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How many miles do you get out of a clutch?


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#41 oldcarfan

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

I currently have 233,000 on my Focus.



#42 Rob Hall

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 11:49 AM

Depends on the car and how it was driven..  my '86 Mustang LX still had the original clutch when it was totaled w/ 75k miles, my '88 Bronco II still had the original clutch at 92k when I traded it, but I did replace the clutch in my '87 Mustang GT at about 60k miles.  My '96 BMW M3 still had the original when I sold it w/ 75k miles.


Edited by Rob Hall, 01 February 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#43 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 12:24 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!

Maybe a little automotive history will help. When the majority of cars still had drum brakes, they couldn't dissipate heat as quickly as vented discs can, and were prone to 'brake-fade' as the linings lost effectiveness with increased temperatures. After several stops, or on a long downhill grade, you could find yourself with a lot of pedal pressure, but no stopping. Downshifting was encouraged to lessen the strain on the brakes in situations like these (referred to as 'engine-braking', and taking advantage of the engine's tendency to resist rotating when the throttle is closed, due to compression). Yes, it's more wear on the drivetrain, but money spent on premature repairs may be preferable to hospitalization or death (and the inevitably-associated pain) when the brakes simply fail to stop the vehicle. Same reason heavy trucks were required to 'use low gear' on many downgrades, probably why downshifting is still encouraged. Early cars with automatic gearboxes also recommended using S or L range on long downgrades for the same reason.

 

Competition driving and spirited on-highway driving make use of downshifting to keep the car's engine on or close-to its torque peak for rapid acceleration out of a turn, and to aid in braking (again, in competition, brake-fade was often a serious problem). A competent driver is capable of matching the engine revs to the drivetrain revs, limiting slippage to almost nothing during downshifting, and contributing little to clutch wear (especially when one considers that parts like brakes and clutches get replaced between competition events). In competition it's often the case that cars are 'danced' through a turn, instantly alternating between braking and accelerating. Leaving the clutch engaged then is only sensible.

 

Listen to the sounds from in-cockpit in the top of the pile, sequentially-paddle-shifted Formula 1 cars, and it's instantly apparent that the engine's compression is STILL being used as an adjunct to the vehicles brakes for modulating deceleration. Downshifts are virtually instant, but the engine-braking effect is still transmitted through the clutch.


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 01 February 2013 - 02:48 PM.


#44 blunc

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

about the only time I needed a clutch was to get moving from a dead stop, after that it was all syncros and a good feel for the engine revs, except in my TR4, no syncro in first gear.

#45 blunc

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 08:53 PM

I once had to drive a fiat 124 spyder thru two cities with no clutch because the clutch pedal broke from the pivot rod, I only had to start it in gear once on that trip thru city traffic.

#46 MsDano85gt

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:57 AM

I have a 04' saturn Ion "redline" also referred by many as a Lsj cousin to the cobalt ss
Its a easton supercharged powered 2.0 ecotec with a saab 5 speed tranny -Although I do t know the previous owner(s) of the car think it was only one and their driving habbits the car is now at 99,800 miles I have not replaced any major mechanical components of the clutch-drivetrain however I did have to replace the pedal assembly itself ( who in their right minds uses a plastic pedal assembly for a clutch)?? Long story short I'm sure its the original equipment and its headin for the 100k mark I've been no saint either, hard launches sometimes (love to hear the supercharger) and do ocaationally downshift (always wait till lowest possible rpm's)my exhaust sounds like popcorn when you downshift

#47 jas1957

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:43 AM

Depends how it is driven,   had a '88 Mustang LX 5.0  sold it with 90,000 & the original clutch.   Junked a '95 Saturn a year ago, 108,000 & original clutch also.    Replacing one is not the easiest job so I tend to baby them.   The longer I can get away without replacing one the better.    I wouldn't want to even think what a shop would charge to do that job.



#48 Aaronw

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:38 AM

I have 270,000 miles on my Tacoma, and as far as I know it is the original clutch (bought it used with around 60,000 miles on it). Oh, and I use the engine to slow down, a habit from mountain driving where it is something of a neccessity if you don't want to end up at the bottom of a canyon. 

 

I'm not sure why that is considered bad, it is encouraged in trucks and they even make exhaust brakes so diesel engines can do it.



#49 diymirage

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 02:48 PM

i had a real nice 03 VW passat with a 1.8 turbo in it

i had the ECU flashed so the engine would spike at 18 PSI and hold 17 ALL DAY LONG

everytime i hit 3200 RPM it felt liek being rearended by a semi

having said that, the clutch was gone by 100K miles :blink:



#50 Harry P.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:32 PM

Maybe a little automotive history will help. When the majority of cars still had drum brakes, they couldn't dissipate heat as quickly as vented discs can, and were prone to 'brake-fade' as the linings lost effectiveness with increased temperatures. After several stops, or on a long downhill grade, you could find yourself with a lot of pedal pressure, but no stopping. Downshifting was encouraged to lessen the strain on the brakes in situations like these (referred to as 'engine-braking', and taking advantage of the engine's tendency to resist rotating when the throttle is closed, due to compression). Yes, it's more wear on the drivetrain, but money spent on premature repairs may be preferable to hospitalization or death (and the inevitably-associated pain) when the brakes simply fail to stop the vehicle. Same reason heavy trucks were required to 'use low gear' on many downgrades, probably why downshifting is still encouraged. Early cars with automatic gearboxes also recommended using S or L range on long downgrades for the same reason.

 

Competition driving and spirited on-highway driving make use of downshifting to keep the car's engine on or close-to its torque peak for rapid acceleration out of a turn, and to aid in braking (again, in competition, brake-fade was often a serious problem). A competent driver is capable of matching the engine revs to the drivetrain revs, limiting slippage to almost nothing during downshifting, and contributing little to clutch wear (especially when one considers that parts like brakes and clutches get replaced between competition events). In competition it's often the case that cars are 'danced' through a turn, instantly alternating between braking and accelerating. Leaving the clutch engaged then is only sensible.

 

Listen to the sounds from in-cockpit in the top of the pile, sequentially-paddle-shifted Formula 1 cars, and it's instantly apparent that the engine's compression is STILL being used as an adjunct to the vehicles brakes for modulating deceleration. Downshifts are virtually instant, but the engine-braking effect is still transmitted through the clutch.

 

Not much of that, if anything, translates to everyday driving. Not a whole lotta F1 cars being driven back and forth to work or the mall. Not many "daily drivers" getting a new clutch after every run to the 7-11.

 

Downshifting to slow a car in real-world, normal driving is pointless and counter-productive. Every car has a braking system, that's what's meant to slow/stop the car.



#51 Junkman

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 03:43 PM

Miles????

1320 feet.



#52 blunc

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 05:39 PM

Harry is correct.

 

Anyone else that uses the engine/clutch to slow their car down may or may not make your brakes last longer and may or may not wear out the clutch faster.

 

if have to "slip" the clutch each time you change gears then the clutch will wear out faster than a person that doesn't "slip the clutch" when they change gears...whether it's up shifting or down shifting.

 

(all this is assuming there are no fluid leaks or other problems with the clutch assembly)


Edited by blunc, 02 February 2013 - 05:39 PM.


#53 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:51 AM

 

Not much of that, if anything, translates to everyday driving. Not a whole lotta F1 cars being driven back and forth to work or the mall. Not many "daily drivers" getting a new clutch after every run to the 7-11.

 

Downshifting to slow a car in real-world, normal driving is pointless and counter-productive. Every car has a braking system, that's what's meant to slow/stop the car.

In the real-world, 'normal' driving scenario in today's cars with fantastic brakes, I'd have to agree. The first part of my post was intended to explain how the technique of downshifting was helpful in times past when production-car brakes were often barely adequate for the task of stopping a vehicle in other than stop-and-go driving. A lot of things hang around after a good reason for them to be abandoned has become commonplace. Current brake performance makes the tecnique unnecessary, for the most part.

 

However, having no fallback skills to slow a vehicle in an emergency, or should the brakes prove to be inadequate for whatever reason, strikes me as somewhat counter-productive also. Some cases of "runaway acceleration" in recent memory could have ended less tragically if the operators had ingrained optional behaviors beyond simply standing on the brakes in panic.



#54 Harry P.

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

It's extremely rare (if not completely unheard of) for a modern day car's brakes to totally fail. That would mean that both circuits had to fail at the same time (highly unlikely).

 

In such a "worst case" scenario... a manual trans car with totally inoperative brakes... my guess is that in 99% of those situations (rare as they are, probably actually non-existent), the average driver in a panic situation is better off mashing the clutch and yanking on the parking brake lever than trying to practice his F1 driving skills and downshifting to slow the car. Even the best downshift expert will have rear-ended that semi long before the magic of downshifting had slowed his car to any appreciable extent.

 

Bottom line: Downshifting to slow/stop a car in everyday driving is a completely silly and useless exercise. Sure, if you want to play Jackie Stewart, have fun... but the average person driving the average car in average conditions has absolutely no need to do so.



#55 blunc

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

or maybe some of us just like to stir the gears when we get the chance...



#56 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:09 PM

or maybe some of us just like to stir the gears when we get the chance...

Guilty as charged.



#57 Skydime

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:41 PM

As far as downshifting to slow down, sometimes I downshift a standard to fourth when going down a steep mountain.  You never know when your foot is going to slip or something out of left field is going to happen. Our Malibu is autostick so I downshift it from sixth to fifth or fourth.  I know that there is usually not a reason to downshift an auto/autostick but, if you have ever seen the tiny brakes they put on new Malibus, you would understand.  They've been checked by several shops and they slip more than the average car with a six or eight inch brake pad.

 

When it comes to changing clutches, I have had five standard vehicles and changed them as follows:

 

87 S10 at approx. 100,000

91 S10 didn't own it long enough

98 S10 never changed yet but it only has 60,000 on it

94 Camaro changed to Centerforce stage 3 @ 80,000 and never had another problem (drove that car hard)

04 Cavalier at least 125,000 with now broken odometer and clutch never changed (I drive it responsibly.)


Edited by Skydime, 04 February 2013 - 06:44 PM.


#58 zenrat

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:56 AM

Why use engine braking?

 

Well sometimes you need to stop real quick without your brake lights coming on so as the jerk tailgating you gets a good look at your tow bar...



#59 Chuck Most

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

I had an '85 Ranger with just over 250k on the clock and the original clutch wasn't missing a beat. Same thing could not be said for the rest of the truck. :lol: On the other hand, my girlfriend went through two clutches in one year in her Jetta. Third time around she had it changed at another dealer and it was still fine when she traded it in with about 30,000 on the third clutch. The tech at the VW dealer she took it to the last time was a bit more thorough- he checked the pedal freeplay and IIRC he even bled the master and slave cylinders when he changed the clutch.



#60 plowboy

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:17 AM

I downshift all of the time myself. But, I use the same shift points when I downshift as I do when I upshift. In other words, I don't shift down into a gear before I reach the speed that I shift up from that particular gear. So, I'm not putting any more strain on the drivetrain downshifting than I do when I shift up. Probably less so. I don't do it so much to save the brakes,but rather to keep the heat down that is generated by braking.