Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Klutz’s Clutch Job

Last weekend, as I was pulling the car out of the garage, I noticed that I was having a problem with the clutch. It felt too loose and I had to depress it all the way down and even then it was a struggle shifting gears. Once it warmed up a bit, the gear change went better, however it left me with an uneasy feeling that I might need an unexpected and expensive clutch repair or replacement.
When I went to work on Monday, the clutch felt just as bad and since I had a few minutes before I had to clock in, I pulled out the rarely read owner’s manual and checked the section about the clutch. The only important thing it mentioned was the check the fluid level. I was surprised to read that brake fluid is also used as clutch fluid. That pretty much tells you how much I don’t know about cars. I’m probably one of the few Asians who do not tinker with cars. So I worked on Monday and Tuesday nights and at the end of the shift on Wednesday morning I stopped by the Honda dealer to buy a can of brake fluid. I could have bought brake fluid for lesser cost in any auto supply store but the owner’s manual said to use only Honda brand fluid. I’m sure it was just to put more money in their coffers but I relented to the manual’s instructions. I topped off the brake and clutch fluid reservoirs while still in the Honda dealer’s parking lot and once I started driving, the result of refilling the fluid reservoir was instantaneous. The clutch was working perfectly again thus saving me time and money by not having to consult with a mechanic, who if unscrupulous, would probably have steered me into more expensive repairs or replacement.
 The lesson here? Open the owner’s manual once in awhile because even a mechanical klutz like me can find solutions from the book sometimes. I do the same thing when I’m stumped with computers, appliances, and other electronic items. Too bad I can’t just top off the fluid levels on my ankles and calves to fix my running injuries.
clutch fluid reservoir

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