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200,000 miles on the odometer, and still on the original clutch!

No question here, just celebrating a happy occasion.

The odometer in my '98 Civic finally made it to the 200,000 mile mark, and I’m still driving with the original clutch. So much for Tom and Ray’s theory that the clutch is a wearable part!

Yes, that is a CEL you see. It’s been that way for the last 125,000 miles or so. It’s nothing to worry about.

It’s a wearable part. You just haven’t worn it out yet.

C’mon Whitey. Out with the code. How often do you check to see if any others are hanging around back there? I didn’t take you for the black tape mechanic.

Keep babying that thing and let us know when you hit 300K

Every few years I get the codes read, and I keep an eye out for a flashing CEL.

Here’s the story. At about 85,000 miles, the exhaust manifold/catalytic converter cracked, and the CEL came on. I don’t remember the code, but the long and short of it is that I needed a new catalytic converter, but I didn’t have $800 and I managed to find one for about $425. When I had the cheap cat put in, the top oxygen sensor was fused to the old one. It wouldn’t come out, so I had to spend another $200 to replace it. When the CEL didn’t go away, the muffler shop that installed the cheap cat read the codes again. They said I needed to replace the second, downstream oxygen sensor. I replaced it at a cost of another $200, and the CEL light came on again. The long and short of it is that the new cheap cat doesn’t work as well as the Honda computer thinks it should. The guy at the muffler shop sent me to a shop down the street, where the mechanic used a tailpipe sniffer to show me my emissions numbers. Yes, the CEL would keep my car from passing an emissions test if I didn’t live in Florida, but the emissions themselves fall within the legal limits. I compared the results I was getting to the results I got the one time my car had its emissions tested by the state.

I try to be kind to the environment, and I have often supported the idea of emissions testing, even though I drive a car that couldn’t pass in its current condition. Sadly, I can’t make myself spend $900 for a new catalytic converter when I don’t have to. I’m too cheap. I guess that makes me a hypocrite too. :wink:

Wait now Whitey, that’s 200k miles on the clutch on a car where the biggest hill is the slight rise going into your drive way. Is that fair ? I bet you could drive a car in Florida W/o a clutch. Just put it in gear and crank the starter.

Then you, my friend, are elected to teach the daughters in two recent posts how to drive a stick.

( I still don’t know what gender has to do with it but that’s the wording in both posts. )

You are a good shifter, I’ll bet you don’t downshift when slowing down! Not saying that is wrong!

I did downshift for a time, but got out of the habit quickly. Now, I only downshift when I know I will be shifting to a lower gear anyway, like going into a curve.

Last year I taught a female friend of mine how to drive a stick using this car.

I was always taught to downshift to slow to a stop - using engine braking. Then when I started to do my own work on cars I thought, would I rather have to replace the brake pads or the clutch? I stopped doing that - except, as you say, as part of normal variable speed driving.

My father still has his 1990 Chevy Cavalier with 200k miles on the original clutch. He taught me and both my younger siblings (yes, one was a GIRL!!!) to drive in that car. The clutch still does not show the slightest signs of giving up. The closest thing to replacing the clutch we ever came to on that car was when the piping for the hydraulic system started leaking. We had to buy a whole hydraulic assembly from the dealer to fix that one. It was a preassembled master cylinder, slave cylinder, and pipe, filled with fluid, fully bled. Kind of pricey, but very easy to replace. That was about eight years ago. That car will definitely rust apart before the clutch wears out.

Downshifting and engine braking doesn’t hurt the clutch, so long as you don’t you the clutch as a brake.

I’m closing in on 150k with my original clutch. I learned to drive it while living in SF, took it on numerous road trips, and pumped that clutch pedal in LA traffic (including frequent downshift to 2nd at high speed). Too bad that I’ve taken a job outside of this country and have to leave behind my precious. I’d really like to know how far I can take it. Oh well, maybe my next car.

The second highest mountain in Florida is Space Mountain at Disney World.

Nice work but you are pushing your luck. Now you should change the clutch friction disk before the rivets wear into the flywheel and pressure plate to avoid remachining or replacement. Don’t forget the T.O. and pilot bearings.

It doesn’t make you a hypocrite; it means you’re human, you live in the reality of necessity instead of idealism, and you’re not sitting on a mountain of cash. Relax; you’re conscience is clear and you’re not hurting anything or anyone. Congrats on keeping that clutch alive. Good job !

Shouldn’t any clutch replacement include resurfacing the flywheel ?

I found out the hard way, it isn’t just starting, shifting and stopping on steep hills that increases clutch wear. I tried to cheap it out by using a 4 cyl compact truck with a 3500 lbs tow rating to tow 5000lbs plus boats over short distances but with steep hills. Regardless of the lower gears used, the slippage and wear was enough to smell up the neighborhood. Live and learn; and get an auto truck with a higher rating.

Exceeding towing capacity by 1,500 pounds can cause clutch wear? Go figure! I bet it would wreak havoc on an automatic transmission too.

My next vehicle will probably be a manual truck with 3,500 pounds of towing capacity. I think I will keep the loads under 3,500 pounds. I HATE driving automatics.

[i] Yes, that is a CEL you see. It's been that way for the last 125,000 miles or so. It's nothing to worry about.[/i]  

Except for one thing.  You don't seen to know why it is on.  It could be something that takes time before it is apparent often after the damage is done.  Also consider that with the light on, you don't know when another problem may crop up but you get the same lamp so you don't know until it is too late.