Without a properly working clutch, your car is not going to move when you press the gas. If the clutch is slipping, then your car may move sporadically causing a surging or jerking feel. This creates a serious problem that needs to be addressed quickly. A clutch replacement is no small repair, and it can be quite expensive depending on the type of vehicle you own. Let’s dive into just how much this repair might run you and how you can determine when you need to have a clutch repair performed.
What Is A Clutch?
In short, the clutch is the part of your vehicle that connects your engine to your transmission. As your engine runs and spins, the clutch causes your transmission to spin as well. This transfers power to the wheels and makes your car move. Now, that is an extremely oversimplified view of how a clutch works, but it gives you the basics.
Digging a little deeper, a clutch consists of several individual parts that all work together. The clutch disc is the part that maintains tight contact with the engine’s flywheel using heavy duty springs in the pressure plate. The friction between these two parts is what transfers the spinning energy of the engine to the transmission. However, the transmission does not need to be spinning at all times when the engine is running. So, you need a way to disengage the clutch disc from the flywheel.
In cars with manual transmissions, you press the clutch pedal. This causes the throw-out bearing to relax those springs, and the disc no longer spins with the flywheel. Think, for instance, what happens when you stop at a traffic light. Your engine continues to run, but the motion of your car needs to stop.
Cars with automatic transmissions also have clutches, but they actually have many clutches inside the transmission. They function in much the same way, but you do not have to press a pedal for them to operate. The transmission itself controls the clutches hydraulically through solenoids and fluid.
How Much Does A Clutch Replacement Cost?
You’re probably wondering, “How much does it cost to replace a clutch?” The answer to this question depends on many different factors. The main factor is the specific type of vehicle that you own. Clutch replacements on a car like a Ford or Toyota will be less expensive than a high end vehicle like a BMW or Mercedes. On the low end, a simple clutch replacement in a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry will probably run you somewhere between $670 – $850.
However, high performance vehicles will be a lot more expensive. A new clutch in a BMW can cost $2,100 or more. Another factor that affects the price is whether your vehicle is rear wheel drive or front wheel drive. This can affect the complexity of the job and the amount of labor required to perform the work.
Finally, the number of parts that must be replaced will have a direct effect on the repair cost. Most replacements require a new throw-out bearing, clutch plate or disc, and resurfacing of the flywheel. However, you might also require a new pilot bearing, release bearing, and bushings. A clutch kit is often purchased that includes most of the parts that will be needed for the replacement.
An auto repair shop will often go ahead and perform other service items during the clutch replacement as well. These often include a transmission flush or fluid change and transmission filter replacement. While there are a few differences between a transmission flush and fluid change, they are similar services. Since the mechanic is already that deep into the vehicle’s clutch system, it makes sense to go ahead and perform these additional services while those parts are easily accessible. These additional services will add extra cost though.
Symptoms Of A Faulty Clutch
There are some telltale signs that you can watch for to determine if your clutch is on its way out. The first is what feels like the transmission slipping. If you have a vehicle with an automatic transmission, this usually points to a slipping clutch and not a transmission repair. Thankfully, clutch repairs are much less costly than a transmission rebuild! If you think clutch repairs are expensive, you should see how much it is to fix a transmission!
You might also be able to smell clutch problems. If you notice a burning smell coming from your vehicle as you engage or disengage the clutch, then you probably have a problem. Your clutch pedal can also offer lots of insight into potential problems. If you notice a pulsing or vibrating in the pedal, your clutch could be faulty.
Another more obvious sign is the pedal either sticking on the floor or not being able to depress the pedal. This is obviously a major issue that must be addressed immediately. This points to problems with the clutch master cylinder or slave cylinder as both these parts are required to release the pressure plate when you press the clutch pedal. This can render the car undriveable, so you might have to get it towed to the dealership when this happens.
Finally, if you notice that you can’t get the car into gear or have trouble shifting between gears, you might have clutch issues. If the clutch is not completely disengaged when you attempt to shift, you might hear a grinding in the gearbox or be unable to shift gears at all.
Can I Drive With A Bad Clutch?
It depends on how bad the clutch is. In some cases, you might still be able to drive the vehicle if you are only experiencing minor slipping. However, if the clutch mechanism is completely faulty, then you will not be able to drive the vehicle. If your clutch is not working, you might be unable to stop the car or it might not accelerate at all when you press the gas pedal. Either of those conditions presents a danger to you and others on the road. So, if you have clutch issues, you should get your car to a mechanic right away.
Is It Worth The Money To Replace A Bad Clutch?
If you have a car where the replacement is not too expensive, then it might be worth it to go ahead and have the repair done. Assuming, that is, that your car doesn’t have any other major problems. If the job is going to cost you a ton of money or your car already has other issues, you’re probably better off just selling it to Auto Wranglers. Why dump a ton of money into that old clunker when you could sell it and get in your pocket instead?
We’ll make you a cash offer in about 90 seconds to buy your vehicle. Our whole process only takes a day or two, and we buy cars throughout the country, so we’ll come to you wherever you might be located. We always provide free towing and pickup, so you never have to worry about paying any hidden fees. Best of all, you’ll get top dollar for your vehicle even if you’re selling an old junk car.
Clutches are parts of your vehicle that will eventually wear out and need replacement. When it’s time for your clutch to be replaced, you should now have a better understanding of what to watch for and how much you can expect to pay. If you can’t afford to pay for the repair, you can always sell your car for cash to Auto Wranglers. We’ll pay you top dollar for it within just a day or two, and you can use that extra money to buy yourself a new car that doesn’t have clutch issues! Go ahead and get your instant offer today!
How often should a clutch be replaced?
Your specific car and your driving style will determine how often your clutch needs to be replaced. Most clutches are designed to last at least 50,000 miles or more. Some vehicles like a Toyota Camry can go 100,000 miles before needing a clutch replacement. However, if you drive a performance vehicle or a truck that often tows heavy loads, that places more stress and strain on your clutch components. You might be looking at a replacement every 30,000 miles or so.
Is replacing a clutch easy?
No, this is not an easy job! If you’re wondering how to replace a clutch, then you probably don’t have the expertise needed for the job! You should always seek the help of an ASE certified mechanic for this job. Unless you are very experienced and have the proper know how, you should not attempt a clutch replacement on your own.
Plus, having a reputable mechanic perform the job will probably net you a warranty on the work as well. That way, if anything goes wrong during the warranty period, they’ll take care of it for you! A big part of clutch replacement cost is labor costs due to the amount of time and knowledge required for the job. Your mechanic will also need a car lift and all the proper tools to perform the job correctly. They’ll even reset your “Check Engine” light if it happened to trip because of the problems.
How do I know when my clutch is going bad?
If you feel your clutch slipping or smell it burning, then you can be fairly certain that it’s going bad. In addition, your clutch pedal will let you know. If you feel your pedal chattering or vibrating, it might be a sign that your clutch is going bad. A pedal that sticks on the floor or one that is extremely hard to depress is a sure sign of clutch problems. While your car might still drive for a little while after you notice these symptoms, you should have your car checked immediately. These problems can get worse quickly, and when they do, you’ll put yourself in danger by continuing to drive the car.
How long does it take to put in a new clutch?
Putting in a new clutch is an extensive job that takes at least a few hours. It requires tearing into your car’s drivetrain and replacing several parts. Some vehicles might even take a whole day or more for a total clutch replacement job. This is why the labor costs associated with a clutch replacement are so high.