Honda Accord/Prelude 1984-1995 Repair Guide

Brake and Clutch Master Cylinders



Use only DOT 3 or DOT 4 specification brake fluid from a tightly sealed container. If you are unsure of the condition of the fluid (whether or not it has been tightly sealed), use new fluid rather than taking a chance of introducing moisture into the system. It is critically important that the fluid meet the specification so the heat generated by modern disc brakes will not cause it to boil and reduce braking performance. Fluid must be moisture-free for the same reason.


Brake Master Cylinder

See Figures 1 and 2

The brake master cylinder fluid level should be checked every few weeks for indication of leaks or low fluid level. A sudden drop in fluid level may indicate a fluid leak in the system. The reservoir is located at the left rear of the engine compartment at the firewall. The reservoir is made of translucent plastic; the fluid level may be checked from the outside.

The normal wear of the brake pads and shoes will cause a gradual drop in the fluid level. The fluid is not missing; it is just relocated within the system. If the fluid has been dropping gradually, check the front brakes before refilling the fluid. If the system is refilled before new brakes are installed, the reservoir will overflow.

On all Hondas there is a MAX and MIN line on the brake fluid reservoir. The brake fluid should always be maintained at the MAX line, but not above it. The reservoir cap has an arrow on it which must always point to the front of the car when installed. When adding brake fluid, the following precautions should be observed:

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Fig. Fig. 1: The master cylinder reservoir is equipped with lower and upper level lines

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Fig. Fig. 2: The reservoir can be filled after removing the capped opening

Use only recommended brake fluid: DOT 3 or DOT 4; SAE J 1703b HD type.
Never reuse brake fluid and never use fluid that is dirty, cloudy or has air bubbles.
Store brake fluid in a clean dry place in the original container. Cap tightly and do not puncture a breather hole in the container.
Carefully remove any dirt from around the master cylinder reservoir cap before opening.
Take special care not to spill the fluid. The painted surface of the vehicle will be damaged by brake fluid.

Clutch Master Cylinder

Manual transaxles in 1990-95 Accords and 1988-95 Preludes use a hydraulic clutch actuation system. When the clutch pedal is pushed to the floor, fluid is compressed and the clutch is activated. Other vehicles use a cable-actuated clutch.

The clutch fluid reservoir is located in the same area as the brake master cylinder reservoir. The clutch reservoir may not be as easily seen as it is smaller and sometimes lower on the firewall. The system uses brake fluid and is checked or filled in the same fashion as the brake fluid reservoir. Always wipe off the cover of the reservoir before removing it. The clutch reservoir may require periodic topping off to compensate for clutch wear.