A clutch replacement is one repair project that should not be delayed if your vehicle needs it. The clutch is a very important part of the transmission in every vehicle. Without the clutch, your car, SUV or truck would not be able to move.
When most people think about clutches, they think about that third petal and the challenges associated with learning how to drive a standard transmission vehicle. People tend to think that automatic transmission vehicles do not have clutches, but they actually do. The only difference is that the clutch is an automatic transmission vehicle is controlled by the vehicle’s computer, not your left foot.
When your vehicle starts having trouble with the clutch, a clutch replacement may be needed. Remember, this is such a critical component in your vehicle’s transmission that making little clutch repairs here and there may not be your best option. How do you know when you need a clutch replacement? Depending on the type of transmission, there are different symptoms to watch out for.
With an automatic transmission, a slipping engine is the most common symptom of clutch problems. An engine ‘slips’ when you hear it race but the vehicle does not move any faster. Another symptom is when the vehicle is noticeably slower to take off from a stopped position.
Manual transmission vehicles with clutch problems also experience engine slipping, especially when dealing with heavier loads such as pulling objects or moving uphill. You may also experience a jerking feeling as the clutch is engaged.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is important to get your vehicle in to a mechanic as quickly as possible for a clutch replacement. You certainly do not want to be stranded anywhere with a vehicle that won’t move.
A clutch replacement is a complex repair that is best left to certified mechanics who specialize in that kind of project. This is especially true since the clutch is a critical part of your vehicle’s transmission. If the repair is not done right, you risk being stranded in your vehicle.
The mechanic performing the clutch replacement will have to get into your vehicle’s transmission and remove the clutch assembly. The clutch is replaced and the assembly is inserted back into the transmission. This type of repair can take a while to do because of its complexity. The actual time to complete the repair will depend on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of transmission it has.
The cost of the clutch replacement will vary widely depending on the type of vehicle you have. The clutch itself is not all that expensive, but when you factor in the labor and the time to complete the job, you are looking at a range of $100 – $700, depending on the vehicle.
Most vehicle manuals will give you an approximate clutch replacement mileage. Keep this number in mind and plan ahead to make the cost of doing the repair a little less of a shock to your system. Also, be sure to shop around for mechanics. Remember, you want to hire a certified clutch mechanic. If you start looking around a few months or even a year before you expect to reach your clutch replacement mileage, you should have plenty of time to find a reputable and recommended mechanic.