– Role of the clutch on a manual transmission
– Clutch life span
– Symptoms of clutch wear
– Tips to take care of your clutch
– How to change your clutch?
– A high price linked to a rather long handling
– Get quote clutch
Is your clutch worn out? The clutch contributes to a vehicle’s safety, just like the shock absorbers or the brakes. It is also essential for comfort by filtering the vibrations and protecting the engine.
Role of the clutch on a manual transmission
There are two ways to shift gears, manually and automatically:
– If you have an automatic transmission, you no longer have a clutch but an electronically controlled hydraulic torque converter (even with a sequential transmission).
– On the other hand, a manual gearbox needs a clutch, which is the intermediate element between the wheels and the gearbox. It drives or interrupts the engine transmission.
The clutch holds, on average:
– 100,000 km for gasoline;
– 150,000 km for diesel.
However, its lifespan can vary according to:
– the vehicle’s load
– the driving style (smooth or sporty)
– the environment (rural or urban);
– whether or not the car is towing a trailer.
Symptoms of clutch wear
Several signs can indicate clutch wear:
– If the pedal is hard and squeaky:
◦ This may be from the cable fraying and soon to fail or from the mechanism having crushed springs.
◦ You then have two to three months to change the clutch from the time you make this observation.
– If the clutch slips, in other words, the car can not move forward while the engine is screaming, it is better to change it:
◦ This slippage, which initially occurs when you drive at high speed, will heat the disc and disintegrate. It is then a complete stop!
◦ Slippage can come from an engine oil leak that causes the disc to slip, which will then jerk and prevent the grip. In this case, you must change the clutch, and the oil leak must be repaired, and the inside of the gearbox cleaned.
– If the gears shift with difficulty and crackle or refuse to shift when the car is cold, the clutch disc may be sticking.
Tips for taking care of your clutch
The clutch is a mechanical assembly that consists of three parts: the flywheel, the disc pack and the diaphragm.
Each of these parts can fail. That’s why there are certainly good practices to avoid wearing them out too quickly:
– Avoid jerking the gearshift and clutch pedal.
◦ When starting, it is much better to release the clutch pedal gently.
◦ Otherwise, the jerks create significant stress that could alter the entire mechanism.
– When you drive, “let your mechanics rest” (be smooth on them):
◦ Do not keep your left foot on the clutch pedal because this pressure is enough to heat the disc.
◦ Now, if the temperature exceeds 400°C, you risk “icing” the lining and condemning your disc, and therefore losing grip.
– When you have to stop at a red light, shift into neutral instead and let go of the clutch pedal. This will avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the mechanism and all the components.
How to change your clutch?
A difficult operation
Changing a clutch requires long and tedious handling because, on many modern cars, you have to remove the gearbox or even dismantle the engine to access the clutch.
Moreover, this operation requires a minimum of lifting equipment. Therefore, it is advisable to contact a professional, i.e. an auto centre or a car mechanic.
What should be replaced?
It is advisable to replace the “mechanism disc and stop” assembly because:
If you replace only the disc (on a worn mechanism), the disc’s uneven support on the mechanism can disturb the assembly’s operation.
– Moreover, it is possible that later you will have to undergo this new heavy operation to change another part.
Finally, the clutch must be mounted correctly, i.e. centred. And, this is no small job for any DIY enthusiast or amateur mechanic!
A high price linked to a rather long handling
Clutch replacement is a relatively expensive operation, mainly because of the labour involved in handling it.
Changing a clutch often requires engine removal before the gearbox removal:
– The operation, including this removal and re-installation, takes about 3 to 6 hours, depending on whether:
◦ the engine is longitudinal, and the gearbox is in front or behind;
◦ the engine is transverse, and the box is at the end and under the engine.
Therefore, the labour cost is high, to the tune of about $60 per hour.
If only the clutch kit is replaced, the operation takes only 30 minutes maximum, and its price varies between $120 and $240.
Get a clutch estimate.
The best way to get an idea of how much it will cost to replace the clutch on your vehicle is to request a quote.
It is recommended that you compare several quotes before making your choice.
Labour is an integral part of the cost of replacing a clutch. If it costs an average of $60 per hour, you should know that there can be significant differences from one garage to another. So pay attention to the hourly cost indicated in the quotations and the number of hours planned.
Furthermore, compare the services mentioned in the estimate as well as the services offered.
The estimates provided by the garages must indicate the parts offered. A low cost can sometimes hide inferior quality parts, so check this point carefully and, if necessary, ask for clarification.
So, that’s it for our topic on the worn-out clutch. Remember to share your experience in the comment section below.
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