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How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Clutch in 2022? What You Need To Know!

car clutch

When your clutch goes out, you’re probably envisioning a mile-long mechanic bill. Without a clutch, you can’t drive your car at all, so it’s imperative you get it fixed ASAP. If you’re unfamiliar with mechanic pricing and car parts, it can be hard to estimate what it’ll cost to fix.

Let’s check out why clutches are important, how much they are to replace, and some other relevant info.

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The Importance of a Clutch

If you’ve never driven a car with a manual transmission, you might not be aware of what a clutch is or why it’s important. In manual transmission cars, the clutch is a third pedal you press to shift gears. The clutch helps you control the power sent to your wheels in order to stop as well as accelerate. In short, a clutch can cut power to the wheels without killing the engine.

Even cars with automatic transmissions have clutches, but as the term implies, the car controls it automatically. These clutches are constructed a bit differently than manual clutches, with the main difference being that they’re attached to a torque converter that connects the wheels to the transmission and engine.

mechanic holding Clutch disc
Image Credit: wellphoto, Shutterstock

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Clutch?

When your clutch conks out, you’re looking at a decent chunk of change to get it replaced. Depending on your car, you may pay upwards of $1,000 for parts and labor. Rear-wheel clutches are a bit easier to access, so replacing those might not cost as much.

Some factors that impact clutch replacement costs are the make and model of the car, how much you drive, availability of replacement parts, and how much the mechanic charges for labor.

About half of the price will be labor and the other half parts. If more clutch components are worn or damaged, it might cost more. Let’s check out some more concrete estimates of what it costs to replace the clutch of some modern car models.

Clutch Replacement Cost Estimates:
  • Honda Civic: $700-$1,200
  • Ford F150: $750-$1,100
  • Honda Odyssey: $600-$1,200
  • Toyota Camry: $650-$1,150

These are estimates only, and you should only use them to get a general ballpark of what the repair will cost. We suggest you call around to repair shops for more concrete estimates.

Additional Costs To Anticipate

If the flywheel has become worn, it should be replaced at the same time as the clutch because both components are located deep in the engine. Having the flywheel separately replaced can run you as much as double your original repair, so be sure to ask the mechanic to check out the flywheel and see if it needs to be replaced as well.

Replacing the flywheel along with the clutch will run you between $500 to $700 on top of the clutch repair. Together, you’re looking at around $2,000.

mechanic replacing clutch disc
Image Credit: Ulianenko Dmitrii, Shutterstock

How Often Should Clutches Be Replaced?

Most clutches need to be replaced at between 60,000 to 100,000 miles. The more you drive, the more quickly the clutch will wear out. Also, improper use of the clutch will accelerate wear and tear on the clutch. For instance, riding the clutch in heavy traffic will wear down the clutch plate quickly.

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Common Clutch Problems

Just like your brakes have telltale signs that they’re getting worn and need to be replaced soon, there are signs that your clutch is getting worn out. If you ignore these signs, you risk damage to your transmission as well as your safety.

Some of these are just early signs your clutch is wearing out, while others are signals you should immediately get your clutch replaced. You do not want to be driving when your clutch goes out, so keep a keen eye out for these signs.

Clutch Wear Symptoms Include:
  • The clutch slips when you accelerate—a worn clutch is especially prone to slipping when you’re driving uphill or carrying heavy cargo.
  • If the clutch starts to move your car higher, it means the hydraulic system can’t adjust the clutch—bring your car in for repair ASAP and do not drive anywhere else.
  • The clutch feels soft or mushy underfoot—this is more common on old cars, but new cars see this issue when the clutch pressure plate gets worn. This isn’t an emergency sign, but you shouldn’t ignore it either.
  • A grinding noise when you press the clutch indicates the pressure plate or bearing is damaged or defective—take your car in as soon as you can.
  • It’s getting harder to press the clutch and shift—this is more noticeable in manual transmissions, but in automatics, you can hear the car struggling to shift.
person fixing car clutch
Image Credit: BirdShutterB, Shutterstock

Tips To Keep Your Clutch In Good Shape

While clutches will eventually wear out no matter what you do, there are several tips you can use to prolong their effective lifespan. Below, we’ll detail how you can be kind to your clutch and keep it from wearing out prematurely.

Clutch Tips:
  • Don’t ride the clutch, no matter how heavy the traffic is. Riding the clutch increases friction and heat, which reduces the clutch’s lifespan.
  • Sometimes people ‘slip’ the clutch on purpose when hauling heavy cargo to gain forward momentum. This produces a ton of heat on the clutch and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Don’t rest your left foot on the clutch when you’re not using it. Even the lightest touch can engage the clutch mechanism, so it’s best to keep your foot on the floor when you don’t need the clutch.
  • When air builds up in the hydraulic fluid, the clutch gets soft or mushy. To prevent this, regularly bleed the air from the clutch. The hydraulic fluid should be topped up at the same time.

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Conclusion

No motorist wants to hear that they need to bring their car in for repairs, but clutch replacements are inevitable. To keep the clutch performing as long as possible, follow the tips provided above. Being kind to your clutch will keep it in great shape for a long time to come.


Featured Image Credit: BACHTUB DMITRII, Shutterstock

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