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If anyone has had any weird funky clutch symptoms like. The clutch going limp,stiff or soft or slow to return during high rpm shifts you may want to read this first

What it boils down to is, if you have any of these symptoms you may need to change you brake/clutch fluid , here is a quote from the page above as to why.

first lets start off with those that have not yet experienced this problem or have recently changed all there hydraulics and clutch. The number one most important thing is to keep your clutch fluid clean and fresh. Its cheap and easy insurance to keeping your pedal working properly. Gm recommends changing it every 100,000 miles. This is total crap i don’t think there is any fluid that should be left in your car for 100,000 miles. No one has come up with a specific time frame to change your fluid so i would leave it up to your judgment. If your fluid is black its time to change it but it should be done way before it turns black. You should try to keep your fluid clean and fresh. The harder you are on the car the more frequent it should be changed. I personally recommend a full bleeding of the system if your fluid its dirty but once kept up with you can get away with just swap out the fluid in the reservoir but every once awhile you should still do a full bleed of the system.

You clutch fluid is plain old dot 3 brake fluid. Most run just regular dot 3 but dot 4 will work as well and has a higher boiling point. We all know that brake fluid boils and when it does it essentially breaks down and does not work as it should. The same goes for your clutch fluid as it is brake fluid. one must remember that the slave is located inside the bell housing. That location puts clutch fluid in a very high heat, stress situation. Also the line from the master to the slave is in very close proximity to the exhaust often even closer when you have headers. When launching or high rpm shifting the fluid temperate rises dramatically over regular driving. these situations of increased friction are sufficient to boil clutch fluid. Once the brake fluid has been boiled it will emit a gas or steam which when compressed in a hydraulic system meant for fluid it will cause a malfunction in the system aka you clutch pedal sticking or acting different than normal. Again this is why your fluid needs to stay clear and clean to keep your pedal from sticking.

There is info on that that tells you how to change the fluid , but this how to is help you do it on the cobalt ss .

You will need :
9mm box end wrench:
10mm box end wrench:
some rags for spills :
jar with a lid: (i used a farly large jar so i could flush in one go with out having to empty it.)
hose: (i forgot the size , but it needs to be large enough to fit snugly around bleeder screw. )
dot 3 or 4 break fluid(dot 4 has a higher boiling point)
a syringe: (or some means of removing fluid from the reservoir ,i used a turkey baster with some hose on the end of it.)

First step , get the car up on ramps or jack stands , how you do so is up to you,cause i wont be held responsible for a car falling on you.

Pop the hood , and find the brake reservoir

And remove the cap then suck out all the old fluid with your tool of choice..mine.. the

Remove as much as you can and place it in your jar

Then refill with new fluid.

Now if your fluid looks like this ,its way past time for a change. Gm says to change every 100k , but my car only has 50k on it, i would change it at least every 20-30k depending on how you drive, or change it when ever you notice it changing color.

Now take your jar and lid, and poke a hole in the jar big enough to fit the hose into snugly.

Now you could dump this fluid and fill the jar half way with fresh fluid, but its not necessary if. The old fluid just acts as a seal to keep air for entering the system.
Make sure the end of hose rests on the bottom of the jar when the lid is on.

Now to bleed/flush the clutch, find the bleed screw. Its on the driver side on top of the tranny, but its easer seen from the bottom of the car.
If you lay on your back under the car and look straight up near the front of the car you can see it ,you may need to move some hoses lines out of the way.

Take your 9mm and place it around the screw, push up to loosen it ,down to tighten.

Then place your hose around the nipple. Not gonna lie, its a pain in the as, but it can be done. Once its on , loosen the screw

Place your jar somewhere you can see while you are pumping the clutch. Go inside the car, pump the clutch about 15- to a bajillion times ,until your clear line is filled with fluid, check the reservoir and top it off if needed. And pump the clutch more till all air is out of the line and, you start to see clear clean fluid enter the line. Once that is done , tighten the screw and your done with the clutch. You may have to fill the reservoir several times before its clean and done.

Now to purge the rest of the hydraulic system (the brakes ) move to the furthest point away from the reservoir , and thats the right rear wheels, next is the left rear , then right front and left front.

Pretty much the same as doing the clutch , just a littler easier.
You can take the wheels off the car , but if you have factory 18s and small hands you don't have to.

Find the bleeder screw on the rear wheel . Place your 10mm on it , then your hose, loosen then screw , pump the brakes till your clear line is free of air and dirty fluid, tighten and move on to the next wheel and repeat till you end up at the left front and your done .

Back wheel

Front wheels. From under the car.

572 Posts

You beat me to it. I thought that most people wouldn't have problems bleeding their brakes and a standard price from a shop should be less than $40....

Pretty nice illustrations and descriptions though....:)
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