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clutch life.

Posted by Timbulb (dojadoja@hotmail.com) on
Tue, Aug 2, 05 at 18:27

How does one tell how much life is left in a clutch? I just bought a new (used) vehicle and was just curious if there was a way. It feels fine but how will I know before it goes?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: clutch life.

You can remove it and measure it if you want to be accurate
or when the clutch grabs at the top after all adjustments
fail it is usually toast.


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RE: clutch life.

If a clutch is not abused,it should last the life of the vehicle.However if you burn out,don't put it in neutral at stoplights,ride it heavily in traffic jams,pull heavy loads with it or abuse it in any way,clutch life will be substantially less than a non-abused clutch.Some people will tell you 50-75K on a clutch is normal,but if that was the case the clutch was abused!


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RE: clutch life.

I got about 200,000 miles on a Toyota Tercel 4WD waggon (1986). The original clutch was still in and working, a little rough, but working when I junked it. I have a 1990 Mitsubishi Galant with about 145,000 and I'm on the third clutch. My 1988 Dodge Ram 50, with about 100,000 was on its original clutch and it seemed fine when we departed company.
So, in my experience there are are many good and a few bad designs, the Galant has a bad (undersized) clutch.


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RE: clutch life.

There's probably no practical way to measure the degree of clutch wear, because on most vehicles if you tear the transmission down enough to inspect the clutch, you might as well just replace it while you're in there. If the clutch feels good and the car shifts smoothly, I wouldn't worry about it.


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RE: clutch life.

A good but old clutch will give plenty of warning. First there is the important free play at the pedal... - if it runs out of adjustment, the disk becomes too thin ; then it will either slip or the rivets will gouge the pressure plate.
Secondly, if the pressure plate springs become weak(lose their tension), the clutch will slip, but plenty of warning is given..
A clutch lasting the life of the car ??
Bull !
One variable against another..


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RE: clutch life.

my mother in law and my sister in law both have 01 hyundai accents, both sticks, mother in laws has 140k on the original clutch, sister in law had the clutch replaced twice and only has 80 k on her car. same car same components, one person who knows how to drive a stick and one who thinks they know how to drive a stick.


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RE: clutch life.

In flatland florida city driving...

Put a shifter in my x-wifes hand and she'll need a clutch every 25k .. she slips each & every shift.

I'm not a mild driver, 50k miles and I'll need a clutch in the same car.


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RE: clutch life.

Earthworm, a clutch really can last the life of the car. I've only had one automatic transmission vehicle in my life, and I've never replaced a clutch. Two Ford Rangers both went 100,000+ miles before I traded them in, and both had original clutches. My current F150 would have the original clutch if the slave cylinder hadn't gone out and got the clutch all wet with hydraulic fluid. When the transmission shop pulled it at 130,000 miles they said it had little wear but had fluid soaked into it, so for the $80 price of the clutch itself, they just replaced it. Now that "new" clutch has 120,000 on it and it's doing fine. Numerous other cars I've had, all kept to 100,000 miles or more, have never needed a new clutch.

It's not so much hard driving that does a clutch in but certain driving practices. You can accelerate hard if you want, but you just need to get the clutch all the way released before applying a lot of power. And obviously you don't use the clutch to hold your place at a stop or leave your foot resting on it while going down the road.

Now, I will say, if a person drove exclusively in stop and go traffic, it's conceivable that even with good driving habits, a clutch could wear out.


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RE: clutch life.

Posted by: earthworm (My Page) on Wed, Aug 3, 05 at 14:09

A good but old clutch will give plenty of warning. First there is the important free play at the pedal... - if it runs out of adjustment, the disk becomes too thin ; then it will either slip or the rivets will gouge the pressure plate.
Secondly, if the pressure plate springs become weak(lose their tension), the clutch will slip, but plenty of warning is given..
A clutch lasting the life of the car ??
Bull !
One variable against another.. ====================================================================== ===================================================

Earthworm, Your comments are commical at best, and downright wrong at worst !

Judging by your comments you sound as if you are a Master Tech in various fields ? Since that is surely NOT the case, why then is it BULL for someone to say a clutch will last the life of a Vehicle ? I have had several cars/trucks that went thier entire lifespan on the original Clutch, so is it safe for me to assume that you think my comments are BULL ? As to the original question, YES a Clutch can go the life of the Vehicle.


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RE: clutch life.

As for one clutch for the life of a vehicle I think it depends on how long, how many miles, constitutes the life of a vehicle. Today that's at least 100K and as I said earlier, I've had both experiences and my wife was the primary driver in both cases: Toyota Tercel 200,000 mile, and the clutch was going, or needed adjustment. Mitsubishi Galant, on its third clutch at 145,000 miles. So I get yes and no, and it didn't depend on the driver, I think some designs are better than others, maybe more "overbuilt".


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RE: clutch life.

Back to the original question---"how can you tell how much life is left?"

Well you can't. When they go the first clue is they are hard to get into gear presuming the master and slave cylinders are OK; or if its straight mechanical linkage and its not broken.

Earthworm is correct on this point- there will be a warning. There will be time to "get home."
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But a clutch can last any number of miles

My Datsoon had 240K on original clutch when sold, Toyota still have has 210K original clutch, my last diesel truck (Pete) had 350K on original clutch when I bot it and 600K when I sold it ....... Depends on the driver(s) and I shift w/o the clutch mostly.

All is not lost if it does go out completely. You can shut down the engine, put it in gear and then start the engine and away you go ( I've done it even with loaded trucks) but you have to be able to shift w/o the clutch. I drove for a fleet outfit for some years and 500K was the norm for clutches.


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RE: clutch life.

My 94 Ranger (127,000 miles) still has it's original clutch and it works just fine.

I have seen vehicles go over 200,000 miles with their original clutch, one customer of mine has a 97 Nissan Pick-up, 214,000 miles and it's still going, but he does get some squeal from the throw-out bearing. VBG So it wont be long before we have to tear it down because of that, but not because he wore the clutch out.

I have also seen people that could kill a brand new clutch in only a couple weeks. I had to ask the question carefully to catch him and make him realize what he was doing. If I had said, "Do you ride the clutch" of course he would have gotten defensive and said "No". So I asked him, "Do you use the parking brake to hold the car at stop lights on hills, or do you simply hold the car in place with the clutch?" He replied, "I hold the car in place with the clutch so it doesn't drift back while I wait for the light" I then told him, thats what "riding the clutch is" and thats why he was killing them in only a couple weeks. BTW he "was" a driver for one of my parts suppliers......


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RE: clutch life.

Not really. By the time the clutch is going there will be plenty of other noises, creaks and movements the car will be making.

I'd say between 200-300k Kms is about the expected life span.


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RE: clutch life.

How do you avoid not burning up a clutch? I'm driving my very first standard transmission and have had it for two months and I think I need a new clutch (the pedal is very spongy and it's hard to get it in gear - going today to the mechanics)... but I had to teach myself how to drive it - are there any tips on what to do and what not to do?


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RE: clutch life.

Welcome to the school of hard knocks. I typed this into Google: how to drive with a clutch

This was the first site.

How to Drive a Car with Manual Transmission : eHow.comLearning to drive a stick shift isn't easy for most people, ... Keeping the clutch pedal down, put the car into first gear by moving the gearshift to the ...
www.ehow.com/how_3234_drive-car-with.html - 85k - Cached - Similar pages


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RE: clutch life.

I bought a 06 Kia Sorento brand new because of the unbeleivable warranty. 25k miles the clutch went out. The dealer said it was normal wear and tear. I had to pay for a new clutch. Im now at 45k miles and the clutch went out again. Ive had many sticks before ,so i know how to drive them.


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