Common Clutch FAQ’s
This is all dependent on how you drive your vehicle. Most clutches are designed to last about 95,000 km before they need to be replaced, however, some could need to be replaced as early as 48,000 km or last as long as 160,000 km, though that is rare.
City driving is sure to shorten the life of your clutch versus driving on the motorways. The start-stop nature of city driving means you use your clutch more frequently and wear it down quicker.
However, there are some things you can do to extend the life of your clutch and avoid early replacement.
- Do not use the clutch needlessly
- Do not ride the clutch
- Do not accelerate before the gear is engaged
- Keep your car up to date on servicing and maintenance
The function of the clutch in your vehicle is to separate the engine from the wheels, which allows you to change gear and come to a complete stop while the engine is running. The clutch is made up of three main components:
- The clutch plate
- The pressure plate
- The flywheel
When you use the clutch, the springs in the clutch press these three components together so that the engine and transmission are connected and spinning at the same speed. When you press your foot down on the clutch pedal, however, the springs pull the pressure plate away from the clutch plate, allowing the flywheel and the pressure plate to spin at a different rate, which allows for successful gear shifting.
There are specific signs that you can look for to see if your clutch is starting to go bad. If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms, chances are a clutch replacement is in your future.
- Sticking, vibrating, or loose clutch pedal when pressed
- Squeaking or grumbling noise when pressed
- Ability to rev the engine, but results in poor acceleration
- Difficulty shifting gears
- ‘Slipping’ clutch which causes a momentary loss of acceleration
The flywheel step determines the proper working range of the pressure plate and is crucial for the clutch to work properly. The step is the distance between the friction surface and the pressure plate mounting point on the flywheel.
The make and model of your vehicle will determine whether it is an UP step or a DOWN step and sometimes the flywheel will be a flat zero step.
If you have questions on your flywheel step, the technicians at Automotive Hospital can help you check your manufacturers’ specifications on the proper flywheel step needed for your vehicle.
Most new clutch discs measure between 7.93-8.00 mm and fully worn is 7.00 mm or below. Additionally, some vehicles have clutch discs that range in 8.43-8.500 mm and are fully worn at 7.50 mm or below. Check your clutch disc with a micrometer to ensure it is wearing properly and is not too worn out.
If the lining rivets on either side of the disc have made contact with the flywheel or pressure plate face, you must replace the clutch disc.
Improper clutch released caused by a faulty linkage or improper adjustment, pilot bearing damage, insufficient lubrication on the release mechanism or input shaft splines. It takes a very small amount of drag on the input shaft to make life difficult for transmission synchros.
No. It is almost impossible to drive with a failed clutch. The transmission cannot even be put into gear because the worn clutch disc will not be able to transmit enough torque to move the vehicle.
At Automotive Hospital, our technicians will inspect the clutch hydraulics and clutch cable. Shifting problems can arise from numerous things, such as leaking clutch master cylinders, misadjusted clutch cables or worn pivot arms.
If other clutch issues have been ruled out, the transmission will be removed, and the clutch pressure plate and flywheel will be inspected and repaired as needed. Without your clutch system properly inspected and replaced as necessary, you will be unable to drive your vehicle.
Generally, the technician will remove the transmission or transaxle from the vehicle. The release bearing, pressure plate, and clutch are then removed from the engine. The flywheel may be removed for resurfacing or replacement as needed. The pilot bearing is then removed from the rear of the crankshaft. The new components are then installed, and the parts are re-assembled on the vehicle.
After the repairs and replacements are performed, the technician will check and make sure the vehicle operates properly with all the new components in place.
While your vehicle is being worked on, Automotive Hospital offers complimentary rental cars so you can go about your daily routine while your car gets fixed!
The cost will always depend on the make, model, and autobody that you work with. On average, a clutch replacement can be between $1,000-$1,500. Labor costs are generally estimated at $400 to $700 with parts costing approximately $600-$800.
Automotive Hospital can inspect and diagnose your clutch problem and offer you a quote prior to any services. Our quotes are direct and offer no hidden fees—you get full service under one price!