Ford Ranger, soft clutch

Dear car folk,

I drive a 2000 Ford Ranger, 2.5 liter 4 cylinder, 5 speed, with 80,000 miles. Lately the clutch has been getting soft on me. I have read somethings on the internet and have wondered myself about the hydraulic system of the clutch, and it seems that it perhaps needs to be bled to get any air out of the system and then refilled so the clutch has pressure back.

It still shifts and drives just fine (I just drove it from Phoenix, AZ to Charleston, SC), but I don’t want to be stranded some where with a dead clutch. Any suggestions? Is this a feasible project for me to do on my own, or do I need to take it into a shop?


To answer your question directly, bleeding a hydraulic clutch line is easy if you can follow directions carefully. It is a closed system, so if air has entered the system, it is probably because of a bad cylinder (master or slave). The worst that can happen is that you bleed the line, and then have to replace the cylinders (because it didn’t fix the problem) and bleed it again. But we are talking about $5 worth of brake fluid.

Have you checked the fluid level? Has it ever needed to have fluid added?

Bleeding the clutch on your truck isn’t easy to do. First, the clutch slave cylinder bleeder valve is located above the bell housing of the transmission. So the transmission may have to lowered at the rear to gain access to the bleeder valve. Second, you’ll need the special disconnect tool for the hydraulic line to the slave cylinder. This is required in order to bleed the system correctly.

So because of these facts, you may want to take it in to have clutch hydraulic system bled.