Clutches do a lot of work and are designed to be rugged and long-lasting. However, its lifespan will depend on a number of factors, including the output of the vehicle engine, whether you do a lot of towing or are often in heavy start-stop traffic, the vehicle you own and, of course, your style of driving.
Not really. Most of the time, you’re best off stepping on the brake and only using the clutch when changing down through the gears. As the brakes slow the car, the engine slows down too (you’re not using the accelerator, after all) and begins to slow the car’s forward momentum. Emergency braking may see the need to slam on both the brake and clutch pedal, to avoid stalling the car.
Clutch fluid allows the clutch to be engaged. It flows from the clutch master cylinder to the slave cylinder and then, when the clutch pedal is depressed, applies pressure to engage and move the clutch.
Clutch fluid will break down over time and should be replaced every two years or 40,000km. If the clutch sees heavy use, then this may be more frequent. Keep alert to the signs that replacement is near:
- spongy feel to the clutch pedal
- gears grinding when the clutch pedal is depressed
- clutch fluid feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers
- clutch fluid is milky, dark brown, or black
For a small car, costs can range from $500 to $1200, but for larger cars and SUVs you could be looking at $800 to more than $2000 depending on the make and model of the vehicle. This can depend on whether the flywheel and other components need to be replaced as well.