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How many miles do you get out of a clutch?


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#21 Danno

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:44 AM

A question, frankly, with no real answer.

 

 

There's no answer to this question that will directly apply to you. Depends on the car, and the driver. One guy can get 100,000 miles+ and another guy can't get to 50,000. It all depends on how you use it. Too many variables; giving you my personal results is absolutely irrelevant to your own situation.

 

It's like asking everyone what their shirt size is before you buy one for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

Probably the best, most accurate answer so far!

 

 

B)



#22 niteowl7710

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

I have just shy of 129k miles on a Chevrolet Colorado at the moment.



#23 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

As a prior ASE certified Master Mechanic, I can tell you this: there are several components in a clutch to fail. If the friction-facings on the disc itself are worn out, the engine will speed up under load without the vehicle moving any faster. This is the classic 'slipping clutch', and it's most noticeable in the higher gears where there's not as much torque multiplication from the transmission. It's also noticeable under heavy acceleration, as the engine may speed up unusually quickly without the vehicle speed increasing proportionately.

 

Feeling the clutch 'engage' with the pedal higher off the floor than before is also a sign of worn clutch linings, as the linkage (mechanical OR hydraulic) and release bearing have to travel farther to allow the pressure-plate to fully compress the thinning disc against the flywheel.

 

A 'judder' as the clutch engages can be caused by contamination of the clutch disc material, weakened pressure-plate springs (sometimes caused by the excessive heat produced by 'riding' the clutch or intentionally slipping it to hold position on hills), or broken motor or transmission mounts.

 

Failure of the hydraulic master or slave cylinders results in a gradual inability to fully release the clutch and a tendency to grind gears during shifting. This failure mode involves leakage of hydraulic fluid past the seals in the cylinder(s), which effectively lessens the distance the clutch actuating arm is able to move the release bearing, which then fails to completely DIS-engage the clutch and allows it to drag on the flywheel.

 

SOME hydraulic clutch linkages and ALL mechanical clutch linkages have a mechanical adjustment provision to compensate for clutch disc wear, but many later-model hydraulic systems are by design fully self-adjusting with no secondary adjustment possible.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 29 January 2013 - 12:27 PM.


#24 THarrison351

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

"As far as symptoms go I have had to let the pedal out quite a distance before it engages for some time now. Not all the way yet, but at least half way. What it is doing now is sputtering a bit at take off ( like it is slipping) and when cruising along and I head up a hill or try to give it a bit more gas it begins ti sputter again."

 

From what I read in this post, if your car is "sputtering" the engine is slowing down. In my experience a slipping or worn clutch is an increase in engine RPM without an increase in speed. A clutch that is fully engaged at half travel sounds like it is working properly and not maladjusted. Usually on the older non-adjusting clutches, the clutch might not fully engage until the top of the travel. Self adjusting clutches will keep the travel reasonable. If your master cylinder fluid is low or leaking internally, normally it is difficult to engage a gear without grinding. This is due to air in the system or fluid bypass and the pressure plate will not fully release the clutch.

As I have told many a customer at my parts store, without first hand knowledge the diagnosis is difficult. Take the car to a professional mechanic for evaluation.


Edited by THarrison351, 29 January 2013 - 12:25 PM.


#25 Draggon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

I had a 71 Bug, built up a little, drove it real hard, got close to 250,000. Had to replace the throwout bearing, only reason I did the clutch disc and pressure plate was because the engine was out. 



#26 Ken McGuire

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

When I had a 1967 Ford Cortina GT (many years ago) the clutch didn't last long by today's standards and had to be replaced at about 40-50,000 miles. I would have to put that down to the car itself, but more importantly my ambitions to be from time-to-time either a Formula I star or Drag Race superstar all at the same time on the street. Later with more advanced, modern cars and more experience behind the wheel, I've never replaced a clutch. 



#27 MrObsessive

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

I have an '04 Saturn Ion Coupe that just turned over 125,000 miles and is still on the original clutch. One thing I learned years ago, is to not leave the clutch pedal depressed down to the floor when sitting at a stoplight or sign.........this can wear out the bearing. I also learned to let the car coast to a stop and let the brakes do the slowing down. Much cheaper to replace brake pads, than to replace a clutch. ;)

 

Some folks have the bad habit of letting their foot rest on the clutch between gear changes............bad news! You're also wearing out the clutch/bearing doing this as well. I also got into the habit quite a few years ago of taking my foot completely off the clutch pedal between gear changes.


My car's clutch still engages with the pedal barely off the floor, so it still has lots of life left in her. :)



#28 Harry P.

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

I never understood why some people downshift to slow down a car. There's a reason that a car has a braking system, and the clutch isn't a part of it!



#29 Kit Basher

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

I never understood why some people downshift to slow down a car. There's a reason that a car has a braking system, and the clutch isn't a part of it!

I was taught to do it to save the brakes. Then it was pointed out to me that brakes are cheaper than clutches. Now I drive like Mr. Obsessive.

Edit: Downshifting is necessary when driving a truck like the one in my avatar.


Edited by Kit Basher, 29 January 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#30 Dragline

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

My Grandfathers 1964 Pontiac tempest still has its original clutch. So about that long.

 

 

 

Bob



#31 Harry P.

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

I was taught to do it to save the brakes. Then it was pointed out to me that brakes are cheaper than clutches. Now I drive like Mr. Obsessive.

Edit: Downshifting is necessary when driving a truck like the one in my avatar.

 

"Saving" the brakes by putting unnecessary stress/strain/wear on the whole drivetrain? I can't imagine why anyone would teach that.

 

Downshifting may be normal when driving a truck, but completely useless driving a car. I've been driving manual trans cars since 1984... I have never had to replace a clutch. Probably because I have never used downshifting to slow the car.



#32 rmvw guy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

I never understood why some people downshift to slow down a car. There's a reason that a car has a braking system, and the clutch isn't a part of it!

It always made the glass packs sound good when I was a teenager. :lol:  Also shifting down will slow down a vehicle some  and if the brakes are bad, well you need a brake shop.  I was tough on clutches when I was a teen. My 2000 Beetle has  132,000 miles on the clutch so far. Hate to think of pulling the engine or what ever they do now days. We could change one in a couple of hours back in the old days.



#33 JM485

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:49 PM

When i got my 86 toyota pickup, one of the first things my dad told me was to not strain the drivetrain.  That meant not to ever use the engine to slow the truck since it is a lot easier to replace pads than a drive train part.  It could be that you have a small rear main seal leak that is contaminating your clutch's friction surface.  Since it is a dry system, unlike a lot of motorcycles, this could be causing your slip.  It could also be that there was a bit of contamination when your friend replced it, if he did not bother to clean it. 



#34 Prostreet

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

MY DD 94 subaru legacy original clutch 108000



#35 Casey

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

Some folks have the bad habit of letting their foot rest on the clutch between gear changes............bad news! You're also wearing out the clutch/bearing doing this as well. I also got into the habit quite a few years ago of taking my foot completely off the clutch pedal between gear changes.

 

It depends upon the clutch linkage, the "slack" in the linkage/cable, and the ratio between the clutch fork and clutch pedal linkage. Almost every street driven vehicle has a certain amount of "dead" movement between the position when the pedal is at rest and when the clutch disc starts to grab on the flywheel, so simply resting your foot on the clutch pedal isn't going to hurt anything, unless the clutch disc has already fully engaged with the flywheel. Sometimes most of the "slack" can be adjusted out, and sometimes not.

 

I've replaced and removed ten clutches/pressure plates/throwout bearings in my life, and never have I seen a frozen or failed throwout bearing, but I agree that there are steps you can take to reduce premature wear. Pilot bearings/bushings are another wear item, but hearing of them fail is rare in my experience, especially for a street driven vehicle which sees no hard (towing, drag racing, clutch dumps, etc.) usage.

 

A complete clutch setup (clutch disc, pressure plate, throwout bearing) isn't all that expensive to be honest, at least for the more common applications, and a set of premium ceramic brake pads can run you over $100 if you're not choosy, so brakes may or not be much cheaper.

 

 

 

 It could also be that there was a bit of contamination when your friend replced it, if he did not bother to clean it. 

 

Or the flywheel was not machined/trued when the new clutch (and pressure plate?) was installed. I have heard of people cheaping out and replacing only the clutch disc itself, leaving the worn pressure plate in the vehicle. A few greasy finger prints on the disc facing are never a good thing, either.  :unsure:

 

Labor is where the real expense is when changing a clutch setup, especially compared to changing brake pads/shoes, so if you're not into DIY, use the brakes. If you like DIY and trying to get that snap ring in an A-833 compressed enough to the get mainshaft and gear cluster free from the tailhousing, by all means, downshift to slow down.  :lol:  :D



#36 mikemodeler

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

If you want to truly be smart about your vehicle and it's components (this coming from a NAPA employee!), let off the gas and let the vehicle slow itself down without using the brakes or clutch. After 25 years I have given up trying to get the wife understand this but I still drill it into the heads of my teenagers as there is some hope for them.

 

I drive many highway miles- 160,000 over the last 5 years- and my Toyota Camry has 5 mm left on the original rear brake pads and 3 mm left on the front brake pads.  I use the engine to slow the car whenever possible, probably why the brake pads are in the shape they are.

 

In all of my driving over the years, I have done very few brake jobs on my vehicles and never replaced a clutch in the truck I had as my first vehicle and put 110,000 hard miles on that baby!



#37 Sam I Am

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

 I have never needed a clutch in any car .. 

 

Ditto, no matter what the car/truck, and it did not matter how whoever had it before me drove it. I have never had to replace the clutch while I owned it. Must not be just me either, my father-in-law drives truck, In 30+ years and four different trucks, the shop never replaced a clutch in any of his. They all had 300,000+ on them



#38 charlie8575

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

I've never had to replace a clutch....then again, I can't drive stick.

 

Charlie Larkin



#39 mr68gts

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:21 PM

my 04 GTO had 161,000 miles on the original clutch when the 6 spd went boom. It could still be used but I am not willing to pull the trans twice just to be cheap or see how far I could have made it go. So it got a new clutch. (still sitting in my model room next to the 6spd I just finished up the other day) incidently the rear brakes also have 161000 but I may go ahead and do them while the car is down. And no I have not been easy on the car. Burnouts (with occasional wheel hop) and speed shifting is not good on drivetrain parts, yet it made it to that point!

 

Paul



#40 Skip

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:41 PM

I do mostly highway / freeway driving with about 30% around town or stop and go.  Always been pretty easy on clutches even in Hot Rods and Muscle cars. You don't have to dump the clutch to make a car go fast.  Just makes heat cracks on the flywheel, spins the clutch and tires, both will get you in trouble one way or another!

 

I knew an old Porsche / VW mechanic who was a speed demon on the Auto-X circuits, he never speed shifted ever, he used turn in some pretty fast and impressive times too.  I asked him about it once, his reply was something like,  "You have to shift like Lawrence Welk!  You know ah one and a-two shift".  It took a second or three to figure out what he was saying, off gas, clutch in, count one, then two, (pause) move the gearshift up to the next gear, slowly let out clutch, on gas and go until the gear is used up then repeat...   I tried it on my old daily driver VW and it smoothed things right out from when I was trying to manhandle / speed shift it even with a weak second gear syncro.  Been driving that way clutch since, it's noticably added to clutch life.  My German and English cars have all appreciated this too with their fiddly at times transmissions.

 

1993 Toyota 4WD Pickup 118,000 original clutch, rear brakes replaced front pads at 90K just to be sure, it's never been babied and hauld some heavy loads.

2001 VW  New Beetle (Turbo 4cyl) 92,000 original clutch getting ready for front pads, rears are like 60% still.

1989 Honda CRX had 60K on it when I bought it replaced the clutch at 230K only because the rear main seal leaked oil on it.

1988 Honda Accord original clutch in it when it was sold at 290K.

1971 Mini Cooper replaced clutch at rebuild 50K ago, lots of spirited driving and a few Auto-X laps, no signs of letting up!

 

 

Edited to correct spelling, typing error there are probably others!


Edited by Skip, 31 January 2013 - 07:05 PM.