuild the components.

    How do I know my slave cylinder is going bad?
    You
    can feel your slave cylinder is bad from a lack of pressure in your
    clutch pedal when you operate the clutch. The pressure will either
    continue to get weaker over time or it can just disappear. This may
    lead the clutch pedal to reach the floor when suppressed but not be
    able to spring back up to it's "at rest" position. Other symptoms
    include slipping and a rough jarring or clunking sensation while
    shifting gears.

    Can I replace my slave cylinder?
    The
    slave cylinder, like the master cylinder, can be replaced within your
    clutch system. As with any part in a pressurized system, remember to
    bleed out the fluid before completing the job so that you remove any
    dangerous air pockets in the lines. Remove the connector to the clutch,
    the tube that runs hydraulic fluid from the master cylinder, and the
    two bolts connecting the cylinder to the bell housing. Take the new
    slave cylinder, fill it accordingly with fluid, re-attach it, run the
    fluid through the system, and test the resulting pressure.

    Is there preventative maintenance I can do to help?
    Not
    only can you perform preventative maintenance, but it is highly
    recommended for this system. Have your system flushed with replacement
    fluid on a regular basis. Check your owner's manual as your car's
    manufacturer usually recommends a schedule for service. Be sure to have
    the pressure of the system checked occasionally, inspect the system for
    leaks, and get other transmission parts serviced as recommended to
    reduce stress on the system.

    If replacing your clutch slave cylinder, you might also need to to replace the clutch master cylinder.

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