2003 Kia Clutch


After poring over pages of Google search results, as well as poring over the user guide, I have been unable to find the answer to my questions:

1)Does the 03 Kia Spectra have a cable or hydraulic clutch?

2) If it is a hydraulic clutch, is it able to be adjusted in any manner, or when the clutch starts slipping does that mean it just needs to be replaced?

3) Very generally speaking, how much does it cost to replace a hydraulic clutch (if not able to be adjusted?

4) Will I have to shell out this (I’m sure it’s some ungodly amount) every 5 years/50K miles (the car has 60K on it)?

I hope the answer to #4 is no, because that’s disappointing. I drove an 81 Honda accord for years. my dada bought it new and babied it, then I inherited. clutch was only replaced (i believe…definitely no more than twice) once in it’s 20 year lifespan with occasional adjustments that I could do in my own driveway. But a Kia ain’t anything close to a Honda…even an old one.

Tired of the slipping clutch especially a hilly commute every day!


Note: The life of a manual clutch is directly related to the driver. For some 50,000 miles would be a long time, others might average three times that.

Once a clutch starts slipping there is nothing to do but the proper service it has little life left.

I would be very surprised it it had a cable. I am a little concerned that you don’t know. A hydraulic clutch should have a way of checking the fluid. You should have been checking it. What does the owner’s manual say about it?


I think that Mr. Meehan’s post sums it up very well, and like him, I am also concerned that you don’t seem to know about the presence or absence of a clutch master cylinder.

Perhaps you have been looking in the wrong section of the Owner’s Manual. If you peruse the section on items under the hood and how to check them, you should see a graphic indicating the location of things like the oil dipstick, the brake master cylinder, the coolant overflow tank, the power steering pump, and the clutch master cylinder, assuming that it does have a hydraulic clutch.

On the outside chance that your Owner’s Manual does not have a graphic like this (and BOOOO to Kia Motors if it does not), a telephone call to the service department at the Kia dealership should yield an answer to the question, “Does my 2003 Spectra have a hydraulic clutch?”. Even the most useless of service advisors should know the answer to this question–hopefully.

In the military, KIA stands for “Killed in Action”. If you become more familiar with the maintenance of your Kia, you can prevent this acronym from applying to your car.


One of the easiest ways to find out at least what kind of clutch your car has is to go to an autoparts store website, like parts america, or Autozone, and look for parts for your car. The sites will list only what your car uses. In your case I see that you have a hydraulic clutch. And generally speaking, these are not adujustable. Simply because the
hydralics make the adjustments.


The truth is that even though I have owned this vehicle for almost 5 years, it has been the car my (soon to be) ex husband drove. I have only been driving it the last week and a half. If I was the primary driver of the vehicle all this time, I’d be a little more savvy about what was going on under the hood. It is only by deep and irritating negotiation that I am driving this POS.

The only thing the owner’s manual told me was how to check the brake/clutch fluid (its level is fine). After I posted I did find a very teeny little chart in the back of the manual indicating yes it is indeed a hydraulic clutch. And yes, BOOOOO to Kia because although there is a graphic of items under the hood, it does not point out clutch master cylinder, only a few other bits and pieces (dipstick, engine oil fill, wiper fluid reservoir) labeled.

Maybe it’s better to just trade the thing in than to deal with the aftermath of years of missed maintenance and abuse by the ex!!