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How much does a clutch replacement cost?
Most vehicles purchased these days are selected with automatic transmissions, but most performance models and older vehicles are still using a manual transmission to select gears.
Part of the drive train on these vehicles, and one of the most important components, is the clutch.
Depending on your driving style, the clutch on your vehicle may last over 200,000km, but will eventually wear out and require replacement.
Operating your vehicle with a failing clutch can quickly damage other components of the transmission and increase the repair costs exponentially.
The average clutch replacement on a small car can start around $800 and increase to $1500 and above, depending on the type of vehicle and driving style.
What is a clutch?
A clutch is a disc made up of a round metal plate with friction material riveted or bonded onto each side.
This friction material grips to the flywheel and pressure plate when the clutch is engaged to provide drive from the engine into the gearbox.
It also allows the engine and transmission to be disconnected from each other, to allow the engine to run without providing drive, such as when the driver places their foot on the clutch pedal or the gearbox is in neutral.
This also allows for smooth gear changes when the vehicle is in motion.
Symptoms of failing clutch components
- Hard to select gears
- Engine RPM increasing with no increase in vehicle speed
- Burning smell from vehicle
- Clutch pedal not returning
- Unable to depress clutch pedal
- Shudder when changing gears
How is a clutch replacement carried out?
Our mechanics will remove the transmission of the vehicle, and replace the clutch and pressure plate, and the flywheel and slave cylinder (If required, at additional cost) The clutch fluid will be changed, a bedding in procedure will be carried out, and a test drive completed, to ensure correct operation of the system.
Depending on the style of your vehicle, the labour time may vary – as many 4WD and SUV models have complicated drive-train and transmission setups that are very labour intensive to remove and refit.
Tips to remember
- Most newer vehicles are fitted with a dual-mass flywheel, which is designed to absorb vibration from the clutch, and provide smoother vehicle operation. The downside is that they can be expensive when it comes time for replacement - the workshop will carry out an inspection of the flywheel and provide a quote for replacement, if required
- If you are towing larger loads – such as caravans or large trailers, it may be worthwhile to upgrade to a heavy-duty style clutch that will be able to handle the extra load without failing prematurely, as factory clutches are not designed for extended towing use. The downside to installing a heavy-duty clutch is increased pedal pressure required to operate the clutch.
Why it’s important to have your clutch inspected or replaced
Having your clutch system inspected and repaired is vitally important for the safety of you, your family and other motorists around you.
If you continue to operate your vehicle with a failing clutch, it may leave you stranded on the side of the road with no drive, or leave you unable to accelerate properly, making you a danger to other motorists.
Ignoring the warning signs can also lead to expensive repair bills, as further damage may be caused by continuing to operate your vehicle with an issue.
If you've read this far, you obviously care about your car. A lot. So next time you need a service, repair or inspection, visit AutoGuru. We let you search and book from over 1,600 qualified mechanics, who eat car troubles for breakfast.