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Can You Use Brake Fluid for Clutch Fluid? (Explained)

Automobiles have become a necessity nowadays, and as we all know we can use parts and fluid interchangeably for our cars if we have the proper knowledge about them. Though without knowing properly this should not be practiced at all.

Stay with us to know if you can use brake fluid for clutch fluid.

Can you use brake fluid for clutch fluid?

You can use brake fluid for clutch fluid. They both have similar ingredients and the same quality. You can use the brake fluid in the clutch master cylinder. It will not react, or the brake fluid won’t damage the clutch. It will work with the clutch fluid without decreasing the performance.

You can use the brake fluid on the master cylinder whenever you run out of the clutch fluid. It will work, and you can continue driving without any fear. Since brake fluid doesn’t contain any water or mineral oil, you can safely use it as the clutch fluid.

Only mineral-type oil or water-based oil is a bad choice for the clutch. It requires hydraulic oil that we use in our brakes. The Dot 3 & 4 brake fluids are compatible with most clutch master cylinders. They have some common ingredients that make them compatible with clutch fluid.

Dot 3 brake fluid:

You can use dot three brake fluid as clutch fluid. They don’t have any differences or don’t contain any particular ingredients which are not compatible with clutch fluid. Glycerin or glycol is the main ingredient of dot three brake fluids.

The dot three brake fluids don’t have any water or mineral-based oil. Therefore, it is safe to use on the clutch master cylinder. It will give you the best working performance and create no issues. 

So, if you have dot three and your clutch is running out of fluid, pour it into the cylinder. 

Dot 4 brake fluid:

Here is another excellent fluid that you can use both as brake fluid & clutch fluid. It will not damage the brake or the clutch in any way. Dot 4 brake fluid is made to be compatible with all the hydraulic brake and clutch components. 

So, you can use the dot four brake fluid as clutch fluid without any hesitation. It’s a non-petroleum fluid that works best with any hydraulic machinery. 

Also, dot 3 & dot 4 are two similar types of fluid; it ensures security and safety issues through the same materials.

Is brake fluid the same as clutch fluid?

Brake fluid is the same as clutch fluid. They contain the same ingredients and same types of oil; you can use any non-petroleum fluid in your brake and clutch master cylinder. If you look at the brake fluid, you will find hydraulic components.

Dot 3 & 4 are the two most popular brake fluids. Whenever you ask people about the best brake fluid, they will suggest the dot 3 or 4. They are popular because of their quality and compatibility. They both are the same and can be used as clutch fluids.

In contrast, if you look at the clutch fluid, you will find similar ingredients and the same components are there. Here, the oil must be non-petroleum; it must be fluid like glycolic or anything identical to dot 3 & 4.  

“3” reasons why you can use brake fluid as clutch fluid 

You can use brake fluid as clutch fluid for the following reasons – 

Same Fluid:

Both the brake & clutch require the same types of fluids. They cannot bear any petroleum fluid; only the glycol and similar fluids are for the brake and clutch. Also, hydraulic oil is another excellent fluid for the clutch & brake.

If you look at the dot 3&4 fluids, you find similarities. They contain the same types of fluid that go with both the braking system and clutch master cylinder. So, the first reason is the same fluid.


The brake fluids are compatible with the clutch fluid. It means you can interchange them with one another and make a great combination. Jokes apart, the brake fluids can be used as clutch fluids & vice versa.

The fluid will not create any problem for the clutch or the brake. It will smoothly perform along with the braking system. You will not find any difference in using brake fluid as clutch fluid.

Similar Ingredients/Components:

Brake fluids are made with glycol or hydraulic oils. If you go through the brake fluids & clutch fluids, you will find non-mineral, high quality, and are manufactured especially for the hydraulic system.

This system consists of both brake & clutch master cylinder. They both need similar ingredients and operate in the same way. That’s why you can use brake fluid as the clutch fluid.

These are why the brake fluid can be used as the clutch fluid. There might be some other minor reasons you will find. But these three are the core.

What brake fluid to use for the clutch?

SAE J1703 and the DOT 3 & 4 are the best brake fluid for the clutch. They contain high-quality & non-mineral oil that is compatible with both the braking system and the clutch master cylinder. Also, they are famous for their quality and compatibility.

You can use any of them and ensure the best oil for your brake and clutch. If you ask which one is better for you, I think the SAE would be more appropriate if you don’t find DOT 3 & 4. It means they both are great and can be used as brake fluid and clutch fluid.

You will find other fluids that can be used for brakes and clutch. Before choosing them, you must check the components. In particular, you have to be sure about the mineral or petroleum ingredients. 

If they are present in that fluid, you have to skip them and go for the DOT 3 & 4 or SAE J1703.

How to add brake fluid to the clutch master cylinder?

You can add the brake fluid to the clutch by following some steps. They are:

Check the Fuel Level:

You first need to find out the clutch master cylinder to check the flue level. You should never put the brake fluid when you already have clutch fluid in the cylinder. You need to park your car on even ground to get the correct fuel level info.

Please don’t check the fuel level when the car is on the slope or in an angled position; It won’t give you the right fuel level. However, if you find that your clutch fluid is running out, you can go for the next step to fill up the fuel tank.

Pour the Brake Fluid:

Once you are sure about the fuel level, you need to choose the right brake fluid. It could be SAE J1703, Dot 3 & 4, or anything with quality fluid but not based on the mineral or petroleum. 

You must select the glycol-based, or that is for the hydraulic system.

Then, pour the entire packet of brake fuel into the master cylinder of the clutch. You should always look at the fuel level and add the fluid until the level is high and full. When the master cylinder is full, you can stop adding more.

Check the Fuel & Taste:

After adding the fuel and filling up the entire master cylinder, you must check the fuel pressure by testing. You can press the clutch brake and see if it is working smoothly or not. 

If you pour the right brake fluid, you will get the best clutching experience.

You should not start driving without testing the clutch and the performance. It will be a great payoff if you forget to taste the clutch.

What else can you use as clutch fluid?

Besides using the brake fluid in the clutch, you can also use some other oils as clutch fluid. They all are compatible with the clutch. Sometimes, we run into difficulties in getting the perfect substitute for the clutch fluid. It might happen that you run out of both brake and clutch fluid.

You can use some other oils instead of clutch fluid in that condition. They contain similar ingredients that your clutch needs to work. Only water-based or mineral oil cannot be used as the clutch fluid. Here is the list of fluids that you can use as clutch fluid. 

  • ATF
  • 5w Fork Oil
  • 2.5w Fork Oil
  • SAE J1703

Final Thoughts

Since brake fluid & clutch fluid contain the same ingredients and are made for the same purposes, you can use brake fluid for clutch fluid. When the gasoline is empty, and you don’t have the particular clutch fluid, the brake fluid would be your best choice. There is no difference.