Losing brake fluid - clutch slave cylinder??? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 23-09-16 Thread Starter
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Unhappy Losing brake fluid - clutch slave cylinder???

Hey All,

Hopefully someone can give their opinion here as to what might be happening.
I have an '06 156 1.6 (running fine on LPG).
On cornering, normally, the low brake fluid warning alarm has begun to come on.
Checked and the reservoir is low - but not dangerously!
Car is running fine so thought I will have to have a look very soon and see if there is some weeping somewhere.

On the way into work today, it struck me that the clutch system uses the same fluid.
Then I got a horrible feeling in the bottom of my stomach that it could be a slave cylinder and I think they are the central type withing the gearbox.


Had a look online and there are two types of slaves available, central and "external standard"
LPG stuff is above the g-box so couldn't have a proper look this morning


With an '06, am I more likely to have a central type?
Is slave cylinder failure common?
I presume it is split engine and box to do anything?
How long before complete failure??


Thanks in advance for your comments.
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Yes its a concentric slave on your car and yes, they are a very common failure.
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Remember that as the pads wear the fluid level will drop.
If you never top it up, with the pads close to wornout, the level warning will start to come on while cornering.

So,
1: Check pad wear.
2: Top up the fluid and monitor it.
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And check the brake pipes, particularly at the front as they pass under the inner wings. Known failure point for those.
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Agree all above. If your clutch slave is leaking, you'd expect to see some signs of fluid seeping out at the engine to gearbox joint underneath.......

Concentric (internal) slave cylinders are a stupid idea IMHO - fortunately the diesel 147 and the 156 V6 which we have don't have them
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Originally Posted by rgwm View Post
Agree all above. If your clutch slave is leaking, you'd expect to see some signs of fluid seeping out at the engine to gearbox joint underneath.......

Concentric (internal) slave cylinders are a stupid idea IMHO - fortunately the diesel 147 and the 156 V6 which we have don't have them
Thanks all for the comments.
New pads and discs lately which have little wear so not that - would have been a handy answer.

Will have to look around at the box and brake pipes to see if I can spot fluid.
Absolutely no issue with the brakes performance so unlikely that.

Anybody hazard a guess at the lifetime of a leaking clutch slave?
Almost immediate impending failure or could I have a couple of weeks?
Assuming fluid is topped up of course
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Check under the bell-housing as it has to leak out somewhere ... if really bad you will be getting a drip on the floor, but if it's only dropping slowly, it may not be bad enough to appear (yet). Remember that fluid doesn't do your clutch disc any good either.

When you do it, and that could be any time .... change the short flexible hose that feeds the slave from the metal pipe. They get brittle being just on top of the gearbox and under the battery box .. and start to crack. (It could be that as well!)

Bleeding: the nipple is not one you undo. The way to open the bleed nipple is to open the dust cap, and put the bleed hose on. Then lift the circlip on the hose a small amount and pull the hose out a bit. The circlip on the hose has three positions: fully in and nipple close, partially out and hose move in and out a tiny amount and right out to replace hose.

It's easiest with two as I found to really bleed it properly you need to put the hose back each time and PULL the clutch pedal up .. it isn't spring loaded. Or use a pressurised bleed tool.

cheers, Gary

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