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  1. #1
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Clutch Replacement cost?

    My clutch went out last night. The good news is I was on the highway and just as it went bad I was nearing an exit. I got off at the exit and rolled right into a service station! The car would not go another inch. And on top of all this I was only a few miles from home so I was able to walk home. It could have been better like breaking down in front of my house but it could have been a heck of a lot worse too. I could have broken down in the middle of the highway.

    I only have 80K miles on the clutch. I guess I might be a bit hard on clutches. I do usually put it in neutral at traffic stops and thought I engaged the clutch pretty quickly. I guess I'm going to have to be a bit more careful in the future.

    What is strange how quickly it went. I knew it was having a slight problem with it but nothing major.

    After talking to a friend that that is a DIY mechanic, he tells me that (when he last worked on a car with a clutch) that there is an inspection port and that the clutch can be adjusted. I wish I would have known this before.

    My friend estimates under $850 including parts though he says that is a high estimate. I have seen prices on the internet for anything from $500 to $1500.

    Does anyone have an idea of what the cost to replace a clutch on front wheel drive vehicle? Specifically it is a 2000 Toyota Solara which is the two door Camry.
    Last edited by spinnaker; 03-27-11 at 11:34 AM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Over $20 but less than $20,000.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Yes it could have been worse. To start with 80k miles is about normal for a clutch. My current one is going longer but I have some go much sooner. You've hit average. I think your friends advise is about right. It is a fairly big job. I would recommend that you have the flywheel machined particularly since you wore it out. If you don't then the next clutch won't last as long.

    Anthony

  4. #4
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    I posted this last year after my $3800 repair bill at Toyota. I have a 2005 Matrix (standard). See attached bill (4 pages). Somewhere in there you'll find the cost of parts and labour for the clutch ... along with a bunch of other repairs.

    Bill - Page 1

    Bill - Page 2

    Bill - Page 3

    Bill - Page 4

  5. #5
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Look at page 2 of my bill:

    $841.50 Labour
    $184.50 Clutch disc
    $207.50 Clutch cover
    $ 75.60 Release Bearing
    $1309.10 Total

  6. #6
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    Look at page 2 of my bill:

    $841.50 Labour
    $184.50 Clutch disc
    $207.50 Clutch cover
    $ 75.60 Release Bearing
    $1309.10 Total
    Yikes! Thanks (I guess ). I can only hope mine is cheaper.

    I guess it could be worse, it could be $3,800 like your bill. That had to hurt.

    But I am due for a new timing belt too so my bill will be higher too. I am going to see if they need to drop the engine for the clutch and the timing belt. If so, might as well have them done at the same time.
    Last edited by spinnaker; 03-27-11 at 09:46 AM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  7. #7
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Yes it could have been worse. To start with 80k miles is about normal for a clutch. My current one is going longer but I have some go much sooner. You've hit average. I think your friends advise is about right. It is a fairly big job. I would recommend that you have the flywheel machined particularly since you wore it out. If you don't then the next clutch won't last as long.

    Anthony
    I'm glad to see I am at least average. I saw a post somewhere where the guy claims he got over 200K miles on a clutch.

    I am going to try to be a bit better in the future. I have a bad habit of slipping the clutch in reverse so I don't go flying backwards. I guess I should not really be doing that. Plus I have been getting lazy lately and not putting it in neutral at traffic stops like I used to.

    The car is 10 years old and in excellent condition. The way I figure it is that this will hopefully be my last clutch, assuming the clutch lasts another 10. I doubt I'll keep it another 10.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  8. #8
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Anyone know what it costs for automatic transmission service? I would guess you should get more than 80K miles on an automatic. But is the repair cost more?


    I have pretty much always had a manual transmission. My first car was an automatic. My second car a Datsun, I think I put one clutch in that but it was easy and cheap with rear wheel drive.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  9. #9
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I've replaced a clutch before, though I'd never take it on now unless it was a project car, not my daily transpo.

    It's not a highly technical procedure, just a lot of labor. It usually requires either pulling the motor or pulling the tranny, whichever is easier for the particular model. As Alfster showed, the parts themselves really aren't the majority expense. When I did mine it was about $150 total, but that was back in the 80's when Subaru parts were dirt cheap. My brother and I pulled the motor by hand.

    If you have a mechanically-inclined buddy, you may be able to do it for far less than what the stealership charges. Even a small local shop may be less. Call around with your specific model info. Also, you may consider picking up a Chilton manual for your car at an auto parts store. It will typically walk you through a clutch replacement procedure and you can decide whether it's something you'd take on. At the very least you'll be more informed when talking to a mechanic...and less likely to be charged for muffler bearings.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    I've replaced a clutch before, though I'd never take it on now unless it was a project car, not my daily transpo.

    It's not a highly technical procedure, just a lot of labor. It usually requires either pulling the motor or pulling the tranny, whichever is easier for the particular model. As Alfster showed, the parts themselves really aren't the majority expense. When I did mine it was about $150 total, but that was back in the 80's when Subaru parts were dirt cheap. My brother and I pulled the motor by hand.

    If you have a mechanically-inclined buddy, you may be able to do it for far less than what the stealership charges. Even a small local shop may be less. Call around with your specific model info. Also, you may consider picking up a Chilton manual for your car at an auto parts store. It will typically walk you through a clutch replacement procedure and you can decide whether it's something you'd take on. At the very least you'll be more informed when talking to a mechanic...and less likely to be charged for muffler bearings.
    Yeah the place where I broke down is a "local" shop. But I am going to call my mechanic first thing and see what he says. I trust them and they don't mark up parts. It might be cheaper to have it towed to him. I think I might just join AAA. It would probably be the same price for towing but at least I will have a years membership.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Rats! From AAA's website.

    AA Plus roadside benefits become active 10 days following join or upgrade

    Sort of expected though. Or else there would be little reason to sign up ahead of time.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
    Yes it could have been worse. To start with 80k miles is about normal for a clutch.

    Anthony
    ???? That's replacing the clutch every two to three years.

    I've got a pickup where I replaced the clutch at 220k and a car at 230k on the original clutch. The pickup ran about $1100 for the clutch.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Trying to rate clutch life by mileage is meaningless.
    Clutch wear occurs only when the clutch is being engaged/disengaged.
    Someone who does a lot of city trying is going to have a lot more wear per mile, than someone who does a lot of highway driving.

  14. #14
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Trying to rate clutch life by mileage is meaningless.
    Clutch wear occurs only when the clutch is being engaged/disengaged.
    Someone who does a lot of city trying is going to have a lot more wear per mile, than someone who does a lot of highway driving.
    And the vast majority of my miles are city or local driving. Actually the car is 11+ years old now that I think about it. So 80K over 11 years that is only around 7K a year. Not a whole lot of miles. But I could so better of wer I think.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've spent $5k on a clutch-repair. Although $2000 of that was for the CenterForce clutch with could handle 800lb*ft torque. On the track, I can go through 10-15 shifts a minute for 3000-4000 shifts in a single day with about 100-miles of driving. There are two variables that determine a clutch's life: torque-rating and usage-pattern. For the most part, factory clutches can handle factory engine-output just fine and will never slip under normal usage regardless of the how hard you push the throttle.

    However the 2nd variable of shifting-technique makes a HUGE difference in whether you get 30k or 300k from a clutch. The most important stage that wears out a clutch is when you release it after a gear shift. IF you have the engine-speed matched to the road-speed of the wheels (through the gearbox), then there is no difference in rotational speed of the pressure-plate versus the clutch-disc and it will last pretty much forever. The way to do this is to rev up the engine to the final RPM that it will be at after the shift BEFORE you release the clutch. That is, if you've shifted from 2nd to 3rd @ 45mph and the engine will be at 3000rpm after you let out the clutch, you want to use your right foot to bring the RPMs up to 3000rpms BEFORE you release the clutch pedal. So the shift-technique is as follows:

    1. accelerate up to shift-speed, say 45mph in 2nd gear, engine's around 4500rpms
    2. let off gas to maintain steady 45mph speed, this ensures no slippage of clutch when you depress pedal
    3. step in clutch pedal, do not let up on gas-pedal, if you did #2 correctly, engine stays at 4500rpms
    4. shift gear-lever to next gear, 3rd
    5. change engine-speed to final-RPM of next gear, in this case, lower engine to 3000rpm
    6. let out clutch, if you did #5 correctly, engine-speed does not change

    You'll need to calculate the actual RPMs used in the above examples with your particular gearbox-ratios. Steps #3 and #6 is what determines your clutch's life. If done so that RPM-matching is perfect, the clutch will last over 300k easily. In fact, if RPM-matching is done that precisely, you can skip the clutch-pedal completely and just pull the lever out of gear, adjust RPMs, and shift it into the next gear. No clutch-pedal needed (I do about haft my shifts this way) and again, it will last pretty much forever. Also note that in step #5, if you are downshifting, you actually raise the engine speed when going to the next gear.

    In both cases of upshifting or downshifting, you actually never let off the gas completely. If you did, you'd be using the clutch to pull up the engine from idle to the final-RPM, which causes most of the wear. With proper RPM-matching before letting out the clutch, you can keep the speed-differential between the pressure and clutch-plates minimized and prolong its life. You can tell when you're doing this correctly by noticing your passenger's head-bob. If their head doesn't bob forwards and back when you shift, you're going it right and your clutch will last forever. Good practice for shifting-technique to prolong clutch-life is to drive an older car without synchros in the gearbox where you have to do double de-clutching.
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 03-27-11 at 11:50 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    When I was in my teens and twenties, I learned how to shift w/o the clutch.
    Downside was if you do it absently-mindedly w/o your full attention,
    you get really ugly sounds out of the tranny.
    For that reason, I never do it anymore.
    Upside was that it was a handy skill to have a few times when the clutch release mechanism broke.
    Last edited by Shimagnolo; 03-27-11 at 10:48 PM.

  17. #17
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    +1 to DannoXYZ's post. I rev match all of my shifts, and I know that the previous owner did as well. In addition to making a slightly smoother shift, my clutch has 293k miles on it.

    Clutch wear is pretty simple: if it's not completed engaged (foot off the pedal) or disengaged, it's wearing. Drive to minimize wear. When I learned to drive a stickshift I was taught by one individual to let the clutch "slip" at lower gears to make a smoother ride, but I've stopped this because rev matching can make this unnecessary if you're good enough.
    Last edited by phantomcow2; 03-27-11 at 10:51 PM.
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  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I got the estimate. $700 with all parts including flywheel. But there is a catch. That is from an estimate of the shop that I know and I trust. Not from the shop where the car came to a stop (I still can't believe that happened). I am still waiting for them to call me back. They refused to give me any kind of estimate till they had a chance to look at the problem and make sure it needs a clutch replacement. I hope that means I can trust them.

    If they come in over $800 I figure I will have my regular shop do it. It will run me around $45-$50 for towing and I figure around another $50 for the shop where the car currently is to look at it. And I guess I understand their reluctance for giving a price. No sense pricing something when you are not sure of the problem. My regular shop did it as a favor to me for a worst case cost. I am confident that if I took it in and it was actually something simple like an adjustment that they would say so. It has happened before when I thought it was something bad.


    The only thing that bothers me is I know for sure I can trust my shop. There were plenty of times where they have charged me nothing for service on something fairly simple. I know the job will be down tight there but at this other shop not so sure.

    I just wish they would call be back so I can make other arrangements should I need to have the car moved.
    Last edited by spinnaker; 03-28-11 at 12:25 PM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  19. #19
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Are there any online reviews of the new shop where your car died? One of my friends just saved herself some serious headaches by avoiding a shop that the buyer of her car recommended for a smog-inspection. The place was a total scam that held people's car hostage for hundreds of extra dollars in repairs because their car "failed" the smog-check. All the reviews were negative.


    Forgot, the other part that wears out the clutch is 1st gear starts. A lot of people give a lot of throttle and let out the clutch. I prefer to give just enough throttle to maintain 1000rpms and release the clutch over a 0.25-0.50s timeframe. Not super-fast that may cause stalling and jerking, but not too prolonged to cause extra wear. Then after the clutch is fully engaged, I'll give it more throttle from 1000rpm onwards. I actually had one car where I could engage the clutch in 1st with barely any throttle at all. In fact, it would actually pull smoothly away in 1st gear from 1/2 idle speed, 400rpms!
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 03-28-11 at 12:36 PM.

  20. #20
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    None that I can find. They do get an A+ rating with no complaints from the BBB not that that means a lot.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  21. #21
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    And they have a nice website.

    http://snyderbrothersautomotive.com/
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    The place where I left the car finally called me back to me. Turns out it is the clutch. And get this. They don't do clutches!!!!!!

    I wish they would have told me that in the first place. The good news is I owe them nothing for looking at it.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    A little late perhaps with this comment, but....

    A worn out clutch usually gives you a fair bit of warning when it's on its way out. The most common symptom is slipping in high torque situations, such as while accelerating in high gear. Most clutches are hydraulically operated these days, which makes me wonder if the failure wasn't in the clutch itself but in the master or slave cylinders that operate it, or perhaps the fluid leaked out. If so, you might be looking at a less expensive repair than a total clutch replacement.

    An unrelated rant on the subject of manual transmissions: I hate the way most engine management systems are making it much less pleasant to drive them! Drop the throttle for a quick, rev-matched upshift and..... wait forever for the revs to drop, especially when the engine is cold. My 2005 Escape was particularly bad about this, to the point where I unplugged the fast idle system. It means I have to goose the throttle to keep the engine going when it's cold, but I'm used to that from years of dealing with cold carbureted engines
    Last edited by rnorris; 03-28-11 at 04:10 PM.

  24. #24
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Well whatever the problem. I am confident that my mech won't cheat me. I guess I am prepared to pay $700.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  25. #25
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    That's a good deal for clutch-replacement. Includes all the parts I assume? You can usually go through two clutch-discs per pressure-plate replacement.

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