Changing a clutch can take an average of 3 to 6 hours. It all depends on the car’s make and model plus the configuration of the gearbox and engine.
We can recommend setting aside the whole day to do such a job because sometimes you might get additional issues with the car that you would want to be sorted with the clutch removed.
You should expect a better precise quote once you get your car to a professional to do the clutch change.
Signs for Clutch Replacement
Before changing the clutch, it is worth understanding why you need to change it in the first place. Here are signs that you need to change the car’s clutch.
It feels spongy
How the clutch pedal feels when changing the gears can help you understand the clutch’s condition. Feeling spongy is a clear sign there is the need to replace the clutch.
When it feels spongy it means the clutch is worn out and you should start requesting quotes from local garages.
Changing gears is hard
In case you start having problems changing gears, then just know that you need a clutch replacement.
When the clutch is worn down, it makes it a struggle to change the gears. If you start to notice such an issue in the early stages, simply replace the clutch and this will be over.
The bitting point is higher
As the clutch degrades with time, the bitting point becomes higher and higher. Each person knows where the car’s biting point is, but when it seems to be higher than usual, then it is a worn clutch.
You may wonder how this is possible when the clutch is usually buried between the gearbox and engine.
Some modern cars can have an inspection cover on the gearbox bell housing. Once you open this cover, you can know if the clutch is worn or not.
A burning smell can mean a lot of things in a car. Make sure to stop immediately to assess the situation.
One of the reasons for a burning smell is that the clutch is worn down. This is because the clutch is worn to a point there is too much friction leading to the burning smell.
Get the car to your local mechanic to assess and determine if there is a problem with your clutch or if it is something else.
Here is how to diagnose a bad clutch
The Cost of Replacing a Clutch
The cost can be a big factor in replacing your car’s clutch. It is important to know that the car’s make and model play a vital role in determining the cost.
An example is that an Audi clutch would be more expensive than a Citroen clutch even if they do the same job.
It can cost an average of $500 to change the clutch of a car. The availability of parts could also play an important role in the cost.
The Process of Clutch Replacement
To start the process, materials needed for the job include：
- Wheel chocks
- Brake and clutch fluid
- Clutch alignment tool
- Replacement clutch
- Brake and clutch bleeder
As for the tools, you may need the following：
- Trolley jack
- Jack stands
- Breaker bar
- Socket set
Start by disconnecting the battery then proceed to unbolt the shifter cable. It usually has two bolts holding the shifter in place. Next is to get the car off the ground since you have to take the gearbox from the engine.
Do not forget to disconnect the sensor wires attached to the gearbox. Proceed now to loosen the handbrake cable so that you have enough space to disconnect the gearbox.
Removing the tailshaft comes next. This is a straightforward process that involves the removal of four bolts and nuts.
Depending on the car model, you may have to section off the exhaust too. The bolts on the exhaust are easily visible, so you should not have a problem removing them. In case they are stuck, use a penetrant to loosen such bolts.
Remove the car’s gearbox at this point. A trolly jack should come in handy to hold and lower the gearbox. This is mostly a two-person job, so have your friend around.
Proceed to remove the car’s flywheel and pressure plate. A large screwdriver can be used in the teeth to keep the engine from moving so that you can remove the pressure plate and flywheel.
Clean the different areas around the clutch before replacing it with another one. Fit the flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate in the right positions. Using a bit of locknut should be enough to hold the bolts for the pressure place and flywheel.
Proceed to refit the gearbox and attach the cables and sensors you had removed earlier. Lower the car and attach the shifter. You should be good to start driving with your new clutch.
Here is a full DIY video on replacing the clutch of your car.
Is it easy to replace a clutch?
It is a lengthy and sometimes complicated procedure. It is best to consider having a professional do the job for you.
Is it worth replacing your worn clutch?
Yes. The clutch is important in ensuring the car can change gears. If you do not replace it, then you can no longer change gears.
How should you drive after changing a clutch?
Stop-and-go traffic might be recommended so that you can actuate the clutch. After that, you can drive it over long distances.
Can you drive on a broken clutch?
This is not recommended as a broken clutch would lead to additional damage to the gearbox, shifter, and starter motor.
How long can you drive on a slipping clutch?
Not for long as it will get to a point you can no longer shift the gears with ease. As such, only drive with a functional clutch.